DTayl913's AM Postmortem 3/3

Good morning everybody! Well, the first blog post for the AM-PM (As I’m officially dubbing it) was a pretty solid success from the looks of it, and I have to thank all of you that took the time to read it and leave comments. Especially those of you who left comments – that’s exactly what I’m aiming for with this thing, so you guys helped get me off to a great start. As days go by, I’ll be tweaking things ever so slightly to see what works and what doesn’t, but the basic premise will be the same.

My short-slate success continued last night (which we’ll get to later), so we’ve got a good foundation to build off of. Next up, something that’s eluded me for a while: Back-to-back winning nights. To paraphrase the great Lou Brown in “Major League,” we won last night. If we win today, it’s called “two in a row.” And if we win again Monday (I won’t be writing this blog on the weekends…I’ve gotta have a life, y’now), that’s called a “winning streak.” It has happened before! So let’s go for two in a row, and get right to the breakdown of last night!

I’ll say up front that I did something a little different last night. I said in yesterday’s post that I’m a one lineup guy, and that’s typically true. However, given the short slate last night, I changed it up a little and made a separate lineup for my single-entry GPP. I’ll do that from time to time, especially if I just can’t make a decision between several players – I’ll make a cash lineup, and then put the remaining guys in my GPP entry. My GPP entry was TERRIBLE last night, so I’m not even going to bother reviewing it, because it was bad to the point of not being helpful, and the two-lineup approach is something I don’t even do that often, so it strays outside the point of this blog. But, on to my cash lineup, which did pretty well:

-PG: Stephen Curry. I made the right call in my suggestions yesterday, saying Curry was a lock for me because he would carry the GS offense with Durant out. He did just that…only problem was that I didn’t imagine he’d be “carrying” an offense that only scored 87 points. Needed 50, Got 47. Not a lineup killer by any means, but I’d hoped for more. Interestingly, Curry only shot 2-11 from 3pt range, which is awful (he’s been struggling with his shot for several games now actually…something to monitor), but saved his fantasy score with 5 steals. Overall, the analysis was (mostly) correct, but the poor overall performance from the Warriors as a whole dampened the results a bit. I might be giving Warriors players a couple games to monitor how they react and adjust to performing in a Durant-less offense before I roster any of them again.
-SG: Dwyane Wade. I wavered on this one for a while. SG wasn’t a strong position last night, and I initially was going to go cheaper here with someone like McDermott or McCaw (who would’ve been an outstanding play at min salary, as it turns out), which would’ve allowed me to play Kemba at my UTIL spot. However, I base a lot of my cash decisions off of “value threshhold,” or how likely I think it is for a player to exceed their value number (at 4x + 10) based on their salary. Ultimately, there was a cheap enough guy for me to throw in at UTIL that I felt paying up a bit for SG was the way to go. Wade, at $7k, only needed 38 points to hit value, and he’d been hitting that number pretty regularly, plus he was at home in what figured to be an up-tempo matchup. Needed 38, Got 24.75. This was a mistake, but ultimately one that didn’t cost me since I still cashed for the night.
-SF: T.J. Warren. Loved his combination of price, minutes and usage. As long as he’s below $6k, any guy playing 30+ minutes every night and expected to be a focal point of an offense is going to be a lock, so that’s exactly what I did. Needed 32, Got 31. He did basically what I needed him to, and for his price, I can’t complain.
-PF: Marvin Williams. Same analysis as with Warren – great combo of price, minutes and usage. Marv has been playing well lately, and had a good matchup for rebounding purposes, and he way WAY too cheap at $4.9k. He was another lock. Needed 30, Got 29. Again, exactly what you want out of a cheap guy.
-C: Alan Williams. My “Value Pick of the Day” from yesterday’s post, and my cover boy, and he didn’t disappoint. The Suns have given him every opportunity to take over as the main guy inside, and Big Sauce is running with it. Any rookie like this is going to be volatile, and thus a little risky for cash games, but on a three-game slate, you probably need to bite on some of that risk, especially when it only costs you $4.4k. Needed 28, Got 36. I was proud of this one!
-G: Damian Lillard. Another one of my recommended picks from yesterday. Loved him to hit value at home in an up-tempo, nationally televised game against Westbrook, who expends so much energy on offense that he often lets his opposing PG have a great game as well because he can’t defend him at a high level the whole time. This goes under the radar a bit, but at only $8.8, it made Lillard a lock for me. Needed about 45, Got 48. – F: Maurice Harkless. Yet another instance of a price/minutes/usage all-star. With Ed Davis now out for the Blazers, their interior is getting pretty thin, and it meant a minutes bump for Harkless, who’d already been playing solid minutes anyway. I’ve been burned by him before, but his usage figured to get a slight bump as well, and he was only $4.8k. Too good to pass on. Needed about 29, Got 23.75. Not exactly what I wanted, but it’s always better if a sub-$5k guy misses value by a bit than one of your studs (see, e.g. Blake Griffin two nights ago, or even Wade tonight).
-UTIL: As mentioned above, this was going to be Kemba at first, but my research showed me that Phoenix has actually played much better against PGs since the Break. Prior to last night, they had allowed a pace of below 20 and ppg below 20 to opposing PGs. Combine that with Kemba’s oft-cited road splits and his $8.4k price tag, and he ended up getting the boot in favor of Wade. Now, Kemba would’ve needed 44, and got 48, so he clearly would’ve been the play (I probably put too much emphasis on Phoenix’s stats in such a small sample size). What I DID do was play Marquess Chriss here at UTIL. With the money I had left, I debated between him and Zaza. Looking through game logs, it appeared that Zaza’s best games had come against teams with true, solid Cs when his size and ability were actually needed. The Bulls don’t have that kind of presence, so I went with Chriss, who I felt had a significant athleticism advantage over anyone the Hornets could throw at him. Needed about 27, Got 20.75. Less than inspiring, for sure, but again, he was cheap.

