Tout Challenge Wrap-Up: A Repeat Leader


The objective of a cash game like the Tout Wars Challenge is to assimilate a safe roster, as opposed to taking some chances to win a tournament. Sometimes it turns out your safe lineup hits on all cylinders and would have fared very well in a couple of tournaments played simultaneously. Tuesday night was bittersweet for the top points scorer in the Tout Wars 50/50 Challenge. Did I mention that was me?

One of the keys to DFS is having “closer mentality.” Whether it’s bouncing back from a rough losing streak or not letting something like the above get to you, successful DFS players keep an even keel.

The only other Tout in the top-ten was Andrea LaMont as she tied for tenth. A total of six Touts placed in the 45 money spots, meaning it was another very successful night for the fans of the Touts.

My contest-leading lineup, displayed below, featured Corey Kluber and his moderate 15 percent usage rate. Kluber was a bit of a risk, facing the hit-or-miss Houston Astros but I liked the whiff potential and took the chance. Alex Gordon made all the difference on the hitting ledger as he was only three percent owned. Gordon was attractive since he’s been hitting in the two-hole while Mike Moustakas is away from the team and held the platoon edge over Matt Andriese. At only $2500, he was a punt play with benefits.

Be sure to follow along on Friday for the second leg of Period 4 in Tout Daily. Another three tickets to the grand finale are on the line and the different strategies the Touts are using to position themselves for the invite are quite interesting.


Tout Wars DFS Round Table: Doing Anything Different?

This week we’re going to follow-up on last week’s question. By means of reminder, Tout Daily is 20 weeks long, divided into five periods of four weeks. Each week is a mini-tournament with a modest payout but the big carrot is a ticket into the one-day Tout Daily Championship with a $1000 grand prize. The top-three finishers in each period will get an entry into the finals. Each Tout is allowed to earn two tickets. With that in mind, here’s this week’s question:


Craig Mish,, @CraigMish: Friday night pitching has not been my strong suit so I am determined to pick the right starter Friday Night. I also see a ton of value in a few of the 2500 and under players lately it could be a night to go big on an ace.

Doug Anderson,, @rotodaddy: While still using platoon splits to hopefully gain value, I think I’ll start playing a few more “mini” stacks to try and create a little more upside in my hitters.

Gene McCaffrey,, @gene2323: Nothing different, I’m going to try to get the most points. I’m going to look for the best players tonight and the best pricestonight and see where that takes me. Don’t you all just KNOW that one night you will pick the perfect team? I’ve been close but haven’t had that one more late home run. I thought I was gonna get it last night from Mike Zunino. I saw the delusion and knew it for delusion and expected it anyway. I need help.

Jeff Erickson,, @Jeff_Erickson: Because I lucked into one of the seats for the final in the first month, I have the freedom to try out new strategies if I see an angle that might help separate me from the pack. Maybe I’ll focus on finding lesser-owned yet still attractive options. Or maybe I’ll just simplify it and not get too clever. I’ve whiffed the last couple of months, so whatever I’ve been doing lately, it’s time to do something different.

Scott Swanay,, @Fantasy_Sherpa: I’ll adjust my strategy somewhat based on the results of the first three 4-week phases.  The cut-offs for the top three spots have been 166, 152, and 160 points in the three respective phases, so I figure it will take an average of roughly 40 points over the four weeks to get a top-three spot in the next phase.  I’ll look for a starting pitcher that I think can get me at least 13 points without getting a win (e.g. – 7 IP, 8 K, 2 ER), then look for a collection of 8 hitters that I think can average 3.5 points (the key seems to be having three hitters score in the 5-10 point range).  I’ll continue to look for favorable match-ups for my hitters, but based on a small sample I’ve looked at, the idea of stacking hitters against a specific pitcher appears to be overrated.

Tim McCullough,, @Tim_RotoExperts: My experience with this from week to week has been that I either hit the pitching right but get the hitting wrong, or I get the hitting right but miss on the pitching. In general, I do better with the pitching overall, so my goal this week is to spend a bit more time researching my hitting to see if I can’t get this thing firing on all cylinders.

Phil Hertz,, @prhz50: Having had a number of weeks screwed up by a bad pitching performance, I’m going to spend a little extra time — and probably budget — on who I use as my pitcher.

