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  • commandercoo1

    Hi All,

    I played a ton of DFS for a couple years starting about 5 years ago. I deposited $100 and made about $3000 over that time (and yes I reported taxes). This was all before DFS was banned in several states, etc. I had a system down, was really into it, and was pretty consistent.

    I am thinking about getting back into it… except at much higher stakes.

    Has a lot changed? Can you still consistently make money in cash games? Are there any new hurdles with entering lots of contests etc?

    Thanks all!

  • Felixxberg

    • 633

      RG Overall Ranking

    Based on my experience, it’s much easier to win some legit money in high stakes than in small stakes. By high I mean $100+ per lineup. People are better, but the prizes are good and winnable.

    The prize structures have changed in the recent years. A lot of contests are top heavy now. Contest selection is important!

  • BobbyTheBrain

    This^ butbif u go on a cold streak you get buried

  • DFSx42

    @Felixxberg said...

    Based on my experience, it’s much easier to win some legit money in high stakes than in small stakes. By high I mean $100+ per lineup. People are better, but the prizes are good and winnable.

    The prize structures have changed in the recent years. A lot of contests are top heavy now. Contest selection is important!

    lol, it’s not any easier, the contests are smaller

    if you played a $1 contest of the same size it’d be the same “easier win”

    look at the payout ratios not the total dollar amount, winning $3k off a $100 play is no different than winning $30 off of $1

    what’s changed is rake continues to rise and the dead money is gone

    there used to be casual fans who just picked the guys they liked and wouldn’t be making last minute changes based on injury news – those guys were what made it easy – they are gone now or smartened up

  • Felixxberg

    • 633

      RG Overall Ranking

    @DFSx42 said...

    lol, it’s not any easier, the contests are smaller

    if you played a $1 contest of the same size it’d be the same “easier win”

    look at the payout ratios not the total dollar amount, winning $3k off a $100 play is no different than winning $30 off of $1

    I definitely agree. The problem is that you won’t win significant amounts by playing small low buy in GPPs. You would have to win the contest almost every night, which is just impossible.

    I just realized that the OP talked about cash games. I never play those so I don’t know.

  • TheRyanFlaherty

    The good – Draftkings has amazing rewards now, at least for a smaller stakes player like me, I’ve done well and won some money of late, but even when running bad it’s basically been house money, because all the FPP points you can accumulate through the achievements and then rolling that into the monthly rewards.

    The bad – lineup sellers and that whole culture. I gave up on FanDuel because it was so prevelant there. It was at the point where i’d play a 100 person cash game and 14-20% of the lineups were the same professionally built lineup. Just an awful luck for the industry, and pissed me off enough win or lose to stop playing there.

  • Smallchimp

    @TheRyanFlaherty said...

    The good – Draftkings has amazing rewards now, at least for a smaller stakes player like me, I’ve done well and won some money of late, but even when running bad it’s basically been house money, because all the FPP points you can accumulate through the achievements and then rolling that into the monthly rewards.

    The bad – lineup sellers and that whole culture. I gave up on FanDuel because it was so prevelant there. It was at the point where i’d play a 100 person cash game and 14-20% of the lineups were the same professionally built lineup. Just an awful luck for the industry, and pissed me off enough win or lose to stop playing there.

    Yeah, I wouldn’t touch the public cash games, especially the big ones that are most likely to have the lineup trains. If anything, your best bet is to find a league to play cash games in. Just make sure to check the leader boards. There’s a handful of sharks that are in multiple groups that more likely than not bot/script contests, ending up in a big number of those league contests. You can spot them by their insane volume of money won and abnormally high contests won:played ratio.

  • DraftKings_CM

    • DraftKings Representative

    The bad – lineup sellers and that whole culture.

