Game Theory Decisions; Key Games to Target & Tournament Plays

Game Theory Decisions; Key Games to Target & Tournament Plays

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I had many reach out to ask when I would do another blog post and I decided tonight’s slate was a perfect one to tackle. I’ve been in a mini slump but hopefully going through my extensive research process and posting my findings will get the ship headed in the right direction.

1.30.2018 Slate

I’m going to focus in on just a few primary spots for this post

Thunder AT Wizards
These two teams met last Thursday, and it was a fantasy goldmine. Both Wall and Roberson played in that game and are both OUT tonight. I think this is one of the many crucial games to fully understand going into tonight’s slate. A few things that really stuck out to me that I wanted to understand better;

Why did Marcin Gortat only play 21 minutes against a traditional center in Steven Adams?

Gortat played the first six minutes of the game and Adams had his way scoring 13.25 DK points (8pts, 3rebounds). Mahinmi subbed in and slowed Adams down a bit but racked up two quick fouls. Gortat subbed back in in the 2nd quarter to guard Adams, who had his way again scoring another 9 DK points. Gortat did a better job in the 2nd half but began racking up the fouls.

Adams vs Gortat (last year)
Gortat; 12 / 11 / 2 / 1 with 4 fouls on 36 minutes of play
Adams; 12 / 6 / 0 with 1 foul on 28 minutes of play (Sabonis & Kanter ate into his minutes)
Gortat; 12 / 5 / 2 / 3 with 2 fouls on 25 minutes
Adams; 9 / 11 / 1/1 with 2 fouls on 19 minutes

My guess is Gortat was more effective last year when Sabonis & Kanter where running the front court. Adams saw limited minutes in last years games but was highly effective.

Why am I ‘wasting time’ diving so deep into this matchup? Gortat is 4,700 and ‘on paper’ should see max minutes to match the size of Adams. I feel this is a very important matchup to understand.

Marcin Gortat; He is cheap on DK, slight usage upgrade with Wall OUT, but massive matchup downgrade facing Adams. Due to his price and potential playing time, he is in play in GPPs, but I would not take the risk on him in h2h’s. Very limited exposure to Gortat

Steven Adams; 6,500 on DK, as we have seen above, Adam’s has owned this matchup. He is firmly in play on DK at his price. In the second half of their last matchup Gortat did a fine job at keeping him in check. For me, Adams is in play, but I’m not going to force him into any lineups.

Who benefits the most from Wall & Roberson being out?

Bradley Beal, Otto Porter, Markieff Morris, and Kelly Oubre all receive healthy usage bumps from Wall being out. In similar situations this year, we have also seen Beal struggle with Wall out. Beal is priced way up to 8,400 and put up 41 real life points and 72 DK points in this matchup last week.

Without Roberson in the lineup, this OKC team loses a ton on the defense side of things. This should also give a huge boost to Beal. Despite Beal struggling earlier in the season without Wall on the court, I don’t think this is a spot to over think it. Beal failed to hit value against the Hawks because it was a blowout; I see this game staying competitive.

Bradley Beal; Elite Play in all formats
Markieff Morris; Elite play at his price, plus his usage bump, and facing Melo defense.
Otto Porter; He is in play, but faces a tough matchup against Paul George
Russell Westbrook; Elite play in all formats
Steven Adams; Solid play, but not one I will be forcing in. Depends on lineup construction.
Value pieces from OKC? – We have other incredible spots for value on this slate that I will highlight, I wouldn’t touch the punt pieces from OKC.

Cavaliers AT Pistons
TRADED Tobias, Avery, Boban
OUT Griffin, Reed, & Reggie J
Active + Relevant Drummond, Ish, Stanley, Tolliver, Reggie B, Kennard, & D Buycks

We have an incredibly unique scenario to tackle tonight. We have a team with a very limited roster (arguably 7 relevant players), who weren’t priced up for this scenario (trade was unexpected) facing a team that doesn’t play defense (Cav’s). I’d argue this spot is one of the key’s to unlocking that GPP win this evening. Let’s get this spot right

Normally I would say, ‘Let’s go check out CourtIQ to see what happens in this scenario’. . . Problem is, we haven’t seen a scenario exactly like this. Luckily for us doing research, these two teams just played a few days ago. In that game, Tobias held a 33% USG rate and also took 20 shots on 27 minutes of play.

