GPP Roster Deconstruction
When I was first starting out, one of the hardest things for me to do was understand the reasoning behind some of the plays that high stakes/successful players made when I tried to learn from their lineups. If there was a guy that I wasn’t on in my own research that had a big night, it was easy to just chalk it up to luck or fancy algorithms and not worry too much about why I missed him. So I thought it may be helpful if I write up my reasoning behind one (or occasionally more) of my lineups from the night before so you can see a little bit into, not only the players I liked, but why they ended up in my actual lineup. (I realize this would probably be more useful if I had actually won something, but hopefully that will happen soon).
While the FCK Challenge is still going on, I’ll write up the lineup that I used in that and then mention a couple guys who did well that I either liked but didn’t play or played in other lineups at low ownership %. Once FCK ends, I figure I will just write up a summary of whichever of my lineups did the best the night before and/or a summary of the guys that I played that were low owned who did well. At this point it’s a work in progress so give me any feedback on what was helpful/things I could do that would be more helpful.
I primarily play Draftkings so, unless otherwise mentioned, I am referring to DK positions and pricing and the ownership % from the $300 3-ball.
Tuesday’s FCK Challenge lineup was:
$6,900/ 4.4%/ 30.75 fpts
Reasoning: I liked Smith tonight because it was the first time in a long time his price had fallen below $7k. He had been hovering around $7k for a handful of games, but before that he had been closer to 7500. Since I thought he was overpriced at 7500, I still didn’t consider him a bargain tonight at $6900, but the reduced price combined with the opportunity to roster a very low owned player with upside on a short slate made me decide to play him. Not only had his price dropped, but he was coming off of a 7.25 Fpt game in a good matchup against Dallas which should keep his ownership down. On top of that, he hadn’t had a really big game in his last three (his high was 32.75 against NO). But during that 3 game stretch, he hadn’t attempted double digit shots once. Before that, he had attempted at least 17 shots in every game dating back to Jan. 26. Since there was no obvious reason for his shots to decrease, I felt it was probably more of an anomaly than a long term trend. All of these factors, combined with the Magic allowing 2.8 points above expectation to opposing PGs this season, made me like taking a chance on a Smith bounce back game.
Result: While his 30.75 points weren’t quite what I had hoped for, I was pleased that I correctly predicted his ownership (3 of 41 people played him in the FCK and he was 4.4% owned in the $300 GPP) and he actually was very productive while he was on the floor. He battled foul trouble all game and as a result only played 27 minutes, but still took 15 shots and scored 22 points in 27 minutes. With his normal allotment of minutes, the play definitely could have paid off nicely.
$6,700/ 42.6%/ 38 fpts
Reasoning: Part of the reason that I settled on Oladipo was that I thought Barton and Fournier would be popular options to save salary since there weren’t a ton of good value options, and therefore I could have Oladipo’s high floor and high upside at lower ownership than you would expect against the 76ers. Oladipo doesn’t require much of an explanation: He plays a ton of minutes, the 76ers give up a ton of fantasy points, and he has been playing well his last couple games.
Result: First off, I was a little surprised and not happy to see Oladipo’s ownership (especially when I saw that barely anyone had Fournier at 5,800). Although I was disappointed that I didn’t get him at somewhat lower ownership but he pretty much put up the numbers I expected and I can’t complain (although it was ugly and aided by a big 4th quarter). It isn’t even so much that I wouldn’t want Oladipo in that matchup at that price and ownership, as that I would have loved to save money with Fournier at under 10% if I knew that was an option.
$4,400/ 29.4% owned/ 10.25 fpts
Reasoning: I normally don’t like chasing bench guys who are in hot streaks, but he had a really good matchup with the Nets, combined with blowout potential and a price that, although it is increasing, still has not caught up to his upside. He hadn’t played less than 23 minutes in his last 5 games, contributes points and rebounds, as well as some defensive stats, and with the exception of his game against Memphis, had been very productive in those 5 games. It is also worth mentioning that I really liked Aminu tonight in the matchup with the Nets at a reduced price as well. Aminu has had a ton of bad games lately, but he has the ceiling to greatly exceed his $4,700 price tag and I thought he was a very good opportunity to get a nice ceiling at very low ownership, I just ended up needing the $300 difference to do other things with my lineup that i wanted.
Result: Meyers Leonard was the first man off the bench, and Harkless only saw 16 minutes of action. It demonstrates why chasing hot bench players sucks, since bench rotations are fickle and the reward decreases substantially as a player becomes more popular, but with the lack of value options and his upside I still didn’t mind the risk. Also, like the Vucevic/Lopez example, it also shows the edge you can gain by taking a similarly priced, much less popular player, because in this case finding a way to pay the extra $300 for Aminu would have been a huge benefit against the 1/3 of the field who took Harkless.
