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  1. This week's FanDuel Sunday Million is offering up $2 million in prize money, with 91,954 entrants competing for a $200,000 top prize. Payouts will be issued to 19% of the field (17,475 places), so since you're watching anyway, make Championship Sunday a little more fun and get in! In last week's three-way tie for first, a score of 170.88, or 2.85 points per $1,000 in salary dollars, was sufficient to best the field. Check out FanDuel here. As in all large-field GPP's, in roster construction, we are looking to do the following: - Isolate good value plays based on game flow projection - Fade highly owned players that you can build a case against rostering - Pair up your QB with a receiver teammate On FanDuel, you have a $60,000 salary cap to fill nine positions: (1) QB, (2) RB, (3) WR, (1) TE, (1) K, (1) DEF Let's dig in: GREEN BAY AT SEATTLE (O/U = 46.5) Since we are going from an eight-team card last week to a four-team card, salary moves are relatively irrelevant, so let's skip that here. The Seahawks are 7.5 point home favorites, so incorporating this into the game total, they're projected to win 27-19.5. In Week 1 of the regular season, Seattle stomped Green Bay 36-16, and I anticipate more of the same here. The big difference is that Super Bowl hero Percy Harvin was a huge factor in the Week 1 meeting and he's now gone. Russell Wilson ($8,900) put together a solid, unspectacular game, turning things over to Marshawn Lynch ($8,600) and Harvin. There's no reason to not expect more of the 20-carry, 110 yard, 2 TD output from Beastmode again. Roll with confidence. In terms of sneaky picks on the Hawks, Ricardo Lockette ($4,800) caught 2 of 3 targets for 38 yards and 1 TD in Week 1 and represents an opportunity to spend up somewhere else. His floor is basically zero, however, and you're going to need that TD if you want to reach value here. A more appealing stab could be taken on TE Luke Willson ($5,400), who has had a couple of big games in the last three and Green Bay is nothing special in defending the TE. On the Packers' side of the ball, you know the names. Aaron Rodgers ($9,100) is banged up and was held under 200 yards passing in the Week 1 matchup, but could be the lowest percentage owned QB on the card. Unfortunately, the split will be relatively even, so the contrarian play isn't here. On the other hand, as the highest salary WR on the card and coming off a bust game, Jordy Nelson ($8,900) does provide a tempting contrarian play. To sweeten the pot, he went 9/83 in the Week 1 matchup, showing he can still get his when ARod is held in check. Longshot sneaky pick here could be James Starks ($4,500). Eddie Lacy missed part of last week's game with an asthma attack, has a tender knee, and in the Week 1 loss, Starks ripped off a very respectable 7/37 on the ground with three targets out of the backfield. Jonathan Stewart went for a 5.4 ypc average last week, so the Hawks can be run on a bit. INDY AT NEW ENGLAND (O/U = 53.5) Week 11 was very unkind to Indy, as the Patriots ran over, around, and through them to the tune of nearly 250 yards, which they matched in the air. Basically, they could do whatever they wanted. The Colts defense is the weakest unit on either side of the ball playing this Sunday. The combined 33 points allowed the past three weeks is taken with a grain of salt: weak performances from the Titans and Green/Gresham-less Bengals proved nothing and the Broncos stinker was likely more the result of an offense that looked out of sync from the first snap than anything the Colts actually did. If active, Week 11 hero Jonas Gray ($5,300) will be the contrarian pick of too many players, making him too mainstream to roll with. The value here is in the fade. LeGarrette Blount ($5,400) disappeared last week, but this isn't the Ravens front he's facing here. We see Belichick putting it in his hands and using his battering ram to keep the Colts offense cold on the sidelines. Tom Brady ($9,100) really spread it around in Week 11, with Julian Edelman ($7,500) seeing the most targets with nine and Gronk ($8,200) getting in the end zone with one of his four catches. Danny Amendola's ($5,900) reemergence last week serves to muddle the field completely. Throw in Brandon LaFell ($7,000) and you're just guessing here. Brady should be a really good cash game play with his extremely high floor, but I don't see the explosion here. The Colts offense figures to be in come from behind mode here and a repeat of his 23/39/303/2 line from the Week 11 chase would make Andrew Luck ($9,200) a very solid play. Dan Herron ($7,000) is priced beyond sleeper status now and is looking more and more banged up by the quarter. Fade the high ownership and expect something looking closer to the 19 net yards rushing the Colts put up in Week 11. The pass game for the Colts is where the Sunday Million will be won or lost, as the yards are going to come – but from who? Coby Fleener ($5,500) scorched the Pats for 7/144, but that was with Dwayne Allen ($5,300) hobbled. A repeat seems unlikely. TY Hilton ($8,200) was locked on Revis Island and went 3/24 in the Week 11 massacre. He will be under-owned as a result, so this might be a good spot to show a little faith. Joe Flacco did find seams in this defense last week to the tune of 292 yards & 4 TDs, so why not be bullish on the best receiver on the team figuring to pass for the most yardage? The Hakeem Nicks versus Donte Moncrief (both $5,300) call is very tough. Nicks went 2/15/1 TD in the Week 11 game and did almost exactly the same last week. Moncrief is more of the home run hitter sort that you lean to in GPPs. I'll lean to Nicks' post season track record and the fact that he's a more appealing red zone target. Reggie Wayne ($5,000) is the wildcard – he looks shot, but went 5/91 in Week 11. Best of luck to all competing for the $200K top prize in the Sunday Million. Sign up for FanDuel here.
  2. TheWeek 18 FanDuel Saturday Million is offering a field of 80,459 a chance to vie for a $175,000 top prize in a $1.75 million in prize pool. The payouts this week go to the top 18% of finishers. rsane21 took down last week's first place prize with a score of 184.6, just about three points per $1,000 salary dollars spent. With a four game slate facing us this week, we will pass on the review of the top 20 roster compositions of last week's games, as the patterns of a full card bear little relevance to what is required to hit big in a playoff format. As always, regardless of the number of games being offered, in setting our large tournament lineups, we are looking to: - Isolate good value plays based on game flow projections - Fade the highly owned players that you can make a valid case against - Pair up your QB with a receiver teammate FanDuel tournaments give you a $60,000 salary cap to fill the following nine positions: (1) QB, (2) RB, (3) WR, (1) TE, (1) K, (1) DEF Due to only eight teams to choose from, you're going to want to really make a seriously contrarian play or two if you're looking to win. With that in mind, let's go game by game and show where our analysis of this weekend's action leads us. Arizona at Carolina The lowest over/under of the weekend, which naturally makes this a good spot to find a couple of players who might be underrepresented in the Saturday Million. Arizona has been below average all year against opposing fantasy QBs and have been as bad as it gets over the last three weeks, so Cam Newton ($8,300) at home presents a solid play. Nobody is worse in defending the TE, so Greg Olsen ($6,400) makes a nice pair-up option. He will be highly owned, so brave souls who fade his annoying mug stand a chance of getting a huge edge on the field should all not go according to plan. On the other side of the ball, Arizona has not scored more than 18 points in a game since Carson Palmer went down and there's no reason to suspect anything changes. An injured Larry Fitzgerald is being offered at the all-time low price of $5,700, so if you see a TD in the Cards' future, you could do worse than projecting it onto the hands of this great playoff performer. Michael Floyd ($6,600) is up $500 off last week, so tread lightly. Baltimore at Pittsburgh Le'Veon Bell didn't practice on Thursday and I'd strongly lean against seeing him on Saturday. Josh Harris ($5,600) looks poised to get the start, with Diri Archer ($6,600) in line to see his fair share of snaps as a change of pace play. Baltimore is solid against opposing RBs, but I'm still tempted to bite on Harris and the wiggle room his price tag gives me in other roster spots. Big Ben ($8,500) will get his points, but he will be very highly owned. The Ravens are weak against fantasy WR, but especially so against WR2s, so the hit-or-miss Martavis Bryant ($5,600) is back in play. For the Ravens, Joe Flacco ($8,200) and Torrey Smith ($7,100) look like a live combo against the poor Pittsburgh pass defense. I prefer Joe Cool to Big Ben here, as his ownership number should be significantly lower. Cincinnati at Indianapolis I know it's the playoffs and all, but Andy Dalton ($7,800) merits a long look here. You can't beat the price, Cincy is projected to put up around 23 points, and Indy's defense has gotten stingy of late against opposing fantasy RBs (putting us off them this week), so we could very well see a couple of TD tosses. AJ Green ($8,500) practiced on Thursday, but is still under the concussion protocol, so watch the news. If he's good to go, he will be vastly under-owned, making him an interesting contrarian play. Dalton has found a trusted outlet in Jermaine Gresham ($5,300), making him a decent choice for those looking for an alternative to Olsen. Indy's defense has been great against WR2's, so don't look to get cute there. On the Colts' side of the ball, Andrew Luck ($9,700) is an obvious, yet expensive play. Dwayne Allen is slated to return, so I'm not going to try to guess which TE gets the action. The Bengals were awful all year against opposing RBs, but have tightened up somewhat in the final month; Dan Herron ($5,400) is cheap and has upside. TY Hilton ($8,600) is going to get his points and is $600 cheaper than Antonio Brown and Hakeem Nicks ($5,400) with 12 catches in the last two weeks presents a viable option. Detroit at Dallas The second highest over/under on the weekend card. On the downside, tourney players will over-buy here in order to have the last game tourney sweat. You'll probably have to find a player or two in this one, but strategy-wise I'd be trying to minimize exposure somewhat. In that spirit, let's look to fade the big name studs here if we can. For the Lions, the RB by committee is scary, but Joique Bell ($6600) is the best of the bunch and won't be mass-owned, so if you're still looking for your RB2, he might fit well. Dallas' defense is poor against opposing WR2s, so Golden Tate ($6,800) should be kept in mind. His production has taken a hit with Megatron back, but he could handsomely reward the faithful. Dallas will be looking to ride DeMarco Murray ($9,000), but with Bell unlikely to go for Pittsburgh, Murray figures to be the highly owned cornerstone play. Detroit is tough on opposing RB, so I'll find a fade here. With the strong Lions' front four, I can see Tony Romo looking to unload quickly and Jason Witten ($5,400) is in line to benefit; Detroit has been generous to the opposing TE. Dallas has been an absolute scoring machine for a majority of the last two months, but my strategy in a GPP will be to zag here when the rest choose to zig. High risk/high reward ships these. Sign up for FanDuel here if you don't already have an account to play in this week's slate. You'll get a match bonus and there's $10 million in cash and prizes paid out every week.
