College Football DFS Diary – 12 September 2015

Last Week


Finances – entered five contests, risking $0.25 in each one, for a total of $1.25. Placed in three contests, earning $1.75, for a $0.50 profit.

Roster Construction – From a macro-perspective, I did the high-variance thing in all five of my lineups, stacking both quarterbacks with one of their receivers (in the WR slots, and not the flex). Where I went wrong, tactically, was to deploy WRs in only two of my 10 total flex positions. I have seen research before that WRs are the highest variance players, for better or worse, and in a tournament setting, I need more of that. This week I will committ to using only WRs in my flex position.

Stacks – Of the ten stacks I deployed (five contests, two QB/WR stacks in each) the pairs only connected for touchdowns on four occassions. I must hit more of these.

Player Selection – From the Thursday night slate, Ralph Webb and David Ungerer were total duds. On Saturday, I really feel like I made some quality plays, returning tremendous value from little-known assets like Greg Powell (9.6X), Brandon Ross (5.7X) Jenson Stoshak (6.2X) and Ian Sadler (5.1X). All were owned in less than 6% of leagues.

$/pt – when I refer to Ian Sadler and 5.1X, what I mean there is that he returned 5.1 points for every thousand dollars of salary spent. 24.3 points divided by a 4.7k budget equals a multiple of 5.1. I am kind of fixated on this notion because it helps me understand the big picture of what I am trying to score. Every week I have $50k with which to construct a lineup. Last week, to win the tournament, I would have needed to score about 280 points. 280/50 is 5.6, so basically every player on my team needs to score 5.6 times his salary to win. Here is what my multiples looked like. in aggregate, for week 1 tournaments.

QB – 3.75

RB – 3.21

WR – 3.13

FLEX – 3.02


Finances – entered two contests for $1 each, one on Thursday night and one on Saturday night, and failed to place in either. In total, I lost $2 in this format this week.

Roster Construction – Of my four possible stack opportunities, I only utilized three, leaving Auburns Jeremy Johnson to fend for himself. I had one RB-WR pairing and one RB-RB pairing. I think what I am going to try this week for multipliers is to have my flex positions consist of RB-WR pairings, for a little more balance of floor and upside.

Player Selection – With only two lineups, there is not much to analyze. I will say that I am frustrated for spending so much on Marquise Williams on Thursday. Anecdotally, I feel like anytime you take a non-SEC quarterback who is playing an SEC defense in week one, they will more often than not disappoint. I even said that to myself ahead of time, but still pulled the trigger. Elsewhere, I feel pretty stupid for my Algernon Brown play. I dont know if there was enough evidence pointing toward him, and with more production from that spot I think I could have come close to placing.

Stacks – Of the three I played, only Dane Evans – Keevan Lucas connected… and they connected big time.

$/pt results –

QB – 2.33

RB – 1.89

WR – 2.80

FLEX – 1.88

50 50s

Finances – On Thursday I played three games, each for a dollar and lost a total of $3. On Saturday, I played in four games and placed in two, breaking even for the day. In total, I lost $3 in this format for the week.

Roster Construction – Looking back, I am surprised to see that I only stacked my QBs with one of their WRs on 7 of 14 possible chances. I am not sure if that is a good or bad thing for 50-50s, since floor is my main goal rather than volatility. If you have any thoughts or research on this, leave a comment. Of the three contests I finished highest in, all three went RB-RB at the flex. Two went WR-RB. The final two went TE-RB. I know TE isn`t technically a thing, but I put players who will be drafted as NFL TEs in those spots, which I think in retrospect wasn´t exactly a high-floor move.

Player Selection – Of the Thursday slate, I had Jonnu Smith (TE) and David Ungerer in all three of my lineups. They COMBINED for 4.8 points. Silly me. Of the Saturday slate, I feel great about the way I ¨read¨ the BG/Tennessee game and deployed Tenn QB/WR stacks in half the lineups, while rolling with the Tenn RB in the other half. Ian Sadler was also a money play and I`m proud of myself for digging deep into the TTU pass offense to understand the Xs & Os of their offense to find the massively undervalued Sadler.

Stacks – In 3/7 instances where I deployed a stack, the pair connected for a touchdown. By my count, only 8/20 stacks I used connected for a touchdown last week across all formats. No bueno.


QB – 3.00

RB – 3.24

WR – 2.89

FLEX – 2.88

Other random thoughts from last week

Toward that goal of hitting 5X returns per player, I think it is probably a trap to play quarterbacks priced over, say, 7.5K. I say this because, look at a guy like Anu Solomon, he had a very strong week last week with 28.66 points. However, because his salary was 9.2K, that performance yielded only a 3.1X return. Basically, if a really good (not epic) quarterback performance in a given week looks like 30-35 points, the only way to 5X that is to spend somewhere in the 6-7k range.

