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  • draftcheat

    • x3

      2016 DraftKings FFWC Finalist

    • 2018 DraftKings FBWC Finalist

    “A stranger is being shown around a village that he has just become part of. He is shown a well and his guide says “on any day except Tuesday, you can shout any question down that well and you’ll be told the answer.” The man seems pretty impressed, and so he shouts down, “Why not on Tuesday?” A voice from in the well shouts back, “Because on Tuesday, it’s your day in the well.”

    What’s up everybody! I’m here to answer your questions about DFS, life, and how to be a troll on twitter (@draftcheat).

    I’m 29 (yikes!), and have been playing DFS full time for over a year now. I quit my job working in marketing a bit over a year ago, and am loving life as a DFS pro. Reading about and watching sports, and most of all digging as deep into sports stats and analytics as I can is a dream come true. I’ve been obsessed with sports my entire life. I played soccer, baseball, and kicked for the football team (insert kicker joke here) in high school, and played college soccer as well. Now, instead of playing myself, I watch others play. It’s a decent trade-off.

    I come from a poker background which I did professionally in college and for five years afterword until Black Friday (some of you might recognize the screen name McShove, I suppose), then had to work a real job for a couple of years before finding DFS.

    I’ll try to answer anything and everything thrown my way, though you’ll have to excuse me if I can’t get to your question before lineups lock on any given day. I got grindin’ to do.

    In before, “when are you eating the hat?”

    Fire away.

  • naten

    Regarding your research, have you had formal education on higher level statistics, or did you mostly learn by just being curious? Also do you work with data for research in R or in Excel?

  • btwice80

    @draftcheat said...

    If I knew a player was going to be 60% owned in a GPP, you wouldn’t find him on any of my rosters.

    Did you really not think Bryce Harper would be so highly owned today, or was it just one of those exceptions to every rule (short slate, limited options)? Same thing with Altuve when you took down the Monster earlier this week; I think he was on all your rosters. And surely there are times when there are only a couple, or maybe even just one viable pitching option and you have to eat the chalk.

    I guess my point is, sometimes you just have to make the best play regardless of ownership %, no?

  • sprom

    • 2012 DraftStreet DSBC Finalist

    @btwice80 said...

    Did you really not think Bryce Harper would be so highly owned today, or was it just one of those exceptions to every rule (short slate, limited options)? Same thing with Altuve when you took down the Monster earlier this week; I think he was on all your rosters. And surely there are times when there are only a couple, or maybe even just one viable pitching option and you have to eat the chalk.

    I guess my point is, sometimes you just have to make the best play regardless of ownership %, no?

    I came to ask the same question regarding Harvey the other night vs Phillies. He was clearly going to be hugely owned, but really the only sure thing (obv didn’t turn out). Did you fade him GPPs?

  • Clovenhoof

    It would clearly be rude to ask, “Do DFS pros pay taxes on their winnings, as they are required to do?” So I won’t ask that. However….

    The Canadian sites (Draft Dodger?) have a slightly higher rake than DK’s and FD’s base 10%, but they don’t report winnings to the IRS. Does that make them a more attractive venue than the U.S. sites, whose 10% rake + 30% Federal tax (I think that’s the percentage, I’d probably know for sure if I’d ever won anything…) results in a net “rake” of 37%?

  • draftcheat

    • x3

      2016 DraftKings FFWC Finalist

    • x5

      2017 DraftKings FBWC Finalist

    @BigBri594 said...

    Congrats on being able to do this full time. You truly are living my dream.

    My question is are you concerned about the future? I think that 5 years from now it is very possible that this game becomes unbeatable due to not enough new players coming in, high rake, lineup sharing, and too much information being available. If I were a pro, my concern would be that the success would run out and I would have to re enter the work force and explain to the guy interviewing me that I spent the last 10 years of my life playing fantasy sports for a living.

    Congrats again on your success and thanks for the excellent analysis you provide.

    I generally try not to worry too much about the semi-distant future when it comes to career choices. Is it possible DFS dries up in the ways you mention? Of course. And yes, some future employers may look unfavorably on how I’ve chosen to make my living during this time period – but frankly I’d probably be unhappy working for such a company/boss/employer anyway. I love what I do now, work hard every day, and am constantly trying to improve and expand my skill set. I was able to find a good job after playing poker for most of my adult life, and think I could do it again if I absolutely needed to.

  • einars

    @Clovenhoof said...

    The Canadian sites (Draft Dodger?) have a slightly higher rake than DK’s and FD’s base 10%, but they don’t report winnings to the IRS. Does that make them a more attractive venue than the U.S. sites, whose 10% rake + 30% Federal tax (I think that’s the percentage, I’d probably know for sure if I’d ever won anything…) results in a net “rake” of 37%?

    if you are a US citizen you still owe taxes on income won from a Canadian site…

  • draftcheat

    • x3

      2016 DraftKings FFWC Finalist

    • x5

      2017 DraftKings FBWC Finalist

    @IronMonkey415 said...