  3. "Look at you… In two years, they'll be marking your gravesite. Me? I'll be right here." Nino Brown might as well have been talking to traditional fantasy sports because their time is truly over. Daily fantasy sports (DFS) is growing by leaps and bounds weekly, new sites are springing up constantly, and the fantasy landscape is in the midst of a revolutionary overhaul; tournaments with seven-figure prize pools are commonplace and the numbers are only getting larger. Every day is the fantasy playoff season in DFS, with literally thousands of opportunities to cash from your fantasy knowledge a mere click away. One of the premier weekly events in DFS is the FanDuel NFL Sunday Million. This week's edition, at $25 per entry, will max out at 103,448 players with a guaranteed prize pool of $2.25 million. The winner will take home a cool quarter-million, with a pay ladder that covers the top 20% of the field through 20,675th place. In the Sunday Million, more than $600,000 of the prize pool is distributed to the top 20 finishers and you must beat 95% of the field to at least quadruple your money, so we want to be aggressive and go boom or bust. We want to do a few things here: 1) Isolate good value plays based on game flow projections. 2) Fade highly owned guys that you can make a case against. 3) Pair up your QB with a receiver teammate. You need your QB to go off in order to take home a juicy prize and therefore you should be looking to pair him up with the guy on the other end of his passes. You have a $60,000 salary cap to fill nine positions as follows: (1) QB, (2) RB, (3) WR, (1) TE, (1) K, (1) DEF With that said, here are a few thoughts: TARGETS - QB: Russell Wilson ($8,500): Down $200 from last week and facing a Philly team that speeds it up on offense and has a defense that is way stronger against the run than the pass. That's a good combo. - QB: Brian Hoyer ($6,700): Down $200 as well, he hits on multiple levels: he's the same price as Johnny Manziel, the perception that he's one bad pass away from the bench will keep his ownership percentage low, and, last but not least, with the salary price relief he offers, he becomes a nice, affordable pairing with his target machine, the also reasonably priced Josh Gordon ($8,000) in a great matchup where they should be trailing most afternoon against a poor Indy pass defense. Vontae Davis' absence would make this even better. - RB: Mark Ingram ($7,700): When NO went to Carolina back in late October, Ingram was the horse, going for 100 yards and two TDs on the ground in a strong 28-10 win. Coming off his best effort since that game and on a day where Brees will be used heavily in GPPs, thus dropping Ingram's ownership percentage, I'm willing to gamble on a repeat performance of Week 9. - WR: Charles Johnson ($6,000): The sharp pick last week, Johnson burned multiple owners and comes in reduced by $300. It's a good spot to buy low and possibly cash in on a bounce-back against a Jets defense that will be forcing the Vikings to put the ball in the air. - WR: Doug Baldwin ($5,500): Remember that whole boom or bust thing? His numbers are mediocre, but again we're facing a fast-paced offense who has a soft pass defense and if you're rostering the QB, this is the type of reach that gets your name on those 3'x6' checks. He will fail in this spot 80% of the time and still be a +EV play. TE: Delanie Walker ($5,400): If you're not on a big boy here, you can do much worse than Walker, who is coming in $300 cheaper off last week's dud in HOU. NYG are dismal against opposing TEs. FADES - QB: Drew Brees ($9,400): He is on a strong three-week run and as the fifth highest price at the position, he will be owned in heavy doses and paired with WR Kenny Stills ($6,400) in most of those. He is up $400 from last week, so he's not the great value he had been. With the chance of a blowout versus Carolina and that whole "Ingram controlled the game" thing from Week 9, I'll go contrarian here and take my lumps when he puts up 400/3. We have to beat the masses in this event. - QB: Ryan Fitzpatrick ($7,200): Up a whopping $2,200 in price. If you missed the wedding, don't show up for the funeral. Especially if they're charging increased admission. - RB: Tre Mason ($7,200): Up $1,200, he will still be heavily owned as the 15th highest priced RB. 14 carries against the Raiders is something I'm willing to bet the bounce on and the Skins have a better run defense than they get credit for. You could have driven though some of the holes in the Raiders line; hell, MJD might have gotten 40 yards on that defense. Lastly, keep an eye on injury reports: Crowell, D. Jax, and Roddy all need to have their replacements considered if out. Looks like I'm out of time; good luck everyone. If you don't have a FanDuel account, sign up through PocketFives by clicking hereand get a generous deposit bonus plus access to 5,000 one-day leagues each week! Plus, play in this week's Sunday Million, which has a $2.25 million prize pool. Get started.
  4. The Week 17FanDuel Sunday Million is offering up $2.5 million in prize money to the top 21,840 finishers in the 114,942-player tournament. stevesokol21took down last week's first place prize with a score of 177.12 points, slightly less than three points per $1,000 salary dollars spent. This is the final week of the regular season, so get in and use your football knowledge to take your shot at this week's $300,000 first place money! A quick review of Week 16's top 20 Sunday Million finishers reveals the following: - A handful of different QBs are represented in the top 20, but each of the top six rostered either Tony Romo or Russell Wilson. - 15 of the top 20 finishers slotted Jason Witten into their TE opening - 15 of the top 20 rostered Odell Beckham Jr. - 13 of the top 20 used CJ Anderson In last week's write-up, we went hit and miss in giving out the following Targets: - Winners: RB Jonathan Stewart, WR Doug Baldwin - Losers: QB Josh McCown, TE Julius Thomas - Neutral: RB Joique Bell Our Fades failed to reach the success of previous columns, as we were dead on snubbing Greg Olsen and couldn't be further off in fading Eli Manning and Odell Beckham Jr's massive price tag. Jeremy Hill and Matt Ryan were neither big hits nor big misses. Our column MVP is Doug Baldwin, as we accurately went Target/Fade/Target over the past three weeks; thanks for being predictably inconsistent, Doug! In setting our large tournament lineups, we are looking to: - Isolate good value plays based on game flow projections - Fade the highly owned players that you can make a valid case against - Pair up your QB with a receiver teammate FanDuel tournaments give you a $60,000 salary cap to fill the following nine positions: (1) QB, (2) RB, (3) WR, (1) TE, (1) K, (1) DEF Let's end the regular season with some flair, a baker's dozen of Targets and Fades. Remember, the watches you buy on Canal Street and Madison Avenue both say "Rolex"; it's up to you to filter out the fugazy from gold that follows: TARGETS: QB – Robert Griffin III ($6,600): This is a team that wants to close it out riding the momentum of last week's spoiler. RG3 looks to silence the doubters in the last look of the season and Dallas hits the road off an emotional high in addition to questionable motivation. Price reduction of $300 seals the deal. QB – Teddy Bridgewater ($7,500): Chicago's miserable defense hits the road off a nightmarish three-game home-stand. They can't contain the run or the pass, making Teddy's floor as high as it will be all year, and his ceiling limitless. Pair with WR Charles Johnson ($6,100, representing a $400 drop in tag) for maximum value. WR – Allen Hurns ($5,100): Down $300 in price and facing a Houston defense that has trouble with opposing WR2s, Hurns represents the boom-or-bust type that wins a GPP. In a call between Hurns and Marquise Lee, lean to Allen's higher ceiling. WR – Eric Decker ($5,900) – A $400 tag drop catches our attention, as does the hidden generosity of the Miami defense against opposing WR. Over the last three weeks, the Dolphins have graded out among the worst despite two of those games being against the so-so Baltimore and Minnesota receivers. Even if Geno goes for 170, 1 TD, 2 INT, Decker could easily hit 3x value as the primary benefactor. WR – Donte Moncrief ($5,300) – Down a massive $600 in price and fresh off burning countless DFS owners yet again, this is a prime contrarian play. Use the recency bias of your fellow owners to your advantage. If TY Hilton sits, he's the #1 downfield threat for a team looking to get the bad taste of Dallas out of their mouth. If TY plays, even better, as Tennessee is right there with the worst at defending opposing WR2s. TE – Delanie Walker ($5,200) – Want to make yourself look foolish? Recommend any TE who doesn't play for the Patriots. Indy has poorly defended the TE all season and just brought pre-Cabo Jason Witten back from the dead a week ago. A TD reception at a $200 discount seems well within reason here. FADES: QB – Tony Romo ($8,900) – Boosted $500 off last week's masterpiece, he now enters DC in a game where he may very well see limited action. For good measure, this is the very opponent that completely owned the Dallas OL on MNF earlier this season. No thanks. QB – Ryan Tannehill ($8,300) – Bumped up by $400 off the Minnesota loss that ended their playoff hopes and set up a classic letdown spot, he now faces Rex Ryan's farewell defense. Plenty of better options on the board here. RB – Frank Gore ($5,900) – Arizona has been tough on the opposing RBs all season and you're paying a $500 higher price tag than he sold for last week. Week 17s "if you missed the wedding, don't show up for the funeral" special. The dust covered sliced peaches on the bottom shelf with the 2013 expiration date. Cleanup on aisle 49. RB – Lamar Miller ($6,700) – Throw out last week's golden matchup with Minnesota and Miller doesn't have a week in over two months that makes $6,700 fair GPP value. Add in the possibility of sharing carries in the meaningless closer and sprinkle the Jets run defense on top and this spells trouble. Pass. RB – Tre Mason ($6,800) – Is it common sense yet to not go all-in on a RB bumped up $300 in price as he goes into Seattle? Let's be honest; I can't even count this one in the win column. On the other hand, Tom Osborne scheduled Alcorn State for a reason, didn't he? WR – Riley Cooper ($5,400) – He's up $400 in price. He's the sixth option at best. Don't be fooled; they'll find that Malaysian jet before he finds the end zone again. As always, keep an eye on the weather and injury reports. Best of luck to all those playing the Week 17 Sunday Million. If you don't have a FanDuel account, sign up through PocketFives by clicking hereand get a generous deposit bonus plus access to 5,000 one-day leagues each week! Plus, play in this week's Sunday Million, which has a $2.5 million prize pool. Get started.
