I recently received an email from member Robert L. asking me this:

“I’m not doing too well this year. I’m 55 points behind leader in 68 person league. Any suggestions?”

I figure it’d be a good time to do a little mid-season update and strategy check. I’m sure many of you are in the same boat as Robert. In my league, I’m 140 points behind the leader, 30th out of 38 people. What does this mean?

If you’ve been using the money picks strategy, remember that this strategy is intended for you either be high or be low each week, avoiding the middle (where you don’t get paid anyway). We provide a few upset picks that you could go all in on. These picks are usually 25-35% win probabilities, meaning they only hit 1 in 4 or 1 in 3 times on average. Unfortunately for us, it seems like a lot of these picks haven’t hit so far, putting us pretty far down in the standings.

The good news is things will eventually even out. Already, we had 3 money picks hit in Week 7. What we want to make sure is that if and when our luck shifts, we’ve picked enough upsets to take first place. And this is where we can take a look at our previous picks up to now.

I’ll use my picks as an example. First, let’s take a look at Week 5. My money pick was CIN over GB for 15 points.

 

I ended up in the bottom third this week, with the top pick getting 125 points. Here’s what the top of the standings looked like. I’ve highlighted the money pick game and the total points they scored for the week:

 

This is where we play the “what if” game. What if CIN had made that field goal and won that game? Then I would have 99+15=114 total points. I would do the same analysis for the rest of the league, subtracting the points they gave to GB.

1st place team (HuskerFan) would’ve had 125-10=115

2nd place team (Tiger King) would’ve had 123-3=120

3rd palce team (Stricknine) would’ve had 120-9=111

And on down the line. I did the math all the way down, and they are all less than the 114 I would’ve gotten. So “what if” CIN had won, I would’ve been in 3rd place. Not bad, in the money. This just shows me to I’m setting myself up for a win once my pick hits. I just need to keep doing this and wait for it to happen, and maybe consider taking a little more risk.

If however, you play the “what if” game, and you need 2 or 3 games to have turned. Or you’re not close at all. That probably means you’re not taking enough risk with the money picks. You need to go with a green pick all in, or maybe two picks all in (green plus yellow, two yellows, etc).

By running this test, you can see if you’re taking enough risk or not. If not, it doesn’t matter if your luck turns, you may not win anyway.

The other good news is if your money picks start hitting, you can make up a lot of ground also. There’s a story recently posted where they analyzed league data from the past few years, and most of the teams that eventually took first place weren’t even in the lead around the halfway point. So there’s plenty of room for a takeover. Just need to cheer on those money picks!


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