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“Man cannot survive except through his mind. He comes on earth unarmed. His brain is his only weapon. Animals obtain food by force. man had no claws, no fangs, no horns, no great strength of muscle. He must plant his food or hunt it. To plant, he needs a process of thought. To hunt, he needs weapons,and to make weapons – a process of thought. From this simplest necessity to the highest religious abstraction, from the wheel to the skyscraper, everything we are and we have comes from a single attribute of man -the function of his reasoning mind.”

The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand

The Fountainhead is a story about Howard Roark who is a genius architect but is not interested in the traditional norms of the industry and even drops out of school. He goes on to create very innovative structures and designs that were ridiculed by some industry experts for not being ‘normal.’

It is a very long read and I am not going to spoil it here. But the main idea is the difference between thinking for yourself and avoiding collectivism or ‘group-think.’ In this story, Howard has a friend named Peter who is basically the opposite of Howard. He is nowhere near him in terms of skills as an architect and he is also very self-conscious about what the rest of the industry and his peers think of him. He is incapable of thinking for himself and too concerned about what others would think of him if he acted outside of the ‘norms’ of the industry.

I bring up this story because many times in DFS, we fall victim to becoming a Peter. When we should be aiming to become a Howard Roark. By thinking for yourself and avoiding the popular group opinions, you have the potential for exponential upside. Sure, you are going to be wrong sometimes, and even most of the time if you’re playing aggressively. But the time(s) when you’re correct, you are getting paid off in a huge way because you were one of the few people capable of thinking for yourself.

There are a few spots on this week’s card that could potentially help you get away from some popular constructions.

Robelis Despaigne vs Waldo Cortes-Acosta

You guys knew I was going here probably. Despaigne is currently projected to be the highest owned fighter on the slate and for good reason. He likely wins by first-round knockout at a decent clip. Don’t get me wrong, I will have a healthy amount of Despaigne in my lineups as well. But I think the smart way to play it is to get over the field on the leverage side in Cortes-Acosta. If he survives the first round then we have serious questions what Despaigne will look like and I tend to think Cortes-Acosta will take over.

Mateusz Rebecki vs Diego Ferreira

This one feels gross, even for me. But this is a tough slate to find leverage with most of the popular options being great fights to target. Despite the age and durability concerns, I think Ferreira can compete here from a skillset standpoint. I have liked Rebecki since his Contender Series fight but this is not a cupcake matchup like his previous ones and it’s possible that Ferreira gives him some fits if he isn’t washed. It is also very easy to get over the field on Ferreira as he is projected to be the lowest owned fighter on the slate at under 10%.

Derrick Lewis vs Rodrigo Nasicmento

I mentioned that this is a tougher slate to find leverage opportunity. One easy way to get leverage is to fade the main event as I currently have it projected for 76% combined ownership. I think Lewis finds the knockout but we know that does not necessarily mean it comes in the first round if his history is any indication. There is a world where he wins by knockout in round two or three and does not find the optimal lineup.

As always, the upside is in thinking for yourself and getting away from the popular group think. We can’t win if we are all thinking the same and playing the same. Don’t be a Peter this weekend. Go be a Howard.

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