The Daily Grind, DFS, Streaming, and More for July 22


  1. Increasingly Competitive DFS
  2. The Daily Grind Invitational and Leaderboard
  3. Daily DFS
  4. SaberSim Observations
  5. Tomorrow’s Targets
  6. Factor Grid

1. Increasingly Competitive DFS

A DFS insider recently told me that only nine percent of participants are profitable. The rate for baseball is roughly the same. Part of the challenge is increasing quality of competition in GPPs. Many users like me prefer GPPs for the lottery nature of the game. Spike a good day and you’ve paid for years of DFS play all at once. I’m still living off three wins in 2014. At my current rate of losing – about $2.50 per week since the start of 2015 – my 2014 winnings will fund me for more than the next decade. In short, it’s nice to win GPPs.

I only play GPPs. My philosophy has always been to been to break even between big scores. Given that I’ve gone so long without a big score, it may be time to change philosophies. That’s a topic for another day. Today I’d like to focus on the nine percent because that’s a serious problem for the industry. DFS isn’t meant to be the “everybody wins” crane game, but it should give more of its users a taste of victory.

This can be easily accomplished on a small scale. Yesterday I scored a 151.9 with my FanDuel lineups – equivalent to about 47 points in the old format. A 47 point night was roughly 75 percent likely to cash last year. It was over 80 percent in 2014. This season, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve missed the money with similar point totals. Last night, I fell over 10 points shy of cashing in the Squeeze. Want more users to be happy? Pay more spots.

The $3 Squeeze carried a top prize of $12,500. The top six spots are worth $30,000 combined. A total of 48,169 users participated and 9,605 users cashed – a hair under 20 percent of the field. Just by leeching $4,000 from the top six spots, FanDuel could add 890 prizes of $4.50. That pays 21.8 percent of the field and lowers the cash cutoff from 162.2 points to 159.5.

Paying 22 percent of the field wouldn’t have put me in the money last night. However, it would have positively reinforced more users who put together strong, successful lineups and still came up short. The top prize doesn’t need to be $12,500 for a $3 contest. People will still be thrilled to take home $8,500 for a $3 entry.

The sites do need to think about finding ways for more users to be profitable. The DFS industry can’t afford to treat their customers as if they’re in a casino. Most players are consistent users. The supply of users is extremely finite. When a user quits because they determine they’re unlikely to win, they’re gone for good.

2. The Daily Grind Invitational and Leaderboard

The TDG Invitational doesn’t offer big wins like a GPP, but they are substantially easier to win. Probably has something to do with the 20-user cap, huh? Yesterday, four of the six winners would not have cashed in the Squeeze. Fourseasons was the big winner with the help of Xander Bogaerts, Carlos Gonzalez, Mookie Betts, and Corey Dickerson. Congrats. The leaderboard is updated.

We’ll be playing on FanDuel again. Here’s the link.

3. Daily DFS 

Yesterday’s Grind

The Cubs aren’t home today which means all 15 games are at night. Have I ever mentioned how much I dislike these mega contests. Big evenings like this ensure that the GPPs are purely luck-based. I like for a whiff of skill to be involved.

Moving along, the ace of the slate is Madison Bumgarner at Yankee Stadium. It’s not a bad matchup, but I’m always wary of the stadium. He’s opposed by the second most expensive pitcher, Masahiro Tanaka.

Yu Darvish will make his latest attempt to throw more than five plus innings. Darvish has produced strong point totals despite his short outings. He has monster performance potential if he can complete seven frames. The Royals are a mixed matchup since they aren’t a big strikeout team.

Lance McCullers versus Matt Shoemaker promises to be a compelling game. McCullers mostly produces short but usable outings while Shoemaker is more likely to toss a complete game. Shoemaker’s gotten plenty of work against the Astros recently with point totals of 64, 34, and 36.

