Staking Bales: Recapping a Massively Profitable Week 9

Staking Bales: Recapping a Massively Profitable Week 9

By Jonathan Bales (Daily Fantasy Expert), last update Nov 5, 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 Bales on Twitter: @BalesFootball.

Hey, when you’re on, you’re on. And in Week 9, I was ON! Just dominated fish across every site, and the results couldn’t be prettier. . .


























I had around $500 in play this weekend, and I managed to turn that into a nice little 73 cents—a 0.15 percent return. So I got that going for me, which is nice.

With this sort of domination each week, I’d eclipse the $1,000 profit barrier in just under 81 years. Not even a full century, so I might want to slow down.

Seriously though, these sorts of weeks can seem useless, but they aren’t. I basically broke even, but that’s not a bad thing when implementing a relatively high-variance strategy like I am. I’m basically using my head-to-head and 50/50 profits to “pay for” my tournament entries.

Now, I’ve been miserably poor in tournaments. Even though I’m still profitable on the year, I’ve lost just over $400 in GPPs this season. The fact that I’m profitable without any big scores whatsoever is a big positive.


Total Cash in Play

Total Cash Returned















The key to playing a lot of tournaments is ensuring that you don’t compromise the integrity of your bankroll. I haven’t done that, maintaining steady head-to-head profits to keep me in the black.


Late-Season Strategy

Here’s my goal for Week 10 and beyond: win a freakin’ tournament. I like to think of myself as a better tournament player than heads-up player, but I’m getting killed in large fields this year. I know that streak isn’t going to continue forever, but we’re also over halfway through the season, so I’m starting to get nervous.

Remember, there are basically two different ways to grind out daily fantasy profits. The first is to truly “grind,” playing almost exclusively heads-up leagues and 50/50s, and the other is to play mostly tournaments. In the latter scenario, the profits resemble a “punctuated equilibrium” through which there are small deviations, typically losses, before a huge upward swing, i.e. a big tournament cash.

Again, I don’t mind exchanging some losing weeks for a winning one, assuming the profitable week is huge. I still think I’m going to be able to capitalize on these GPPs—where I consider the worst money to be in daily fantasy—but time is ticking.


A Note About "The Long Run"

I often talk about "the long run," and by that, I basically mean a period of time over which the sample of potential games isn't a factor. If you could participate in one million leagues, what would be the result? If you'd be profitable, that's what I mean by a "long-term profitable player."

Well, you don't really get to realize "the long run" in the NFL because there's such a small sample of games. With just 17 weeks, there's a very good chance that you'll experience a result that doesn't match your "true" ability, and that's just something you need to accept when playing daily fantasy football. When your game selection is tournament heavy, and especially if you do not vary your lineups, the long run can seem very long indeed.

In baseball, it's highly unlikely that a daily fantasy player who has a 65 percent heads-up winning percentage over the long run would finish, say, under 55 percent during the course of a 162-game season. But that could easily happen to a daily fantasy football player.

There's just a lot more variance in the results of football than baseball because of the number of games. It's still very useful and pragmatic to talk about "the long run" when it comes to the NFL because that's how we can justify decisions, but realize that your results are going to vary a whole lot more (which could be good or bad) than they will in a sport like baseball.

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