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  • JMToWin

    • x2

      2014 DraftKings FBWC Finalist

    • 2016 FanDuel WFBC Finalist

    Hey, all!

    First off – I want to offer a massive congrats to one of RG’s own, Jakz101 (Eric Crain) on his Millionaire Maker win. If you’ve met Crain, you know he is genuinely one of the nicest guys you’ll ever come across. Super pumped for our newest millionaire!

    Secondly, and perhaps more importantly in some of your minds, I want to take a moment to address the “controversy” that has surrounded his win.

    For starters, it should be mentioned that any big win from a well-known DFS player/“tout” is going to generate at least some level of controversy. If someone writes articles and goes on air talking about the plays they like, people are going to comb through that individual’s thoughts from the week to see if they followed their own plays. Heck, the week Smizzle won the Milly, he had written up 7 of the 9 plays he used. People still complained.

    Of course, having cleared out that disclaimer, the situation here is admittedly a bit different.

    For those of you who are not Premium Content subscribers, here’s some quick background:

    Each week in NFL, Crain uses a lineup builder to create 150 lineups, which he throws into the Milly Maker. Because Crain is masterful at creating a sharp, narrowed-down player pool and turning this pool into a profitable weekend (while also – as witnessed this week – giving himself a clear shot at a huge weekend), I came up with the idea of a Premium article in which he would share some of the core pieces in his player pool (Crain writes this article for DraftKings Premium, while TheSeige – who is equally masterful in this area – writes this article for FanDuel).

    In theory, this was an awesome idea. As we saw this weekend – when Crain took first place (and three of the top four spots) in the Milly – having a look at some of his player pool could help readers a ton.

    The problem this week, of course, was that Crain listed 11 players in his article this last week, and only one showed up on his winning lineup. Naturally, this has led to some criticism and frustration from a handful of readers. If you will give me just three or four minutes, however, I would like to share some thoughts of my own, while also inviting you to collaborate with me in order to ensure we are continually putting out the absolute best product in the DFS industry.

    MY THOUGHTS:

    If you are a Premium subscriber, you know we have focused our product primarily on helping readers to make good picks on their own. Our flagship articles (my NFL Edge and MLB Edge, STLCards’ Covering the Bases, CheeseIsGood’s Million Dollar Musings, and JumpaHoo’s Jump Shot) are not written with the intention of “providing picks.” Instead, these articles are intended to, essentially, take a massive amount of research and transfer this research to the reader in an easily-digestible form. The NFL Edge, for example, takes me about 30 hours each week to research and write, and it takes about an hour to read – so in that hour of reading, you can pick up the 25 hours of research I accumulated myself. During MLB and NBA, these articles typically take around 20 to 30 minutes to read, and enable us to transfer 4 or 5 hours of research to the reader in that time. It was because of these articles that 12 different people told me at the DraftKings MLB live final in Toronto this last summer that they would not have won a seat to the live final without their Premium subscription.

    But we also, still, want to offer the more traditional-type articles – articles that are more picks-based. I know most of our readers have more of an interest in the research-driven pieces, but there are readers who prefer picks-driven pieces – and honestly, even those who do not prefer such pieces still typically click on these articles just to make sure there is nothing they are overlooking.

    The article concept I came up with for Crain and Seige was – in my mind – sort of a blend between the two. Obviously, no one can expect these guys to share their exact player pool each week, as this would lead to everyone plugging the same players into the Lineup Builder, and everyone ending up with nearly identical (or completely identical) teams. Instead, I envisioned this article being exactly what Crain’s was this last week: 11 to 15 players, with some obvious plays and some less obvious plays, and some thoughts on why these players would be cycled through his 150 rosters. What I did not have the foresight to envision, of course, was this situation occurring: a Milly Maker being won, with only one guy from the player pool on the team.

    First off, let’s be clear: this is totally on me, and I apologize to anyone who has been upset by this situation. I should have seen the potential for this to occur, and I should have made it more clear to readers what I saw this article being, or I should have come up with a plan to prevent this situation arising.

    At the same time, I also think there are things we can do better with the RotoGrinders Premium product. For example, I would love for all of our writers to update their articles later in the week. But readers of my own article know I have only done so twice myself, through the first eight weeks of the season. Once you shift to “roster construction” mode, the mental shift to going back and adding things to an article can be a weird one to make. But, again: it’s one we should all be attempting to make; this last week, I updated on Saturday primarily to convey that nothing much had changed in my thinking – but because I would love to set a precedent for readers that they can check back on Saturdays for my updated thoughts, I checked in to let readers know my thoughts were still in the same place (basically, a non-updated update, so readers can know each week that they should check back in case anything major has shifted in my thinking).

    Most weeks, in fact, Crain does the same thing. Most weeks, he updates his article with his late-week additions. It was quite unfortunate that this was not one such week – but this does open the door for us to discuss this, and to continue improving our product.

