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Where to Go From There

JM Tohline (JMToWin)

JM Tohline (Tuh-lean) – DFS alias JMToWin – is a novelist and a DFS player who specializes in high-stakes MLB and NFL tourneys, with a strategy geared toward single-entry play in multi-entry tourneys. He joined the DFS scene at the beginning of the 2014 MLB season, and has since won five DFS championship seats and two separate trips to the Bahamas. His tendency to type a lot of words leads to a corresponding tendency to divulge all his DFS thoughts, strategies, and secrets…which is exactly what he does in his RotoGrinders articles and RotoAcademy courses. You can find JM on Twitter at JMToWin.

I know, I know — I really just left you hanging at the end of that last lesson with a whole bunch of leftover salary just sitting there on your roster. That’s sort of the way this course has gone, though, isn’t it? We haven’t really had “self-contained lessons” so much as we’ve had one long, continuous lesson with forced breaks thrown in there to give you a chance to breathe.

Why stop now, right? Let’s pick up where that last lesson ended and pretend it never stopped in the first place…

“Where to go from there?”

It’s simple, really. All you need to do now is find places where you can use that extra salary, with a strict and intentional focus on increasing both safety and upside with each upgrade you make!

I first started trying this “All-Value Team” approach during my first year playing NBA DFS, after studying the rosters of a particular player I had tracked at an 88 percent cash rate over the span of roughly a month (this player was playing double-ups only, and was putting around $10,000 in play each night; in case you don’t want to do the math yourself, an 88 percent cash rate over 30 days, at $10,000 a night, comes out to nearly $230,000 in profit — which might explain why I had been studying this guy’s teams). One thing I noticed about his teams was that he almost always had a roster composition of a few low-priced guys and a few high-priced guys. And the high-priced guys he was using were guys I had been avoiding “because their points-per-dollar floor was not high enough.”

In order to get closer to the teams he was building, I started using an All-Value Team as my foundation. Each day, from top to bottom on my roster, I had players who had a high floor and ceiling, relative to their price. Sometimes, this team consisted of only two or three truly low-priced guys, with several low/mid-priced guys rounding out the roster. Other days, this team was mostly low-priced guys, with just a few mid-priced guys sprinkled in. Always, this All-Value Team had a very solid floor and ceiling on a points-per-dollar basis and would have been in position to perform admirably if the rules suddenly changed and we all had to work with a smaller salary cap.

There were no days on which the rules suddenly changed, however, and this meant that my next step had to be finding where I wanted to spend that extra salary. And this is what I came to realize:

The temptation was very strong each day to move up from the low-priced guys to the comparable mid-priced guys above them. Sometimes, this temptation was there because the mid-priced guys provided a safer feeling with the “name value” they gave my team; other times, this temptation was there because the high-priced guys I could move up to instead did not provide high points-per-dollar floors. Regardless of the reason, however, the temptation was constantly there to move up from these low-priced guys to the mid-priced guys who cost more while pretty much providing the same floor and ceiling for points.

And then, finally, it hit me:

If I was going to “move up” from one guy to another, I needed to be certain I was improving both my floor and my ceiling at that spot on my roster.

No surprise here: that’s when I started winning in daily fantasy basketball.

No surprise here: that’s when you’ll start winning in daily fantasy football!

Because, in football, it works the same way. Heck, I’d been building teams with this approach in football for ages and had simply not realized that this was what I was doing (I had simply not “defined” this, as I’d had no need to). For ages in NFL DFS, I’d been finding the best, low-priced players I could find and had been using these savings to capture as much upside as I could capture.

And here’s the awesome thing about using the All-Value Team in order to fully incorporate this approach: more often than not, you will end up with an All-Value Team on which you do not want to change anything at all! You may have $5,000, $8,000, $14,000 in salary left over, and you will wish this were not the case, as you like your team already!

This, my friend, is the difference between “starting with the players you really want to use and figuring out how to make things fit from there” and instead “starting with a low-cost team that can be expected to strongly over-perform salary expectations, then finding places to increase floor and ceiling from there.”

You’ll still be able to move up to those “players you really want to use.” You’ll still be able to load up on some studs who make you feel good about your team when you thumb through the names on it. But more than that, you’ll also have a roster that is truly strong from the top all the way down to the bottom. You’ll have “lower-priced” guys who are not just “punt” plays, but are instead players you intentionally rostered — having identified them as the guys with the best points-per-dollar floor/ceiling combo of any player at their position!

In this way, you’ll have a winning daily fantasy football roster.

Truly, it’s just as simple as that.

Build that All-Value Team, making sure each guy you are rostering on this team is a guy you would feel comfortable using on your final team (in essence: building this All-Value Team with the goal of taking the cheapest players at each position you would feel comfortable using on your final team — given the points-per-dollar floor/ceiling these players have) — and then, use that extra salary to move up. But don’t just “move up to move up.” Instead, make sure that you are increasing both the floor and the ceiling — both the safety and the upside — of each spot you are choosing to upgrade.

After that? Nothing! Kick back. Enjoy watching a weekend of football. Enjoy the winnings. Then come back the next weekend and do it again.

About the Author

  • JM Tohline (JMToWin)

  • JM Tohline (Tuh-lean) – DFS alias JMToWin – is a novelist and a DFS player who specializes in high-stakes MLB and NFL tourneys, with a strategy geared toward single-entry play in multi-entry tourneys. He joined the DFS scene at the beginning of the 2014 MLB season, and has since won five DFS championship seats and two separate trips to the Bahamas. His tendency to type a lot of words leads to a corresponding tendency to divulge all his DFS thoughts, strategies, and secrets…which is exactly what he does in his RotoGrinders articles and RotoAcademy courses. You can find JM on Twitter at JMToWin.

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