I am taking a new approach to NBA DFS in 2020. More analytics, less instinct and slightly broader player pools. I remain almost exclusively a single lineup per night player; however, I realize that I have hurt my results by not at least considering every game on the slate. I will continue to cross out games and players, but only after giving that game environment and most likely game script serious consideration. This blog will attempt to capture my thought process and new robust analytical approach to every day’s NBA slate. My natural humor and cynicism can’t be contained, so that will remain a hallmark of my writing. That being said, numbers win the day. Please ping me with any comments you may have on the blog.
Stars and Scrubs. That is a term we all hear often in DFS. I’ve been meaning to write a blog about this for the past four days, but life got in the way. In a good way. And in a bad way. Opportunities presented. Opportunities taken away. And DFS almost forgotten for a few days. Funny how something can come out of nowhere and dominate your life for a short period of time. Ok, enough about life. Let’s get back to DFS. Oh yeah, stars and scrubs. It is the bane of my existence. And it is something that is becoming more prevalent in NBA DFS given the plethora of injuries and load management cases this year. The ability to roster numerous superstars (high price, high potential scoring) with numerous low-priced players in good spots on a particular night ($4k or less on FD and DK, 25-35 point potential) is intoxicating. I mean, who doesn’t like rostering James Harden, Lebron James. Mr. Glass, Joel Embiid, Giannis and so on? Especially if you are able to fill in with “scrubs” who find themselves in good positions that day. Perhaps an injury or two have opened up opportunities for a particular player. Maybe a player is named a starter with ten minutes to go before lock. And every once in a while, a player returns to action a day or two ahead of expectations and the sites haven’t adjusted his price up (Gordon Hayward comes to mind). Wow, stars and scrubs is the way to go, right? NO F’ING WAY. I can’t prove this quantitatively. But, my gut and experience tells me that “scrubs” bust way more often than not and ruin stars and scrubs lineups. Don’t believe me? Think back on these names over the past week. PJ Tucker. Monte Morris numerous times. PJ Dozier. Anfernee Simons. Kyle Kuzma (after killing it for a couple games). And then think back to earlier this season and names like DeAndre Hunter, Cam Reddish, Cedi Osman, Elie Okobo, Emmanuel Mudiay, Kent Bazemore, KentBazeless and so many others. I am not saying that low-priced players can’t put up big numbers. They absolutely can. I am saying that the “scrub of the day” more often busts than produces a proper value and thus tanks your lineup. There’s a reason these players are in the second unit and don’t play more than 12-15 minutes on any given night. And the other part of the stars and scrubs equation is you need your Hardens/Lukas/Lebrons/etc to put up 55-60+ fantasy points at their high-priced salaries. This sometimes is a tough value to hit. And if your scrub stinks it up as well…. well, bye bye lineup.
So, why did I bring up Stars and Scrubs today? Well, because a scrub by the name of Anfernee Simons is being touted today as a great play this evening. He has the #1 point per dollar projection on RG for FD tonight. He is currently expected to be 23% owned on FanDuel. And Meansy wrote him up in his Core Plays article. So, he must be a great play at $3.7k on FanDuel tonight, right? Well, probably not. In fact, why are we talking about this scrub at all? He hasn’t put up more than 27 FD points all season. And the other night, in his first primetime appearance, he played 35 minutes and put up a WHOPPING……. 17 FD points. In other words, this scrub stunk the place up. And he was owned. Oh, was he owned. Don’t make the same mistake tonight. With Lillard, Melo and Whiteside in that starting lineup, there is next to no usage for this second unit Simons guy. I am fading him tonight and this you should too. Friends don’t let friends let there lineups get tanked by scrubby scrubs.
Tonight, we have a slate on FD and DK. That’s all I know. I can’t keep up with the different games on each slate and frankly don’t care too much today. So, no predictions from me today. Just don’t play no scrubs tonight. And good luck to you all in your contests.