    My genuine goal is for RotoGrinders Premium to be the single most powerful and valuable DFS subscription any player can have. One of the great assets we have in this area is that all of our Premium writers have achieved consistent, reliable success at the highest level of play. We don’t just hire guys for Premium who “can do good research and write about it”; we don’t have a bunch of guys writing for us who do well with five dollars in play each week. Instead, we have a group of guys writing for us who have proven that they can take their research and turn it into successful DFS play at the highest buy-in levels, and against the toughest competition.

    This is awesome.

    What becomes a bit complicated, of course, is that writing DFS content is practically charity for most of these guys. For example: I had over $18,000 in play this last weekend – and I played only one lineup, and it was all on DraftKings. As you know, I am unique among “high-end” DFS players in playing only one lineup (and in often focusing my play on one site) – so if I had $18k in play on one site, with one lineup, you can imagine how much money some of these other guys have in play each weekend across multiple lineups and multiple sites. Moreover, most of these guys also play NBA at a high level (and are focused there on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday – in between their Premium articles coming out, and NFL kicking off on Sunday). No matter how much we pay writers, they are always going to have far more of a financial interest in maximizing their time for roster construction. I fear that if we go too far with requiring writers to constantly update their articles throughout the week, we will actually sacrifice quality quite a bit. Most high-end guys will eventually decide, “The money I’m being paid for constantly updating this article is not worth the tradeoff for the time being taken away from my roster construction.” This might lead to articles that are updated frequently…but that are no longer written by actual, successful DFS players. It’s definitely a conundrum, and I’m not certain there is even an easy, simple solution.

    What I will say is this:

    1) I hope no one thinks Crain was intentionally attempting to mislead anyone. If you know Crain, you know this was not the case. And if you listened to Crain’s late-week GrindersLive shows, you know he talked about nearly all the plays he used on his winning team. This was just an unfortunate blend of situations – a week in which Crain’s thoughts changed a lot as the week went on, and in which he did not get a chance to update his article. Most weeks, the guys he wrote up on Wednesday would have been the same guys you would have seen on his winning Milly Maker lineup – and then, the whole discussion here would be how ridiculously valuable that article is for readers, instead of the discussion being what it is now. Truly, anyone who looks at the big picture – examining Crain’s Player Pool article and how it has lined up with his actual rosters throughout the season – will know and acknowledge that this was just a really unfortunate blend of situations.

    2) I genuinely feel the blame for this falls onto me, as I was the one who came up with this article concept, and I was the one who failed to foresee something like this occurring. To any readers who were upset by this, please accept my apology – and please, again, realize that probably 6 out of 8 weeks so far, a “Crain Milly Maker win” would have matched up with his “Player Pool” article in a big way. It just sucks that this was a week in which thoughts changed late and updates were not made. (Note: I was just informed that this was actually the first week all season Crain did not add a late-week update to the article, as he was sick later in the week. Again, just a really unfortunate blend of situations…)

    3) Regarding “updates being made,” you can count on me for the remainder of the season to update the NFL Edge. We are going to try to make sure Crain and Seige drop some updates in their Player Pool articles when they can as well. (For what it’s worth, CheeseIsGood usually updates his MLB article close to lock; I have no idea how that dude is able to put in so much research, put in winning teams, and update his article close to lock in a truly daily sport, but suffice it to say, he’s a beast.) We are also working really hard to get our rankers to update their Consensus Value Rankings throughout the week, to reflect their updated thoughts. And I am going to talk to other writers about updating their articles in the rare instances when it is necessary for them to do so.

    I want the RG Premium platform to continue being the single most valuable subscription platform in the DFS industry, and of course, the balance there is having elite DFS players writing for us…while also trying to encourage these elite players to take a break from roster construction, and to go back and add things to their articles and/or rankings.

    This is where I could use your help!

    Please chime in below with any thoughts you have – both on how we can improve things in this specific area, and on anything else you have been thinking of lately that you would love to see incorporated into, or changed, or improved, or adjusted, in Premium.

    If you don’t mind, please refrain from using this thread as an area to be accusatory and/or nasty. I’m sure there are other places you can go to do that. Let’s, instead, reserve this thread for constructive discussion (also: feel free to let us know things you like about Premium and do not want to see changed, so we can make sure to keep strengthening those areas).

    Thanks so much for your ear (and sorry for the length!)

    -JM

    (P.S. Monday-through-Wednesday is “NFL Edge research and writing” time for me, so I won’t be able to drop in a ton on this thread during the first half of the week. But I’ll do my best, and I will definitely come through here during the second half of the week – as will other RG guys, I hope/assume.)

  • travs424

    If your sitting around waiting for someone to give you the lineup to win 1,000,000 dollars. it might be time to take up a new hobby.

    these guys give you players that should have a good day. most of the time they are right on. but they are players also, they are going to play a lot of players that are hunches.

    Congrats, i wish it was me, but i will not say something bad about someone just because they won and I did not.