  5. This week's FanDuel Sunday Millionis offering up $2 million in prize money, with 91,954 entrants competing for a $200,000 top prize. Payouts will be issued to 19% of the field (17,475 places), so get in and claim your share! In Week 15, mperillo86and btong23chopped first place with an identical score of 189.6. This winning total (3.16 points per $1,000 of salary), was down from the previous week's winning total of 207.4. The top 20 finishers in Week 15's tourney had teams that broke down as follows: - All top 20 squads rostered Odell Beckham Jr. - 16 of 20 owned Le'Veon Bell - 17 of 20 owned Dez Bryant - Only 2 QBs were represented, with Derek Anderson showing up on 14 of the top 20 and Eli Manning appearing on the other 6. - Atlanta's Harry Douglas appeared on 8 of the top 20 rosters. In last week's column, we recommended the following Targets, with less than desirable results: - Winners: QB Derek Anderson, QB Eli Manning - Losers: RB Isaiah Crowell, WRs Martavis Bryant and Sammy Watkins, TE Larry Donnell - Meh: WR Marquess Wilson On the other hand, our Fades were once again on the mark, having rejected the prospects of the Green Bay Packers offense, Joe Flacco, the Andy Dalton/AJ Green combo, Andre Williams, Doug Baldwin, and Ryan Mathews. As in all large-field GPPs, in roster construction, we are looking to do the following: - Isolate good value plays based on game flow projection - Fade highly owned players that you can build a case against rostering - Pair up your QB with a receiver teammate On FanDuel, you have a $60,000 salary cap to fill nine positions: (1) QB, (2) RB, (3) WR, (1) TE, (1) K, (1) DEF Week 16 Plays: TARGETS QB – Josh McCown ($7,000): With ownership being high on the top QBs, Manziel owners taking another shot, and basement hunters on Clausen, McCown offers up a low percentage ownership play who is facing a soft pass defense in a game where his team projects to be chasing. Two high-quality WR pairing plays in Mike Evans ($7,900) and Vincent Jackson ($6,700) sweeten the pot. RB – Jonathan Stewart ($6,200): Down $500 in price from last week, Stewart goes up against a Browns defense that has been generous to opposing RB and was gashed at home last week by Jeremy Hill. Can easily hit 3x value. RB – Joique Bell ($7,300): Down $200 from last week's tag, Joique figures to be the main recipient of the Bears' horrific defense. Detroit may have no reason to air it out here and even with a lead, game flow plays into his hands. Roster with confidence. WR – Doug Baldwin ($6,100): Dropping $200 from last week, Baldwin makes one of our lists for the third straight time. The image of Arizona's toughness on opposing WR is not matched by the numbers; they are slightly below average in allowing WR fantasy points and Baldwin will be owned by very few. We zigged, then we zagged – this week we again zig and a TD would likely assure 3x value. TE – Julius Thomas ($6,000): Coming in $200 lower than Week 15's tag, Thomas is a second-off-the-layoff play facing a Cincy defense below average versus opposing TEs. A proven commodity at the always baffling TE spot with buy-low price tag is what we want to see. FADES QB – Matt Ryan ($8,700): With a price boost of $800 and with the prospect of tossing to a hobbled WR corps, this is the week to fade Senor Ice. The NO secondary is bad, the Saints are generous to opposing fantasy QBs, but hitting value at that price is far from a certainty. I'll fade and find a better spot. QB – Eli Manning ($7,700): Up $200 from the Washington gimme, don't pay for last week's numbers on a guy coming into St. Louis. No team, including Seattle, has been tougher on opposing QBs the past month. Thanks for last week, but we all know fantasy is a fickle friend. Eli who? RB – Jeremy Hill($7,300): Will be a hot commodity off last week, but paying $200 more while going up against a tough Denver run defense is not a prime spot to find value. The Week 16 "If you missed the wedding, don't show up for the funeral" fade. WR – Odell Beckham ($9,000): The other half of the Eli anti-pairing. He can do no wrong, and can't be covered. That's why he's $500 more expensive than last week. That's why despite the raise, he's still going to be owned en masse. That's why we're gonna watch him become what he actually is – a talented rookie in a bad matchup where he's grossly overpriced – from the sidelines. TE – Greg Olsen ($6,900): Up $200 in price and coming off of an excellent performance, Olsen now faces a Cleveland defense that has been stingy against opposing fantasy TE all year. Would need to produce more points in a game than he has in over two months to return required GPP value. Only thing more tilting than his mug is the 8.6 points next to his name on your rapidly sinking roster. No thanks. As always, keep an eye on the injury reports (especially the RB situation in Dallas), as well as the weather updates, and best of luck to all those playing. If you don't have a FanDuel account, sign up through PocketFives by clicking hereand get a generous deposit bonus plus access to 5,000 one-day leagues each week! Plus, play in this week's Sunday Million, which has a $2 million prize pool. Get started.
  6. Brian Stinger885Hastings (pictured) was formerly a staple of the highest stakes online poker games on the planet. He faced off against some of poker's brightest minds on the cash game felts and has $1.3 million in career live tournament scores, according to the Hendon Mob. Now, he's a regular in daily fantasy sports games on sites like FanDueland DraftKings, which take US players. PocketFives: Thank you for joining us. How does your typical week go? What are you playing? Brian Hastings: Especially since basketball started, I play about every day. Sunday and Thursday, I am entering football games. I am pretty much doing something every day. For a few weeks, I was doing 100 entries into the Millionaire Maker on DraftKings, so that took a little while. I've been ramping it down recently and only doing 20. When I was doing 100, I was making a spreadsheet to prepare and found all the players I wanted to use and tracked my exposure. I would say some weeks I spent 20 hours a week on it. PocketFives: Walk us through what it takes to create 100 lineups. Brian Hastings: I try to diversify quite a bit. The spreadsheet is to track exposure on how much of each player I have. I'll identify what QBs I want to use and make a bunch of teams around them. I'll add that up to 100 and start making all my Peyton Manning teams at once, for example, and then try to diversify among them. PocketFives: What resources do you use when setting your lineups? Brian Hastings: One simple resource is FantasyPros. They have rankings and projections of a bunch of experts on one site. I tend to believe in the wisdom of the crowd approach. I subscribe to FootballGuys too. PocketFives: How do you split your time and money between DraftKings and FanDuel? Brian Hastings: I usually try to play a decent amount on both sites. It depends on how big the games are and how much value is in them. On DraftKings, when they're running the Millionaire Maker, they've been overlaying it huge. FanDuel hasn't had a lot of overlays, but there are quite a few recreational players on that site. PocketFives: What have you been doing poker-wise? Brian Hastings: Mostly just playing live. I'm not playing as much as I used to. I still play a decent bit, though. I'm living in Florida and there's a decent amount that goes on here. The Hard Rock has big series every year. There are some cash games here. I miss poker in its previous state. It's a tougher game than it used to be, but I still enjoy it. I can still make money doing it, but it's not nearly as profitable. PocketFives: Do poker players have any sort of advantage in daily fantasy sports? Brian Hastings: Yes, poker players have some built-in advantages. The structure of the games is similar to poker. Poker players have an inherent understanding of things like EV and variance, which are crucial in DFS. Part of it is that it's natural for poker players in general because the average person might be skeptical about putting money online. It's right up your alley being able to bet money online. It's incredible how much FanDuel and DraftKings have been advertising too. You can't watch "Sunday NFL Countdown" without seeing a FanDuel or DraftKings commercial. If you don't have a FanDuel account, sign up through PocketFives by clicking hereand get a generous deposit bonus plus access to 5,000 one-day leagues each week! Plus, play in this week's Sunday Million, which has a $2 million prize pool. DraftKingshas a special Millionaire Maker running for Week 15.
  7. This week's FanDuel Sunday Millionoffers 91,954 contestants the opportunity to vie for $2 million in prizes, with 17,475 (19%) earning prize money. Before we get into this Sunday's card, let's take a look back at Week 14's results. Player jrdcoltstook down the $250,000 top prize with a score of 207.4 points; in this $60,000 salary cap tournament, his team accumulated an average of 3.45 points per $1,000 of salary. Sign up for FanDuel here and maybe you'll be this week's winner! Among the top 20 finishers in Week 14's tourney, the squads break down as follows: - 16 of 20 used a QB/WR teammate combo - 17 of 20 owned WR Julius Jones - 7 of 20 bought the Ryan/Jones Falcons combo - 8 different QBs were represented in the top 20 In last week's column, we recommended the following Targets, with mixed results: - Winners: QB Russell Wilson, WR Charles Johnson, WR Doug Baldwin - Losers: QB Brian Hoyer, RB Mark Ingram, TE Delanie Walker Our Fades were on the mark, as we snubbed Drew Brees, Tre Mason, and Ryan Fitzpatrick, two of them being very highly owned busts. As mentioned last week, we're looking to do the following: - Isolate good value plays based on game flow projections - Fade highly owned players that you can make a case against - Pair up your QB with a receiver teammate Your $60,000 salary cap fills nine positions: (1) QB, (2) RB, (3) WR, (1) TE, (1) K, (1) DEF On to Week 15: TARGETS: - QB – Derek Anderson ($5,000): Week 15 salaries at FanDuel were set prior to Newton's accident, making Anderson the obvious value play at the QB position. A repeat of the 18.2 points he put up on September 7th against these same Buccs would produce a solid 3.64 point/$1,000 return. Even if you don't love him here, the opportunity to load up elsewhere makes this salary relief play a tempting target. - QB – Eli Manning ($7,500): Despite being up $200 from last week, I still like Eli here, facing a Redskins defense that has been incredibly generous to the opposing QB this season. He's had a number of fantasy performances in 2014 that hit 3x value, including his biggest day of the year against this very defense. On a day where Johnny Manziel and Derek Anderson will see heavy usage, Mr. February flies slightly under the radar. - RB – Isaiah Crowell ($6,500): This looks like a week to spend the money on the top-level RBs, but if salary relief is needed at your RB2, you might want to feed the Cro. Cincy has been giving up big fantasy numbers to RBs all year, and with the focus on Johnny Manziel and Josh Gordon, he presents an interesting option who will be lightly owned. - WR – Martavis Bryant ($6,800): Another player coming in off a $200 salary increase, he presents the home run potential that you look for in huge-field tourneys. Everyone knows that Atlanta can be attacked through the air, but they are particularly weak against a team's #2 WR. CB Desmond Trufant can bring the fight to anyone, even a stud like Antonio Brown. Ben should find easy pickings looking the other way once Bell establishes the run. - WR – Sammy Watkins ($7,200): In a game against the high-powered Packers featuring an O/U of 50.5, this is my favorite contest play on the field in Buffalo. Green Bay is hitting the road off a short week and their defense, which has been welcoming to opposing passing games all season, has really been in the holiday spirit of late. I don't think I trust Orton enough to roll him here, but Watkins will be given touches by any means necessary. - WR – Marquess Wilson ($4,500): Slots into Brandon Marshall's spot and up against a Saints defense that leaves something to be desired. He seems to be the sharp play and he's priced to go; add in the MNF sweat and he will sport an ownership percentage that would make Frampton Comes Alive jealous. Who? Look it up. - TE – Larry Donnell ($5,200): Down $100 and just in time for Christmas, with the part of Santa being played by Skins DC Jim Haslett. 7/54/3 in the first matchup and Washington hasn't gotten any better against opposing TE since. Move over, Hess Truck. - Honorable Mention: TE – Kyle Rudolph ($5,100) – Detroit has been under-the-radar-poor versus TE. FADES: - Green Bay Packers: Short week off a long, high scoring affair, the Pack now travel out of conference to face a Buffalo defense that has been rock solid all year, both on the ground and in the air. GB has the studs, but in a GPP, let's fade them in this spot and find better matchups. - QB – Joe Flacco ($8,100): Jacksonville has been improving weekly against opposing QBs and both Smith Jr. and Smith Sr. are hobbled. - QB/WR Combo Play – Andy Dalton ($8,200)/ AJ Green ($9,000): Cleveland has been solid, if not spectacular against opposing QB/WR and with the combo up $300/$200 respectively, the value isn't there. Fade both. - RB – Andre Williams ($6,900): Redskins have their share of problems, but stuffing the run is one of the few that they don't have. Way up in price ($400) and facing a much better run defense, we want no part of this. - WR – Doug Baldwin ($6,300): Last week's hero, but DFS is a fickle friend. Once again, if you missed the wedding, don't show up for the funeral. Up $800 and facing a still-solid pass defense, let the memories of Sunday past destroy the next guy's budget. - Dishonorable Mention: RB – Ryan Mathews ($7.600) – Up $500 and facing a situation where an early deficit may make him a game flow casualty. As always, keep an eye on the late weather and injury reports, and good luck to all those playing the week 15 Sunday Million. If you don't have a FanDuel account, sign up through PocketFives by clicking hereand get a generous deposit bonus plus access to 5,000 one-day leagues each week! Plus, play in this week's Sunday Million, which has a $2 million prize pool. Get started.
