How I built my first place Double-Up lineup last night (292 score for cash)

My name is Mully Fein and I have been playing DFS for over 2 years strictly on FanDuel. This is my first Rotogrinders post and I hope to build a following of people who want real advice on DFS strategy and a different look that what they usually see by taking a different analytical approach. I am currently 14-0 in cash lineups in the month of February and 11 of those have hit quintuple ups.

I’ve seen MANY people on forums posting recently looking for advice about how others are winning or constructing their lineup’s so figured I’d share how I built by 292 cash lineup last night.

Keep in mind, this is strictly cash.

When playing cash, we always discuss the “floor” as more important than the “ceiling”. If playing 50/50’s and DU’s, you get same amount for 1st as middle of the pack (which I felt that hard way last night) so you don’t need to strive for the perfect score. So here was my thinking for last nights slate:

Both games on the slate had a rare opportunity because both had a 3in4 b2b playing against a fully rested team. Being that I wanted safe over upside, I clearly targeted rested players trusting them more than tired legs. So let’s take it game by game.

WIZARDS AT PACERS:

First you have the Wizards at the Pacers with Indy just playing a tough physical matchup against CLE the night before. Seeing PG13 put up only 24 FDP on Lebron made me fade him even with good DvP. The reason being is simple: I am not taking a guy on b2b who may have tired legs after guarding the most physical SF in the league. Many people look at 3in4 b2b as an obvious negative for offensive talent (rightfully so) but you also have to look at the opportunity from their defensive performance being down and target the opposing team. So I immediately decided I wanted 4 Wizards on my team. Being there was crazy value at C (which I will discuss later), I got set on Wall/Beal/Porter/Markieff as my core. It helped that Wall and Markieff were clear cut locks regardless of rest vs. tired since the slate was bare of any PG or PF value. As for the Pacers, Teague was someone I didn’t want to touch with a 10 foot pole since he started hot the previous night against Kyrie in first half and then cooled off….another sign of fatigue. Not paying 7600 for a guy who barely hits 30 these days and needing mid 30’s for 5x. There were 2 interesting plays from Pacers side: Monta Ellis and Myles Turner.

*Ellis has been putting up FDP in the mid 20’s all week but hasn’t seen the price increase one would expect….especially on a 2 game slate. The DvP was poor but for 4300, you had a very high floor and if he goes for 20, you are perfectly happy with that over your other SG options. Since I locked in Beal, Ellis was a perfect compliment since I can stack the game as well and get some Pacers exposure.

*Turner plays much better at home than on the road so I loved him in this spot. Only problem was, Kelly Olynyk was in the other game and for about 2k less in salary, I didn’t mind fading him. No reason to pay up at C on this slate and again, 3in4 b2b is on my mind.

So here is what I have so far heading into 2nd game:

PG – John Wall
PG – TBD
SG – Bradley Beal
SG – Monta Ellis
SF – Otto Porter
SF – TBD
PF – Markieff Morris
PF – TBD
C – TBD

Only players I would consider coming back to revisit is Glenn Robinson in case I needed a cheap SF but wanted to break down the 2nd game slate first before even considering.

CELTICS AT BULLS:

Let’s jump into PG because that is where I had to make the toughest call. Do I want to pay up for IT2 knowing he very likely won’t touch value but is safe for 35+ or do I gamble on Rondo narrative of facing former team. I say IT2 won’t touch value because he was priced at 10k and has been hitting around 40 in the last few weeks so on a 3in4 b2b, you’d be thrilled with 40 (which is exactly what he got). However, I don’t want to be thrilled with 4x in my cash lineup and would rather aim for 5x. So I looked at what Rondo would get me in other areas if I saved at PG. Thankfully, Jimmy Butler was playing on full rest for the Bulls and Jae Crowder was not touchable on 3in4 b2b against a tough defender so I’d rather have a starting SF with high upside than pay down for Glenn Robinson and get my 4x from IT2. I got more comfortable with this decision the more I looked into it. Butler and Rondo it is!

So now we have PF and C left.to fill and $4.7k average to spend on the positions. There was really only one decision to make and that was at C because Taj Gibson at $4.6k against a weak Boston frontcourt (though they have been better in L5 and L10 games) was the definition of safe for me. So here is the C breakdown:

Robin Lopez or Kelly Olynkyk? Both had really strong resumes as I will break down now

First the good.

