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My $5,354 Weekend: Being Contrarian, and that Isaac Smith shot

Posted Wed 14 September by Darryl Woodford

It’s been a while since we ran an update blog, or a ‘Week In Review’ column around here, and that’s mainly because we’ve been insanely busy! In addition to the new developments here on Fantasy Insider (the new site, Smart Lineups, the addition of NFL), we’re also working on a big project for 2017 – Stats Insider (sign up for updates here!) – which will extend the analytic and machine learning approaches we’ve used this year for Fantasy Sports into information for general sports fans and gamblers alike (think: what is the chance team x wins, what is the chance team Y wins the grand final).

Personally, my results have fluctuated between small losses and small profits; with the end of the season tending to be a time for dead rubbers and predictable results — along with teams blooding new players who we haven’t traditionally predicted (though expect that to change in ’17). None of that has been great, and when combined with normally only looking at putting lineups in 30 minutes before close, it’s been a fairly bland period, running at a 5-7% ROI — which while still nicely profitable, doesn’t make hugely exciting reading.

This week though I think is worthy of mention, and not just because of the result. We’ve frequently talked in our DFS Minute, Weekend Picks and even last week’s Podcast about the value of being contrarian, and last week showed how it can pay off. With the West Coast favoured by 25 points to beat the Western Bulldogs, the shock result of a Bulldogs blowout eliminated a good portion of the field at Moneyball, allowing contrarian Bulldogs-heavy lineups a free run at the money, and leading me to a 4th place finish at DraftStars with this lineup:

Screenshot 2016-09-12 19.02.07
4th place lineup

Thursday Results: Prize Money $447.92; Profit: $242.92

The next day, with Geelong and Hawthorn coming down to (after) the final siren, those last few seconds were pretty significant. Trailing first place by a couple of points, and with $1000 in prize money difference between 1st and 2nd, Isaac Smith took a mark (3pts) right in front. As he stepped back to make a kick that surely he makes 95% of the time, a behind gives me a tie for first ($2k) while a goal wins me the contest by 5 points. Of course, we know what happens next, and when I saw it (a few minutes later), some choice words were thrown in his direction. That said, I think I’ll choose to remember that the mark+behind won me $500, rather than the kick losing me $500.. Here’s that lineup:

Screenshot 2016-09-12 19.01.37

I had some other small wins on the two games above, a 104th at Draftstars, and a 7th, 17th and 30th at Moneyball adding a few hundred more to the Kitty.

Friday Results: Prize Money: $2366.25; Profit: $2086.25
Running Total: Prize Money: $2814.17; Profit: $2329.17

That brings us to Saturday, and a very frustrating Swans/Giants clash, where most of my lineups featured Callum Mills (injured), and a bunch featured Naismith or Hopper (terrible). Had Naismith and Mills both made their averages, I’d have been looking at a top 10 finish on both sites, but as it was I had to settle for a 44th at Moneyball, and was out of the money completely at Draftstars.

Going into the late game, I had two irons in the fire. I had a bunch of lineups for the Saturday Slam with varying Adelaide stacks predicated on their status as the day’s big favourite (and somewhat contrarian given their shaky fantasy scoring), including a 6-man stack (though the lineup also included Jacob Hopper). I also had entries for the single-game contests at both sites. Throughout the final quarter, I was charging up the leaderboard at both Draftstars and Moneyball in both the single-game contests and the Saturday Slam. A flurry of late activity from players not in my team meant in the single-gamers I ended up having to settle for 24th and 26th at Draftstars (good for ~$125), and 13th at Moneyball ($100). There was no stopping the 6-man stack though, as it soared to the top with 10 minutes remaining and was never threatened, taking home $1200 in the Saturday Slam:

Screenshot 2016-09-12 19.14.52

Saturday Results: $1592.83 Prize Money; $742.83 Profit
Running Total: $4407 Prize Money; $3072 profit

There were of course a bunch of failures over the weekend as well, mostly in the NRL, so Sunday wasn’t a great day. My NRL was generally shocking, with a 15th place in Broncos vs Titans the best to show for the weekend, and I picked the wrong team to enter into the $150 Saturday Champion at Moneyball, ending up dead last (where as the team from the Saturday Slam would of course have won). There were also other small cashes in H2H, 6-Mans, and minor placings in the GPPs, and when all was said and done I was about $3,000 up in AFL and NRL action. We’ve written here before that GPP-play is high variance, and one $3000 week definitely makes up for a lot of plodding along.

Sunday Results: $12.50 Prize Money; $147.50 Loss
Running Total: $4419.50 Prize Money; $2924.50 Profit

Finally, over the weekend we launched our NFL Lineup Cruncher (projections pages & Smart Lineups to follow shortly), and I threw the tools straight in at the deep end with Sunday’s action. For the first week, and given I’m starting behind when it comes to NFL strategy, I was pretty pleased, taking home 9th and 28th in the Moneyball Sunday Blitz, 7th in the Moneyball Cardinals/Patriots game, alongside a 5th, 7th, 10th and other minor placings in DraftStars Sunday (or Monday as they call them) contests, and a 2nd & 9th in Cardinals/Patriots to add another $500 or so to the coffers. Tuesday morning’s games and the full round contests continued the ‘nearly’ theme, adding another $530, but just a few points away from another 4-figure win. Here’s the best of those lineups:

Screenshot 2016-09-14 11.56.36

Mon-Tues NFL Results: $934.78 Prize Money; $309.78 Profit
Running Total: $5354.28 Prize Money; $3234.28 Profit

If you’re interested in trying our projections and tools, you can sign up for a monthly or annual subscription here.

Have some questions you want answering from our DFS Pros? Send your questions through on twitter (tag @fantasyinsider and use the hashtag #askfantasyinsider, or leave them in the comments below and we’ll answer as many as we can in our next video.

Until next time!

Darryl Woodford

Darryl is the guy behind the DFS username dpwoodford. Co-founder of Fantasy Insider, he has over 15 years experience in building models for betting on sporting events, and was one of the early leaders in Australian DFS.

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