  8. A member of PocketFives ever since our first year in business, Matt SamENoleSmith (pictured) has amassed $1.1 million in online tournament winnings along with almost $400,000 more at brick-and-mortar casinos. Now, he has turned his attention to daily fantasy sports (DFS) on sites like FanDueland DraftKings and, in fact, is camped out in Atlantis in the Bahamas for a big daily fantasy football tournament. Smith won the DraftKings Millionaire Maker in October, defeating a field of almost 100,000 entrants for a blistering $1 million. PocketFives: Talk about your decision to play daily fantasy sports. How did you get into it and how long did it take for you to feel like you had an edge? Matt Smith: I started in 2011 right after Black Friday. I started playing FanDuel baseball for fairly low stakes. I had a little bit of success, but nothing crazy. I didn't start getting into it too much until 2013 for a lot bigger stakes. Winning in baseball got me going. That was the only sport I felt really comfortable with. PocketFives: You play a lot of daily fantasy football, right? Matt Smith. Yeah. I've always been a football fan. There is so much more money in football. Baseball is every day, but football has the massive prize pools, so it was worth taking a shot. Football is more of a crap shoot. The fields are so huge. One or two players can make such a big difference. PocketFives: What resources do you use to determine your big-money NFL lineups each week? Matt Smith: I use RotoGrinders, RotoExperts, and Rotoworld for injury updates, but probably RotoExperts more than any of them. I like their write-ups and they have cheat sheets where the guys say who they like. I set a lot of my lineups based on those sheets. PocketFives: Talk about your trip to Atlantis (pictured) for the DraftKings King of the Beach this weekend. Matt Smith: It's similar to PCA, but there's not poker. There are 50 entrants and first place is $1 million. Last place is $7,500, so I've locked up that much. It's only the 1:00pm and 4:00pm games on Sunday, which is different from normal DFS. It should be a fun vacation. PocketFives: Do online poker players have any edge in DFS compared to the general public? Were there any skills from poker that carried over to DFS? Matt Smith: Poker players can grasp DFS a lot better than the normal person can, even if it's just bankroll management. I don't think the normal person is willing to spin $500 to $1,000 in a tournament, but poker players are used to it. Learning the stats and how to read them is similar to poker. If you have a good stats-based mind, you can probably figure out DFS. PocketFives: Just like in poker, how important is volume in DFS? What do you consider an optimal number of teams in a big tournament like the FanDuel Sunday Million or DraftKings Millionaire Maker? Matt Smith: Half of the Millionaire Maker winners only had a couple of entries, but it's an advantage to have a lot of teams. I normally have 50 or 60 teams in the Millionaire Maker and the week I won, I had 60. Multi-entry is a big discussion in fantasy just like it is in poker, but the prize pools wouldn't be as big as they are if they didn't allow it. Some people complain that the pros have an advantage having 100 teams, for example, but I've played tourneys with one or two entries and didn't feel like I was at a significant disadvantage. You're risking less to win more, but you don't have as big of a chance to win. I know some people who have had 1,000 entries in one week, but it's time-consuming to put in all of those entries. I start Saturday and it takes a few hours to get 50. I don't start looking at much of anything until Saturday night. You don't know during the week who will be available, but Saturday night you'll know and Sunday morning you look at inactives and do a few more lineups. I spend probably three or four hours on Saturday night and two more on Sunday morning. PocketFives: Do you still play poker? Matt Smith: There's a Hard Rock Casino a few minutes away, so I was paying two or three nights a week. It's a good backup. Before DFS, that was how I was getting by, playing $2/$5 and $5/$10 at the Hard Rock, but I don't enjoy live poker as much as online. I was definitely doing DFS at the poker table! If you don't have a FanDuel account, sign up through PocketFives by clicking hereand get a generous deposit bonus plus access to 5,000 one-day leagues each week! Plus, play in this week's Sunday Million, which has a $2.25 million prize pool. DraftKingshas a special Millionaire Maker running for Week 15.
  9. According to Online Poker Report (OPR) and a Tweet from ESPN writer David Purdum, Nevada Gaming Control Board officials have begun examining the legality of daily fantasy sports (DFS), which US players can play on sites like FanDueland DraftKings for real money. The Tweet from Purdum read, "Nevada Gaming Control chairman AG Burnett has begun legal analysis of daily fantasy sports and welcomes communication from DFS operators." Purdum followed up a question of whether Nevada could eventually outlaw DFS by responding, "Maybe end it in the state, but not nationwide. Still so much gray area." OPR wrote in a thread on Two Plus Two, "Not really a surprise given recent comments from casino execs and Nevada Gaming. It's hard to say what side Nevada is going to come down on, but thetone and tenor suggests a negative outcome for DFS is more likely than not." OPR added, "There's also the chance that Nevada regulators could split the baby and produce an analysis that requires regulation while stopping short of declaring DFS to be gambling. The big question is how other states will respond. I suspect that other states with regulated commercial casinos will come under pressure to address the issue quickly once Nevada does." Fantasy sports received a carve-out from the 2006 Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act. However, the question has lingered of whether DFS and season-long leagues are one in the same from a legal standpoint. Over the weekend, it was revealed that DraftKings raised another $300 million, with the investment contingent led by Fox Sports. According to the New York Times, Fox Sports will get 11% equity in DraftKings. Other companies involved in the $300 million effort include the Kraft Group, NHL, MLS, and Madison Square Garden. ESPN has an exclusive advertising agreement with DraftKings. Forbes said of the legality of DFS, "If there was any concern that such operations were involved in betting or wagering, then it would be hard to fathom that the leagues would be partnering with daily fantasy operations, let alone putting money into their coffers." FanDuel and DraftKings do not accept players from a small handful of states like Arizona and Iowa. Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook.
  10. In recent days, PokerStars, the world's largest online poker site, has been surveying players about daily fantasy sports. Why? As we've reported here before, PokerStars is launching its own DFS site or acquiring an existing one, potentially by the start of football season. The survey's questions range from a person's knowledge of the industry and activity in it to whether they've heard of the two major players in the DFS space: FanDueland DraftKings. Also included are a few questions related to PokerStars' brand. About halfway through is the question, "Are you aware that Daily Fantasy Sports games are now legal to play for real money in the US" based on a loophole in the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act. You might recall that business professor John Warren Kindt asked for the hole to be closed in a recent House subcommittee hearing. Some industry observers have questioned the legality of fantasy golf and NASCAR, sports DraftKings offers but FanDuel does not. Yahoolaunched a DFS product already this month and has a base of millions of users in the US. The company has already integrated DFS into its mobile app. Without further delay, here's the survey that PokerStars sent out to players: Have you ever played any Fantasy Sports? Yes No Have you ever played any Daily Fantasy Sports – where you pick a fantasy team for a heads up or league tournament with the results dependent on just one days/weekend's set of result? Yes No Which Fantasy Sports have you ever played? Baseball (MLB) Nascar Soccer Hockey (NHL) Golf (PGA) Basketball (NBA) Football (NFL) Other Do you play Daily Fantasy Sports for money? Yes No How often do you play Daily Fantasy Sports? Daily Most weeks Every couple of weeks Once a month or so Less than once a month I don’t play Daily Fantasy Sports anymore Are you aware that Daily Fantasy Sports games are now legal to play for real money in the US? Yes No Which of these Daily Fantasy Sports operators have you heard of? FanDuel DraftKings Neither How important are/would the following be in your choice of a Daily Fantasy Sports provider (rate from 1 to 5)? Variety of stake levels Celebrity endorsement Mobile offer Free play available Promotions/offers Prize pool available Pay out speed Payment options available Trust in the providers name/brand Recommendation from a friend Challenge your friends option Sports offered Ease of use/user experience Are there any other important factors in your choice of a Daily Fantasy Sports provider? (open-ended) If PokerStars were to offer Daily Fantasy Sports, how likely would you be to play on PokerStars or a PokerStars' backed site? I would play I would be very likely to play I would probably play I might play I wouldn't play How much do you agree/disagree with the following statements (rate from 1 to 5)? I'd only play Daily Fantasy Sports with a brand I knew Poker and Daily Fantasy Sports are quite similar disciplines There's a lot of skill in Daily Fantasy Sports PokerStars is a brand I trust PokerStars would be better sticking to poker How important are/would be the following as motivations around playing Daily Fantasy Sports (rate from 1 to 5)? Opportunities to challenge friends Opportunity to use my interest/knowledge in sport The personal challenge Competition Fun Opportunity to make money Adding something extra to the days/weekends sports fixtures Any other comments? (open-ended) Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook.
