Hey CPP readers, I got this email from one of our newest Premium members and figure I’d share:

Hey guys: Just joined for the rest of the year. My confidence pool is pretty big. (111 players this year). I usually do well but this year not so much so I thought I’d join for the last 6 weeks and try to win a week ($200). I actually have 2 entries, I play for someone else as well as myself. One entry is too far out of the money so what would you suggest, to go all in on the Money picks? The other entry is 40 points out of the money but there are 33 players ahead of me, so that’s pretty hopeless too. How should I play this one? I obviously need to change the picks up somewhat. Wish I found you earlier but next year could be a good one, now that I have. Thanks – Loren J. Sturch

Hello Loren, thanks for the question and thanks for joining us! I’m actually pretty far out of the season money in my leagues, so I’m in a similar position. You are correct, it’s time to go all in on Money picks. The first thing I look at is the size of your league, which at 111 players, is pretty large. Bigger pools means you need to take more risk.

tl;dr

If you don’t feel like reading the gory details, the bottom line is:

  1. You have a large league (over 100 players)
  2. You need to take TWO money picks (likely a green and a yellow) to have enough risk to win if they hit

Since you have two entries, you can try with two sets of picks!

Gory details

In your case, you need to make a pick that beats 110 other people, which means your picks need to beat 99% of the people in the pool. The best way to do that is with money picks, which show you which teams less people are picking (so you can pick that team and therefore beat them) but still have the best chance of actually winning (win probability). You need to pick enough so your picks are 99% different than others (because if you’re the same you can’t win).

If you take Week 13 as an example, you have Denver at 19% win probability and 5% picked. If you go all in on Denver and they hit, you’ll beat 95% of the people. 95% probably won’t get you in the money, so you need to beat the last 5%. The next best picks are yellow picks (NE and WSH at 18% picked). If you go with Denver and either NE or WSH, you’ll be at 5% x 18% = 1%. Now if they both hit, you’re likely to take first place.

Good luck the rest of the year!