Hi Reddit, I am Alex "Awesemo" Baker, the world's No. 1 ranked daily fantasy sports player. Many years ago, I took my love of sports along with my background in statistics and gaming to build models to predict fantasy outcomes for sporting events including the NFL, NBA, MLB, and NHL. Now I’m living the dream of being a fantasy sports pro!

I launched www.awesemo.com a couple of years ago in order to share my strategies and projections with the fantasy world, and it has since grown into one of the premier sources for fantasy data, featuring video and written commentary from some of the very best fantasy players on earth. With Awesemo.com, I provide the very strategic information that I use in my own fantasy gaming, including data, models and general DFS strategy.

Proof: https://twitter.com/Awesemo_Com/status/1303407059698880513

More Proof: https://imgur.com/KrGCp6w

Comments: 521 • Responses: 66  • Date: 

McJumbos577 karma

what is the worst advice you have heard from a "fantasy expert" on one of these networks (i.e ESPN, CBS, Yahoo, etc.)?

awesemo34 karma

Usually network analysis involves a lot of narratives - who should be the most motivated for a game? But the underlying assumption with any of these is that athletes aren't out there trying their hardest every single day, which usually isn't true. On occasion, there can be some that make an impact - Kobe/Derek Jeter retirement games are examples, but they are few and far between.

michalemabelle320 karma

How did it feel to tell your [insert someone in your life who had previously been negative towards your interests here] that you were going to play fantasy sports professionally?

awesemo460 karma

The toughest was when I was going on a lot of dates. That's part of why I wanted to do something beyond just gambling on fantasy sports - because just being a gamer isn't seen as something with a lot of social value.

jcarmona24315 karma

Hi Alex - I lost to you last night in a tourney on Fanduel and our only differences were that you picked Russ and Herro over me taking Rondo and Jimmy.

I thought about it again this morning and I would still have taken Rondo and Jimmy over your 2. How did you come to your conclusion? Or do you just run hundreds of lineups and that one hit?

I am working extremely hard on my first Tourney victory

p.s. - which team do you stack tonight in NBA? Raps done? Does Tatum still underwhelm (in DFS)? PG13 continue his? Or do we stack DEN as they try to win 128-125

awesemo317 karma

On FanDuel 2 game slates there are only about 1000 lineups that I would consider average or better so if a tournament has a lot of entries I'm trying to measure how good my lineup is vs. how many people are going to have it, because you're going to need to hit the perfect lineup to win.

Stacking in NBA isn't something I do a ton except by coincidence. Player performances aren't very correlated because the only stat that correlates is an assist, and that's at the expense of that player using a possession themselves.

hodgEEEEE123 karma

Whats the greatest DFS sport to play and why is it CS:GO?

awesemo243 karma

That's a tough one. I would have to go with CS:GO.

bryanbigbets1113 karma

What would you say is the bankroll of the 100ish players that max enter the 100k tournaments in NBA/MLB/NFL every night on DK? My guess is you would need a min of 50k without being too risky. This is a long term goal of mine and I love the content, thanks for everything!

awesemo161 karma

Thanks man! The bankroll required to max enter the big gpp's every night is some multiple of the prize for first. Like if it's 100k to first you need a bankroll of several hundred thousand to make sure you won't go broke. Of course many people do it with less bankroll but many people go bust and you only see the ones who get lucky continue.

tonoocala88 karma

Hey man awesome content always! In fantasy football
-Do you tend to consider home field advantage when choosing starters?
- Is opposing team defense one of the 3 most important factors you consider when choosing a starter?
-For week 1 would you play Garaopollo over C. Wentz? (Garopollo is playing last season's worst defense)

awesemo104 karma

Matchup is an important factor but I try not to isolate singular factors and instead look at each slate from a holistic point of view.

JonSpangler79 karma

Awesemo given the current trends of the movie-going public can you come up with an idea for a movie that will break a hundred million box office?

awesemo150 karma

I would just make a sequel to a 100 million maker. Fast and the Furious 27 probably.

thescrounger42 karma

I've read you really have to be able to program statistical models, develop winning algos, etc. to have any sustained success at fantasy, and those that don't are winning though blind luck. What say you?

awesemo34 karma

That's true to some extent but there are a lot of resources available that you can leverage to make the process of playing fantasy a lot easier.