Brandon McCarthy has one of the better pitcher parks on his side tonight. The St. Louis offense is a challenging assignment. The Dodgers have kept McCarthy to short outings despite his success. It might be a good way to use him in general since he’s usually homer prone.

Others to consider include Gerrit Cole at Philadelphia, Michael Fulmer at U.S. Cellular Field, Trever Bauer visiting Baltimore, and Tanner Roark hosting the Padres. You have a lot of quality options tonight.

Stack Targets: Dylan Bundy, Jacob Turner, Zach Eflin, Kyle Gibson, Sean Manaea, Luis PErdomo, Eduardo Rodriguez, Dan Straily, James Paxton, Archie Bradley, Logan Verritt, Jon Gray, Julio Teheran

4. SaberSim Observations

Cole is the top rated arm per SaberSim. I’m not quite ready to jump back on the bandwagon for DFS – even with the tasty matchup. Darvish, Danny Duffy, Jason Hammel, and MadBum round out the top five.

A Coors game, Cubs, Red Sox, Twins, Indians, and Blue Jays are among the top stacking options according to our favorite tool.

5. Tomorrow’s Targets 

Pitchers to Start: People ask me if they can use Tyler Anderson at Coors Field. After all, he has a solid ERA with 8.60 K/9 and 2.08 BB/9 at home. On the road, his strikeout rate is only 4.63 K/9. There’s no such thing as a pitcher who is better at Coors Field. What we’re seeing is small sample flukiness. In general, you should continue to avoid Anderson at Coors.

Tomorrow is an exception. The Braves lineup is terrible – this is not news. They have a 73 wRC+ versus left-handed pitching. One of their best lefty bashers is on the disabled list. Anderson may cruise through this one.

Also consider: Tyler Glasnow, Collin McHugh, Mike Leake

Pitchers to Exploit: Although Keyvius Sampson has one of my favorite names in the sport, he’s not a usable pitcher. Sampson’s a fly ball guy with a home run problem and minus command. The Diamondbacks should tee off at Sea Level Coors Field.

Also consider: Ivan Nova, Edwin Jackson, Ricky Nolasco, Matt Boyd, Jered Weaver, Yordano Ventura, Matt Wisler, Drew Smyly, Kendall Graveman

Hitters (power): Brandon Drury is filling an important role in the Diamondbacks lineup. He bats either fifth or sixth. With Sampson on the bump and Great American Ballpark in play, Drury is a solid bet for a home run.

Also consider: Danny Valencia, Ryon Healy, Brad Miller, Jeff Francoeur, Adonis Garcia, Preston Tucker, Melky Cabrera, Avisail Garcia, Pedro Alvarez, Seth Smith, Adam Lind, Ezequiel Carrera

Hitters (speed): Try a couple Giants – either Denard Span or Angel Pagan – versus crappy Ivan Nova. In addition to stolen base potetial, they’re both a fringe power source at homer friendly Yankee Stadium.

Also consider: Jose Peraza, Michael Bourn, Tim Anderson, Ben Revere, Trea Turner

6. The Factor Grid

The table below indicates which stadiums have the best conditions for hitters today. The color coding is a classic stoplight where green equals go for hitters. The weather conditions are from SI Weather’s home run app. A 10/10 means great atmospheric conditions for home runs. A 1/10 means lousy atmospheric conditions.

Check out all the hitters parks. Some good pitcher venues too.

The Link.

This post is not brought to you by any DFS platform. The current author is quite pleased to present a DFS ad free environment. 

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Melvin Hendrix
Melvin Hendrix

There is no question that DFS Managers need to rethink their philosophy on prize payouts. Unfortunately, I don’t think that will happen immediately, as it should, since too many insiders came into DFS from gambling backgrounds and DO treat DFS like a casino since they are the ones who profit. Like many, I have come up short many times with competitive lineups over 170+ points containing one disappointing play. Worse are lineups scoring well with over 200 points, but which receive a minimal payout. Most of us are involved for the entertainment value, but that does not mean we want to keep getting fleeced.