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.
*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”.
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.