    At DK we are committed to maintaining a fair and level playing field to preserve the competitiveness of the game. That is why you must use your skill, not somebody else’s. Selling, buying and co-creating lineups with another user to gain an unfair advantage is an activity that we actively monitor, with enforcement of our policies when users are caught. We cannot speak on behalf of other companies, yet we want you to know that we do in fact monitor our contests for these unauthorised behaviors.

    Learn more about allowable and prohibited behaviors in the DraftKings Community Guidelines at https://www.draftkings.com/community-guidelines.

    When you see something, say something! Notify our enforcement team by emailing gameintegrity@draftkings.com. We are committed to reviewing all player submitted concerns. Although we cannot comment on individual investigations, we want you to know that a team member will review your flag.

    what’s changed is rake continues to rise

    This may be true elsewhere, but not at DK. We are frequently accused, yet we have not made any changes to our maximum commission schedule in nearly 2 years (October 2017). It’s time to put this false assumption to rest, it’s absolutely not true. For context, check out this recent post by bigEZ952 – https://rotogrinders.com/threads/draftkings-community-what-would-you-like-to-know-2498166?page=69#reply-3056580

    You can keep track of the official DraftKings Max Commissions Structure at https://www.draftkings.com/lp/commission-structure, if we ever change our Commission Structure someday in the future, then we will let you know if you opt-in on this page.

    - DraftKings Community Team

  • Smallchimp

    @DraftKings_CM said...

    At DK we are committed to maintaining a fair and level playing field to preserve the competitiveness of the game. That is why you must use your skill, not somebody else’s. Selling, buying and co-creating lineups with another user to gain an unfair advantage is an activity that we actively monitor, with enforcement of our policies when users are caught.

    Literally just scan the big public double-up contests. That’s basically the biggest place lineups are gonna be bought ones. No one’s giving away a GPP winner, but cash lineups likely to win in those contests are prevalent.

  • DraftKings_CM

    • DraftKings Representative

    @Smallchimp said...

    Literally just scan the big public double-up contests

    We don’t yet live in an age where the Minority Report is true. We cannot employ mind readers, and we cannot tell if someone intends to break the rules. We can only enforce after the rule has been broken. What you don’t see are the actions we take once we catch someone who is not following our Community Guidelines.

    When we say we enforce our guidelines, we really do mean it.

    - DraftKings Community Team

  • Shaketiller

    If you have good projections, you will have similar, if not exact, lineups as other people with good projections for cash games. I’m sure there is line up selling going on but it is also much easier than people think to have the same lineups in cash games if your projections are accurate.

  • DFSx42

    @DraftKings_CM said...

    We don’t yet live in an age where the Minority Report is true. We cannot employ mind readers, and we cannot tell if someone intends to break the rules. We can only enforce after the rule has been broken. What you don’t see are the actions we take once we catch someone who is not following our Community Guidelines.

    When we say we enforce our guidelines, we really do mean it.

    - DraftKings Community Team

    But you have many people who make no efforts to hide the fact that they work with other players to construct cash lineups (even talking about it here on rotogrinders) and you allow them to continue playing. You’ve even removed some people from contests for colluding but then let them continue to construct lineups together afterwards.

    The rake, regardless of whether or not it’s risen in the past week or past year doesn’t negate the fact that it’s too high for really anyone to feasibly play profitably without a lot of dead money in the pool. There is a good reason why each year more and more pros drop out of DFS and move on to something else.

    I find it absurd you’re going to come here and be snippety with quips about minority report and treat us like idiots, you would have been better off not contributing here. I’m shocked you’d respond like that… a true sign of arrogance or stupidity. Especially in a thread talking about rake free contests and you’re pretending that rake approaching 20% is no big deal. You have a lot of balls to post like this here when you should have been silent.

  • rausch180

    @DraftKings_CM said...

    We don’t yet live in an age where the Minority Report is true. We cannot employ mind readers, and we cannot tell if someone intends to break the rules. We can only enforce after the rule has been broken. What you don’t see are the actions we take once we catch someone who is not following our Community Guidelines.

    When we say we enforce our guidelines, we really do mean it.

