Daily Fantasy, Daily Life: Volume I

Hi, my name is Jeff Edelstein, and I’m one divorce away from becoming a professional DFS player.

Everyone finds that joke pretty entertaining except for one person, and that person can be found giving me the side-eye at about 6:45 p.m EST every weeknight during NBA season when I’m trying to listen to Crunch Time and also engage in happy family dinner conversation with said side eye-giver and our three kids, ages 12, 10, and 7, all of whom are well aware of how angry daddy gets when Joel Embiid is ruled out a minute after lock.

And forget about Sunday mornings during the NFL season. As in, really: Forget about them. I’m useless from the time I wake up to see what Adam Schefter tweeted at 3 a.m. right on through kickoff at 1 p.m. Setting lineups, changing lineups, adding lineups, looking for overlay, FanDuel, DraftKings, Yahoo. Oh, and let’s not forget – since I’m in New Jersey, post-PASPA central – player props, parlays, teasers, odds boosts.

“Well you could’ve told me the house was on fire,” might be something that one day comes out of my mouth on a Sunday morning when I’m trying to jam Diontae Johnson, Davante Adams, and Cooper Kupp into my cash lineup.

Of course, it’s much easier to be a DFS dad now than when my kids were babies, although I did become an expert at setting lineups with my non-dominant hand.

What can I say? My name is Jeff, and I play DFS. A lot. Probably too much. Probably just like you.

I’ve been playing DFS since 2015. I am almost exclusively a low-stakes tournament player. My main sports are NFL, NBA, and MLB. And WNBA. And some European soccer if I’m bored. KBO baseball if I wake up in time. NHL, but only during the NBA All-Star break. Oh, yeah, and college football. Definitely did LOL during COVID lockdown. But mostly NFL, NBA, and MLB. I don’t miss a day.

I had a week-long run from Christmas Eve to New Year’s Eve in 2019 when I won $25,000 playing my typical $3 to $10 tourneys (three second-place finishes). That windfall has basically meant I’m playing with the house money forever.

Except it wasn’t almost that way.

“I’m going to start playing 10 times my normal amount,” I told my wife, explaining to her I was about to pour that $25K back into the ecosystem in my ongoing effort to be a “pro.”

Her response? I believe she called me a “moron,” an “idiot,” and a “stupid idiot moron” while pointing out we have three kids – one with autism – and a mortgage and two car payments and zero college fund and a wet basement and my main gig at the time was a newspaper columnist. (For those of you under 35: A “newspaper” is a piece of paper with words printed on it. You can buy it with dollar bills.) (For those of you under 25: “Dollar bills” are like Dogecoin, but made of paper with numbers printed on them that can be used for barter and are backed by the U.S. government.) (For those of you under 15: The “U.S. government” was a political system that everyone actually kind of trusted for 200 years or so. Anyway …)

Anyway, she pointed out it would probably be better if I didn’t try and take down the $1,500 Game Changer on a weekly basis and, instead, just took the money and put it away.

I ended up agreeing, reluctantly … one divorce away, alas.

But she was 100% right. This DFS thing is a super fun hobby for me, and trying to be a “pro” would certainly end in ruin. (Or it wouldn’t, and I’d be a multi-millionaire. Whatever. She was right. Right? Right?!?Article Image)

Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to start building UFC lineups while I watch my daughter’s dance recital.

Tip of the Week

All right: Experiment time. Each week, I’m going to ask one of the RotoGrinders team of experts for a DFS tip. It could be a big tip, a small tip, a funny tip, a serious tip … but anyway you slice it: A tip.

And then I’m going to attempt to put this tip into use – with real dollars – and see if I can’t use the collective brainpower of these DFS powerhouses to … well, to make my – and maybe your! – bankroll bigger.

This week, we’re kicking things off with Jordan Cooper, a.k.a Blenderhd, he of the “player whoever you want” movement. I figured since Cooper’s biggest tip has become a DFS phenomenon, I would be practically guaranteed an awesome tip.

He didn’t disappoint.

“The number one rule of DFS is … the first time you win a decent amount, buy your significant other a gift,” Cooper said. “He/she won’t ever have an issue with you spending time building lineups after that.”

Welp, I already blew that by not doing this after my big hit outlined above, but lesson learned: I had a nice NFL player prop parlay hit two weeks ago, and the first thing I did was tell my wife to get a babysitter, and out we went for a proper night on the town. Did I spend too much money? I did. Was it worth every penny? It was.

And guess what? She actually asked me how I did this week. M’lady has a taste for oysters and champagne, it would seem. (Spoiler: I had one of my worst betting/DFS weeks of the year this past Sunday. Back to mussels and Pabst.)

DFS Gripe of the Week

Over the course of the last few years, every fantasy analyst has been screaming from the mountaintops that Duke Johnson is awesome and Duke Johnson is the best and Duke Johnson deserves to be named dictator (the benevolent kind) of the world.

Through the years, I’ve listened to these analysts, and played Duke Johnson numerous times to limited, bordering on zero, success.

This year, Duke Johnson was released by both the Texans(!) and the Jaguars(!!!), only to land on the practice squad of the Dolphins.

This week, no one was saying to play Duke Johnson, mostly because no one thought he was going to see the field, and then he goes out and drops 127 combined yards and two touchdowns against the Jets.

I had about 60% Myles Gaskin across my tournament lineups, for the record.

Seriously, Duke Johnson? This is the week you decided to live up to the hype?

By the way – his real name is Randy. As in “Randy Johnson.” As in “Big Unit.” As in “I lost a Big Unit this week because of Duke (bleeping) Johnson.”

Look Ahead

Yes. A “look ahead” at Week 16 of the NFL season. Mmm-hmm. A “look ahead,” some 100 hours before kickoff Sunday, a “look ahead” when coronavirus cases are rampaging throughout the country, a “look ahead” when the odds of the slate looking the same Sunday as it does are less than the odds of the sun sprouting wings and flying off to join the Alpha Centauri system …

But yeah. A look ahead.

For one thing, we’re back to a running back cornucopia after last week’s (insert antonym of cornucopia). Short list: Austin Ekeler (assuming COVID, etc.) against the Texans; James Robinson against the Jets; Clyde Edwards-Helaire against the Steelers; Javonte Williams and Melvin Gordon against the Raiders; David Montgomery against the Seahawks; and probably Ronald Jones (eeeesh) against the Panthers.

On the wide receiver front … Antonio Brown at 4.9K – especially if Mike Evans sits – is going to rewrite the chalk record record books.

And if you think you’re being sneaky with a Burrow-Chase-Higgins double stack and bringing back Mark Andrews … well, it’s not going to be very sneaky.

In the meantime, good luck, stay healthy, and if you see my kids, tell them Daddy will be downstairs after lock.

Cover Image Credit: Imagn

About the Author

Jeff Edelstein (jedelstein)

Jeff is a veteran journalist, now working with SportsHandle.com, USBets.com, and RotoGrinders.com as a senior analyst. He’s also an avid sports bettor and DFS player, and cannot, for the life of him, get off the chalk. He can be reached at jedelstein@bettercollective.com.