    Will I ever win creating a lineup that I copy exactly from rotowire Optimizer program?

    This is how I’ve been playing for the past month and have lost every single contest. The luck has to change right?

    Not sure if you are serious, but that seems like a very poor approach to playing DFS. Not only is there “optimizer” likely very far from being the “optimal” lineup, but what is the fun in playing that way? If it was really that easy that you could just take a winning lineup from a very public website, everyone would be a winner from DFS. You’re going to have to put in some of your own work if you want to get good at this game.

  • draftcheat

    • x3

      2016 DraftKings FFWC Finalist

    • x5

      2017 DraftKings FBWC Finalist

    @kcchiefsfan73 said...

    What is your opinion on multi-entry GPP’s, specifically in MLB? With a select few each buying up 5-10% of the GPP’s on a daily basis and playing stacks. Has MLB GPP’s essentially become a mindless dart game for those with deep bankrolls?

    I think this is a big misconception about the current state of DFS. Anything that seems to be good to be true (like being able to make $ at DFS mindlessly stacking teams in big GPPs) usually is. You’ve still got to choose the right stacks, the right complementary players, predict ownership percentages correctly on those stacks, and of course pitching. Getting pitching right and being willing to go off the grid if you spot something in a pitcher before the masses do is, in my opinion, the quickest way to success in MLB DFS. And it’s the opposite of playing stacks as it requires very in-depth statistical review of pitchers on a start-to-start basis.

  • draftcheat

    • x3

      2016 DraftKings FFWC Finalist

    • x5

      2017 DraftKings FBWC Finalist

    @Z06Fanatic said...

    whats your ROI in GPPs and what do you think is a reasonable ROI for a top player

    I’ve managed to keep mine a fair bit above 10% without any 6 figure scores. GPP ROIs take an incredibly long time to stabilize so it’s difficult to say what is truly sustainable. If you’re one of the lucky few to hit one of the million dollar prizes, obviously your GPP ROI is going to basically stay astronomically high forever.

  • draftcheat

    • x3

      2016 DraftKings FFWC Finalist

    • x5

      2017 DraftKings FBWC Finalist

    @ceaglemaverick said...

    Thanks for doing this. I appreciate it.

    How many hours/slate do you feel are necessary to be successful in MLB and NFL specifically?

    If you are playing cash games and doing your own research, I think a lot of hours are necessary. If you know which sources to trust for picks/research, that time can be reduced. When I’m short on time for a specific slate/day, I almost always focus on GPPs, because even if you are on the “wrong” players, at least nobody else will have them, which is incredibly important for long-term GPP success.

  • draftcheat

    • x3

      2016 DraftKings FFWC Finalist

    • x5

      2017 DraftKings FBWC Finalist

    @naten said...

    Regarding your research, have you had formal education on higher level statistics, or did you mostly learn by just being curious? Also do you work with data for research in R or in Excel?

    I’ve taken a few statistics courses but would not call myself an expert in the area by any means. I have, however, long had an interest in the area and credit a lot of my success in poker/DFS to my intuitive understanding of how statistics work.

    I use excel, though I’ve been meaning to learn R for awhile now.

  • draftcheat

    • x3

      2016 DraftKings FFWC Finalist

    • x5

      2017 DraftKings FBWC Finalist

    @btwice80 said...

    Did you really not think Bryce Harper would be so highly owned today, or was it just one of those exceptions to every rule (short slate, limited options)? Same thing with Altuve when you took down the Monster earlier this week; I think he was on all your rosters. And surely there are times when there are only a couple, or maybe even just one viable pitching option and you have to eat the chalk.

    I guess my point is, sometimes you just have to make the best play regardless of ownership %, no?

    On a short slate, I’m not going to worry very much about ownership percentage. There just aren’t many options, and normally on those types of days I’m more focused on cash games and just making what I feel is the optimal lineup. That was the case with Harper.

    I don’t try to go against the grain with every choice in GPPs. The key on my big day in the Monster was Felix, who I believe was around 13% owned compared to Kershaw who was much more heavily owned. I figured that might be the case and so didn’t get too crazy with the rest of my rosters (well, besides multiple Phillies stacks). If you have part of your team that you know is going to have a crazy low ownership percentage, you can chalk it up with the rest of your roster.

    I’m far more likely to eat chalk with starting pitching in baseball than any position in any other sport. I know that contradicts what I wrote in the above paragraph, but for the most part, when it comes to pitching, I generally pitch who I feel are the best plays. Often, those players are a bit off the board because I use entirely my own research and uncover some stuff that perhaps the masses are not aware of, but I certainly play a fair amount of chalk pitching as well.