*Robin Lopez was playing against Al Horford and his god awful defense (6th most favorable dvp). He iss on full rest and should have a very solid game from opportunity standpoint by only need 23.5 FDP for 5x value.

*Kelly Olynyk was coming off a hot game at home the previous night (surprisingly) and not nearly as affected by 3in4 b2b since he hasn’t been logging that many minutes. He had been averaging 27 FDP over L5 games which was 45% increase of season average. He was clearly the hot hand.

Now the deciding factor.

*Robin Lopez may have had the right matchup but he is really not as good at home as he is on the road. Those numbers were glaring to me and I felt a little nervous that Bulls could look to Portis/Gibson to matchup with the Celtics undersized front court and not need Lopez as much.

*Meanwhile, Kelly Olynyk was sold once I saw he puts up 5.7x on the road heading into the contest (versus 4.1x at home). Being this was a road game, I felt that the theory was Stevens gives more minutes to Kelly on the road since Horford is a terrible road player (3.8x value on road versus 5.1x at home). So I can safely assume that Kelly was going to get the 25 minutes on the road he had been averaging plus he had the hot hand. Just fell in love with him in this spot.

So here is the final lineup:

PG – John Wall
PG – Rajon Rondo
SG – Bradley Beal
SG – Monta Ellis
SF – Otto Porter
SF – Jimmy Butler
PF – Markieff Morris
PF – Taj Gibson
C – Kelly Olynyk

I strongly advise people to make a lineup they really like first before exploring other options (like should I upgrade to MCW over Ellis and upgrade elsewhere?) Can I fit IT2 over Rondo and just take out Butler? The reason being is because once you are set on a favorable lineup, it’s harder to get thrown into a bad loop of swapping out players and trying to be perfect. I saw many lineups had Teague or PG13 and feel like they were made because they felt if they get up from Rondo to Teague, it was worth downgrading someone like Porter to Glenn Robinson or Markieff to Kevin Seraphin.

MULLY TIP: Don’t make excuses to play someone….find reasons to play someone

Just because it makes everything fit into a nice, $60k lineup doesn’t mean it’s going to work. You need reasonable expectation that your lineup will hit value.

Please leave any feedback or comments below on what content you would like to see in the future.

About the Author

Comments

  • JPep2370

    Enjoyed this, I’m a 50/50, double up player, always like to hear analysis and the why’s instead of just play x player and fade player y. Last night was weird. I had the right picks, as you mentioned above, but about 30 mins prior to tip off I decided to back out of a couple of those and went a different route. I think because line ups were so similar on such a small slate it didn’t hurt me too bad, still cashed in 2 of the 4 50/50’s, but could have missed on all 4 if the slate were larger. But as you said, don’t make excuses to play someone! Needed to hear that. Interestingly enough I kept Ellis in even after I changed it up. For the same reasons you pointed out, he just has been playing so well for such a cheap price hard to not put him in. It wasn’t a punt play for sure. Solid value. Safe in cash is bottom line.

    Congrats on the streak! I am 69-90 since Jan 25th. Been mainly NBA with about a dozen NHL tossed in. I’m a small guy that plays 11-22 players intermediate 50/50 or double ups and seem to be doing well in that spot. Usually play anywhere from 4-6 a night.

    Good job, keep it up! Like to hear more reviews/picks going forward.

  • sethfein

    Thanks for commenting and the feedback.

    I always found myself making those mistakes last year and wrote a manual to follow 30 mins before lock to make sure I don’t repeat those errors. Being this is my first post here, I wanted to get a great tip (which I hope to offer in every post so please come back for more).

    Best of luck!

  • GREENMACHINE511

    MULLY – Nice blog for first time – enjoyed your theory to constructing a L/U for double ups… I think more people should be playing double ups to build their bankroll and branch out from their – I had the exact same lineup in 500k NBA CLUTCH – 292 good for 7th place and $200 bucks… was going to play another lineup – just switching out taj gibson with Portis and would have had 5th place and some real money… but keep up the good work look forward to further blogs from you.. greenmachine

  • sethfein

    Thanks.

