Diary of DFS Novice: DraftKings Week 2

If you’re just starting to take daily fantasy sports  (DFS) seriously (like me), you’ve probably read a few articles from the ‘pros,’ either here at RotoViz or at other sites. One common narrative that you’ll find in all those articles: There are highs, and there are lows. Being a good DFS-player requires being able to withstand them.

Confession: I was not going to sustain an 88 percent winning percentage in cash games for the entire season. Going 45-9 in H2H, and 21-0 in 50/50s in Week 1 was going to be an aberration. These were the ‘highs’ that those articles talked about.

This week, I went 3-55 in H2H and 0-17 in 50/50s. These are the ‘lows’ that those articles talked about.

I suppose it’s a good thing to experience this early on. For the sake of this article series, it’s a great thing. Documenting this for all to read serves as a real-life example of how this can happen right away, and to anyone.

It’s not a fun exercise to recount such a poor showing and publishing it out there for all to read. But as a learning exercise, I think this will be invaluable for me (and hopefully valuable for others), especially since I have a few takeaways for Week 3 to help turn things around.

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Bankroll Progress

Type Entries Wins Win%
Cash Games 150 69 46%
– 50/50 (38) (21) (55%)
– Head-to-head (112) (48) (43%)
GPP 27 3 11%
Total 177 72 27%

Started with: $1,000
Previous week: $1,078
Current bankroll: $932

  • H2H – I went 3-55. I’m stunned that my 82 point cash game lineup couldn’t pull off more victories…
  • 50/50 – A week after cashing in 100 percent of my 50/50s, I cashed in zero.
  • GPP – The area where I wanted to improve upon after a 3-for-22 performance in Week 1 actually got worse.

What Went Right

HAHAHAHA. Nothing.

What Went Wrong

Everything. But since this is supposed to be a learning process, I’m going to narrow it down to two specific errors:

Lineup Choices

Week 1 came easy. I had my cash game lineup established early in the week and felt confident in it. In Week 2, I made several changes to both my cash and tournament lineups on Sunday. A few changes came only 10 mins before opening kickoffs (My last change? Swapping out Julian Edelman for Jordan Matthews in my cash lineup).

I withdrew from a few contests at the last minute because I felt so uncomfortable with my lineups. I even contemplated ditching my cash lineup and instead using one of my tournament lineups in all my cash games.

Simply put, I was ill-prepared. None of the changes I made were injury related (with the exception of trying to fit Kendall Wright into a few lineups with Delanie Walker being inactive). I just couldn’t get comfortable with any of my choices.

Contest Choices

While I decided to enter fewer cash games than budgeted, I actually entered more GPPs. My thought process was that if I couldn’t settle on a few solid tournament lineups, I might as well just take additional shots in the dark and hope that one hits. In hindsight, this was a poor choice, as none of them hit, and I could have spent that time optimizing a few lineups and maybe salvaging some wins.

Changes for Week 3


I’d like to have my lineups set by Thursday, or Friday at the latest, to allow for more optimization of them over the weekend. Having to build out a few more lineups on Sunday was hectic with everything else going on, and certainly contributed to the poor performance.

Return to Planned Budget

I outlined my general money-in-play strategy in the introductory post. I am going to conform to those numbers going forward. I previously deviated from it, justified by the following rationale:

DK advertising onslaught = increased newer players = easier competition

I still believe this thought process was sound and justified the increased budget. But I also think that Week 2 shows that, despite this, if you can’t focus and prepare properly, the level of competition won’t matter.

More DFS Resources

Want to try DraftKings? Click here and get a FREE entry into the Millionaire Maker event this week. It’s a great offer for those looking to start their DFS journey.

Interested in FanDuel strategy? Check out my colleague Anthony Amico’s Week 2 post.