Fading the Chalk: Back With a Bang After Two Days Off

I have been playing DFS just about every single day for about two years now. I’m not good enough to be considered a grinder, but I’m also not losing money all that much either. I want to get better. I have read in a few different books that one of the best ways to get better is to take the time to go back and analyze how your choices stack up against the people who are winning the contests you are playing. Taking the time to do that research is the motivation behind these Fading the Chalk articles. If you’d like to talk more about your research process or any other aspect of DFS, hit me up on Twitter: @AndyBowsersDFS.

After getting crushed on both slates with both strategies on Easter Sunday, I decided that it might be a good idea to take @JMtoWin’s advice and step away from DFS for a day or two. After taking off Monday and Tuesday, I felt a lot more relaxed when I returned to building lineups yesterday. Sometimes we just need a break…even from the things that we love.

Now let’s get into the lineups…

My Lineup: The Josh Reddick WWE Title Belt All-Stars

If you read @CheeseIsGood every day like you are supposed to, you knew that Clayton Kershaw was the only guy to consider for cash games. I will admit that I did pause for a minute to entertain the idea of considering Masahiro Tanaka, but come on…it’s Kershaw.

The problem with rostering Clayton Kershaw is that you don’t have a lot of cheap options to put around him. At $12.9k, locking in Kershaw leaves you with an average of $2.7k per hitter. That meant that I wouldn’t be able to consider guys like Manny Machado and Bryce Harper without taking a serious hit somewhere.

The three value guys that I felt comfortable starting with last night were Tucker Barnhart, Aaron Hill, and Kevin Pillar. I didn’t love any of them, but Hill and Pillar were both leading off, and Barnhart has some power in a small ballpark against Ubaldo Jimenez.

Shortstop was a tough position because there just wasn’t anyone that I really wanted to play. After going around in circles thinking about Dansby Swanson, I ended up crossing him off and locking in Xander Bogaerts as the only guy I would consider.

That left me with holes to fill at first, second, and two outfield positions. My original plan was to fill in with Hanley Ramirez, Dustin Pedroia, and two cheap outfielders. But after talking with some friends like joeycis and bigwilburstyle, I realized that Trey Mancini was in just as good a spot as Hanley. Going down to Mancini and using Starlin Castro instead of Dustin Pedroia allowed me a lot more flexibility at the remaining outfield positions, so I could move up to Josh Reddick and Brett Gardner. Sold.

Head-to-Head With the Pros

Pete obviously went with Clayton Kershaw as his pitcher, but I was surprised to see that he paid up for Wellington Castillo at catcher and then went cheap with Logan Morrison at first base. He also doubled down on Tampa Bay by rostering Brad Miller at second base.

One thing that held him back was having two Reds in his outfield. While their results were pretty much the same, I think that I should have gone with Billy Hamilton over Brett Gardner. I also believe that I didn’t give enough consideration to Brandon Crawford at shortstop.

Ryan had the exact same lineup as Pete, except he went with Evan Gattis over Wellington Castillo at catcher. I’m surprised that both guys were willing to go cheap at first base and pay up a bit at catcher instead of doing it the other way around. That said, they’re both a lot better at this than I am, so it’s fair to assume that their approach was correct.

Mike paid up for Wellington Castillo just like Pete did, but he also moved up to Trey Mancini at first base. To make that all fit, he went way down to Tim Anderson at shortstop and rolled out the discounted Kevin Pillar in his outfield. He also played Billy Hamilton over Brett Garner, so that confirms that I went the wrong direction with that play.

My Results: Welcome Back, Brother!

Winning is fun. Last night, I won every single contest that I entered. However, you can see that I only played head-to-heads, 50/50s, double ups, and a few 100-man tournaments.

One of the things that I spent a lot of time thinking about on my off days was that I needed to get back to a cash game focus. And since I am never going to win the top-heavy Squeeze playing guys like Clayton Kershaw, why am I playing it in the first place?

As you can see, it’s been a pretty rough start to the season for me. I have been losing a lot more than I have been winning. But with a few days off to reset my focus, I am ready to get back to work and start outperforming my IRA again.

We have a nice seven-game main slate to break down today, so that is what I am focusing on. Let’s get to work on that research and see if we can’t map out a path to the profitable side of variance again tonight!

About the Author

  • Andrew Selby (AndyBowsers)

  • Andy is a restaurant manager that fell head-over-heels in love with the DFS world from the minute he opened his FanDuel account back in early 2015. Since he is also an accomplished freelance writer, it was only a matter of time before those two worlds collided. He currently writes a daily blog called Fading the Chalk where he breaks down his own lineup decisions along with the lineups of some the best in the business.


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