The Gut Check for February 11, 2020

Hope everyone enjoyed being Popped 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 WNBA, 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! 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 the $0.25 Fadeaway and the $0.50 Mini-Max 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 those of you who remember my blogs from 2018, you’ll realize that I do this blog as simply a first-look approach with no big statistical reference to back up my plays. The blog will also be used to look back at the previous slate, my player exposures, and where I 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.

Yesterday’s Results

Last night, I entered my 20 lineups in the $2.22 Pick ‘N Roll, the $2 100-man contests (top 12 get paid), and the $0.25 satellite for MLB Opening Day (top 50 get tickets). I also maxed out the 20-max $1 And One on DK. Total fees paid across both sites $109.40 ($89.40 on FD and $20.00 on DK). I won $94.50 total for a loss of $14.90 (-13.62% ROI) ($57.00 won on FD and $37.50 won on DK). That makes it seven out of the past eight slates on the losing end. Considering I haven’t had to redeposit on either site since January 2nd, I feel like I’m doing the Quest for $1,000 challenge that Jim Hill (AKA jimfred82) has embarked on in his blog series. Again my strategy has been to do just 20 lineups max (even for a 25-max tournament like the Pick ‘N Roll) and enter it in some low-level stakes trying just to consistently cash (nothing big, nothing flashy, not trying to hit the big payday). 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 combined my account balances are a little over $520 after just a little over one month and a week. 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:

For FD:

Khris Middleton (100%)
Chris Boucher (90%)
Eric Bledsoe (85%)
Reggie Jackson (60%)
Pascal Siakam (60%)
41 players in my player pool for a 9-game slate

For DK:

Khris Middleton (90%)
Eric Bledsoe (85%)
Victor Oladipo (65%)
Ersan Ilyasova (65%)
De’Aaron Fox (60%)
31 players in my player pool for a 9-game slate

My best lineup on FD in the $2.22 Pick ‘N Roll was 428th out of 26,812 entries (ended up winning $8.00, and only cashed 10 of my 20 lineups overall)

PG Eric Bledsoe 50.6 (47.2% owned)
PG Reggie Jackson 11.7 (23.7% owned)
SG Khris Middleton 53.2 (58.9% owned)
SG Bruce Brown 28.9 (11.9% owned)
SF Mikal Bridges 33.7 (4.1% owned)
SF OG Anunoby 54.9 (7.2% owned)
PF Anthony Davis 47.5 (16.0% owned)
PF Domantas Sabonis 54.5 (23.1% owned)
C Nikola Vucevic 51.3 (36.8% owned)

Total 386.3 (Winning Lineup was 443.4, cash line was 332.9)

My best lineup on DK in the $1 And-One was 719th out of 59,453 entries (ended up winning $7.00, but cashed 10 of my 20 lineups overall)

PG Victor Oladipo 22.5 (47.0% owned)
SG Fred VanVleet 34.0 (11.0% owned)
SF Khris Middleton 57.75 (51.2% owned)
PF Rondae Hollis-Jefferson 36.0 (15.4% owned)
C Pascal Siakam 56.5 (20.3% owned)
G Eric Bledsoe 52.5 (38.4% owned)
F Jae Crowder 39.0 (9.7% owned)
UTIL De’Aaron Fox 46.5 (14.2% owned)

Total 344.75 (Winning Lineup was 392.75, cash line was 290.25)

A couple of notes to take away from all this: As you can see from my FD exposure, my big mistake was not swapping out Chris Boucher when Rondae Hollis-Jefferson was announced as the starter. My thinking was that the minutes would’ve been split evenly between the two guys to try and contain Karl Anthony-Towns. I did originally have Boucher at 100% in my DK lineups but swapped out to RHJ at a 50/50 split. That Minnesota/Toronto game was a track meet and I think we can surmise after two games, that Minnesota is going to be in some very high scoring games with the way they play. They already play at a fast pace but now that they have D’Angelo Russell, Malik Beasley and Juan Hernangomez, they just might play at an even faster pace going forward. The Giannis scratch really opened up Eric Bledsoe and Khris Middleton as core plays as they should when he sits. Ersan Ilyasova has been hit and miss in his role when he starts. He was a miss last night. I feel for players who rostered DeMar DeRozan last night and watch him get scratched even after roster lock. Thankfully I didn’t have him but I do know that he was owned roughly in 3% of lineups. That’s not a good feeling to have when you know your night is over when that happens. OG Anunoby had himself a game with 54.9 FD FPTS and 55 DK FPTS at 7.2% and 6.4% ownership respectively. That’s the low owned play that wins GPPs and it helped slater2248 win the Pick ‘N Roll and Mocexx win the And-One. Congratulations!!!

