Zcode Manage your bankroll Part2
Player’s matchup – does the player, himself, have a strong matchup? This question looks to the opposing team’s ability to defend against this specific player’s position. If I’m picking a wide receiver, I want one playing against a team with poor history against wide receivers.
When you select a player on Fanduel or Draftkings, it will show you his opponent’s rank. Opponents ranked with high numbers (20+) are great. They mean that the team playing against your player is ranked poorly against his position. Opponents ranked with low numbers (10-) likewise represent bad matchups.
A player’s matchup can go beyond this simple statistic, though. For instance, the New York Jets are currently ranked number 24 against wide receivers (on paper a favorable matchup for WRS). However, they have arguably the best cornerback, Darelle Revis, in the NFL playing for them. Teams that play against the New York Jets will often see a huge slump in production from their number 1 receiver and an equally huge spike in production from their number 2.
This is because Revis, the hot-shot cornerback for the Jets, is covering and shutting down their number 1 WR and thus forcing action to the number 2. Playing number 2 wide receivers against teams with one great cornerback is one of the best ways to find value. Number 2 wide receivers are almost always significantly cheaper than their counterparts. Predicting games where they excel is a huge way to score valuable players.
Expected Game Flow – will the pace of the game be in favor of your player? If a team is expected to win by a large margin, this will invariably favor running backs over wide receivers and quarterbacks because, if the team creates a lead early, they will run the ball more in an attempt to minimize turnovers and keep the clock ticking. If the team is expected to lose by a large margin, this will invariably favor quarterbacks and wide receivers. Teams that are playing from behind are throwing the ball more to stop the clock and score quickly.
So, you now understand how many points you want from your players and how to calculate how many you think they will score. Finding players who’s projections grossly exceed their price creates value. However, winning cash games is not entirely about value. There are two other types of players you will draft. The second type is the overpriced stud. This is a player who is expensive for a reason. He scores a lot of points consistently.
You want at least one or two of these guys on our team because cash games are about consistency. You don’t have to score the most points to with a cash game. You just have to beat 50% of your opponents. That being said, players who are in the top dollar range are much less likely to score only 1 or 2 points. There’s nothing more devastating to a cash game lineup than a player who scores 0 points.
Because we’re trying to find consistent productive players that are less risky, when a player does have a terrible game, you will rarely have the player who has an equally incredible game to offset him. That is why players with heavy price tags are important.
They provide safety nets. They are consistent. These players may fail the 2.5x or 2x value assessment because they are so expensive. However, they can still be worth an add because of the strong value picks you’ve already made. For instance, Julio Jones is $9500 this week on Fanduel. That means we need him to score 19 points to be worth his value. Granted he is completely capable of such a game, we can’t rely on a player to be that productive.
However, we may put him in our lineup anyways. We do this because we can afford to based on our value plays. We pick cheaper players who should outperform their prices in order to afford the expensive ones who we know will have at least a decent outing but have the potential for a tremendous one. Building a lineup is about balance. Pick 5 or 6 value players to afford 3 or 4 heavy-hitters. The last type of player is the flier. He is the guy who is so cheap it feels incredibly unlikely that he fails to outperform his price but you believe is also capable of greatness due to matchup etc.
The one problem with fliers is that they’re cheap for a reason. Sometimes they score 0. I only advocate using them in cash games when you have a ton of confidence in your value players and/or you’ve been able to load up on the expensive studs. A good example of a flier would be the number 3 wide receiver on a team. He will likely cost around the positions minimum price which is roughly $3000. This means you only need to get 6 points out of him for him to reach his value. That is roughly 2-4 catches for 40 yards.
This is a totally possible stat-line for most WR3s to achieve. So, on a game where you’ve loaded up on pricey studs and have some great value players, it can be a good idea to grab a guy like this with a matchup that makes it even more possible he scores a touchdown and really outperform.