This Week


From my original $100.25, I am down to $93.75. As detailed in the original post of this series, I´m playing 10% of my budget every week. Technically, that means I should play $9.375 this week, but I´m going to cheat a fraction and play $9.50. That breaks down to
50-50s – $7
Multipliers – $2
Tournaments – $.50

Projection models

SInce we last spoke, and with the addition of new data, I built a sort of rudimentary projection model to get me looking in the right places (hopefully). I am going to keep tinkering with this and, depending on results, start to publish it publicly in the next few weeks.


Because I started last week`s lineup creation with tournaments first, I am wondering if doing 50-50s first this week will improve my approach.

Lineup 1


Filling this out with RBs first, I am going to take Alabama´s Kenyan Drake ($6300). Last week Drake received 5/16 first quarter carries and played deep into the second half when the game was out of hand. Basically, he has the appeal of a pseudo-starter for Alabama, which is expected to score 45 points this week, the second-highest total of the early slate.

Going back to the board, I notice that there are four RBs priced over $8900 and then a drop off all the way to $6800 with Wayne Gallman. Last week, Clemson suffered the loss of WR Mike Williams, and while they have talented options behind him, I could foresee the running game being the biggest beneficiary of his absence. Gallman is the clear-cut lead back in a game where the Tigers are expected to score 38+ points. Also, Clemson has a point-share in this game of 64%, which is the lowest of all the projected high-scoring teams, meaning that the game against App State should be close the whole way. Add in a 30% chance of rain and I can see Gallman being the man for Clemson today.


Sticking with my theory about high-priced quarterbacks being unlikely to return a 5X performance, I`m going to start my search here with the under $8,000 crowd, which means surpassing Deshaun Watson, Luke Falk, Cardale Jones and Justin Thomas.

Malik Zaire is a tempting name, but witha 70% chance of rain in Charlottesville, I`m going to pass. Brandon Allen is interesting too, but I want to hold out to see if I can work Alex Collins into the Flex spot. Chad Kelly ($7700) from Ole Miss is an interesting option. Team total of 42.5. My reading of the Vegas action is that Fresno should hang for a while, meaning Kelly has a good chance to play a full game. He`s got some dual threat upside. Let´s try him.

Feeling a little tight on my budget, I am looking for a QB with a cheap price tag and a reasonably high team total. Joel Stave, Wisconsin, crosses my mind, but I could see a scenario where that game gets ugly and he throws 11 passes. Minnesota has a 30.5 point team total in a game that should be very close. QB Mitch Leidner ($5700) is imperfect, but as a starting QB with a good chance for 10+ carries and a reasonably strong offense, I think he has a nice floor.


With an ¨average budget¨ remaining of $4700 for my remaining three WRs and two flex, I feel a little strapped for cash. Here I will look to stack with one of my QBs, which will probably be from Ole Miss. Laquon Treadwell is the obvious name, but I don`t have any reason to believe he´s more favored by Kelly and teammate Cody Core is ($4800) comes at an $800 discount. Let`s try him.

At this point I am going to go digging for a deep sleeper for minimum budget.

….scrap that idea.

One name of the under-$5000 crowd that my model really likes is Alabama`s Robert Foster ($4800). Yes, I know I also have his Alabama teammate, which caps my upside, but I also think there will be enough points to go around, so I`ll slot him in there for now.

At this point I am jumping ahead to Flex to see who I can slot in there and keep in the range of $4,600, which I need to average with my final three roster spots. Michigan RB De´Veon Smith ($4800) looks like the lead back on a team that should score 30+ points. To me, he projects to return about 3.5X value and could do even more if the Wolverines are playing this game from ahead, instead of trailing like last week.

$9000 left and two spots.

Iowa´s Matt Vandeberg caught 37% of Iowa´s passes last week and can be had for $4300. Although the Hawkeyes are only expected to score 27 points, the game is supposed to be very close and I think Iowa State´s high powered attack could force this game higher. Let´s take him.

Final spot (Flex) goes to WR Malcolm Mitchell from Georgia ($4700). As the featured receiver on a team that´s expected to go for 35+ points today, I will roll the dice. Allen Lazard was also considered here.

Just kidding! I promised myself for all 5050s this week I was going to go RB-RB in the flex. Patrick Skov ($4400) from Georgia Tech gets the call and gives me a share of an offense that should surpass 40 points today.

Final roster…

cfx week 2 5050 lineup 1

Six more 5050 lineups to construct, so I´m going to whip through them fairly quickly.

