DFS Roundtable: Week 17

A peek behind the curtain at a staff discussion pertaining to this week's DFS topics

This week, we'll discuss the following topics:

The staffers we talked to this week are Phil Alexander, Chris Feery, Andrew Garda, Will Grant, Dan Hindery, BJ VanderWoude, and Mark Wimer.

Week 17 Contest Mix

Hester: With Week 17 being not a "normal" week, do you change your financial allocations? With fewer "sure things," is it better to switch up your cash game vs. GPP mix? Or is Week 17 actually a better cash game week for those that follow the NFL closely because they know which teams to use and avoid?

Alexander: I'm strictly a GPP player, so it's business as usual for me this week. Should I reduce my buy-ins a bit? Probably. But it's Week 17 and there won't be another full NFL slate for about nine months. Think about that – an entire human being can be conceived, prenatally developed, and birthed before we get another chance to play NFL DFS (short playoff slates notwithstanding). I don't know about you, but I want to have fun while I still can – and that means embracing the wonkiness Week 17 never fails to bring.

That's not to say I won't be doing things differently than in a normal week. First, I'll be glued to the news cycle (more so than usual), so I don't miss any speculation (or concrete evidence) teams plan on resting their starters. I'm not just talking about checking Rotoworld blurbs, Footballguys news, or Joe's daily emails. Now is the time of year to get on Twitter and keep up with the chatter from each team's beat writers. Our boy, Jeff Haseley, makes that extremely easy to do.

Other than that, I'm fairly certain my player pool will be much more narrow than usual. For the most part, I'll be sticking to either the teams that have something left to play for (Green Bay, Atlanta, Seattle, and Washington are the offenses that immediately come to mind) or the ones who have been eliminated from contention for awhile, so they're unlikely to switch up their game plan or personnel packages (Arizona and Jacksonville, and Tampa Bay are a pair of teams that stand out there).

At the end of the day, I'm honestly not sure if being well prepared for Week 17 does all that much to mitigate its randomness, but I have to believe it creates some small edge for the player who has done more research. Is it enough to feel confident in a cash game lineup? I'll leave that up to the cash game players on staff.

Garda: Like Phil, I don't know how prepared you can be for Week 17. As that's the case, I throttle back what I play. The variables are too hard to really risk spending a ton of money on, in my opinion, so I'll pour the money I roll with into fewer games. I would tend to throw more into GPP than cash this week, as the oddball variables are more likely to pay off in tournies. If you can crack the code on which random players will step up, that's where your profit is.

Other than that, as Phil pointed out—focus on news and teams with something to play while avoiding teams that can coast or yank starters out too early.

Wimer: I agree with Andrew that this is a week to throttle back on the contests across the board. There are some situations where the teams/coaches are saying the starters will play (i.e. Dallas), but I just don't see them keeping the key guys in for a full 60 minutes. Also, in other circumstances, a key player who gets a small ding might be sat down in Week 17 when in other weeks they would play through the injury. And then there are the "career" decisions that vets on non-competitive teams will be making, going out of bounds instead of driving down the field for more yardage.

I find Week 17 frustrating to play in DFS and season long, so I limit my exposure to this week to a level similar to Week One (10-15% of my bankroll in play).

Hindery: I don't know that one format is a better bet than the other, but it does make sense to lessen the amount you play overall. There are a lot of factors in Week 17 that are tough to quantify and there are always some strange stat lines that come out. It feels a little like the preseason where you need to spend less time on matchups and the big picture statistics (DVOA, pace, etc.) and really focus your time on reading as much news from local sources as possible. The key to Week 17 success is trying to figure out how seriously each team is planning to approach the game, which starters might get pulled early, which young players will see extended auditions, etc.

It is worth noting that unlike some past Week 17s, there are enough teams with everything to play for that you can confidently put together a cash game lineup of players on teams that need to win and not have to gamble to heavily on figuring out usage from other teams.

Feery: I’ll also be cutting my play back a bit this week, as I don’t feel comfortable risking a decent amount of capital on a slate in which landmines are prevalent. That being said, research can still be narrowed down pretty well in Week 17, and the guys have already run through some awesome tips. For starters, if there’s even a hint that a team will be treating it as a preseason game and resting their starters for the bulk of the game, I’m crossing that team off of my list.