Thanksforlistenin38 karma

How much more money do you make peddling your “side business” than the actual betting?

awesemo24 karma

The website is still a start-up, it's really something where we're focused on the big picture instead of immediate profits.

Outcome-Trick35 karma

Ive been a long time premium member of your site and really enjoy your content alex but I still struggle in certain sports with making solid lineups, i just dont know when and where to go chalky or low owned, especially in golf and nba. Would you please make some videos where you do a full 150 lineups and talk us through why you choose the line ups you do?

Also what is your strategy for these nba playoff showdowns on draftkings with huge 1st place prizes if you scoop?

awesemo38 karma

Thanks for the support! Definitely going to put out more videos like you described.

For big nba single game contests there are two main tricks- getting a combo of great players that is hard to fit in your lineup and being able to tell how many times your lineup will be duplicated.

Jacobdfs31 karma

How many hours a day do you spend on all this? What degree do you have in math?

awesemo56 karma

My average day is something like 8 am to 7 pm. I got a bachelor's in math and economics.

gvillegamer224 karma

Just curious if you are publishing lists arent you stacking the odds in your favor? The scam with Fanduel and Draftkings, is they knew who people where most commonly going to draft, and most of the time would just switch one or two players. That way you arent trying to win with a whole lineup, just pick the wildcard.

I am curious since it appears you make some data available to subscribers/public, are you not doing something similar?

awesemo13 karma

All of the lineups I enter are available for anyone to view. So if they didn't match the conclusions a reasonable person would draw from my website, then I think there would be cause for concern. But the information I'm publishing is the real stuff I'm using so it should be pretty evident.

xDanny0122 karma

Who do you think will be the top scorers in PPR for tomorrow’s game?

awesemo46 karma

Hill, Kelce, CEH, and then both QB's are all fantasy monsters!

Give_It_To_Gore16 karma

In gambling, essentially no sports betters really actually make money let's be honest. It's a very very few.

With vig you need to hit about 52.5% to break even, so if you're hitting a 55% clip in betting sports it's considered successful.

What's a successful return of rate for daily sports? Obviously you're the best, so maybe something that would be around what you could make a living off of?

ROI f you will.

Not considering a career at all, but wondering what it would take some guy to make a upper middle class income from daily sports.

awesemo2 karma

It varies a ton based on the field but in a large field tournament you could have a long term ROI of >20% but in a higher stakes sharper field a few percent could be a good return.

pozzy-app9 karma

What is your relationship with fantasy cruncher?

awesemo10 karma

We are individual companies but it was an easy partnership for us because FC has always been the lineup optimzer I use to build my lineups.

mmmaaarrr39 karma

Standard PPR fantasy football- I have zeke, conner, gurley, fournette, and white for RBs. For week 1- who should I go? Definitely zeke and probably conner. But for my flex- gurley, fournette or white?

awesemo24 karma

Zeke Connor Gurley IMO. You can check my sit start rankings on the site, they're free.

Ziplocking9 karma

Is the membership on awesomo only useful for DFS? Would I benefit for my season long fantasy team?

awesemo8 karma

We launched our season long package this year. We'll have stuff for season long like waiver wires and a trade calculator is in the works. A lot of the content for season long will be free so make sure to check it out.

cryptoxeno7 karma

Why is it that poker coaches routinely have to show their graphs to showcase their abilities but there’s no transparency in the DFS tout world?

I enjoy the content on your youtube channel, but not once did I hear/see the credentials of the analysts there. Obviously for free content no one can complain, but the general principle remains. Don’t you think the DFS training world would benefit from more transparency?

awesemo8 karma

The variance in large field tournaments in DFS is a lot higher than poker so it's tough to have consistent results that make a nice graph, and the net winnings isn't necessarily the best metric. I have my graphs posted a couple places on the site though. https://www.awesemo.com/draftkit/

Dave309546 karma

How many years of dedication did it take to get here?

awesemo3 karma

I started playing DFS in 2015. With the returns you get playing it's kind of like compound interest so it doesn't take as long to work your way up as you would think.

igraffiki6 karma

Did you steal your moniker from Eric Cartman?

awesemo8 karma

I had it first, I swear!

boomerthemoose5 karma

Orcs are obviously going to be the best football players, and hobbits are excellent golfers(considering the sport was invented by one ). Can you provide further insight on what other sports fantasy races are going to excel at and how? What sport are elves going to be the best at? How about dwarves?

awesemo3 karma

I think centaurs would absolutely crush at football but they would have trouble with baseball.