Lineup 2

This time through I am starting with Alex Collins, who I think is my favorite RB from the early games, even if his price is substantial ($8900). Immediately this means I´m going to be forced to go even lower budget at QB than I did before, which lands me with a pair of Big Ten QBs in Jake Rudock and CJ Beathard, whose teams are slated for 31 and 27 respectively and who I think can return good bang for their buck. As I already have a share of Iowa´s top receiver, I am skipping a Beathard stack and pairing Rudock with Jake Butt, who appears to be equally prioritized in the offense compared to the higher-priced Amarah Darboh. At RB, I am interested in the Rutgers´ starter Paul James, who should see plenty of action on a rainy day in NJ where his team is slated for 32+ points against Wazzu. Another RB I really like, and who drew rave reviews in week 1 is Minnesota´s Rodney Smith. Through two lineups I have no shares of Ohio State´s offense, so I will slide Braxton Miller in here. I think that offense will be dominant again this week and it wouldn´t surprise me if Miller contributed in the run, pass and receiving game. Sticking with a theme from last lineup, I am getting some exposure to the GT offense in the form of Marcus Marshall. Last roster spot. $3500 left. Hunter Henry from Arkansas gets the call. Two TEs in one lineup, that might be dumb. Also, I have two pieces of the Arkansas offense now.

For time sake, I am just going to insert the rest of my 5050 lineups here.

cfx week 2 5050 lineup 7 cfx week 2 5050 lineups 2-3 cfx week 2 5050 lineups 4-6


To the opposite side of the coin, I want to build these lineups to be as high variance as possible and will be filling both Flex positions with wideouts.

Having figured out that there aren´t many dirt cheap WR options that I like, I know I need to keep my QB and RB spending in check. Right off the bat, that knocks out the top options at each position. Same as before, I really like QB Chad Kelly and RB Wayne Gallman as best-of-tier-2 options. So they are in first. News just broke that Corey Clement is out today, so I am rolling with Taiwan Deal, who might get the Kenyan Drake treatment in the sense that he could be the 1b RB early, but then get extended action through the last three quarters. For my second QB, it comes down to Brandon Allen and Jake Rudock as two options I like in a similar projection range, however because Allen is $1900 more expensive, I go with Rudock.

To the pass catchers and I immediately spring for Treadwell and Darboh, as I think they are the highest-upside pass catchers for both QBs. As I mentioned before, I think Alabama WR Robert Foster could have a big day, so he gets selected too. With $9200 to split between my final two Flex spots, and knowing I don´t have a minimum salary player left to use, I opt for OSU´s Michael Thomas for $5200. Again, I think the Buckeyes will score plenty of points and it wouldn´t surprise me if Thomas was the forgotten man by the defense. Finally, of the $4000 and under WR crowd, I am drawn to Quenton Bundrage going against Iowa. Hunter Henry got consideration here too.

My second tournament lineup is going to be a spin off of the first, swapping in a few players I mentioned and switching a stack.

cfx week 2 tourney lineups


Many of the same names you have seen before. The goal here though was to make sure I had WR-RB in the flex in both lineups.

cfx week 2 multiplier lineups

Total Shares of Players

No time for this right now. Will follow up next week.

Knee jerk reaction is that maybe I have too much of Chad Kelly or Wayne Gallman.

Alright, so now here is the fun part… you get to tell me where you agree or disagree with my thought process, player selection, etc., so go ahead and leave a comment.

Jon Moore is a contributor at RotoViz and a cohost of Rotoviz Radio – A Fantasy Football Podcast.  Continue this conversation with him on TwitterGoogle+ or Facebook.

College Football DFS Diary – September 5 2015

Guy)  What the hell are you doing?

Fletcher)  Iiimmm kicking my asssss! Do you mind?

Fresh off the ass-kicking I took with my September 3 college football DFS plays, I am back at it again for the Saturday slate. In case you missed it, I went 0-fer, which means you did not miss much.

That said, Thursdays mini-debacle made me realize how thorough I need to be if I am going to make all my plays public, so todays effort was much greater, which will hopefully lead to better results.

(Disclaimer – this Spanish language keyboard I am using does not have, or I cannot figure out how to produce, an apostrophe or a colon… so thanks in advance for not judging my punctuation errors.)

Revisiting the purpose of this college football DFS diary, I am documenting all of my plays for both college and NFL – and the thought processes that went into every lineup – so that I can track my record as I go, have more skin in the game, and hopefully help everyone involved learn more about how to succeed in DFS.

Based on the bankroll rules I set for myself in the initial post of this series my week one budget is $10 and will be split between the various formats as follows…

Tournaments – $1 (thank goodness for quarter tourneys)

Multipliers – $2

50-50s – $7

All of these contests are being played at DraftKings, which has become my preferred platform in recent years. If you want to support my work and get a sign-up bonus, join DraftKings through this link.