However, there are situations in which that opens up tremendous value - i.e. the Steelers via Eli Rogers and DeAngelo Williams - so it’s as important as ever to have a good understanding of depth charts and those players that are just waiting for some more targets and touches to deliver a breakout performance. Outside of those situations, my focus will be on teams with something to play for, such as the Packers and Lions, or teams that could find themselves involved in a points-fest, like the Falcons and Saints.

As for style of play, I’ll lean towards GPP this week, but I may dip my toes in some 50/50s if I settle on a cash game lineup that I’m in love with.

VanderWoude: I think of week 17 similar to how I would look at week 1. That is to say, "chaos creates opportunity". If you are following the motivations of each team closely, then you have a big time opportunity and an advantage over the field. With that said, it is called chaos for a reason. You don't necessarily know how each team will approach a game that may not have importance to their season.

I think the smart thing to do is favor GPPs over cash games because there is a massive amount of uncertainty that favors risk-taking. If you can get on the right side of the week 17 matchups, then it makes sense that you would want to pay off in a big way for the risk, and there is no better way to do that than to take down a large GPP. If you feel comfortable with a specific cash game lineup, then I would not mix it up much, stick to the lineup where you have teams that are playing for something.

Grant: Not much left to add here except this: I don't do a lot of other sports in DFS, so the main thing that I'm focused on this week is making sure that I use as many of my free points or tickets that I can before the offseason. There's no point in carrying forward tons of free ticket into the offseason, especially in the unlikely event that the main sites change their format. I'd rather buy a bunch of $1 and $2 GPP tickets than carry forward a big balance for next year. 

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Teams That Are Trying

Hester: There is still plenty of "skin in the game" for a number of NFL teams this week. Which teams are those, and which players do you want to roster to take advantage?

Alexander: I alluded to it in my previous answer, but your top targets this week should come from Green Bay, Atlanta, Seattle, New England, Detroit, and Washington.

There are plenty of good options on each of those teams, but my early feel is I'll be heaviest on Seahawks. Russell Wilson and company can clinch the number two seed (and a first-round bye) with a win and a Falcons loss. Both teams play at 4:25 pm EST this week so they won't know their respective fates before kickoff.

The Seahawks are motivated, coming off a humiliating home loss, and going up against one of the worst defenses in modern NFL history. If the Browns beat a Steelers team that will reportedly be resting its starters, a loss to Seattle would give the 49ers the number one overall pick in next year's draft. By the time the game kicks off, San Francisco may actively be trying to lose.

Russell Wilson is a no-brainer in this spot, and his preferred stacking partner is Doug Baldwin. With Tyler Lockett's six targets per game (over his last five healthy games) now up for grabs, I'll also have significant exposure to Jermaine Kearse. Speedster Paul Richardson picked up Lockett's snaps last week and also warrants consideration as a GPP flier.

The position I'm most interested in for Seattle is running back, where whoever starts for the Seahawks will take on a defense allowing a league-high 30.4 FanDuel points to opposing running backs. As of this writing, it's too early to know if Thomas Rawls will play through the bruised shoulder that cut his Week 16 short, but if he's practicing by the end of the week, I'll be clicking on his name quite a bit (risk of in-game injury be damned). If Rawls is ruled out, Alex Collins will become the mega-chalk and impossible to fade.

Garda: I would add Kansas City to Phil's group. The Chiefs can grab the AFC West crown, a bye week and almost home field (save for New England) with a win and an Oakland loss (which, minus Carr, is a thing which could happen). They'll show up this week, and guys like Travis Kelce, Tyreek Hill, Spencer Ware and maybe even Alex Smith could be solid plays. And San Diego is reeling these days.

Wimer: In addition to the teams already mentioned, I think the Bills players are a possible option, as they are playing for their jobs with the new regime, which may turn out to be interim head coach Anthony Lynn, so playing hard for him Week 17 may be a good career move.  There are specific units on other teams where guys are playing for their next contract - Matt Barkley and the other young receivers in Chicago (Not Alshon Jeffery though) for example - that I might consider for Week 17. 

Hindery: Two teams stand out as in particularly strong spots this week. The first is Washington. They are basically in a "win and you're in" spot (barring a tie in Green Bay) playing a New York Giants team with absolutely nothing to play for. The Giants are locked into the five seed and know they will be traveling for a Wild Card game in Week 18. Rob Kelley is relatively inexpensive and the game script sets up perfectly for him to have a big second half against the Giants backups. The second spot I am going to target is Atlanta. The Falcons can lock up a bye and home field in the second round (vs. having to travel to Seattle) with a win at home against the Saints. Matt Ryan and Julio Jones will be easy to fit into lineups with all of the Week 17 value options (DeAngelo Williams for example). 

