The Gut Check for February 13th

Hope everyone enjoyed the Milwaukee chalk 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, and the $2 100-man contests (top 12 get paid). I also entered one lineup multiple times in the $2 BIG Double-Up and some $2 50/50’s (just trying to mitigate my losses, I’ve gotten away from the cash games over the past week and change). I also maxed out the 20-max $1 And One on DK. Total fees paid across both sites $176.40 ($156.40 on FD and $20.00 on DK). I won $214.00 total for a profit of $37.60 (21.32% ROI) ($186.00 won on FD and $28.00 won on DK). That breaks up the losing streak but it still means that I’ve lost 8 out of the past 10 slates. 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. February hasn’t been a kind month at all for me, but I really think I can chalk that up to variance more than anything else. I’m sure that you’ve been there too but most slates I’ve been maybe a move or two away from having a profitable night. Hopefully the All-Star Break will give me some time to rest and relax before moving back into the daily grind of DFS. Or I’ll just focus on the NHL using the same 20 lineup strategy. 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 $480 after just a little over one month and a half, but it’s dropped about $320 since the big losing streak (a week and a half ago). 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:

Larry Nance (90%)
Cheick Diallo (90%)
Eric Bledsoe (85%)
Khris Middleton (80%)
Damian Lillard (65%)
31 players in my player pool for a 11-game slate

For DK:

Larry Nance (75%)
P.J. Washington (75%)
Devin Booker (65%)
Bismack Biyombo (60%)
James Johnson (60%)
32 players in my player pool for a 11-game slate

My best lineup on FD in the $2.22 Pick ‘N Roll was 844th out of 26,812 entries (ended up winning $7.00, but only cashed 7 of my 20 lineups overall)

PG Damian Lillard 40.0 (22.8% owned)
PG Eric Bledsoe 26.2 (49.8% owned)
SG Devin Booker 49.0 (23.9% owned)
SG D’Angelo Russell 55.7 (29.1% owned)
SF Andrew Wiggins 55.3 (13.0% owned)
SF Mikal Bridges 28.9 (22.3% owned)
PF Larry Nance 52.4 (35.3% owned)
PF Cheick Diallo 25.6 (41.7% owned)
C Rudy Gobert 45.5 (10.7% owned)

Total 378.6 (Winning Lineup was 428.8, cash line was 342.3)

My best lineup on DK in the $1 And-One was 2,221st out of 59,453 entries (ended up winning $4.00, but cashed 10 of my 20 lineups overall)

PG Devonte Graham 45.5 (14.6% owned)
SG Malik Beasley 41.5 (15.9% owned)
SF Andrew Wiggins 52.0 (4.5% owned)
PF Larry Nance 52.0 (26.6% owned)
C Andre Drummond 37.25 (16.4% owned)
G Devin Booker 49.75 (31.1% owned)
F P.J. Washington 18.25 (17.5% owned)
UTIL Bismack Biyombo 32.5 (10.6% owned)

Total 328.75 (Winning Lineup was 381.75, cash line was 296.25)

A couple of notes to take away from all this: It was another crazy half hour before FD lock last night with the Terry Rozier, Cody Zeller and Karl Anthony-Towns news especially. It changed the whole outlook on the slate as Bismack Biyombo, P.J. Washington, Devonte Graham, and James Johnson gained more ownership as a result. Johnson was 42.3% owned in the $1 And-One on DK, but considering his $3.5K price tag, it allowed an opportunity to fit in one more stud in your lineups. I was surprised that Bismack Biyombo wasn’t more owned on DK considering he was starting and was the flat minimum at $3K (only 10.6% owned). Larry Nance was the PF to own last night with 52.4 FD FPTS and 52 DK FPTS at 35.3% ownership on FD and 26.6% ownership on DK. A nice low-owned flier turned out to be T.J. Warren who got 54.9 FD FPTS at 6.7% ownership. Andrew Wiggins turned in a nice performance at the weak SF position with 55.3 FD FPTS at only 13% ownership.

Today’s Slate

We have a 2-game slate tonight starting at 8:00 pm EST (an hour later than normal). Both games are projected to be close affairs according to Vegas and I would highly recommend that you don’t go overboard with your bankroll on a 2-game slate. You will see a lot of ties at the top as there is just only so many ways you can go on a 2-game slate. 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 Boston with Boston favored by 1 with a 227 Vegas total. Jaylen Brown is considered probable with a thigh contusion while Patrick Beverley has already been ruled out for LA. That might mean that Landry Shamet gets the start for LA at his reasonable $4.3K FD, $4.8K DK price. Marcus Morris looks like a nice play at $5.2K on FD, $5.0K on DK. He won’t be as owned as Kawhi Leonard, Paul George or Lou Williams. Montrezl Harrell is a contrarian play off the bench. He has struggled recently but this could be a nice bounce back game for him. For Boston, the usual suspects are there in Kemba Walker, Jayson Tatum, Gordon Hayward and Daniel Theis. This is a tough matchup for Boston as LA is one of the best teams in the West. They have defensive stoppers all throughout their lineup which means extra peripheral stats for LA.

The second game pits Oklahoma City visiting New Orleans with New Orleans favored by 2 with a 231.5 Vegas total. This game will probably play faster than the LA/Boston game, so most DFS players would target this game moreso than the first one. The big news is the status of Brandon Ingram as he has missed the past two games with a high ankle sprain. Those aren’t injuries that you hurry back from so it wouldn’t surprise me if he sits this one out. Josh Hart would probably get the start for Ingram so he would be in play at his $5.0K FD, $5.6K DK price. Zion Williamson gets to match up against Danilo Gallinari, a matchup that he can win. J.J. Redick has found new life off the bench for New Orleans and if his shot continues to fall from 3, he could be a difference maker. The big 5 from OKC (Paul, Gilgeous-Alexander, Schroder, Gallinari and Adams) will be heavily owned, so don’t be afraid to take a chance on Nerlens Noel. He has played terrible over the past two games but he is a guy that can change things in a hurry with just a little bit of run.

Those are my initial takes on the slate. We’ll see you guys/gals back here in a week’s time. Enjoy your All-Star Break! 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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