DFS Daily Update for 8/14/2015 – PokerStars Acquires Victiv


Yesterday I had a lovely day off, spent it going places I had never been seeking fishing holes I have never found. We found a lake covered in lilly pads with a hand made canoe pulled up on shore. We obviously tried to take it out, but it wouldn’t hold water. First fish I caught was so small that I yanked it out of the water, it flew off the hook, and disappeared in tall grass and wildflowers. I couldn’t help but giggle imagining that experience from the fish’s perspective. I have no idea what happened yesterday in sports and that is nice. My horse won a poker tournament in the wee hours of Friday morning, that made waking up this morning awesomer. I’m stoked to play DFS today. It’s amazing what one day off does for your motivation and excitement. Do yourself a favor and take days off from time to time and spend them doing things that you love while simultaneously ignoring work.

Turns out that PokerStars’ parent company, Amaya, purchased Victiv, considered by many including myself to be the best DFS site not named DraftKings or FanDuel. They took care of their customers better than anybody, they offered low rake and exciting enough guarantees, and the owner of the company interacts with people. Victiv has been the number 3 site on my priority list for most of this year. I worry that things will go the way of Stars with no rakeback and less player friendliness.

What we know is that Victiv will be re-branded as StarsDraft… probably before NFL would be my guess? Amaya in an earnings report yesterday basically said that they’re not going to be dumping money into this endeavor. They will be emailing their customers and linking StarsDraft to the PokerStars client.

While this is exciting for us as poker players, I don’t think it means anything to the DFS world except perhaps bringing more volume to Victiv. Yahoo entered the DFS market a little over a month ago, and they have lost a lot of money while simultaneously boring many of us. Even though Yahoo is a global leader in season long fantasy sports and a massive entity, that hasn’t lead to growth in their DFS launch.

On to Friday’s slate:

14 games for us to choose from tonight as Chicago holds a turf war at US Cellular this afternoon. Weather concerns are minimal, chances of thunderstorms in Atlanta and Colorado. Bats from both games look fine and you really weren’t going to roster Ross, were you? Teheran is the only guy I will have weather concerns with.

Many fine pitchers tonight with Scherzer, Price, Keuchel, and Kluber for expensive aces to choose from. I have Price ranked number one but it scares me. The Yankees have smashed the ball lately and David is making his 2nd start in the Roger’s Centre. He faced the Yankees 5 days ago in New York and held them scoreless through 7 with 7ks. He had some control issues walking 3 but I don’t mind his caution against a dangerous lineup.

I have Scherzer ranked a close 2nd behind Price but he feels like a safer cash game play to me. The Giants have the weakest WOBA and ISO vRhP of the four matchups and AT&T is a big pitcher’s park. The Giants don’t strike out much though, have a patient slap hitting lineup, and Vegas gives them a team total of 3.5, compared to 3.0 of teams facing Price, Garcia, Wood, and Keuchel. I’m not touching Scherzer on DK at 14.6k, but he will likely be my cash game play on FD, and will likely be very popular. I will lean Price on FD for GPPs due to ownership.

I love Kluber on DK at 10.6k, but hate him on FD at 12k. I’ll have lots of Klubes on DK in GPPs and he will likely be my SP2 in cash.

I like Keuchel as a pitcher tonight, but he doesn’t strike out enough guys for me to like him in DFS. Strikeouts are what I look for in pitchers; they provide a nice floor as well as opening up big upside.

Other pitchers I am considering are Teheran, Wood, Colon, and Peralta. I like Garcia but I don’t like his strikeout projections.

Lots of bats to choose from. Coors field is in play. Toronto is smashing the ball as usual. Baltimore is facing rookie gas can Mills. The Brewers are at home vs. Morgan and the Phillies. Seattle at Boston is supposed to have fireworks. All have team totals of 4.5 or higher, but I think most are too expensive. Tulo is my only play from Toronto, Norris, Paulsen, and Reyes are the only I like in Colorado. Baltimore is expensive too but will provide some nice punts depending on lineups. Seattle is my favorite of the lot. Most of the top bats today are over priced, and with so many good pitching options I will be avoiding most of the expensive bats.

Some top plays I like: McCutchen, Braun, Harper, and Marte. Marte left Wednesday’s game with “hand discomfort”. He pinch ran and scored a run last night. Sore hands make hitting baseballs difficult, but his price is really good. I like Derek Norris from San Diego in Coors. I also like Carlos Gomez and Kyle Seager.

The top punt options I see right now likely won’t be the top punts after lineups are released. Lineup boosts and platoon matchups often create unique value opportunities. Coco Crisp, two weeks off the disabled list, is a free square and great for cash games. Victorino from LAA has been a solid value for a while. I like Scott Van Slyke, his WOBA vRhP is world class. ARam from PIT is nice and cheap, good BvP v Colon but nothing significant. He rested yesterday also but pinch hit delivering an RBI single. Other guys include Anthony Rendon, Brandon Guyer, Ben Paulsen, David Peralta, and Jonathan Lucroy.

I’m completely fading Coors Field stacks tonight. Ross is a ground ball pitcher with a good fastball, the exact type of pitcher that can neutralize the Coors Field Effect. His Coors Field record backs this up. Flande is no good pitcher, but he is also a ground ball pitcher and the Padres are overpriced and will be over owned.

Early analysis is drawing me toward stacking PIT (esp w/Marte), SEA, ARI, TB (no Butler on DK tho… grrrr), CLE, HOU, MIL, MIA, LAD, and/or WAS. In stacks I’m looking for low ownership and upside. Any team can go off for 10 runs, but some are much more likely to do so and some lineups (like HOU and TOR) have more dongs than others. Pitchers will score points so I want to afford them, but I think Teheran, Wood, Colon, and Peralta have nice upside with low ownership, opening up the expensive stacks from TOR, BAL, and SD. I’ve heard a lot of Robbie Ray noise but I’m not buying it.

I’ll be on the first RotoGrinders show this afternoon if you want to hear an hour’s worth of my DFS opinions.

Lots of action out there tonight, have fun first and hope to get some loot later.



  1. I wouldn’t necessarily say the Yankees have smashed the ball lately…aside from 2 blowouts this month, they’ve been rather tame, putting up 1,2,1,0,0,4 and 1 before they went off on Cleveland last night.