“When you play the Game of Thrones, you win or you die.” – Cersei Lannister

Be Joe Pyfer Jon Snow.

Just like many of you, I am a huge Game of Thrones fan and would argue that it’s perhaps the greatest show of all time. I am going to start my third re-watch of the entire series soon. But as with many things in life, I try to take away different ideas from it and relate it back to DFS.

Throughout the series, Jon Snow is tested over multiple situations and is forced to fall back on his morals and his honor, to decide whether or not he is making the right decision. Even if that means he must stand alone or go against the popular opinion.

During the infamous “Battle of the Bastards,” Ramsay Bolton provokes Jon Snow by shooting his brother Rickon with an arrow and killing him. Jon pauses for a moment, in shock, and decides to try to avenge his brother’s death by charging toward Ramsay Bolton’s army completely alone – an action that would be sure to result in his own death in an attempt to avenge his brother.

Now this seems crazy to most people as there is no way Jon Snow will be able to even reach Ramsay Bolton or be able to get through his entire defense by himself. But Jon Snow would rather die honorably if it meant doing what he thought was right – rather than thinking like everyone else.

He didn’t know it at the time, but Jon’s army was on his heels and rushed to his defense before Jon could be killed. Jon Stark’s army ended up being victorious and defeated Ramsay Bolton (Spoiler alert) despite Jon’s initial reaction to his brother’s death looking like a suicide mission.

It just goes to show you that sometimes things work out in your favor even if it may not seem like the smartest or most logical decision at the time.

Tying it into DraftKings, there have been many slates where what looks like a ‘suicide mission’ or a “bad” play, ends up being the difference in winning the war (GPP) or not. We have an added incentive to think and act differently than others because the exponential reward only goes to first place.

There are a few key leverage points this week that could potentially help you separate from the field.

Benoit Saint-Denis vs Dustin Poirier

The co-main event is going to be one of the most popular fights to target and for good reason. But that doesn’t mean we still can’t find leverage by attacking it. Both sides are going to be popular no doubt, but if you believe Saint-Denis has success with his grappling style gameplan, then fading or coming in way underweight to Poirier makes sense. If he is on his back or defending takedowns nonstop then he is not going to be able to have much of an opportunity to produce points. I also expect him to be around 30% owned and if Saint-Denis neutralizes him then you quickly eliminate one third of the field by fading him.

Petr Yan vs Song Yadong

I am less excited about this fight for DraftKings then I expect the field to be. Outside of five round fights, both sides have not scored great historically on DraftKings. I do not really expect much grappling success from them either so outside of a knockout, this is likely a striking based decision which usually does not score well. If they are pushing 50% combined ownership then by fading this fight you may be able to eliminate up to half of the field if it busts or underperforms like I expect.

Robelis Despaigne vs Josh Parisian

I almost didn’t even want to include this one but the sick pup contrarian in me had to do it. Now look, I think Josh Parisian is legit terrible and fully expect him to get knocked out in the first round in this fight. I will have a big chunk of Despaigne ownership for that reason, but I think getting overweight to both sides of this fight makes sense too. Parisian is likely to be one of the lowest owned fighters on the slate and you’re getting big time leverage against the popular Despaigne. There is also risk of Despaigne having no sense of grappling or cardio if the fight were to get extended and any type of upset victory from Parisian looks like an optimal score.

This is a massive slate on DraftKings with 14 fights and you are going to have to make some stances. Sometimes, those decisions may not feel like the most logical or smart moves at the time, but it is possible that things work out in your favor – even if you’re expecting to die.

Best of luck and I’ll see you in the streets.