I'm Anthony Amico and This is How I Build DFS Lineups

Anthony Amico uses his analytical mind to dole out season-long fantasy advice and DFS breakdowns. Don't let his sideline screaming avatar scare you away from his DFS advice. Anthony, along with Jason Schandl, will be producing a weekly DFS Newsletter for Draft Day Consultants.

Below you can learn more about Anthony and his process when it comes to researching DFS and building winning rosters.

Click here to sign up for our DFS Newsletter service

*This interview is a homage to the How I Work series from LifeHacker*


Location: Allentown, NJ

Current Gig(s): Contributor for RotoViz, TwoQBs, numberFire, and Fantasy Insiders. Co-host of the RotoViz Report. Consultant at Draft Day Consultants, Inc.

One word that describes your DFS mentality: Aggressive

What fantasy football apps, software, or tools can't you live without?

I love all of the tools that RotoViz provides. The AYA App, Game Splits App, Career Graphs, and more allow me to peruse and filter large amounts of data in a short period of time. They also have the new RotoViz Screener, which I’m excited to use for DFS this season. I’m also a huge Excel nerd, and do the bulk of my lineup building on a template I’ve created for myself. I don’t typically look at projections because I’d rather focus on workload and matchup separately than an aggregate number, especially in a high variance sport like football.

What's your DFS research workstation setup like?

I live in a one bedroom apartment, so space is at a premium for myself and my wife. Fortunately, she loves me enough to allow me to set up shop on the dining room table. Since I work in an open space, headphones are crucial and they allow me to block out a lot of what is going on around me and “find the zone”.

Anthony's DFS workstation is compact but powerful.

Anthony's DFS workstation is compact but powerful.

A Surface Pro tablet probably isn’t optimal for research when you consider how many people use multi-screen desktops, but I’m used to working with small print and don’t mind just splitting the screen.

What is your DFS research routine like?

My routine is somewhat unique because I usually start before the current week’s slate of games has completed. Usually Sunday night or Monday morning (whenever prices come out), I put together a quick lineup with no research. This serves as a bit of a litmus test for me, and I like to get my initial thoughts locked in to review later in the week. It also allows me to reserve all of my games for the week, which I do immediately so I don’t miss out on any contests I am looking to enter. Throughout the week I’m checking the lines, line movement, matchups and more. Producing content is also pretty helpful because it forces me to stay consistent in my process and not get lazy.

What are some of your go-to DFS research resources?

Anyone that knows me well in the DFS community is aware of my affinity for matchups and Vegas lines. There are two primary tools I use for matchups: the Football Outsiders DVOA rankings, and the Pro Football Focus WR/CB matchup chart. They give me a great idea as to what players are in great spots.

The Vegas lines are critical for me in seeing which games may be close, high scoring, etc. All of these things matter to me because I think projecting game script goes a long way towards projecting fantasy production. I’m even more obsessed with line movement though. A lot of what Vegas thinks about the games is revealed not in the initial line, but in what happens once people start placing bets. Since they are the most informed resource in the world on football, I take what they have to say very seriously.

I also think that one of the best resources out there is other people. Bouncing ideas off of others, engaging in conversation, and defending your perspective always forces you to think harder about your stances than you probably would have otherwise. The Fantasy Insiders Platinum chat is especially great for this because it allows me to easily engage in these conversations with some really sharp players and contributors for the site.

Walk us through a typical DFS roster building day.

After my initial build, I tinker a lot during the week with potential cash lineups as I run into new nuggets of information. Saturday afternoon is typically my true building time, where I just bury myself in all of my information, throw on some jams with a nice beat, and dial in. For cash, I lock in my stud players first, usually at quarterback and at least one skill spot, and build around them. I almost always punt defense and kicker unless I can build a lineup that has money to spare or I see an obvious matchup I’d like to exploit. Then I just fit the rest of the pieces using a pool of players I have deemed to be cash playable.

The GPP lineups are what take the most amount of time. I build each one manually in my Excel sheet, and try to be exclusive on the players I select. I don’t diversify a ton because I want to make sure that when I’m right about my players, I win as much money as possible. Being too spread out often just leads to me having a lot of the right pieces, but never in the same lineup. Most of my lineups include stacks, and for each QB I play I build at least one super-stack to increase my variance.

