A Contrarian's Guide: NBA Cash and Tournament Plays 1/1/2018


Being knowledgeable about projections, DvP, advanced team stats and team news can help enhance your DFS performance and profitability. Throughout the season I’ll have players I’ll focus on from a game stack or team stack perspective, but I’ll also use the projections model, known injury news and team match ups to build my lineups around the more optimal players on the slate. Popularity on those players will be disregarded if that player gives us the highest chance at exceeding value relative to his price point. If they’re questions about players I haven’t mentioned or have decided to fade don’t hesitate to ask. I’ll try to keep the blog neutral the best I can but for the time being my NBA site of choice is DraftKings.


1/1/2018 Back to Back and Injuries
LA Lakers, Minnesota and Chicago are on back to backs. Portland is on a front end of a back to back.


Probable Meyers Leonard.


Questionable Damian Lillard.


Doubtful N/A


Out Lonzo Ball, Brook Lopez and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope.


DraftKings Charts


Average FPPG per player for the teams playing tonight for.


Looks like PG’s, SG’s and SF’s are the pay up spots for tonight on DraftKings. I’ll mainly be focusing on players who have raw scoring potential with peripherals as an added bonus.


Average FPPG by position.


The salary and FPPG Correlation chart suggests that players between $6,000-$8,000 salary range represents the most consistent or safe plays for tonight. This is another night where I’ll have some exposure to balanced lineups or choosing one of the top studs to build around.




Tonight’s Combos & Stacks


Spencer Dinwiddie, Caris LeVert & Rondae Hollis-Jefferson
They’re a few interesting team stacks on tonights slate and this one to me is the most intriguing. If we knew these three players would see 30-35 minutes of run I guarantee at their DraftKings prices we would all no doubt be heavily exposed. They’re a few factors going into why I’ll have exposure to Nets players. The most obvious is Orlando’s DvP. They own the worst overall on tonight’s slate, more specifically they’re worst against PG’s, SG’s, SF’s and 2nd worst against PF’s. Considering they have a lot of rotation players at the SG and C position I feel as though these three would be the best to target. LeVert handles a lot of the PG duties where as Allen Crabbe is splitting time evenly with Joe Harris and also Nik Stauskas. The second reason is based on how they score in the model. The third is I feel they may actually get some quality minutes in tonight’s game. Dinwiddie and RHJ are number one and two for the Nets in Ppg at home but whats really intriguing is Dinwiddie’s overall home averages. He’s averaging 15.8Ppg, 3.8Rpg, 6.9Apg, 1.2Spg, 1.4TOVpg and producing those numbers in 28.4MPG. For me he may be one of my heaviest exposed players when construction is complete based on these numbers, possible uptick in minutes and his upside he’s flashed during the season.


Kris Middleton, John Henson and Giannis Antetokounmpo.
Kris Middleton appears to be the best option here and I’ll likely have a high exposure to him along with DeMarr Derozan. It looks as though due to the match up were getting all three of these Bucks players at a discount. Middleton is priced at 5.12x his salary, Giannis is 4.96x his salary and Henson is 4.91x his salary. They’re better salary value plays today but I feel this trio as a whole will go lower owned and on a four game slate that’s something I can’t ignore. Giannis has been on a tear in the raw point scoring column over the past month and to me that’s unlikely to change. As far as I’m concerned his raw point scoring has become match up proof and should be considered today in GPP. For Middleton it’s the one area I’ve consistently attacked against Toronto (SG) and for the most part it’s been quite successful. I’ll continue going to that well tonight. John Henson is the wild card here. We never know how is performance will turn out. The surprise here is that he’s not as ‘peripheral’ dependent as it seems. Yes the blocks definitely help but his .92 FPPM and .56 Periph/3pt per minute suggest that there’s more to him than just rebounds and swatted shots. With Toronto’s length in the front court he should see 25+ minutes barring foul trouble. Overall this stack would be something to consider in GPP’s but a few pieces could be used for your cash games. Specifically Kris Middleton and John Henson.


