Success and regret in a post millionaire-maker world
As a young child growing up, one of the hardest things to accept is the idea of something ending. ‘Closure’ is not a phrase a child is very familiar with and so when something comes to an end it usually leads to feelings of sadness and regret. Sadness that something pleasurable has ended and regret that you didn’t enjoy and make the most of opportunities presented to you. Generally these regrets centre around not asking for more presents before Christmas or not staying up late enough during Summer holidays.
As DFS players we too have to deal with closure and
weekly daily regrets. The comparison with children works on another level of course as we spend an unhealthy amount of time focusing on something that we know to be fantasy. Children look forward to an event like Christmas from an all-consuming level. For a six-year-old child during December the world will cease to exist after December 25th, and even if it were to continue, there wouldn’t be much point in sticking around.
Which leads us to the post millionaire maker world we now live in. It’s a stark and desolate place, with no hope of winning a million dollars at the weekend. The January blues have come a few weeks early. We are now forced to cut back on luxurious foods and start back up on that exercise regimen as we can no longer blindly and recklessly throw dollar after dollar at a tournament that was the very definition of taking care of the 1% in spite of the 99%.
That’s not a criticism either, it’s not like anyone forced me to chase the millions week after week. Well that’s not true, my greedy alter ego forced me to chase the millions but I’d happily do it all over again and even this weekend if I could. What makes it even worse for me (or better I guess depending on your outlook) is that I had my best result by far finishing 95th overall along with three other teams that finished in paying positions.
This brought me great satisfaction and not only through the obvious source of getting some extra money before Christmas but also because I felt I really bloody earned this one. I had built up a few tickets through basketball qualifiers and I wanted to give it my best shot so I covered every inch of research possible without incurring the daily wrath of my wife. This was, however, not always successful.
I wanted a high finish because it’s hard not to wonder about the futility of it all as you spend countless hours on research, prioritize it over your social life, do everything you feel you can and still finish way out of the money. You need some validation. You need to be able to point to the contests page on Draftkings and say, ‘See, that’s why I do it.’ You also need it if you’re writing a weekly DFS football column and you’ve been having more success at basketball.
So last weekend was a success and it was great to finally have a touch of excitement on a Monday night as I vaulted from somewhere in the 500’s to 95th. Like any good DFS player though, there was that little voice in the back of my head wondering what could have been if it was Martellus Bennett on the end of that garbage time TD and not Alshon Jeffrey or the various other possibilities that would have pushed me even further up the leader board. We are truly never happy unless we finish in first place.
I’ve recently finished in second and joint 3rd in large field GPP’s and much as this brings great joy and delight, I’ve still spent more time dwelling on how close I came to winning or how much more money I would have won, instead of being content with such high finishes. And that’s not even mentioning the fact that If I had entered the same millionaire line-up into the $3.1 main even satellite I would have finished in the top 20 places and secured a ticket worth $1,500 to the world championship this weekend. Ah regrets, I’ve had a few.
Which brings me back to being a child and overcoming the sadness that engulfs you when the Christmas tree comes down and those presents have lost some of their luster. It’s hard to stay positive, especially when you drag yourself out of bed on the first day back at school but you keep going because even though it feels so far away, you know there will be another Christmas. There will be more presents, more stockings, more excited Christmas Eve’s as you ponder on the magic of an overweight man and his reindeers coming down your chimney. More sweets to eat and more toys to play with if you can just be patient. As DFS players though, we don’t need to be so patient because even though we don’t have a million dollars to win this week, there’s still plenty to play for so let’s get to some picks.
Tom Brady – $8,000
I haven’t rostered Brady much this year as he’s consistently fallen just below the top tier QB’s and above the mid range guys. It seems like I’ve always either chosen to pay up or take the bargain pick but I like Brady and his TE (spoiler alert) this week. Brees is another option here but with a classic week 16 mentality, I’m refusing to play him due to previous weeks of disappointment. I just can’t make myself click that big green plus beside his $8,300 price tag. I’m willing to bet if they played these week 16 games 100 times Brady would average out with a higher score but Brees would score maybe the 10 highest scores. I don’t know how we can put this bet into practice but if anyone fancies taking a piece of the action let me know. Dotted around his three 30+ point games Brees has dropped a 13 and a 14 pointer. I think I had exposure to him in both of those weeks. Not doing it this week. You can’t make me. I also expect the Jets to play hard and, not that New England needs an excuse, I think the Pats will end up putting up 40+ points on them with three TD’s for Brady and two for Gronk. Brady hasn’t thrown less than two TD’s since that did-it-really-happen massacre by the Chiefs in Week four and he’s faced a lot stiffer defenses than the porous Jets secondary. Brady might not hit that coveted 4x his salary but he’s almost a guarantee for 3x which I’ll gladly take and move on.
Fred Jackson – $5,500
Another guy I’ve barely rostered this year. Granted Jackson sat out a bunch of games earlier in the season but I will admit to wanting to put my hope in some new guys this week. Jackson is similar to Brady in that he’s been so damn consistent over the last few weeks and now he has a legitimate shot to run up a big score against poor opposition. The Raiders have given up the second most fantasy point to opposing running backs and over the last three weeks Jackson has either had at least 20 rushing attempts or 10 receptions. Meaning that if the Bills get up fast they’re going to look to Jackson to run out the clock and if they go behind, there’s going to be a whole lot of check downs and quick passes to F-Jax. Basically anything that decreases the chances of Kyle Orton screwing everything up for a team that still has an, albeit minuscule, shot at the playoffs.