  11. So Nevada shut down daily fantasy sports operators in their state yesterday. They basically said DFS is gambling, so therefore providers need to have a gambling license to offer DFS contests in the state of Nevada. --- Qualify for the Star Fantasy Leagues $150,000 Fantasy Football Championship for as little as $2 at StarFantasyLeagues.com.Get in the game! --- I am frustrated and just deleted a big rant about a government that legislates morality. Our American government, the same one that says that poker is not a game of skill and weed is just as dangerous as cocaine, has also said that DFS is a game of skill and therefore not gambling. Obviously they’re wrong and DFS is gambling, but they ignore that games of skill can also be games of gamble. I wish they would stop worrying about things like “gambling is bad, except for the lottery” and start letting people make their own decisions. In the meantime I really don’t think we have to worry about a Black Friday like event. The industry is clearly legal today. This is quite a different landscape than online poker was. Bill Frist and Congress basically said that online poker was illegal in 2006 and then we pretended they didn’t until the Department of Justice shut things down in 2011. If the DOJ wanted to shut down DFS, first they would have to say they were wrong in the UIGEA and re-write law. DraftKings is in Boston, FanDuel is in New York, and nearly a billion dollars in investment capital has come in this year from other influential American entities. PokerStars is in the Isle of Man, Full Tilt was in Ireland, and Ultimate Bet was in Costa Rica. For DFS to go away like online poker did after Black Friday is a pretty unrealistic task. I could see other states besides Nevada banning DFS or calling for gaming licenses, but I don’t see it happening at a Federal level anytime soon. Yesterday I submitted 10 lineups into the $2 Thursday qualifier for the FanDuel Fantasy Football Championship in Vegas. My intention is to get a glimpse into how the public is being swayed on FanDuel. I did my best to pick guys that I or others like, and here’s what I learned: Quarterback Tom Brady 20.2% Matt Ryan 12.6%* Andy Dalton 12.6% Carson Palmer 6.5% Drew Brees 6%* Aaron Rodgers 5.7% Blake Bortles 4.8% Eli Manning 4% Sam Bradford 2.8% Andrew Luck 0.6% (65.2% of 100% accounted for) Brady’s really popular. Ryan ($8,100) and Brees ($8,300) owners will likely gravitate to Brady at $9,000 making him more popular. People are obviously off Luck coming back from injury. People think Peyton Manning is more like a noodle armed fainting goat than a guy who threw more touchdowns than anybody ever has before two years ago. I like Palmer at $8,000 but he’s not as exciting as Brees or Ryan was. Russell Wilson at $8,000 is overpriced. People don’t like Eli Manning or Bradford either, so the 18% who were on Ryan and Brees will likely pay up to Brady or down to Dalton ($7,600). Sixteen other QBs average about 2% each, I don’t think I missed anybody popular. Running Back Devonta Freeman 54.2%* Dion Lewis 14.6% Chris Ivory 12.1% Eddie Lacy 11% Adrian Peterson 10.1% Le’Veon Bell 9.9% Matt Forte 9.9% LeGarrette Blount 8.1% Adrian Foster 6.8% Charcandrick West 5.6% Gio Bernard 5.3% DeMarco Murray 4.5% Chris Johnson 2.8% Frank Gore 2.2% Carlos Hyde 2% Lamar Miller 2% CJ Anderson 1.8% Rashad Jennings 0.9% (163.8 of 200% accounted for) I pegged Freeman for 42% ownership, I was way off. They’re all going to go somewhere but we have a nice popularity scale here. Remember last week when the Washington Redskins were good at covering the run, so we all faded Freeman? This week the Redskins are still good at covering the run, but since Freeman shredded them last week it seems people think that Ivory will shred them this week. Lewis is pretty heavily owned for a guy who was limited in practice yesterday with an abdomen injury. I thought Charcandrick would be more popular. Wide Receiver Julian Edelman 33% Larry Fitzgerald 22.5% Allen Robinson 19.6% Willie Snead 18.9%* Julio Jones 12.8%* AJ Green 11.4% James Jones 10.9% Brandon Marshall 10.5% Jeremy Maclin 7.1% Anquan Boldin 6.2% Jordan Matthews 6% Calvin Johnson 6% Allen Hurns 5.8% Leonard Hankerson 4.6%* Donte Moncrief 3.6% Randall Cobb 3.5% TY Hilton 2.3% Odell Beckham Jr. 2.3% Marquess Wilson 2.1% John Brown 2% Demaryius Thomas 1.9% Antonio Brown 1.8% Dwayne Harris 1% Mohamed Sanu 0.5% Josh Huff 0.3% Davante Adams 0.2% (196.8% of 300% accounted for) Seems everybody is all aboard the New England Patriots train. Makes them all a fade for me in GPPs. Never thought I would see a Jaguars wide receiver at 19.6% on a full slate. Tight End Antonio Gates 31.8% Tyler Eifert 14.6% Rob Gronkowski 13.3% Martellus Bennett 6.4% Travis Kelce 3.3% Delanie Walker 1.7% Julius Thomas 1.6% Jimmy Graham 1.2% Zach Ertz 1.2% Kyle Rudolph 0.7% (75.8 of 100% accounted for) Gates seems a little too popular to me. People are high on the Green Bay defense, low on Philip Rivers, and really, really high on Gates. These things do not make sense to me. Kickers Stephen Gostkowski 14.5% Brandon McManus 10.3% Josh Brown 9.1% Matt Bryant 6.7%* Mason Crosby 3.8% Steven Hauschka 3.5% Zach Hocker 3.3%* Nick Folk 2% Caleb Sturgis 1.6% Defense Denver Broncos 22.5% New York Jets 15.1% Green Bay Packers 6.2% Cincinnati Bengals 4.9% Minnesota Vikings 4.5% Seattle Seahawks 3.9% Detroit Lions 3% Philadelphia Eagles 1.6% Buffalo Bills 0.6% Jacksonville Jaguars 0.5% (62.8 of 100%) People figured out that Denver has the best defense in the league, but 22% for a defense on the road that isn't much of a favorite is way too high of an ownership percentage. I think Seattle is the nuts this week and I love that they're so low owned. Nothing really surprising here overall. People gravitate harder to the chalk because people would rather min-cash every week than win the contest once a year. The Patriots look really good for cash games, but I will be fading the lot of them in GPPs simply from a game theory perspective. If Brady is owned at 20% and Rodgers is 6%, then Rodgers is the better GPP play because playing Rodgers increases our probability to win the GPP. Green Bay’s team total is nearly as high as New England’s, and I think it’s pretty unreasonable to expect Brady to outperform Rodgers at a 20-6 rate if we played this weekend 26 times.
  12. On Wednesday, Online Poker Report's Chris Grove (pictured) published a series of Tweets regarding the legality of daily fantasy sports (DFS). As we've written about before, Nevada gaming officials are digging into the legality of DFSand could potentially shut the industry down in the state or change the way it's taxed and licensed. Other states could soon follow. Check out Chris on Twitter. Nevada Gaming Control Board Chairman AG Burnett announced his plans to take a look at DFS on Twitter, leading Grove to surmise, "My thinking isthey wouldn't announce the review if they knew they were going to conclude it was 100% not gambling." Fantasy sports are exempt from the 2006 Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act and, in recent years, DFS sites like FanDueland DraftKings have flourished. At DFS sites, Americans can play for real money. Grove pointed out, however, that it's unclear whether DFS is permitted under other federal statutes besides the UIGEA: "The only federal law where fantasy enjoys a clear exemption is UIGEA - not Wire Act, IGBA, or Travel Act. And even under UIGEA, simply calling a DFS game 'fantasy' does not ensure protection. Lots of ambiguity given law predates DFS." When asked if Nevada, by itself, could "pretty much end DFS," ESPN reporter David Purdum said on Twitter, "Maybe end it in the state, but not nationwide. Still so much gray area." Nevada could declare DFS gambling and then tax the industry accordingly, for example, just as it does its land-based casinos and online poker rooms. Grove also pointed out that the newly-launched DFS site from Yahoo lacks much of the security measures employed by regulated New Jersey online gambling sites: "Yahoo DFS allows players to create bogus accounts [and]deposit with credit cards that don't match account info… ID / age verification + financial / AML checks are basically non-existent at Yahoo DFS vs a regulated NJ poker site… Even vs the standard set by other DFS sites, Yahoo's real money DFS product lacks basic ID / financial safeguards." Read more at Legal Sports Report. Yahoo's game selection and prize pools are considerably smaller than at DraftKings or FanDuel. However, Yahoo is a publicly traded company with millions of users and could, therefore, be a major force in the DFS industry. Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook.
  13. [caption width="640"] Will Cam Newton lead your team to victory on FanDuel this weekend?[/caption] On Sunday, the daily fantasy sports site FanDuelis hosting an NFL Sunday Million for the AFC and NFC Championship games. It's only a two-game slate, which means the winner will need to have plenty of differentiation in his lineup in order to make it out of what could be a 46,000-man field. The tournament costs $25 to enter and has a first place prize of $100,000. The top 8,750 lineups will finish in the money, with a minimum payout of $50, and the top eight will bring home a five-figure payday. Not bad for a few hours of work. You'll have $60,000 to fill out a nine-player roster, an average of $6,667 per slot. You'll select one quarterback, two running backs, three wide receivers, one tight end, one kicker, and one defense. FanDuel awards 0.5 points per reception, so keep that in mind when you're drafting players. There are only four quarterbacks to choose from this week. Cam Newton is the most expensive option at $8,500. Tom Brady is the second most expensive at $8,100. Carson Palmer and Peyton Manning, two ageless wonders, round out the QB position at $7,700 and $6,700, respectively. At running back, David Johnson, who has slowed down considerably in recent weeks, is the most expensive option at $8,000. Jonathan Stewart is $7,000, while James White of New England is $6,400. The only other running back over $6,000 is CJ Anderson, who is $6,300. At receiver, five players are over $7,000 for the conference championship week. The most expensive wideout on the board is Larry Fitzgerald, who had a renaissance of sorts last week and is at $8,000. Julian Edelman is $7,800, Demaryius Thomas is $7,600, Michael Floyd is $7,500, and Emmanuel Sanders is $7,400. Yes, both of Manning's receivers are in the top five in terms of cost, but Manning himself is the cheapest quarterback on the board at $6,700. At tight end, it'll likely be a choice between the highly priced Rob Gronkowski at $8,900 and the more affordable Greg Olsen at $7,000. All other tight ends on the board seem like very low-floor dart throws this week. Carolina's defense, going against Arizona, will set you back $5,100, while Arizona's defense in the same game is $4,900. Denver's defense, which leads the NFL in many statistical categories, is $4,800, while New England's defense is the cheapest option at $4,600. If you don't already have a FanDuel account, get one here. FanDuel typically offers a 100% up to $200 deposit bonus that you'll get back as you play. Each contest played results in a percentage of your deposit bonus coming back to you.
  14. [caption width="468"] AJ Green was on the winning FanDuel Wild Card Weekend Saturday Million lineup[/caption] Wild Card Weekend has come and gone in the NFL. With 158.26 points, 'buttfumbletwo'won the FanDuel Wild Card Weekend Saturday Million, padding his bankroll by $120,000. He edged out the second place player by just 0.3 points. There were four games on the Wild Card slate. At the quarterback position, 'buttfumbletwo' had Washington's Kirk Cousins, who was 27% owned and had 329 passing yards, two total touchdowns, and a lost fumble. Cousins amassed 21.36 points, or two-and-a-half times his $8,000 salary. At running back, 'buttfumbletwo' rostered Fitzgerald Toussaint and James Starks, who were 19% and 7% owned, respectively. Toussaint, filling in for the injured DeAngelo Williams, had 58 rushing yards and four catches for 60 yards, totaling 13.8 points on FanDuel. Starks, who had largely been an afterthought in recent weeks, logged 65 yards from scrimmage and a touchdown for Green Bay. At receiver, 'buttfumbletwo' paid up to get Doug Baldwin, AJ Green, and Martavis Bryant. Baldwin, who was 35% owned in a game played in subzero temperatures, had five catches for 42 yards and a touchdown. Green, who was 39% owned, also found the end zone on five catches for 71 yards. Green's season is now over, while Baldwin and the Seahawks head to Carolina on Sunday. Bryant was 14% owned after turning in duds the last few weeks, but responded to critics by snagging five balls for 29 yards and a touchdown. He also added 44 yards rushing for a total of 15.8 points on FanDuel. Bryant could be the de facto number one receiver for Pittsburgh in the team's Divisional Round game against Denver if Antonio Brown cannot go due to a concussion. At tight end, 'buttfumbletwo' selected Jordan Reed, the most expensive tight end on the board this week. Reed, however, didn't disappoint and reeled in nine catches for 140 yards and a touchdown for the Redskins, scoring 22.5 points on FanDuel. Despite his price tag, Reed was almost 50% owned. 'buttfumbletwo' had a Kansas City kicker-defense stack. Cairo Santos had three field goals and three extra points, good for 14 points on FanDuel. Santos was 14% owned. Kansas City's defense eviscerated Brian Hoyer and the Texans to the tune of zero points allowed, one touchdown, three sacks, one fumble recovery, and four interceptions. The Chiefs were 23% owned and racked up 29 points, the most of any defense during the Wild Card Round. [caption width="630"] buttfumbletwo's winning lineup[/caption] For the NFL Divisional Round starting on Saturday, FanDuel is running another Saturday Million. It has a $25 price tag and awards $120,000 to the winner. If you don't already have a FanDuel account, sign up here. FanDuel typically offers a 100% up to $200 deposit bonus that you'll get back as you play. Each contest played results in a percentage of your deposit bonus coming back to you.