None of this should be construed as advice for how to build your DFS teams.


Today´s Allocation of Weekly Budget – $0.75 ($0.25 spent on Thursday)

Self reminder – the name of the game in tournament play is volatility. Go big or go home.



Of the nine relevant teams who are expected to surpass 40 points, only three of them have a points-share under 80%. What I mean by point-share is, how much of the game total is the favored-team expected to score. For instance, Missouri is expected to score 48 of the 54 points (89%) in their contest against SE Missouri, which I interpret to mean that the game is going to be ugly and Maty Mauk wont play a full game… not what I want for my DFS lineup. Many of the projected top-scoring teams are in this same situation. The three that arent are

Washington State – 72% point-share (Luke Falk)

Tennessee – 65% share (Josh Dobbs)

Texas Tech – 62% (presumably Patrick Mahomes, but we are not 100% clear)

To be clear, I am experimenting with this point share concept. I dont have concrete evidence on it yet, but that is the whole point of this exercise – to try things, learn from them and improve.

To start off the lineup, I am selecting Josh Dobbs ($9600) because I buy into the expectation that his team will score plenty, but the game will be relatively competitive, meaning he will play the whole way.

Between Falk and Mahomes (presumably) I am a little worried about the weather outlook for Wazzus game, which calls for 40% chance of rain. I also do not like that Falk ($9600) is $1200 more expensive, which would create budget constraints very quickly. I am going to put Mahomes ($8400) into my lineup and see how far I can get. If things do not fit together, or if Mahomes does not start, my fallback option is Dane Evans ($6700) from Tulsa, who is a veteran QB with two intriguing weapons starting his first game in a new, Baylor-like pass-heavy system.


Looking for volatility, I am going to try to pair my quarterbacks with one of their wide receivers with the hopes that a single play could net my DFS team two touchdowns.

For Tennessee, I see that their top receiver from last year has been suspended for this opening game and that their fourth-most targeted receiver from last year is out with an injury. Digging a little deeper, I see that two of the starters listed for this game, Josh Malone (sophomore 5-star recruit who was the third-most targeted receiver last year) and Jauan Jennings (freshman dual-threat QB recruit who switched to WR in the spring to get more playing time and won the slot job over a senior) are priced at the minimum salary of $3000. Because I will make multiple tournament lineups, I will try Malone first and Jennings later. I also probably have the option of putting them both in a lineup if I really want to bet on the Vols having a big game.

Looking to Texas Tech, they return their most-targeted option from 2014, Jakeem Grant ($7900), who saw 20.7% of the team targets while operating from his H position. Meanwhile, the second-most targeted position from last year (19.2%), the Y, has a new starter in the form of Ian Sadler ($4700). After these two interior receiver positions, the next-most targeted receivers saw 10% fewer targets last year. Considering the $3200 price differential, I am going to select Sadler as my stack with Mahomes.


Switching gears to the running game, I want to find the intersection of good OLine, high point total and reasonable price. Since I am constantly glued to my Phil Steele magazine, I check out his unit rankings to see which of the best OLs are at my disposal today. All of these are among his top 25 units… Georgia, Arkansas, Stanford, UCLA, Auburn, Texas Tech, Mississippi, Indiana, Missouri, Bolwing Green. Obviously it would be great to get Nick Chubb (Georgia) or Alex Collins (Arkansas) but their $9000+ price tags would mean my final four roster spots would have to be acquired with less than $3800 per pick.

Meanwhile, Stanford RB Christian McCaffrey can be had for half their price and steps into a great situation after being a meaningful, multi-faceted contributor last year. Mix in the fact that Northwestern is starting a freshman QB and I can envision the Cardinal possessing the ball extensively and feeding McCaffrey. I am taking McCaffrey ($4800).

I have $19,500 for one RB, one WR and two flex. One player who I want to kick the tires on is Indiana RB Jordan Howard. He is one of my top devy runners and is making his debut for IU after transfering from UAB. IU is expected to score about 36 points with about 63% point-share, meaning the game should be reasonably close, but IU should be playing from ahead. I can envision Howard having a breakout game. I am buying for $7500.

Just kidding… that is going to make it tough for me to fill out my roster at $4000 per pop over the final three positions. Throwing Howard back and will look in the $5500 or less range.

Sony Michel, maybe as a hedge on Nick Chubb getting pulled early?

One game that has kind of a sneaky-high point total, with a clear lead-runner and some quarterback tumult is Maryland – Richmond. Also, it has a 30% chance of rain. Brandon Ross can be had for $4200 with the expectation that he will be Marylands top offensive threat on a day where they are expected to score 39. Lets try this.