Michael Beller,, @MBeller: I locked up a spot in the final by winning Phase 3, so I feel like I’m playing with house money, even more so, at this point. Still, I’m not going to change up my strategy. I’ve now cashed in six of the 12 Friday Tout Daily contests, including one win and two more top-five finishes. What I’ve been doing works, so I don’t plan to change it. For me, it all starts with my pitcher. That doesn’t mean I’m automatically going with one of the two or three most expensive pitchers on the board, but I’m not reaching into the depths, either. After settling on my hurler, only then do I turn to offense. It’s just much easier to correctly predict daily pitcher than hitter performance.

Patrick Davitt,, @patrickdavitt: Based on my success so far, I’m going to buy a blind monkey and have him pitch darts at a player list.

Jeff Boggis,, @JeffBoggis: I was fortunate enough last week to claim a ticket to the FanDuel final on August 28th by finishing 3rd in phase 3 with a .25 of a point margin over Derek Van Riper. I am personally pulling for Derek to claim a ticket in one of the remaining phases of our contest as the .25 of a point victory for me over Derek came down to a single out by a single hitter over the course of four weeks. I did a lot of scoreboard watching late last Friday night and even woke up at 4 AM to calculate everyone’s final scores on our Google Docs site to ensure that I had claimed 3rd place. Now that I have a ticket into the finals, my plan for this phase is to relax, not to stress out over the results, and most importantly, continue to use the game plan that was very successful for me last phase. My strategy of rostering a top 5 pitcher and building a roster of hitters with the remaining salary has worked best for me on FanDuel. Another lessons learned for me is that a higher salaried player does not always result in more fantasy points. Last week, my final roster spot that I struggled with the most was between Anthony Rizzo and Edwin Encarnacion in the first base slot. Rizzo was listed at $4,400 and Encarnacion was listed at $3,900. Over the past two weeks, Rizzo has outperformed Encarnacion and their salaries reflected their recent production. But I really liked the pitching matchup for Encarnacion and had a feeling that he would have a great night, but I ended up going with Rizzo. I was watching the Toronto game live and saw Encarnacion hit a grand slam. My remote almost went through the television screen as I was kicking myself for not going with my instincts on this roster decision. Encarnacion ended up with a single, 2 home runs, 5 RBIs, 2 runs scored, and 2 outs, which equaled 15.5 fantasy points on FanDuel. Rizzo, who costed me an additional $500 over Encarnacion went 0-4 and 1 hit by pitch for a total of 0 points. Ironically, had Rizzo gone 0-5, I would have not finished in 3rd place in phase 3.  One last strategy that I am contemplating is that when I roster a lowered priced player that is somewhere around the minimum $2,200 salary that I roster players from the earlier games as opposed to the late games. The strategy here is that once our lineups lock at 7:05 PM ET, I am at the mercy of the team manager’s lineup for that night. Last week, I rostered Angel Pagan who is an outfielder for the San Francisco Giants. The game at home in San Francisco against Colorado and Pagan was owned in 4.7% of FanDuel league contests. Pagan ended up not playing at all that night, resulting in 0 fantasy points. Each player represents 1 out of 9 roster slots, or 11.1% of your team, and you can’t afford to have players in your starting lineup that are not contributing due to getting the night off or out of the lineup for that evening. By rostering a lower priced player that is not playing on the West Coast that night, I will know for certain if that player is going to be in the starting lineup in advance of the start of the contest. Good luck to everyone this contest phase, especially to Derek Van Riper.

Charlie Wiegert,, @GFFantasySports: After weeks of frustration, I managed a 4th place finish last Friday.  The main reason, Mad Max.  Finding one of the top pitchers seems imperative to doing well.  He doesn’t have to be the most expensive pitcher, but the ones with the high salaries are usually the most dependable.  So I’ll be looking for the top pitcher of the day, the guy that will pitch at least 7 innings and have double digit strike outs, and hopefully get a win.  The tough part is finding the value plays that can get me at least 32 points on offense, that’s 4 per player.

