Wes Passinault can thank Ian Desmond and revel in the worst performance of the season by Hyun Jin-Ryu, He is headed to the biggest Fantasy Sports event he could ever hope to be a part of, the FanDuel WFBC.
The 36 year-old accountant from Amherst, Wisconsin won a seat in the 2019 $2,000,000 FanDuel World Fantasy Baseball Championship in San Diego on August 24 by taking down a qualifier on June 28. He also did it with some input from his friend and Win Daily analyst Mark Paquette.
The Path Goes Through Colorado
“I was teetering on using Desmond,” he said. “But Mark told me for a Colorado bat at $3200, I had to take him. That is what took it over the edge for me.”
The Rockies and Dodgers combined for 22 runs that night. Desmond scored 18.9 points on FanDuel, going 2 for 5 with a double, two runs scored and an RBI. Passinault used seven hitters from the Los Angeles/Colorado game. Nolan Arenado had a four-hit night, with two doubles and a HR, and led the way to the FanDuel WFBC with 40.4 points. Max Muncy had a homer and four RBI and came in with 38.7.
“I felt confident like I always did, and I had more confidence on that night targeting Coors Field bats,” he said. “I knew I was going to get on some Rockies bats that night.”
A savvy Fantasy DFS player, Passinault has been competing since 2000 in seasonal and 2013 in Daily games. He was set on attacking Ryu, the premier pitcher in the National League, when most others would not. He was not afraid to gun for the rare Ryu down outing in Colorado.
It’s not often when Colorado bats go so underowned at home. I looked up the projected ownership numbers for Arenado and stuck with him and never changed,” Passinault said.
Ryu allowed seven earned runs and helped Passinault to his biggest Fantasy night ever and a seat in the FanDuel WFBC. The previous season, he had won $2,500 in a multi-entry tournament on FanDuel. Now he had woken up to approximately $8,000. He took first place in four of the five tournaments he entered that night.
The Delayed Winning Reaction
But Passinault did not find out about his winnings and seat in the live finals in San Diego until the next day. He said he knew he was going to be close to some success. But he simply turned his phone off for the night before the games ended. He didn’t realize his good fortune until the next day when he was readying for a cornhole tournament.
“My phone just started exploding,” he said. “Then I saw that I had won the qualifier and realized what happened.”
Passinault estimated he had tried to qualify for a seat in the FanDuel WFBC 55 times before he finally got in. Now he is going to play for a first place prize of $500,000 and is guaranteed a minimum of $5,000. He is having all his expenses paid for the trip and will experience welcome and viewing parties. He will also be entered into a $50,000 single game championship tournament at a Red Sox/Padres game at Petco Park, among other VIP experiences. This will be his first ever trip to San Diego.
“What I am really looking forward to the most is being with all those great DFS players in one room, and experiencing the culture as all of them get together,” Passinault said. “I think I just might be an Average Joe compared to some of these guys.”
Not Feeling the Pressure
But Passinault said he is not putting an extra pressure on himself as the FanDuel WFBC event approaches.
“I am just going to get back to playing DFS and focus on the day at hand,” he said.
In the meantime, Passinault is also grateful to his friend Paquette. Passinault had previously followed Mark on Twitter and reached out to him during the previous NBA season to start chatting DFS. It was the Win Daily writer who ultimately urged him to roster Desmond.
Ultimately, though, Passinault said his love for numbers and going with his gut has gotten him this far. Now he’ll be enjoying the VIP DFS experience of a lifetime at the FanDuel WFBC.
“As an accountant I have a natural love for the numbers, but about 40 percent of it is just gut feel,” he said. “Sometimes my gut will just tell me to go the other way.”
That mix of number crunching and going with hunches has Wes Passinault on his way to the Fantasy experience of his life. He is mentally readying for next month at the FanDuel WFBC in San Diego.
‘My wife and I are really looking forward to it,” he said. ‘But I keep reminding myself to not get too far ahead, we’re not ahead to it yet.”
Scott Engel is a 20-plus year veteran of the Fantasy Sports industry and an inaugural member of the Fantasy Sports Association’s Hall of Fame. He is a four-time FSWA Award winner and nine-time finalist. He won the CBS SportsLine Hall of Fame Award for his longstanding service and was a featured Fantasy analyst for ESPN.com. Scott is a longtime and award-winning host on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio. He was the Managing Director and driving content force behind RotoExperts.com for more than a decade and helped launch the FNTSY Sports Network.