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  • stlcardinals84

    Leading RG Analyst

    • 299

      RG Overall Ranking

    • 2018 DraftKings FBWC Finalist

    • 2018 DraftKings FBBWC Finalist

    Hey there everybody! I’m Justin Van Zuiden, one of the Rotogrinders hosts and writers. I go by the handle ‘stlcardinals84’ on most DFS sites (stlcardinalsfan84 on FanDuel) and am ranked in the top-50 overall. The folks at Rotogrinders wondered if I was willing to do an AMA, so I obliged.

    Some basic info about me:
    -I started working at Rotogrinders in August of 2013 (over three years now!)

    -I started playing DFS in January of 2012.

    -I am a CPA licensed in the state of Illinois and maintain a full time job as a CPA.

    -I like the St. Louis Cardinals, of course. Baseball is my favorite sport.

    -I have a Bachelors and a Masters Degree in Accounting from Northern Illinois University

    -My wife Shannon has somehow been married to me for eight years.

    -We have two children, both boys, Landon (6) and Noah (3).

    That about covers the basics. Fire away any questions you may have. I did one of these about three years ago, but times have changed since then!

  • BogeyTMF

    Justin, one more question if I may.

    How do you approach, mathematically, scripting a 150-LU day. Perhaps a better way to ask this is – how do you determine the % level of exposure you want to a player when you consider the range of possible outcomes for that player’s performance as well as the projected player ownership?

    Thanks!

  • stlcardinals84

    Leading RG Analyst

    • 299

      RG Overall Ranking

    • 2018 DraftKings FBWC Finalist

    • 2018 DraftKings FBBWC Finalist

    @krazyju84 said...

    This is by far the longest losing streak for me so second guessing and frustration definitely on the rise but still i feel like tonight is my night! damn this DFS. haha

    One more question.

    Playing 20+ lineups in GPP, do you build mainly around few core players you like? or do you limit any single player exposure under a certain %?

    thanks again

    I do select a “core” of players, because it’s really hard to win if you are trying to cover way too many bases.

    However, I don’t often go with 100% exposure on a player. With injury risk, etc…, I like to diversify my lineups because of that. So, I will normally own most of my core guys on 50-60% of my lineups.

  • stlcardinals84

    Leading RG Analyst

    • 299

      RG Overall Ranking

    • 2018 DraftKings FBWC Finalist

    • 2018 DraftKings FBBWC Finalist

    @BogeyTMF said...

    Justin, one more question if I may.

    How do you approach, mathematically, scripting a 150-LU day. Perhaps a better way to ask this is – how do you determine the % level of exposure you want to a player when you consider the range of possible outcomes for that player’s performance as well as the projected player ownership?

    Thanks!

    This depends on how many players I like for that day. If I have a “larger” core for that day, most of my guys will be around 30-40% exposure.

    If I have a “smaller” core for that day, most of my guys will be around 50-60% exposure.

    If there is a “must play” or something of that magnitude, I will usually put him on around 70-75% of lineups.

  • bluewombat16

    Do you still follow CBB and CFB even without DFS? I found them the most fun DFS sports by far and it’s rough not having them anymore.

  • nyyankees24

    Hey stlcards, big follower here. Just a couple quick question regarding NBA.

    1. When looking at advanced stats do u believe it is best to look from the sample size of the whole season, past month, or just the last week etc.

    2. I’m mostly a gpp player and what I’ve been noticing with the top % of winning lineups they have no more then 2, MAYBE 3 players playing on the road. Does this play a big part? Should I take this into consideration when building my lineups. Do you believe I shouldn’t have more then x amount of players playing on the road on a given night?

    Thanks in advance.

  • stlcardinals84

    Leading RG Analyst

    • 299

      RG Overall Ranking

    • 2018 DraftKings FBWC Finalist

    • 2018 DraftKings FBBWC Finalist

    @bluewombat16 said...

    Do you still follow CBB and CFB even without DFS? I found them the most fun DFS sports by far and it’s rough not having them anymore.

    I am watching quite a bit of CBB this year… I’m not sure why, but I am.

    I definitely stopped watching as much CFB without DFS. It was a big DFS sport for me, and I just lost interest there.