Feery: There are plenty of ways to attack the week from a ‘skin in the game’ perspective, but the Packers are front and center on my list. The club has been rolling offensively through its five-game winning streak, and that all stems from the man behind center. Aaron Rodgers wasn’t quite himself in the early part of 2016, but he’s more than made up for it of late. Over his past 10 games, he’s tossed multiple scores in nine of them - with the lone outlier being the snow game against the Bears.

He's thrown for three or more scores in six of those games, and there are zero reasons to believe his hot streak will come to an end this week - even against a Lions defense that can be pretty stout. For stacking purposes, I’m clicking the button next to Jordy Nelson’s name and calling it a day. The duo has combined for five scores over their last four outings, and the Lions have proven to be vulnerable against elite wideouts in recent weeks. In short, I’m pretty high on a Rodgers-Nelson stack with a Packers playoff berth on the line and view it as a great starting point for Week 17 lineups.

VanderWoude: I agree on the Packers being the most likely target for week 17. They are in a win-and-get-in scenario, and their offense has been on fire in recent weeks. Stacking Aaron Rodgers with Jordy Nelson and/or Davante Adams and Ty Montgomery makes a lot of sense, and if there is one week to super-stack that team, it would certainly be week 17.

Phil went into detail regarding both Atlanta and Seattle, and both teams are solid options in my opinion. I would regard Atlanta as the better target, though, mainly because they are much easier to predict in terms of who will put up numbers worthy of rostering in a week with so much uncertainty. It doesn't make a whole lot of sense to target a team that has something to play for unless you know who to target on that specific team. On the flipside, Seattle will most likely be the team that has players who are under-owned, so there is a high degree of risk/reward associated with playing guys like Thomas Rawls, Doug Baldwin, Jimmy Graham, and Jermaine Kearse. With Tyler Lockett on IR, it opens the door for both Graham and Baldwin to have big weeks. Russell Wilson is the guy to target on Seattle, though, and after last week's performance, he does have a lot of momentum on his side going into a great matchup against the 49ers.

Washington has been my favorite team to target this year, and that won't change in Week 17. Kirk Cousins has been one of the top points-per-dollar plays at quarterback all year, and despite a tough matchup against the Giants, he still has to be considered for GPPs. DeSean Jackson, Pierre Garcon and Jamison Crowder are all very nice GPP plays that have proven to have the upside needed to justify playing them in tournaments. They should be under-owned this week, and for that reason alone, they become attractive tournament options with so many teams already being eliminated from playoff contention.

Grant: I think Green Bay and Detroit has all the makings of a shoot-out. The Packers are 1 game away from proving Aaron Rodgers right again with his prediction to 'Run the Table'. The Lions were in control of their own playoff destiny for much of the second half of the season and are in danger of letting it all slip away. Neither team wants to lose this game. Both teams are extremely motivated. Win and You're in? Win and your division rival is out? This feels like a game to stack Rodgers, Nelson and either Tate or Boldin from the other side.

The other game is the obvious one - Atlanta and New Orleans. It's a 56 point over/under with the Falcons having 30-point implied total, making it another game that I'll want a piece of both sides of the action. Ryan, Jones, and Michael Thomas or Drew Brees, Brandin Cooks, and Jones on the other side are great options.

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Teams That Probably Aren’t Trying

Hester: Many teams are looking towards 2017 (or beyond) so they might want to give some players a tryout this week to see what they have for next season. Other teams are still in the hunt this year but have nothing to gain and could rest starters Which teams are in these situations, and which players stand to benefit?

Alexander: Jacksonville is an offense I'm targeting this week, but it's not because I expect them to give players tryouts for next season, and they're certainly not still in the hunt with nothing to gain. Hat tip to Footballguy Steve Buzzard for bringing this up in our DFS staff chat – when targeting players in games where the team doesn't seem to have much motivation, it's best to go after teams that have been out of the hunt for weeks. It makes sense – what makes this week any different for a team like the 3-12 Jaguars, who haven't been in playoff contention for months? They're less likely to change their game plan/personnel packages from what they've been doing in recent weeks, making them easier to project.