Andrew Wiggins, Taj Gibson & K. Anthony Towns
The Timberwolve’s will likely be a popular play in both cash and GPP tonight. I haven’t decided yet how heavy my exposure will be but it won’t be too crazy. It’s possible by the end of the night I’ll have more of Andrew Wiggins than any other Wolves player. He’s one of the more scoring dependent options on tonight’s slate and has been in a funk nearly all season. He’s had his better performances in the absence of Jeff Teague and I think that may be the case again tonight. His recent performances of 5x+ will definitely make him a cash game play while his known upside will garner consideration in GPP’s. For K. Towns, he’s obviously in a great spot going against the Laker front court but his price is on the rise and there’s plenty of other options tonight for the center spot. I’ll have exposure to him but he’s likely to make it into a small amount of lineups. Personally with guys like Julius Randle, Bismack Biyombo and John Henson available I’d only recommend him for GPP’s with the uncertainty surrounding how competitive the game will ultimately be. I want exposure to him for his upside, but I’m considering the model when making these decisions and taking the ‘gut’ call out of the equation. With that said it leads me to Taj Gibson. Who’d of thought last year we’d see Taj being fantasy relevant for a majority of the season? Crazy huh? He provides everything we’re looking for when targeting players attacking the Lakers. He’s a PITP monster and thats their biggest weakness, he plays off the ball extremely well and gets himself in position to make the right basketball play. Which is why he’s rewarded with minutes on the court. If your afraid to pay up for Jimmy Butler (I am with the Lakers wing defense, even without KCP) this is a great correlation play. Butler often looks for Taj to get him involved and tonight he’ll likely have a size advantage for a majority of the game on Kyle Kuzma and “(player-popup #larry-nance)Larry Nance Jr If your looking for salary relief and a play to attack against the Lakers in GPP he just might be your guy.


Targets as of now.


DeMarr DeRozan
Again it’s a small slate and personally I like to target raw scoring and hope for peripherals, rather than target peripherals and hope for raw scoring. DeMarr DeRozan being a prime example of that. The match up on paper doesn’t look great but with the price drop due to recent performances and his overall consistency on the year I see no better time than tonight to fire him up.


Julius Randle
This one is almost self explanatory. I’ve been on him for a few games now since the injury to Brook Lopez. Will we see a repeat of yesterday? Or will today be his Grizzlies bear day? No one knows, but I’d continue to bet with him than against him at his current $5,000 DraftKings Salary.


Evan Fournier & Aaron Gordon
I talked a lot about Brooklyn early in the post. Don’t be fooled. This game has ‘game stack’ written all over it. Although I feel Aaron Gordon price may be a little high, I’ll likely have some exposure to both of them tonight. If your playing cash games you’ll definitely want Gordon in a lineup with his recent performance and also his recent performance against Brooklyn. We can’t always rely on those things when gauging future performances but on a night like tonight with very few options we have to consider this game as almost a must play from at least one side of the ball. Brooklyn owns an equally horrible DvP against almost all positions. Fader beware, someone from this game if not multiple players will likely be in tonight’s winning lineup.


Value Screen shot of highest projected value as of early this afternoon.


Tonight’s Core Five DK lineups tonight.
Core Towns, Middleton, Henson


Mid Core Dinwiddie, DeRozan, RHJ, Randle, Ennis, Napier


Low Core Gibson, Crabbe, Antetokounmpo


Ultra Low Core Carroll, Wiggins

About the Author

  • Spartanzilla

    Good quality stuff here. Thanks for your insight.

  • KATburger

    • Blogger of the Month

    @Spartanzilla said...

    Good quality stuff here. Thanks for your insight.

    No problem man. Glad you enjoyed.

  • precool

    Great nuggets for a prickly short slate.

  • Falconsfly

    This is great. I’m a beginner and this was spelled out perfectly! Thanks!

  • Numberboy

    If Lillard gets confirmed out prior to tip off I’d move Napier into your core. Wouldn’t you? I feel like if he continues to get these types of mins, especially at 5500 so many things need to go wrong for him to not reach the 30’s

  • Falconsfly

    Stupid question but what does “Low core” mean? Guys you’ll have some exposure to but not a lot?