Today’s Slate

We have a 5-game slate tonight starting at 7:00 pm EST. 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.

The LA Clippers visit Philadelphia with LA favored by 1 with a 225.5 Vegas total. I would expect Kawhi Leonard and Paul George to play in this game as they match up against Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons. Embiid finally turned his game around last time out against Chicago and he will be asked to shoulder the load again against a great Clippers team. This won’t be a track meet as both teams play solid defense. Kawhi sunk the hopes of Philly fans last year with the game-winning shot in Toronto to eliminate the 76ers from the playoffs. I expect a chorus of boos every time he touches the ball tonight, but I think Kawhi loves that type of challenge and he will bring his A game. He’s priced down to $9.2K on FD, $9.3K on DK so I will be taking some shots at that price point. The Clippers as a whole are priced down across both sites so I’m leaning towards them initially, but I will have some Embiid, Simmons and Tobias Harris in my player pool. I expect Furkan Korkmaz to have a tougher time tonight so I won’t be including him in my player pool. I’ll zag while others zig.

Chicago visits Washington with Washington favored by 3 with a 230 Vegas total. Zach LaVine and Bradley Beal should be shooting a lot tonight. They are core plays for me at this point of the morning. Tomas Satoransky has the revenge narrative on his side so he should be extra motivated to do well. I’ll also include Thaddeus Young, Chandler Hutchison, Coby White, Luke Kornet, Davis Bertans, Ish Smith and Rui Hachimura and Moritz Wagner as secondary plays. This game could very well go over the 230 total.

Portland visits New Orleans with New Orleans favored by 2 with a slate-high 240 Vegas total. Damian Lillard and Hassan Whiteside are two players I would like a lot of tonight. Hopefully some value opens up on this slate because right now, I want to roster a lot of studs in favorable spots. Brandon Ingram is listed as questionable so if he sits, Josh Hart will probably get another start. He’s not cheap though at $4.8K on FD, $5.1K on DK. I would want to roster Jrue Holiday, Lonzo Ball and Zion Williamson with my Portland exposure if I can make it work. J.J. Redick and Nicolo Melli provide some value off the bench but they are only getting mid 20’s minutes at the moment. It’s something that’s not guaranteed from game to game but if they get hot, they could pay off handsomely. Gary Trent Jr. has provided a spark off of Portland’s bench as the first sub in most nights but his price has crept up to $4.6K on FD, $4.4K on DK now. I loved him at his $3.7K price tag but he’s still playable considering the fast pace this game should provide.

San Antonio (on a B2B) visits Oklahoma City with OKC favored by 6 with a slate-low 220.5 Vegas total. San Antonio may be without DeMar DeRozan again tonight with back spasms, so you could roster LaMarcus Aldridge and Dejounte Murray as the key players for San Antonio. Murray played 34 minutes last night and that’s the first time in a long while that he’s played more than 30 minutes in a game. How much he plays tonight will be a mystery especially with DeRozan hobbled as he is right now. OKC is led by its three-guard lineup of Chris Paul, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Dennis Schroder. I will also roster Danilo Gallinari and Steven Adams at their price points. Adams has finally started seeing 30 minute nights and at $5.2K on FD, $5.5K on DK, he’s worth a few spots in my lineups.

The late-night hammer pits Boston against Houston with Houston favored by 2 with a 230.5 Vegas total. It certainly isn’t an easy matchup for Houston as Boston is very sound defensively. A small-ball lineup like Houston’s will probably render Daniel Theis and Enes Kanter useless to combat the athleticism of Houston’s players. I won’t have them in my player pool as I can see Jayson Tatum playing some of the 5 tonight possibly. Tatum, Kemba Walker, Gordon Hayward, Marcus Smart and Jaylen Brown (currently probable with a right ankle sprain) will be in my player pool. Russell Westbrook, James Harden, Robert Covington and Danuel House will make up my Houston exposure.

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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