    Great day 1, 3 and 4 …..very impressive.

  • w3stcoastoff3ns3

    DFS’ers complain too much. I read Raybon and JMToWIN weekly to confirm my picks. If I’m thinking of playing a guy, I will increase that guys exposure if I see them being touted by either in of these guys. But if they hit in the milly with a bunch of guys they didn’t talk about I could care less. It’s impossible (stupid) to tell everyone who you might or might not play.

  • prudcck

    The majority of people understand constraints on time. Keep up the good work. The Premium space continues to evolve and get better.

  • jakz101

    • 134

      RG Overall Ranking

    • Ranked #88

      RG Tiered Ranking

    • $1M Prize Winner

    • x5

      2015 DraftKings FFWC Finalist

    I didn’t know it was a full-fledged controversy now! In all seriousness, JM brings up some excellent points as to the viability of writers updating the articles throughout the week. This week was especially bizarre for me. I was sick enough in the middle of the week that I went to the hospital for the second time in 5 years. I’m still not completely better but I’m at about 85% capacity as opposed to the 10% capacity I was around Thursday and Friday. This led to me being somewhat behind on my research and thus, not updating my article Saturday night or Sunday morning like I usually do. Typically on a Sunday I’ll wake up at 730am central, finish my update until 8, do my RGL show at 930 and spent the last 90 minutes constructing lineups. Complicating matters this weekend was a family wedding 4 hours away. We left Saturday morning at 830am and left at 11pm. I drove home from 11:30-3:30am and was dead asleep by 4. Back awake at 8am and scrambling like hell to build my lineups (I had a bit over $20,000 in play).

    It wasn’t until after my show that I decide to play Derek Carr and Amari together on about 1/3 of my teams. I decided the night before that I was going to have a lot of Cam too, who was on roughly 40% of my teams. My quarterback selections of Ryan and Wilson were obviously in line with my thinking on Wednesday. Both games had a massive total facing subpar passing defenses. As the week evolved though, my opinions on who I wanted to play changed. That doesn’t mean Ryan or Russ were “bad” picks for a player pool …. rather I just decided to go in a different direction. The last few times this has happened it’s been a great success for my readers …. last week with Jameis Winston and before with Drew Brees at home.

    At running back, I find questioning my picks here to be a bit puzzling. I had 30-40% Spencer Ware, but he wasn’t on the winning lineup because he got injured early on! Matt Forte was a contrarian choice who I had about 20% of, David Johnson I always love and had plenty of him, and Booker was in about 85% of my lineups. Wide Receiver was more of the same. I had 40% Marshall and I believe 30% Hopkins. The fact that they weren’t in a winning lineup was more due to the fact that they didn’t have a good game rather than that I didn’t play them. As for Doug Baldwin, I wrote “I’m not in love with Doug Baldwin price, but I want a little exposure to a number 1 WR against the Saints.” Ty Montgomery was in about 60% of my teams by the time Sunday rolled around, which was mass-player-edited to Davante Adams during the afternoon games when Montgomery came out with an injury.

    Tight End people seem to be angry that I didn’t end up on CJ Fiedorowitz, but as the week went on I didn’t see a need to save his price, plus I fell in love with Gary Barnidge. I had about 40% Barnidge and about 30% Graham. Those two with Gronk were (I’m pretty positive) the only tight ends I used.

    So, what does this mean? It means that even though I didn’t get an update in for the first time this year, I feel like the integrity of my player pool is perfectly fine. Just because those players weren’t in the winning lineup, it doesn’t mean that they weren’t a part of my core. In fact, if they weren’t a part of my core, I’m sure industry whistleblowers would be screaming to the stars that they weren’t on my teams. I hear nothing.

    As for the viability of updating articles throughout the week, I tend to shy away from constant updates. At one point or another I was “on” maybe 8-10 different quarterbacks. I’m a strong believer in a narrowed down player pool and there is no way I would use that many QBs. I don’t mind at all doing the Sunday Morning updates, but this week the circumstances were quite extraordinary. I understand some people just like to watch the world burn and like to scream conspiracy at every given chance. Let me take a few sentences to address the most absurd.

    Somebody claiming that I’m purposely deceiving the masses in an article is perhaps the dumbest thing I can ever imagine. 1. People wouldn’t read if my picks kept losing and I certainly wouldn’t be working at RG. 2. The plays I ended up with were all discussed on my Sunday morning show with BigT and Hoop. I’m positive if you check the archives that will be confirmed. 3. My ego isn’t nearly massive enough to believe that I can move an entire industry onto a sub-optimal play. Thinking that my intentions are that sinister (and arrogant) is just about as bizarre as it gets for me. Maybe take off the tin foil hat and think about things from a logical perspective.

