Welcome to the third edition of GPP Leverage. This article is going to be a catch-all space for my GPP thoughts. In every article I’ll address some of the relevant GPP plays for that day’s slate, but some of the articles will be more focused on plays and others more focused on strategy. Today is going to be more of a strategy session as I wanted to spend some time talking about macro concepts in lineup building for GPPs and how my thought process has evolved over time.
When I first started playing GPPs, my focus was on trying to score the most points. Every lineup I built was simply trying to score the most fantasy points and thus I’d often enter my cash lineup into GPPs. Back in the early days of DFS this was actually a profitable strategy and one that I rarely got punished for. Competitors had a difficult enough time assessing which plays were the best ones that I could add expected value simply by playing them.
As the field sharpened, my approach had to adjust. I had to start considering ownership of the individual plays I was making. I started out by thinking of ways to make lineups that projected well, slightly more different than everyone else. Usually, these lineups would come with a contrarian piece or two, but many of the plays in the lineup would simply be the best plays. Eventually, the idea of contrarianism started to take hold and I experimented with more lineups that could be considered “anti-fragile” – lineups that would benefit from when everything else goes wrong. Through experimentation I started to realize the benefit of anti-fragility but also the risk. The benefit is that when everything goes unexpectedly you have a better chance at beating the field. The risk is that you lose track of projected points simply in pursuit of low ownership. The combination of the two is where good GPP lineups are created.
The evolution of thinking through “how contrarian” to get is where I think most DFS players end up and ultimately I think where they get stuck. The emphasis on getting contrarian ends up overriding the idea of creating a lineup that projects well and maximizes upside and DFS players reach to be contrarian.
Instead of focusing on how contrarian you need to be DFS players should think about how they can create lineups that work together to maximize upside. I touched on some of this in an article I wrote for our NFL section about attacking GPPs.