This week was one of my most successful weeks in DFS as far as the percentage of in the money lineups is concerned. However, it was also the week I made the costly mistake of forcing a player into a lineup and costing me potentially the biggest score of my life. That being said, it was still a good week and it’s time to move on to the next one, so let’s go over some things I’ve learned in my transition from season long leagues to daily fantasy sports.

The obvious thing I’ve learned this week is not to force players in any of your lineups. If you have a selected group of players that you are very high on and project to have big games, stick to those players. There’s a reason why these players are on your list. While it could appear that I’m being result oriented, I’m truly not. The fact of the matter is that you should never feel like you have to play a specific player at any moment. I once heard that on a podcast but did not pay much attention to it. Now I’m fully aware. Granted, if the price and matchup are just too good to be true like it was for Todd Gurley this weekend, then that’s the exception to the rule. However, in this instance that wasn’t the case. This is just like heading into your draft with a group of players you really want, but decide to draft another player because it was the “right thing to do.” That’s a big no no.

Something else I’ve learned this season is adjusting the amount of games I play based on my comfort level with pricing and matchups. For example, this past week I was very comfortable with pricing and felt that there were many spots to exploit and because of that, I was able to build strong lineups. In weeks like this, it’s smart to put in the volume. However, in Week 6 I wasn’t as confident with the pricing or matchups, and was not entirely satisfied with all my lineups. In weeks like that, it’s fine to cut back on the amount of games you play. You should never feel like you have to play a certain amount of contests. The truth of the matter is that there isn’t a set amount of games you need to play on any given week in order to be successful. That’s the beauty of DFS. Any given week, you can choose to play fewer games or not play at all. Ultimately it boils down to what you’re comfortable with. I’ve been a victim to this in the past as I’ve played more games than I should because I felt the need to. This season, I’ve made the adjustment and played a higher volume on weeks that I’ve felt content with my lineups, player pricing, and matchups, while cutting back in weeks that I didn’t. It helps the bottom line in the long run.

Creating unique lineups takes time and research. Anyone can listen to a podcast and play some of the recommendations that the hosts of the podcast mentions. Just like if you read an article, it’s quite simple just to play the players that the writer suggests. I’m an advocate of listening to pods and reading as much as you can, but that doesn’t mean I will not do my own homework. You see, there’s a chance that multiple people are reading the same content and listening to the same podcasts. If you just plug in the players they talk about, it’s unlikely you’ll have a unique lineup. What I like to do is collect a ton of data/stats and dump them into an excel sheet. I also export all the players for the slate into excel and highlight the prices that standout to me. Once I’ve done that and set aside some of the players I’m keying in on, I’ll start listening to podcasts and reading the work of people I highly trust. At that time, I compare players and compare my list to players other people talk about. If someone I have highlighted isn’t mentioned, I don’t scratch them out. I simply go back and make sure I did my proper research.

At the end of the day, you want to play the players you like and just use all this other content as a guidance and reassurance. It’s important to know where the general public stands on specific players. This is similar to drafting a player that you feel will have a big season a round or two early. Most people will not take that player or agree with your pick, but it doesn’t make it wrong and it can be the difference between a winning season and a losing season. The same can be said about DFS. If you select that player that you have high projections for, even though many people aren’t talking about him, it doesn’t mean it’s a horrible play. Trust your instincts and research. At the end of the day, you want to have fun while making some money.

That’s all for this week. Best of luck to everyone in Week 8. Until next week.