Fading the Chalk: The New Year's Day Slate

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.

In addition to being the first slate of the new year, yesterday was also my first night back to bingo since before Thanksgiving. I wasn’t able to move around quite as much as usual, but I did help contribute to the evening, and it felt really great to be back at work.

On the other hand, I was back to missing any late news, so had there been anything major, I definitely would have missed it. But I’m used to that, and we got lucky last night.

My Lineup: The Can’t Afford Giannis All-Stars

I spent the better part of the day yesterday trying to scheme a way to fit Damian Lillard, Kawhi Leonard, and Giannis Antetokounmpo into the same lineup. But after realizing that it wasn’t going to happen, I took a hard swing and decided to fade Giannis.

The two value plays that I really liked yesterday were Maurice Harkless and Luke Kornet. After that, I also thought that Fred VanVleet, CJ McCollum, and Lou Williams were all good plays at their price points.

And when I combined all of that into one lineup, I had just enough salary to fill in my last two spots with Serge Ibaka and Willie Cauley-Stein.

That lineup was good enough to have me finish right in the middle of the pack in all of the contests that I entered, but I’m still not exactly sure if I did anything wrong. So with that in mind, let’s get to the expert lineups and check out what they did last night.

The Expert Lineups

BigPapaGates took sixth in the $222 Single Entry Tournament, and he didn’t mess with any of the three studs that I tried to cram into my lineup. Instead, he rolled with Ben Simmons, Blake Griffin, and Nikola Jokic.

He did utilize my Harkless and Kornet plays, but also was in on big games from Emmanuel Mudiay and Iman Shumpert. Of course, Papa is also one of the more contrarian experts, so let’s what some other guys went with.

As you might have guessed, Hoop2410 was much closer to the lineup I rolled out. The big difference is that he was willing to go down to Iman Shumpert in order to get up to Nikola Jokic. And that also saved him enough salary to roll with Tobias Harris over Serge Ibaka.

MJClub had a similar framework, but he came down off of Damian Lillard in favor of pairing Emmanuel Mudiay with Fred VanVleet. He also swapped in guys like JJ Redick, Danilo Gallinari, and Pascal Siakam, but it looks like Jokic was the key to everything last night.

Booourns went cheaper at PF by pairing Al-Farouq Aminu with Luke Kornet, and that saved him enough salary to move up from Kawhi Leonard to Giannis Antetokounmpo.

The AndyBowsers Slack Tournament

BarclaysBuckets went way off the board with Jusuf Nurkic and was handsomely rewarded with an 88 point night and the top spot in the AndyBowsers Slack Tournament. Unfortunately, his bold call on De’Aaron Fox didn’t work out quite as well, but he was still good enough to finish deep in the money in just about any tournament he entered last night.

The Big Takeaway

I made a very good decision in sticking with Kawhi Leonard and avoiding Giannis Antetokounmpo last night, but I messed up by not trying to get up to Nikola Jokic. The combination of those two decisions got me halfway to the money, which is pretty much the same as finishing in last.

I feel like I keep making those kinds of errors on small slates. Fortunately, we have a nice nine-game slate to tackle tonight, and I’ve done very well on those over the past few months. Let’s dive into that research and I’ll be back 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!

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.


  • squidkill

    Nurkic was def not way off the board 32% owned in 50/50 also I never considered Giannis at that price- Blowout factor and hasn’t been sniffing good returns price per dollar- Looks like your focus was more at the early games while it was clear the late games were the path to success (sans K Leonard)

  • CJtheGrump

    Over on DK, where I try to use 2 Centers much of the time, I somehow had 0/20 lineups with both Nurk and Embiid. With Crowder’s bounce-back and Carroll also in the mix, it was definitely possible to do. Swap out a few Goberts for Embiids, find a cheaper PG so it fits, and boom… Half my points coming from Centers.

    I must be doing this multi-entry thing wrong…

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