Staking Bales: Mo’ Money in Week 3

Staking Bales: Mo’ Money in Week 3

By Jonathan Bales (Daily Fantasy Expert), last updated Sep 24, 2013

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Jonathan Bales is a DraftKings Pro and the author of the Fantasy Football for Smart People book series. His latest book, How to Win at Daily Fantasy Sports, is a data-driven guide to winning on DraftKings. He is also (unofficially) sponsored by GrubHub.

Follow Jonathan on Twitter: @BalesFootball.

If you recall, I had a pretty forgettable Week 2, getting “lucky” to lose only $70.35. One of the changes I vowed to make was taking less head-to-head games at certain sites just because I keep getting matched up with sharks. If you’ve played daily fantasy sports for any time at all, you probably recognize names like “condia,” “CSURAM88,” “PrimeTime420,” and so on.

Well, I’m not too interested in getting matched up with those guys on a regular basis. Even if I had a 55 percent long-term winning percentage in those matchups (which I don’t), I’d still be a long-term loser when you factor in the rake.

So moving forward, I’m going to transition a lot of my heads-up and three-man play to FanDuel, where you can hand select your opponents. When you click on a name, you can see how many games that person has played in the past. If I see a newbie offering a heads-up match at $25, I’m taking it. There’s just a lot of bad money there, and I (and you) should be able to profit if we play the percentages.

To give you an idea of how the week went for me at FanDuel, here are all of my non-tournament entries:

I entered 11 heads-up leagues and won all of them, profiting $84.80. I entered 13 three-man leagues and won 11 of them, netting $129.50. I also had three quality tournament lineups, although none cashed.

Here’s a look at how the rest of the week went:

Site

Start

Finish

Net

FanDuel

818.96

1012.7

193.74

DraftKings

660.2

597.6

-62.6

StarStreet

509.13

457.93

-51.2

DraftDay

275.84

259.36

-16.48

     

+63.46

 

StarStreet $109 Qualifier

+172.46

     

 

Account Screenshots

In the screenshots below, you’ll see a total profit of $63.46 in my accounts. However, I also won this:

That’s a qualifier into StarStreet’s Playboy Championship. Next week, I’ll have a free $109 entry into a 150-man tournament. If I win it, I’ll be headed to the Playboy Mansion in December for a shot at the $100,000 first place prize.

If I’m a completely average player, the odds of winning the championship are 1/150 * 1/30—one divided by the number of people in this qualifying tournament times the number of people in the championship. So it’s 1/4500, or 0.02222 percent. Not bad my friends.

I’ve profited $412.70 at FanDuel through three weeks. It’s a big-time money-making opportunity due to the inferior competition. On Sunday, I literally just found out my grandfather is playing there. He’s never played fantasy football in his life and he just fills his lineups with Giants players. I’m going to take all of my grandfather’s money and I feel great about it.

I’m going to be playing a whole lot of tournaments at DraftKings. They’ve rearranged their tournament structures such that, in most tournaments, the top quarter of entrants are cashing. That’s awesome. I’m basically treating them as triple-up leagues with upside, diversifying my lineups a bit to hedge against down weeks.

In Week 3, I ended up putting down $93 on seven tournament lineups. I won back $105, profiting just $12. I finished in 1,077th out of 4,000 entrants on two lineups in a tournament that paid out the top 1,000, but those lineups kind of sucked anyway, so I don’t feel that bad about it.

At StarStreet, I won the $109 qualifier, as mentioned. Otherwise, it was a pretty poor week heads-up.

I also ended up with this tournament lineup in a $44 entry:

Eight-hundredths of a point from cashing. Nice.

I think this is a good time to mention that this will happen to you a lot if you play a lot of tournaments. Because there are so many entrants, it’s often just a few points that separate huge paydays from a couple bucks, or nothing. That can lead to an “I-was-this-close” sort of mentality with tournaments, causing people to dump extra money into them. Don’t compromise your bankroll just because you think you’re close to a big cash; everyone is thinking that, and with so many entrants, you aren’t really as close as you think.

At DraftDay, I continued to struggle.

I ended up losing only $16.48 on the week at DraftDay, but I thought I played some poor lineups.

 

Updated Season Results

Here’s how I’m looking after three weeks:

Site

Start

Finish

Net

FanDuel

600

1012.7

412.7

DraftKings

600

597.6

-2.4

StarStreet

400

457.93

57.93

DraftDay

400

259.36

-140.64

     

+327.59

 

StarStreet $109 Qualifier

+436.59

     

 

I’ve profited $327.59 in the four accounts, but I also have that $109 qualifier ticket in the bank. Since that’s a 150-man tournament, the most likely outcome is that I don’t cash with it. Still, there’s always the chance that it turns into something big.

If we disregard the StarStreet ticket, I’ve increased the original $2k bankroll by 16.4 percent thus far.

 

Looking Ahead

As I mentioned, I’m going to start playing more tournaments, particularly at DraftKings, switching a lot of my head-to-head, three-man, and 50/50 play to FanDuel. Given the current state of daily fantasy football, I think that’s the smart move to make.

Given that I’ll be playing more tournaments (perhaps 15 percent of my bankroll each week), I need to mention that there’s going to be more volatility in my week-to-week results. I’ll never compromise the integrity of the bankroll in search of a big payday, but I think it’s okay to take on some more risk right now to capitalize on overlay and bad money situations.

That means I’ll probably have more losing weeks than I would otherwise. If you also plan to play more tournaments, you need to be prepared for the same. If you can’t handle losing money three or four weeks in a row, you shouldn’t be using the same strategy as me.

It can be tough to handle losing money in a given week, but the ultimate goal isn’t necessarily to have more winning weeks than losing weeks. It’s to be profitable at the end of the year. I’ll exchange three weeks of $100 losses for one week with $800 in profit.

Again, I’ll still be playing plenty of smaller leagues. If I can “pay for” the tournaments with heads-up profits, that’s awesome. Using this strategy, I’ll take profiting in just half of the remaining weeks for a chance at some big cashes.

Filed Under: w4, 2013

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