Peter Kreutzer,, @kroyte: I’ve wobbled between trying to get the most excellent pitcher with a good matchup, no matter the price, and a cheaper excellent pitcher with a good matchup and better hitters. Until this past Tuesday my point totals have been equally weak, except when my pitcher scored big. So, I’m going to start with the biggest strikeout starter I can find, and then load up hitters facing weak pitchers at good prices. This isn’t exactly different, but I hope to do it better.

Lenny Melnick,, @LennyMelnick: Going to rely more on what I recommend on my Daily Podcast That is, less relying on numbers alone  and more relying more  on my Baseball Judgement based on recent trends AND Numbers history.

Jake Ciely,, @allinkid: Not going to change a thing. I’m fifth overall for the year, but somehow, I have missed on a ticket all three periods… two by a hair. I’m going to keep working my current plan. It’s led to consistently good lineups, and the two times I went contrarian to mix things up actually resulted in my lowest scores of the year. And by using my same strategy, that means avoiding extremely high priced pitchers, as it hampers your ability to build stability with your hitters.

Ray Murphy,, @RayHQ: Not planning anything unusual. We’ve established that you need about 160 points over four weeks to earn a finals ticket. I might stack a little less here in week 1, play it more like a cash game with the intent of hitting that 40-50 point mark and taking less risk in chasing the 70+ point night. But that statement assumes a level of precision in lineup construction that doesn’t really exist. Basically, I’ll just be putting forth a team I like, but it probably won’t be a go-for-it-all stack-heavy/cheap pitcher sort of lineup.

Lawr Michaels,, @lawrmichaels: Well, I am obviously going to try and make the best pitching play I can this first cycle, and then hope i hit it on a couple of hitters to at least stay in the middle of the pack at worst. with a little luck and a Jace Peterson-type big day that could be top tier and then it is more playing the safer bets. The further back, the bigger the crapshoot, I suppose.

Nando DiFino,, @nandodifino: I’m just going to keep on keepin’ on. I’m learning every day, putting things together, experimenting with different stats and theories. I’m close to breaking through, Todd! It’s going to happen! Swing for the seats and go for first!

Todd Zola,, @ToddZola: I’m going to do what I do best and that’s overthink things. Actually, my plan is similar to Ray’s. My goal is a ticket to the finals and a chance at the $1000 grand prize. I think the pathway there is a conservative cash game approach as opposed to trying to win the week, tournament style. So I’ll lock in a strikeout pitcher in a great spot then spread the hitters among as many teams as possible.

You can’t stop Pianow, you can only hope to contain him


Yahoo’s Scott Pianowswki carried the banner for Tout Wars in Tuesday night’s 50/50 Challenge, not only checking in with the night’s top score but also being the only Tout Warrior in the top ten. Yes, it was another great night for the fans as only 13 Touts finished in the money with Mastersball colleagues Todd Zola and Brian Walton chopping the last money spot.

Scott deployed a classic cash game lineup, locking in one of the game’s best starting pitchers in southpaw Chris Sale then spreading his hitters among several teams, hitting pay dirt with Mitch Moreland, George Springer and Mr. Inside-the-Park, Dee Gordon.

Be sure to check in with your favorite Tout as we kick off the fourth phase of Tout Daily on Friday.

Here’s Scott’s contest-leading roster:



Tout Wars DFS Round Table

Screenshot 2015-03-20 08.57.31

This week’s question requires a little background, specifically the nuances of our FanDuel Tout Daily Tournament. The regular season. so to speak, is 20 weeks long, divided into five periods of four weeks. Each week is a mini-tournament with a modest payout but the big carrot is a ticket into the one-day Tout Daily Championship with a $1000 grand prize. The top-three finishers in each period will get an entry into the finals. Each Tout is allowed to earn two tickets. With that in mind, here’s this week’s question:


Peter Kreutzer,, @kroyte: Finding myself 55 points out of the Top 3, with one week to play, with the highest score of any week in this phase 63, I have to admit I’m out of it. But I’m not out of the weekly money contest. So I will submit the lowest-priced pitcher I think is a good chance to win, and then select players from the highest scoring games expected that night.  It is an approach that has failed me so far, landing me bad hitters on the nights I have good pitching and good hitters on the nights I have bad pitching. And some weeks all has gone bad, but I’m pretty sure there will be a week when all goes good. Could be this one.

