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  • thedkexperience

    Hello everybody, it’s your old pal THEDKEXPERIENCE, coming on back to the forums after a few month hiatus due to the DFS bloodbath known as the NBA sucking my will to live … errrr … play out of my soul. So what brings me back again other than my unfailing devotion to our favorite masochistic hobby? The same thing as always, the Cadillac of fantasy sports, MLB DFS!

    Ironically while baseball is the 3rd of my 3 favorite sports behind basketball and football I’ve had an inverse relationship between my love of the games and my DFS success. Last year I turned a really good profit during the 2 months I focused on baseball and won a single entry tournament in both MLB and NFL before getting pummeled repeatedly on NBA.

    Sadly once summer came around last season I wasn’t able to devote the time to grinding DFS baseball every day, so I probably left some profit on the table, but I digress. It’s a new season and my Phillies are actually worth watching (all hail my new leader Bryce Harper, may you live long and whack many dingers will into the next decade) so I’m planning on giving it the full 6 month run.

    Anyway, I noticed that there seems to be a lack of pre-season strategy talk in general on the interwebs so I wanted to start this thread to cover for that. It’s one thing to talk about how your planning to put together a lineup in May or July but in early March I believe that the market for general tips seems to be lacking. Hopefully we can all learn something by putting our heads together here.

    So with that here are some tips that have worked for me in the past that may get some people to call me a moron or a genius depending upon your viewpoints.

    Tip 1: Understanding advanced stats is important but understanding human psychology is equally vital.

    Anyone who plays DFS baseball profitably should know that there is a veritable alphabet soup of pertinent advanced stats like ISO, VoRP, WAR, OPS and seemingly 10,000 others. It is important to know what they mean if you want to be successful, but don’t lose the forrest through the trees. My days of playing poker have shown me that 98% is not 100% and just because someone has tons of metrics pointing to a big day, doesn’t mean that it’s going to happen more than 30 to 40% of the time. 30 to 40% is not 100% and you should be wary in baseball of committing salary to expensive hitters due to this. I’m not saying don’t play Mookie Betts, he’s awesome. I’m just saying that he’s very capable of going 0-4, because unlike the NBA, every person in baseball has a floor of 0.

    Tip 2: Embrace the 0

    Here is what makes baseball the most winnable DFS sport for a single entry grinder to beat the pros, simply embracing the zero. In the NBA even if James Harden has a bad game he’s still going to score 30+ DFS points. Barring an injury the likelihood of a goose egg from Harden is essentially nill. Meanwhile Mike Trout and Mookie will get 2 or 3 zeros a week sometimes. That bottom variance is what keeps the pros from dominating. Like I said in tip 1 all the stats in the world can point to a huge game and a few caught line drives can send Trout fishing for a 0-4 day. That zero is what makes baseball great and why once or twice a week the Nick Williams types of the world for minimum price will crush the value that Bryce Harper, or Trout or Mookie or another allstar will get. Little known secret, even the worst MLB hitters aren’t bad and the best ones are only about 20 to 30% better than the bottom feeders.

    Tip 3: Even the bad players are good, and cities exist outside of the coasts.

    You know how much money Shin Soo Choo made me last year? For weeks he was near minimum priced while hitting at the top of the Rangers order. People on this forum would say he sucks but he doesn’t, he’s just a boring old guy. But he’s a boring old guy who gets ABs and often produces against the opposite handed pitchers at low ownership. People were jamming in Brett Gardner over him at a higher cost just because he was a Yankee. Happens every year. There is a legit East Coast bias in DFS baseball and a bias against boring old guys. Exploit them both and profit.

    Tip 4: Lets be honest, we’re playing guess the homerun.

    While I am unsure if FD has updated their scoring for this season, I know last year a solo homer was worth 18.7 points. 1 for 6 with a homerun is potentially worth more than a career 6 for 6 day assuming they were all singles. While exceptions can be made for players with some speed, good lineup position or price, there are very few good reasons to roster a player who you don’t think can hit a homerun that day. I know that cash players probably raised an eyebrow at that, but it’s just your total score that matters. You can still win your cash game with 3 or 4 zeros if you find 3 or 4 homeruns. I actually showed a significant increase in my cash ROI by using a more GPP style strategy.

    Anyway, these are just a few things that I do that have been profitable for me. There are plenty of others – sometimes I’ll play a guy in a negative game script just because “um, that guy is still a good baseball player” (see the psychology thing I mentioned earlier) – and I’m sure I’ll share them in due time. For now please add some of your personal tips or discuss what I just wrote should you want to call me a genius … or a moron.