    In the end, I don’t even believe this is a real issue. I think some people like to watch the world burn and like to watch the successes of others be torn down piece by piece. I can assure you, my payment from doing this article weekly doesn’t even remotely compare to what I have in play. I’ve been asked a few times since winning, then, why do I do it. I do the article because it makes me a better DFS player. I do the article because I like giving back to a community that, without it, I would have NEVER won anything in DFS. I haven’t been shy about saying I started winning in DFS football when I started reading JM and Evan Silva. Since then, I’ve taken a more individual approach to researching NFL slates, but both JM and Evan’s articles are 100% must-reads for me every week. I write my articles because they make me a better player and because I like giving back to a community that has given me so much.

    JM made a great point about posting NFL stuff on Wednesday and the viability of doing so. It’s a very delicate balance that I’m not sure there’s an easy answer to. What I am sure of though is that opinions are going to change from Wednesday to Sunday. If my opinion didn’t change over the course of 5 days of new information, I wouldn’t be very good at my job. Did I fail on the update this week? Absolutely. Was I malicious or does it cheapen the work I’ve done or will do in the future for the Rotogrinders community? Nope, not at all. I’m proud of the work I do week in and week out for both myself and the Rotogrinders community. A few angry people with pitchforks won’t change that.

  • SNY

    I am so happy for Crain. People complaining is ridiculous. This weekend we had a bunch of last minute injurys and news that had me scrambling for a couple of hours. I look forward to his shows every week and I hope he continues to write and do his shows. I have two absolute favorites and this is one of them. I couldn’t be happier for the guy. Seems so genuine, how can anybody think he was doing anything unethical. Bitter people. JM, Crain, Chopper, Seige, keep up the great work and I hope you win as much as you can. I have made a good amount of money watching and listening to you guys this year playing around 3K a weekend. Not my full time job, but what I do is play stats and probabilities in the stock market. Great work, keeping winning, keep up the great content and don’t let people change you and what you do.

  • TeamSwish412

    I mean a few thoughts.

    A) Everyones trying to win, so why would they give you their true picks? To me, if I was as hardcore as these guys, no chance Id give away everything I am going to do. Id give a small sliver.

    B) The big guns use 150 lineups. Most of you dont. You have a much better chance of winning with 150 than you do with your 1-5. Its just fact. You can tell me all you want about how spending $3k in this tourney vs. $20 to $100 doesnt matter, but it does.

    C) These podcasts and articles also give you like 80 possible plays, and then pound their chests when a few hit. I can name 15 QBs that can have a good week. And of course some will hit.

    D) The best way to win (outside of making a ton of lineups) is to do your own research and go with your own plays. You are going to get swayed evey which way but ultimately, its up to you to get through the smoke and key in on your players.

  • SNY

    Forgot to give a shout out to Big T.. Your turn this week. Your show with Chopper and Crain is the best of all.

  • yountingly

    • 321

      RG Overall Ranking

    • Ranked #52

      RG Tiered Ranking

    I’m sorry Eric that you had to write all that and I certainly hope whatever controversy there seems to be doesn’t detract from your amazing Sunday. In every walk of life, people are gonna look to complain and DFS is no different. Jealousy can be a bitch sometimes. I didn’t know there was a controversy but have mostly offline all day and just got home from work now.

    I was really happy for you just like I was pumped for Stevie’s big Nascar day last week. I’m a part time player who between, work, wife, kids, you know life, can’t exactly spend endless hours researching and I love and appreciate everything I’ve learned from this community and especially all the writers and staff. I am not a premium subscriber for anything but often wish I did. I’m sure it would make me a better player but since this is just a hobby for me and I’m just happy to be pretty profitable as is. Nothing I’ve ever seen from any RG host/writer would ever not make me want to a premium guy at some point.

    So ignore whatever crap is out there and enjoy the moment.

    Sal

  • dmiller10nc

    The whole notion that people are suggesting RG writers are intentionally with holding picks or misleading the paying consumer is crazy and frankly not logical at all. If we are going to analyze Crain’s 1st, 3rd and 4th place lineup can we also look at all of his lineups that failed to cash? He writes up around 15 players each week, right? Do you honestly expect him to play 150 lineups with only 15 players in his pool? Logic should tell you that he is going to have a player pool that consist of more than 15 players some he wrote up and some he did not. The ones he wrote up this week (On Wednesday) were on a lot of his lineups that didn’t have great success, but the ones that he happened to mix in happened to hit (he felt strongly about Carr/Cooper by the end of the week and used them 33% of the time, so be it). Such is life and fantasy sports. Do I get annoyed when I am projected to crush my opponent in season long league by 30 points and end up losing? Sure I do. The projections said I would win easily and I generally trust those, but sometimes it just doesn’t pan out that way on the field. Rather it be an injury, game flow or a fluky missed tackle. That is why they play the games. I honestly think the Twitter bashing and conspiracy theory suggestions just need to stop. It is putting a black eye on the industry and is probably a big turnoff to potential new players. Congrats Eric. You hit the lucky combination this week. I hope we all have an opportunity to do something similar one day. I appreciate your work and certainly don’t think you need to come on here and defend your win, but I respect that you did.