    I am considering posting about my personal take on bankroll management but feel like it would get lost in the river of content out there. I know I have a unique perspective on analytics so I can stand out with that.

    But if people are interested, I did turn $200 on February 1st into over $7k as of last night using a steady diet of quints and double ups. Would be glad to share the secret sauce!

  • Malhi_Whop

    I would definitely be interested in that! I usually am a tournament player only but am transitioning to more 50/50s and double ups for NBA.

  • GREENMACHINE511

    THAT would be great mully – just wanted to know about how many d/u and quints you play a night and which ones are your favorite to play in

  • hoffgolf

    I’d definitely be interested in how you did that!

  • sethfein

    @GREENMACHINE511 said...

    THAT would be great mully – just wanted to know about how many d/u and quints you play a night and which ones are your favorite to play in

    When I first started, I would only use about 15-20% of bankroll and played in quints when I had high level of confidence in my lineup (greater ROI on payouts). I always feel like I will either cash or be on bubble in double ups so I try to maximize my exposure there.

    Currently, I play about 100 entries in the $2 and $5 massive double ups and probably 20-30 quint entries.

    For those who do GPP, I strongly advise single-entry until you can do 100 lineup entries because you will bleed money over time if you are going less I promise you that….it’s basic statistics.

  • Joshmstar

    Great post. I think that was an excellent approach to last nights short slate. Would be really interested in your take on BR management also.

  • GREENMACHINE511

    MULLY THANKS FOR THE HELP – i have been entering d/u in $2 and $5 single entry only- for a couple of weeks now – so i was heading in the right direction on my own sorta – lol once again thank you sir

  • Boudge7

    @sethfein said...

    When I first started, I would only use about 15-20% of bankroll and played in quints when I had high level of confidence in my lineup (greater ROI on payouts). I always feel like I will either cash or be on bubble in double ups so I try to maximize my exposure there.

    Currently, I play about 100 entries in the $2 and $5 massive double ups and probably 20-30 quint entries.

    For those who do GPP, I strongly advise single-entry until you can do 100 lineup entries because you will bleed money over time if you are going less I promise you that….it’s basic statistics.

    Would love to hear more detail about the very beginning. What did you do when you had a $200 bankroll to start, and how to your volume expand to what it is today?

  • joeycis

    • Blogger of the Month

    @sethfein said...

    When I first started, I would only use about 15-20% of bankroll and played in quints when I had high level of confidence in my lineup (greater ROI on payouts). I always feel like I will either cash or be on bubble in double ups so I try to maximize my exposure there.

    Currently, I play about 100 entries in the $2 and $5 massive double ups and probably 20-30 quint entries.

    For those who do GPP, I strongly advise single-entry until you can do 100 lineup entries because you will bleed money over time if you are going less I promise you that….it’s basic statistics.

    I find that the massive double ups are actually tougher to cash. Statistically it’s easier to cash in the single entry double ups or 50/50s because you aren’t playing in a field where someone is entering the lineup 100 times. I applaud your success but I do not think that is sustainable especially for a beginning player.

  • sethfein

    @joeycis said...

    I find that the massive double ups are actually tougher to cash. Statistically it’s easier to cash in the single entry double ups or 50/50s because you aren’t playing in a field where someone is entering the lineup 100 times. I applaud your success but I do not think that is sustainable especially for a beginning player.

    While true that double ups have slightly higher cash lines, I have found that my analysis on past entries have shown the line to be ranging anywhere between 1-4 points…it’s rarely any higher.

    If I am trying to build bankroll, I am willing to add some points needed on my lu (not to be a bubble team essentially) to avoid losing 10% in double ups. There is a reason why the line is higher and that’s because you aren’t technically aiming for 50th percentile or better to cash but rather slightly better (since huge d/u covers the 10% rake that you see in smaller double ups).

    Main point being: I am trying to build bankroll so I am not looking to sacrifice 10% of payout to get a few points cushion on cash line. So while true that best odds of placing are in smaller 50/50’s, it doesn’t mean you are getting fair payout for your lineup score.

    Same idea with quints….it’s easily one of the best way to build bankroll fast but you really have to build your lineup to get into that top 20% versus 50%….all depends on slate and your research.

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