Staking Bales: My Plan for Week 4 in Daily Fantasy

Staking Bales: My Plan for Week 4 in Daily Fantasy

By Jonathan Bales (Daily Fantasy Expert), last update Sep 27, 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.

I mentioned earlier this week that I found out my grandfather started playing daily fantasy. Well, through a little detective work, i.e. calling him and asking, I got his username. Some of you asked if you could have it so that I could “share the wealth.” Well here it is. . .


As in, no freakin’ way am I giving away his username so that you fools can bankrupt him. He’s my grandfather, so the only person who is going to be taking his money is me. I just called him to set up some head-to-heads, but no answer. I’ll wait it out.

This is a good time to mention that heads-to-head matches aren’t always the best investment if you aren’t facing users who you can consistently beat. The safety that comes from going mano-a-mano disappears if you’re facing sharks. Remember, on most sites, you need to maintain a 55.6 percent winning percentage just to break even on heads-up matches. That’s easier against Dickie Bales (not his username, don’t even bother looking it up) than it is against condia.


Week 4 Strategy

As I discussed in today’s shortened G+ Hangout with Josh, I’ll be participating in more tournaments moving forward, particularly on DraftKings. The majority of their tournaments are paying out the top quarter of entrants, so there’s a bit of safety there that wasn’t previously available (and still isn’t) in most tournaments.

My DraftKings profits are likely going to fluctuate more than at other sites. If I were playing solely at DraftKings, it might be a problem. But it’s important to remember that my bankroll is all of the money I have in the sites (or all of the money I’m willing to put into the sites) combined.

I’m not treating the accounts as four separate bankrolls, because that could potentially limit my profitability. I might have to do that if the barriers to withdrawing and depositing were steeper, but most daily fantasy withdrawals process in a day. If one of the accounts runs low, I can easily redeposit using funds from another account.

So with that in mind, you can see why it’s easier to use site-specific strategies, even in regards to bankroll management. I can put 20 percent of the money in my DraftKings account into tournaments because 1) they’re safer than other tournaments and 2) that’s right around $120—just under five percent of my overall bankroll.

Since I’ll be pumping up the tournament action at DraftKings, I’ll balance it out with more heads-up matches elsewhere, particularly at FanDuel. I got into some Thursday-night leagues and I’ll add more this weekend, always searching for weak opponents. FanDuel’s entry process is a bit cumbersome, but it’s worth it since I can target users without much experience.


A Few Value Plays

As always, I have a group of core players I like at every site. Here’s one at each position.

QB E.J. Manuel vs. BAL

Manuel is priced around the same as Matt Flynn and Matt Cassel on some sites, which is hogwash. Side note: I really wanted to use the word ‘hogwash’ for some reason. Felt okay. Probably won’t go back to it.

I like playing mobile quarterbacks in heads-up leagues because I think they offer some safety. Manuel can still give you respectable numbers even if he throws for under 200 yards because he’s always a threat for 50 yards rushing and/or a touchdown.

RB Jamaal Charles vs. NYG

The Giants have allowed the seventh-most rushing yards in the league. Charles can be somewhat dependent on big plays at times, but I don’t think that will be the case in this contest. He figures to see a heavy workload and, with the way he’s being used in the passing game, he has a monster ceiling with a high floor to boot. I think he makes for a great heads-up play and an even better tournament option.

WR Julian Edelman vs. ATL

It looks like tight end Rob Gronkowski will be out, which is a huge positive for Edelman working the middle of the field. Edelman isn’t very relevant in the red zone, but he’s still providing value on most sites, particularly full PPR sites, even if you project him at zero touchdowns. That makes scoring just a potential bonus for a player who could realistically see 15 targets per game until Gronk is back.

TE Julius Thomas vs. PHI

I’m bullish on just about every offensive player in the Broncos-Eagles matchup. The over/under in the game is 58, which is remarkable, and the teams could legitimately run 150 combined plays. It’s just a really great situation to have in your lineups. On sites where Peyton Manning isn’t priced exorbitantly high, he makes for a great stack with one or more of his receivers, Thomas included.

By the way, yesterday’s optimal FanDuel lineup came out when it looked like Terrelle Pryor was good to go. That was a Sunday-only play, obviously, since we never want to start questionable players in Thursday-night leagues. Actually, I prefer to play a lot of Thursday leagues just because people inevitably start guys who end up not playing.

In any event, I’ve added a new FanDuel lineup below for subscribers. If you aren’t a subscriber, get signed up right here.


Another FanDuel Lineup

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