Draft Kings emails your opponents to edit their lineups…
Ok so that is a scintillating headline, but I want a lot of people to see this because I strongly disagree with Draft Kings on this. If you haven’t noticed Draft Kings has now begun completely removing entire games (and all of the players from those games) from their player menu for contests & gpps. So last night there were 4 games postponed, which means Draft Kings removed 8 SPs from the menu & 103 hitters from the menu. Which means that Draft Kings removed 111 possible mistakes that your opponents could have made last night.
This isn’t the first time Draft Kings has done this. The first time I noticed it was on January 29th when the Detroit Pistons & Atlanta Hawks game was cancelled due to the snow storm in Atlanta; some of you may remember. Actually, that night I signed into Draft Day & when I entered the player menu for my contest a bright red warning sign flashed saying “WARNING: the Det/Atl game has been cancelled for tonight. No players stats from these games will be counted towards your total lineup score.” I was furious & immediately sent an email to support. Then, I went to register for contests at Draft Kings & noticed the same thing, only they had the players removed from the menu! I couldn’t believe it. I didn’t even understand how that was possible. The news had just broken early that afternoon & the contests originate the night before & a few players always start registering as soon as they can. How did they remove the players without effecting those lineups???
The answer is that they emailed those players directly to change their lineups. Which the funny thing about that is, it actually hurts those players that don’t see those emails. I don’t know about you, but I get dozens of emails from the sites everyday. You know “Your contests have started”, “Congratulations, You won your contests!” “Don’t miss out on this Friday’s $100k tournament”, etc. A lot of people obviously miss seeing those emails & consequently may not adjust their lineup accordingly. Yet, now all of the players that come after them don’t have the same opportunity to make the mistakes that those owners did because the Hawks & Pistons players were completely removed from the menu. Oddly enough, in the Draft Day contests that I played that night, I saw at least one opponent in every contest that selected a Hawk or Piston, even though there was a bright red banner telling them not to. Simply Amazing. FanDuel that night just had a faint thin little banner in the lobby menu that said the game was cancelled. In my FanDuel contests Atl & Det player ownership was as much as 2% & 3%. Collectively across large entry GPPs collective ownership of those players was 15+%. Think about that for a second. You gain a 15% or more edge on the entire field. What does that do for your ROI? That’s why I love FanDuel (even though, I secretly don’t because their software is such crap).
I post in another forum regularly, some of you may be aware. I posted about this & the reaction was “Big deal it’s just one game on one night. It’s for the greater good. Fish will be happy. What makes the fish happy is what’s best. etc”. And I said at the time “Oh yeah, well tell me about that when they start removing the players from rained out games in MLB contests in April & May. Tell me then it’s no big deal while your ROI plummets south”. And that’s regardless of the fact that I believe 99.99999% of fish would just say “Damn! I gotta do a better job of checking the weather for these games.” FanDuel doesn’t baby players & are they hurting for players? I rest my case.
Now, here’s an example from my own play tonight at both Draft Kings were they remove the players (and have weather forecasts inside the game icons) and FanDuel were the responsibility falls to the individual player to set his lineup (as it should). I invested $90 in 50/50 contests & gpps on Draft Kings tonight, and I was down $18. I missed all of the gpps & only cashed in about 75% of my 50/50s on Draft Kings. And the ones that I did cash in were by the skin of my teeth. On FanDuel, I invested $100 & I shipped everything. Let me say that again I shipped everything! Every 50/50, h2h, league tournament & GPP. I essentially used the same players for each site. Obviously the structure is different with (with 2 SPs at DK & only 1 at FD) & also the different player prices. Not to mention the stacking that DK allows, which further hurts your ROI. But I had Ventura, Hosmer, Infante, Tulo, Gordon, and Choo on both sites. Alvarez > Moustakas & Rosario > Jaso & No one > Cole as my 2nd SP obviously a big advantage for my FD lineup. But so was the cumulative 10% to 15+% of the field that had players from one of the four postponed games at FanDuel. I just had to suck it up & take it at Draft Kings. Not only that but they’re emailing my opponents to say “Hey fix your lineup!” Wtf man???
For those that don’t play MLB contests, how do you like the thought of Draft Kings removing all players that are inactive from their menu an hour before NFL contests start? We already pay an exorbitant rake & receive 1% or less rakeback (Lol on that). Do you really think that your bankroll can with stand that?
Here’s a scary thought, and remember I was the one foreshadowing the MLB rainout removals back in January (and the crazy thing about that is I didn’t really believe they would do it, I was just throwing it out there as a what if). What’s next from Draft Kings… They start highlight players in bright red with favorable splits that night? They remove players that are out of the lineup for MLB contests? They partner with Baseball Prospectus so that every player you’ve never heard of before has a video link attached to him that everyone can click & up pops a video with a 3 minute explanation of everything you ever wanted to know about that player? The day they move in that direction. I resign from DFS.