Charlie Wiegert,, @GFFantasySports: Not a time to play it safe, I need a lot of long shots to hit and the studs to be duds to just reach respectability!

Lawr Michaels,, @lawrmichaels: Well, I guess I am “lucky/skillfull” enough to have made the cut in Phase II, so I can experiment a little and not lose too much face. But, that does not mean I don’t want to win. I will obviously try to get in with pitching, though seriously, after the horrible Felix Hernandez meltdown my faith in just about everything DFS has reaffirmed my more instinctive Zen approach generally works better for me than does a “sure thing.”

Michael Beller,, @MBeller: I’m in second place for period three, so I’ve got a lot on the line this week. This may not be a satisfying answer to some, but I’m not changing my strategy at all. I’ve now cashed in Tout Daily five times, including one win and another top-three finish, and I’ve had my most success by building my lineup around a pitcher. That’s what I’ll do again Friday, with no shortage of options at our disposal.

Lenny Melnick,, @LennyMelnick: Competitive juices flowing! Love this standings format for Daily! I have my ticket for finals locked up but I sit 20+ pts points behind leaders in June I will go contrarian and take chances with the hope of being 20 pts better than the leaders. I have done 5 teams options already and I will sit on it for now until the lineups come out! A few surprises in store…IF THEY are playing.

Steve Moyer, I’d be happy to grind out $12 every week and that’s how I play. If I happen to stumble into the finals, then so be it.

Brian Walton,, @B_Walton: Though I should be more motivated to take risk than most, I will stick with my approach to assemble the best team possible. What is behind my motivation point is that I appear to be the only one among the overall leaders to have not yet qualified for the finals. Perhaps there needs to be a wild card added in the future for a marathoner who finds himself among a group of world-class sprinters!

Jeff Boggis,, @JeffBoggis: I think of all the Touts that have the most pressure on them this week, it would be me. I am currently in 3rd place for phase 3 with only a 3 point lead, so every point counts for me this week. The competition is fierce as there are 3 teams in 4th (Scott Pianowski), 5th (Adam Ronis), and 7th (Lenny Melnick) place that have already qualified from either phase 1 or phase 2, so you know that they will bring their A game this week as they can obtain another ticket with a top 3 finish in this phase. For me, the most important element is not getting cute or taking risks, and it all starts with selecting the right pitcher. I already know who I will start as my starting pitcher this week and it will be revealed in Friday’s top pitcher and hitter recommendations article. I then have to fill the other 8 hitting slots with an average of $3,000 per player. I typically will spend $4-$5K on 3-5 hitters in the 1B, 3B, and OF slots, and fill in the remaining 3-4 slots with $2,200 upside players. I will be paying closer attention to the weather and also to finalized MLB rosters as I can’t afford to have players involved with a rainout or given the night off on Friday. To date, for me there has been no magic formula for success in Daily Fantasy Sports. I’ve really enjoyed the opportunity and competition that Tout Daily offers me as I can experiment with different roster strategies. I will be watching both Friday’s competition and the overall phase 3 scores with extra interest on Friday night as I pray for that “golden ticket” into the Tout Daily Championship. Good luck to everyone on Friday!

Rob Leibowitz,, @Rob_Leibowitz: Looking at the standings, despite my solid 3rd place showing last week, I won’t be able to overcome my lousy first two weeks of this phase. With that in mind, I will have to go outside the box for most of my picks (and cross my fingers) on some longshots to come within earshot of the top three.

Gene McCaffrey,, @gene2323: I’m trying to find the players with the best chance to get the most points. With a close call I’m inclined to choose the guy I THINK will be less popular, but really that is a guess – more distraction than sound thinking. Speaking of Felix last week, Price was CLEARLY a better choice for performance, what steered me away was the weather issue.


Lawr: I dunno Gene. Felix, a strikeout pitcher, going against the team that has the second most whiffs in the majors over the season so far seemed pretty logical at the time. Even if he gave up all those eight runs over say six innings, but struck out ten he would have been worth eight points. that might not have been enough for much, but no one expected that implosion. And, that is why baseball is such mysterious fun, right. you just never know!

