The Gut Check for August 1, 2020

Hope everyone enjoyed the Brooklyn Nets/Washington Wizards player rotations last night, this is the Gut Check. My name is Shawn Cripps and I’m a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) by day and a DFS player by night. I’ve been playing DFS for the past 5-6 years, mostly on FanDuel, but I’ve started to dabble a bit with DraftKings. I’ve played mostly NFL, NBA and MLB but have tried other sports like KBO, PGA and MMA. I’m not a high stakes player by any means, just really doing this for the fun of it (at most, probably $50-$200 a night with most of my action in GPPs). I’ve won a few GPPs with my approach over the years and hopefully you can take something away from what I write! I find that this blog is a great way to start your day. Now let’s get started!

I’ve mostly been a single entry style of player over the years but have now dabbled into multi-entering 20-max contests like the $2.22 Pick ‘N Roll and the $1 And-One among other GPPs. Overall, I’ve been pretty consistent. Not winning anything big by any stretch (and not losing a lot either) but if you decide to take the multi-entry plunge, I highly recommend using any lineup builder and building your own projections into your process. Staying on top of news is also very important and vital to your success in DFS. I use RotoGrinders and Twitter notifications on my phone to keep me up-to-date throughout the day, a highly recommended part of my process. For NBA, you have to be able to adapt to breaking news in a quick fashion and lineup optimizers certainly help in that regard.

It’s great being back blogging about the NBA, by far my most profitable sport. I’m glad to see some familiar bloggers back like The Data Detective, sochoice and GuarGuar. Please check them out as part of your daily process and for consistency, I won’t write about MLB too much. I’ll leave that to our resident Data Detective.

The blog will be used to look back at the previous slate, my player exposures, and where I and/or the public went right or wrong. It goes without saying that news comes fast and furious throughout the day and can change pretty much everything in a given slate. If you enjoy the blog, feel free to drop a comment or a like. For past blog posts, feel free to look at my profile under my username srcripps. If you’re a Twitter user like myself, feel free to look me up at @CpaCripps.

Yesterday’s Results

Last night, I played 20 lineups in the 150-max $3.33 Clutch Shot on FanDuel and I also played 20 lineups in the 20-max $3 Sharpshooter on DraftKings. Total fees paid across both sites was $126.60 ($66.66 on FD and $60.00 on DK). I won $63.00 total for a loss of $63.60 (-50.24% ROI) ($53.00 won on FD and $10.00 won on DK). Again my strategy has been to do just 20 lineups max (even for a 25-max tournament like the Pick ‘N Roll, or a 150-max tournament like the Clutch Shot) and enter it in some low-level stakes trying just to consistently cash (nothing big, nothing flashy). And for those who are wondering, I do use a lineup optimizer for my lineup builds. I just find it easier to do my 20 lineups this way and gives me time to analyze what it’s spitting out. I highly recommend it if you’re entering multi-entry tournaments (anything to save me time is well worth the price). I’ve been more successful on FanDuel with this strategy than I have been with DraftKings but I can tell you that right now combined, my account balances are a little over $140. If you’ve been a regular reader of the blog since the month of January, I have had some good nights that have offset more of the bad ones. I’m not here to tell you that it’s a perfect strategy but I can tell you that it’s working for me right now.

Here’s a look at my top 5 player exposures from last night’s main slates:

For FD:

Richaun Holmes (100%)
Jakob Poeltl (100%)
Jaren Jackson Jr. (100%)
Giannis Antetokounmpo (95%)
Ricky Rubio (65%)
18 players in my player pool for a 6-game slate

For DK:

Thomas Bryant (95%)
Chris Chiozza (85%)
Jaren Jackson Jr. (80%)
Jakob Poeltl (75%)
Luka Doncic (75%)
29 players in my player pool for a 6-game slate

My best lineup on FD in the $3.33 Clutch Shot was 4,416th out of 178,750 entries (ended up winning $8.00, cashing 9 of my 20 lineups overall)

PG De’Aaron Fox 54.6 (16.4% owned)
PG Derrick White 44.1 (8.5% owned)
SG James Harden 88.8 (39.6% owned)
SG Devin Booker 37.0 (28.5% owned)
SF Giannis Antetokounmpo 68.5 (51.1% owned)
SF Troy Brown Jr. 20.7 (25.1% owned)
PF Jaren Jackson Jr. 41.6 (31.7% owned)
PF Richaun Holmes 16.7 (48.2% owned)
C Jakob Poeltl 30.7 (23.6% owned)

Total 402.7 (Winning Lineup was 449.9, cash line was 367.0)

My best lineup on DK in the $3 Sharpshooter was for 6,593rd out of 39,635 entries (ended up winning $5.00, cashing only 2 of my 20 lineups overall)

PG Chris Chiozza 7.75 (10.8% owned)
SG Lonnie Walker IV 25.25 (23.9% owned)
SF DeMar DeRozan 47.75 (8.6% owned)
PF Jaren Jackson Jr. 43.25 (32.5% owned)
C Thomas Bryant 27.75 (10.2% owned)
G Luka Doncic 64.25 (43.2% owned)
F Giannis Antetokounmpo 70.25 (31.7% owned)
UTIL Jakob Poeltl 27.0 (16.7% owned)