  15. [caption width="468"] David Johnson helped Dank18 win the FanDuel Sunday Million[/caption] The Week 15 FanDuel Sunday Millionended with a one-point win for Dank18, who turned $25 into $175,000. All Dank18 needed was the Denver Broncos to explode, and that's exactly what happened, as Brock Osweiler threw for three touchdowns and almost 300 yards. Dank18 stacked Osweiler with receivers Emmanuel Sanders and Demaryius Thomas. The former had 10 catches for 181 yards and a score, while Thomas found the end zone twice on five catches for 61 yards. Osweiler also rushed for a TD in the process and given that the Broncos only scored 27 points, Dank18's trio of players from that team accounted for all of their touchdowns. All three were not highly owned given Osweiler's recent struggles. Dank18's big hit came from Cardinals running back David Johnson, who was 31% owned, but made his owners proud, scoring three times on 29 carries for 187 yards. He added another 42 yards through the air and will likely be one of the highest-owned running backs of Week 16. Dank18 also rostered Steelers running back DeAngelo Williams, who didn't have that blockbuster of a day, but scored a touchdown and amassed 14 points. Dank18 paired Williams with teammate Antonio Brown in an interesting move. Brown shredded Denver's elite secondary for two touchdowns and scored 38 points on FanDuel. He was Dank18's second highest scorer. At tight end, Dank18 selected Jordan Reed, who continues to be highly effective when healthy. In the Redskins' win over the Bills at home, Reed had seven catches for 84 yards and two touchdowns. He has scored three times and seen 16 targets in his last two games. Kicker Jason Myers largely was a dud for Dank18, only scoring six points for Jacksonville. At defense, Dank18 selected New England, which had one fumble recovery, five sacks, and two picks against the Tennessee Titans, who only mustered 16 points on offense. FanDuel has another $1.75 million guaranteed NFL Sunday Million on tap this weekend for Week 16. It costs $25 to enter and has a $175,000 first place prize. Visit FanDuel to enter.
  16. The biggest GPP on FanDuel this past week was the $3,000,000 guaranteed event that offered $500,000 to first for a $25 buy-in. Coming out on top of the field for that six-figure score was 'Rtoraine'. His winning lineup included some of the more popular picks for Week 9, but also had some real value finds that eventually led his team to amassing the 229.18 points needed to win. Here's a breakdown of Rtoraine's lineup: QB: Cam Newton (2.2% owned, 34.58 points) RB: Adrian Peterson (3% owned, 21.3 points) RB: DeAngelo Williams (26.5% owned, 37.5 points) WR: Antonio Brown (25.1% owned, 37.1 points) WR: Randall Cobb (5.4% owned, 17.9 points) WR: Jordan Matthews (1.4% owned, 23.8 points) TE: Delanie Walker (6% owned, 27 points) K: Josh Brown (3.5% owned, 17 points) D/ST: New York Giants (1.9% owned, 13 points) Cam Newton, who had one of the lowest ownership percentages this week, had himself a day against the Green Bay Packers, throwing three touchdowns and rushing for another on his way to 34.58 FanDuel points. While most lineups included some variation of QB/WR or QB/TE stacks, 'Rtoraine' went rogue and didn't stack any Panthers with Newton. Newton wasn't Rtoraine's only pick that went against the grain. He also scooped up Adrian Peterson (3%). The Minnesota Vikings RB rushed for 125 yards and a TD. The other RB, Pittsburgh Steelers RB DeAngelo Williams, was on the other end of the ownership spectrum with 26.5% ownership. Williams went off, scoring 37.5 points off of 170 yards and two TDs rushing and 55 receiving yards. Williams' day was impressive, but it wasn't even the best day by a Steeler. WR Antonio Brown had 17 receptions for 284 yards, but somehow never found the end zone. That didn't matter, as Brown amassed 37.1 points for 'Rtoraine'. He also had Randall Cobb score him 17.9 points and possibly the most under-utilized player of Week 9, Jordan Matthews (1.4% owned), add 23.8 points to his total. Tennessee Titans TE Delanie Walker scored 27 points to round out Rtoraine's skill positions. New York Giants Kicker Josh Brown and the New York Giants D/ST rounded out his roster. The $3,000,000 Guaranteed is back again for Week 10 with $500,000 going to the eventual winner. The buy-in is just $25. Sign up for FanDuel and put your NFL knowledge to the test.
  17. [caption width="468"] Demaryius Thomas is the most expensive receiver this week on FanDuel[/caption] If your Saturday is looking dull, cold, or you just need a new hobby, the NFL Divisional Round begins at 4:35pm ET with Kansas City at New England. Get your popcorn read. Question marks on both sides of the ball could mean some sneaky daily fantasy football plays and should make for a weekend of low-scoring, defensive-driven pigskin. Once again this weekend, FanDuelis running a $1.25 million guaranteed NFL Saturday Million. The tournament will pay out $120,000 to first place and the top 11,490 lineups will finish in the money, with the minimum payout being $60. The tournament is capped at 57,471 entries and has been quite popular the last few weeks, so get your lineups in while there's still plenty of room. Remember, lineups lock on Saturday at 4:35pm ET. If you enter the Saturday Million on FanDuel, you'll select one quarterback, two running backs, three wide receivers, one tight end, one kicker, and one defense. Yes, kickers matter on FanDuel, so choose wisely. You'll get $60,000 to fill out your nine-man roster, an average of $6,667 per player. Here are the two most expensive players at each position this weekend. Note that Antonio Brown is actually the most expensive wide receiver, but because he was ruled out, he was not included in this list: QB: Carson Palmer - $8,900 Cam Newton - $8,700 RB: David Johnson - $8,500 Marshawn Lynch - $7,800 WR: Demaryius Thomas - $8,100 Larry Fitzgerald - $7,900 TE: Rob Gronkowski - $8,300 Travis Kelce - $6,600 K: Stephen Gostkowski - $5,200 Graham Gano - $4,900 DEF: Denver Broncos - $5,300 Carolina Panthers - $5,000 The Antonio Brown news is pretty major and dampens the outlook of all Steelers' skill position players. His absence could make Denver the premier defensive play of the week, although much of the field will also be on Arizona, which crushed Green Bay three weeks ago and gets another home date with the Packers in the Divisional Round on Saturday night. Health questions also surround Rob Gronkowski, Jeremy Maclin, and Marshawn Lynch. If $25 is a little much, FanDuel is also running a $1 million guaranteed NFL Saturday Rush, which has a $5 buy-in and a $1 million guaranteed prize pool. First place will receive $100,000, almost as much as the winner of the Saturday Million gets. The field of the Saturday Rush is already at 118,000 lineups, but remains about half-full. If you don't already have a FanDuel account, sign up here. FanDuel typically offers a 100% up to $200 deposit bonus that you'll get back as you play. Each contest played results in a percentage of your deposit bonus coming back to you.
  18. With the NFL Divisional Round this weekend, we'll look at a strong tool that can be utilized in a four-game, two-day tournament. As many people are already aware, there are a number of differences between DraftKingsand FanDuel, the industry's two major players, when it comes to format, including roster spots (kicker on FanDuel, flex on DraftKings) and scoring structure (DraftKings being full 1 point PPR, FanDuel being 0.5 PPR). When it comes to a short slate, perhaps the single most important distinction between the two sites is the late swap feature on DraftKings. On FanDuel, once the first game of a tournament kicks off, the roster is locked, for better or for worse. If a massive deluge that wasn't in the weather forecast hits Miami at 3pm, your 4pm players in the Dolphins home game are locked and there's nothing you can do. This can work in your favor, like the times you faded the game completely and everyone lured by the 53-point Vegas total are ripping up their tickets. With DraftKings, you may swap out any player whose game has not yet kicked off as long as the player you replace him with is eligible for the same position and his salary does not put you over the cap. Now that we have this late swap tool in our arsenal, it is important to consider how this plays into the game theory of a four-game card played out over two days. In the case of the playoff short slates, not only do we have games over two days, but just as importantly, none of the games overlap time-wise. The second game each day will not start until the first one completes. One of the ways we can attack a short-slate card in a GPP is to put together a couple of sharply-contrasting entries, which keeps in the spirit of go big or go home that gives you the best chance in a GPP. In large-field tournaments with top-heavy payout structures, the goal is hitting the top 5% and up, so the fact that our lineups will drastically contrast is fine in that we are taking multiple shots at that leaderboard, not trying to train together three min-cashes. If we are looking at the Green Bay versus Arizona game on Saturday, for example, your main lineup could be very Packers-heavy; a multi-entry pivot could be a contrasting lineup that is very Arizona-heavy, with a third entry mixing players from both sides to fill your roster. If we have a blowout, one of our squads is going to be sitting pretty and the others are done. If it is a shootout, our mixed lineup is likely in very good shape. But what happens if a highly targeted short-slate game is a drab 16-10 affair and none of our lineups put up pinball scores? This is where our late swap ties into the equation. Pending what happened in the other Saturday game, we are looking at low scores heading into Sunday's pair that are begging to be picked off the leaderboard in short fashion. That's a good thing because we have saved a couple of entries that used zero Saturday players. Very few people have done the same and we can now pretty much put together a lineup of the best players we can fit in the cap off the Sunday pair with realistic expectations of a decent cash. What if one of the teams in the Arizona/Green Bay game we used as an example blows out their opponent? Great, because we have a few roster spots left to boost our score and the players we use on Sunday will in essence block our competition because we are already ahead of many tournament lineups using the same players. Obviously, this does not always work to score, but it is a strategy that promises long-term upside to the player who is willing to take a stand and go big or go home. Now, take what you've learned and sign up for DraftKingsor sign up for FanDuel.