Last game
Reggie Bullock, SF, 6-7, 13.2% USG rate, 8 FGA, 6 3PA’s, 30 min, 30 DK pts
Anthony Tolliver, PF, 6-8 15.5% USG rate, 12 FGA, 8 3PA’s, 40 min, 34 DK pts
Ish Smith, 24% USG rate, 9 FGA, 1 3PA, 27 min, 19 DK pts
Stanley Johnson, SF, 6-7 25.1% USG rate, 15 FGA’s, 6 3PA’s, 28 min, 30 DK pts
Andre Drummond, 21.5% USG rate, 14 FGA’s, 35 min, 42 DK pts
Luke Kennard, 17% USG rate, 7 FGA’s, 2 3PA’s, 18 minutes, 10 DK pts
Dwight Buycks, 19%, 9 FGA’s, 2 3PA’s, 20 minutes, 19 DK pts

Question of the day Who will benefit from the missing Tobias production & minutes?

Reggie Bullock, $4,700 DK, started at the SG position last game. It would make sense to move him over to guard LeBron. I see an uptick in minutes, peripherals (rebounds & steals w/ bron being turnover prone) & FGA’s. In play in all formats

Anthony Tolliver, $4,500 DK, matched up against Love last game, I expect the same tonight. Tolliver played max minutes last time out and I’d expect him to play 35+ tonight. With Tobias out, I’d guess we see an uptick in his FGA’s. Love likes to play at the perimeter; which is going to hurt Tolliver’s def rebounding opportunities. In play in all formats

Stanley Johnson, $3,900 DK, came off the bench last game, expected starter at the 2 tonight. Stanley wasn’t afraid to shoot the ball and held one of the higher usage rates while on the court. I see a major uptick in minutes for Stanley tonight. This alone makes him one of the best values on tonight’s slate. In play in all formats

Ish Smith, $5,600 DK, I really want to forget Ish’s last game. He started, “ast, turnover, turnover, miss, miss”. If we block out recency bias, Ish had double digit FGA’s in 8 out of his last 10 games. With that being said, it feels like Ish had a higher usage rate & FP/min rate when he was coming off of the bench. In my opinion, Ish’s role is pretty much unchanged. Ish is in play due to his matchup and limited available players

Andre Drummond, $9,300, I remember last year all the talk being about Drummonds home/road splits. This year, Drummond has just been an all-around beast no matter where he is playing. When Tobias was off the court last game (I did these calculations myself); he had 15 DK points in 8.73 minutes which comes out to 1.7 FP/min. This mirrors his courtIQ figures when Tobias is off the court, Drummond sees a +0.17 FP/min bump which puts him just over 1.50 FP/min bump average. Drummond one of my favorite plays on this slate and is in play in all formats

Thoughts on the Cav’s
LeBron James, $11,300 – Bron has the highest USG, FPM, and MPG figures on his team and he saw a slight price decrease. Elite Play in all formats

Kevin Love, $7,200 – Klove makes for a very intriguing GPP play tonight. He was incredibly efficient last game but failed to see 30 minutes. Love’s minutes are going to be his biggest risk factor, but with his price almost at an all time low, I think the risk is worth the reward. KLove is one of my favorite GPP plays on this slate

Blazers AT Clippers
Traded W Reed, B Griffin,
OUT Rivers, Evans, Williams, Beverley
Q D Gallinari (prob to have mins restriction if he plays)
Active + Relevant D Jordan, Sweet Lou, W Johnson, M Harrell, T Wallace, M Teodosic, D Gallinari (Q)

This is another situation where CourtIQ isn’t going to have enough information. Blazers have also been tough defensively. Best way to attack them is at the SG & SF position.

Lou Williams, $8,200 on DK, with Griffin/Rivers/Bev/Williams off the court, Sweet Lou hold a 36% USG & 1.30 FP/min rate. Griffins last few FGA’s; 22, 12, 21, 22. I’m going to guess Lou sees a FGA increase tonight with Blake gone.