Overall, I finished with a score of 260.25, good enough to cash in all of my 50/50s (I didn’t play any H2Hs last night due to a dwindling bankroll). I would’ve really crushed had I gone with a McCaw/Kemba combo instead of Wade/Chriss, but that doesn’t really matter in 50/50s, so I’m OK with the result. Interestingly, had I just used the one lineup like I normally do, and gone with the McCaw/Kemba version, I would’ve been inside the top 100 of the single entry GPP. So, the lesson here for me is to stick with my process. When I try to make multiple lineups, I invariably end up hurting them all by watering them down. We live, we learn, right?

Now for tonight’s picks. It’s a 10-game slate, which as I’ve said, is a little bigger than I prefer, but it’s also always nice to have options. So here’s who I’m liking, at first glance. I’ll post in the comments if there are any changes throughout the day…
G: Everyone is probably going to gravitate to IT2, due to the matchup with the Lakers, and I won’t steer you away from that. He’d need about 47 points, which he’ll probably get, but I’m a bit more concerned about the impact of the returning Avery Bradley than most. I want to give that situation a few games to play out. My pick here is Dennis Schroder. I know he’s not a sexy guy to roster, but hear me out. He’s only $6.2k, meaning he only needs about 35 points to hit value. From there, looking at the game logs, when playing teams that struggle to defend PGs, here’s what he’s done as of late: 34.5 (vs Boston), 31.3 (vs Orlando), 51.3 (vs Denver), 42.5 (vs Orlando), 49.5 (vs NY) and 42.5 (vs Chicago). Keeping that in mind, he now welcomes the “defense” of Kyrie Irving, who sports one of the worst defensive ratings in the league. That combo of price, matchup and upside is rare, and I’ll be all over it. In fact, he’s cheap enough that you could realistically even have room to throw IT2 in there WITH him!
F: Dario Saric. This guy is skyrocketing on my “Favorite Players in the League” list. “The Homie” (such a great nickname) has been utterly smashing lately, with the exception of one tough game last time out (Happens to everybody, Homie). He plays tons of minutes, dominates the boards, and has a great matchup against a Knicks team that he’s already crushed once just a few games ago, and who has no one that can keep him off the glass. At $7.4k, he’d need about 40, and I’m banking on that.
C: Nikola Vucevic. For as much as I love Hassan Whiteside, the fact of the matter is that he’s not a great rebounder. In fact, when these two teams played just a few weeks ago, Vuc lit him up for 17 boards and 45.75 DK points! Making things even sweeter is the fact that Whiteside may not even play tonight (he’s questionable with a stomach virus as of right now), and his backup, Willie Reed (who couldn’t hope to contain Vuc anyway) is ALSO questionable. If neither of those guys play, Vuc is a stone cold lock, as he’d be matching up against James Johnson and Okaro White (who?). But, given Whiteside’s weakness on the glass, I’m not even afraid to fire Vuc up if he does play.
Wild Card: It’s your lucky day, folks, as I’m going to throw out TWO names in this spot, because it’s a big slate and I’m feeling generous. First, we have D’Angelo Russell at $6.9k. “How Does It Feel” to roster D’Angelo? Sorry, couldn’t resist that, but going up against the anti-D of IT2, it feels pretty good. Russell only needs to hit 38 points at his salary. With his increased minutes and usage since the Break in a thinned-out LA backcourt, I think that’s highly likely. Second, consider firing up Tyler Johnson. Granted, I like this pick a lot more if Dion Waiters is out (he’s currently questionable with an ankle injury). However, he’d only need 31 points for value, and he’s hovered around that range pretty consistently for a while now. If Waiters is out, the Heat will need his scoring volume.
Value Pick of the Day: Bojan Bogdanovic. Look, I honestly don’t love the value in today’s slate (I consider “value” picks to be $5k and under, FYI). But if I’m advertising the category, I’ve gotta pick someone, right? Bogie has been seemingly thriving in his new home in Washington averaging around 25 minutes a game, and basically chucking whenever he’s in. Sure, he’s scoring dependent, but at $4.4k, if he stays hot, you’ve got a safe, cheap pick.