Gene: Well, that’s why we play, but one is at home for a .514 team vs. a .465 team, the other on the road for a .452 team vs. a .568 team. I only wish I’d taken my own advice…


Scott Pianowski,, @scott_pianowski: I’m close enough to the ticket area that I can just play it straight, go for the best plays I see without concern to likely pool behavior. If I were down a tier or so, I’d strongly consider pitcher differentiation, since that’s the spot with the most team-to-team variance.

Derek Van Riper,, @DerekVanRiper: I won’t be changing anything in my approach even with a small lead for the top spot in Phase 3. If I were on the outside looking in as a qualifier heading into the week, my emphasis would be on players with higher ceiling output, albeit with more variance. Additionally, I would probably think a little more about how much ownership there will be on some of the key players for the teams ahead of me.

Scott Swanay,, @Fantasy_Sherpa: The short answer is “not at all”. Unless the Cards decide to start Miguel Socolovich Friday night, I decide to use him, and he earns a perfect score of 40, I have no chance of finishing in the top three this phase. My personal goal is to score at least 35 points this week so that I’ll beat my Phase 2 score, which was better than my Phase 1 score. At that pace, I might be in contention for a top-three phase finish about the same time the Phillies are in contention for a top-three finish in the NL East again.

Jake Ciely,, @allinkid: I have to go GPP style and lean contrarian. I missed the Top 3 by 12 points the first period, less than two the second period and now sit about 17 back from third place. I need to make up significant ground and can’t play it safe… but also, I’m trying to convince the powers-that-be to also award anyone in the Top 5 at season’s end a ticket (if they didn’t grab a monthly Top 3 spot). After all, I’ve been so consistent that I’m fourth overall on the year (two points from third overall), yet I’m headed towards missing a ticket for the third straight month! Consistent excellence should be rewarded… who’s with me?!

Nando DiFino,, @nandodifino: I’m going to play the week like I’ve played every other week — without even considering the overall standings and just going after the best lineup to win the most money. I rarely play 50/50s — and maybe that’s to my detriment — but this is still fun for me, and I see no joy in playing it safe and tip-toeing around logically-selected risks.
Ray Murphy,, @RayHQ: Being 30 points out of the top 3 (thanks, Felix), it opens the doors to some extremely contrarian strategies. I could conceivably do something like build a lineup stack against the night’s most popular ace (Scherzer), hoping that the combination of a Scherzer blowup would put a big hurt on the people who roster him while vaulting my lineup of low-ownership bats to the top.Or, more likely, I’ll play it straight-up and just look to win the week outright before moving on to the next phase.
Todd Zola,, @ToddZola: I’m so far out of it I’ll be playing this tournament style and trying for the weekly prize, then I’ll evaluate how I want to approach the next phase over the course of the week.

#ToutChallenge Wrap-up


It was an off-week for the Touts which means more of the public doubled up their money, which is never a bad thing. A Tout did record the top overall score as Paul Sporer logged an impressive 70.33 FanDuel points. Joining Paul in the top-ten were fellow Touts Todd Zola, checking in at #6, David Gonos at #9 and Gene McCaffrey, sneaking in at #10.

All totaled, the Tout Warriors captured only 10 of the 45 money spots. Great job by the readers this week!

Madison Bumgarner was on 31 percent of all the teams including that of Sporer, Zola and Gonos. McCaffrey was one of only 5 percent of participants that used Chris Archer.

Sporer went with the herd as 23 percent of the combatants deployed Maikel Franco and his 14.75 along with 23 percent who used Brett Gardner and his 9.5 points.

Where Sporer zagged while everyone else was zigging was with his clever selections of Logan Morrison, 6 percent owned for 7.25 points and Asdrubal Cabrera, only 5 percent owned for 9.5 points.

Follow along with #ToutDaily as we award the next three tickets to the Tout Daily Championship after Friday’s contest has concluded.

Here is Paul Sporer’s outstanding lineup:


Tout Wars DFS Round Table: Surprises


ToutDaily has introduced many of the Tout Warriors to DFS whole providing all of us a chance to match wits with each other. As a means to share some of our thoughts about DFS, its strategies and its place in the industry, each week we’ll be answering a question, to be posted here every Thursday evening. This week’s question posed to the Touts is:

What has surprised you the most since you’ve started participating in the Friday FanDuel Tout Daily contest?

