Big Name Small Cash

This is my 2nd full season of DFS basketball (played the 14-15 playoffs when I was first starting up) and the biggest roster construction struggle I have is fading the big ticket players, and it has got me wondering…are the big named players like sexy women (look great but cost you a boatload of money)?

This year I decided I was going to work more toward balanced lineups versus falling in love with the big named players in good spots (or in bad spots to be contrarian like Westbrook yesterday). I must say I would give myself a D+ to C- grade in terms of following through on this. I feel as if it is especially important to do this on the bigger game slates (an example being yesterday’s 9 gamer) versus a 3-4 game slate were a player goes for 70 and if you don’t have that player (more than likely owned over 50%) you might as well turn off your phone and concede defeat. Today’s research made me realize very quickly that I have not been true to my decision to roster more balanced, and I plan on changing that (as much as it pains me to not have KAT or Wall in my lineups).

I look at the teams that win big dollars each slate and there are no huge ticket players on those rosters. For instance the person that won the $1M Mega Four Point Play yesterday did not have one player over the salary of $7900. The lineup that won the 9 game Four Point Play slate on Friday did not have anyone over the salary of (you guessed it) $7900. This is a trend that I have seen all year on the bigger slates. I am not sure what to classify a six game slate, I guess smedium? Last year it would have been small, but since the NBA readjusted their schedules to make the smaller game days to be 4-6 and the bigger ones max out around 11 (where as last year it was 2-3 games for smaller slates and 11-13 games for bigger ones). Anyway, I am going to go with the route of trying to keep my guys at $7900 or less (the lineup builder is a great tool to use when trying to do these) today and report back on how that works, even if I am like a fiend wanting to click on Wall or KAT.

Yesterday I really didn’t get to do much research (even after posting the blog) so I was high on Big Names like Wall and Westbrook. Wall was a huge disappointment after putting up a first quarter score of about 20, but then he proceeded to put only 20 more the rest of the game. I for sure thought he was on his way to 55-60. Westbrook proved something to me yesterday that I have been trying to track for the last 7-10 days, PG’s against the Jazz are great plays. The last five PG’s against the Jazz are: 1/14 Payton: 58.75 DK points, 1/16 Bledsoe 57.75 DK points, 1/20 D Williams 32 DK points, 1/21 Teague 40.50 DK points, and 1/23 Westbrook 78.50 DK points. The weird thing is the Payton, Teague, and Westbrook games have been at Utah. This directly correlates to when Rodney Hood got injured. I haven’t dug into the defensively efficiency of Hood vs that of Ingles but there is something there. I always thought of Hood as an offensive player, but perhaps his length and or speed (compared to Ingles) is what causes the issue. It could also be that teams are figuring out ways to get Gobert out of the paint and when you have a driving PG the lane becomes more open. If that is the case and Gobert is guarding Jokic I would expect a big game out of whoever starts for Denver tonight (Mudiay still questionable). Side note is that my best team yesterday did have Westbrook on it, but even with his 78,50 I was only able to put together a team that scored 297.50. Jamming in Westy caused me to roster some $3k players that just didn’t really pan out all that well. Maybe today will be the day that I follow through with my pre-season decision.

“Green” Light

Otto Porter. The tail end of a back to back, the third in four, the fifth in seven are all signs of possible fatigue this team may show, but I really don’t think there is a way that Porter doesn’t get 40+ DK points tonight. He is going up against the fourth worst DVP team tonight against the SF, in a game that has the highest line of the night at 217 (although it has dropped from its open of 220, but I think that may have more to do with Beal not playing tonight versus the idea of fatigue, but both could be factors). If you put into consideration that in two games he is averaging 56.5 DK points (yes the 72 point game does skew that average but the 41 points in the other game is still great for his $6.3k salary) against Boston it seems as if you can expect a lot of the same. He is a lock for over 30 minutes and has been over 35.75 DK points for 3 of his last 4. Fire up the ex-Hoya in DC tonight.

“Yellow” Light

Blake Griffin. Price and matchup make this play almost a lock for me. His playing time and possible rust make him a caution as well. Doc has said that he doesn’t want to bring back Blake until he is fully healthy, and with him being “probable” to play today that would mean he must be healthy enough to go out and get 30 minutes. If there is no word during the afternoon on how much time he will play I will personally temper my exposure to him, but if they say he is going to play 30 minutes fire him up with a little bit of trepidation. Blake will see some Ilyasova D initially and my guess is he will dominate him in the post and get a lot of the rebounds that the free firing 76ers will undoubtedly produce. He is a $8500-9500 player priced at $7600 today so you are getting the discount due to the rust/time risk, and he has 50+ point potential. That said if he put up a 25 burger I wouldn’t be completely shocked.

“Red” Light

Kyle Lowry. Although Lowry is a little above the $7900 salary threshold I am looking at today I feel as if he is worth me discussing. With DDR out Lowry’s usage goes up 3.1% to a robust 29.5% but today that may not be the greatest thing in the world. We have seen times where the Spurs can be had by opposing PG’s but I don’t think this is the spot. I can go into the Spurs having the best DVP against PG’s on today’s slate or that Lowry produced a season low 13.5 DK points in nearly 30 minutes last time these teams met (a couple weeks ago), but it really comes down to a rested Spurs first team. I watched some of yesterday’s Spurs/Nets game and it appeared the Spurs decided to drive in the right lane and go the minimum speed limit to conserve energy for tonight. They also rested Leonard with a “hand injury” (yea seems to really be bothering him lately), and I wouldn’t doubt Lowry seeing a fair amount of Leonard today while the Spurs decide to let Terrence Ross, Demarre Carroll, and Norman Powell beat them. If you are looking for a lower owned contrarian play I don’t think this is the spot either as he is projected as one of the highest owned guys on the night. He is a full out fade to me and if he gets to 4x I would be slightly surprised, but if he gets to 5x I would be shocked.

Bonus pick of the day is Dwayne Wade. A lot of this is a gut feeling (had the same feeling on Sunday when he threw up the 56.5 game), and a lot has to do with it being up against the Magic. Aaron Gordon is a longer defender and can create some space issues for Butler or whoever is running the point for the Bulls tonight which should leave Wade open a fair amount outside of the paint. That coupled with the Magic being down to like one and a-half viable guards I can see Wade’s experience come into play while he finds the perfect spots to take advantage. He put up 33.25 DK points against them last time they played, but I see that as his floor tonight. I am expecting a 45-50 DK point game from the ex-Golden Eagle tonight.

I am finding it very easy to pin down some guys in that mid tier range that have some great upside tonight. It obviously is a matter of trusting your research on which guys are going to get you 40+ each and making it all work. I may still have to tie my hands down to ensure I don’t click on the more expensive players, but if I can succeed in doing that I will get a good idea if this whole “not over $7900” theory will work for me. Good luck tonight, and thanks for reading!

About the Author


  • Tammy409

    Good read. I am one who also struggles (as a DK’S Gpp-Only hobbyist) with the notion of ‘Balanced Lineups’. My typical 8-man teams are full of Hardens, Westbrooks and Boogies complemented eith either or both Hernangomez Bros. and a mish-mash of 3rd-World Olympians and the descendents of Horace and Harvey Grant. I’m never likely to change, but your thoughts and prose are timely and sensible; as saw first-hand for perhaps the first time (that I took notice) that most of the Gpp’s from Monday’s mainslate (Cavs- Pels nt) were won easily with lineups that had no players under like $4300 in them.

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