There it is, guys. Fire away in the comments below. I want to hear your thoughts on last night’s roster, your thoughts on the blog, your thoughts on my picks…anything. Let’s make this THE place to be in the mornings to get ready for the slate ahead! Thanks as always, and good luck tonight!

About the Author

  • Dtayl913

    So, for starters, it looks like all the Miami guys (Whiteside, Reed and Waiters) will play. For me, that bumps Tyler Johnson down a little more than I’d initially thought, because I’d forgotten that he’s PG-only on DK, and there are too many PGs that I like more today (like Schroder, Russell and IT2). I’m still on board with Vuc though, because I just don’t think a flu-riddled Whiteside (or a healthy one, for that matter) can keep him off the glass.

    I’d also add that I’m liking Taj Gibson more and more as a good value play. He’s only $3.8k, has steadily seen more and more minutes in each game with the Thunder, and gets a Suns team that doesn’t have much of an inside presence. As much as I like Big Sauce, he’s actually a bit undersized, so if anything I’d view him as a neutral matchup. Plus, Sauce plays a lot of C, which means he wouldn’t even match up with Gibson anyway. Given the Thunder’s good post play, I’d look for the Suns to use Len more, but I like Gibson to grind his way to about 25 points, which would put him at value.

  • jman3034

    Like the read and agree with most of your picks. Good stuff!

    I do have to disagree on one aspect. That being that Whiteside is not a great rebounder. In 3 games against the Magic this year hes averaged 16 boards and 51 fantasy points. He also averages 14 RPG overall which is 1st in the league

  • Dtayl913

    Interesting point re: Whiteside. Admittedly, my point was a bit anecdotal, because it seems like other Cs tend to have big rebounding games against him. Game by game, that’s played out, but from his own statistical perspective, he really does have outstanding rebounding numbers. I still like Vuc, but your point (and the research it inspired) is definitely floating around in my head now…

  • jman3034

    @Dtayl913 said...

    Interesting point re: Whiteside. Admittedly, my point was a bit anecdotal, because it seems like other Cs tend to have big rebounding games against him. Game by game, that’s played out, but from his own statistical perspective, he really does have outstanding rebounding numbers. I still like Vuc, but your point (and the research it inspired) is definitely floating around in my head now…

    Thats whats nice about community posts! Always able to help others out.

    I like Vuc myself tonight.

  • gausman7

    dude…what a difference a day makes. Love the tone of your blog. Love how you took the criticism and applied it. Your blog is 10 times better than yesterday (and it was good yesterday). Interesting read, filled with stats and REASONS which is what I like the most when reading any DFS advice column/blog. Loved the D’Angelo reference BTW…clever.

    As for your picks, I like that you broke down Schroeder in a way that justifys picking him other than “price is right against Kyrie”. Helps when a player like him is inconsistent and your able to show that he is fairly consistent in similar situations/matchups. Also love that you broke down why you chose X over Y last night with an ACTUAL breakdown of the decision. Fun to see if you win or lose when you waiver. Also think that if you do this M-F or at least 3 weekdays your audience and you will get a feel for how you do roster construction and give some helpful hints along the way.

    I have one more idea that you may want to implement if you think it makes sense. Maybe a question of the day. If you’re a forum person, most days there is a star that people go back and forth on.

    Today it would be “To Westbrook, or not to Westbrook”. Think it will drive conversation and give you an opportunity to voice for or against the chalkiest star of the day. Awesome job man…great read.

  • jman3034

    Also lovin Julius Randle in this spot tonight. Might be a nice pivot off Saric for a lower price. Boston gets abusedby bigs on the glass

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