The life of a professional, high-stakes daily fantasy sports player can be an arduous grind filled with constant analysis of the most minute details. Building a DFS lineup in any sport takes more than a whim or gut feeling.
It’s a process that involves a complicated strategy – one most successful DFS enthusiasts keep secret.
Such is the case for a high-stakes player who recently took home the $1 million prize in DrafKings’ Millionaire Maker contest. The cash is more than a reward for selecting the most efficient lineup of NFL players in fantasy football terms. It’s a culmination of weeks, months and years of pouring over data and risking a great deal of cash in contest entry fees leading to a major victory in a game that has become a way of life.
Speaking publicly about a personal strategy – especially one that led to a million-dollar payday – simply isn’t smart when considering how many DFS gurus are trying to best one another day in and day out. In other words, a lot of brilliant people needing just a tiny break could be listening.
STATS director of predictive analytics Sean Koerner doesn’t mind discussing those success stories, though. Koerner is the brains behind the analysis that has helped STATS clients – including the recent Millionaire Maker winner – regularly pull in six- and seven-figure payouts with STATS’ proprietary Application Programming Interface (API) projections model.
Koerner is the two-time reigning champion of the FantasyPros contest that recognizes the most accurate weekly NFL projections, and he currently sits in the No. 1 spot for 2017 ahead of thousands of other industry insiders. The API goes beyond football as well, providing MLB, NBA and NHL projections for high-end clients participating in big-money games.
Those clients have often seen a rather large return on investment. A STATS client narrowly missed winning the Millionaire Maker contest but still walked away with over $100,000 in prize money for cashing four separate entries.
While it’s true STATS’ API isn’t equivalent to possessing the winning lottery numbers before they’re drawn, it has provided a great deal of help to DFS pros cashing regularly in high-stakes contests. That gives Koerner and his team a sense of pride.
“Having the most accurate projections can give you an edge over the competition by pointing you in directions other industry insiders can’t,” Koerner said. “What separates STATS’ API from others is that our team doesn’t simply rely on past data and subjectivity. We read between the lines and spot more qualitative information unique to players’ situations that can’t be factored purely through an automated process.”
Coming to the realization that accurate fantasy sports projections involve a science is the first step for anyone hoping to solve the DFS conundrum. Aggressively examining every variable helps to analyze past performance – including actual skill vs. luck – to better predict future on-field production. That means digging deep into off-the-field news to heeding warnings from Mother Nature.
“We back-test every possible variable,” Koerner said. “Think of an NFL running back. What is his team’s expected game plan? Will the player get a majority of the touches out of the backfield? Is the team expected to have the lead most of the game or will they be trailing? How does his involvement change in either scenario? How does the team allocate touches to their backfield in those scenarios? How is their offensive line performing and how do they matchup verses their opponent that week?
“And those are just a few variables at one position. No stone is left unturned.”
That extensive analysis has been benefiting STATS clients for years, providing a service that gives the most dedicated DFS pros the edge they’re seeking. Saying STATS’ API makes DFS players look like a million bucks would only be cliché if it weren’t true.