Every DFS player is looking to take home the top prize in a big tournament. Even finishing second can bring in more money than most fantasy football players will make in a few years. Thanks to our partnership with DraftKings, we are able bring you interviews with DraftKings tournament winners. This week we interviewed Footballguys subscriber Josh Fey. Josh finished second last week in DraftKings $1.5M Play-Action GPP, giving him an extra $50,000 to add to his bankroll. We talked with Josh about what it was like to bring home a big payday and he was kind enough to share his thoughts about the experience.
Footballguys: How did it feel going into the final game of the week? Did you feel confident in your chances to win?
Josh Fey: I was incredibly nervous. I took the lead late on Sunday Night Football, and from that point on, with 575K lineups chasing mine, had no idea what might happen in what was supposed to be a high-scoring Monday Night game. I wouldn't say I was confident - I had scrolled through the standings a bit, finding some lineups that were likely to challenge me Monday Night. I knew there was a chance I could walk away with 100,000, but that, realistically, it might only be 2500 or something (which I still would have tried to be happy with).
FBG: Where did you watch the final game?
JF: I watched the final game at home. I have a 2 1/2 year old that goes to bed early, and finding a baby-sitter was an option, but didn't work out. I was invited on the DraftKings Sweat Show, which I really wanted to be on, so wanted to make sure I had a good internet connection. If I'm lucky (skilled/blessed) enough to be in this situation again, I'll probably have a watch party or something - I had the support of my wife, but watching it with my season long league would have been a lot of fun.
FBG: Describe what it was like for that final five minutes. How did you feel as the clock ticked down to zero?
JF: Miserable - and awesome at the same time. I finished 2nd to a guy that had the D/ST playing on Monday Night. So I still had a chance to take 1st if the opposing team (Giants) scored a TD. But there were also people creeping up as Philadelphia was running out the clock with Demarco Murray - who hit the 100 yard bonus in the final drive. Not having any people going in the last game of the week left me feeling awfully helpless. The last few plays were victory-formation - QB kneels, so I could relax for about the last 60 seconds.
FBG: How did you celebrate your big win?
JF: Honestly - there haven't been any crazy celebrations yet. I texted 2 of my buddies that night and told my family (siblings, parents), season long league members and co-workers the next day. We'll have a party in the not-too-distant future and I'll pick up the tab - I guess. Store Brand Soda and $5 Hot-and-Ready Pizzas for everyone!
FBG: DraftKings allows you to change your lineup any time before the game starts. Did you change or consider changing any players at the last minute? What were your thoughts behind why you did or did not do it?
JF: My last player played Sunday night - LeGarrette Blount. I did consider switching him out, but he was a really cheap RB option (4400) so wasn't left with many choices that I thought had the upside that Blount had. I felt pretty good about Blount given his history against the Colts and figured the game script would be good for him and ownership would be pretty low (ended up just under 14%, which was higher than I expected)
FBG: What was the strategy behind taking the players that you did? Did you target a particular matchup or were there specific players you wanted in your lineup that week and why?
JF: I really liked the idea of a Stafford/Calvin Johnson stack. They were at home against a bad team (Chicago). They hadn't really been good all year, so figured ownership would be low. Lamar Miller was coming off a bye and a coaching change, so that was another low-ownership play that hit for me. DeAndre Hopkins was a chalk play, but he's almost a must start so far this season. John Brown has looked great to me all season, and knew a breakout game would come, and thought the Steelers D/ST was exploitable (even though they have played better than I have expected). Tyler Eifert is a mid-high-end TE, but has a great offense around him and is a huge Red Zone threat, so always has 2+ TD upside. Brandon Marshall still has the skill set to get 100 yards and multiple TDs in a surprisingly good offense. I thought the Bronco's D/ST had a pretty good chance at multiple turnovers, sacks and possibly even a pick 6 (which they did get).
FBG: How long have you been playing Daily Fantasy Football on DraftKings? Do you play in any of the other sports and if so, what are they?
JF: This is my first year on DraftKings. I did a couple preseason freerolls, but my first "for-money" game on DraftKings was week 1 of the 2015 NFL season. I haven't played any other sports. I follow pro football and soccer closer than anything else, but haven't ever tried Daily Soccer games. My theory is stick to what you know, I'm sure if I tried baseball or basketball I'd get eaten alive.
FBG: How many DraftKings contests do you play each week? How many cash games (Double Up or 50/50) do you play compared with tournaments each week? Is there a strategy that you use in choosing your contest and if so, would you describe it?
JF: I play from $60-$120 a week (at least so far). I'd say 85% of those are large field 50/50s a Double Ups. There are some weeks I can't put in as much research time or don't feel as comfortable with my cash lineups that will make me be on the lower end of my weekly wager.
FBG: Some people think that to win the big games, you have to risk a lot of money. We’ve also heard stories of people that turned $25 into big money. If I may ask, how much of your own money have you paid into DraftKings?
I put in $600 at the beginning of the season. It was the max deposit bonus you could earn (even though I won't get close to earning it all by the time that expires), and thought that was enough that - if i lost it all - I wouldn't be in trouble financially or with my wife, but still allowed me to play a decent volume and have a chance to win a little bit of money.
FBG: Do you have any advice for other DraftKings players? Let’s face it – you’re living the dream that all of us have!
JF: Research, research, research. I don't care if that means doing your own projections or just listening to people smarter than yourself (which is the method I prefer). I talk to a lot of co-workers that play DraftKings that don't have any paid subscriptions or tools they use (I always recommend Football Guys and Daily Crusher) and don't listen to any podcasts (The Audible has been in my rotation for a long time). Take in as much information as you can - after a while, the plays you like will become more obvious the more information you read.
FBG: Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us Josh. Congrats on your big win!
Here is the lineup that Josh used last week.
Keep checking our DraftKings Landing Page for more interviews with big DraftKings winners.
Good luck this weekend!