The Quest for $1,000: November

Well, after a relatively uneventful start to the season, it’s time to get my groove back on FD after a one-year hiatus, and put a larger dent in this goal of reaching $1000!

Curious about this year’s Challenge… or any other past challenges, for that matter? Read here!

Week 2 (continued): November 1st and November 2nd

After the end of October’s low-note, you’d think I’d struggle a little bit, but, honestly, both my main-slate Yahoo tourney lineup as well as all the late slates took about two minutes to put together. As the night started, I was sitting pretty in the big Yahoo tourney before the late-slates even started, with my Brogdon/House/Sabonis/Westbrook lineup doing great… but then the rest of the night had other plans, including going oh-fer in my other action, meaning this was two straight nights of goose-eggs. Whoops

The next night, aka the “Warrior aren’t even pretending they’re not tanking night,” was made even more interesting with the fact that Yahoo and DK/FD were starting at different times, so I had to plan for two different slates. Unluckily, I guessed wrong on Poole, but luckily, I guess right on Paschall and my “power squad” of Lillard and the three main Sixers, so I ended up cashing across the board. Still waiting for a relatively large night, though…

Week 3: November 3rd through November 9th

On Sunday, we once again had a split-slate between Yahoo and FD/DK, but it was a blessing in disguise as I had Mike Conley across the board (which was kind of a bummer since I had lots of shares of monster performances from the two Dallas studs, Love and Mitchell), but Murray brought me back from the ashes on Yahoo, allowing me to survive and minimize the damage. Monday was another “Warriors gonna tank” night and, once the Russell news was out, I had three slightly different lineups across the board that I felt really good about, and, clearly based on my lineups, my thoughts basically reflected everyone else’s. I avoided all the weird Blazers and “end of the season” Warriors bench guards and squeaked out a profitable night, but it was ultimately a little disappointing since I cleared 300 across the board. Basically, it was one of those nights that feels great but doesn’t show up on the bankroll. Tomorrow, perhaps.

With my oldest kid starting individual swim lessons on Tuesday the 5th at 6:30 pm, the earlier tipoff was a little bit tricky and, once again, we were waiting on Barton news. This time, however, with him playing, he became a low-priced building block in all of my lineups and that, combined with LeBron’s excellence, made it a solid night on DK and a great night on Yahoo (less than two points away from winning the small $5 tourney):

Wednesday was a little tricky in that we were once again deciding if we were going to trust Conley once again. Kawhi being out also gave us the “hey, which random Clipper other than Lou and Harrell will be worth his weight?” So, with more questions than answers, I went with some weirdness that doomed half my lineups when Simmons went down. However, the joy of playing on multiple sites is that, sometimes, the fantasy gods giveth while they taketh away, and I had my most profitable FD night yet, aka my first non-double-up cash. Not saying much, but baby steps, right?

Thursday was the start of old man city rec league and, since I accomplished my personal goal of dropping 25 lbs, I became eligible to play (my own rules, mind you) and actually felt decent, came home and had yet another cash on FD. I flopped on Yahoo and DK, though, and decided that Friday was going to be a rare three-site sweep, which was something I hadn’t actually done for a while. After submtting a clear “drop” in the year-long league, I opted to focus mainly on the Blazers/Nets game and that absurd 238.5 over, and, once the Hezonja as a starter news opened up, I had a pretty good feel for the slate. Obviously, being all-in on Lillard’s 60-burger didn’t hurt, and I ended up sweeping the night, finally getting me into the positives on FD, going 2x there and on Yahoo, and 5x on DK. Saturday? Well, once Boban was the starter, things went even better, as it was another 2x on FD, followed by a 3.5x on Yahoo, and this gem on DK:

This entry was the first time I realized how a bigger buy-in could really get crazy, as I was only 13.5 points away from…. $15,000?!?!?!?