    – DraftKings Community Team

    It’s not terribly clear what constitutes a rule in order to know if it’s been broken or not. For example in the last NBA season if the top group of players are named PlayerA through to PlayerZ, it wouldn’t be uncommon for a cash lineup of PlayerA to randomly dupe with any of PlayerB to PlayerZ through the course of the season. However if PlayerA dupes more than half the time with exactly PlayerB, the probability of them working together once the sample goes well beyond 100 slates is remarkably high.

    To me that should be unacceptable behavior, especially if they both use the same lineups in head to heads, as someone posting games with a limit of 1 and getting matched with both players circumvents the limit of 1 in effect. Also only DraftKings really has the evidence of whether they are coordinating entries in cash as if they are they would appear in the same dons, but not the same 3 player, 5 player type cash games. Then if they are also in gpps, but not massively duping in that (given their projections landed them on the same cash lineups) certainly arouses further suspicions.

    However, it goes on year after year so brazenly, so either it doesn’t constitute a rule break where you have to really question what the point of having rules are or there is a lack of competence in spotting what everyone else is seeing or I suppose at some point you rake enough to be above it! If it doesn’t break the rules though I think they should be clarified to say that you and a friend can decide on a lineup you are both going to play in formats it doesn’t hurt you and avoid each other with that lineup where it does.

  • Smallchimp

    @rausch180 said...

    It’s not terribly clear what constitutes a rule in order to know if it’s been broken or not. For example in the last NBA season if the top group of players are named PlayerA through to PlayerZ, it wouldn’t be uncommon for a cash lineup of PlayerA to randomly dupe with any of PlayerB to PlayerZ through the course of the season. However if PlayerA dupes more than half the time with exactly PlayerB, the probability of them working together once the sample goes well beyond 100 slates is remarkably high.

    Yeah, I don’t see where this is especially difficult to detect. Cash plays are notoriously chalky, but whats the realistic probability that lineups between the same users are commonly exact copies? Even if there’s a few chalky plays, when a hundred players agreed on the same 5% owned on a full-sized slate player that wasn’t chalk, there’s gotta be SOME skepticism. I’m not calling for flagging players for all picking KAT against teams like Phoenix, but when a player that’s under the radar is part of a lineup train, there has to be investigation. It isn’t showdown where there’s limited options that force ties, its classic where there should be few ties at all.

  • DFSx42

    @rausch180 said...

    It’s not terribly clear what constitutes a rule in order to know if it’s been broken or not. For example in the last NBA season if the top group of players are named PlayerA through to PlayerZ, it wouldn’t be uncommon for a cash lineup of PlayerA to randomly dupe with any of PlayerB to PlayerZ through the course of the season. However if PlayerA dupes more than half the time with exactly PlayerB, the probability of them working together once the sample goes well beyond 100 slates is remarkably high.

    To me that should be unacceptable behavior, especially if they both use the same lineups in head to heads, as someone posting games with a limit of 1 and getting matched with both players circumvents the limit of 1 in effect. Also only DraftKings really has the evidence of whether they are coordinating entries in cash as if they are they would appear in the same dons, but not the same 3 player, 5 player type cash games. Then if they are also in gpps, but not massively duping in that (given their projections landed them on the same cash lineups) certainly arouses further suspicions.

    However, it goes on year after year so brazenly, so either it doesn’t constitute a rule break where you have to really question what the point of having rules are or there is a lack of competence in spotting what everyone else is seeing or I suppose at some point you rake enough to be above it! If it doesn’t break the rules though I think they should be clarified to say that you and a friend can decide on a lineup you are both going to play in formats it doesn’t hurt you and avoid each other with that lineup where it does.

    Exactly, this is something very simple to detect but we get this minority report bs?

  • flip4flop

    @DraftKings_CM said...