  • BeL0WaB0Ve

    • 967

      RG Overall Ranking

    I can confirm eric was sick as a dog this week. In fact w Wednesday he was trying like hell to get Dean to cover his show for him Wednesday night. Watching the show I teased him afterwards for how much he was riding his mute button bc he was coughing constantly. True professional to show up for work.

    This week I had ware, Hilton, and Montgomery in dk cash. I also originally had Evans and luck. I crushed cash this week after watching the Sunday show bc hoop got me on Carr/amari over luck/Evans. After the show eric and I talked and hoop also got eric on the stack for his gpps. If anything the real controversy is if eric doesn’t buy hoop multiple dinners in the future!! Haha!

    But seriously, the news this week was crazy w Cobb all but ruled out at 3am on Sunday and Montgomery was all good up until 30 min from lock. Don’t blame RotoGrinders, part of being successful in dfs is being able to react to news.

    Congrats eric you sick human being.

  • edro990

    I don’t understand why this is a big deal. As a premium subscriber I appreciate all the content I get from the pros here on RG. I don’t, for one second, think they are holding anything back when providing content or trying to be anything less than sincere in their weekly evaluations. What people need to remember is that the most valuable service provided here is the DFS EDUCATION you get from all the articles here. Between Roto Academy, Premium and free content and tools, RG provides all the resources to make you a better player, if you are willing to put in the time. Anyone who is coming here looking for someone to hand them winning picks every week just doesn’t get it. RG has helped me become a profitable player by providing me the tools and resources to improve myself as a DFS player. The content here is merely one component of the process I have developed through hard work and putting in the time. I don’t expect anyone to do it for me. RG has taught how to fish rather than waiting for someone to feed me. Congrats to Crain, and thanks to all the folks at RG for the services you provide. Don’t change a thing………..

  • RustyNutz

    Eric, I don’t think anyone is actually trying to tear you down but sure there will always be people who want to watch anyone who does well “burn”. I also don’t think anyone seriously believes you were purposely misleading people. The problem that exists, and this is certainly not unique to you, is that there has been a lack of transparency in this industry for too long. You are a MME guy and its impossible to list all of the plays you were on. However, if you are going to take on the responsibility of writing an article and putting people on plays, then make sure they are legit plays you will be using.

    The days of just giving recommendations or saying “I really like this guy and here’s why” then having zero exposure are gone. People are going to get called out on it when it happens. I know full well that what contributors make pales in comparison to what you make from playing as you well know, but if you or anyone else takes that mantle to “Tout” then you have a responsibility to be honest. I understand the need to promote your own site but when you tell people who are new to this, or maybe are discovering you for the first time that you are using a site tool here at RG that you don’t actually use, that’s being disingenuous and its misleading. Who cares if you used a competitors over the one here, then just don’t mention it at all or else own it. If you’re going to tell people to use something on this site or any other site then make sure you are actually using it or just keep it to yourself. That’s the problem.

    Lastly, I get you aren’t going to give out every play, no one is or even can when entering MME, but not mentioning your core in your article isn’t a good look and that goes for anyone. And if your core changed later in the week then update it and there is no issue. This is what we all need to do on all of our sites and if that is something any “Tout” isn’t prepared to do then you shouldn’t be doing it. We’re all under the microscope now and it needs to change for the long term viability of the industry.

    With all that said, congratulations on a killer weekend because in the end you hit the nuts and the rest of this is something that can be remedied as it happens everywhere not just here.

  • yeghawkfan

    Don’t know you from a hole in the wall, but I can’t believe this is controversial. Things change. I appreciate the articles and hope to one day replicate your success. Thanks for the brief explanation above and congrats on the big weekend!

  • fuegosteve

    • 2019 DraftKings FBWC Finalist

    • x2

      2018 FanDuel WFBC Finalist

    Congrats Eric! Don’t let them spoil your great win! Happened to Al, and will happen to some one else in the dfs community when they win the big one. Hope we both advance and will meet u in Atlantis!

  • Mindofigor

    Eric, I love you buddy. Don’t listen to the haters. Your show with Rich and E.S. is one of my favorites, along with Jeff, JM, and Levitan’s. I learn a lot from your thought process and know you have the best intentions. Keep winning big! #Flugame

  • Garrincha67

    @TeamSwish412 said...

    I mean a few thoughts.

    A) Everyones trying to win, so why would they give you their true picks? To me, if I was as hardcore as these guys, no chance Id give away everything I am going to do. Id give a small sliver.

    B) The big guns use 150 lineups. Most of you dont. You have a much better chance of winning with 150 than you do with your 1-5. Its just fact. You can tell me all you want about how spending $3k in this tourney vs. $20 to $100 doesnt matter, but it does.

    C) These podcasts and articles also give you like 80 possible plays, and then pound their chests when a few hit. I can name 15 QBs that can have a good week. And of course some will hit.