Once I’m done building I keep my ear to the ground for news and updates on players, and usually will give a final tinker on Sunday morning if I see some aggressive line movement or player inactive. Then it’s time to just enjoy the games!

What is the best piece of advice you can give new DFS players?

Create a solid bankroll management system and stick to it. Tons of money is exchanged every week based on the most variant statistic in the sport: touchdowns. As a result, you are going to go through the occasional losing streak, even if you are a highly experienced player. By managing your bankroll properly, you can ensure that it lasts you through those losing streaks, and allow for profitability at the end of the year. Much like creating a mutual fund, how you want to manage your bankroll is going to be directly tired to how risk-averse you are, so you need to find what's right for you. Avoid your urge to TELC (Tilt Enter Late Contests) on the days where your players are all busting early, and you'll make money in this game long-term with the right process.

 

I'm Jason Schandl and This is How I Build DFS Lineups

Jason Schandl is a DFS and NFL degenerate who has turned his fantasy football obsession is to a passion. And you can use that to your advantage by utilizing his DFS advice. Jason, along with Anthony Amico, will produce a weekly DFS Newsletter for Draft Day Consultants.

Below you can learn more about Jason and his process when it comes to researching DFS and building rosters.

Click here to sign up for our DFS Newsletter service

*This interview is a homage to the How I Work series from LifeHacker*


Location: New Brunswick, Canada

Current Gig(s): Fantasy Football writer for numberFire as well as DFS writer for both numberFire and FantasyInsiders.

One word that describes your DFS mentality: open-minded.

What fantasy football apps, software, or tools can't you live without?

The Pro-Football-Reference play finder is absolutely indispensable for me. Getting easily-exportable data for basically any situation in a game you want to know about is huge.

RotoViz also has a handful of useful apps that I find myself using every week, most notable the Game Splits App, and 4for4's tool for tracking player snaps is another big one.

As for tying it all together, I don't think I close excel at any point during the football season. It's where everything gets put together, and it makes my research a lot easier and more efficient.

What's your DFS research workstation setup like?

It's not exactly the neat, minimalistic setup that it's probably supposed to be, but I'm not a neat, minimalistic person. I'm typically surrounded by ungodly amounts of coffee, whatever books I'm reading at the time, as well as a collection of notes I've scribbled down when I wasn't at my computer.

It's not as busy as Jason made it sound.

It's not as busy as Jason made it sound.

The two-screen setup is also an absolute must for me, and I'm planning on either moving to bigger monitors, or adding a third in the near future

What is your DFS research routine like?

Lots of importing data to excel and filtering out the players I know for sure I won't want. I like to keep a very open mind to using players that I might not immediately think are good when I look at a name or matchup, so I start with almost the entire pool of available players and whittle it down over the week, rather than starting from a smaller pool of more obvious plays.

I try to avoid reading analysis and narratives at the start of my routine as much as possible, in an effort to avoid being subconsciously swayed to or away from a player without having my own research back it up.

What are some of your go-to DFS research resources?

Other than the apps and tools I went over earlier, I try to keep things very simple, only reading things from sources I'm confident in, trying my hardest to avoid falling too far into the general groupthink. Three resources I do make sure to utilize every week are the 4for4 projections, Evan Silva's "Matchups" column, and Rich Hribar's "Worksheet" column.

Walk us through a typical DFS roster building day.

I probably play a higher percentage of my weekly action in tournaments than most people, and find that process to be a longer one, so I start by setting my cash game lineup. By the time I build lineups, my research has narrowed down the pool of players I’m looking at significantly, and I add a couple of extra filters for cash games focusing on the safer, more obvious plays. This usually does most of the work for me, as by the time all is said and done I’ll have a pretty small group of cash game players I’m drawing from.

I then move to putting together my GPP lineups, starting from the "stacks" I want exposure too, and filling out the lineups with players I like that I believe will be going under-the-radar for the week, looking for bounce-back type players, or studs that seem to be receiving little fanfare in the DFS community that week.

What is the best piece of advice you can give new DFS players?

Find resources you trust, and stick to them. With a whole week to ingest information, and with the overwhelming amount of NFL DFS content available, it's easy to lose track of things. It's possible to spin a positive narrative for just about any player in a given week, and you need to make sure that you're getting your content from places you can trust, without clouding your thought process with too much "noise".