Interview with One of the Hottest Players in DFS, gosixersgo76
Many DFSers dream of one day bringing home a six-figure GPP win. For many, it just isn’t ever going to happen, but for RotoGrinders member gosixersgo76, it’s already happened five times in the first four weeks of the NFL season. Not to mention a multi-way tie for 1st in the Draft Kings opening night Millionaire Maker Showdown contest! He was kind enough to sit down and fill us in on his recent heater, so take a minute to learn from one of the best in the industry!
RotoGrinders: First off, congratulations on such a remarkable start to the 2018 NFL season!
Thanks! It’s been a wild ride.
RotoGrinders: How did you get started in DFS?
My first experience with DFS was playing NBA on DraftStreet. I believe it was 2014 or possibly as early 2013. I did no research and, needless to say, I was horrible. I mainly played these $50 snake drafts and I was just clicking buttons and praying.
When DraftKings bought DraftStreet in July of 2014, I started dabbling in fantasy golf. I knew absolutely nothing about golf, but it seemed like a fun idea, so I figured why not. I came across Pat Mayo’s strategy shows on YouTube and I felt like they gave me a good feel for things. Unfortunately, this was the exact point in time when Brendon Todd was making the transition from being a super consistent borderline world class golfer to one of the worst golfers on tour. I played him every week for a couple months thinking he has to snap out of it eventually.
Something else that sticks out in my mind was a FanDuel Slam contest from January of 2015. Heading into the late games I had an amazing lineup with Draymond Green to go. I was in around 20th place and all I needed was 30 points from him. There was no one else in the first dozen or so pages with a player remaining. It felt like a lock for 1st place. Then the Klay Thompson 37 points in a quarter happened.
The reason I bring Brendon Todd and the Klay Thompson game up is to exemplify that the start to my DFS playing career was not all sunshine and roses. I had plenty of reasons to quit and it certainly felt hopeless at times. But I stuck with it and kept working harder and working smarter.
RotoGrinders: When/how did things turn around? What was your first big score?
My first taste of DFS success was Week 6 of the 2015 NFL season where I got 12th in the DraftKings Millionaire Maker for $25,000. It was the week where the Stafford to Calvin Johnson stack went nuts in an overtime game vs the Bears. The key to my fantasy team was crazily enough Jonathon Stewart. The Panthers were playing at Seattle vs an elite defense. The consensus around the industry seemed to be you can’t beat Seattle on the outside, you have to attack the middle of the field. To a lot of people that meant Greg Olsen, but I heard absolutely no buzz about Stewart and he was only 4k. I felt he could bulldoze his way for a few 20 to 30-yard runs up the middle of the field and pound in a couple goal line touchdowns and that’s exactly what he did at 1% ownership. Soon after this, the 2015-16 NBA season started, and I remember having a +30k night and a +40k night within about two weeks of each other. So, I had a six-figure bankroll seemingly out of nowhere.
RotoGrinders: You mentioned playing both golf and NBA above, but your recent heater has been in the NFL. Clearly, we know how the 2018 season is going for you thus far, but how were your results prior to this season?
Prior to this NFL season, I’ve had sporadic results. I’ve had a few big weeks here and there over the years, but consistency has definitely been lacking. On DraftKings, my natural inclination has always been to play a WR in the flex. Last year that absolutely killed me as running backs in the flex was the optimal play almost every single week. This year, with all the penalties and teams throwing more often, that’s definitely helped me out. And FanDuel removing the kicker was huge for me. Man, I was so bad at picking kickers.
RotoGrinders: Are there any key NFL stats or articles that you feel might be contributing to your early season domination?
A couple things I’ve been paying much closer attention to this year are air yards and injuries. I’ve always taken note of the injury designations, but I’ve never really done any deep research such as reading coach/player quotes about an injury situation or to see what the beat writers are saying about how a guy fighting an injury looked at practice. Air yards are huge. They are similar to strokes gained approach in golf. In golf, you want your guys to have as many opportunities at birdies as possible. In football you want your guys to have as many opportunities at long catches/long touchdowns as possible. That’s what wins GPPs.
RotoGrinders: You’ve been a RotoGrinders member for quite a while – can you tell us how you use RotoGrinders to help you with DFS? Did anything in particular help you these last four weeks?
I look at literally everything on RotoGrinders. Consensus Value Rankings are always interesting. STLCards Field Stretcher, Tuttle’s Take, and the Grind Down are all must-reads. I love all the shows, especially the Swolecast when Davis Mattek impersonates people impersonating him. I try to gather as much information as possible, not only from RotoGrinders but elsewhere. It’s important not to take any one source of any information or any one person’s opinion as gospel.
RotoGrinders: Judging by your RotoGrinders profile, you play many DFS sports. Which is your favorite and why?