For my last receiver spot, I am going back to the Tulsa – FAU game I mentioned earlier, which has a 67 point total and, for Tulsa, a team total of 36. Remember, if Mahomes does not start I am using Dane Evans from Tulsa, so using a Tulsa receiver here essentially would guarantee me that I have a stack regardless of which QB plays… and no matter what I like Ian Sadler in my lineup. Keevan Lucas ($7800) would be a bonus, but he is too expensive. Im going to roll with the oversized, and finally healthy, Keyarris Garrett instead for $5200.

Down to my flex spots and $10,100 remaining, I want to try to find the best upside I can. I remember Jon Bales saying once that everyone in your tournament lineup should have a reasonable chance of scoring two touchdowns in that game. Thats the mindset I must use for these last spots.

One guy who I think fits that bill is Jon Hilliman from Boston College. The Eagles are breaking in a new QB and and 4 new offensive lineman, but the team total is 37? Not sure how that works, but I am pretty sure it implies a big day for Hilliman. I will take the bait for $6900.

$3200 left and I know I have Jauan Jennings there at $3000 if I need him. Scrolling frantically through the bottom of the barrell to see if any starters have been misvalued…

AHA! This could be worth a dice roll. Greg Howell from FAU is the newly minted 1A starter. Maybe he doesnt get every carry, but the majority could be good enough. According to Phil Steele, Tulsa has one of the worst defensive lines and defenses in the AAC. FAU has the 6th best OL in CUSA. Its not pretty, but maybe? With a team total set for 31, I will take the touches and hope for the best.


Wow, that got carried away… I will keep these much shorter moving forward


Next lineup is going to be close to this one, but with a few tweaks.

Right off the bat, Josh Dobbs is going in again, but this time paired with Jauan Jennings. Realizing the limits of the Tulsa defense, I want to give FAU QB Jaquez Johnson ($6200) a try given his dual threat ability and past performance. As far as I can tell, his most trusted remaining receiver with the loss of Lucky Whitehead is Jenson Stoshak ($4400), so that will be my stack there.

I mentioned before that I wanted to get Indiana RB Jordan Howard in a lineup ($7500) which I prioritized here due to the scores he has received in my prospect evaluation system, his quality offensive line, and the high team total. Same as last time, RB Christian McCaffrey is getting the call here, as is TTU WR Ian Sadler. That gets us to the Flex spots wih $9800 left. Because I feel good about the decisions made with the last lineup, I am sticking with Brandon Ross from Maryland. With $5100 remaining, I decided that the upside of Sony Michel was the best value at that point with the notion that he will get some touches while Chubb is in the game and then all of the touches for a period in the early second half. Even though he is a backup, a line of 100+ yards and two touchdowns would not surprise me.



No Josh Dobbs at QB this time, however Dane Evans gets proactively played here, instead of the backup treatment he got in tournament lineup 1. He gets stacked with top target Keevan Lucas. For my second QB, with the goal of creating variance, I went with unknown CJ Beathard who has the Iowa starting job and strong team total to support a nice debut for him. For better or worse, it was one of the Vegas lines that stood out like, what do they know that I dont, and I decided to ride their coattails. He gets stacked with Iowas most proven receiving commodity, Tevaun Smith. Maybe I am getting lazy here, but McCaffrey and Ross just create so much flexibility due to their low price and their strong likelihood of a high touch count. I am sure I will curse this decision on Monday. Oh well.

As a sort of hedge against not having any of the Tennessee passing offense, I really wanted to get Jalen Hurd, their lead RB, so he went in the Flex. Down to $8700, I went looking for a cheap boom-bust pass catcher and found the phenom Hunter Henry. He is Arkansas second favorite target and their best touchdown threat. Would it be surprising if UTEP hung around long enough to activate the Arkansas pass game? Finally, knowing I had a few cheap options in my back pocket, I went looking for a cheap RB. Algernon Brown from BYU fit the bill as the replacement for Jamaal Williams. Taysom Hill should draw a ton of attention and, in expected windy conditions, I could see Brown receiving a large number of carries.



Today´s Allocation of Weekly Budget – $1 ($1 spent on Thursday)

Feeling like I have a good sense of floor and upside, I want to fill this roster with high-floor high-upside players.

Maybe I am falling into a trap here, but so many factors point toward a good outing for Dane Evans, so I am locking him in with his main guy Keevan Lucas. Mixing things up, I am rolling out Auburn QB Jeremy Johnson. Although the Auburn team total isnt spectacular at 34, playing Johnson is kind of a hedge against all the uncertainty of the offense, with the Duke Williams playing time issue and the unknown running back split. No stack for JJ.