  • stlcardinals84

    Leading RG Analyst

    • 299

      RG Overall Ranking

    • 2018 DraftKings FBWC Finalist

    • 2018 DraftKings FBBWC Finalist

    @nyyankees24 said...

    Hey stlcards, big follower here. Just a couple quick question regarding NBA.

    1. When looking at advanced stats do u believe it is best to look from the sample size of the whole season, past month, or just the last week etc.

    2. I’m mostly a gpp player and what I’ve been noticing with the top % of winning lineups they have no more then 2, MAYBE 3 players playing on the road. Does this play a big part? Should I take this into consideration when building my lineups. Do you believe I shouldn’t have more then x amount of players playing on the road on a given night?

    Thanks in advance.

    1. Definitely not just the last week. I would look at season and month in conjunction.

    2. I really don’t consider home vs. road that much on its own merit. Obviously, home teams generally win and generally score more points, so with all other things being equal, you probably have a chance of rostering more home than road players. Let the data guide you, not the noise.

  • savedatmoneyquan

    How do you feel about the future of DFS Golf with the merger? I think it’s the most fun sport to play and can’t wait for it to be back in a couple weeks?

    What are the biggest stats you look at and consider when researching PGA?

    Thanks for doing this btw

  • timusbr

    I am curious about how you watch a sport after the picks are done. You max’d LU Gpp’s and lots of cash games. its Sunday and its a personal DFS day. 11:55am game time is 5 min.

    where you at? what do you need to have with you? Typical setup? Any superstions?
    are you looking at scores? looking at DFS leaderboard? looking at competition LU?
    If not from the start, when is your time to check?

    Do You recognize a lot of the competition? when do you take notice of the competition?

    I know you dont play many $1 games, but do you take h2h invites. Maybe I want to give you money.

  • scsa1998

    I’m still waiting for my first bad beat but I would be interested to hear what is your one bad beat story

  • stlcardinals84

    Leading RG Analyst

    • 299

      RG Overall Ranking

    • 2018 DraftKings FBWC Finalist

    • 2018 DraftKings FBBWC Finalist

    @savedatmoneyquan said...

    How do you feel about the future of DFS Golf with the merger? I think it’s the most fun sport to play and can’t wait for it to be back in a couple weeks?

    What are the biggest stats you look at and consider when researching PGA?

    Thanks for doing this btw

    I think golf will stay around where it is now. They’re not getting rid of it, but massive growth is hard with a four day sport.

    Stats to look at totally depend on the course. Bombers course? Driving distance is important. Tree-lined course? Driving accuracy is important. It literally varies on a week to week basis depending on the course the tournament is being played at. Stats that are relevant one week are irrelevant other weeks.

  • stlcardinals84

    Leading RG Analyst

    • 299

      RG Overall Ranking

    • 2018 DraftKings FBWC Finalist

    • 2018 DraftKings FBBWC Finalist

    @timusbr said...

    I am curious about how you watch a sport after the picks are done. You max’d LU Gpp’s and lots of cash games. its Sunday and its a personal DFS day. 11:55am game time is 5 min.

    where you at? what do you need to have with you? Typical setup? Any superstions?
    are you looking at scores? looking at DFS leaderboard? looking at competition LU?
    If not from the start, when is your time to check?

    Do You recognize a lot of the competition? when do you take notice of the competition?

    I know you dont play many $1 games, but do you take h2h invites. Maybe I want to give you money.

    I don’t follow super closely. I have a job, two kids, a dog, and a wife to pay attention to. Between work and Grinders stuff and lineup setting, I don’t have time to do that before roster lock.

    So, I usually don’t follow the leaderboards too closely each night. I’ll check as things wind down, but I’m not staring at scores all night.

  • stlcardinals84

    Leading RG Analyst

    • 299

      RG Overall Ranking

    • 2018 DraftKings FBWC Finalist

    • 2018 DraftKings FBBWC Finalist

    @scsa1998 said...