Scott Swanay,, @Fantasy_Sherpa

It’s relatively easy to find a pitcher with a favorable match-up and a good chance of earning a Win, but seemingly much harder (judging by volatility in week-to-week results) to find hitters who will do well (even within the relatively small subset of Hitters who appear to have extremely favorable match-ups).

Patrick Davitt,, @patrickdavitt

Speaking as someone who had Felix Hernandez for his one-out, eight-run performance at Houston, I’d have to say how much depends on the seemingly random unpredictability of the pitching.

Phil Hertz,, @prhz50

At first glance, my reaction was, “Oh, I can do this.”  However, after over a half-dozen entries, I’ve only had one really good one — and I’m now spending more and more time checking match-ups, weather, and other things I ignored at first.he seemingly random unpredictability of the pitching.

Tim McCullough,, @Tim_RotoExperts

Prior to joining the Tout Daily contest, I really didn’t play daily fantasy baseball. I’m surprised at how little I enjoy the daily game. Fantasy baseball has never been about winning money for me. The draft preparation, executing an effective draft, in-season waiver and roster management, and making trades throughout the season is what I really enjoy. I’d much rather build a team that wins after six months of strategy and tweaking than build a team with the expectation of one good night of production.

Craig Mish,, @craigmish

Two things have surprised me the most. First, that so many of us have fluctuated from bottom to top so frequently. Second, I find myself spending more time refreshing and checking the standings than actual time I spend setting my lineup. Is that bad? Is there a 12 step Tout Daily rehab program when this is over? Please advise.

Brian Walton, @B_Walton

What has surprised me the most is the wide swing in weekly scores. Though it is obvious that in each contest, everyone is starting over, there is clearly no halo effect. Despite following the same basic process in roster setting, my results have varied dramatically by week. For example, on May 22, I hit my low-water point, finishing 33rd of 42. The next week, I came in first. I wish I could point to some specific change I made to improve, but I have no explanation.

Peter Kreutzer,, @kroyte

I knew one thing going in: I knew nothing about playing Daily Fantasy Baseball. But I wasn’t worried, because I also knew the game was subject to a huge variance. As someone who has projected baseball performance for more than 20 years professionally, published ROS updates weekly in the early aughts on, and has been around a statistical paradox or two, I thought I would occasionally win simply because I got lucky. In Tout Daily, however, not yet. The sample is still small, just 10 weeks, but as I learn more about the game and fail even worse, I’m thinking it isn’t DFS, it’s me.

Gene McCaffrey,, @gene2323

Nothing has surprised me. The competition figured to be tough and it is. I consistently make good picks and a few other people make them and one more. The touts are better players than the public, which I know because several of my identical teams have cashed in tournaments but not in the Tout Challenge. This contest consistently makes better picks, the top players that night are almost always more widely owned, sometimes a lot more. This is especially noteworthy on Fridays when all teams are playing, which adds choices and don’t forget randomness.

Lenny Melnick,, @LennyMelnick

The format of carrying over each week’s points to determine a monthly winner has really been a unique innovation to DFS

Competing for 1 day may be fine, but having standings, automatically creates a new level of competition and excitement

Good work TOUT people!

Lawr Michaels,, @lawrmichaels

I have mostly found it sort grounding in DFS that it remains as mysterious and fickle as its on-field counterpart.

No sure things (King Felix goes .3 and is tagged for 8? Jace Peterson bags 15 points to Stanton’s 0 thanks to a walk?

It just reminds me there is indeed some theoretical comfort in a body of stats, but in a microcosm the numbers mean very little as often as not.

Michael Beller,, @MBeller

I’m not surprised by it any longer, but early on I was intrigued to see that my lineups built around a star pitcher generally performed better than those that invested heavily in hitting. It might be counterintuitive to full-season fantasy games, but it makes sense in a daily format. Every pitcher in the league is going to have his share of bad outings, and, of course, they’re more susceptible to injury, but it’s a whole lot easier to predict pitcher performance when you know the hurler in question is healthy and has a beneficial matchup. Hitters with even the best matchups are going to fall flat from time to time. Just earlier this week Kris Bryant didn’t get a meaningful hit in the Cubs’ 17-0 drubbing of the Indians until outfielder David Murphy was on the mound. Since about the middle of April, I’ve put my trust in pitching, and it has generally worked out for the better.