Back at it with Hilliman and McCaffrey at RB. Also, you will see that my flex plays were both running backs I have used before. (Maybe I get too fixated on certain games and players and dont diversify enough?)

One game I havent touched yet, but features a 36 point team total is UCLA – Virginia. Even though we dont know who UCLAs passer will be, his top target will certainly be Jordan Payton. Finally, I circle back on Tennessee WR Jauan Jennings, who I feel might have a slightly higher floor than his bargain brother Josh Malone. Jennings it is.
cfx multiplier


Today´s Allocation of Weekly Budget – $4 ($3 spent on Saturday)
Alright, I am out of gas on the writeups. Here are the 50-50 lineups I am using.

5050 cfx 1

5050 cfx 2

5050 cfx 3

5050 cfx 4

Total Shares of Players (8 possible lineups)


Josh Dobbs – 4

Patrick Mahomes – 2

C.J. Beathard – 2

Dane Evans – 2

Jeremy Johnson – 2

Kevin Hogan – 1

Matt Johnson – 1

Tommy Armstrong – 1

Jaquez Johnson – 1 (I thought I played him more than this. Guess I just hated the stack options)


Brandon Ross – 8  (oh shit! got carried away – or lazy – with this)

Christian McCaffrey – 5

Jon Hilliman – 4

Greg Howell – 3

Jordan Howard – 3

Jalen Hurd – 3

Algernon Brown – 2

Wayne Gallman – 1

Jaylen Walton – 1

Sony Michel – 1


Ian Sadler – 5

Jauan Jennings – 3

Josh Malone – 2

Keyarris Garrett – 2

Keevan Lucas – 2

Hunter Henry – 2

Roger Lewis – 2

Jordan Westerkamp – 2

Jenson Stoshak – 1

Tevaun Smith – 1

Jordan Payton – 1

DaeSean Hamilton – 1

Dan Vitale – 1

In doing this count and looking back through my rosters, I realized that I have a reliance on RBs in the flex position. Not sure if that is good or bad, just a thing to monitor.

Alright, so now here is the fun part… you get to tell me where you agree or disagree with my thought process, player selection, etc., so go ahead and leave a comment.

Jon Moore is a contributor at RotoViz and a cohost of Rotoviz Radio – A Fantasy Football Podcast.  Continue this conversation with him on TwitterGoogle+ or Facebook.

College Football DFS Diary – September 3 2015

¨Merry Christmas, Carl!

– Frank W. Abignale Jr. in Catch Me If You Can, one of my all-time favorite movies

What a day! College Football is back… and I´m in Argentina where I probably will get to watch zero of it. We´ll see though.

In celebration of the day and my committment to expanding into the college football DFS world, I´m submitting this as entry #1 of my college football DFS diary. Inspired by the transparency of some of the professional podcasters I´ve been listening to, who literally publish a monthly report with full detail of their financial matters, I´m keeping this log to document the plays I make, why I make them and the financial outcomes that follow.

Because times are little tight after four months of travel without a source of income (except for a Gus Johnson article), I´m starting the season with $100 in my CFB budget. FYI, I´ll be doing this same thing for NFL, also with $100. I hope that the relatively small numbers that ensue won´t dissuade you from engaging with me in the process of weekly improvement.

Speaking of finances, one of the key themes that comes up over and over again in DFS, poker, sports betting and life (but under the name ¨budget¨) is bankroll management. In episode 10 of Rotoviz Radio the Millionaire Maker winner Drew Dinkmeyer outlined his strategy for management which goes something like this…

play 10% of your bankroll each week

of that amount, put 70% into 50-50s…

20% into multipliers…

and 10% into tournaments.

As tempting as it´s going to be to break that rule and swing for the fences, I´m committing to the process to see how I can grow my bankroll throughout the season. If I´m being honest with myself, I know that downside management is as important as upside potential.

With that said, here´s a snapshot of my week one budget (I know a colon should go right here, but the puncuation is different on a Spanish-language keyboard, so just be patient with me. Thanks.)

Week 1 Allocation – $10

Tournaments – $1

Multipliers – $2

50-50s – $7

All of these contests are being played at DraftKings, which has become my preferred platform in recent years. If you want to support my work and get a sign-up bonus, join DraftKings through this link.

None of this should be construed as advice for how to build your DFS teams. The intentions of this recurring blog are to document my plays & processes ahead of time so that I can learn from them each week and grow as a player.