    I’m still waiting for my first bad beat but I would be interested to hear what is your one bad beat story

    I was winning $100,000 when Paul Goldschmidt came to bat in the 10th. All the other games were final.

    http://www.cbssports.com/mlb/gametracker/playbyplay/MLB_20150522_CHC@ARI

  • Huysauce27

    Hey Cards,

    So I’m finally admitting to myself large field gpps are extremely difficult to profit in and I wanted to take a further look into cash games, Not sure if there are exact answers to my questions but i would appreciate your respected opinion and recommendations. I’ve got a little over $200 on my account so please take that into account if that affects your answers. Here are two questions and feel free to include anything.

    1. Which type of cash games do you recommend ?
    2. How much of my bankroll should I use a slate? Is there a correct % for cash and gpps you recommend?

  • Coleistheman

    My small stakes cash lineups do pretty well, but my tournament lineups need work. What statistics do you focus on for GPP’s as opposed to cash? Also, really enjoy everything you contribute to RG.

  • ballslaughter

    Hi Justin. Like many others, I thank you for all you contribute to the dfs community. My question is about bankroll:
    So, one of the harsh realities of the dfs world is that the majority of those playing are not doing so profitably. And yet, deep down, everyone who makes lineups has this in mind—the hope to cross over; get in the black. That’s why a site like Rotogrinders is so useful; people want to learn, get better & be successful. If you could, could you share your personal thoughts on volume, & where you feel it truly stands with the possibility of being profitable. I know it’s possible to start with a minimum deposit & build it to infinity & beyond, but, for practical purposes….
    I’ve seen where pros discuss about how they put x amount of money in each day, & because they have so many lineups in (AND they put the work in to make intelligent, informed picks) that….the winning just kind of fleshes itself out. Not to oversimplify a complicated process—but I wonder, do you feel like there’s a point where the size of your bankroll enables you to have a better chance at profitability? And if so, where would u guess that threshold starts; when u can afford to spend $500/day? $10,000 a day?
    I understand that this might be a taboo thing to bring up, but feel like it’s something that deserves being adressed also. Ur welcome to pm me if nothing else, & thank you for listening to all our queries :) -mike

  • jakz101

    • 424

      RG Overall Ranking

    • $1M Prize Winner

    • x5

      2015 DraftKings FFWC Finalist

    How do you feel when another host goes over on his show time and you’re directly behind the show that goes over. Asking for a friend.

  • stlcardinals84

    Leading RG Analyst

    • 299

      RG Overall Ranking

    • 2018 DraftKings FBWC Finalist

    • 2018 DraftKings FBBWC Finalist

    @Huysauce27 said...

    Hey Cards,

    So I’m finally admitting to myself large field gpps are extremely difficult to profit in and I wanted to take a further look into cash games, Not sure if there are exact answers to my questions but i would appreciate your respected opinion and recommendations. I’ve got a little over $200 on my account so please take that into account if that affects your answers. Here are two questions and feel free to include anything.

    1. Which type of cash games do you recommend ?
    2. How much of my bankroll should I use a slate? Is there a correct % for cash and gpps you recommend?

    Hi there!

    GPPs are definitely tough. I would recommend some large field, single entry 50/50 games. Those are the safest cash games out there.

    If you want to go to more of a cash game approach, I don’t mind 90% cash and 10% GPP, playing around 5-7% of your bankroll per night.

    Good luck!

  • Priptonite

    • Blogger of the Month

    How do you feel about the perception that DFS is unwinnable for those without advanced statistical models, access to an optimizer, etc?

    Obviously it’s not easy to win in DFS, but I find the above notion to be ridiculous. I think new players are probably skipping out on learning the fundamentals and instead searching for the best projections/optimizer and relying heavily on it.

  • stlcardinals84

    Leading RG Analyst

    • 299

      RG Overall Ranking

    • 2018 DraftKings FBWC Finalist

    • 2018 DraftKings FBBWC Finalist

    @Coleistheman said...

    My small stakes cash lineups do pretty well, but my tournament lineups need work. What statistics do you focus on for GPP’s as opposed to cash? Also, really enjoy everything you contribute to RG.

    I use the same statistics whether its cash or GPP build.

    If it’s a GPP lineup, I focus more on upside and potentially low-owned guys as opposed to the “popular” plays. Nothing ground-breaking, but if you have further questions on statistics, let me know. Lots of differences between sports, too. Feel free to clarify.

