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How to make millions in fantasy sports

All 32 NFL teams across the country have started practices and workouts. Have you been paying attention to them?

You might want to take a look if you want to make big bucks playing fantasy sports.

Cory Albertson, a graduate student at Notre Dame, pays close attention to everything that goes on in the sports world, and he makes thousands of dollars in just a few hours off of fantasy sports. He made a mere $200,000 last year alone.

How does he do it? He treats the game as if it was stock market.

Yes, he pays attention to injury reports, stays totally up-to-date with the latest developments and follows every team's beat reporter on Twitter, but he doesn't trust his gut or instinct when setting his fantasy rosters - which he has hundreds of. He uses advanced algorithms and numbers to choose his ideal lineups.

 "It's all about having logical inputs that lead to logical outputs," he says.

Here's an example of how the algorithm works for one of Albertson's NBA teams:

Gordon Hayward, a Utah Jazz shooting guard, is downgraded to doubtful for that night's game because of a bad hip. Albertson adds the new information to the spreadsheet and updates the entry for Alec Burks, Hayward's backup. If Hayward sits out, Burks is likely to get more playing time. Eventually, Albertson punches the button to let the algorithm do its work. The pinwheel turns and the laptop whirs as the machine cycles through millions of calculations. Albertson waits.

The result of all this evening's research and effort is that Albertson's algorithm determined the optimal lineup for a fantasy basketball team. More precisely, on Albertson's command, it produced hundreds of lineups that collectively represent a diverse portfolio that will, he hopes, generate thousands of dollars in profits by the end of the night's games, in about six hours.

That's a lot of money to be made in a little amount of time. Albertson plays in daily leagues, which are different from most. Most fantasy leagues last the duration of a season - and those normally have one big payout at the end. With daily leagues, they only last for a night, with equally big payouts as normal leagues, only these payouts come more frequently.

That's not to say Albertson never loses. He's had his fair share of coming up short, but he wins more than he loses.

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