I’m already contemplating clearing my account at DK. I’m down $1k there this year (83ish% of my roll on DK). Look me up I’m 106th on the rotogrinders’ MLB monthly leaderboard. If I can’t beat DK aiding & abetting my opponents like this (and the very steep rake with no rakeback… don’t get me started on that), then who can???
Now, I say this to support that, but also I know that rotogrinders is tightly associated with Draft Kings & that this might come down from the forum if I don’t. And please don’t get me twisted here. I’ve listened to some of the Grinders Live shows & I think that they’re great. Al & CSURAM88 & DraftCheat among others just seem like really good guys. This is nothing against you. I’m down 83% of my roll, and no offense to you guys, but I’m the best MLB player in DFS. I just don’t have the roll (yet) to prove it…
So a noob on this other forum tonight asks “What do you guys think of Anthony Rendon tonight?” Here’s what I told him:
“Regarding Rendon, he’s a mixed bag with very high ratings in some categories & very high concerns in others.
It starts with his college career where he set records for his hitting & was an elite defender, but his college career was also marred by injuries. 2 injuries to his right ankle (ligament tears & a break). He also had shoulder issues in his throwing shoulder. Still he was the #1 prospect in the 2011 draft, but concerns over the shoulder slid him down to the Nats at 6th overall.
The same trend continued in the minors. Where he suffered a hairline fracture to his other ankle one week into his first full season in the minor leagues. He rebounded with a strong performance in the Arizona Fall League later that year. However, the shoulder issues flared up again & caused him to spend some time at 2b (that and a guy named Ryan Zimmerman playing 3b for the Nats).
He got his shot last year with Espinosa playing so poorly at 2b. Rendon’s strength is his hitting profile, which is an excellent eye, not only establishing the strike zone but pitch recognition also & he has strong, quick hands that allow him to stay back on the ball & cover the entire hitting zone allowing him to make solid contact on virtually all pitch types. He was near the top of contact rate last year & has exhibited an outstanding line drive rate throughout his college & pro career. Which is a good thing, b/c with his ankle injuries, he’s not legging out a lot of groundballs.
Last year, wasn’t a success though. Somewhat unexplicitly his walk rate dropped (nearly in half) from his minor league rates, which were outstanding (as I said the great eye & discipline at the plate). He led division 1A in walks as a junior at Rice. So that I would expect to come back. Maybe just rookie nervousness that ate away at his usual approach, no one but Rendon can really say. The other thing that was a little concerning was the lack of power. Granted fly ball rates & distances suggest he’ll establish moderate home run rates later in his career (possibly as soon as the 2nd half of this year, although 2015 seems more realistic). It’s fair to say that he profiles more as a Billy Butler Freese(player-profile)”:/players/David_Freese-10441/Chris Johnson type than a David Wright Longoria(player-profile)”:/players/Evan_Longoria-10426/“Matt Holliday(player-profile)”:/players/Matt_Holliday-10511 type.
Also of great concern was the defense he displayed at 3b. It was a small sample size, but still extremely poor & the shoulder issues suggest it’s an indication of things to come. The ankles limit mobility & 2nd base is the most likely landing spot for him long term (if not a DH/part time 1b as Butler has become for the Royals). Another concern was a decline vs RHP from AA/AAA ball to the majors. Rendon actually had a higher OPS vs RHP in 2013 at AA/AAA, but his splits last year with the big club were vs LHP 830 OPS & vs RHP 682 OPS.
So, with all of that in mind, I don’t like the Rendon play for 3 reasons tonight. A) he could be replaced in the 7th inning on for a defensive or baserunning replacement B) the game in Miami has a slight chance of being suspended due to rain an hour & a half or so into the game and C) He’s facing a RHP. On the plus side, he’s leading off & facing a RHP with a very low K rate, so you like Rendon’s prospects when he puts the ball in play with his excellent Line Drive rate. Yet, it’s still a stay away for me tonight. In fact, I’m taking a wait & see approach with Rendon for the next several weeks. He’s a young player with a pedigree off the charts, but very serious concerns as well.”
If you guys take this down & Draft Kings continues to do this, I will be forced to start posting my research for everyone. Again no offense to you guys, but your strategy articles are very basic. I really believe that you leave the good stuff for your own lineups, which is smart. You want to make people better & get traffic to your site, but you don’t want to make them so good that they will wipe out your edge in contests. That’s what will happen if I start a site. I’ll go deeper than that on players. There won’t be any money to be made in MLB contests & the sites will scale back the contests that they offer dramatically.