fathalpert's 2020 DFS New Year's Resolutions

Back in 2016 when I had just started with RotoGrinders, I had written this highlighting some of my New Year’s Resolutions. I am a big fan of New Year’s Resolutions as it gives me something to focus on and strive for. Since it’s been a few years, I thought I’d give these DFS Resolutions another shot with an updated blog.

The purpose of this blog is to help me really think through what I want to accomplish in 2020 from a DFS perspective. But more importantly, by writing it down, it holds me more accountable to them. There’s a vulnerability in writing down your goals and publicly announcing them, but perhaps that’s a good thing.

I’ve always been told your goals should be S.M.A.R.T. (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, time-based), so with that in mind, I will get as specific as I can but also not give myself so many goals that I won’t be able to achieve them. These goals are specific to me, but perhaps some of them are relevant to you. Everyone is in different stages of their DFS “career” working with different bankrolls and in different life situations, so our goals should vary. These are the goals I felt were most relevant to me in this stage of my life, both as a DFS player but also as a husband and father. Let’s dive in.

1. Be Profitable & Less Emotional

This may sound like a dumb resolution, but sometimes it’s the most obvious goal that needs to be stated. We all play DFS for different reasons. My guess is that most of us want to be profitable, and I certainly do, but there are times when I don’t play in a way that leads to profitable outcomes.

2019 was a profitable year for me, but I also made some huge mistakes. I played more than I normally should have on Opening Nights for NBA/MLB/NFL, instead of sticking to my normal amounts. There were times I would chase a bad day with late night slates or a Showdown slate, trying to win it all back despite not putting in the proper research. These were emotional responses, and instead of chasing losses, I should have just closed my laptop and start fresh the next day.

So for me, this means I need to stick to a plan for each slate. No more 2nd Half slates…or 4th Quarter slates…or Flash Drafts. No more entering a slate if I didn’t put in the proper research. No more loading up on Opening Nights simply because a sport has returned for another season.

Additionally, I often find myself chasing those huge tournament paydays but the swings in DFS can be wild. By playing more cash games and using that to supplement by GPP action, I find myself being able to handle the swings better. Cash games are not sexy and are arguably a dying game, but I do think there’s still some edge in them for certain sports and I need to continue taking advantage of them. I may not finish with a $100K win in 2020, but profit is still profit, even if it means grinding cash games and scaling back my tournament play a bit. So if I want a better shot at being profitable, I need to embrace unsexy cash games. And that ties into my second resolution.

2. Eliminate The FOMO

FOMO (fear of missing out) is a real thing in our society due to the rise of social media. There’s a growing sense of loneliness and a feeling of being left out as our Twitter, Instagram and Facebook feeds are filled with pictures of everyone else living their best lives. From a DFS perspective, I genuinely believe FOMO is alive and well in the age of #screenshotlife. Let me preface by saying something – I am guilty of being part of team #screenshotlife as I’ve done it several times this past year. I might be in the minority, but I don’t think screenshots are a bad thing in the sense that I think it’s great when people celebrate their wins. Taking down a GPP is hard, and to celebrate that event is completely reasonable. But the side effects of seeing someone take down $100K or the Milly Maker can often make me think, “Why Not Me?”

So to tie it back to my New Year’s Resolution, my goal is to try and cut back my usage of Twitter and instead be more on the RotoGrinders Discord where I can be part of a community that continues to try and help and teach other. I still absolutely rely on Twitter for DFS research and news and so I can’t just get rid of it, but I think it may be healthier for me find ways to cut back.

I’ve always tried to be someone who engages with others on Twitter, but DFS Twitter also isn’t the best place when negative comments start getting thrown your way. The power of negative tweets is extremely harmful, and it’s given me insight into what kids these days have to deal with in terms of internet bullying. There was a time this year where I even made the decision to close my DMs because I had a bunch of angry Marlins fans sending me hate tweets after I questioned the trades their franchise has recently made. I don’t think what I said was anything awful, but the hate that was sent my way made me realize that while Twitter can be a powerful tool to bring strangers together, it can just as easily be used to bring down strangers.

Speaking of health, that leads me to my third resolution.

3. Mental Health Breaks

DFS is truly a grind, and I don’t know if the mental health aspect gets talked about enough in the industry. We all go through losing streaks and peaks/valleys in our DFS playing, and all we can do is trust the process over the results. I found myself taking more days off in 2019 just to refresh myself, especially when there was a smaller slate. My goal for 2020 is to take more of these mental breaks from DFS, whether that’s through vacations or just purposefully taking off the smaller slates where the range of outcomes is more narrow.