    Regardless, happy baseball season to all of you. Let’s make it a good one.

    I will now leave you with a Bryce Harper gif because he’s the greatest human in the universe as far as I’m concerned these days!

  • dfsnoob74

    Thanks for sharing, I was wondering how others were planning on attacking the first few weeks of the season as well. Also..what resources/research are you utilizing right now to prepare for opening day?

  • thedkexperience

    I’m mostly just reading and absorbing everything that I can. It’s really easy to just forget who Max Muncy or Aldaberto Mondesi is since they’ve been out of sight, out of mind for a few months. I really don’t pay a ton of attention to spring training unless it’s a young guy who is raking, like Gleyber in the past, and I definitely don’t pay attention to spring pitching.

    If this was football season – call it preseason week 2 – there would already be 95 podcasts to choose from articulating 25 different ways to not draft LeVeon Bell – with a smattering or DFS talk but baseball is like a DFS podcast wasteland at this time of the year. There’s almost nothing useful in the podcast world that I’ve found aside from full season draft talk.

  • wolfjb1

    @thedkexperience said...

    I’m mostly just reading and absorbing everything that I can. It’s really easy to just forget who Max Muncy or Aldaberto Mondesi is since they’ve been out of sight, out of mind for a few months. I really don’t pay a ton of attention to spring training unless it’s a young guy who is raking, like Gleyber in the past, and I definitely don’t pay attention to spring pitching.

    If this was football season – call it preseason week 2 – there would already be 95 podcasts to choose from articulating 25 different ways to not draft LeVeon Bell – with a smattering or DFS talk but baseball is like a DFS podcast wasteland at this time of the year. There’s almost nothing useful in the podcast world that I’ve found aside from full season draft talk.

    Agree about the lack of podcasts. It’s too bad. StevieTPFL had a baseball pod a few weeks ago when the NBA was on break

  • Jvanspro

    @thedkexperience said...

    I’m mostly just reading and absorbing everything that I can. It’s really easy to just forget who Max Muncy or Aldaberto Mondesi is since they’ve been out of sight, out of mind for a few months. I really don’t pay a ton of attention to spring training unless it’s a young guy who is raking, like Gleyber in the past, and I definitely don’t pay attention to spring pitching.

    If this was football season – call it preseason week 2 – there would already be 95 podcasts to choose from articulating 25 different ways to not draft LeVeon Bell – with a smattering or DFS talk but baseball is like a DFS podcast wasteland at this time of the year. There’s almost nothing useful in the podcast world that I’ve found aside from full season draft talk.

    That’s very true, also remember nearly every podcast is going to talk about a roto format. Which can be helpful but doesn’t do much for a daily or points player. With that said, it does give an edge to those who are paying attention and have done a ton of research for season long drafts.

    Whats interesting about Muncy is while he was a fantastic DFS play last season, I don’t think he really has a good hit tool and the more I look into his profile the less I like him from a season long standpoint. However, in the right matchup/price I will play him in DFS.

  • thedkexperience

    @wolfjb1 said...

    Agree about the lack of podcasts. It’s too bad. StevieTPFL had a baseball pod a few weeks ago when the NBA was on break

    Yeah, I caught it that day and enjoyed it quite a bit. I’d absolutely listen to another one.

  • kieff5280

    • Blogger of the Month

    Looks like you play mostly Fanduel if not all of Fanduel. I think Fanduel is a little more straight forward as you only have 1 SP. I believe you have to go quality start/win hunting with pitchers whereas on DK I tend to do more K hunting…… A lot more thoughts I have but too long for a forum post.

  • thedkexperience

    @kieff5280 said...

    Looks like you play mostly Fanduel if not all of Fanduel. I think Fanduel is a little more straight forward as you only have 1 SP. I believe you have to go quality start/win hunting with pitchers whereas on DK I tend to do more K hunting…… A lot more thoughts I have but too long for a forum post.

    You’re not wrong. I play on both but I much prefer Fan Duel for 3 reasons … 1 pitcher, a visual layout I much prefer and that it’s basically just guess the homerun. The simplistic scoring makes it much easier for me to project because in baseball I only have 2 points projections: zero or 18.7.

    I either think you can hit a homerun or not. If I don’t think you can, I’m not playing you unless there is a lineup, salary or stacking situation that compels me to.

