Money on the Table: Recognizing When You Don't Have a Feel for the Slate
One question I still struggle with every slate is whether or not it’s ok to have money left over. I drive myself nuts messing with my lineup to use the last few hundred dollars even when I think the cheaper lineup might be a better option. My plan for this blog is to build two lineups each night using my full salary for one and leaving money on the table for the other. Then I’ll invest in the lineup I think is better for my contests and track the results to see what we learned.
I don’t do things like this very often but I’m going to use this space today to go on a quick rant. A lot of people were burned last night when the Cavs “Big 3” were all ruled out for rest purposes shortly after lock. It blows my mind when things like this happen and the DFS community goes off on Twitter and blames the sites. I saw so many people last night calling DFS a scam and accusing the sites of withholding this information so they can take all our money. You realize they are collecting and paying out the same amount of money regardless of when this information becomes available right? Players being ruled out after lock doesn’t suddenly mean the sites are going to be more profitable now. Perhaps it means they will be taking more of YOUR money if you had exposure to those players but someone else who didn’t now just has a greater chance of winning. Even if everyone last night had 100% exposure to the players who were ruled out the sites are still going to payout the same amount of money – the winners would probably just have some ugly scores.
I’m not saying it doesn’t suck when things like this happen but stop blaming the sites when you get burned by some back luck. We’ve all been there. It’s an everyday part of DFS and NBA DFS specifically. This is why the first rule is proper bankroll management. This way when things like this happen it might mean a bad night but it doesn’t hurt your chances at long term profitability. Not to mention I’ve read dozens of articles by the RotoGrinders experts over the past couple of months warning us that March NBA DFS is ugly and things like this will happen more often as we get closer to the playoffs. I started reducing the amount I’m playing on a nightly basis several weeks ago and it’s really helped me avoid disaster on some rough slates.
If you start screaming DFS is a scam you’re going to give ammunition to the very people who are trying to shut it down and ruin it for everyone else. Instead, do what the rest of us are already doing and start counting down the days until baseball season starts. You’ll feel a lot better.
Ok rant over. With that said I didn’t even play last night. I went through my normal routine and built a handful of rosters but I just never had a feel for the slate. Most of the positions were really ugly yesterday and other than Jason Smith (once Markieff Morris had been ruled out) there wasn’t really any obvious value. I was actually hoping for news that John Wall would get rested. He’s dealing with a sprained foot and the Wizards were in the second game of a back to back. Had he sat out Brandon Jennings would have been an elite value play and then I think things would have opened up some more. Small forward and center were both awful last night as well and I kept feeling like I was having to decide between bad options no matter how much I messed with my lineups. You basically had to play LeBron James in cash last night on FanDuel. At one point I was even considering Nikola Mirotic in a matchup with the Utah Jazz as my value power forward. Either way there was a lot of uncertainty and I couldn’t get comfortable no matter how much I tried. Not a good spot for someone who mainly plays cash games. This is exactly why I typically don’t post my head to heads until closer to lock to make sure I’m confident in the direction I’m headed. Once head to heads are matched up they can’t be canceled so you’re stuck if you post them early in the day but don’t end up liking your lineup later. Bottom line: It’s ok to walk away from a slate when things don’t feel right.
Quick post today. If you’re playing tonight good luck in your contests. I’m settling in for a full day of March Madness. Go Ducks!
Thanks for reading. I’d love any feedback in the comments below or feel free to reach me on Twitter @GP_Landry.