Fading the Chalk: James Harden Breaks the Slate

I’m a restaurant manager that works crazy hours and uses DFS as a way to escape from the stress that comes with my job. 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 barbecue, sports, or life in general, hit me up on Twitter: @EasyMoneySelby.

If someone goes nuts on a short slate, you had better have them in your lineup if you want to see the cash lines. I didn’t have James Harden last night, so I didn’t come close to making money, but most of the experts didn’t have him either.

On a more positive note, it’s been a week now since my last doctor appointment and I haven’t done anything to risk re-injuring my surgically repaired Achilles tendon. Based on the Boogie Cousins timetable, I should be hooping again sometime around the start of the NBA season next year.

Let’s dive in and look at some lineups from last night’s four-game slate.

My Lineup: The LeBron and Vuc All-Stars

I’ve said a few times this week that I like to start out my roster construction by locking in some value plays and some studs. Last night, the clear value play that jumped off the board at me was Josh Hart, and the studs that I definitely wanted to lock in were LeBron James and Nikola Vucevic.

From there, I liked the discount pricing on De’Anthony Melton and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, so it was either pair up those two or play one of them alongside Chris Paul.

Moving down towards the bottom, I thought Jonathan Isaac was the guy to play at SF, and I liked Josh Jackson and Bobby Portis as cheap options at PF if I wasn’t going to pay up for Tobias Harris or Kyle Kuzma.

Using all of those cheaper options together left me just enough salary to fit in Luka Doncic as my finale piece at SG.

The Expert Lineups

Booourns was near the top of the $100 Windmill with this lineup that went with James Harden over LeBron James and then also locked in Nikola Vucevic along with Chris Paul and LaMarcus Aldridge. He was able to afford all of those guys by going super cheap in other spots with guys like Ryan Arcidiacono, Josh Hart, Jonathan Isaac, and Davis Bertans.

Hoop2410 was thinking more along the same lines that I was with LeBron James and some discount point guards. The big difference was that he was willing to step down to Eric Gordon in order to pay up for LaMarcus Aldridge, and he was also willing to take a risk I wasn’t comfortable with in Bryn Forbes.

Awesemo thought that LeBron and Harden were both bad bets last night and he focused on pairing up Tobias Harris with LaMarcus Aldridge and then stepping up to a low-owned DeMar DeRozan. To make all of that fit, he ended up pairing Bryn Forbes with D.J. Augustin at PG.

Moklovin was also on the LeBron, Aldridge, Vucevic framework and locked in Eric Gordon and Josh Hart at SG. He also was another one that went down to Bryn Forbes, which makes enough experts for me to officially admit that I was wrong to cross him off of my list.

The AndyBowsers Slack Tournament

I thought Kwietstorm52 was joking yesterday when he told me that he was planning to stack up James Harden, LeBron James, and Nikola Vucevic. He was willing to do whatever it took to fit those guys, and I thought he was nuts. As it turns out, quite a few of the value guys he used came through, and he got 78.5 points from James Harden on a night where fewer people than usual were on him.

The Big Takeaway

Despite the fact that James Harden had a huge night and LeBron James didn’t, I still think that LeBron was the right play. But I am willing to admit that I was wrong about paying up for Luka Doncic and that coming down to Eric Gordon and Bryn Forbes to move up at PF made more sense.

But even with those moves, the “right” lineups didn’t win any money last night, and that is ok. The goal isn’t to win every single night. The goal here is to find a process that makes money in the long run, and we’re going to take some Ls along the way.

Fortunately, we have a brand new nine-game slate to tackle tonight. Let’s get to work on that research and I’ll see you back here on Monday for 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!

About the Author

  • Andrew Selby (AndyBowsers)

  • Andy is a restaurant manager that fell head-over-heels in love with the DFS world from the minute he opened his FanDuel account back in early 2015. Since he is also an accomplished freelance writer, it was only a matter of time before those two worlds collided. He currently writes a daily blog called Fading the Chalk where he breaks down his own lineup decisions along with the lineups of some the best in the business.


  • ridgerunner

    I cashed last night in a 50-50. Had Vuc, Harden, a bunch of cheapies but the guy who pushed me over the cash line was Gay. So thank you Rudy

  • cxckroach

    @ridgerunner I see what you did there :)

  • brannigan73

    There is no right or wrong there is only what wins and loses on a particular night. Plenty of people had Harden, Vucevic, and James last night even if it was just a minority.

  • 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. Our goal is to help all of our members make more money playing daily fantasy sports!

Bet with your head, not over it!
Gambling Problem? Call 1-800-Gambler