Chickentendies944 karma

Question on tourney strategy - I have noticed my lineups really hugging the bell curve. Ideally my nfl dfs lineups will not mirror the bell curve. My question is what strategies should I use so that my outcomes are more feast or famine?

I used to look for locks, but now I’m thinking just commit to game stacking. Curious as to how you approach it

awesemo12 karma

Building lineups with more correlation is a good way to give your lineup extra upside as you mention. I think that having a player on the opposing team from your quarterback helps because fantasy scoring slows down a lot unless both teams at the end are putting up points.

krazyking4 karma

Hi Alex, really grateful for you content and helping of others.

Ive always struggled with projecting RB's in shared back situations like in IND or BUF this year. I want to create a projection, but without information on what the time share would look like, how would you go about this? I havent been able to decipher anything from the coach speak either.
Would I assume there will be 25 touches total and split them evenly among the backs? That doesnt seem right.

thank you again

awesemo5 karma

I think that you just have to make an educated guess in those situations. Guys in time shares where there's no clear roles aren't extremely valuable in fantasy though. Jonathan Taylor was one of the most over-drafted players this year imo, because he has a harder path to large playing time.

AmidalaBills4 karma

Is it true that more of your income comes from people subscribing to your advice than from actual winnings?

awesemo6 karma

Not at all. I made 10x more last year playing fantasy sports than I made as a share of the site's profit.

NoDurianAllowed4 karma

How do you handle all the updates on the site while working on your own lineups and sometimes being live on air?

awesemo4 karma

Since I use the projections and ownership in my own process of building lineups it's just what I've been doing normally for years. Being live on the air makes it a little harder though!

Boredeidanmark3 karma

What is the easiest sport to handicap and what is the hardest?

awesemo3 karma

I don't handicap usually but if I did I would start with less popular leagues of a sport - WNBA, small conference college football, etc. Those are easier to win at and you can take the model and apply it to larger markets.

Potential_Departure63 karma

Why do you think Katie Bell hasn't contacted you yet?

awesemo9 karma

I'm very heartbroken, I can tell you that.

pozzy-app3 karma

Do you have plans for an Awesomo mobile app?

awesemo2 karma

Not currently but it's a great idea!

xxfay62 karma

What are the major changes that you've noticed this year?

awesemo6 karma

COVID really brought a focus to sports like NASCAR, MMA, PGA, and League of Legends. So those sports have become huge compared to where they were previously.

chrmcd2 karma

I'm interested in better understanding how projections are made. What are the best programs to use and what does the process look like?

awesemo7 karma

Excel is the only program I use to make projections. There are really two things - finding good historical data sets to study and then the best stats to attribute the production to players. Sports books are a good place to start with projections because the odds they offer can be reliable sources of information.

kraftpunkk2 karma

Appreciate your site dude! I’ve made a few thousand thanks to your projections the last couple of weeks and during these times, anything extra helps a lot. Two questions:

1) favorite thing to eat while watching a game

2) any tips when using fantasy cruncher for NFL? I’m still new to FC and only used it for NBA. Took a little glance for NFL and a lot of it seemed overwhelming.

awesemo6 karma

For NFL on FC I use the positional stacks and randomness primarily. If you just focus on those two options it should make it a bit easier to get into. I've always been a fan of the dessert cart as far as game food.

mountpara052 karma

Is byrd the word on Sunday?

awesemo5 karma

Byrd could be sneaky! Any 3k receiver that's going to get decent playing time is worth taking shots on.

gofastdsm2 karma

Hey Alex.

First of all, great first name.

Second, have you considered the similarities between what you do and quantitative investment strategies? After reading some articles on your website, I was struck by how similar the two fields are.

