NBA FanDuel Small Slate Challenge: Week 17

For full details of this year’s challenge, click here.

NIGHT #79: 2-5-18, 2-game slate

CORE RATIONALE: Today ended up a bit busier than I expected and I honestly wouldn’t have played, but I was swayed by the fact that Monday’s have been so profitable and, despite the fact that’s a stupid reason, here I am. However, this lineup I’m putting out there is pretty much the absolute perceived peak and is still leaving $900 on the table, but I honestly can’t even find a place to spend it so I’m just going to roll with it and see what happens.



BEST FINISH: ‘51’/297, $1.06

REFLECTION: So clearly, I wasn’t the only person who felt this lineup was the peak, as I somehow entered in a 36 way tie for “last” place. The PG’s were garbage but the rest was fine, but honestly… what the heck is that? I’ll try not to spend my six cent profit in one place…. In some ways though, it’s kind of surprising this hasn’t happened very much this year, considering the slate sizes I play!

BALANCE: $186.13

NIGHT #80: 2-6-18, 2-game slate

CORE RATIONALE: Had parent/teacher conferences tonight so didn’t get home until late, but boy do we have a doozy here with these two games? Kind of tricky, but I do think I’m going to go with a core of Westbrook and Ulis (just too cheap to hurt me), as well as Hart. Hart’s a bit higher than I’m comfortable but I’m finding that 5k is the new 4k with value plays, so I’m okay there. Then, after some tinkering, I ended up with Melo, Ingram and PG13. I toyed with going with Grant instead of Melo but didn’t like what it did to the rest of my lineup, but Melo’s been playing well anyway so I’m okay with it.

SECONDARY RATIONALE: I’m going to go up with Draymond despite the fact he’s terrible against OKC, which means down to Daniels and midrange with Adams. On the other side, I’m going value with Bender (I would go Grant here but am $100 short), which means up with Klay and Randle.


BEST FINISH: 53/297 and 61/297, $4

REFLECTION: Well, I’m not sure how I feel about these. On the one hand, I double cashed. On the other hand, I somehow went all-in on a 1.5 from Melo… and still cashed. It’s hard not to think of this as a “what if” kind of lineup, all things considered… but I do think the fact that Grant was so heavily on my radar and that all my studs actually came through (very rare these days!) was a pretty good sign, so I’ll stay optimistic that I’m nearing a big one here instead of pessimistic that I put up competitive lineups with a guy getting me 1.5 in each. But hey, at least OKC thumped the Warriors again! I will admit through, that cashing 3/3 nights and having $2.06 in profit to show for it is pretty annoying…

BALANCE: $188.13

NIGHT #81A: 2-8-18, 2-game slate

CORE RATIONALE: I wanted to play last night but, as it turns out, not being able to decipher that slate was a blessing with the Pacers/Pelicans game getting postponed! So, tonight I’m going to give this early express a shot, and go all-in on the latest one. Basically, it boiled down to choosing O’Quinn over Horford, which is an easy pick with Monroe in the picture. Then, it’s Morris and Ibaka and, to me, the super obvious picks the rest of the way, and this one feels kind of silly because I just don’t see a lot of other routes to even go other than maybe Markieff Morris or Jayson Tatum in Porter’s SF spot, but I don’t feel like tossing an extra buck in since I don’t like either of those plays anyway.



BEST FINISH: 11/297, $3.87

REFLECTION: Another nice cash, another massive tie. Clearly, I’m not doing a great job in differentiating myself these days! This was a nice lineup, though, and the fact that Kyrie was so low-owned gave me hope that OT would be very profitable, but I only moved from 14th to 11th, so it didn’t do that much for me after all. However, now that I’m playing with house money, I’ll toss it into the late slate!

NIGHT ##81B: 2-8-18, 2-game slate

CORE RATIONALE: Felton was the first pick, as I had planned on playing Westbrook here but now, with everything opened up, PG13, a seemingly overpriced but somehow safe Hart, and Draymond are all in. Then, due to who things shook down, I ended up all in on Adams, but I honestly wanted to split him and Randle.

SECONDARY RATIONALE: Paying down for Yogi at the other PG spot means ups everywhere else with Dallas-Killer Klay, Durant and then down a bit for Grant, who has been playing great for weeks now and should have a clearer path to minutes than usual. On the other side, paying down for KCP, Ingram and Kuzma means I can pay up for Curry.


BEST FINISH: 64/297, $2

REFLECTION: This was a little shortsighted on my part, as I honestly didn’t even consider any of the Mavs, and those were kind of the guys who were keys to big victory tonight (but, in my defense, they weren’t good plays and I didn’t ilke them anyway, but I guess that’s just how it goes). I’ll take the cash, though, as the lineup was pretty solid top-to-bottom with really only Curry being the weak play, which, as those of you who always read know, the top guys are usually the ones to hose me anyway! The silver lining, however, is that I’m (somehow) finally back to a whole dollar amount, which is going to make math a bit easier until I have another weird cash again!


NIGHT #82: 2-9-18, 3-game slate

CORE RATIONALE: I’m going to go with the Blazers guards against the Kings, Buckets and Taj for revenge, and then, finally, I’m going to go with Jingles who, if I’m being 100% honest, is the main reason I’m playing this slate because the other SF options are so atrocious.

SECONDARY RATIONALE: If I pay up for Rubio (super overpriced… right?), then that means I need to get a bit creative the rest of the way so Bogdan, Aminu and RoLo. Then, on the other side, paying down for Fox means I can pay up for LaVine and Nurk, as long as I pay down to… Marvin Williams? Um, let’s just say that will work for the revenge theme from many years ago when the truth is he just kind of fits…


BEST FINISH: 11/297, $5

REFLECTION: Well, Revenge was a nice theme tonight, as, though Taj was a bit disappointing, Butler, LaVine and even Marvin (and his very low ownership) were outstanding. I was also on the right side of a Blazer scoring 50 points (at a relatively low ownership this time), and Jingles rewarded me for choosing this slate. Obviously, a $5 finish is nice and this may be a bit greedy, but I actually lost out on a double cash with a late-game stat adjustment that bumped me from 61st to 70th, which did put a minor blemish on a relatively solid night. I would love to blame that on Rubio’s injury but the reality is that may have been a wash, since him being over 40% owned probably means my other lineup doesn’t rank quite so highly….


Not as much action this week and too many ties make this look like a bit of a slow week, but the reality is I actually played pretty well and was a little bad luck away from it being a much, much bigger one. With only a few days left before the All-Star Break, I would really, really like to meet my goal of $200… but it’s also a tricky time to play with random DNP’s being a bit more prevalent than usual. Tread lightly with the bankroll this week, my friends, and we’ll see you next week where I’ll journal about my play (as usual) but also provide some data points about my journey into small-slates thus far!

See you then, and make sure you do something nice for your loved ones on Valentine’s Day!

About the Author

  • Jim Hill (jimfred82)

  • Jim Hill, aka jimfred82, is a happily married father and teacher who has been playing fantasy sports since 2001. He began his DFS career in the pioneer days when $5 was the minimum contest entry and nobody had even heard of 50/50’s. He mainly plays low-dollar NFL and NBA, and has been blogging for RotoGrinders since 2011, publishing hundreds of blogs with a variety of content ranging from NFL, NBA, bankroll challenges, and his lifelong disdain for Kendrick Perkins.


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