Week 4: November 10th through November 16th

I love it when Sunday action starts late, and this was a fun slate that had Hawks/Blazers in it, but I honestly didn’t have a great feel for it so bumped down my buy-ins a bit. Fortunately, it was still a profitable night and a solid way to start the week, thanks to the defensive stats of Boucher. Monday was a maintenance night that, with about a combined ten more points (total, across sites) would have been quite profitable, and Tuesday was more of the same (complete with a few points away from a sweep). Sadly (but somewhat excitingly) the night also ended my streak of four straight cashes on DK. I’m starting to cash more frequently on FD (8 of 13 in November), but they’re all little cashes and I built such an impressive hole early that I’m barely staying in the positives, which is kind of annoying; if it wasn’t for FD, my overall bankroll would be looking much, much better!

So, heading into Wednesday, I decided enough was enough, and it was time to make a move. I had lineups that I loved (minus an Avery Bradley addition on DK), and everytihng went right… except I was a combined five fantasy points across FD, Yahoo and DK from a sweep, but instead walked away with nothing due to the fact that JaVale went nuts and, despite the fact I really feel Howard was a better play, he was so low-priced and there were so few options that he, combined with Lillard playing like an actual human, knocked me out. In other words, this was a night where I was frustrated and, had I not been playing for years, I would doubt my process, but I honestly played it right, and it will eventually pay off.

Thursday brought some more old-man league, with the dreaded lineup-lock while I would be playing, but, as we all know, the show must go on! So, with a lot of Nuggets in tow (and ready for Jokic to finally not suck)…. my lineups all imploded gloriously, and we are now in the midst of our first-of-the-season cold streak!

Just to verify that, Friday night brought more of the same, falling out of cashing on DK with the final rebound of the final game, and not cashing by .8 points in the early yahoo action. Luckily, I cashed in the late Yahoo and FD games, making the night an overall wash, but sheesh, enough is enough. I’m about ten total points away from this being a huge week rather than the crappy one it’s been, and it’s getting a bit annoying at this point… but, unfortunately, on Saturday, my Yahoo lineups were doomed about five minutes in, when Frank Mason left the game, never to return. I was able to double-up on FD and DK, but the reality is, this week was absolutely brutal… but we can only go up from here… right?

Week 5: November 17th through November 23rd

Sunday was one of those weird nights that was basically like the last night of the regular season, where you had a lot of dirt-cheap guys who could produce but were relative unknowns. However, with a value-core of NAW, Bowman and Hayes, I more than made up for last week’s damage. Unfortunately, I didn’t have LeBron on DK, so that didn’t work… but FD and Yahoo were great:

One thing that was interesting, however, is that my $2 entry on FD paid out more than my $5 entry. As in, like a 15x payout versus a 5.5x payout. Yuck. Sadly, FD doesn’t have the variety of games available that DK does, so it’s really my only choice if I want to play in large tourneys, so what am I gonna do?

Monday, I had great lineups… and then Rubio was out, so all of my CP3’s became Kemba and all my Harrel’s became Gobert since I was plugging in the extreme-value of Carter. I still feel that’s the right move, as the matchups were solid… but I’d rather not talk about it. On Tuesday, where I decided Rubio owed me (and would be low owned due to the lateness of his play), and…. well, since I had him on DK and Yahoo, the seven fantasy points he gave me meant I got hosed once again by a Suns PG. Fortunately, I avoided all that lineup destruction on FD by playing in the earlier, full slate, and had decent results, at least somewhat salvaging another frustrating night…

Thanks to OT, I was able to win most of my money back on Wednesday, but, sadly, I have now only cashed one out of the last nine nights on DK, which has undone a lot of the good I had accomplished a week or so ago. Thursday was the rare “full” slate that was only two games, which is always exciting for me since I feel that, since this is about all I play, I have an advantage, and, as soon as Skal got into my lineups on FD and DK (finally!), I was in pretty good shape. On Yahoo, though, I was pretty bad. Overall, it was a solid night, but I am a little bit bummed that I had strongly considered bumping out Simons for Trent Jr, but Trent Jr. was just too much of a wild card with not a lot of proven, well, anything. So in other words, had I been a bit braver, the night could have been even bigger, but I still am pretty proud of this DK lineup, that involved a late lineup swap Booker way down to Tyler Johnson, which bumped Williams all the way up to an underpriced Ingram (what a time to be a live when that is an actual statement) and Hayes all the way up to Jrue. Clearly, that lineup move was beastly, and I feel I really utilized the late swap effectively:

And then we had Friday, when I was heading go the Husker bball game with my dad and a buddy, which meant I was going to have a decent idea of what I wanted in advance. Unfortunately, I never really got a good feel for the late slate… but my main Yahoo one was pretty solid, bumping me up into 124th in the season long league:

Saturday was gross. Like, big ol fart in your face gross. Not the end of the week anybody would want but, as I like to say, every crappy night brings you one step closer to a good one, so I’ll just move on and call it a week.

Week 6: November 24th through November 30th

Sundays are generally pretty solid days for me, but I was having a bit of trouble trying to figure out the slate, and it showed, when I goose-egged again. This cold-streak has been pretty prolonged at this point, which is pretty frustrating but I was pretty close tonight as I actually was all in on Murray and Harrell. Sadly, the night was marred by a lot of random Dario explosions and Tyler Johnson disappearing acts, which I was on the wrong side of each, so I went into Monday licking my wounds but also knowing that things would turn around eventually, but Monday was not the solution to that, which meant that, just eight days ago, I was nearing $200 in profit but am now back down around $100. That type of money shift is going to take some getting used to!

On Tuesday, I knew that it was my time to shine, and I went all over the place with my lineups with a relatively small core for a two-game slate (heck, I even went with Dwight Powell on FD in the hopes he actually does something for once), and I managed a small cash on DK at least. Wednesday, I was on the road to CO with family, but I felt like a sneaky guy with Hutchinson and what I assumed was a minimum priced 20 fantasy points. Instead, he played two minutes, and I was more ready for Thanksgiving break than ever before, having more than halved my balance in the last ten days or so. Yuck.

Thanksgiving happened and I had a great time with family, and I did well enough in football to play for free (and then some) on Friday, in which I was easily able to fit in LeBron and AD on both FD and Yahoo (not on DK, though)… but it didn’t matter because the Wizards rolled over halfway so early that I lost out on nearly everyone, leading to yet another goose egg. McRae made the night close, but… come on. One more day of November, riding a six game losing streak on FD and a nine game losing streak on FD. DK is just slowly bleeding away with infrequent cashes, but… jeez. I’ve suffered through some cold streaks in my life, but this takes the cake!

Saturday was the last night of November, and my last chance to get this crappy taste out of my mouth, but, after being all-in on Biyombo and having no shares of Harden, you can imagine how that went. Worst part of all? I happened to have full shares of Simmons, Warren and even McLemore. Just nasty, my friends.

November Reflection

This month was solid up until about the halfway part, but I basically spent the last two weeks doing nothing but losing. I mean, look at this chart:

About halfway through the month, I really thought I was gonna whip this challenge no problem, peaking around $200. Then, the cold streak started, and somehow, someway, hasn’t even ended, which meant that, despite that big ol peak, I“m right into a valley. I’m still up a little bit overall, but I mean.. yuck. I walk away from October up a whopping $30 and did go up a little, to a new balance of $67. To be on pace for my $1000 goal, I probably need to be around $150+, which I was… but sheesh. Hopefully next month will bring some better times. But hey, at least I’m still up, right? And, every cold streak comes to an end eventually… but how many times do I need to keep repeating that before it’s true…?

About the Author

  • Jim Hill (jimfred82)

  • Jim Hill, aka jimfred82, is a happily married father and teacher who has been playing fantasy sports since 2001. He began his DFS career in the pioneer days when $5 was the minimum contest entry and nobody had even heard of 50/50’s. He mainly plays low-dollar NFL and NBA, and has been blogging for RotoGrinders since 2011, publishing hundreds of blogs with a variety of content ranging from NFL, NBA, bankroll challenges, and his lifelong disdain for Kendrick Perkins.


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