Today´s Allocation of Weekly Budget – $0.25 ($0.75 on Saturday)


The three teams expected to score the most points tonight are Arizona (Anu Solomon), Oklahoma State (Mason Rudolph) and TCU (Trevone Boykin). I´m staying away from Anu in tournaments because Arizona is expected to score 70% of the points in that game, which could mean an early exit for such a valuable player. For OK State, I´ll get my exposure to them in the run game, but don´t want Rudolph because of the strong possibility of rain. Finally, Boykin is such a household name that I feel many people will take him and I need to create separation in a tournament setting.

The first QB I selected was Connor Mitch from South Carolina, which is expected to be the fourth-highest scoring team of the night. Playing in good weather conditions against a North Carolina team that ranks as Phil Steele´s fourth worst DLine in the ACC, worst LB core and fifth-worst DBs, I´ll take my chance on Mitch to have a solid debut.

From here, there´s a strong cluster of team point totals in the 29-32 range including…

WKU, who is possibly without their top returning receiver and, I think, will not possess the ball that much

Ohio, who I expect to run the ball a ton, but more on that in a minute

UNC, while I like Marquise Williams, I don´t like the matchup against SC and I feel his premium price will be constraining

Vandy, who I expect to run the ball a ton, but more on that in a minute

UCF, strong possibility of rain

Duke, which is where I´ll pull my second QB, Thomas Sirk. Last year Sirk was a dual-threat, redzone specialist QB who inherits the full time job this year. His matchup is relatively favorable as a Power 5 QB taking on a smaller conference defense, albeit on the road (in a dome). Also, I´m a little more comfortable with him being a ¨new starter¨since he has seen adequate game action in the past.

Oklahoma State has the second-highest team total of the night, but the weather in Mt. Pleasant calls for a 48% chance of rain, so I´m thinking that the passing game will suffer a bit. Moreover, it has been my observation that in early season Power 5 vs. small conference games, the line play is where the difference shows up. Chris Carson is a highly touted JUCO transfer and I´m going to lean on him to breakthrough in his debut. I was tempted to play Rennie Childs, who is his backup and may thrive in mop up duty.

Vanderbilt, which I mentioned a minute ago, has a new OC that is expected to heavily feature the RB. Ralph Webb is clearly that guy and I expect him to have a strong night as Vandy attempts to assert themselves in a new regime and keep the ball away from a strong WKU offense.

For the tournament setting, I wanted to stack my quarterbacks with wide receivers from their team. For South Carolina, I was tempted to go with Pharoh Cooper, but his premium price would have created constraints elsewhere. Instead I picked Deebo Samuel, who is the #2 option and should benefit from UNC´s efforts to slow his dynamic counterpart, Cooper.

With Duke, they appear to be operating with two established receivers Johnell Barnes and Max McCaffrey – and many question marks behind them. In this instance, I opted for Max McCaffrey who is $500 cheaper, more experienced and bigger. Maybe those are trivial, but in a situation where it´s not obvious that one is preferred, why not take the guy that has those things going for him?

My third WR, who I was put onto by Dan Hindery, is David Ungerer from Idaho. Ungerer has a minimum salary (at this point I have $9,700 left and one WR position and one Flex to fill) and is expected to be one Idaho´s favorite pass catchers in the game. He has drawn positive reviews all summer for his mental and physical maturation and was trusted by the coaching staff last year to be their top punt returner as a freshman. I´ll kick the tires.

Last year Ohio ran the ball 47 times in their game vs. Idaho to the tune of 5+ yards per carry. According to Phil Steele, Ohio has the third-best OLine in the MAC, compared to Idaho having the third-worst DLine in the Sun Belt. With the sixth-highest team total of the night, in what should be a relatively close game, I´m happy to bet on A.J. Oullette to get plenty of touches. I also like that this is probably the most obscure game of the night.

The last roster spot I filled was with William Stanback from UCF, whose game I have written about before, and who is expected to receive the lion´s share of carries for a run-heavy team. With rain in the forecast and 29 points expected for his team, it wouldn´t surprise me if Stanback found the end zone multiple times.


Today´s Allocation of Weekly Budget – $1 ($1 on Saturday)


For the same reasons as before, I went with Connor Mitch, but this time I paired him with Marquise Williams, who he´ll be playing against tonight. Of the five passers priced over $8,000, Williams is the one for whom I´m most willing to pay. The idea here is that I´ve got a little higher floor than the tournament lineup, but still some nice upside for my money, especially if this game turns into a back-and-forth contest.

Again, I´m rolling with Ralph Webb, but this time pairing him with Michigan´s De´Veon Smith, who will be the starter tonight against Utah. While I don´t love the matchup, I expect the game to a slug fest with a heavy dose of running, which I think bodes well for Smith.