    D) The best way to win (outside of making a ton of lineups) is to do your own research and go with your own plays. You are going to get swayed evey which way but ultimately, its up to you to get through the smoke and key in on your players.

    Agree with point D in making your own research as well as tapping to the wisdom of the crowd on the way. Whether one makes 150 or just 1 line-up, all that matters is making an optimal one for the slate in play. But for DFS to survive in the long-run it has to act professionally with ethics, fair play and above all integrity.

    As it is currently the line is blurred between the platforms, touts, content providers, line-up sellers, affiliates etc… No one seems to have heard of the concept called ‘conflict of interest” and seems like a wild west out there with everyone including the sites trying to make the fastest buck possible.

    Well done to Eric and wish him all the best. But he came across in the live sweat show on YouTube as contemptuous and belittling of other players which I am sure some are paying customers to his premium content. No one seems to give a damn about the long-term of the industry and as along as I am all right jack mentality rules.

    A bit of professionalism does not go amiss if DFS is not going to be a passing fad and flash in the pan.

  • headChopper

    RG Contributor (OG Status)

    • 218

      RG Overall Ranking

    • Ranked #26

      RG Tiered Ranking

    • $1M Prize Winner

    • 2014 DraftKings FBWC Finalist

    Congrats Eric. Nicely done. That is life altering money.
    Eric is one of the very few guys who not only admits, but embraces the fact that he runs hundreds of lineups out there every weekend. He frequently refers to his scripting and such. I’m sure he runs these lineups in iterations that revolve around numerous cores. To think that he has 400 lineups in play across a site and that you are going to see the same handful of players on each lineup is not practical here. That’s just his style. There are many ways to win at this game and Eric is showing you one way.

  • monaco712

    I am happy for Eric and after reading all the post I understand the controversy but nothing wrong or nefarious was
    done here when you listen to all the facts. Although I do believe the picks and articles in the premium section come
    out too early as I stated in an email to rotogrinders several weeks ago. So much changes during the week and you
    cant just edit a whole article or add little snippets. Most sports betting services for conventional betting come out with
    their picks much closer to game day. And there is a reason for that. That being said, rotogrinders is still the top DFS
    resource by far. The amount of information both free and paid is astounding. And as stated above it is up to you to put
    all the pieces together you are not going to just be handed winning lineups.
    And Eric, maybe if you donate your money to the Clinton foundation you can get an Ambassadorship to some exotic location.

  • slcseas

    A few thoughts. First, congrats Eric! I know next to nothing about you, but short of hacking the site you deserve no criticism IMO. That said….

    I have to confess that I see what I feel is lazy analysis in some of the premium content. An example consensus rankings, when it’s clear some guys just go down the from top of the player list even though it explicitly says the rankings should be points/$.

    I also feel like there is at least one analyst here who seems to write up a lot of guys that don’t crack his lineups. I can say this confidently because I read his cash game analysis daily and he would always take my H2Hs. I’m not here to whine so it’s not worth mentioning a name, but if people are expected to pay for premium content then there should be a concerted effort to clean some of this up IMO.

  • scottmsteiner

    @jakz101 said...

    I didn’t know

    You won a million dollars!!! No need to explain your process to the masses. We all need to develop our own process and evaluation.

  • JMToWin

    • x2

      2014 DraftKings FBWC Finalist

    • 2016 FanDuel WFBC Finalist

    @headChopper said...

    There are many ways to win at this game and Eric is showing you one way.

    I swear, I read that in HeadChopper’s voice. Makes everything better.

    Can we get a “read to you in HeadChopper’s voice” app?

  • jakz101

    • 134

      RG Overall Ranking

    • Ranked #88

      RG Tiered Ranking

    • $1M Prize Winner

    • x5

      2015 DraftKings FFWC Finalist

    @JMToWin said...

    I swear, I read that in HeadChopper’s voice. Makes everything better.

    Can we get a “read to you in HeadChopper’s voice” app?

    I DID THE EXACT SAME THING

  • ckamins87

    • 2016 DraftKings FBWC Finalist

    • 2016 FanDuel WFBBC Finalist

    Can you give me that sickness you had last week, please? I’m thinking the potential winnings should offset the potential hospital bill.

    Also, running 150 lineups and people comparing a list of picks to what was in the winning lineup is just silly. Obviously there is going to be some variation and who he liked most isn’t necessarily who is going to perform best of who he ends up choosing. My two cents.

    I’ll be patiently awaiting the sneeze filled tissue. Thanks homie!

  • statrat2929

    Unfortunately the problem with Eric’s article was no update and the confluence of some bad lucK. They were very good choices until the games were played. I understand the 150 lineups won’t have the same thing but honestly RG has a responsibility to its readers. (Disclaimer maybe) As JMtoWin has stated this is a learning experience.

