Dead Money Education #3: Mega Slate Disaster

PREFACE: I’ve decided to play one $1 beginner double-up every NBA slate I can until I run out of beginner entries and then reevaluate. My knowledge of NBA is pathetic. Outside of the San Antonio Spurs (my hometeam) I probably can’t name 10 other pros. I have no concept of what differentiates the positions, I couldn’t tell you what team is in which conference, and I have no idea what a good stat-line is. But I like listening to experts talk about DFS on podcasts, so why not give it a go.

Starting Beginner Bankroll: $50
Current Beginner Bankroll: $45
Entries Left: 45 (donked off 2 extra entries on GPPs)

PG: *Michael Carter-Williams
SG: *Will Barton
SF: Matt Barnes
PF: Paul Millsap
C: Nikola Vucevic
G: *C.J. McCollum
F: Jared Dudley
UTIL: *Gary Harris

*guys who I locked in and built my lineup around

Place: 29/34
cash line: 265.5
1st place: 298

Another slate where injury news forced my hand, although I was more prepared this time. Like every other donkey, I had Tim Frazier locked in at point guard, but once C.J. McCollum was declared active he seemingly became a must play with no Damian Lillard. Maybe the matchup was asking too much of him and not a cash play.

I really liked my team, it felt well rounded and safe, but 2 duds and mediocre performances from my “studs” gave way to my opponents finding tons of great value from injury news.

Gary Harris wasn’t on my radar until I read Notorious’s Grind Down and called him an “elite play” if Otto Danilo Gallinari sat. When an expert calls a $4k guy an elite play, I’m in. Rosy colored hindsight-googles like to think I might have played J.J. Barea there, but who knows. Randy Foye wasn’t someone I had looked at- or really knew existed.

Stressed a bit about Dudley vs. Oubre, but ultimately it didn’t really matter. I couldn’t find a way to use the savings and felt like Dudley was safer anyway.

I don’t know what to say about Barnes- seems like it’s harder in NBA than NFL to find a total dud, but here we are. He was pretty much a lock given recent production, the matchup and my tiny pool of knowledge about NBA players.

Millsap was a guy who just seemed to fall into my lineup at the end. I couldn’t find the salary relief to pay up for Cousins, and he seemed like the next best thing. Moving up to Cousins and forcing myself to find better value than Barnes, McCollum, and maybe Center would have been the play, but would I have been able to find it… probably not.

My 3 weakest players (by value) were all the least owned players in the field on my team:
Matt Barnes: 5.9%
Paul Millsap: 5.9%
Gary Harris: 8.8%

While I have no ability to predict ownership in NBA, it clearly validates my weakness of being a dumba$$.

1. Spend a little more time looking at matchups. I feel like I missed a lot of value not picking on bad teams.
2. I need to spend some time reviewing the games. Need to find a resource that breaks down the players production after the fact and see what plays I can slap my hand into my forehead over and what new names I need to learn. So many guys on winning lineups I didn’t know existed- which can be expected.

1. What obvious plays did I completely miss that you, and everyone else, saw coming a mile away?
2. What injury news really swayed you that I missed.

About the Author

  • bfaloon360

    This will be my second full year of DFS. I play NFL, NBA, NCAAM, and the occasional MLB or CFB entry. NBA for some reason has been my most reliable sport to make some cash.

    As for last nights overwhelming slate..
    Olynyk starting made him a lock for my line ups. Charlotte missing big AL made for a nice spot for Olynyk.
    Carter Williams had a revenge game against the Sixers. 6500 was a nice price point for him to pay off his salary.
    No Carmelo meant if the Knicks wanted to keep the game close Porzingis was going to have to show up ready to ball.
    Thad Young put up 52 in an overtime game. 7k is a nice sport for him to pay off his salary and Dallas lacks big men that can battle.
    Finding value is crucial to freeing up salary but is one of the hardest parts of NBA.

    In all, some nights will be great some will be weak. Shoot to just be in the cash and one of these days itll hit big. Merry Christmas!

  • setcamper

    David Lee was the only Celtic I heard mentioned (or noticed- sometimes podcast guys use nicknames for guys and it’s hard for me to know who they’re talking about) and they said he was only in a good spot if Sullinger sat.

    Melo’s potential lack of availability may have to gone under the radar on podcasts, but I saw Rotoworld call him out. At that point I had my lineup set and I didn’t have any Knicks on my radar. Good lesson, whenever a star is out, check to see who that opens up.

    I’ll keep an eye on Thad Young, another guy I didn’t know existed.

    Thanks for reading and appreciate your tips!

  • yoteach

    • Blogger of the Month

    This is a good idea for a blog, and I enjoyed reading your thoughts. I’ll add this: I started “dabbling” in NBA last year and like you, I had little knowledge. I soon realized that no matter how many podcasts I listened to, it didn’t beat genuine dyed-in-the-wool NBA expertise. And if I wanted to win, I needed to invest time knowing the players, tendencies, matchups, etc. I’ve no doubt improved through the grind, but I’m still at a disadvantage in not having the time to invest in watching a lot of games.

    Good luck to you!

  • setcamper

    That’s for the feedback yoteach- keeping my expectations low. Always feel confident in my NFL lineups and they routinely crap the bed so I don’t have much hope in NBA; but fun to try.

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