Specifically, I'm buying into a better-late-than-never resurgence from Allen Robinson. Credit Jaguars interim head coach, Doug Marrone, for making a concerted effort to put Robinson in a position to make plays. The results were season-highs in receptions (nine) and receiving yards (147) for Robinson. Sure, the blow-up game came against the Titans, who have allowed about 35% more fantasy points per game to wide receivers than the league average over the last five weeks, but it's not as though the Colts are known for shutting down opposing WR1s. In fact, Football Outsiders ranks Indianapolis 29th at defending the opposition's top wide receiver. Marqise Lee (6.6 targets per game over the last five weeks) shouldn't be ignored in this matchup either.

Running back is also interesting for the Jaguars, considering the Colts have allowed the sixth-most raw fantasy points per game to the position this season. If Chris Ivory is practicing through his hamstring injury by the end of the week, he becomes an enticing play despite the obvious in-game injury risk. T.J. Yeldon was placed on IR, so the Jags have very little on the depth chart behind Ivory. Denard Robinson says he's ready to play, which would make him the favorite for lead back duties if Ivory scratches. He's not a very good player, but Robinson has flashed respectable fantasy upside when pressed into the starting role before, particularly in PPR scoring formats.

While Week 17 should be business as usual for the Jaguars, the Colts are coming off a crushing loss to Oakland that dashed their playoff hopes. There's no telling if they'll show up ready to play in this meaningless game and we can already see which way the sharp bettors are leaning. Jags at Colts opened with Indianapolis favored by six points, but the spread has moved 1.5 points in favor of Jacksonville, despite 75% of the tickets coming in on the Colts side. That can only mean sharp money is moving the line, and in a coin flip game between two bad teams, I'd much rather side with the professionals than the public.

Garda: The flip side to playing the teams which have been out of it is the New York Jets, who are awful on a molecular level these days. There is only one person on offense worth rostering, and that's Bilal Powell. Everyone else needs to be on a bench somewhere in Siberia where we can't see them.

I wish the Bills weren't starting EJ Manuel, as I think Tyrod Taylor would be a great start, along with LeSean McCoy. That team loves Offensive Coordinator Anthony Lynn, and I think the offense comes to play. But with Manuel in there, if you aren't playing McCoy, you might as well skip it.

I'm on the Baltimore bandwagon this week, though, especially with the news Steve Smith is retiring after this game. I expect the offense to show up against a "why are we here" Bengals team and for Smith to get plenty of run. That should translate to a nice day by Joe Flacco as well. The Bengals are also terrible against the run, allowing 116 yards per game with 11 touchdowns to date.
I like Terrence West in this matchup.

On the other side of the field, the Bengals aren't a team I want to touch. A.J. Green won't play, nor will Tyler Eifert. Jeremy Hill has been bad lately. I don't think this is a team who is going to show up on Sunday.

Wimer: We know that Pittsburgh plans to sit their key starters on Sunday, but there is still a game to be played against the soft Cleveland defense (that has allowed 33 passing scores this year! Most in the NFL!). I think Eli Rogers is worth consideration, as is Jesse James (Cleveland has allowed the most fantasy points to tight ends over the last three weeks), especially since Ladarius Green is in the concussion protocol at midweek.

Jacquizz Rodgers is playing for his next contract against a Panthers team who will remain without Luke Kuechly, so regardless of if Tampa is trying hard across the board, Rodgers will be. And I think the Super Bowl Hangover Panthers have their eyes on their vacations in French Polynesia upcoming rather than this game.

Hindery: The Bengals are clearly in "build for next year" mode for the first time in six years. The edict came down from the front office that A.J. Green won't be allowed to play. Tyler Eifert was put on IR to avoid further aggravation of an injury. Jeremy Hill saw a major decrease in his workload last week as he has struggled through nagging injuries all season. The Bengals want to get an extended look at some younger guys. Rex Burkhead is a guy who should see close to 20 touches this week. He is set to hit free agency this offseason and the Bengals want to see what he can do in a more featured role. Gio Bernard may not be back by September, and there are real questions as to Hill's future role so Burkhead will get his shot.

C.J. Uzomah is a second-year tight end who will get another start with Eifert out. He is still raw but had top notch measurables coming out of the draft. He should play almost every snap and be one of Andy Dalton's primary targets. Lastly, rookie receiver Cody Core will continue to see plenty of balls. He had a whopping 14 targets last week. With the Bengals building towards the future, expect him to continue to get plenty of opportunities to try to make plays.