  19. [caption width="468"] Russell Wilson is the most expensive QB this weekend on FanDuel[/caption] It's Wild Card Weekend in the NFL. FanDuelis still going strong and, in fact, is running a $1.25 Million Saturday Million. As its name suggests, the tournament kicks off on Saturday and includes all four Wild Card games. At the time of writing, the FanDuel Saturday Million, which has a buy-in of $25, has 19,600 lineups entered out of a capacity of 57,471. First place takes home $120,000, while second place gets half that. Third place will pocket $30,000 and the top five finishers will make five-figures. The top 11,490 lineups will make the money and it all starts on Saturday at 4:35pm ET, so set your lineups by then. Also proving to be popular this weekend on FanDuel is the $5 buy-in Saturday NFL Rush. The prize pool of $1 million in the NFL Rush is almost as large as the Saturday Million's, as is the first place prize of $100,000. The top five finishers will take home at least $10,000 and the NFL Rush has a capacity of 229,885 lineups. At the time of writing, it was about half full. If you're a high-roller, check out FanDuel's $300 buy-in Saturday NFL Monster, which has a guaranteed prize pool of $400,000 and a capacity of 1,481 lineups, making it one of the smallest fields out there this weekend. First place gets $80,000 and there were fewer than 400 lineups when we checked in on it. Russell Wilson, Adrian Peterson, Antonio Brown, Jordan Reed, Steven Hauschka, and Seattle's defense are the most expensive players at their respective positions for Wild Card Weekend. On FanDuel, you'll select one quarterback, two running backs, three wide receivers, one tight end, one kicker, and one defense. FanDuel uses 0.5 PPR scoring, so you'll get half-a-point for every reception. If you don't already have a FanDuel account, sign up here. FanDuel typically offers a 100% up to $200 deposit bonus that you'll get back as you play. Each contest played results in a percentage of your deposit bonus coming back to you.
  20. The Golden State Warriors 23-0 start is on the line in Boston tonight and while NBA will fans will be distracted by that game, savvy daily fantasy NBA players should be looking at the 11-game Friday night slate as a good chance to cash in. FanDuel has a Friday night contest with a $300,000 guarantee and just a $2 buy-in and first place pays $25,000. Sign-up for FanDuel here and earn a 100% bonus on your initial deposit (up to $200). Putting your FanDuel NBA team together is relatively easy. You're going to need two point guards, two shooting guards, two small forwards, two power forwards and just one center. That's nine players and you have a $60,000 salary cap giving you an average spend per player of $6,666. The FanDuel scoring system is easy for the novice player to understand. 3 PT FG: 3pts 2 PT FG: 2pts Made Free Throw: 1pt Rebound: 1.2pts Assist: 1.5pts Block: 2pts Steal: 2pts Turnover: -1pt Top FanDuel scoring NBA players in action Friday by position (PG) Russell Westbrook (OKC) 50.2 FPPG ($10,800) (SG) Eric Bledsoe (PHX) 37.9 FPPG ($8,600) (SF) LeBron James (CLE) 46.1 FPPG ($10,400) (PF) Anthony Davis (NO) 44.9 FPPG ($11,000) (C) Andre Drummond (LAC) 43.8 FPPG (9,300) Complete Friday Night NBA Schedule Cleveland Cavaliers Orlando Magic Miami Heat Indiana Pacers Milwaukee Bucks Toronto Raptors Charlotte Hornets Memphis Grizzlies Oklahoma City Thunder Utah Jazz L.A. Lakers San Antonio Spurs Detroit Pistons Philadelphia 76ers Golden St. Warriors Boston Celtics Washington Wizards New Orleans Pelicans Minnesota Timberwolves Denver Nuggets Portland Trail Blazers Phoenix Suns
  21. [caption width="468"] Should you put Jordan Reed into your DFS lineups?[/caption] The NFL Wildcard round presents a unique puzzle when it comes to the DFS landscape: a card of only 4 games, comprising 8 teams all good enough to qualify for the post-season. Due to the vastly reduced number of players in the pool, a winning tourney team will have to have at least one player who goes off at very low ownership. The first thing we need to do in attacking a 4-game slate is to re-evaluate what it means to be a low ownership player. For argument's sake, let's assume there are 4 teams on a bye, as well as a Thursday night game already in the can. In this common instance, we are left with 13 games, or 26 teams. If we deem 25% of the starting quarterbacks unplayable due to poor matchups, bad weather, or any other reason, the playable pool is a rounded off 20 quarterbacks. By extension, if all are played exactly an equal number of times, we will have 5% ownership across the board. A QB topping 10% ownership on a typical Sunday would fall onto the higher-owned side of the ledger. With a 4 game slate, we have a pool of only 8 QBs. Knocking it down to 6 by performing the same 25% unplayable exercise as on a full card leaves us with 16.67% ownership across the board if split equally, with a highly-owned QB breaking the 20% barrier. Due to our need to be contrarian, the QB is an excellent spot to consider taking that first against-the-grain stance for a couple of reasons. Even the worst QB has a decent floor. They are out there for every offensive snap and are the player you can roster that is guaranteed to touch the ball. Secondly, you can usually make a safe assumption that a quarterback on a playoff team is a solid player and if that isn't enough, consider that on the 2 major DFS sites a passing TD is only worth 4 points, not the 6 on the game scoreboard. The difference between a QB having a so-so game versus one having a pretty good game is very few points. As an added bonus, a good deal of your competition will favor the flashy arms over the guys who will tuck it away and scramble; good for you that rushing TDs are worth 6 points in DFS. When it comes to running backs, you can still be rewarded for a stance that is against-the-grain, but keep in mind that the floor is lower than it is at QB for the simple fact that not a single touch is guaranteed. If you can save a few dollars by going to the RB who comes in on passing downs to replace the starter, especially on a full point PPR site such as DraftKings, then it could serve you well. Plugging in the third string RB with the thought that if the starter gets injured you'd be all alone with #3, then you are really grasping at straws. This would be the difference between a good contrarian play and poor percentage stab in the dark. Same as with a starting RB who doesn't have the huge numbers of the best guys; in a playoff setting, a RB who gets snaps will be a valuable source of points should his team bounce out to a multi-score lead. When the competition is as solid as it is across a playoff slate, your team who just recovered a fumble after scoring themselves is very likely to take interest in getting the ground game up and running, so to speak. Now we turn to the wide receivers. Rostering 3 (or 4 if flexing on DraftKings) WRs, this is the place to mix and match with an eye on taking at least one stab outside the box. Last season's Wild Card round edition of the FanDuel $600K NFL Rush featured a leaderboard where every one of the top 10 teams rostered Dallas WR Terrance Williams, who was only 7% owned overall. He caught only 3 passes on the night, but 2 landed him in the end zone, showing how a lightly-targeted WR2 can be the huge difference maker. His owners on the leaderboard used his cheap price to pair him with the Antonio Browns and Calvin Johnsons of the world, who both provided unspectacular results but high enough floors as WR studs to carry their owners over the top in tandem with T-Will. All but the top few Tight Ends in the league are completely dependent on getting into the end zone in order to provide any value due to how rarely they are targeted and the fact that, unlike a WR, there is essentially zero chance of a handoff at any point in the day. I am sure Jordan Reed will be the standout TE choice this weekend and would be the easiest of automatic calls in a head-to-head DFS contest. The call gets trickier in a large GPP, as a 6/114/2 TD line at massive ownership sinks the teams without him, but the payoff of fading the ownership if he throws in a dud is pretty large. I usually like to play 2 teams without a short-slate TE standout for every team I have him. Kicker is a tough call. Here is a spot where you want to try to find a legit excuse to pivot off just plugging in the biggest favorite with in the highest Over/Under game, as most teams on a short playoff slate will be projected to score between 20 and 26 points, making it very difficult to narrow down a solid favorite kicker. Use weather, but be realistic about how 'bad' it might be. In a 4-game playoff slate, I usually find a reason to roster the defenses I think will be lowest owned due to the high variance of defense scoring combined with the fact that the 'worst' defense on a playoff card is still going to be opportunistic enough to put up the highest total. Best of luck this weekend. Now, take what you've learned and sign up for DraftKings or sign up for FanDuel.
  22. [caption width="468"] JJ Watt and the Texans defense propelled rahuld76 to victory[/caption] rahuld76took down the Week 17 FanDuel Sunday Million. Rather than stack a quarterback with his receiver or tight end, as is customary, rahuld76 stacked New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning with his running back, Rashad Jennings. The duo was 18% and 9% owned, respectively, and scored a combined 42 points. As 4for4 put it, "When you pair a QB and RB on what turns out to be a high-scoring offense that day, the upside is you may gain exposure to all of that offense's TDs and most of its total yards." The Giants popped 30 points on the Philadelphia Eagles in a loss, but Manning and Jennings combined for three touchdowns. Manning threw for 302 yards, while Jennings rumbled for 170 yards on the ground on 27 attempts. Also at running back, rahuld76 had Tim Hightower, who ran for 66 yards and a score and added five catches. Hightower had a TD called back, but scored a few plays later to salvage his fantasy day. He was 18% owned. At receiver, rahuld76 had Julio Jones, Antonio Brown, and Pierre Garcon. Jones and Brown posted two of the four highest receiving yardage totals in a season in NFL history in 2015. In Week 17, they combined for 22 catches for 336 yards and a touchdown. Both were 34% owned. Garcon was relatively quiet on a day the Redskins pulled their starters before halftime. He ended up with three catches for 49 yards and a score, good for 12.4 points on FanDuel. Garcon was only 1.2% owned. Zach Ertz, who was 41% owned on DraftKings but only 28% on FanDuel, was rahuld76's tight end. Ertz racked up nine catches for 152 yards and broke 100 yards receiving in back-to-back weeks. Ertz almost hit 4x salary in Week 17. FanDuel requires a kicker, who was, in rahuld76's case, Nick Novak of the Texans. Novak ended up with 16 points in the team's rout of Jacksonville. Speaking of the Texans, rahuld76 rostered the team's defense as well, which destroyed Jacksonville to the tune of eight sacks and a defensive score for 29 points. The Texans' defense was just 4% owned. [caption width="600"] The winning FanDuel Sunday Million lineup from Week 17[/caption] FanDuel is running a $1.25 Million NFL Sunday Million for Wild Card weekend. It starts on Saturday and costs $25 to enter. First place will get $120,000. Visit FanDuel for more details.
