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Diary of a DFS Novice: DraftKings Week 3 Recap

Through the successes and the failures, the learning continues with my first season of a serious venture into daily fantasy football with a recap of my Week 3 performance.

I don’t watch a lot of TV aside from sports and HBO, so I’m not afforded many opportunities to stumble upon a new show and get attached. But – one show that has broken through and has been a DVR staple for me is ‘The Profit’ on CNBC. Hosted by Marcus Lemonis, he buys into small businesses and establishes a process for them to follow. Through the 60 minute run-time, the original business owners and staff clash with Lemonis over the changes, and he preaches the line ‘trust the process.’ I think this line is so perfect for daily fantasy football, especially beginners.

(Note: John Fox also preaches trusting the process for the Bears. But if the process there is to punt 10 times in a losing efforts, then perhaps the trust isn’t so justified.)

The basic process for daily fantasy football can sometimes require that you have faith in ideas that almost seem to contradict your first instinct. Example: In GPPs, the primary goal is not to build a lineup that scores the most average points, but instead to build one which gives you the highest win probability.

Through the first three weeks, I’ve experienced a few times where I didn’t trust the process, and both have been invaluable learning experiences:

The importance of bankroll management – In my first post, I went into great detail about how much time was spent researching bankroll management and strategy. I didn’t even make it through Week 1 without deviating from that. In Week 2, I made it a goal to adhere to the process, and it paid off in Week 3.

Preparation time – The sharks talk about the importance of spending the time to do the research for your lineups. And in actuality, it’s not hard to spend the time, when it’s readily available. But what happens when life gets in the way, or your interest just isn’t there for a particular week? This was the case for me in Week 2, and the results showed it. Finding the time to prepare and do the research is just like a job – you may not want to do it, but you need to in order to be successful.

I don’t want to speak for all beginners, but for me, it’s been tough to ‘trust the process.’ Week 2 was upsetting, and through three weeks I have yet to make a big cash in a GPP (this week, I had one entry bring in $90). But making drastic changes to things like money-in-play amount, or which contests to enter, would be an overreaction. So I hope that other beginners reading this come away with the advice that it’s about trusting the process that you carefully researched, all the while continuing to learn and get better with how you execute it.

If you’re interested in trying out DraftKings, get a FREE entry to their Millionaire Maker event, plus a 100 percent deposit bonus through this special offer.

Bankroll Progress

My 2015 season performance after Week 3:

Type Entries Wins Win%
Cash Games 210 111 53%
– 50/50 (48) (29) (60%)
– Head-to-head (162) (82) (51%)
GPP 34 6 18%
Total 244 117 48%

Started with: $1,000
Previous week: $932
Current bankroll: $1,004

  • H2H – I won 67% of my match-ups, and turned a profit of $15
  • 50/50 – I cashed in 8/10 contests, and my highest winning percentage for the season is now in double-ups
  • GPP – I finally made a profit in tournaments ($40). My highest scoring GPP lineup is posted below:

Screen Shot 2015-09-27 at 7.39.47 PM

What Went Right

Not Getting Cute

My original cash lineup had Nick Foles at QB. I also slotted Michael Crabtree into a few spots (his 16 targets in Week 2 made him an appealing play). But I talked myself back into my principles – pay up at QB (I went with Aaron Rodgers), and avoid games which have a low Vegas total.


In my Week 2 recap post, I discussed frustration with how I felt unprepared and was scrambling at the last minute to adjust lineups, leaving me feeling pessimistic about my chances. I learned my lesson, and had all of my preliminary lineups set by Friday. By having the framework of my lineups completed, it left more time for research and minor tweaks.

What Went Wrong

Devonta Freeman

As of Sunday morning, I had Devonta Freeman in seven of my eight lineups, including my cash lineup). I recall being on the RotoViz team Slack that morning and explaining swapping him out in six of them to RotoDoc. My explanation was something about how I just couldn’t see him performing well, and that even at his value I wanted to pivot to a mix of Darren Sproles/Ryan Mathews.

Screen Shot 2015-10-01 at 3.16.24 PM

Changes for Week 4

Thursday Night Contests

The only change I’ll be making this week is dedicating some of my money-in-play to Thursday Night contests. It actually nets two additional games, since the NYJ/MIA game is included for these, but excluded for the regular Sun/Mon contests. I actually won’t have any exposure to players in the Sunday morning game, but I like that others in the contests will. And I am trying to build a lineup around Michael Vick’s QB value and LeVeon Bell’s expected increased usage.

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 3 post.

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