Feery: Great calls by the guys thus far, and I have one more team to add to the list. The Arizona Cardinals entered the season in the Super Bowl conversation, but the club is exiting without even sniffing a playoff berth. That’s a pretty stunning turn of events with all of the talent this club has at hand, and they shape up as one of those teams that can turn it around pretty quickly. Week 17 could turn into a personal ‘statement’ game from the team and head coach Bruce Arians, who is far too good of a coach to allow his team to fold up like a tent.

To make the prospect of a good showing in Week 17 even more likely, we need to look no further than the Cardinals opponent. The Rams threw the towel in on 2017 a few weeks ago, and they are a team that’s prone to turnovers and offensive implosions to boot. The Cardinals could quickly smell blood in the water in this one, and it’s not too difficult to see this one turning into a rout. For DFS purposes, David Johnson has an excellent opportunity to place a cherry on top of his incredibly impressive season, and J.J. Nelson should continue his strong recent play.

VanderWoude: My go-to team in this situation was also Jacksonville, as Phil pointed out in his response. They were said to be a team on the rise this year, but that did not pan out with Blake Bortles reverting to the rookie version of himself, and the rest of the offense disintegrating at his hands. Despite a wasted season, the players stood behind the already fired Gus Bradley, which showed me a lot about how that team views their future. The players didn't want to start over with a new coach because they knew they weren't that far off from competing in a weak division. I think they will continue to play hard, as they have since falling out of playoff contention for much of the season.  I agree on Allen Robinson, but I would also pay attention to Marqise Lee.  He has to make up for some lost time in the early part of his career, and with 57 receptions for 765 yards and 4 touchdowns on the year, he could end the season on a high note and finish with respectable stats for a number-two wide receiver. 

Grant: The Eagles are favored to beat the Cowboys this week but more because Dallas will be looking play it safe and keep their starters healthy for the playoffs. That means guys like Darren Sproles and Jordan Matthews make excellent targets this week. Both are value priced on the main sites and should see plenty of action against a soft Dallas secondary.

I also like teams like the Bills and the Jaguars because both teams will be taking a long look at who is going to be helping their teams move forward next season. The problem I see is determining who to target. As Andrew pointed out, with EJ Manuel in for Buffalo, McCoy is probably the only safe bet there. In Jacksonville, Ivory is a guy that you should keep an eye on this week. If he's healthy enough to play, he'll be facing a team that gave up over 200 yards to the Raiders backfield last week. In these games, target the guys who will touch the ball a lot.

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2016 Lessons Learned

Hester: Give us a brief summary of your 2016 NFL DFS season. What went right, what went wrong, and what can you incorporate into your process next season to be better?

Grant: I'll jump in first before the big ballers come in. I think I represent the lower end of DFS players where I started the season with a small seed on each of the main sites and played it up from there. I stick to games with less than a $10 entry fee and use my cash game winnings to buy my way into GPP games.

This year was easily my best ROI and I've probably pulled out 5x what I put in. It definitely paid for Christmas gifts at my house this year!

The difference for me this year has been that I have learned to trust myself more when it comes to playing GPPs. In previous seasons, I would play 90% of my weekly stake in cash games and only 10% in GPPs. But in doing that, I realized that when I put together a lineup that I really liked and scored well, I still only doubled my entry. But moving more toward a 60-40 split with GPP, and really honing my skills at crafting a lineup where the game script calls for it to succeed, I can build enough diversity to have a majority of my GPPs cash as well. Once that starts to happen, you can really see your bankroll jump from week to week.

Trusting yourself is a big key to success. Follow your process, analyze the results, make adjustments and don't be afraid to go back at it again. To borrow Jeff Pasquino's analogy, it's like Tetris. Once you start to see how the pieces fit together, you can construct lineups that set you up for success, and really crank up your final score.

Garda: Like Will, I am on the shallow end of the pool, but I've had some moderate success this year.

I definitely learned that injuries can derail any lineup. Losing the backs we did during back to back weeks this year was brutal, and there's no amount of planning that can overcome it. The great thing was, unlike in full season leagues, you can course correct and recover the following week.

Staying ahead of the curve on up-and-coming players is key as well, especially in GPP play. Using guys like Tyreek Hill before the bulk of the field caught on was a nice payoff to all those hours spent digging through reports and analysis.

Wimer: I agree with Will that confidence in your methods and strategy is key - fortune favors the bold. This is something I have to remind myself sometimes when I leave $1500 of salary cap sitting there "unused". It's not unused - I just believe my low-cost guys in the lineup are artificially low-priced and I'd rather have them in than slightly more expensive (but lower-ceiling) players. The salary cap can become a box that traps you into lower-scoring lineups.