  23. [caption width="468"] Justin 'justinmacmahan' MacMahan won the FanDuel Playboy Mansion Championship for 0,000 on the back of Mark Trumbo[/caption] Over the weekend, the Playboy Mansion in Los Angeles, California played host to the FanDuel Playboy Mansion Championship. A total of 80 lineups were entered from the likes of longtime poker player Matt 'SamENole' Smith and PocketFives co-founder Cal 'braskey' Spears. In the end, Justin 'justinmacmahan' MacMahan took it down, winning the one-day contest with a score of 163.30 points, eight more than the next closest player. His reward was $100,000 after surviving a sweat at the last minute thanks to Mark Trumbo. Trumbo, who plays outfield for the Baltimore Orioles, was 18% owned, the fifth highest percentage of anyone. However, a late homer from him sent MacMahan into the lead for good. It was a solo shot and Baltimore's only run of the game, but Trumbo managed to turn in 18.7 points for MacMahan and his other owners. MacMahan went heavy on the Houston Astros, rostering four players from that team. Catcher Evan Gattis, who was 11% owned and has been on a mini-hot streak as of late, had 25.2 points in Houston's 6-5 victory over Oakland. Houston second baseman Joe Altuve also appeared on MacMahan's roster. He was 28% owned and had 6.2 points, the lowest output of anyone on the winning FanDuel Playboy Mansion Championship roster. The other two Astros on MacMahan's roster were both outfielders. George Springer, who was 38% owned, the most of any outfielder, ended up with 12 points. Colby Rasmus, Houston's cleanup hitter, finished with 21 points and was 31% owned, the highest total of any outfielder not named George Springer. For the pitcher position, MacMahan went with Steven Wright from the Boston Red Sox. Wright, who was 7% owned, ended up with 36 points. Seventeen percent of the FanDuel Playboy Mansion Championship field went with Chris Sale of the Chicago White Sox, who ended up getting shelled and only managing 13 points. Late in the day, 'Bcalicore' was leading, but needed to fade last-minute heroics from Mark Trumbo, Joe Panik, or Hyun Soo Kim. Of course, heroics were exactly what happened. In the end, 'Bcalicore' finished in second place and earned $50,000. 'Bcalicore' had one of the many lineups that included Sale, but he also had two of the highest-scoring players on the day in Tampa Bay's Logan Morrison (28 points) and Steven Souza (34 points). Smith took 56th place for $3,000 and had a score of 95.6 points. Nationals' pitcher Stephen Strasburg, who punched out 10 batters in 5.1 innings, was his highest scorer at 37 points. Spears finished in 70th place for $3,000 with a score of 84 points. His highest scorer was Houston shortstop Carlos Correa, who had 28 points and was 20% owned. Here were the top 10 finishers: justinmacmahan – 163.30 points, $100,000 bcalicore – 155.60 points, $50,000 Alarm – 141.40 points, $30,000 tgs1976 – 138.80 points, $20,000 slicknick2233 – 136.70 points, $15,000 chripe01 – 134.90 points, $15,000 eppy12588 – 134.50 points, $10,000 zoemia – 133.70 points, $10,000 gcove101 – 133.50 points, $10,000 tommyg1979 – 133.50 points, $10,000 The winning lineup:
  24. Each of the last five years, Dan Smith has organized a charity drive that pledges to match a portion of what is donated. This year, Smith, along with a group of poker and daily fantasy sports (DFS) pros, pledged to match up to $1.29 million. The drive is officially called the Double Up Drive and benefits 10 different charities, with eight focused on near-term causes and two focused on the long-term. "Poker is an inherently selfish game," Smith said about using his platform in poker to raise awareness and give back. "For me to win, that means somebody else directly has to lose. After a lot of years of it, I thought there was more to life than just playing cards, and I think it's cool that I was able to use my favorite thing to make a difference in the world." Every year, the drive receives a large amount of support from the gambling world, with both the poker and DFS communities heavily participating. Smith works with Tom and Martin Crowley on the drive, and this year Tom pledged half of his winnings from the DraftKings World Championship Final to the Double Up Drive. Known as 'ChipotleAddict' in the DFS world, Tom incredibly went on to win the event for a haul of $2 million and between that event and the FanDuel $2M WFFC Finals, Tom pulled in $2.254 million. That means $1.127 million is being donated to the Double Up Fund. "It's pretty surreal," Smith said of Crowley winning after pledging 50 percent. "When you're playing super high roller (poker tournaments), sometimes you just go completely numb to the value of a dollar. Like, we're playing a $300K tournament, that’s thousands of lives that are going to be literally saved. It's really hard to comprehend. It's a very cool thing, and I couldn’t be happier that it’s been so successful." One of the biggest elements leading to the success of Smith's drive has been the involvement of the poker and DFS communities, and Smith spoke to how much that’s meant to the drive. "Motivating people to do good I think is an unbelievable achievement," Smith said. "Fedor (Holz) last year, Stephen Chidwick this year made very large donations to the drive. It’s just really wonderful to get support. The charity drive is one of the big parts of my life now, and having people whom I respect - I'm great friends with Stevie - getting supported like that means a lot." The seven-figure charity drive is, as he admits, a big part of Smith's life, and with lots of moving parts, people involved, and tons of donations to be handled, both big and small, Smith said he and the group started putting everything together in October, but overall it might not take as much time as one might believe. "It takes a lot less time than you might think," Smith said. "We started brainstorming some charities in October, discussing numbers. We did a handful of one-hour calls. The most challenging thing, I suppose, was getting people to agree on which charities to include, but it makes sense if you’re divvying up what started as $1.3 million. It should take some time. There were a fair bit of logistics, but fortunately, the people at REG Charity were very helpful. They created the website, they’re entering the emails this year. As far as a multi-million dollar fundraiser would go, it takes a lot less time than you might think." Whereas Tom Crowley won more than $2 million from DFS and will be donating more than $1 million of it to the Double Up Drive, Smith hopes he can also make a large contribution from winning an event. Smith is currently in Las Vegas competing in the $300,000 buy-in Super High Roller Bowl. With nearly 40 entries in the field, the prize pool is well north of $10 million. First place is more than $3.6 million. Smith is playing in the event with five percent of his winnings pledged, and he’s not the only one. "Myself and Nick Petrangelo are playing five percent for charity," Smith said. "So that's $15,000, plus hopefully some skill edge, and I am hopeful that it spreads awareness and if people see it on the stream or television then they are encouraged to do good. Even though we talk a lot about the big numbers, I want to clarify that any amount makes a difference. People in Uganda are living off 65 cents a day, an amount we don’t even consider at all." If you're interested in donating to the Double Up Drive, or simply would like to learn more, you can do so at DoubleUpDrive.com. The Super High Roller Bowl Smith is competing in is being aired on PokerGO, and you can get $10 off an annual subscription through using the code "Pocket5s" when signing up.
  25. As 2019 draws to a close, PocketFives takes a look back at the year that was in poker news, going month-by-month through the biggest and most important stories of the year. October brought us one of the biggest stories of 2019 when allegations of cheating by Californian poker pro Mike Postle captured the attention of the entire poker world. Poker Pro Mike Postle Accused Of Cheating California poker pro Mike Postle found himself at the center of one of the biggest poker stories of the year after he was accused of cheating in the live-streamed cash games of Stones Poker Live. Accusations of cheating first came to light when Veronica Brill, a one-time player and commentator for Stones Poker Live, took to Twitter to voice her concerns. Soon after, clips of Postle playing in the game showed him routinely making correct river decisions in spots where it would be difficult to always be correct. Stones Live Poker social media quickly attempted to shut down the concern, dismissing Brill’s allegations as ‘fabricated’ and also claimed that an internal investigation proved no wrongdoing. That’s when popular podcaster Joey Ingram stepped in. He began pouring over hours and hours of Postle’s hands, providing hand-by-hand reviews of his play. The deeper Ingram looked, the more suspicious the play became and top-tier pros weighed in with their thoughts that there was indeed something to the allegations. Postle was not without his defenders and Stones Gambling Hall Tournament Director Justin Kuraitis insisted there that the game was on the up-and-up. But in the end, pressure from the community and the uncovered evidence forced Stones to re-open an investigation and cease all streaming activities. [ptable zone="Global Poker Article Ad"][ptable zgone="888poker NJ"][ptable zone="GG Poker"] Postle Story Goes Mainstream The details behind the Mike Postle cheating allegations story became so incredible that mainstream media picked up the story, including some of the biggest media outlets in the world. Perhaps the biggest exposure the story received was from ESPN’s Scott Van Pelt who highlighted the story on his ‘1 Big Thing’ segment during an episode of SportsCenter that took place right after Monday Night Football. The three-minute national segment had Van Pelt breaking down the complicated story into an easy-to-understand narrative for his viewers. “If a guy were able to cheat his way to six-figure gains playing cards and it gets solved by a bunch of poker sleuths on the interest, is that a story that interests you? Because it did me,” Van Pelt teased before hitting on all the major points of the story. Van Pelt wasn’t the only news outlet to run with the Postle story as local news covered it extensively as did a feature article on The Ringer and CNBC. Postle Gets Hit With Multimillion-Dollar Lawsuit It didn’t take long before the Mike Postle cheating allegations turned into a full-blown court case. Poker playing lawyer Maurice VerStandig of The VerStandig Law Firm, representing 25 total plaintiffs, filed a lawsuit requesting more than $30 million in restitution from the victims of the Stones Live cash games. It seeks $10 million from Stones Gambling Hall for contrastive fraud for not monitoring the games to prevent cheating, another $10 million from Stones and Tournament Director Justin Kuritis for fraud for the potential cover-up and $10 million against Postle himself, as well as other as-yet-unnamed associates for fraud on the allegations of cheating. This matter has not yet been resolved. PokerStars Acquired By Flutter While everyone was waiting for news of PokerStars to launch in Pennsylvania, news of another sort dropped in October as it was announced that The Stars Group, parent company to PokerStars, had been acquired by Flutter Entertainment, the owner of gaming brands Paddy Power, BetFair and FanDuel. The merger created the world’s largest online gaming company with a total 2018 combined revenue of $4.66 billion. “This exciting combination will allow us to enhance and accelerate our existing strategy. In recent years, we have transformed TSG from aa single product operator in poker to a diverse global leader with multiple product offerings across poker, gaming, and sports betting," said The Stars Group CEO, Rafi Ashkenazi. PokerStars Prepares To Go Live In Pennsylvania At the very end of October the news came down that finally, after two years of waiting, online poker players in Pennsylvania were finally going to get to return to their online grind. The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board announced that PokerStars would be the first online operator to launch in PA and that the required two-day soft launch would happen on November 4. “We are very excited to be bringing our most popular brands to Pennsylvania in the next week,” a PokerStars representative said just ahead of the launch. At the time, the two-day launch was subject to regulatory approval and potential delays should there have been issues. However, the soft launch period was a resounding success with players flooding the lobbies and proving that not only was the PokerStars client ready for Pennsylvania, but the players were ready for PokerStars. Johannes ‘Greenstone25’ Korsar Wins October PLB Sweden’s Johannes ‘Greenstone25’ Korsar has already had a prolific online poker career, currently sitting at #6 on the PocketFives All-Time Online Money List. However, at the end of 2019, he began to achieve things he’d never done in the over four years since joining PocketFives. The first of those achievements was taking down the October 2019 PLB title. He racked up 80 cashes and over $237,000 en route to earning the October honor. On top of that, Korsar used that momentum to become the #1-ranked player in the world for the first time in his career just weeks later.

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