  • stlcardinals84

    Leading RG Analyst

    • 299

      RG Overall Ranking

    • 2018 DraftKings FBWC Finalist

    • 2018 DraftKings FBBWC Finalist

    @ballslaughter said...

    Hi Justin. Like many others, I thank you for all you contribute to the dfs community. My question is about bankroll:
    So, one of the harsh realities of the dfs world is that the majority of those playing are not doing so profitably. And yet, deep down, everyone who makes lineups has this in mind—the hope to cross over; get in the black. That’s why a site like Rotogrinders is so useful; people want to learn, get better & be successful. If you could, could you share your personal thoughts on volume, & where you feel it truly stands with the possibility of being profitable. I know it’s possible to start with a minimum deposit & build it to infinity & beyond, but, for practical purposes….
    I’ve seen where pros discuss about how they put x amount of money in each day, & because they have so many lineups in (AND they put the work in to make intelligent, informed picks) that….the winning just kind of fleshes itself out. Not to oversimplify a complicated process—but I wonder, do you feel like there’s a point where the size of your bankroll enables you to have a better chance at profitability? And if so, where would u guess that threshold starts; when u can afford to spend $500/day? $10,000 a day?
    I understand that this might be a taboo thing to bring up, but feel like it’s something that deserves being adressed also. Ur welcome to pm me if nothing else, & thank you for listening to all our queries :) -mike

    There is no point where the size of your bankroll gives you a better chance at profitability. If you are a bad player, a large bankroll will just make you lose money faster.

    Does it make you more likely to WIN a GPP? Sure, but that’s because it simply gives you better mathematical odds with more entries. It also makes you just as likely to blow x amount of dollars any specific night.

    This is one of the biggest, and most painful, misconceptions in DFS.

  • stlcardinals84

    Leading RG Analyst

    • 299

      RG Overall Ranking

    • 2018 DraftKings FBWC Finalist

    • 2018 DraftKings FBBWC Finalist

    @jakz101 said...

    How do you feel when another host goes over on his show time and you’re directly behind the show that goes over. Asking for a friend.

    RUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUDE

  • stlcardinals84

    Leading RG Analyst

    • 299

      RG Overall Ranking

    • 2018 DraftKings FBWC Finalist

    • 2018 DraftKings FBBWC Finalist

    @Priptonite said...

    How do you feel about the perception that DFS is unwinnable for those without advanced statistical models, access to an optimizer, etc?

    Obviously it’s not easy to win in DFS, but I find the above notion to be ridiculous. I think new players are probably skipping out on learning the fundamentals and instead searching for the best projections/optimizer and relying heavily on it.

    I would tend to agree with you. It is certainly a lot harder than it used to be, but the game is not unwinnable if you are pen and papering lineups. Does it reduce your odds of profitability? I would be foolish to say no. That’s because the people with advanced models are also good players. However, it’s not like you can’t win without one.

  • Coleistheman

    I realized later that I left that pretty vague. Sorry. I was referring to NBA, but it could apply to NFL and MLB also! I guess my lineups are too chalky. If I do cash GPP it’s basically minimum cash. Most of my research is through RG, First Look and incentives. Which statistics should I be focusing on? Especially for GPP’s. Any help is appreciated. I think all the things that all you guys do through Rotogrinders to help everybody is awesome. Thanks again.

  • stlcardinals84

    Leading RG Analyst

    • 299

      RG Overall Ranking

    • 2018 DraftKings FBWC Finalist

    • 2018 DraftKings FBBWC Finalist

    @Coleistheman said...

    I realized later that I left that pretty vague. Sorry. I was referring to NBA, but it could apply to NFL and MLB also! I guess my lineups are too chalky. If I do cash GPP it’s basically minimum cash. Most of my research is through RG, First Look and incentives. Which statistics should I be focusing on? Especially for GPP’s. Any help is appreciated. I think all the things that all you guys do through Rotogrinders to help everybody is awesome. Thanks again.

    Definitely look at ceiling for GPPs. Check out the “ceiling and consistency” tool for NBA. It can really help you identify low-owned guys. The projected ownership stuff is really good, too. I don’t differentiate much as far as looking at specific NBA stats, but it does help to know which guys are “safer” and which guys have “upside” in GPPs. The combination of those two tools should help you out.

    Good luck!

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