$5,300/ 13.0% owned/ 28.5 fpts
Reasoning: Anderson was one of my favorite plays tonight. I had 100% exposure to him in my GPP lineups. He is usually one of my least favorite players to roster, but I really liked a few things about him tonight. First, in the last 5 games, he has scored under 15 fpts three times and about 35 in the other two. I thought this would keep his ownership down. Also, as a result of his horrible game, his price was at a new low. He is normally priced in the mid-upper 5s, sometimes over 6 depending how soft Anthony Davis has been lately. Looking at his last 5 games, he did horribly against Detroit, OKC, and Utah and did well against PHI and MIN. Washington’s effectiveness defending the perimeter has much more in common with the latter. In those 5 games, he has attempted at least 10 shots in all of them, and 12+ in four of five. So his bad games weren’t a result of not getting opportunites, he just didn’t do anything with the opportunities. The perfect time to buy low on someone is when their price is plummeting, but their role has remained the same, and they’re coming off of a really bad game or two. Combine that with Washington not being able to defend shooters and I loved this matchup. It also provided a nice, cheap way to get exposure to the NO game without chasing Brow’s historic game against Detroit.
Result: It started out really well, as he had 21 fpts in the first half. He mostly disappeared in the second half though, partly because he sat most of the 4th quarter. 28 fpts at his price wasn’t a killer, but it wasn’t quite what I had hoped for. He did shoot 7 of 11 and had the second most points on the team behind Holiday though, so I still feel good about the reasoning even though he didn’t do as much as I had hoped.
$7400/ 52.2% owned/ 53.75 fpts
Reasoning: This is another self-explanatory one. Vucevic is just about always underpriced given his consistency, and in an uptempo game against a 76ers team that can’t make shots or rebound, his upside was higher than normal.
Result: Obviously I had him in this lineup, but my biggest mistake of the night was not having nearly enough exposure to him. At the time, I thought there was a good case for saving money at center on Plumlee but really I think the best move on a slate this short is to lock in the guy in the mid 7s who is almost definitely going to give you 45+ points. There aren’t enough other options to make up for fading him. If you do fade him, it shouldn’t be to save money at the position. It should be because there is another guy at that price point who will be less popular but has the same upside (in this case Brook Lopez, who was an awesome play that I did not make).
$3600/ 77.9%/ 20.75 fpts
Reasoning: I normally wouldn’t have been too keen on Mack, but there was a lack of viable value options so he was good enough. In very limited playing time, he was producing about 1 FP/min before coming to Utah, and then put up 30 fpts in 24 minutes in his Utah debut. In an pace-up game, against a team that doesn’t play defense, the upside was there to pay off his $3600 and since there weren’t many other appealing options I rolled with him just like everyone else.
Result: Pretty much what you would expect. A serviceable but not great game. Didn’t make or break anyone’s lineup (especially at his ownership levels). There is definitely a case to be made for having gone with a completely balanced lineup tonight, and usually that is the route I prefer, but I was intrigued enough by him getting the start and playing Houston that I rolled with him. It was close though, and I think if his price were like $4000, I would have passed.
$11,200/ 21.1%/ 58.75 fpts
Reasoning: It is DeMarcus Cousins. It is Denver’s frontcourt. He had the most upside of anyone on this slate. Having said that, I don’t think he was a must play. As I mentioned when discussing Mack, I think there was a very strong case to be made for going with a more balanced approach. The deciding factor for me with Cousins was that not only did he have the most upside, but Anthony Davis previous game would probably make people lean toward him at $1,000 less and allow me to take the player with the most upside at discounted ownership, especially for a 5 game slate.
Result: Cousins didn’t disappoint but he also didn’t reach his ceiling. Nobody that played Cousins should be complaining about his performance, but the fact that he scored 59 points at fairly low ownership and still didn’t have a big impact shows the merit to the argument for going more balanced in GPPs unless there is a legitimate cheap option with really big upside.
$4,500/ 20.3%/ 30.75 fpts
Reasoning: Plumlee was another one of my favorite GPP plays tonight. He doesn’t play enough minutes to be consistent, but he has the upside to greatly outperform his $4,500 salary. Similar to my discussion of Anderson, Plumlee is a guy who’s bad games aren’t a result of a change in role. He just doesn’t play as many minutes as he should. But there is no reason on any given day he can’t have one of his good games. Tonight he was matched up with Brook Lopez and a Brooklyn team that has allowed 3 points above expectation to opposing centers. He was a good source of savings to pay up for other guys.
Result: Mason had a nice game, putting up 30.75 points in 27 minutes. I was surprised to see his ownership above 20% because he is normally a guy who nobody pays attention to and I thought with the late game it might help people not notice him but oh well.
One other player worth mentioning, aside from Aminu and Lopez, is Nikola Jokic. I didn’t have him in this lineup, but I did have him in one of my main GPP lineups. He was in a great spot tonight for GPPs. Friday, he played 4 minutes against SAC because of foul trouble. His price has dropped to the mid 5s from the mid 6s not too long ago because of a string of mostly bad games. Despite the risk, a high scoring game when he should be very low owned was the perfect time to take a chance on him. He is one of the most talented young big men in the league, and when he is able to stay on the court he is capable of producing at a tremendous rate. He is a great example of the kind of a risk you should be willing to take that can win you a GPP.
Please feel free to post or PM me any questions or comments and give me feedback about anything you would want to see in the future that may make this blog more useful.