    We don’t yet live in an age where the Minority Report is true. We cannot employ mind readers, and we cannot tell if someone intends to break the rules. We can only enforce after the rule has been broken. What you don’t see are the actions we take once we catch someone who is not following our Community Guidelines.

    When we say we enforce our guidelines, we really do mean it.

    - DraftKings Community Team

    Does this include PapaGates and his bro? Or do they pay enough rake to be above the lineup building together rule? I mean its been proven over and over again so I am assuming they pay enough to be allowed to do so since its basically common knowledge.

  • bigez952

    @Smallchimp said...

    Yeah, I don’t see where this is especially difficult to detect. Cash plays are notoriously chalky, but whats the realistic probability that lineups between the same users are commonly exact copies? Even if there’s a few chalky plays, when a hundred players agreed on the same 5% owned on a full-sized slate player that wasn’t chalk, there’s gotta be SOME skepticism. I’m not calling for flagging players for all picking KAT against teams like Phoenix, but when a player that’s under the radar is part of a lineup train, there has to be investigation. It isn’t showdown where there’s limited options that force ties, its classic where there should be few ties at all.

    I don’t think it is that simple at all based on the current community guidelines. Optimizers and projection systems are legal and perfectly fine per today’s rules. So a group of users across the country who have never met each other and are not working together in any way can match lineups on almost a night basis by using the same projection model and RG’s free optimizer tool.

    I have been a past subscriber to The BAT offered by RG and if you plug in that projection model and search for the #1 optimized lineup it will usually be duplicated 25-75 times depending if it overlaps with other projection models. A lot of users just subscribe to models and push optimize and enter which I think is way more common than lineup sellers or collusion.

    The issue is that this type of activity isn’t against the rules so it can and will continue to happen on a nightly basis

  • bhdevault

    • Lead Moderator

    • Blogger of the Month

    4-5 years ago, the majority of players would hand create lineup. Those days are long gone now. The majority of players use a site, optimizer, projections, etc. Any one of those guys can come home from work build a competitive lineup in minutes using any number of sites, optimizers, etc.

    To me, that’s the biggest difference.

  • Smallchimp

    The one difference I see between optimization duplicates and bought lineup dupes is where the overlap is. Optimizers are meant to basically take the most “obvious” plays and spit em out everywhere. Like in basketball, optimizers are going to tell you to play the stud with the most favorable matchup, the couple cheap bench players that are starting, and some randoms with good DVP. Basically it’s gonna give you what you’d get on your own when looking at a basic DVP chart. But for lineup builders, there’s the “obvious” plays and then there’s plays you’d only land on if you knew that a player doesn’t match up well against a certain player, that a player has being playing out of position, etc. And with that, chances are there’s some 0-5% plays that have MUCH higher similarity within the suspected buyers than in the population as a whole. If a train of players all have 100% ownership while the population has 5% ownership on the same player, there’s some reason to suspect that there’s sharing occurring. It becomes all the more probable if there’s 2 or more situations like this in the trained lineup. Based on the prevalence of optimizers, ownership would likely be higher as a consequence and it wouldn’t be a 5% owned play.

  • Smallchimp

    @bhdevault said...

    4-5 years ago, the majority of players would hand create lineup. Those days are long gone now. The majority of players use a site, optimizer, projections, etc. Any one of those guys can come home from work build a competitive lineup in minutes using any number of sites, optimizers, etc.

    To me, that’s the biggest difference.

    Good point. With the amount of content, free or premium, it’s never been easier to automate the process. But there’s also incentive to do it by hand if you can be efficient and effective. I was making my own NBA projections, and while it was marginally more reliable than those here, the method of creating them made it less worthwhile than just interpreting the online tools. It just comes down to whether your by-hand is better than others automation

  • bigez952

    @Smallchimp said...

