Fading the Chalk: Don't Fade James Harden
My name is Andy, and I am a freelance writer and restaurant manager that works crazy hours and uses DFS as a way to escape from the stress that comes with my jobs. I’m certainly not a pro, but I have been a profitable player over the past few years, and getting up early to blog about my process is one of the best ways that I have found to fight depression and anxiety. If you’d like to talk about writing, barbecue, sports, or life in general, hit me up on Twitter: @EasyMoneySelby.
With only three games to pick from again, these Thursday night slates seem to be getting less and less fun every week. But I look at DFS like I used to look at the daily crossword puzzle back in college, it’s just a part of my routine and I’m going to do my best to figure out even the lame slates.
Let’s take a look at the horrible job I did attempting to solve last night’s puzzle.
My Lineup: The Three Stud All-Stars
The big debate for me yesterday was whether the combination of Stephen Curry, Kawhi Leonard, and Kevin Durant could outscore the combination of James Harden and any one of those three. At first, I thought Harden and Curry was definitely the way to go, but I eventually talked myself into the advantage of having three studs instead of two.
Either way, I knew I was going to need some value plays, and guys like Bryn Forbes, Danny Green, Austin Rivers, and Jakob Poeltl fit the bill nicely. From there, I just spread my remaining salary across two PFs to end up with Serge Ibaka and Paul Millsap.
I didn’t love anything about this lineup heading into the night, but I figured anything could happen on a short slate and having three studs would protect me and at least keep me in the middle of the pack. Unfortunately, fading a 50% owned James Harden when he goes off for 80 points digs a pretty big hole.
The Expert Lineups
BigPapaGates was in the money in the $100 Single Entry with this lineup that paired James Harden with Nikola Jokic. Then he went cheaper at SF with Rudy Gay and OG Anunoby and rolled with the cheap guards I liked up top along with Fred VanVleet. That gave him enough salary to finish with Draymond Green and Serge Ibaka.
Hoop2410 was also in on pairing James Harden with Kawhi Leonard, but he stepped down to Willie Cauley-Stein at C. That extra salary allowed him to move up to guys like Pascal Siakam and Fred VanVleet, but none of those guys were all that helpful.
The AndyBowsers Slack Tournament
The amazing lineup award of the night went to Scripps, who proved that you can fade a James Harden night and still make money. The trick for him was to have Jamal Murray, DeMar DeRozan, and Nikola Jokic. Add in Draymond Green and all of the popular value guys and this lineup was set to cook even without Chef Harden.
The Big Takeaway
There is no set approach to building single entry tournament lineups, but when the majority of the best tournament players in the world paired James Harden with Austin Rivers at SG, went cheap with Fred VanVleet and Bryn Forbes at PG, and paid up for Nikola Jokic at C, that’s probably what I should have been doing too.
I actually said at the time that fading James Harden was the definition of “getting too cute,” but I went ahead and did it anyway. I also allowed myself to get locked in on Jakob Poeltl as a core play. That wasn’t smart. I’m better than that.
Fortunately, we get to take another shot at putting together the DFS puzzle tonight with a brand new 10-game slate in front of us. Let’s get to work on that research, and I’ll be back here tomorrow with another edition of Fading the Chalk.
Did you play the NBA slate last night? How did you do? Did you fall into the traps of playing guys who didn’t produce? Or did you crush and find yourself up at the top of your contests? Either way, leave a comment and let me know what went into your process!