NFL Week 9 Recap: We're in the money!

Hello Friends,

Week 9 turned out to be a profitable week for me and a couple of you who are smart enough to read my blog! Now again, this is your reminder: I'm not a DFS professional. I'm just a regular guy with an undying passion for sports. I do my research, I study matchups, trends, and constantly analyze things like talent vs opportunity. Don't expect to make a lot of money following my advice every week, because that isn't the purpose of this blog. The purpose of this blog is detail my own journey in DFS and explore the thought processes for educational purposes. Remember, I'm learning just like you are. I'm hopeful that more often than not we'll all have weeks like this past one, but it is important to understand the NFL is a high-variance league.

The best advice I can give you when it comes to DFS is don't limit yourself. Don't just read one blog or one expert and live and die with what they're saying. Expose yourself to multiple viewpoints. There are a lot of sharp people in the DFS industry that make good money doing this, and there will be differences of opinion. My DFS journey involves a lot of research, reading, and critical thinking. I'm more than happy to share the ways I do things and my thought processes. This blog is as much for my benefit as it is for anyone else.

Week 9: What worked and What didn't

Here is a detailed breakdown of my DraftKings entries in Week 9.

$25 Double Up:

Result: Win

Prize: $50

$5 Double Up:

Result: Win

Prize: $10

$5 NFL 30K Huddle

Result: Win

Prize: $12

$5 NFL 1 Million Kickoff

Result: Loss

$5 NFL 200K Flea Flicker

Result: Loss

$5 NFL 200K Flea Flicker

Result: Win

Prize: $25

Total Entries: 6
Total Entry Fees: $50
Total Winnings: $97
Profit: $47
ROI: Nearly 200%

I played 2 cash games for a total of $30 and doubled up to $60. I played 4 GPPs for a total of $20 and won $37 for a profit of $17.

My cash game plays netted me a nice 200% ROI while my GPP plays netted me a little bit less of an ROI but still nearly 200% in total.

My Best Lineup: Roethlisberger, Freeman, Langford, A. Brown, S. Johnson, D. Thomas, D. Walker, Crabtree, Falcons - 214.16 points.

This was my best lineup at 214.16 points. Powered by Antonio Brown, Delanie Walker, and Michael Crabtree. If I had made better decisions on Thomas, Johnson, and Roethlisberger, I could have made myself quite a lot of money. Of course, hindsight is 20/20.

My Worst Lineup: Rodgers, Ingram, Martin, Bryant, Cobb, Thomas, Gates, LaFell, Eagles - 140.96 points.

This was my worst lineup featuring duds like Doug Martin. Here I chose to pivot off Antonio Brown to Martavis Bryant which is what we refer to as hedging your bets. If you didn't have Antonio Brown, you likely didn't cash this week. This lineup was an insurance policy in case Bryant had a big game and brown didn't. This of course is sub-optimal, but the goal isn't to hit 100% of the time, the goal is to make money and leverage risk.

Ownership percentages
Let's talk about why ownership percentages matter. If you don't know what ownership percentages are, look at my lineups under the "% DRAFT" category. This tells you what percentage of that particular field picked that player. For instance, in my $25 double up, Antonio Brown was owned by a staggering 56.7% of the field. In a double up, only roughly 45% of the field cashes against the rake, so if you didn't own Antonio Brown in this field, it would have been very difficult for you to cash in this double up.

High ownership percentages is what you want to try and avoid in GPPs because you want to deviate from the rest of the field. This is what we explained as "game theory" or being "contrarian". Aaron Rodgers was only owned in 1.9% of my GPP, and at $7400 salary, he put up 5X value. That means since Rodgers finished with such a good day at a low ownership percentage, rostering him gave you a good chance to separate from the field.

Now, you don't want to go contrarian with every pick. Sometimes the "chalk" play (chalk means highly owned in DFS lingo) is the right play. Case in point this week with players like Drew Brees, Antonio Brown, Jeremy Langford and Michael Crabtree. The goal isn't to avoid playing the chalk. The goal is to find the right mix of chalk and contrarian plays so your lineup has a chance of rising above the fold.

Remember that this is mostly a GPP strategy. In cash games playing the chalk is fine as long as you're confident it is the right play. A lot of beginners probably played Drew Brees this week, while the more seasoned players "paid down" for Derek Carr. Both had good days, but Carr provided better value at a lower ownership percentage and his lower salary allowed you to pay up for better plays elsewhere.

Antonio Brown cost us $8100 on DraftKings. He produced 49.6 points. We rate points per dollar here and generally speaking, 3X is what we use as a barometer of average value. 3X meaning if the player cost us $8000 in salary, and put up 24 points, 8 (in place of 8000) X 3 = 24. 4X value is a very good play. 5X is a great play. 6X is a HELL YES I AM GOD play.

Antonio Brown 8.1 X 6 = 48.6 points. Antonio Brown hit over 6X value for his salary. This is what we call a homerun play for a high priced player. Not only did he exceed expectations, but he also exceeded his ceiling in this case. If we expected that 10 REC + 200 yards and 2 TDs was his ceiling, that would have been good for 45 points. He finished with 49.6 without even scoring a TD.

Now that you understand value based on salary and points, we'll examine Jeremy Langford. Jeremy Langford was a bargain play because of opportunity. Matt Forte was injured so Langford's price did not reflect his true opportunity. At just $4000, Langford finished with 25.2 points. 4 x 6 = 2400. So even though Jeremy Langford finished with roughly half the points Antonio Brown did, he also cost about half of what Antonio did, so he also hit 6X value, another awesome play.

I hope this has been educational for you. Now let's not get too high on ourselves. We need to wipe the slate clean and get ready for a whole new animal: Week 10.

-- DF

Derek Finley

Existing in a world of psychotic monkeys. Writing about sports for passion. Thirsting for knowledge and beer.