Hi!  So, we know we should size our FanDuel entries based on our bankroll and probable outcome, we know we should diversify our lineups, and we know how we can approximate our optimal player distribution based on our projections. But what’s the best way to use our projections?

Player Projection Strategy

For any projections we use, or calculate on our own, we want to know if we are using a mean projection or median projection, and we want to understand the difference between the two.

Using only a mean projection across a player pool is problematic because these players’ projections have varying probabilities of occurrence. We want to use median projections because this provides us, by definition, the 50th percentile outcome.

Say we are Razzball premium subscribers – if not, we absolutely should be – and we use Rudy Gamble’s DFSbot projections. We download our spreadsheet, we open it, and we see the projections for each scoring category followed by the projected total points, PTS. The PTS column in the DFSbot spreadsheet is a median projection, which tells us this total is projected to be equally as likely over the actual points scored as under. PTS is the column we want to use to construct our cash entries for both pitchers and hitters.

In the hitter spreadsheet the next column is UP PTS, which provides us the 86th percentile outcome for each player. This is the projection we want to use to construct our lineups in large tournament formats. For pitchers’ upside projections we can simply multiply the PTS column by a constant to find a reasonable estimate of upside. Using a 1.5 multiplier will slightly undercut pitchers’ upsides, so use this when you want to allocate more of your budget to hitting, whereas a 2.0 multiplier should slightly favor pitching when constructing lineups.

We want our lineups to have the greatest potential of producing a winning score. In order to do this we need to use different projections based on the contest we enter.

In Cash entries we want high floor, safe players over the highly volatile. We are not rewarded in Cash entries by lineups scoring twice as many points as the min cash line. In large format tournaments, however, we obtain our greatest expected value from high variance lineups. We want to embrace the volatility. This is how we win tournaments.

Let’s check out the best plays for today. Let’s go cash some cash entries, and let’s go win some tournaments.

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Chris Sale, SP: $9,200 – Sale’s fastball velocity is back up, coming off 10 K in 5 IP, and he remains very affordable. He is still a little risky in Cash lineups.

Kyle Gibson, SP: $7,600 – Just play everyone against the Orioles, it’ll work more often than it won’t. Minnesota is the most likely win today, Gibson stands a better than average chance at a quality start, and weather conditions favor pitching. Save on pitching, play him.

Kevin Gausman, SP $9,400 – Insane to pay this much? Or: that’s the very reason he’ll be under-owned and therefore worth the flier. Though he could have a difficult time hitting value, he does have a plus matchup with good win and quality start possibilities.

Justin Bour, C/1B: $2,600 – All or nothing GPP play. Favor Eric Hosmer in Cash lineups.

San Diego Padres – Favorite value stack today. Padres are facing Jeremy Hellickson, in Washington with the wind out to right, with relatively cheap salaries. There’s a lot to like. Here’s the order of preference: Franmil Reyes, OF: $2,500, Manny Machado, 3B: $3,300, Fernando Tatis, SS: $3,300, Wil Myers, OF: $2,900, Eric Hosmer, 1B: $2,600

Randal Grichuk, OF: $2,700 – Another GPP play, he should produce 8x points per $1,000 salary – a good measure of tournament winning value – almost 20% of the time in this situation.

Mike Trout, OF: $4,900 – The most solid of solid plays, he has yet to post zero points this season. Maybe adjust him down because jinx factor. Or not.

I’m Only Happy When It Rains

No extraordinary weather of note. Wet in Queens, but it looks like it’ll pass. They have all day to play, so a delay for better playing conditions could happen.

Doing Lines In Vegas

No extraordinary implied run totals of note. Let’s lean on the under 8 O/U in Philadelphia.