If I had to select one specific aspect of my DFS process that has assisted me the most in winning multiple large field GPP Draftkings contests it would be diversification. What do I mean by diversification as it relates to lineup construction? Before I answer that question, let's take a quick look at my definition of diversification and why I believe it has been an essential factor in my success with large field GPP contests on Draftkings.
For me, the definition for diversification in the DFS space means investing your bankroll across a variety of DFS contests to ensure that you are not over exposed to negative outcomes. In my opinion, by spreading your funds among multiple contests you are protecting your bankroll in a responsible and effective way. Remember, our long-term profitability is our number one goal.
Now that we have a basic understanding of diversification with respect to an overriding high level strategy for playing, let's shift our focus to the diversification of lineup construction for a specific Draftkings NFL Showdown (single game) contest using the ASL optimizer.
Note: I also utilize diversification in my player selection process for large field Draftkings GPP tournaments. I will elaborate on how and why I use diversification in this process later in the article.
Let's review the rules for the Draftkings Showdown (single game) contest, which are rather simple. You have $50,000 to utilize on five players from either team. However, one of those players will be designated as your team captain. The Draftkings accumulates 1.5 times the standard fantasy points value. The captain costs 1.5 times the cost of that player at the flex position. The remaining four players in your lineup will receive the standard Draftkings points value.
Now that we have reviewed the rules for the Draftkings NFL Showdown (single game) contest let's evaluate a specific Draftkings NFL Showdown contest featuring the Las Vegas Raiders and the New York Jets.
For me, the most important initial aspect of creating lineups is evaluating potential captain candidates. Why? Captains receive 1.5 times the standard flex points.
Upon reviewing the appropriate ASL Optimizer player projection data, the two players that I am focusing on the most at captain are Breece Hall and Josh Jacobs. Why? Breece Hall continues to see a ton of usage in the New York Jets offense. Last week, Breece Hall carried the football 16 times and received four targets from Jets quarterback Zack Wilson.
The reason I like Raiders running back Josh Jacobs more than the high-priced Jets wide receiver Davante Adams at captain as I think the New York Jets run defense is far more vulnerable to the opponent than the secondary. Having stated that, I anticipate that the Raiders will attempt to run the football early and often in this game.
Now that I have determined my two favorite captains I will access the ASL optimizer’s Pro Set Options screen to assign max and min exposure percentages. The image below illustrates how I can isolate ownership percentages using the Pro Set Options tab:
Specifically I am setting max exposure on Breece Hall to be used in no more than 40% of my lineups and no less than 20% of my lineups.
Next up I am going to elaborate on diversification as it relates to the rest of my lineup construction. Why? I want to better differentiated lineups from vast majority of the field in the contest. By doing so, I better my chances of winning first place alone. After all, nobody wants to win a large field Draftkings contest only to split the winnings 25 ways due to a tie.
How do I diversify you may ask? I access the Diversity portion of the Set Pro Options tools. The Diversity tab presented below allows the user to better differentiate a lineup from others by utilizing a scale from 1-100. As you can see below, I turned on the auto-diversity bonus and set a 20% diversity bonus for overall diversity for my build.
The ASL Optimizer is unique. It doesn't just create a list of N number of lineups, but it iteratively refines the whole list of lineups as a single set until it can't make any more improvements to the set. When the auto-diversity bonus is turned on then as the Optimizer runs its iterations of improvements, it will evaluate if a player is in any other of the lineups that it is building. If a player is not in any of the other lineups it adds the 20% bonus to that player's fantasy point projection. For example, if a player is projected to earn 10 fantasy points, and that player is not in any other lineup, then with the 20% bonus, the player will be treated as if it is projected to earn 12 fantasy points (20% more than 10 fantasy points). This way we are not forcing diversity, but we are simply preferring the players that borderline didn't get consideration to be placed in a lineup by a small margin. This way you still get top projected players. The more we increase the bonus, the greater our lineup diversity will be, but the lower the projected fantasy points will be of the players that get inserted.
Now that I have entered the data, I request the optimizer to provide 20 lineups for a Draftkings large field GPP contest. I obtained the 20 lineups via a CSV and accessed the Draftkings site. I entered the CSV and now I am ready to watch the game!
Here we are the morning after the game. How did I do? As shown below, my best lineup finished 59th out of 8,917 entries.
The contest was a 20 entry maximum Draftkings dime contest. First prize was $100. In total, I spent only $2.00 to enter and won a total of $3.26 back. The image below shows the Draftkings scattergram of my results:
What did we learn? Well, my belief that Josh Jacobs or Breece Hall were likely captain candidates was not accurate. Fortunately for me, the diversity setting of the ASL optimizer produced lineups with Garrett Wilson at captain. The positive I can take here is I increased my bank roll and my best lineup certainly had a legitimate shot of winning this Draftkings contest. That is all we can ask for in DFS. Until next time, good luck!