    The one difference I see between optimization duplicates and bought lineup dupes is where the overlap is. Optimizers are meant to basically take the most “obvious” plays and spit em out everywhere. Like in basketball, optimizers are going to tell you to play the stud with the most favorable matchup, the couple cheap bench players that are starting, and some randoms with good DVP. Basically it’s gonna give you what you’d get on your own when looking at a basic DVP chart. But for lineup builders, there’s the “obvious” plays and then there’s plays you’d only land on if you knew that a player doesn’t match up well against a certain player, that a player has being playing out of position, etc. And with that, chances are there’s some 0-5% plays that have MUCH higher similarity within the suspected buyers than in the population as a whole. If a train of players all have 100% ownership while the population has 5% ownership on the same player, there’s some reason to suspect that there’s sharing occurring. It becomes all the more probable if there’s 2 or more situations like this in the trained lineup. Based on the prevalence of optimizers, ownership would likely be higher as a consequence and it wouldn’t be a 5% owned play.

    This isn’t always true. As I have experience from being a subscriber to the BAT there were many days where the top optimized lineup using that projection source would spit out a guy no one on the industry is on. It happens more than you would think and multiple times a week there would be 25 person or so trains of just BAT subscribers all owning a guy who is 5% owned (probably from that train alone.

    I love those days as I didn’t mind being part of a train of 15-30 but it was the days when pricing was messed up by DK so all the optimizers around the industry landed on the same plays and you could have 20% of a contest all being 1 lineup.

    I am a believer that this issue isn’t that simple to fix as the use of optimizers isn’t against the rules and the majority of current players use them for cash games. It gets to be really hard to prove if a lineup was bought or if all the users just subscribe to the same projection model and like to play the #1 optimized lineup. One is against the rules while the other isn’t.

  • Felixxberg

    • 633

      RG Overall Ranking

    You guys should try NHL DFS! Papagates, ChipotleAddict and many other “pros” don’t play it, and trains rarely make it to the top.

  • Smallchimp

    @Felixxberg said...

    You guys should try NHL DFS! Papagates, ChipotleAddict and many other “pros” don’t play it, and trains rarely make it to the top.

    I think I’m gonna have to pass on that one

  • PhoFever

    @Felixxberg said...

    You guys should try NHL DFS! Papagates, ChipotleAddict and many other “pros” don’t play it, and trains rarely make it to the top.

    Felixx, do you really want to burst our utopian bubble and invite the droves into our enclave?

    Seriously, though, i love NHL DFS and miss it all the more after watching my built up bankroll dwindle to almost nothing thanks to high variance MLB pitcher roulette.

  • Felixxberg

    • 633

      RG Overall Ranking

    @PhoFever said...

    Felixx, do you really want to burst our utopian bubble and invite the droves into our enclave?

    Seriously, though, i love NHL DFS and miss it all the more after watching my built up bankroll dwindle to almost nothing thanks to high variance MLB pitcher roulette.

    We have to invite some people if we want contests to get bigger!

    I had a lucky $6K hit in golf but I’m also losing/staying pretty much even in MLB.

  • sirrobert6

    • Blogger of the Month

    Firstly, without reading too deep into things I am inclined to completely trust/agree with whatever Felixx says. Once I read slightly into things, still holds true. But after five years I still have my two cents:

    There will always be money “to be made” in DFS, but in terms of how it’s totally different.

    Cash is dead. There is no longer a grind unless you are getting into some sort of mass lineup usage. Couple years ago balanced lineups were cash basics 101 across the industry for every sport, now with the insane amount of scoring (meta change) and duplicate lineups (industry change) you need a ceiling, or to play it more like a GPP. GPP is new the cash games for making steady money. However, you need to play higher stakes because is the lower buy-ins the lineup duplication is far more prevalent. Scoring is WAY up in all if not every major sport. Soccer is introducing replay, NHL is structuring the game around goals, I don’t play MLB or NBA but even I know scoring is up in the past couple seasons as well. So, this goes in hand with needing more ceiling, playing more GPP/less cash games, and playing higher stakes because you get beat by less random/lucky cards. Everything favours GPP at the moment, so I’d focus on that.

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