  • draftcheat

    • x3

      2016 DraftKings FFWC Finalist

    • x5

      2017 DraftKings FBWC Finalist

    @sprom said...

    I came to ask the same question regarding Harvey the other night vs Phillies. He was clearly going to be hugely owned, but really the only sure thing (obv didn’t turn out). Did you fade him GPPs?

    I used Harvey on basically every team I played. I had him so far ahead of all the other pitching options that I decided I’d roll with him and differentiate elsewhere. Turned out to be a bad result but no regrets there. He actually wasn’t as heavily owned as I anticipated.

  • draftcheat

    • x3

      2016 DraftKings FFWC Finalist

    • x5

      2017 DraftKings FBWC Finalist

    @Clovenhoof said...

    It would clearly be rude to ask, “Do DFS pros pay taxes on their winnings, as they are required to do?” So I won’t ask that. However….

    The Canadian sites (Draft Dodger?) have a slightly higher rake than DK’s and FD’s base 10%, but they don’t report winnings to the IRS. Does that make them a more attractive venue than the U.S. sites, whose 10% rake + 30% Federal tax (I think that’s the percentage, I’d probably know for sure if I’d ever won anything…) results in a net “rake” of 37%?

    Yes, we pay taxes, and we’d still have to pay even if we played on a site that didn’t report to the IRS.

  • aka_the_goat

    What is your favorite site and sport to play and why?

  • papa123

    What sit can u find any type of umpire statistics on? And what umps are behind home plate each night?

  • btwice80

    @draftcheat said...

    On a short slate, I’m not going to worry very much about ownership percentage. There just aren’t many options, and normally on those types of days I’m more focused on cash games and just making what I feel is the optimal lineup. That was the case with Harper.

    I don’t try to go against the grain with every choice in GPPs. The key on my big day in the Monster was Felix, who I believe was around 13% owned compared to Kershaw who was much more heavily owned. I figured that might be the case and so didn’t get too crazy with the rest of my rosters (well, besides multiple Phillies stacks). If you have part of your team that you know is going to have a crazy low ownership percentage, you can chalk it up with the rest of your roster.

    I’m far more likely to eat chalk with starting pitching in baseball than any position in any other sport. I know that contradicts what I wrote in the above paragraph, but for the most part, when it comes to pitching, I generally pitch who I feel are the best plays. Often, those players are a bit off the board because I use entirely my own research and uncover some stuff that perhaps the masses are not aware of, but I certainly play a fair amount of chalk pitching as well.

    Thanks for the in-depth response. What you said about having some low-owned guys in your LU is why I really give no thought to ownership % on a full MLB slate, even when I’m multi-entering a GPP. There are so many options, I don’t think I’ve ever had a LU full of highly owned players. Usually at least half my hitters are at least fairly low-owned, and almost always a couple guys or more that are super low-owned. I’ve just never had a LU that looks anything like the ownership % we see in NBA, so I don’t spend time considering it.

  • bulldogballer

    In basketball, I use the concept of players reaching value(5X, 6X) compared to their salary when building lineups. How does this translate to baseball? Do you allocate a percentage for pitchers, then seek value in hitters? It seems the matchup drives baseball more so than the salary.

  • TheTonyM

    RG NHL Daily Plays

    @hendry said...

    isn’t every american that claims to be a fan of a premier league team an arsenal or man u fan?

    I’m a Chelsea fan since the mid-late 90s.

    And, as Hambazza said, Man U fans in the United States = Yankee fans.

  • qnova34

    do you miss draftstreet’s MLB ?

  • TheTakeOVER

    2013 DD BLB Finalist

    • 2015 DraftKings FBWC Finalist

    • x2

      2018 DraftKings FBBWC Finalist

    do you wanna visit your best friend when your in new york this summer?

  • deactivated60279

    How did you land on Jeff Francoeur when you won that gpp?

  • ActionJunkie

    Have you seen Fargo?

  • Cameron

    RG Co-Founder

    • 2014 FanDuel NFL Survivor Champion

    • 2016 RG Season Long Champion: NFL

    Hey All,

    Just a heads up that DraftCheat’s final responses will be Wednesday shortly after lineups lock, and we’ll be locking the thread shortly after. Get your final Q’s in before then!

    Best,
    RG

  • jcaldrone

    Earlier you said, “Everything, but one thing I’ve really been utilizing more this season is pitcher game logs, which I then like to sort by plate discipline and velocity/movement stats with the PitchF/x tool.” (In regards to research on FanGraphs) What are some key takeaways that would lead you to choosing one pitcher over another. Ex: velocity, movement, etc. Thanks in advance for your response.

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