When I was new to Daily Fantasy Sports, I hardly did any reading about the subject matter. I felt that I had a general idea of how sports worked and who were the best players, and I could use that information to succeed. If you are reading this article, you, like myself, failed miserable with your first buy-in and decided to try to be a more informed DFS player. Before trying to come up with my own projections and theory about how games would play out, I relied solely on “experts” telling me what the best plays of the night were. I would take to twitter and try to see what the best DFS players were saying or go over to RotoGrinders and read the grind down on the slate for the night. However, now I have a completely different idea about how to use that information.
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE CONTRARIAN?
If you primarily play GPPs, like myself, you do a lot of tinkering with your lineups to try and find the best value plays. You are probably checking twitter constantly to see if there is any news that comes up at 6:35 that would give a starting opportunity to a bench player, that may end up playing 30-35 minutes. However, the most useful tip I have ever had in DFS GPP play is to read to become a contrarian. What I mean by that is taking all the information that the sharps are putting out about the slate for the night, and trying to come up with one or two picks that will set yourself apart from the field.
Let me give you an example. The other night, the Timberwolves were playing the Oklahoma City Thunder. I began doing my morning research and I noticed that the Thunder have not been guarding the point guard position well over the past few weeks. That caught my eye because I believe that the Thunder/Wolves game was going to be a high scoring game on both ends and, from reading box scores, I realized that the Thunder seem to be incapable of putting teams away quickly.
My first thought was: Ricky Rubio is in a really good spot tonight. I then checked my data and noticed that Rubio was projected higher than his implied total and realize that he does not rely on scoring alone to put up his fantasy points. Along with Rubio, I add about 15-20 players that are in good spots, based on my data, to a list that I keep to research further.
Now I start my reading from the experts, I check twitter and don’t really see anything about people claiming that Rubio is a lock, along with a handful of other players. If you have Twitter, follow all the people you can that provide lineups and “lock” picks. I don’t use any of them to actually set my lineup, but I use them to see who the general public thinks is going to be a good play for the night.
Then I go over to RotoGrinders.com and check out the Grind Down (this is a great place to look because they have a ton of hits and followers to their site that read the grind down. It is a great place to find out where to be a contrarian). When I checked the “Grind Down”, I saw that Rubio wasn’t mentioned at all and a few of my other players are mentioned. This gets me excited and I know that I have found the guy I will base my whole lineup around.
Now, the key to understanding what I am saying is that you do not have to do this with every player that you have on your roster. You are just looking for one or two guys that will set you apart from everyone else that night. In basketball, it’s rarely a 1% owned guy like it can often be in NFL. We are looking for a guy that may be 5-8% owned, but 5% owned from Rubio (who dropped 50) is much better than playing a guy like Isaiah Thomas who is 14% owned and drops 37 points.
This has been a theory I have been working on over the past few months, and it has really paid off for me. But you have to make sure the guy you are taking is actually in a good spot. Being a contrarian and taking a guy like Joe Johnson when he is up against the Spurs is going to lose you money more often than not.
So you have to try to be contrarian, without being stupid at the same time.