Bales Goes Deep: Breaking All the Rules

Bales Goes Deep: Breaking All the Rules

By Jonathan Bales (Daily Fantasy Expert), last update Jan 5, 2016

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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 like to listen to comedians. There’s this one joke I like that I think is from Dmitri Martin, but I’m not sure. I just Google’d and YouTube’d it for like 15 minutes and can’t find the damn thing.

But it’s something like:

“My mom asks me ‘If your friends were jumping off a bridge, would you do it too?’ Well yeah, I probably would, mom. My friends are rational people. If they’re jumping off a bridge, there’s probably a good reason. Oh no, a fire! Let’s get off this bridge.”

I don’t know if that’s how it goes actually. It’s not funny when typed out. It’s not even funny in real life, tbh. I just used it because it fits with the theme of this article. Old writer’s trick: start off with other people’s jokes who you can’t identify and that no one thinks are funny. Works every time.

So the moral of the joke is that heuristics—general rules of thumb—are to be followed most of the time, but they aren’t unbreakable rules. You should usually use a wide receiver in the flex in tournaments…but not always. You should generally pay more for running backs in cash games…but not always. You should typically not jump off of a bridge…but not always.

Sometimes it’s okay to break the rules.


How I Got (Some) Money

Quick side story that I promise is relevant.

When I was in high school, I—like every high school kid—had almost no money. I thought about some ways I could make some cash, and honestly I had some of the most ridiculous plans you could imagine.

“Just become a famous artist,” I said to myself.

I created two oil on canvas masterpieces and tried to sell them. Turns out no one wants complete piece-of-crap paintings, even though I changed my artist name to Giacomo and titled one of the paintings “Rebirth of Spring.” Some people just don’t know art.

Becoming a famous artist was trickier than I thought. I had a lot of other failed business ideas that are too embarrassing to even mention. Pretty much everything you can think of other than “get a job.”

But then I spotted an opportunity.

Around that time, the NFL changed their coin toss rules so that teams could defer if they won the toss. In prior years, they had to choose to either kick or receive.

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