Make note of this stat – The last 10 times Sweet Lou has attempted 19 FGA’s he averages 52.5 DK points. In this range he has a ceiling of 70 DK points.

If Bradley Beal is projected to be very popular tonight, I think Lou Williams is the best possible pivot you could make. Sweet Lou is in play in all formats tonight

Montrezl Harrell, 4,100 – With Blake off the court, Harrell holds a 26% USG & 1.11 FP/min rate. Blazers are tough on opponent’s front courts, but Harrell’s price puts him in play in all formats. In play in all formats

Milos Teodosic, 4,900 – Milos is very much in play at his price. I still like the value pieces from the Pistons more. I’ll have some exposure to Milos. Risk; Gallo could affect his production some.

Tyrone Wallace, $4,500 – Very limited exposure or a complete fade for me. He’s coming off an incredibly efficient game and I see his role staying the same tonight. Risk; Gallo could affect his production some.

Why I’m not as high on the value pieces from this game; I’m assuming Gallo plays and will be on some sort of a minute’s restriction. At 5,000 I’m not going to be playing him. In my opinion, all he is doing is stealing usage from other role/value players. However, if Lou Williams comes off the bench and see’s all the minutes that Gallo isn’t on the court, I think we can give Lou another upgrade.

Thoughts on the Blazers
CJ McCollum, $7,100 on DK – LAC ranks 29th in defending the SG position. CJM doesn’t get the peripherals but if him and Lou get into a shooting battle, we could see both guys go off. Due to his price & the situation, CJM is in play in all formats

Damian Lillard, $8,700 on DK – CJM & Baby dame soak up all the minutes and usage on their team. Evan Turner at 3,800 might be worth a look as well, but I’ll be focused in on these two. They are both elite plays in tonight’s matchup against the Clippers.

Other injury situations to note

DeMarre Carroll, $5,700 DK, with RHJ & LeVert off the court, Carroll sees a solid USG and FP/min bump. We can attack NY at the SF position which makes him even more appealing.

Kings Frank Mason, Willie Cauley, Skal all OUT

With Willie Cauley OUT I’m not sure how the kings could rest Zbo tonight. Here are the guys on my radar, but we need some confirmation before we lock anything in with the kings; Buddy Hield, De’Aaron Fox, Zach Randolph, Garrett Temple for now.
Anthony Davis, $11,400 – Bigs vs Kings. No Boogie. His price hasn’t gone up much (yet). Brow is an elite play in all formats.

This must be one of my longest posts yet and I haven’t even covered all of the spots I like. Tonight comes down to roster construction. I’ll be playing around with the following builds;

2x elite stud + elite value
1x elite stud + 2nd tier elite + value
2nd tier elite + balance + value

I’ll post a summary and player pool before lock if I have time

As always, best of luck


  • captmorgan

    Monster write up on a crazy value day. Keep it up.

  • gunshow2425

    Very nice.

  • thequiet

    I feel the sweat poured into this post :D great writeup. I agree that figuring out the Pistons situation will be the key to taking down a GPP today. I’d like more of a ceiling from Bullock at his price point…he’s profiling more as an elite cash game play to me. If I’m taking a Piston it’ll be Manly Stanley…cheaper and relatively similar ceiling.

  • vegas0205

    Great writeup

  • thequiet

    …and then I found out SJ is proj. @ 25% ownership…Bullock at under 10%. I’d rather take Bullock at this point haha

  • XLARGO33

    Great job

  • laser1000000


  • klubba575

    Curious if you will have any Lowry tonight? Cheap price against Teague D, looks nice.

  • tbird05

    i feel like Tolliver will be 25% owned..wdyt?

  • apeterson8809

    • 142

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    • Ranked #89

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    • Blogger of the Month

    Ah Drummmmmmmmmmond

  • apeterson8809

    • 142

      RG Overall Ranking

    • Ranked #89

      RG Tiered Ranking

    • Blogger of the Month

    @klubba575 said...

    Curious if you will have any Lowry tonight? Cheap price against Teague D, looks nice.

    Yup, I like Lowry tonight.

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