Louis Cangiano discusses hedging DFS lineups for all sports, such as MLB & NFL!
I honestly believe the greatest skill a DFS player can acquire is the ability to properly hedge a lineup. I say acquire because it’s something you need to work at and understand. Also, you need to be ok with the concept that money is going towards lineups you know will fail. You’d be surprised how many people are not able to enter lineups they don’t believe in fully. But the truth is, if you don’t have the balls or the bankroll to stack the Arizona Cardinals against the San Francisco 49ers defense or the Knicks against the Pacers, for example, you’ll never take down a GPP tournament.
First things first, what is a hedge? Good question. The simplest explanation for what a hedge lineup is would be, if this lineup does poorly, then a hedge lineup does well. Okay, let me explain. If all of your research is pointing towards a New York Yankees stack and every lineup you’ve made along the way has Yankees batters, a hedge lineup would be investing in the pitching (separately) that is going against the Yankees. No matter how improbable you might think it is. I don’t care if it’s Bartolo Colon on two days rest; if you have high exposure to a certain team or game scenario, YOU MUST INVEST IN AT LEAST 5 % OF HEDGE LINEUPS.
Play smart. If you’re investing $500.00 a week in DFS say, can you not afford to be smart and invest in multiple angles of a given slate or game? Yes, you can! The real reason people tend not to be smart when playing DFS is, as I mentioned before, they can’t fathom paying for a lineup they know will likely be a waste. You’ll hear me say this a ton: “Some of my best lineups were hedge lineups.” In fact, almost all of my major wins were hedge lineups. I really don’t know what that says about my process, but I do know what it says about my strategy!
When hedging a lineup, one thing I always keep in mind is “stick to the narrative,” meaning, if this lineup is a hedge off of high exposure to a certain team, all of your decisions are now under the assumption that the hedge team wins. So, all of your slate research becomes completely irrelevant at that point. You’re simply following the game flow. This is best explained with NFL references. Okay, you have tons of Patriots; you love their offense going up against the New York Giants. Most, if not all of your lineups are filled with Brady, Michel, Edelman and even the Patriots defense. Vegas has the Patriots favored by -17, and the Giants are on a massive losing streak. What could go wrong? I’m not wasting money on a hedge, right? Wrong! Let’s make a hedge lineup.
So, obviously all Patriots come out because, for this lineup, all you should be thinking is Giants blowout. What’s your first step? Lock in the Giants defense. This is a common mistake. People assume that locking in a safer defense is the play. As I said prior, follow the game narrative. So, if the Patriots are getting blown out (no matter how unlikely), you have the Giants defense at sub 4%, and by following the game flow, you will consequently have a Giants stack at low ownership as well. It all makes sense!
Now, it’s time to select a flex player. Who makes sense? Well, instead of taking a stab in the dark with an RB from another game, just ask yourself, “If the Giants blow out, which RB benefits?” The answer. James White. Yes, White is their running back, but he’s also the primary passing back. Who benefits the most in a blowout? Two main categories: the best offensive targets for the winning team and the passing back for the losing team.
Every lineup you make should have a rhyme and reason to it. If you’re putting in the money, you might as well put in the time. You’ll see multiple articles on hedging strategies from me over the year(s). As I said in the beginning, “I honestly believe the greatest skill a DFS player can acquire is the ability to properly hedge a lineup.” Let’s acquire that skill!
Good luck grinding and remember to follow me on Twitter @JaguarDFS
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