  • TXBeran

    Nice! Good info!

  • apeterson8809

    • 232

      RG Overall Ranking

    • Blogger of the Month

    “Again it’s a small slate and personally I like to target raw scoring and hope for peripherals, rather than target peripherals and hope for raw scoring.”

    Legit little nugget right here. Thanks for the post KAT and Happy New year.

  • KATburger

    • Blogger of the Month

    @Falconsfly said...

    Stupid question but what does “Low core” mean? Guys you’ll have some exposure to but not a lot?

    Yes you hit it right on the head.

  • apeterson8809

    • 232

      RG Overall Ranking

    • Blogger of the Month

    Throw ELF into one lineup for your buddy AP.

  • KATburger

    • Blogger of the Month

    @Numberboy said...

    If Lillard gets confirmed out prior to tip off I’d move Napier into your core. Wouldn’t you? I feel like if he continues to get these types of mins, especially at 5500 so many things need to go wrong for him to not reach the 30’s

    Absolutely. I actually just made those changes lol. Just looking at things, with Portland on the front end of a back to back I can see Lillard resting tonight and going tomorrow. I just moved some pieces around to fit him into some more lineups.

  • KATburger

    • Blogger of the Month

    @apeterson8809 said...

    “Again it’s a small slate and personally I like to target raw scoring and hope for peripherals, rather than target peripherals and hope for raw scoring.”

    Legit little nugget right here. Thanks for the post KAT and Happy New year.

    Happy New Year to you to brother!! Best of luck tonight and congrats on the win!!!!! :)

  • KATburger

    • Blogger of the Month

    @apeterson8809 said...

    Throw ELF into one lineup for your buddy AP.

    Lol I will. I’m running 5 out today I’ll look to see what I can do. Think I have an idea for it :)

  • Falconsfly

    @KATburger said...

    Yes you hit it right on the head.

    Great. Thank you!

  • lastplace

    I’m thinking of fading Wiggins for Crawford to save cap space and hopefully Crawford is way under owned.

  • KATburger

    • Blogger of the Month

    @lastplace said...

    I’m thinking of fading Wiggins for Crawford to save cap space and hopefully Crawford is way under owned.

    Yea as of right now, I’ve drawn back my Wiggins exposure and went heavier on Taj Gibson. The Laker wing defense is pretty tough. I have a little of him still but more Kat and Taj atm.

  • KATburger

    • Blogger of the Month

    Pulled Fournier/Gordon from the core. Simply can’t fit them in with the MIL/BKN players i’m targeting around Towns/ABC. Doesn’t mean they’re not good plays, they certainly are I’m just running a limited amount of lineups tonight.

  • cubanoshake10

    great stuff, man! my nights are always looking better when you write! haha, much appreciated!

  • Claxton22

    Any interest in Tyler Ennis tonight?

  • KATburger

    • Blogger of the Month

    @Claxton22 said...

    Any interest in Tyler Ennis tonight?

    Yea I have him in 3/5 lineups tonight. For PG spot I’m pretty even on Ennis/Napier/Dinwiddie. Definitely used Ennis to get a KAT/ABC lineup going for tonight

  • KATburger

    • Blogger of the Month

    @cubanoshake10 said...

    great stuff, man! my nights are always looking better when you write! haha, much appreciated!

    No problem man! Best of luck tonight.

  • X Unread Thread
  • X Thread with New Replies*
  • *Jumps to your first unread reply

New to DFS?

Be sure to click through our links and use our exclusive promo codes to receive the industry's best sign-up bonuses, including free access to our premium content.

RotoGrinders.com is the home of the daily fantasy sports community. Our content, rankings, member blogs, promotions and forum discussion all cater to the players that like to create a new fantasy team every day of the week.

If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, crisis counseling and referral services can be accessed by calling 1-800-GAMBLER (1-800-426-2537) (IL). Gambling problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER (NJ/WV/PA/MI), 1-800-9-WITH-IT (IN), 1-800-522-4700 (CO), 1-800-BETS OFF (IA), 1-888-532-3500 (VA) or call/text TN REDLINE 1-800-889-9789 (TN).