Hindery: While I will still come out ahead on the season due to a nice record in double ups, this was my worst DFS year so far. A number of external factors made it tougher to be profitbable in general. First, the DFS market changed. The flood of investor money and pursuit of new players at all costs in past years led to healthy overlays for discerning players. Not only did overlays mostly disappear across the industry, we saw the rake tick up slightly as consolidation led to less competition for the main sits. Second, it seems like the overall DFS player pool has increased in quality. On average, the players are more experienced and better informed than in past years. It decreases your margin of error – especially when for so much of the season there was a lot of cash game overlap due to everyone playing the elite running backs.

In terms of GPPs, the most frustrating weeks weren't the ones where I lost due to being on the wrong plays (and there were many of those weeks). Instead, most frustrating were the weeks where I was profitable and near the top of the leaderboards but just one player short of hitting the really big money. With as top-heavy as most of the bigger GPPs are these days, it's tough to come out ahead in the long run without hitting on a very high finish at least once and that didn't quite happen for me. It's something to keep in mind for future years and I may consider spreading a bit more of my bankroll into smaller tournaments instead of chasing the biggest featured GPPs.

VanderWoude: The biggest lesson I learned this year was not to put too much stock in what has happened the last several years. Specifically, GPP strategies for lineup construction.

In years past, the best way to construct tournament lineups was to find the value in the lower tiers at running back (especially in full PPR scoring formats), and pay up for the top wide receivers because they were producing higher floors and ceilings, and they were much better PP$ plays from week to week. That was obviously not the case this year, as 2016 will be always be remembered as "the year of the running back" in my mind. The top tier at running back dominated this season, and it was nearly impossible to win a GPP without having nailed the top running backs each week. In line with that strategy, the wide receivers who were winning tournaments were rarely priced in the top two tiers, and many times, they were priced in the fourth, fifth, and sixth tiers. This is where a bold strategy pays off, and I commend the players who were able to take those chances in the early part of the season and win GPPs with unlikely lineup construction strategies.

You should always be looking at what is working over a large sample, but don't be afraid of being ahead of the curve. If you picked up early on the fact that spending up at running back was the correct play, you were so far ahead of the masses in tournaments, you couldn't help but run deep. I waited too long to take a fresh take on lineup construction and it cost me nearly a month of the DFS season. If I had waited another week to look into varying lineup construction strategies, my entire year would have been a bust and I would have been very disappointed. As it stands, I learned a valuable lesson in taking what a specific season gives you. What may have worked in the past is irrelevant if it is not working in the current climate, and it pays off much more to be ahead of the curve and not playing catch-up.

Feery: My DFS season seems to always follow a similar pattern: I do well in September, have mixed results from October through Thanksgiving, and then typically finish out strong from that point. I’ve narrowed the mixed results portion of the season down to a couple of reasons, namely that it’s typically a busy time of the year for me, and I may also be taking too long to shift my focus from prior year stats and personal preseason predictions versus what’s actually occurring. There’s not too much I can do about the busy part of the year part, so I’ll reduce my overall play next year during that time frame. As for the adjustment from expectations to reality, that’s something I’ve always tried to be mindful of, but it’s apparent that I need to step it up in that department.

On the positive side, I’ve improved tremendously in the area of not overthinking things. That’s partially due to increased confidence in my process, but also because of a point that Dan mentioned. The DFS landscape has changed tremendously, and there’s very few strong plays that will slip through the cracks on a weekly basis. That’s led me to stop trying to be as outside the box as I would have been with GPP lineups in years past, and I’ve found some success with a ‘hybrid’ lineup. A core lineup of ‘sure things’ that you would be comfortable using in a cash game setting can be competitive in GPPs as well, and you can gain your differentiation from nailing two contrarian selections that complements that lineup with big upside.

One final caveat - the massive GPP top prizes and live final seats are enticing, but they can also be quite the drain on the bankroll. I’ll still take my shots at both of course, but my focus has shifted to the smaller ‘mini’ GPPs, three-entry GPPs, small single-entry GPPs and 100-man contests for the bulk of my play. While a huge payday is certainly nice to shoot for, the latter strategy provides you with a more consistent and sustainable return if you attack them correctly.

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Phil Alexander

Chris Feery

Andrew Garda

Will Grant

Dan Hindery

BJ VanderWoude

Mark Wimer

Ryan Hester - Moderator