Break the Slate | DFS Money Makers 10 Rules to Live By

by Jared Michelizzi · Strategy

Welcome to Break the Slate DFS Money Makers! This is going to be a weekly cash game article that will supplement the DFS Lineup Genius to help you make the most competitive profitable lineups possible. To kick things off, this season I am going to start with giving you some general tips/rules to live by that will set you up for success this season. My process is data driven and rooted in advanced stats and projections. Those advanced stats come from PlayerProfiler. As subscribers you have access to all of the data you need.

We have a team of roughly 50 savages that pour over the ALL-22 each week charting literally every snap, formation, route and defensive coverage.

Between the articles, podcasts, livestreams, Lineup Genius and data you have everything you need right here at PlayerProfiler to be a profitable DFS player/Prop Bettor. Let’s get into it! 


Rule 1: There are NO RULES

There are no absolutes. There are always exceptions. Yes, there are things I generally do or even do 95% of the time. However, you should never limit the possibilities before fully considering all of the options. I have heard too many analysts and touts tell people you must always do XYZ. I then watch the subscribers that follow their content miss massive opportunities because they can’t think critically about a situation. 

Rule 2: Don’t Worry About Ownership

Some common DFS terms we’ve all heard thrown around: chalk, fade, and ownership. I really am not concerned with any of these in cash games. I’m particularly not concerned with ownership percentages. If I believe the best play is a 90% owned running back. No sweat. I now have an advantage on 10% of the field who didn’t play him. Don’t outsmart yourself. Play the best plays. 

Rule 3: Love and Cherish Value 

Let’s go to value town. I love the weeks where a starting running back goes down, and it’s too late for the DFS sites to adjust salary for the next week. Playing those backup running backs that have just walked into a starting role sets up the rest of your lineup for success. One situation that is a bit more overlooked is wide receivers that fall into the starting roles. We may have this with Week 1 with Van Jefferson.

Van Jefferson Advanced Stats & Metrics Profile

If Cooper Kupp is out, and Jefferson is at minimum salary, he is a player we will need to strongly consider. I don’t care that he has been a subpar NFL receiver. The salary savings will set up the rest of our lineup to be full of top end talent. He also was a second-round draft pick and had over 1,000 Air Yards in 2021. Bottom line: Opportunity > Efficiency.

Rule 4: You Need to Have Upside in Your Roster

With the sharper fields we now see we do need to take more risks and shoot for more upside then in previous years. You might be thinking to yourself: I only have to beat half the field or one opponent in heads up. I am going to take a bunch of safe plays that will have a good floor and cruise to victory. The problem is no matter how safe you think a play is it will sometimes fail. If you have a bunch of guys that get you 10 points but two that go for two points, you are cooked. You need to have the firepower to go for a 30+ point game on your roster to make up for duds.

Rule 5: Flex Play RB > WR > TE 

On FanDuel, I almost always play an RB in the flex. On DraftKings, that stance has softened, but I definitely look to plug in an RB whenever possible. Playing a TE in the flex has gained popularity in recent years. This one is easy. Don’t do it in cash (In fact, the data from last year’s millionaire maker results indicates you probably want to avoid doing it period). The moral of the story: find the salary elsewhere. To help you find a strong flex play, be sure to check out the player pages with these matchup stats and DFS slate information. 

Rule 6 Save Salary at Defense

One place to find some salary relief is defense. Defense is incredibly difficult to predict. We know in tournaments we shouldn’t play a highly owned defense. In cash games, I am again not worried about ownership, but I am worried about salary. I try to find the lowest priced defense that has a reasonably good matchup and use that salary savings to pummel my opponents elsewhere. Early in the year, it will be good to reference our Offensive Line Rankings article to target teams with weak units. It’s best to give a bonus to defenses that are at home or are a favorite.

Rule 7: Have balanced contest selection. 

It’s good advice to play a balanced portfolio of entries. To make things simple, let’s say I enter $1,000 worth of entries in a week. I will have about 60-percent in 50/50’s/Double Ups, 25-percent in Heads Up contests, 5-percent in a Single Entry/3Max Tournament that has a field between 500-1500 entries, 2-percent in Triple Ups, and 2-percent in 10-100 man Single Entry GPPs. The point of this contest selection is to have some upside to capture on the really big weeks while maintaining a high enough percentage in the core cash games to profit on the weeks where the pay line is tight. 

Rule 8: Avoid Teammates That Aren’t a Stack or Value Play

We are playing cash games here. Although we want some upside, we don’t need to aim for 200-point lineups. You want to avoid playing two pass catchers on the same team. For example: Tee Higgins and Ja’Marr Chase and Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle come to mind. That eats up an awful lot of salary, and if their offense has a bad game, or even just goes run heavy, you are smoked. The same rule applies to a QB-RB and RB-WR/TE combo. If I think enough of the RB to play him, I am hoping he dominates the touches. Exceptions are when one or both of the players are an extreme value play and are in games that have insane team totals. I do want to make it clear I do recommend QB-WR/TE stacks. Obviously, I want my QB to ball out and having his primary pass catcher is a no brainer.

Rule 9: Check a Lineup Generator

Yes, lineup generators/optimizers are typically for tournaments. However, I like checking the optimal lineup to make sure I am not missing something. I build my cash game lineups by hand. Many times I am trying to fit in the final player and come up $100-200 short to what I want. The lineup generator may show you a combination you hadn’t thought of yet. Rarely would I ever play the default optimal lineup as I don’t want to be in a lineup train if I can avoid it, but I want to be aware as to what they are generating. Luckily, you have access to one right here with the DFS Dominator.

Rule 10: Develop a Process

Successful DFS players have a process they follow each week. Yours can be whatever you make it. Just make one. For example, a good process would be checking the salaries the first day they are released. Check the opening spreads and how they move through the week. Listen to the PlayerProfiler podcasts and livestreams throughout the week. Read this DFS article to get someone else’s point of view. Run the lineup generator to get an idea of what the chalk plays will be. Enter your contests, win money, rinse and repeat! I will share more about my specific process throughout the season.

Bonus Rule: Have FUN

There will be some good weeks, even some great weeks. There will also be some bad weeks. You can find value in analyzing past weeks results but don’t get too caught up in them win or lose. When this stops becoming fun for you, it’s time to reconsider things. Even if you play professionally, there is a reason you would be choosing to make this your profession. You want it to be fun. Have fun, don’t rage. 

This article will be completed Friday Morning and released Saturday. 

Keep your eye on any news that breaks from Friday Night into Sunday morning. Use your best judgement to adjust your plays to the breaking news. Stay tuned for week 1’s breakdown coming in the next few days. Let’s have a great season!

Feel free to message me with questions in the discord or on twitter!