Daily Fantasy, Daily Life: Volume II

You know, the whole idea behind this column is that I’m not an expert, not a pro, not someone who breaks down tape or says things like “cover two” or anything of the sort.

The idea is I’m just a regular guy, a longtime fantasy player, a DFS nut who depends on actual experts to make informed decisions – you know, just like you.

So I regret to inform you that I am, in fact, brilliant and about to become a millionaire. Are we still doing “sorry not sorry? If so, #sorrynotsorry, because I have advanced to the finals of Underdog Fantasy’s Best Ball Mania II. My “regular guy” bona fides are about to be blown to smithereens. I drafted the bestest best ball team, I’m in the final 160 out of over 155,000 entries, I’m a best ball savant and, quite frankly, my dog is probably cooler than your dog.

That, or …

Or I’ve run incredibly lucky the last two weeks and stumbled into a mediocre-at-best team that is shockingly healthy and COVID-free (knocking on every available piece of wood, both natural and composite, as I type), and only managed to make into this past week’s semifinals by getting out of the quarterfinal round by .02 (literally) points.

But yes. Here I am, with a 160/1 shot – all things being equal (and they’re not, as we’ll soon find out, as this team is shockingly ugly) – at a million bucks.

All in all, though, those are pretty good odds. I mean, when I buy a Powerball ticket or something, I spend every waking moment until the drawing imagining what I would do with my millions, and the odds of winning Powerball are one in 292 million. There are 329 million people in the country. Those are not good odds.

But one out of 160? I mean, that’s pretty good odds. Those are odds I can work with, especially considering the vast majority of my DFS play is in large field tournaments.

For instance … in last week’s DraftKings Milly Maker, my best team finished in 2,319th place out of 177,000+ entries. Won $75. But start doing the math, and a similar finish this week in the best ball tourney – that’s a top 1.3% finish – would land me in 2nd place for a cool $250K.

So yeah. I can work with these odds.

Sidebar: I fell deeply in love with best ball this summer. In addition to my 18 entries here, I had about another 65 in the $5 “puppy” tourneys. And I gotta tell you – the $5 tourneys were awesome, because it was worth the $5 in entertainment value just to draft for 45 minutes or so. Any winnings – and there wasn’t much in the way of winnings except for this ridiculous run I’m
on – were gravy.

Anyway … the team: It’s not good.

Really. I have no idea how I stumbled into the finals. Look at those running backs. Good grief.

So where’s my path? Who knows, but I have to imagine a good chunk of my competitors have Cooper Kupp, Davante Adams, and Jonathan Taylor, so if they have mediocre games … and if the Bengals-Chiefs game shoots out … and if Kenneth Gainwell gets more run due to the Miles Sanders injury … well, there’s the path. Not a great path, but a path. It’s filled with branches and brambles and vines and rattlesnakes, but I have a butter knife to slice through it all, so all good here.

And of course …

“What would you do with the million?” my wife asked me this morning.

Before I had a chance to answer, she said I could keep $25,000 for my bankroll. The rest gets put away.

“Ehhhhhhh …” I countered.

“More?” she said.

“Wellllllllll ….” I said.

I got a nod back with narrowed eyes. Let the negotiations commence!

Tip of the Week

This one is courtesy of Andy Means, our lead analyst for NBA and MLB. And honestly, his tip couldn’t come at a better time.

“It is OK to take time off,” he told me. “The instinct is to feel that the one slate we miss could be the one with the biggest ROI. But taking time off is good for both you and for those around you.

“You’ll come back to the next slate even more rejuvenated and eager to dig in. And it’s a nice reminder for your loved ones (and you) that they are actually the most important thing in your life, not DFS. Take a day. Take a week. Take a month. DFS ain’t going anywhere!”

Listen: I know Means is correct here. And the whole point of this “tip of the week” thing is that I’m supposed to follow the tip and see what happens. (Worked great last week, thanks to Jordan Cooper.) But take a day off DFS? Well …

Well, here’s the truth: I don’t think I’ve taken a day off DFS. Ever. If there was something to be played, I played it. (Read this mini-memoir I wrote about my KBO experience.) There have been plenty of days – especially on Friday night 15-game baseball slates in late July – when it became a chore, but still: Never skipped. It is that fear of missing the big one.

So Meansy, I will follow your tip. Not this week, but soon. Need to work up to it. Cue Rocky training montage.

DFS Gripe of the Week

This is what I wrote last week in the “look ahead:” “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.”

Um, it was sneaky, and it won the Milly Maker. Burrow was at 12%, Chase at 13%, Higgins at 9%, Andrews at 8%.

Ask me how many lineups I built last week: The answer is 40.

Ask me how many Burrow-Chase-Higgins-Andrews lineups I built: The answer is 1. That lineup finished 14th in the $5 Huddle (19,000+ entries), and it had James Robinson in it.

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Ask me if I’m an idiot: I am an idiot. I mean, here I am, publicly stating the best stack of the week, labeling it “not sneaky,” it ends up being sneaky, and I leave gobs of money on the table by only playing it only once. Legit getting palpitations writing this.

Look Ahead

Of course, now I’m going to give another stack idea for the coming week and play it in 50% of my lineups instead of 2% in an effort to win the money I didn’t win last week.

So yeah. My not-sneaky but probably sneaky stack idea this week is … Wilson-Metcalf-Lockett with a St. Brown bring-back. I know the Seahawks are terrible and I know Metcalf and Lockett never go off in the same game but this may legitimately be Russell Wilson’s last home game as a Seahawk so yeah, I’m going down narrative street. Meanwhile, Amon-Ra St. Brown has 35 receptions for 340 yards and three scores over the last four weeks. He’s Cooper Kupp north. I look forward to griping about this pick, one way or another, next week.

Oh, and happy Trey Lance week everyone!

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.