    If the goal is to teach and educate then why not tell everyone why Eric put himself on the players he did. That is where the value of this site comes from. Eric had 3 of the top 4 lineups. That is awesome work. And the lineups were not a fluke. Al the play were great plays and some were risky but with game theory behind them.

    I just happened to have 1/2 of his lineups combined With half of the other good plays he brought up. I.e. Ware & Hilton.

  • madmanjayWV

    @JMToWin said...

    Hey, all!

    First off – I want to offer a massive congrats to one of RG’s own, Jakz101 (Eric Crain) on his Millionaire Maker win. If you’ve met Crain, you know he is genuinely one of the nicest guys you’ll ever come across. Super pumped for our newest millionaire!

    Secondly, and perhaps more importantly in some of your minds, I want to take a moment to address the “controversy” that has surrounded his win.

    For starters, it should be mentioned that any big win from a well-known DFS player/“tout” is going to generate at least some level of controversy. If someone writes articles and goes on air talking about the plays they like, people are going to comb through that individual’s thoughts from the week to see if they followed their own plays. Heck, the week Smizzle won the Milly, he had written up 7 of the 9 plays he used. People still complained.

    Of course, having cleared out that disclaimer, the situation here is admittedly a bit different.

    For those of you who are not Premium Content subscribers, here’s some quick background:

    Each week in NFL, Crain uses a lineup builder to create 150 lineups, which he throws into the Milly Maker. Because Crain is masterful at creating a sharp, narrowed-down player pool and turning this pool into a profitable weekend (while also – as witnessed this week – giving himself a clear shot at a huge weekend), I came up with the idea of a Premium article in which he would share some of the core pieces in his player pool (Crain writes this article for DraftKings Premium, while TheSeige – who is equally masterful in this area – writes this article for FanDuel).

    In theory, this was an awesome idea. As we saw this weekend – when Crain took first place (and three of the top four spots) in the Milly – having a look at some of his player pool could help readers a ton.

    The problem this week, of course, was that Crain listed 11 players in his article this last week, and only one showed up on his winning lineup. Naturally, this has led to some criticism and frustration from a handful of readers. If you will give me just three or four minutes, however, I would like to share some thoughts of my own, while also inviting you to collaborate with me in order to ensure we are continually putting out the absolute best product in the DFS industry.

    MY THOUGHTS:

    If you are a Premium subscriber, you know we have focused our product primarily on helping readers to make good picks on their own. Our flagship articles (my NFL Edge and MLB Edge, STLCards’ Covering the Bases, CheeseIsGood’s Million Dollar Musings, and JumpaHoo’s Jump Shot) are not written with the intention of “providing picks.” Instead, these articles are intended to, essentially, take a massive amount of research and transfer this research to the reader in an easily-digestible form. The NFL Edge, for example, takes me about 30 hours each week to research and write, and it takes about an hour to read – so in that hour of reading, you can pick up the 25 hours of research I accumulated myself. During MLB and NBA, these articles typically take around 20 to 30 minutes to read, and enable us to transfer 4 or 5 hours of research to the reader in that time. It was because of these articles that 12 different people told me at the DraftKings MLB live final in Toronto this last summer that they would not have won a seat to the live final without their Premium subscription.

    But we also, still, want to offer the more traditional-type articles – articles that are more picks-based. I know most of our readers have more of an interest in the research-driven pieces, but there are readers who prefer picks-driven pieces – and honestly, even those who do not prefer such pieces still typically click on these articles just to make sure there is nothing they are overlooking.

    The article concept I came up with for Crain and Seige was – in my mind – sort of a blend between the two. Obviously, no one can expect these guys to share their exact player pool each week, as this would lead to everyone plugging the same players into the Lineup Builder, and everyone ending up with nearly identical (or completely identical) teams. Instead, I envisioned this article being exactly what Crain’s was this last week: 11 to 15 players, with some obvious plays and some less obvious plays, and some thoughts on why these players would be cycled through his 150 rosters. What I did not have the foresight to envision, of course, was this situation occurring: a Milly Maker being won, with only one guy from the player pool on the team.

    First off, let’s be clear: this is totally on me, and I apologize to anyone who has been upset by this situation. I should have seen the potential for this to occur, and I should have made it more clear to readers what I saw this article being, or I should have come up with a plan to prevent this situation arising.

    At the same time, I also think there are things we can do better with the RotoGrinders Premium product. For example, I would love for all of our writers to update their articles later in the week. But readers of my own article know I have only done so twice myself, through the first eight weeks of the season. Once you shift to “roster construction” mode, the mental shift to going back and adding things to an article can be a weird one to make. But, again: it’s one we should all be attempting to make; this last week, I updated on Saturday primarily to convey that nothing much had changed in my thinking – but because I would love to set a precedent for readers that they can check back on Saturdays for my updated thoughts, I checked in to let readers know my thoughts were still in the same place (basically, a non-updated update, so readers can know each week that they should check back in case anything major has shifted in my thinking).

