4.29.20 DK Early Slate Analysis

We have stepped back from the daily rewind for a few days as we prepare to bring premium options to the site, set to launch in early May. This will be exciting for us to finally be able to financially support the hours and hours of work we’ve all poured into this over the last few weeks. We will cover nearly every sport DK and FD offer now and when “regular” sports start ramping up again, and we are excited to share our expertise with you all in that regard. With that in mind, one of the formats we are looking at introducing for premium subscribers is a more in-depth analysis of a particular slate as a whole, rather than individual games. We often touch on this within the write up itself, but not as comprehensively and strategy based as we will in these. We hope this serves as a useful sneak peek of what will be coming soon and we hope you all can gain valuable insights from these new features to be more consistent DFS performers. 

This early DK slate starts at 9 AM EST and features 3 games from ESL’s road to Rio tournament. The games are listed below and what stands out immediately is that two of the games are projected to be blowouts. This can either be very good or very bad for DFS players because a series sweep can limit a player’s ability to perform due to the unplayed map. Large favorites can often mean safer plays, but perhaps limited upside due to the change in DK scoring that no longer gives a game length adjustment, but a flat rate across all the players. Furthermore, a smaller slate like this will require top teams to be much more reliant upon team stacking to find success. We need to find which teams are in the best position to succeed and make sure we get a lot of exposure to their stars and maybe a guy that will over perform his usual pay grade to round out our team’s salary constrictions. 

So before looking at the games below and our player chart (sorted by DK salary) what are the key points to focus on? Which 3 teams will win, will they be sweeps or 2-1 series, do any of these teams have consistent top performers, and which team is too expensive or too cheap? We will look to answer these questions down below. 

Copenhagen Flames(+412) V G2(-667) (9:00 AM EST)

North(-179) V GODSENT(+136) (9:00 AM EST)

c0ntact(+393) V mousesports(-625) (9:00 AM EST) 

TeamPlayerDK SalaryRecent RatingKills / RoundKASTImpact

We will start by predicting the winning teams. In these spots, G2 and mousesports should both win. We mentioned in our main article that mouz has been struggling recently and isn’t the guaranteed winner that they really should be, but their overall talent makes this a perfect rebound situation for them. The only real toss up for this slate is North V GODSENT. Betting odds favor North and they have better recent form but this GODSENT team is higher rated overall and has more talent. The map pool looks like a slight favor in the way of North, but GODSENT has better performances on Overpass and Nuke and it’s safe to say one of those will be their first selection. If they can win that pick, this looks like a 2-1 series advantage for North.

Winners: G2, mouz, North

Now we want to understand which of these series will likely go to 3 games. We have already made it clear that North will make it there. In G2’s series, they have advantages everywhere and no clear weaknesses to point out. This makes us believe in a sweep as much as the bookmakers believe in the victory. Mouz is the hardest to look at here. They are a better team on paper but recent struggles are showing chinks in the armor, and a glaring discrepancy in performance for them on Inferno relative to c0ntact makes us feel like this is another 2-1 series. Mouz will likely autoban Overpass, leaving that Inferno pick open for c0ntact and they will need to excel there for them to have a chance. 

3 game series: North/GODSENT, mouz/c0ntact

The next question now goes to the individual basis, which teams have clear #1 and #2 options and sometimes a #3. CS teams are structured in all different ways but some have clear stars like the Lakers do and others are more team driven success like the Celtics. It doesn’t mean that the Celtics don’t have great players, it’s just that there are many mouths to feed and it can rotate on different nights. We will not give much analysis here, but rather just identify the options for you with a recency bias. This is why G2 will not appear below, as they have been a bit all over the place in the last few weeks.

Teams with consistent stars: mouz(ropz, frozen, and woxic) GODSENT (maden, STYKO) CPHF (Farlig, refrezh)

Now we need to see how Draftkings decided to price their players today. We see a couple of G2 guys at the top, reasonable for large favorites. They are followed by a single representative from 4 other teams before we see another G2 player. Right off the bat, it’s clear that G2 is the priciest team of the day. Another important trend is that mouz, as the other large favorite, is rather middling in terms of pricing which is unusual but likely a side effect of their recent poor performances. North, although not a large favorite, is in a similar position with soft pricing across the board for their players. 

“Underpriced” Teams: mouz, North

Now that we have answered those questions in a systematic method, do we notice any trends here? Mouz is the only team that appears positively for every factor and should therefore be a prime target for fantasy purposes. What’s even better is they have 3 clear stars to stack and then build around. At their low prices, we can then look to see which other teams check a lot of boxes and we won’t have to worry too much about fitting them in. The only question is how do you approach the captain’s spot. We all prefer to put the player from our team stack that we think will be the top performer, regardless of price as we need those extra fantasy points. You can take your pick of frozen or ropz if this is the team stack you will follow, as woxic is usually the third star. 

Obviously you shouldn’t start every team exactly like this, but it’s a great mental exercise of how to take a slate and narrow it down into a starting point. With larger slates especially, we do these exercises to find our target teams and then will look at our remaining salary and top plays from other teams to round out lineups. You can then start your next lineup with the next best teams and work in the same fashion, making sure you have exposure to all of the top guys, especially on a small slate. On days when your assumptive answers to the above questions work out, you will have a good day and a great one if you happen to align the right players in the right way. There will also be off days when your assumptions are off or a great team has an off performance and disappoints you and their fans.  

Now that you have your lineups, where do you enter them? There are GPPS (large tournaments with less winners) and cash games which are 50/50s and other tournaments with more people winning smaller returns. Cash games should only be entered with safer teams full of comfort picks of the teams you feel confident in and there is no harm in putting these lineups in GPPS as well. The difference in making a GPP lineup is you have to take risks to shoot for the top. The analysis we just did? Everybody else understands that mouz is underpriced here and ropz and frozen will be owned by a large number of DFS players. What happens if you have a feeling that Karrigan will perform well and you want him as your captain to pay up for one of the G2 guys as well? If that works out, your lineup will have far fewer clones in the contest and help give you an edge. GPPS are all about entering lots of lineups, using your core plays along with a mix of the risky guys that can carry you to the top. 

The big fish out there all max enter GPPs and you have a disadvantage if you only enter a few lineups. If you do it for fun, that’s great and some of us play like that as well, but cash games are the best way to play a bit each day and more consistently feel good about how your day went. When looking at small slates like this one in particular though, there is such a small margin of error with your picks that one poor choice can sink a lineup completely, making cash games a bad idea with inherently more risk.  

Hopefully you have a better idea of how to start your lineups for this slate now and a frame of mind for looking at other slates as well. DFS can be a hobby or a career and you need to make sure you approach it correctly depending on which one of those categories you fit in and never go beyond what you intend to lose either way because anything can happen in sports or esports and you are not going to win every day. Be methodical, maybe be a bit crafty with your lineups, but always have fun. Game on.  

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