The DFS Report: Week 6

JMToWin looks at nine topics of note to kick off the DFS week.

1. Congratulations, Cal Spears

Congratulations, Cal…on the trip to Europe you and Sheena will be taking this summer.

For those of you who missed it: RotoGrinders co-founder and all-around good guy Cal Spears took down the Milly Maker this last weekend. Congratulations, brother!

Cal, Abby and I were talking about what you were likely to do with the money (“Probably save all of it,” she hypothesized, “or even more boring, reinvest all of it into a new business”), when we decided that you and Sheena are going to Europe this summer to celebrate.

Congrats on that!

You’ll have a blast.

(Let me know if you have any questions on favorite spots of ours – though I daresay you’ll have a slightly bigger budget than us.)

2. Just Play Good Plays

If a newbie DFS player were to ask me the one thing they could do to improve their ROI, that would be my answer.

Because of the emerging focus on game theory in DFS over the last few years, people tend to become so focused on “low ownership,” they forget to take the first step of identifying who the good plays are. If you play good plays, you’ll be far more likely to win. When those good plays are going to be low-owned, that’s all the better.

3. Congrats to Dean78904!

Dean Shavelson (Dean78904 – if you want to get all technical) should be tested for performance-enhancing drugs after he stormed ahead of the pack in our Consensus Value Rankings standings during the end of the MLB season.

For each slate in DFS (each day in MLB and NBA; each week in NFL), Premium subscribers have access to the “point per dollar” rankings of our analysts – and throughout the season, the accuracy of these rankings is tracked. For the second consecutive year, Dean has finished as the most accurate ranker in MLB – for both FanDuel and DraftKings. It’s a seriously unreal run of rankings excellence.

The top three round out as follows:

FanDuel accuracy rankings standings:

1. Dean78904
2. CheeseIsGood
3. SBK

DraftKings accuracy rankings standings:

1. Dean78904
2. STLCardinals84
3. CheeseIsGood

4. Apparently, I should build my DraftKings rankings off my FanDuel ranks…

NFL rankings are underway as well, and while I rank first in accuracy on FanDuel, I rank eighth on DraftKings. I always put in my DraftKings rankings first, then adjust my FanDuel ranks based off the pricing changes over there. Maybe I need to go back and change my DraftKings rankings after that…

Current standings in NFL look like this:

FanDuel accuracy rankings standings:

1. JMToWin
2. SquirrelPatrol
3. HeadChopper

DraftKings accuracy rankings standings:

1. BigT44
2. Meansy53
3. Notorious

5. Apparently, we should all be watching BigT on Sunday mornings

If I recall correctly: on a Sunday morning show last year (right around this point in the season, in fact), BigT helped Eric Crain get onto the Derek Carr / Amari Cooper stack against the Bucs – a stack that helped Crain take down the Milly Maker.

This year, BigT talked up George Kittle on the Sunday morning show, and rode that play to a $380k weekend.

Congrats to BigT on the current first place ranking in DraftKings accuracy.

Almost as importantly, congrats on the massive weekend.


6. Lots of RB value this week

Up until Week 6 or 7 of last year, people looked at you funny if you paid up at running back in DFS – particularly on DraftKings, with point-per-reception scoring. The old standby was to “get the cheapest high-volume running backs you could, then pay up for volume/upside at wide receiver.”

You’ll notice that Cal’s winning Milly Maker team used this strategy – which was even more effective than normal with the top three wide receivers all going low-owned in Week 5 as people paid up for Gurley, Zeke, and Bell.

This upcoming week, I expect people to swing over to the low-priced running back train a bit, as there are so many strong values at the position. But after the DFS community got into the habit during the second half of last year of “always trying to figure out how to fit in David Johnson and Le’Veon,” many people are still going to spend this week trying to figure out “where to pay up at running back.” While this is certainly a viable approach, it’s also a good week to keep in mind that cheap, high-volume running backs are extremely valuable.

7. Game I’m most interested in watching this week

I’m interested to see how the Texans handle the Browns. Do they grab a lead and sit on it? Or do they attack, attack, attack as they did against Tennessee? On the one hand, this is a 2-3 team with playoff aspirations, and it would make sense for the Texans to “play for the win” by grabbing a lead and then protecting it…

On the other hand, Bill O’Brien was on that ’07 Patriots coaching staff. He has no qualms about running up the score if he can justify it as “valuable in-game reps,” and I think there is a chance that A) Watson goes under-owned with his elevated price and the “fear that this is a fish play,” and B) his ceiling remains higher than most will give it credit for.

8. Game I care the least about watching this week

Almost every game this week has at least something to be interested in from a DFS perspective, which helps explain why this is my favorite week of the season so far (there are a lot of different ways we can go in terms of both price and pathways). But the Bears and Ravens is the game I have the least interest in watching. While the running backs are in play, this game pairs two bad offenses with two good defenses. I’ll almost certainly watch the game on Monday as I catch up on all the games from the weekend, but it’s not a game I am making priority viewing.

9. Non-NFL sporting event notes

Even as a lifelong Red Sox fan, I was sort of halfway hoping they would lose their series to the Astros. Sure, DFS has caused my fandom to become something short of fanatical, but more than that, I’m simply a fan of really good baseball…and the Astros and Indians are much better teams than the 2016 Red Sox.

I’m desperately pulling for the Yankees to lose to the Indians in Game 5 – but while part of that is the Red Sox / Yankees rivalry, a bigger part is simply that I am excited to see these two excellent baseball teams go head-to-head for seven games.

Regardless of who reaches between the Nats and Cubs, we have some really good baseball ahead of us.

See you at the top of the leaderboards

Hopefully I’ll see you this Wednesday night on the NFL Edge – where I’ll be breaking down all 14 game on the weekend from top to bottom in Premium.

Hopefully I’ll see you on Premium chat on Friday and Sunday morning, where I’ll be fielding questions about the slate.

Hopefully I’ll see you this Friday night, when I’ll be hanging with Adam Levitan on GrindersLive.

And I’ll definitely see you at the top of the leaderboards this weekend – as we crush Week 6!

About the Author

  • JM Tohline (JMToWin)

  • JM Tohline (Tuh-lean) – DFS alias JMToWin – is a novelist and a DFS player who specializes in high-stakes MLB and NFL tourneys, with a strategy geared toward single-entry play in multi-entry tourneys. He joined the DFS scene at the beginning of the 2014 MLB season, and has since won five DFS championship seats and two separate trips to the Bahamas. His tendency to type a lot of words leads to a corresponding tendency to divulge all his DFS thoughts, strategies, and secrets…which is exactly what he does in his RotoGrinders articles and RotoAcademy courses. You can find JM on Twitter at JMToWin.


  • drewcrawford03

    As a Red Sox fan you were hoping they would lose in the postseason? That’s bizarre no matter how you swing it.

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