Fading the Chalk: Struggling to Make Decisions

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: @AndyBowsersBBQ.

I’ve been struggling to put together a good lineup all week long. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a big 10-game slate or a little 4-game slate, I just can’t seem to make up my mind on which players that I want to roll with on any given night. And since I can’t take a stand on any players, I am finding myself defaulting to the projections way too much, which is an easy way to lose money playing this game.

My Lineup: The Indecision All-Stars

Based on the number of guys that I circled in my notebook yesterday, it’s safe to say that I am doing a decent job identifying sharp plays. However, figuring out a way to put those plays together in a profitable way is something that is just missing from my game right now.

Last night, for example, I rotated between those four point guards about a dozen times before settling on Chris Paul and Patrick Beverley. And I only settled on those two because I believed that was what the pros were going to do. We’ll see if that was right in a minute, but for now, let’s take a look at the lineup I ended up on.

One of the few plays that I did nail was Montrezl Harrell, who dropped 40.2 points at $5.8k. But outside of that, I was wishy-washy on just about everyone in my lineup, and every single one of them except for Khris Middleton came up short of expectations.

The Expert Lineups

BigPapaGates took down first place in the $535 Rainmaker Single Entry with this lineup that started with Chris Paul and Dennis Schroder just like mine did, but then he went up to Giannis Antetokounmpo. He also rolled out Eric Bledsoe and Klay Thompson as his other guards, which he was able to afford by stocking the bottom of his lineup with TJ Warren, Montrezl Harrell, Marcus Morris, and Jordan Bell.

The scoring in this tournament were not very impressive, so CheddaBisque was able to snag a seventh-place finish with this lineup that faded Chris Paul and Dennis Schroder in favor of cheaper guards in order to pair up Giannis Antetokoumpo and Kevin Durant at small forward. Then he finished with the same bottom three that we saw from BigPapaGates.

Moklovin was right behind CheddaBisque in 8th place with this lineup that looks a lot like some of the ones I was playing around with all afternoon except for the fact that I never really considered Giannis Antetokounmpo. I was locked into Kevin Durant for most of the day, so my version of this went up to Boban Marjanovic at center.

Awesemo paired Giannis Antetokounmpo with TJ Warren at small forward, but just about every other part of his lineup struggled, and only getting 43.1 from James Harden makes it very tough to put up a great score.

Hoop2410 was near the back of the back along with everyone else that paid up for Stephen Curry. He actually had a big Warriors stack going with Curry, Klay Thompson, Kevin Durant, and Kevon Looney. Between that and the trash performances he got from the rest of his guys, Hoop is probably feeling a bit like I am this morning.

The AndyBowsers Slack Tournament

The winner of the AndyBowsers Slack Tournament was WallStreetWarriors, who just joined up yesterday and smoked all of us in his first tournament entry. He made it look easy with a balanced lineup anchored by 65.4 points from Kyrie Irving up top and a solid 42 from Steven Adams at the bottom.

The Big Takeaway

I’ve spent most of this early part of the season reminding myself that I need to be flexible and be open to taking a different approach on each and every slate. But yesterday I realized that I am getting away from my simple process of playing the guys that are the best values in the highest scoring matchups.

On top of that, I also need to stop letting myself change up my lineup just because certain guys have slightly better projections than others. Obviously, this is going to be easier said than done, but that is one of the core principles of my approach, so I need to get back to it. Fortunately, we have a brand new slate to start working on this morning. Let’s dive into that research and I’ll see you back here tomorrow 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.

Comments

  • pinstripeblue

    Yup, also finding it tough this year to find my bearings and I’ve been playing FD NBA for 5 years now! The trap game last night was HOU/OKC coming on at 178… it was just a matter of time before Schroder underperformed so I was off him for the 40 pt game and on him for the 25 last night!

  • coach232

    • Blogger of the Month

    Last night was terrible for me, I made so many errors that was contrary to my normal process. Put up a 250 with my lineup, but went for the sexy plays, instead of the plays that have been consistent putting up good lines. Lesson learned, on to today’s slate

  • Kmasonbx

    So confused by Hoop’s lineup. 4 Warriors including the 3 most expensive and didn’t run it back with a single Bucks player? Only way those 3 make value is if the Bucks keep it close.

  • KDavis

    I can relate to you regarding the projections on rotogrinders linehq influencing the decisions I make. Jayson Tatum was a perfect example of that last night. Nothing suggested he would have a big game, but the projections had him as the second highest scoring PF last night. Shocker he bombed. I’ve also noticed that Meansy’s coreplay have really struggled this season so be wary of those as well.

  • realhuss45

    This was very relatable for me. I’m glad (kinda) to see other people have been struggling this year as well. I’m not just struggling, I’m no where close on most nights. Can definitely see how I’ve been more picks and projections over process oriented this year too. Great article, I give it a read every time it’s up!

  • Stutterbox218

    I feel your pain, I have tendencies to lock in to certain players as well. In a nutshell playing NBA this year has been incredibly frustrating.

  • pinstripeblue

    Forget about projections, defensive stats..etc…its all BS…even the O/U lines are deceiving sometimes…just watch for the value that opens when a starter sits and hope you make the right choice….also if you are playing large field tournaments and the goal is to finish in the upper part of the winners list you have to go contrarian…..but not idiot contrarian!

  • AndyBowsers

    • Blogger of the Month

    @Kmasonbx said...

    So confused by Hoop’s lineup. 4 Warriors including the 3 most expensive and didn’t run it back with a single Bucks player? Only way those 3 make value is if the Bucks keep it close.

    I think this is a very good point.

  • AndyBowsers

    • Blogger of the Month

    @realhuss45 said...

    This was very relatable for me. I’m glad (kinda) to see other people have been struggling this year as well. I’m not just struggling, I’m no where close on most nights. Can definitely see how I’ve been more picks and projections over process oriented this year too. Great article, I give it a read every time it’s up!

    At the risk of sounding too much like an AA group, thank you for sharing. We feel you.

  • trevmacken

    @pinstripeblue said...

    Yup, also finding it tough this year to find my bearings and I’ve been playing FD NBA for 5 years now! The trap game last night was HOU/OKC coming on at 178… it was just a matter of time before Schroder underperformed so I was off him for the 40 pt game and on him for the 25 last night!

    Does anyone think that the drop a score is hurting them?

  • pinstripeblue

    trevmacken,,,,not yet but I am sure on one of those rare nights where I run fair and balanced and everyone hits 35-40 that could hurt as i will lose one….

  • CLYDENEWSOME

    Been doing far worse on Fan Duel than on Draft Kings. Its harder to find value at times on Fan Duel.
    Also, the lone center position can screw your lineups if one of them goes off. Like the other night when Whiteside had over 80 fantasy points. If you didn’t have him, chances are you were not winning much. Often times the pros have very similar teams, its just one or two different players that sometimes make the difference.

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