Deebo Samuel is again my pairing with Connor Mitch, but this time it´s more forced due to budget constraints from the Marquise Williams expenditure. Speaking of Williams, I´m pairing him with Ryan Switzer, who is the second most expensive Tar Heel, but one who I slightly prefer due to his utilization and the PPR scoring. At this point I´m getting pretty tight on my budget and WKU´s Antwane Grant could be a great value, especially if top returning receiver Jared Dangerfield misses the game.

As I previously mentioned, I´m intrigued by the OK State run game tonight, but this time I roll with Rennie Childs, who could easily get as many touches as Chris Carson, but comes at a discounted price. Finally, Ty Slanina offers some exposure to the TCU pass game as their slot receiver. Until a usage pattern becomes more established for this season, I don´t see a reason why, on this night, Slanina couldn´t be the team´s leading receiver, but comes at the third-highest price point.


Today´s Allocation of Weekly Budget – $3 ($4 on Saturday)

Lineup 1


Shifting to a mindset of higher-floor players, I started this off with Marquise Williams at QB because of his dual threat ability. RB Aaron Green followed, as he´s a way to get exposure to the TCU offense without having to guess on receivers, or pay top dollar for Trevone Boykin. Then, Ralph Webb, because I just can´t get away from the idea that tonight is an ¨attitude game¨ for a veteran Vandy line/team after a tough 2014. Thomas Sirk again shows up as I like his dual-threat ability. Looking for a little volatility, I added pass catchers for both QBs in the form of Johnell Barnes (Duke) and Ryan Switzer (UNC). RB De´Veon Smith again makes an appearance as, what looks to be, a cheap source of touches. At this point, I have $7,300 left and two spots to fill. I fall back on David Ungerer (this dude is going to kill me or make me look awesome) because he´s cheap and should get targets in a reasonably competitive, indoor game. Finally, with $4,200 left I went with tight end phenom, Jonnu Smith. FIU is only expected to score 16 points as a team, but I feel like Jonnu is probably the best bet to score a touchdown from that offense and should receive ample targets.

Lineup 2


With the highest team total of the night, I couldn´t help but get a share of Anu Solomon from Arizona. Here´s hoping that game doesn´t get ugly early leading to him playing for only a half. The RB tandem is the same as before, as are pass catchers Ungerer and Jonnu. As I mentioned before, Antwane Grant should be a solid play either way, but with even more upside if Dangerfield is out. The final three spots I filled were with Tanner Lee, a second year QB from Tulane, who was about as cheap as I could get. That´s what I get for spending elsewhere. Then, I really wanted to get A.J. Ouellette in my lineup again, as I like his floor. Finally, for some UNC passing game exposure, I added WR Mack Hollins.

Lineup 3


Realizing that I still haven´t touched two of the marquee players on the board, I started this lineup off with Trevone Boykin and Devontae Booker. Because I´m overloaded with Ralph Webb, I got away from him here in favor of AJ Ouellette. Three players in and I´m already feeling crunched on my budget. I immediately went with Grant, Jonnu and Ungerer since I like them all okay and knew they could cheaply get me to my flex spots. Kolby Listenbee provided some upside volatility paired with Boykin. Finally, De´Veon Smith was a good option for the remaining dollars I had.

One last thing

Because I had some change left in my account for whatever reason, I entered the following lineup into a Millionaire Maker sattelite tournament for $0.25 as well as a free roll game. I think I´ve covered all the players at this point, except for maybe Cayleb Jones, who is Arizona´s top target and would seem like the best candidate to blow up in an Anu Solomon stack.

(I just realized that I said in the intro that I was going to avoid Anu in tournaments. I made this lineup before I wrote that and don´t feel like changing things at this point).


Total Shares of Players (6 possible lineups)

Thomas Sirk – 3

Connor Mitch – 2

Marquise Williams – 2

Anu Solomon – 2

Tanner Lee – 2

Trevone Boykin – 1

Ralph Webb – 5

A.J. Oullette – 3

De´Veon Smith – 3

Aaron Green – 3

Chris Carson – 1

William Stanback – 1

Rennie Childs – 1

Devontae Booker – 1

David Ungerer –  5

Antwane Grant – 4

Ryan Switzer – 3

Jonnu Smith – 3

Max McCaffrey – 2

Deebo Samuel – 2

Ty Slanina – 1

Johnell Barnes – 1

Mack Hollins – 1

Kolby Listenbee – 1

Cayleb Jones – 1

Alright, so now here is the fun part… you get to tell me where you agree or disagree with my thought process, player selection, etc., so go ahead and leave a comment.

Jon Moore is a contributor at RotoViz and a cohost of Rotoviz Radio – A Fantasy Football Podcast.  Continue this conversation with him on TwitterGoogle+ or Facebook.