Developing a Plan for the 2016 Daily Fantasy NFL Season
- Part 1: Setting Goals
- Part 2: The importance of having a weekly process
- Part 3: Bankroll allotment and diversifying game types
- Part 4: Analysis of the previous week
"Everyone has a plan 'til they get punched in the mouth." -Mike Tyson
In this four-part series, Developing a Plan for the 2016 Daily Fantasy NFL Season, we will make sure you are prepared to avoid any devastating punches to your bankroll.
Part 4: Analysis of the Previous Week
After the Sunday NFL slate is completed, most daily fantasy sports (DFS) players are eager to look forward to next weekend's matchups and salaries. In the famous words of ESPN's College Gameday analyst Lee Corso, "Not So Fast, My Friend!" To improve as a DFS player, we must first understand if the process is correct. Many players simply blame their misfortunes on bad luck and move on to the next week without considering the thought process. If you strive to improve as a DFS player, make it a priority to analyze your past lineups and decisions.
As soon as lineups lock every Sunday at 1pm, I recommend opening up some of your 50/50 and double up contests. Make sure to review your opponents cash lineups as soon as possible before getting a biased view with how the games play out. Search for some of the most successful cash game players in the DFS industry that are also registered in your 50/50 or double up cash games. It is imperative to review their rosters and try to grasp the thought process involved with how they built their cash lineups for that particular week. Did they spend up at RB? If so, why did they spend up? Did they stack an under the radar QB-WR? If so, why did they choose this particular stack? How many similar players do you share in your cash lineups? Also, make sure to review ownership percentages for all of your cash game players. In NFL DFS, it is usually a bad sign if you are targeting players that have single digit ownership percentages in 50/50s and double ups. Building chalk lineups in cash games is a winning strategy more often than not. For most situations, the goal is to have single digit ownership percentages in your GPP lineups, not your cash games.
After the Sunday games are completed, now it is time to do some homework! If you are fortunate to have NFL Sunday Ticket Max on DirecTV, they offer Short Cuts starting after the Sunday Night Football game every week. These are edited 30 minute games which include every single play for all of the 1pm and 4pm games. By watching every play early in the season, we are able to pick up on the small details that are not always emphasized in highlight reel packages of the game. Don’t have time to watch the Short Cuts? The next best thing is to read a detailed write up from a professional who has analyzed the games. We at Footballguys have you covered as we offer this service through our Game Recap articles. Every Monday, we release a game recap with detailed analysis for every skill position player. You will have an advantage over your competition if you simply spend the time to read these valuable recaps.
After digesting the previous weekend of NFL games, it is now time to go back and review your cash game lineups. Let’s double check the ownership percentage for every player that was over 15% owned in your large 50/50s and double ups. If there was a popular value play for the week, did you miss it? If so, why were they a value play? If you missed an obvious value play, take it as a learning experience for next time. These players are high owned for a reason. In cash games, they will pay off their salaries more often than not. They also free up salary cap space for high priced superstars. After you have some DFS experience, you will develop a feel for ownership percentages prior to the week. You want to make sure that you don't miss out on any obvious value plays that are high owned as they can derail your cash games if absent. We want to ensure that we are making the correct decisions on the front end. If we make a decision and it didn't work out, that is alright as long as the process was correct.
When reviewing your cash lineups, ask yourself some questions: Was the game flow what I anticipated? Did injuries or game script have an effect on the outcome? Did I make a correct lineup decision at QB? If not, did I consider a viable pivot or was I way off base at the position? Often similar priced players will be on your radar prior to the week but may not make your final lineup. This is still a good sign because it shows that you had a good feel for the matchups but just backed the wrong horse. You need to be concerned when you see a high owned player in your opponent's cash game lineups and this is a shock to you. Your goal is to determine if you are making the correct player evaluations prior to lineup lock. By analyzing your cash game lineups, you will improve your thought process in future matchups.
For GPPs, take some time to review your GPP lineups to see if your thought process was successful. What was the correct stack to use in GPPs this week? Was this stack in any of my GPP lineups or at least on my radar prior to lineup lock? It is imperative to review the top GPP scores every week. There is a reason you often see the same names at the top of the GPP standings. These guys not only have a feel for the weekly schedule but they understand how to properly construct a GPP lineup. Footballguys will be producing weekly GPP recap articles every Tuesday this season. These articles will focus on successful lineups and strategies in the largest GPPs in the industry. Take some time to read these articles as they will help you out with future lineup construction. While every week plays out in a different manner, you will see similar lineup building strategies throughout the season.
If you have any DFS questions, feel free to contact me via twitter: @shiposki75.