Tre Mason – $4,600
Tre Mason is my RB antithesis of DeAndre Hopkins. Meaning that I only seem to roster him when he has big games. There has only been one such game I know but still, we’ve had 15 weeks of being burned by players, I’m going to cling on to my 100% record on one player if that’s ok with you. Since his explosion against the Raiders (yayy for Fred Jackson’s opponent this week) Mason has gone up against two stout run defenses in the Cardinals and the Redskins (side note: Washington ranks as the 7th worst run D according to PFF but have also held opposing RB’s to the second fewest fantasy points over the course of nearly a full season, someone needs to explain that one to me) and now he gets a shot at the Giants. His price has dropped by $2,100 on DK over the course of two weeks so I fear the masses might be back on him, plus we have to factor in the seven people that will read this post and the two of them that might actually play Mason because of it. So yeah, he could have a high ownership percentage but that’s worked out pretty well with Mason himself in week 13, Stewart in week 14 and Hill last week so there’s no way he goes for 35 yards on 12 carries with no TD’s right? RIGHT??
Marques Colston – $4,600
Yawn. Another guy I haven’t rostered all year. I need new intros to these paragraphs. But it’s true, he’s in the stable of old WR’s I never like to play week to week but his price and usage ever since Brandin Cooks went down are too enticing. Plus you know, the Falcons having a pretty terrible defense is quite nice too. With my active fade on Brees this week and my feeling that Stills will be just that bit too highly owned for his price along with the zero trust I have in Jimmy Graham anymore, Colston was kind of my only choice when it came to wanting to have some exposure to the Saints passing attack. With that being said, if Julio Jones is ruled out again this week I could easily see myself late swapping Harry Douglas into this spot and downgrading at another area.
Vincent Jackson – $5,600
Targets. All of the targets. 17 and 10, that’s the amount of times Josh McCown has thrown the ball to Jackson over the last two games. It’s not an anomaly either, Jackson has been targeted over nine times on ten different occasions this year. I know that’s too (I wanted to use ‘two’ here but it would look like an excruciatingly bad typo) many figures in the last few sentences but suffice to say that Vincent Jackson gets lots of opportunities to score DK points which is what we like, except for you masochists among us. You run along and play Johnny Football again this week. Green Bay should get up early here forcing the Bucs to throw the ball against the Packers pretty poor secondary. I know what you’re saying though, Mike Evans is getting all the red zone targets and he’s not that more expensive so why ‘target’ (boom boom) Jackson? I’ll tell you why. Jackson has actually had more red zone targets than Evans over the course of the year and gets 26.42% of the teams targets in the RZ compared to Evans’ 22.64% Evans had done more with less of course but anytime I can get a talented WR with lots of opportunities to score at a cheap price, I’ll take it.
Torrey Smith – $4,600
Torrey Smith was my ‘picked because I had x amount of salary left over’ selection. Not to say that I don’t like him but generally, if you get picked last for any sporting event it’s an unavoidable blow to your confidence so Torrey, if you’re reading, I’m sorry. Anyway, I love Smith’s price this week and strangely enough he is the third player on this team with a price of $4,600…..I have nothing to add to that, I just felt like pointing it out. He’s been a bit banged up over the last few weeks, like most players, but he looks good to go this weekend and he gets a great matchup against the Texans. They’ve given up the third most fantasy points to opposing WR’s and if Smith is fully healthy, he should easily pay off his salary.
Rob Gronkowski – $7,000
Gronk’s price is the lowest it’s been since that crazy pricing of week eight when he was $5,900. He scored a ridiculous 44.9 DK points that week. These two facts have no relevance to each other except to illustrate the fact that Gronkowski has about as high an upside as any other player you can roster this week and if you feel you can get him at any type of discount, you should probably do that. You know the Patriots are going to make a few trips to the Jets end zone, you know that Brady will look for Gronk, you know that Gronk will probably get open and you can almost guarantee he will score a TD. You know you should roster Gronk this week.
C.J Anderson – $6,900
Do you know what the C.J stands for? Cortrelle Javon. I have never heard this name before. Coming from Ireland, we don’t quite have the wide spectrum of names that you get here in America. If Anderson were Irish he would either be ‘Chris John’ or ‘Charlie James’. You could swap them around a bit, but that would be it. Instead we get ‘Cortrelle Javon’. Fantastic. You know what else is fantastic? (smooth transition alert), Anderson’s possibility of putting up a high score this week. His price has come down to a more reasonable level after he put up a bit of a dud against the Chargers, but with Peyton Manning’s arm losing strength by the minute it looks like the Broncos will again lean on Anderson. The Bengals are weak against the run and yadda yadda Pro Football Focus, etc. etc. Football Outsiders, bla bla bla fantasy points given up, you know the drill. The real reason I wanted Anderson or at least somebody from this game? Monday night hammer. I honestly think I would take an overall lower finish from a team that had at least a shot of winning a GPP than a higher place finish from a team that was done by 4 on Sunday. The only caveat being if that team was in first with a score of 300+ points, but as that’s unlikely I’ll take a RB on the final Monday night football of the year who is getting a ton of usage in what should be a competitive game.
Lions – $3,100
Toss up between the Seahawks and the Lions for me this week. Patriots are also in play of course but like I said above, I can see the Jets putting up a decent performance and anyway, these two top calibre defenses are going up against two QB’s making their first starts of the year, if they aren’t collectively about 99% owned in cash games this week then we’re doing it wrong.
That’s it. Good luck this week and I hope all you Grinders have a profitable Christmas!