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100 Fantasy Football Tips in 100 Days, Day 73: The Little Things

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At DraftKings, I wrote about why the best daily fantasy players pay attention to the little things.

Al_Smizzle’s $1 Million Opportunity

When I wrote my last book on how pros win playing daily fantasy sports, I spoke with Al_Smizzle about his second-place finish in DraftKings’ 2013 Fantasy Football Championship. Smizzle won $350k for the effort, but he put himself in position to win the thing because of one small little roster construction trick.

Heading into the Monday night game, Smizzle was down fewer than two points on bundafever, and the two users were basically the only options to win the tournament, each with one player to go. Bundafever had a running back left to play—a player Smizzle knew was Frank Gore based on reverse-engineering the lineup using that week’s salaries.

Well, Smizzle also had Gore left to go. His only chance to win was to play someone else. The good news? He could select any running back, wide receiver, or tight end with a cheaper price than Gore since he placed Gore in the flex spot.

This wasn’t an accident. Smizzle always uses the player in the latest possible game as his flex play because it gives him outs. In the off-chance that a scenario arises like the one that did, Smizzle has more possible scenarios to help him win since he can late-swap to almost any player.

It didn’t work out in that particular tournament, but Smizzle at least gave himself a chance to win by using very shrewd lineup construction before the games began that week. It’s little maneuvers like these—things that increase the probability of winning just a tad—that can add up to create a large edge over the field.

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