    As for pitchers, I generally choose off of arm talent. I’ve always believed that a great pitcher is always a great pitcher but great hitters only become great in the face of average to bad pitching. So I’ll use Sale or Scherzer or the other 15 best pitchers every chance I get. I’ve always had more success paying through the nose for my SP than being cute about it.

    As for win chasing, that’s just a product of backing guys who will go 7 innings or maybe pitch for high octane offenses.

  • homers1226

    id just like to say

    with the st louis signing of (goldy)

    he will now be known as GOLDZILLA in st lou

    go cards

  • kieff5280

    • Blogger of the Month

    @thedkexperience said...

    You’re not wrong. I play on both but I much prefer Fan Duel for 3 reasons … 1 pitcher, a visual layout I much prefer and that it’s basically just guess the homerun. The simplistic scoring makes it much easier for me to project because in baseball I only have 2 points projections: zero or 18.7.

    I either think you can hit a homerun or not. If I don’t think you can, I’m not playing you unless there is a lineup, salary or stacking situation that compels me to.

    As for pitchers, I generally choose off of arm talent. I’ve always believed that a great pitcher is always a great pitcher but great hitters only become great in the face of average to bad pitching. So I’ll use Sale or Scherzer or the other 15 best pitchers every chance I get. I’ve always had more success paying through the nose for my SP than being cute about it.

    As for win chasing, that’s just a product of backing guys who will go 7 innings or maybe pitch for high octane offenses.

    On FD, on the GPPs I have won or done well on: needed an SP to go deep, get the QS and W, get over 5 Ks, and usually needed 6 HRS (or 2 SB = 1 HR)…

  • jayzee666

    @dfsnoob74 said...

    Thanks for sharing, I was wondering how others were planning on attacking the first few weeks of the season as well. Also..what resources/research are you utilizing right now to prepare for opening day?

    Pick players in great spots.
    Watch them fail miserably.
    Sweat last place finishes.
    Pray that I don’t pick the same players u do.
    Easy as that.

  • bucherpsu08

    Stack, stack, and stack some more.

  • thedkexperience

    @jayzee666 said...

    Pick players in great spots.
    Watch them fail miserably.
    Sweat last place finishes.
    Pray that I don’t pick the same players u do.
    Easy as that.

    That’s wildly accurate haha

    In all seriousness though, I actually tend to have a lot more DFS success early in all seasons be it MLB, NFL or NBA … actually forget NBA. I just stink at that.

    As the season goes on the scales tip towards the spreadsheet warriors while earlier in the season the people who watch a ton of sports have a bigger edge than at any other time. Using fancy stats during the first few weeks is often folly since rosters have turned over so much from season to season. Also the prices almost always seem wildly inaccurate during that time on teams that aren’t popular. Maybe you won’t get a discount on Aaron Judge but it might take a month for people to realize that Steven Piscotty is in one of the best lineup spots in all the majors. Stuff like that can be taken advantage of.

  • thedkexperience

    @bucherpsu08 said...

    Stack, stack, and stack some more.

    Also this!

    The only tournament I won last year was because I got like 6 homers from 4 random White Sox that no one bothered to play.

    Everyone will stack the Red Sox, Yankees, and the Rockies. If you wanna win a GPP that’s a great strategy for a min-cash. Stacking 4 Mariners in a game that starts at 11:05 eastern time in an all day slate is a good way to WIN a GPP … or get last.

    But whatever … like they say, if you ain’t first you’re last! Sort of.

  • Smallchimp

    @bucherpsu08 said...

    Stack, stack, and stack some more.

    What kind of correlation? Is it a specific batting order-dependent stack, the most statistically successful guys in the lineup? The guys who benefit most based on positional competition? Or just stack attack wild swing?

  • homers1226

    i go last 10 games
    then righty vs lefty
    then bvp

    then gut

    cant forget team trending

  • thedkexperience

    @Smallchimp said...

    What kind of correlation? Is it a specific batting order-dependent stack, the most statistically successful guys in the lineup? The guys who benefit most based on positional competition? Or just stack attack wild swing?

    Ideally you’d want to go 1-4 to maximize ABs and talent but it’s hardly every that clean and sometimes 2-5 or 9-3 or even 3-6 can be right (to lower the ownership).

    Usually I’ll identify one player that’s a slam dunk play for a homerun in a game I expect to be high scoring and build literally around them. You’ll be surprised how many times the guy you expect to be the homerun hitter gets walked 3 times instead and it’s the guy after him who goes yard.