Jeff Boggis,, @JeffBoggis

For me, it has been the extra level of analysis and strategy involved in daily fantasy games. It’s not simply selecting names to fit the salary cap. Every roster move counts as we are not only competing each Friday night, but also for finishing in the top 3 overall in the 4 week competition for a ticket into the finals. I’ve had the opportunity to try different strategies such as studs and duds, or going all in on either starting pitching or hitters. Some strategies work better for me than others. I also do a deeper analysis on weather, hitter versus pitcher stats, and hitters that have been hot over the last 7 days. Last but not least, I set my initial team, but always follow up at least 30 minutes before the contest closes to ensure that my players are actually in the starting lineup, especially for players with lower salaries that may not be starting that day.

Charlie Wiegert,, @GFFantasySports

Experts, there are no experts in DFS.  Yes some seem to do better than others, but on any given day anyone can win, and anyone can have an awful day.  There does not seem to be any secret sauce (As Ron Shandler stated), which makes the game really interesting.  Picking the right pitcher, one who will get at least 15 points, is imperative.  I do not think we have had a daily winner who has not had a pitcher earn at least 15 points.  Keep trying should be the advice.  There’s really no reason that today won’t be the day you win!

Scott Engel,, @scotteRotoEx

Nothing has really surprised me. What has been special to watch, though, is how well Lenny Melnick has done at times. A legendary seasonal player and analyst is paving the path for hardcore seasonal players to embrace DFS rather than shun it.

Jake Ciely,, @allinkid

It’s going to sound conceited, but let me explain. Not much has surprised me, but it has surprised me how much everyone tends to lean on high-priced pitching. I’ve been doing a study cataloging similar lineups using the top tier of expensive pitchers versus the second and third tier guys. I use the savings to invest in better bats, and it’s performing significantly better. I’ve seen about an 11-12 percent boost on average by avoiding the extremely expensive pitchers, which can make the difference between in cashing out on FanDuel. I assumed that many of the Touts would have a similar theory, even though many are just getting into the daily game. I think the allure of “safety” at pitcher is more perception than reality, and I expect more Touts, and DFS players in general, to start moving away from the extremely expensive pitchers to build better performing lineups.

Todd Zola,, @ToddZola

I know this sounds a bit self-centered, but I’m surprised at how poorly my performance has been in ToutDaily, at least relative to my results outside of the FanDuel contest. Wise Guy Gene correctly pointed out we have some very sharp players here but I also wonder if I’m overthinking things, trying to get too cute with my lineup since it’s a hybrid format between trying to win the week and qualifying for one of the 15 spots in the Tout Daily finals.

Screenshot 2015-03-20 08.57.31


FanDuel #ToutChallenge Wrap-up

Tuesday was one of the highest scoring nights of the season as kramerb led the pack with an impressive 79.75 points. The cutoff to cash was a rather high 41 points.

Jake Ciely was the only Tout to finish in the top-ten, checking in at fifth. Eleven Touts cashed:

Jake Ciely
Ray Murphy
Scott Swanay
Eno Sarris
Al Melchior
Gene McCaffrey
Lenny Melnick
Steve Gardner
Michael Beller
Jeff Boggis
Charlie Wiegert

Trevor Bauer (15% ownership) was on three of the top five finishers including leader kramerb. Top Tout Jake Ciely used Garrett Richards (23%) with Chris Tillman (7%) being the other pitcher used in the top five.

With so many MLB teams scoring so many runs, it was going to take a stack or two to come out on top and kramerb nailed it with some exposure to both the Pirates and Orioles then filled in the blanks with Albert Pujols. Jake focused on the same teams except he didn’t use Manny Machado or Francisco Cervilli, two keys to kramerb’s top scoring unit, shown below:


It’s Tuesday which means another #ToutChallenge

Steve Moyer was the top Tout in last week’s #ToutChallenge on FanDuel. Nine other Touts finished in the money which left plenty of opportunity for you to pad your bankroll.

Are you up for this week’s #ToutChallenge?

For just $2 you can match wits and talk trash with your favorite Tout Warrior. Finish in the top 45 of the 100-player field and you double your money and ooze with pride.

Click HERE to join.