Grinding to Freedom: Specialization
Most successful people tend to be exceptional at one thing instead of spreading themselves too thin trying to do everything (for example, actors who focus on certain roles, trainers who work primarily with athletes of one sport, etc). The reason is because our time is limited and efficiency is paramount. While there are DFSers who have all day to do countless hours of research, the majority of us fall under the category of having approximately 2 hours a day. This is why we subscribe to RotoGrinders and use various tools to aid in the time consumption department of our research while still keeping that all important ROI nice and fed. Well specializing when it comes to DFS will also help you to excel in both these areas.
Well naturally the first place to start is what site you want to play on in each sport. With each site comes different scoring, player volume, game availability etc. Most of us tend to be better on a particular site for whatever reason but we play on multiple sites to “diversify.” Diversify to me is just another way to me of saying “not optimizing.” Hedging is a way to limit your downside but also your upside. When you have a huge bankroll and throwing out a large amount of money into contests than I can understand minimizing risk by sacrificing upside but when you’re still Grinding Your Way to Freedom you need to do what you can to increase upside in the most strategic way possible.
Also trying to play on every site in every sport is time consuming since you have to use different models and research for every site and you finish not getting a significant edge in any site trying to get an edge on all of them.
An underrated way to get an edge is playing on smaller sites that you’re comfortable with. Because they’re smaller and trying to gain traffic their rake tends to be less. Also their algorithms might not be as advanced and there tends to be real overlay opportunities available, even in cash games. An example of this for me was NBA on Rosters this year. I play NBA on DraftKings and Rosters uses the same scoring system minus a majority of the bonuses, while the prices were different the process had an overlap and I could take advantage of 50/50s and tourneys that were like 50-75% full on a daily basis which obviously made it infinitely easier to cash. Whatever we gotta do to make that ROI climb.
For transparency’s sake, I started off playing FD NBA due to no late swap and DK NFL because it’s PPR and that’s what I feel most comfortable with since that’s what I play in my season long leagues. I then went full DK in both sports after late swap was taken away and they introduced MPE in NBA. And then halfway into the year I played on Rosters as well to take advantage of their inefficiencies.
This doesn’t tend to be much of an issue with most people unless you really are a DFS junkie. People tend to only play the sports that they enjoy to watch regardless of fantasy. Sometimes you have to concede that even though you enjoy watching a sport you’re just not as good at it then you’d like. That doesn’t mean stop playing but lower your investment until you optimize your process further and improve your game. Or you might realize that a sport you don’t necessarily enjoy as much as others is the one you’re best at.
I enjoy the process of NBA DFS more than NFL DFS but I’m infinitely better at NFL DFS so that’s where my primary investment is centered on.
This is where most people tend to run into hiccups. For whatever reason they play suboptimal games for their thought process or try to play every kind of game and end up not focusing on particular games and spread themselves too thin. There’s huge inefficiencies in people’s games that doesn’t even involve player selection that a losing streak could be attributed to what games you’re playing that could not be working for your skill set. It’s good to experiment to see what you’re good at but stick to your bread and butter.
We can write articles for years talking about optimal game selection but let me just leave you with a quick example:
When I first started playing DFS I would play GPPs primarily in NFL (trying to chase that big payday). While I wouldn’t do very good I noticed that my scores and thought process would have me placing almost every time had I played them in 50/50s. After further analyzation I concluded that I was better suited to play 50/50s until I could adjust my GPP though process. My player selection strategy barely changed but my win rate and ROI skyrocketed.
As for NBA, due to my success in NFL 50/50s I started playing cash games in NBA as well. While my scores weren’t terrible, the landscape was different and my personal edge just wasn’t cutting the returns. I also noticed that I was better at finding trends of underpriced guys to exploit who could blow up for nice games and put more of a focus on GPP play and due to the change in philosophy and game selection my ROI skyrocketed as well where I was basically breaking even before.
These are very simple examples meant to illustrate a point not to say you should do what I did. But take the time to analyze your play to see if specialization can save you time and money. The best way to find out is to use RotoGrinders’ amazing DFS Analyzer tool which has been a godsend so that I can see what games I’m better at and what I should be focusing on and shying away from. Without the DFS Analyzer it would’ve been infinitely harder to specialize my game and maximize profits.
While this isn’t a groundbreaking topic it could be the difference for you to escape Grinders’ Purgatory and get you Grinding To Freedom.
If you have other ways to specialize your DFS game or have counter points to specializing write in the comments section below!
If you ever want to hmu on Twitter and discuss anything DFS related just tweet me @Awesome_Cap