    Regardless it’s not like the NBA where you need 40 DFS points from every guy to win. There are a lot of times (on FD) where 120 will cash for you so if you can get 40 from your SP, all you need is 80 from your whole LU. The thing is it doesn’t need to be 10, 10, 10 etc. You can get that 80 with 2 stacks each scoring 40 even if the totals are 3, 18, 0, 19.

  • thedkexperience

    @homers1226 said...

    i go last 10 games
    then righty vs lefty
    then bvp

    then gut

    cant forget team trending

    Since I play “guess the homerun” for most people I go …

    Star
    Lefty/Righty around Star
    Last 10 or so games

    I don’t mess with BvP anymore as it’s gotten me in more trouble than it’s helped. The star doesn’t have to be a STAR either. Sometimes the best play on the whole slate is like Mitch Haniger. You just need to have the balls to bet money on a team built around a guy you haven’t heard of before.

  • homers1226

    the salary caps always force u into this

    who ever is batting i front of
    Mookie Betts
    M. Machado

    Freddie Freeman

    etc etc

  • jimmyquinella

    • Blogger of the Month

    Games in Colorado I drink a case of Coors and stack..

    Games in ST. Louis I drink a case of Busch and stack…

    Games in St. Petersburg I buy a bottle of Tropicana OJ and DO NOT drink (toss it out and yell at myself for even thinking about drinking healthy)…also no stacks…

    See how easy it is?

  • depalma13

    Attack the best pitcher with the bottom of the lineup he faces. Fill in the rest with cheap home run hitters. Start the second best pitcher. Lose money until it hits and than make a huge profit.

  • RudyPujols

    @thedkexperience said...

    Regardless it’s not like the NBA where you need 40 DFS points from every guy to win. There are a lot of times (on FD) where 120 will cash for you so if you can get 40 from your SP, all you need is 80 from your whole LU. The thing is it doesn’t need to be 10, 10, 10 etc. You can get that 80 with 2 stacks each scoring 40 even if the totals are 3, 18, 0, 19.

    Exactly. My biggest GPP win, a 22,000 entry 4-Seamer, I hit with a single bullet that had a Pedro Alvarez goose egg in the lineup.

  • RudyPujols

    I don’t have a lot to add on the strategies front that hasn’t already been said other than I think opposing bullpen is worth a look for stacks in at least two ways: (1) If you are stacking against the Martin Perez of the world who might be knocked out in 2.2 innings, it’s good to know if the opposing team has a pretty competent and rested long relief guy/sixth starter that can likely come in and calm things down or whether you’re going to get just another scrub in long relief; and (2) if you are stacking a game in which both teams have a good share of the high total implied runs and the high-leverage relievers could be in play, proceed with caution if your guys last 1 or 2 plate appearances could come against a back-end bullpen like the Yanks or the Brewers.

    On to leaks in my game (probably a lot more voluminous and interesting topic for me): For some reason, I can almost never start a lefty against a lefty, and I’ll even sometimes fade lefties when the opposing team has multiple quality LH relief options. I understand that some lefties handle lefties well. And you get some serious ownership leverage that way. I just, psychologically, cannot do it. I played collegiately, hit left-handed, and personally had drastic platoon splits, so this is just a giant leak in my game that I’m debating whether to just accept or actually change.

  • DFSx42

    interesting thoughts Rudy, I’ve never really put much thought into bullpen, still not sure if I should, but you definitely got me thinking about it. thank you

  • noddy

    Does anyone play beat the score on FD? If so, what is your strategy for the $3 contest where you have to beat 125?

  • TheDataDetective

    • Blogger of the Month

    Great insight, THEDKEXPERIENCE. I pretty much agree with all of your points although I think you might be oversimplifying with the chasing HRs bit. I agree that homers usually decide a lineup’s fate but the small ball stats help as well (just look at a base stealer like Trea for a good counterexample). Instead of filling my lineup with 3 true outcome sluggers like Thames or Bour, I like to target hitters with a more well rounded skillset. I find that this raises their floor and helps me cash more often.

    As for advanced metrics, I feel that they lead to information overload when it comes to DFS because no single stat directly measures fantasy production. That’s why when I developed my projections app I decided to base my algo around a single core stat: FPTS per plate appearance. This allows me to normalize every type of split, game situation, etc and directly translate them into fantasy production. It’s very difficult to create a fantasy projections algo based on advanced metrics.

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