The Great American GPP:

This post concludes The Great American GPP’s series on language and lineups. The previous three explored how ideas from the ancient art of rhetoric, developed to teach humans to think about how words, and groups (or stacks) of words relate to each other, and also to an overall goal or plan, which we called the*thesis*. The purpose of the thesis was to guide the construction of the proper line up for deploying our strategy to win a particular GPP.

I had planned to write the last entry on set based reasoning, and connecting that concept to making sure that every part of a lineup, every roster slot and dollar spent, works well with every other part pf the line up, with greater integration resulting in greater chances of taking the money down. However, after discovering that I was still making a certain kind of mistake, one that without a doubt has, and still is, costing me money, I felt compelled to make my last entry on the rules of rhetoric and line up building about this error, and use a key term from the art to ELIMINATE it from my game (and possible yours).

So what exactly is this costly error? Since MLB started, I spend the day (or the night before) researching each game, getting into the data for both SP’s, each starting player, the teams, umps, stadiums and weather (thank you fangraphs, dailyfantasylabs. MLB statcast, and the research tools here at RG). I’ll get more in depth on my methods in the future, but the result is a few SP’s I like, and few gascans to attack, and a small pool of what I think are the best batter plays of the day. I use these results to come up with a plan of attack for each GPP, and to make line ups to put that thesis into action (as covered in parts 1, 2, &3). Here’s where the mistake comes in.

Even after all this research, and spending the winter studying how some of the great DFS theorists thought about the game and the data and how to apply both to give themselves an edge, I still don’t have the fortitude to make the moves or use the players the system is calling for. Now, I have to say, that I pick all my own players (and I have learned a lot about how to think about the game from reading the Dave @cheeseisgood Potts, and Notorious, and the like). However, after two days or so of listening to various podcasts, and things like Grinder’s Live and reading the many daily essays and articles, I’ll let the general consensus not talk me into using a player, but talk me out of a making a play. I’m going to call this error the Houston Fallacy, because for me this error has almost always involved deciding my analysis of the Houston game must be wrong; everyone else must be right.

Successful players quickly learn how important it is to trust one’s strategy and research for each slate, and (once all one’s numbers and method have been properly vetted) to understand that the divergence from the general reading of a player or a game is not a sign of error, but most likely a sign of possible edge. I’ve learned to trust my research and my plan for the slate, except in the case of Houston. At least 10 times this year I’ve balked at keying on a pitcher or opponent against, or some other line up idea because: Houston.

So what can we learn from this? First, you (and I) must trust ourselves and our work. Or, to keep with the idea of this four part series, we must employ the rhetorical skill of ETHOS. Not only must we trust in the reliability of our method and the credibility of our conclusions, but we must also develop the courage to bet our money on our strategy, on our reading of the right plays for the situation. Find some source of pride or certitude that is a big part of yourself, or how you present yourself to the world, and think in that frame of mind when you find yourself getting off that hidden power bat that got you excited last night, because today the internet is saying something different. For me, it was poker; I would never give up what I was sure was the proper strategy and odds for a hand because other players at the table are talking a strategy different than mine.

Another lesson we can learn from the Houston Fallacy is what is causing us to give up our play for theirs, or even why the variant readings are happening in the first place. Are we afraid of looking different? Are we afraid of what others might say if we play it differently than they do? Change this way of thinking FAST and label this what it really is, not a fear of appearing different, or silly but a fear of winning. Sure they guy who does something different stands out from the crowd, but guess who else does? The guy who won.

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