Thanks for the AMA!

awesemo2 karma

There are a lot of similarities to investing! The big advantage of DFS as an investment is you see the returns within a day. That makes it really quick to be able to reinvest your money.

Boredeidanmark2 karma

How long did it take from when you started developing your system until you were confident enough in it to start betting on it? Did you do a “soft open” to test its predictive power before betting significant money?

What is the “learning” process to continually refine your system like?

awesemo3 karma

I just dived in head first, and once I started seeing positive returns I increased my investments. Usually if I have a bad run I'll go back and really try to analyze what I'm doing and try to see if I need to make improvements or if I'm just getting unlucky.

mountpara051 karma

Before you played poker professionally, were you of the belief that you wouldn’t do a 9-5? Did you view yourself as creatively different from the norm?

awesemo1 karma

I never really made a conscious decision to do poker professionally, it was just that I was fired from my previous job and I knew I could make money playing poker. But it became evident pretty quickly that you could make more money in poker and DFS than you could in a normal job.

longphant1 karma

What did you study in school and how did you get so good at using Excel?

awesemo16 karma

Math and economics, but didn't use much Excel in school. I really honed my craft when I heard that ladies dig guys with sweet spreadsheet skills.

terps9731 karma

What are your thoughts on probable collusion in the big best ball gpps? Players join drafts with their friends and let a few teams become super teams. DraftKings was not very assuring when I emailed their support about doing to remedy the situation

awesemo2 karma

Possible collusion is a definite weakness in the format. I hope that the winners have their drafts audited to some extent to make sure no funny business happened.

[deleted]1 karma


awesemo3 karma

Thanks man. I usually look at the rotations from the previous game and then an average of minutes over the last X games to arrive at a minutes projection.

LepreKanyeWest1 karma

I love data science. I expect you'll continue to win because people won't put in the correct effort in picking their teams.

I'm curious, what % of fantasy sports teams are currently chosen algorithmically?

awesemo5 karma

That depends a ton on what tournament you're entering. If it's a large field tournament it could be 40-50%, but in a high stakes field it could be 80%. If you count lineup optimizers as an algorithm.

McJumbos1 karma

regardless of how well he did or how badly he was, who was one player you always had on your teams?

awesemo7 karma

Breshad Perriman back in the Ravens days. He was so bad but dirt cheap and on the field a lot.

Over_Incident_20271 karma

Do you need a model to win at nfl dfs?

awesemo5 karma

One of the reasons that I started a site is to make it possible to compete with sharps without making DFS a full time job. So I don't think it's essential to create your own model. If I was starting off I would focus more on tournament strategy using the best sources of projections and ownership projections instead of devoting all of that time to building a projection model.

jkonrad0 karma

Can pretty much anyone of average intelligence who can do basic math be successful in this arena? Aside from math, what other skill is most important?

awesemo2 karma

For sure. There are a lot of resources you can take advantage of so you don't have to do everything yourself. I think mental game is probably the most important thing other than math. Even if you're a pro there are going to be months where you lose money and being able to identify your edge through all the noise is hard.

CautiousAd35370 karma

Whats the best method to building 150 Lineups in MLB?

awesemo1 karma

I use fantasy cruncher and build a lot of lineups using different stacking options. Then I try to narrow down the list of lineups created to my favorite 150.

atonyatlaw0 karma

Why would you make a site to increase your competition and reduce your own earnings? Unless the advice you give isn't good enough for people to potentially beat you, isn't the only result of giving that information away that you lose money?

awesemo4 karma

Although you can make good money playing DFS there's ultimately more money in business than DFS

brescia000 karma

Do you confer with caruso to shave accordingly to match your look?

awesemo3 karma

I try to look as different from Caruso as possible because he's like a better looking version of me. Imagine if there was someone who looked just like you except he was a professional athlete who plays for one of the biggest franchises in sports. The worst!

kendebvious0 karma

Who do you like in the Minnesota Viking vs Green Bay Packers NFL game on Sunday?

awesemo3 karma

Allen Lazard is someone I'm looking at with limited Green Bay receiving threats, and to a lesser extent Marquez Valdes-Scantling. Thielen should be in a good spot with no Diggs this year. And then of course Davante Adams and Dalvin Cook are always going to be great fantasy options.

ga_33330 karma

Question regarding DFS Contest Selection. If I make 20 lineups, should I focus on only entering those contests in 20 max tournaments? Is it -EV long term to enter those 20 lineups in 150 max contests that have higher payouts?

awesemo3 karma

I would enter whatever tournament has the least sharp field. So I would start with large single entry, <$5 contests, and then 20-max. 150 max would be the next step from those for me.