Total 313.25 (Winning Lineup was 389.0, cash line was 305.0)

A couple of notes to take away from last night: The late-night hammer was quite the hammer last night with James Harden leading the way with 88.8 FPTS on FD and 85.25 DK FPTS. If you ended up stacking the Houston/Dallas and Memphis/Portland games, you probably did quite well overall. Before it was a tough time breaking 400 points on FD and 300 points on DK, but yesterday seemed to break that mould. Harden will be crazy expensive if this performance continues. I was really disappointed with Chris Chiozza performance but it really shouldn’t be much of a surprise since we had only 3 scrimmage games to evaluate the Brooklyn rotation. They’ll be tough to trust going forward except for Caris LeVert and Jarrett Allen, who will have to carry the load for Brooklyn. Washington is in tough shape as well. I have a hard time believing that they’ll get out of the East and make the playoffs with the skeleton crew they’re rolling out there. Troy Brown Jr. had a rough game but at least he seems to be getting the minutes we’re looking for. If he’s priced low, I’d still consider rostering him.

Today’s Slate

We have 5 games today starting at 1:00pm EST. Thank God FanDuel has instituted late swap to their NBA product. It does make life easier for late news when it comes in. 4 of the 10 teams playing today played Thursday night, so we do have some idea of a rotation. I’ll go game-by-game to give you some initial thoughts, core and secondary plays, and see if we can unlock some fantasy goodness.

Miami vs Denver with Miami favored by 2 with a 213 Vegas total. The question will be if Bol Bol gets the start for Denver. He’s the bare minimum on FD at $3.5K and $1.5K on DK. I think the scrimmage games were a nice tease on his talent but I’d be surprised if he gets more than 10 minutes in this game. Both teams are firmally entrenched in making the playoffs with Miami in 4th in the East and Denver 3rd in the West. I don’t expect much change in their usual lineup rotations, so that brings Jimmy Butler, Bam Adebayo and Nikola Jokic as core plays for me today. Kendrick Nunn is a cheap point guard play for cash, but I’d go Goran Dragic as a GPP play. Michael Porter Jr. is also worth a GPP flier, but hopefully Mike Malone gives him the minutes to ball out.

Utah vs Oklahoma City with OKC favored by 2 with a 217 Vegas total. We’ve seen Utah in action on Thursday so we have a good idea that the offense is centered around Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert for the most part. Royce O’Neale brought a GPP-winning performance on the two-game slate but I don’t expect that to continue. Jordan Clarkson continues to lead the second unit in usage and I’m willing to go back there against the OKC backups. OKC is lead by the three-guard rotation of Chris Paul, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Dennis Schroder. Steven Adams appears to have slimmed down during the pandemic and is a force to be reckoned with in the paint. I wouldn’t deviate from the usual players in this one as it should be a fairly contested matchup as the two teams vie for playoff seeding.

New Orleans vs LA Clippers with LA favored by 5 with a slate-high 229 Vegas total. Kawhi Leonard and Paul George will be staples in my lineups today as they’ll be tasked to shut down Brandon Ingram, Jrue Holiday and Zion Williamson. The Clippers took a tough loss to the Lakers on Thursday and hope to derail the Pelicans’ playoff chances with a second straight loss. Considering Zion is still on a minutes restriction, I’m staying away. Kawhi is a tough matchup for him. I’ll be sprinkling in some Reggie Jackson in my lineups as he’s underpriced for a starting point guard. JaMychal Green got over 20 minutes on Thursday and if that continues, he’s severely underpriced for what he can bring to the table.

Philadelphia vs Indiana with the 76ers favored by 6 with a 218.5 Vegas total. It’ll be interesting to see Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons back in action. Both teams are tied for the 5th spot in the East but I expect Philadelphia to get the job done. Indiana is without Domantas Sabonis so that’s a big body that took a lot of shots and usage for the Pacers. Embiid should be able to feast on Myles Turner and JaKarr Sampson in the paint. Ben Simmons should be flirting with a triple double and he may even take a three-pointer or two just to tease the betting public. Tobias Harris is underpriced at $6.6K on FD and $7.1K on DK for the 30+ minutes he plays.

The late-night hammer pits the LA Lakers vs the defending champion Toronto Raptors with LA favored by 2.5 with a 218 Vegas total. LeBron James was his usual self against the Clippers and I expect a similar performance against the Raptors. Anthony Davis and Kyle Kuzma will also be part of my lineups. I don’t expect a lot of rotation changes for the Raptors so I expect solid minutes from their starters. Marc Gasol has slimmed down over the pandemic and should get up to close to 30 minutes. He’s underpriced at $4.4K on FD and $4.5K on DK. I’ll have Kyle Lowry, Fred VanVleet, Serge Ibaka, Pascal Siakam and Gasol sprinkled throughout my lineups. I’d almost consider this a NBA Finals preview, but the Bucks may challenge that assertion come September.

Those are my initial takes on the slate. Feel free to leave a like/comment/question if you like the blog. Best of luck Grinders. Let’s win that DFS money!!!!

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