That’s a tough one. MLB is my least favorite that’s for sure. But between NFL, NBA, and PGA that’s really close. They each have pros and cons. Right now I’m obviously loving NFL. I really like how I can watch 4 games at the same time. With all the penalties and commercials you don’t even miss any action. With NBA there are so many games going on simultaneously it’s difficult to keep up with even 2 games at the same time. And with PGA sometimes I enjoy how it lasts 4 days and other times it feels like a drag. I’m going to have to lean NFL as my favorite for the time being.
RotoGrinders: You’ve clearly been able to build a very healthy bankroll. Can you tell us a little bit about your bankroll management and thoughts on game selection?
I’m probably not supposed to say this, but I think bankroll management is so overrated. The most important thing in DFS is emotion management and being honest with yourself. I wouldn’t necessarily advise anyone to put 5% to 10% of your bankroll on one lineup, but I’ve done it plenty of times. If you are confident in your abilities and believe in the lineup you’ve made and you will be able to emotionally and financially handle losing 5% to 10% of your bankroll, then why not?
I also think people who say you have to allocate 80% of your money for cash games and 20% of your money for GPPs are full of it and most of them probably aren’t winning players. I think people who believe in that 80/20 rule are playing scared, and if you’re playing scared, then you’ve already lost. There’s nothing wrong with playing cash games, I play them from time to time myself, but you should never obsess over what percent of your money is allocated where. The only thing you should obsess over is making the best possible lineups you can. So, to answer the question of how I became so successful, I would say one of the keys has been that I’m not afraid to go out of my comfort zone in regard to how much money I’m entering on a single lineup. An example of this would be the 2018 Super Bowl showdown slate. I forget what my exact bankroll was at the time, but I probably entered at least 4% of it on one lineup. $23,094 in entry fees and I turned that lineup into $172,451.
RotoGrinders: What does your typical DFS week look like (i.e. game selection, level of volume, etc.)?
For PGA I usually max enter the $333 or $555 or whatever it happens to be that week. Also usually max enter the $44 Club Twirl and the low end $5 GPP or whatever the price point happens to be that week. If I have conviction on a particular lineup then I will enter it in the Thunderdome and just about every other contest whether it’s a head to head, 3 man, 5 man, 10 man, double up, 50/50, etc.
For NBA with all the late-breaking injury news, I try to limit the number of lineups I make on each site to a maximum of 10. Like PGA, if I have a conviction on a particular lineup then I will enter it in the Thunderdome and just about every other contest.
For NFL it has been different every week. I always have a bunch of lineups in the DraftKings Wildcat and FanDuel Monster and every price point below those. I originally didn’t plan on playing cashing games this past week but then I realized Bernard and Shepard were such stone locks that they needed to be 100% owned in head to heads, double ups, and 50/50’s and I knew they wouldn’t be. To offset the tremendous amount of money I had on my cash lineup, and to take advantage of the leverage gained by fading Bernard and Shepard in a GPP lineup, I made what I felt was the best GPP lineup I’ve ever created and entered it in the Thunderdome and a bunch of other GPPs. It was Dalton, Zeke, David Johnson, Julio, Sanu, AJ Green, Eifert, Boyd, Bears DST. Not only did I fade the two chalkiest plays on the slate, I banked on Ridley having a come back down to Earth game by playing Julio and Sanu, had 3 Bengals pass catchers in case the Falcons D adjusted for getting throttled by opposing running backs catching passes, and still stacked what was the highest total game of the slate. By my count, that lineup should have really cost roughly $56,000 in salary, but it was exactly $50,000. The lineup ended up min cashing in most contests but in summation every week is different and I think it’s a mistake to automatically go into an NFL slate thinking I’m only playing exactly these contests this week. Things change throughout the week with injuries, weather developments, and other factors. And sometimes late in the week you make a lineup you fall in love with and want to enter it in a bunch of contests you originally didn’t plan on entering.
RotoGrinders: Do you use an optimizer or lineup builder to assist with your lineup making? Do you build your own custom models?
I almost always make lineups by hand, even if I’m max entering 150. Every once in a while I will use a lineup builder, but to be honest I have had very little success with them. All of my big scores have come from building the lineups by hand. I wouldn’t even know how to build a custom model and I think if I did it would make me worse. I’m more of a gut feel type of player. I obviously consider a ton of stats and numbers, but the main determinant of my success is feel and instinct. I look at multiple sources of player projections, including RotoGrinders, but I don’t have an optimizer build my lineups I do that myself.
RotoGrinders: Do you have any extravagant purchases planned with all of your recent winnings?
None. I’ve learned from my own personal experience that when you buy fancy expensive stuff you normally aren’t doing for it yourself, you’re doing it to impress other people. Which is actually super lame when you think about it.
RotoGrinders: Any parting words for other Grinders striving to match your success?
I think in NFL, more than any other DFS sport, you get the highest correlation between time spent researching and profitability. So do as much research as you can and trust your instincts. And trust the process.