It’s often hard for me to take days off because like I said above, there’s still the aspect of FOMO. By taking a day off, there’s this feeling that I’m missing out on potential winnings that could be mine. After all, someone has to win the GPP, right?

As someone who helps out on the content side, it’s also harder to take days off. Even if I’m just doing injury reports for a day in the Situation Room, or Expert Survey, or Tags in LineupHQ, I still research the slate fully as I’m invested in making sure I provide the most accurate and actionable content I can for the RotoGrinders community. If you’ve ever done any DFS content (whether written or media), I’m sure you understand the work that goes on behind the scenes. As such, I’m also going to be making an effort to be more selective in what I take on from a DFS content perspective and to consolidate more of the days I provide content so I can dedicate more time to my family and my overall health (both mental and physical).

4. Trust The Process Projections

This one is in honor of Sam Hinkie. In 2020, I need to do a better job trusting the projections. The RotoGrinders NBA projections have been great this season as the team behind the scenes have done a fantastic job, and I need to continue to rely on them. This isn’t to say I should just blindly use them, but they should continue to be my guiding source day in and day out as my content provider.

The same can be said of the content here on RG on the NFL and MLB side. All the factors you can ever think of are baked into the projections, and it’d be silly to ignore them.

There’s a common running conversation in our NBA Premium Discord channel that the projections for NBA this season have been so solid that to deviate from an optimal lineup in a cash game format is, well, likely a suboptimal decision. Yet I find myself struggling daily to just plug in an optimal lineup and move on because I want to feel like I know better than what the numbers and projections tell me. In some sense, it’s a pride issue where I want total control, and in more cases than not this season, my desire for that control has cost me. Trust The Projections.

So that’s it for me. Be profitable. Be healthy. Be simple. DFS truly is a grind, but I’m hopeful that my resolutions for 2020 make that grind a bit easier and more enjoyable.

If you have any personal DFS resolutions for 2020, I’d love to hear them. Feel free to drop them in a comment below or DM me. Thank you for reading. In the meantime, may variance be on your side.

About the Author

  • Allan Lem (fathalpert)

  • Allan Lem (aka “fathalpert”) began playing fantasy sports in high school and transitioned to DFS in 2015. He graduated from UC Berkeley with a degree in Economics and lives in California with his wife and two kids. Allan got his break in the industry covering Preseason NBA content and has since helped with NBA, Summer League, MLB, and Preseason NFL content as well as overseeing the RotoGrinders blog program. He dreams of winning a big tournament so he can try cashing one of those giant cardboard checks at his local bank. You can follow Allan on Twitter @allanlemdfs.

  • kahlilgedin

    Great article and I wish you the best as you tackle these goals. Next week, I’m going to test different projection systems and see how my optimizer responds.

    As for New Year’s Resolutions:

    - engage more with the DFS community through social media, blogging and apps like discord. I started a blog on RotoGrinders which y’all can check out here: https://rotogrinders.com/profiles/kahlilgedin/blog-posts?

    - stick to a a few bankroll management and contest selection strategies and back test results. Right now, I’m generating 70 lineups and putting them in low stakes contest. As I reach my ROI goals, I will up my buy ins (i.e. once I made $200 I bumped my buy ins from 0.25 cents to 0.50cents)

    - play less 2k and play more actual basketball. Instead of focusing on my created player, I should focus on my own health and skills. After lineups lock, I can leave my house to play basketball. This way I’m not worried about my lines or the performance of individual plays.

  • alikhan0789

    Thank you Allan, I look forward to reading this article every year! A lot of the resolutions you are making are on par with mine. The first resolution really hit home. Happy New Year sir!

  • GuarGuar

    • Blogger of the Month

    Good post

  • sochoice

    • 2017 DraftKings FBWC Finalist

    • 2017 FanDuel WFFC Champion

    Great topic and write-up Allan.

  • shrek4224

    • 25

      RG Overall Ranking

    • Ranked #24

      RG Tiered Ranking

    • $1M Prize Winner

    As you know I truly appreciate the time and help you have offered me over the past year or so. I feel a lot of my success has been a result of our conversations. Thank you for what you do! See you (well not really) in discord.

  • Maddyb

    Brilliantly said Allan.
    All the best for 2020 may your intentions manifest

  • Volkster6

    Great article Allan! Thanks for all you do

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