ImJustJoshinYa230 karma

Alex, for about 2 years now I have been a spreadsheet guy tracking scoring consistency, price, averages, etc etc. been doing single entry and 3 max entry and now looking to take the next leap into more model building for own projections and MME do you have any suggestions on maybe books to read for model building/projections or advice on how to take the next step in model building?

awesemo1 karma

I think the best way to improve models is to get a good source of data. A site like KO Stats could have a data set that has a lot of valuable information for a model.

Thorntonx130 karma

Hey Alex, we met on reddit a year ago when I said you are bald and have Eli manning syndrome, we are friends now. Anyways real question, I’m strictly a SE/3E guy. I try to stay away from the MME section because I just don’t have the bankroll to enter 150 max contest unless it’s the .05 on FanDuel 😂 but seriously, when you do SE, what are you looking for mainly? Ownership leverage? With baseball I feel like it’s simple doing SE/3E but NBA I can not get the hang of how to build SE line ups. And NFL what are your thoughts to do for SE? Thanks and good look this NFL Season.

awesemo2 karma

I would look for a lineup that has about 3/4 players that are among the best players of the night and 1/4 off the board contrarian plays. That mix tends to give you a good chance to both cash and win a tournament outright.

bill3260 karma

How many thumbs up will it take to make Josh Happy?

Also would you consider adding an overall ownership column to your FD NBA ownership rankings?

awesemo1 karma

Apparently Josh never is satisfied with the amount of thumbs. It's like dude we'd give you two thumbs if we could! And that's a good idea regarding ownership!

EnginrA0 karma

Is Antonio Gibson worth a flyer?

awesemo1 karma

He's a little overhyped imo but if you can get him in a late round he's fine. I'm ambivalent in DFS this weekend. He's cheap but I don't know how much of a snap count we can count on.

supplyncommand0 karma

what’s your best tips for NHL? i was on a hot streak when the season ended in march and then was ice cold on its return. was a major bummer/letdown. came close a few times but never held up. is it just a matter of max entering and covering every line combination possible? what is your ultimate secret for NHL? thanks!

awesemo1 karma

This year I had to up my game so I created a tool for NHL to judge the chance each line would be the highest scoring vs. their ownership. If you just go off projections it's hard to identify with lineups are the best imo in NHL DFS.

_Rule_of_Law_0 karma

I understand why maximum entries is ideal in contests with correlations in player production (ie. NFL, NHL, MLB, etc.), but the consensus seems to be that this is true for PGA, which has no stacking, matchups, etc.

Is this your position? If so, what's your reasoning?

awesemo2 karma

I don't think maximum entries matters much - it's all about the return you can expect on each individual lineup. Entering more lineups is generally a disadvantage because each one you enter is going to be progressively worse based on whatever method you're using to judge them.

likwidkirpans0 karma

Lineup allocation in contests is something that I have been working on lately, creating +EV lineups and then allocating them into the right contests based on skill level and number of entries. Are there any metrics you would recommend to use and how they should be allocated to large field vs small field gpps? Relative value, total ownership, ev, etc...Thanks for everything you have done for the DFS community!

awesemo3 karma

The larger the tournament is the more off the board I'm willing to go with my lineup because of the greater risk reward ratio. In smaller tournaments it makes sense to make small pivots from the most popular plays, in larger field you can pivot more.

thedkexperience0 karma

You’ve been a big help over the years Awesemo so thank you and your team for that.

Anyway, is there a commonly held DFS belief that you see and simply think “all of you guys are just wrong”? If so what is it?

awesemo2 karma

Nice! I think the most common belief that I don't agree with is that DFS is all about identifying the best players and then playing them. I think that used to work but now in 2020 playing more strategically is essential.