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Yahoo Bankroll Challenge, Week 14: MLB Season = New Bankroll High

For more information on the Yahoo Bankroll Challenge and to read the recap from each week, click here.

With the MLB season just starting, I have high hopes for accelerating the bankroll challenge. Daily sports -- especially ones that are correlation-heavy like MLB and NHL -- are usually ATMs on smaller DFS sites for a variety of reasons, and Yahoo fits the bill.

In my pre-milly days, I grinded smaller DFS sites and was usually able to secure five-figure seasons with a small-ish starting bankroll.

The big reason? Smaller sites FORCE you to have proper contest selection since there just aren’t that many (if any) mass-multi entry GPPs to drain your bankroll. Instead, you’re playing in contests with 10 to 200 people, reaching the maximum entry limit, and cashing more frequently. 

It should be no shock that through the first week of baseball, I’ve cashed in 35% of my MLB high-risk entries on Yahoo! with a 55% ROI:

Week 13 starting $ balance: $23.85
Week 14 ending $ balance: $35.85
Week 13 starting YSRP balance: 136
Week 14 ending YSRP balance: 177

Here are some of the strategies I used this week with advice on how to implement them on other DFS sites:

Strategy #1: Understanding a slate (or site / sport) from a total salary context

Aside from the “forced contest selection,” smaller DFS sites are also profitable for daily sports because of the static salaries. Without large teams or complex algorithms to adjust salaries every single night, we often see these smaller sites fail to change individual player salaries for days -- or even weeks -- at a time. As a result, we’ll see min-priced players with prominent roles stay at the minimum price and be a huge advantage to your lineups. They may not pop in traditional models, but they get a few added points of value when they're completely mispriced. 

That also brings up another point -- it’s important to understand the salary ranges for each site and sport. For Yahoo MLB, a stud starting pitcher is roughly $60, roughly 8.5X more expensive than the minimum hitter price of $7. Compare this to DraftKings where a top pitcher is roughly 5X more expensive than a minimum batter, and you should see how this changes the lineup building process on Yahoo. 

If we look at NHL, DraftKings’ pricing algorithm has a heavy matchup influence on a goalies’ salary. Yahoo? Doesn’t matter, we’ll see the same guy $25 for like two weeks straight regardless of who he’s facing or his recent performance. 

This contextual salary understanding can also be slate-specific. Are studs priced higher than normal for a FanDuel NBA slate? Is there an abundance of value? At which positions are people most likely to spend up?

Or how about League of Legends? Sometimes, we can easily stack the most expensive team, but other times, DK prices them up and it’s legitimately impossible to fully stack them with another favorite. This not only changes how you build lineups, but it also changes how likely a team (or player) is to make it into the optimal lineup based on the salary constraints. 

How to implement this on FanDuel or DraftKings: Don’t just evaluate the slate at a player level. Understand the difference between the expensive and cheapest players/stacks/positions, track which players/positions are priced higher than they’ve historically been priced, and try to predict if the field will adjust to the salary situation.

Week 14’s Pivotal Moment

My first 1st place finish in a 100-plus player contest on Yahoo! I won a 3-Max, 114-player No Veterans MLB contest just a couple days into the season for a $9 profit, which skyrocketed my bankroll to its peak.

Next Steps

I planned on grinding some MLB H2H this season to see if the pricing quirks would result in poor opponent lineups, but I’m already at the GOLD player level in MLB because I’ve cashed pretty much every day I’ve played. Whoops, now I can't play any inexperienced competition. 

I won’t be changing my allocation just yet, but I’m getting close to moving up a bankroll level once I reach $50. At that point, I’ll reassess my play and determine which contests to add or subtract from my daily allocation.

For any questions about the bankroll challenge, hit up Brian on Twitter. For more information on bankroll management, contest selection, and long-term DFS strategy, read our flagship e-book, The Ultimate Guide