    Most weeks, in fact, Crain does the same thing. Most weeks, he updates his article with his late-week additions. It was quite unfortunate that this was not one such week – but this does open the door for us to discuss this, and to continue improving our product.

    My genuine goal is for RotoGrinders Premium to be the single most powerful and valuable DFS subscription any player can have. One of the great assets we have in this area is that all of our Premium writers have achieved consistent, reliable success at the highest level of play. We don’t just hire guys for Premium who “can do good research and write about it”; we don’t have a bunch of guys writing for us who do well with five dollars in play each week. Instead, we have a group of guys writing for us who have proven that they can take their research and turn it into successful DFS play at the highest buy-in levels, and against the toughest competition.

    This is awesome.

    What becomes a bit complicated, of course, is that writing DFS content is practically charity for most of these guys. For example: I had over $18,000 in play this last weekend – and I played only one lineup, and it was all on DraftKings. As you know, I am unique among “high-end” DFS players in playing only one lineup (and in often focusing my play on one site) – so if I had $18k in play on one site, with one lineup, you can imagine how much money some of these other guys have in play each weekend across multiple lineups and multiple sites. Moreover, most of these guys also play NBA at a high level (and are focused there on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday – in between their Premium articles coming out, and NFL kicking off on Sunday). No matter how much we pay writers, they are always going to have far more of a financial interest in maximizing their time for roster construction. I fear that if we go too far with requiring writers to constantly update their articles throughout the week, we will actually sacrifice quality quite a bit. Most high-end guys will eventually decide, “The money I’m being paid for constantly updating this article is not worth the tradeoff for the time being taken away from my roster construction.” This might lead to articles that are updated frequently…but that are no longer written by actual, successful DFS players. It’s definitely a conundrum, and I’m not certain there is even an easy, simple solution.

    What I will say is this:

    1) I hope no one thinks Crain was intentionally attempting to mislead anyone. If you know Crain, you know this was not the case. And if you listened to Crain’s late-week GrindersLive shows, you know he talked about nearly all the plays he used on his winning team. This was just an unfortunate blend of situations – a week in which Crain’s thoughts changed a lot as the week went on, and in which he did not get a chance to update his article. Most weeks, the guys he wrote up on Wednesday would have been the same guys you would have seen on his winning Milly Maker lineup – and then, the whole discussion here would be how ridiculously valuable that article is for readers, instead of the discussion being what it is now. Truly, anyone who looks at the big picture – examining Crain’s Player Pool article and how it has lined up with his actual rosters throughout the season – will know and acknowledge that this was just a really unfortunate blend of situations.

    2) I genuinely feel the blame for this falls onto me, as I was the one who came up with this article concept, and I was the one who failed to foresee something like this occurring. To any readers who were upset by this, please accept my apology – and please, again, realize that probably 6 out of 8 weeks so far, a “Crain Milly Maker win” would have matched up with his “Player Pool” article in a big way. It just sucks that this was a week in which thoughts changed late and updates were not made. (Note: I was just informed that this was actually the first week all season Crain did not add a late-week update to the article, as he was sick later in the week. Again, just a really unfortunate blend of situations…)

    3) Regarding “updates being made,” you can count on me for the remainder of the season to update the NFL Edge. We are going to try to make sure Crain and Seige drop some updates in their Player Pool articles when they can as well. (For what it’s worth, CheeseIsGood usually updates his MLB article close to lock; I have no idea how that dude is able to put in so much research, put in winning teams, and update his article close to lock in a truly daily sport, but suffice it to say, he’s a beast.) We are also working really hard to get our rankers to update their Consensus Value Rankings throughout the week, to reflect their updated thoughts. And I am going to talk to other writers about updating their articles in the rare instances when it is necessary for them to do so.

    I want the RG Premium platform to continue being the single most valuable subscription platform in the DFS industry, and of course, the balance there is having elite DFS players writing for us…while also trying to encourage these elite players to take a break from roster construction, and to go back and add things to their articles and/or rankings.

    This is where I could use your help!

    Please chime in below with any thoughts you have – both on how we can improve things in this specific area, and on anything else you have been thinking of lately that you would love to see incorporated into, or changed, or improved, or adjusted, in Premium.

    If you don’t mind, please refrain from using this thread as an area to be accusatory and/or nasty. I’m sure there are other places you can go to do that. Let’s, instead, reserve this thread for constructive discussion (also: feel free to let us know things you like about Premium and do not want to see changed, so we can make sure to keep strengthening those areas).

    Thanks so much for your ear (and sorry for the length!)

    -JM

    (P.S. Monday-through-Wednesday is “NFL Edge research and writing” time for me, so I won’t be able to drop in a ton on this thread during the first half of the week. But I’ll do my best, and I will definitely come through here during the second half of the week – as will other RG guys, I hope/assume.)

    What is the controversy of entering 150 LINEUPS and having the NUTS? Am I missing something?

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