The Gut Check for January 14, 2020

Hope everyone enjoyed a Jahlil Okafor family reunion in Detroit, 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-$100 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 plunge, I highly recommend using any lineup builder and building your own projections.

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

I had 20 lineups in the $2.22 Pick ‘N Roll and several $2 & $1 100-man contests (top 12 pay) on FD and maxed out the $ 1 20-entry And One. Total fees paid across both sites $98.40 ($78.40 on FD and $20.00 on DK). Considering the way my night started where I was barely cashing anything, I only ended up losing only $4.10 total ($64 won on FD and $30.30 won on DK). For this 7-game main slate, here’s a look at my top 5 player exposures:

For FD:

LeBron James (95%)
Lonzo Ball (95%)
Josh Hart (75%)
Jayson Tatum (45%)
Devonte’ Graham (45%)
38 players in my player pool for a 7-game slate

For DK:

LeBron James (100%)
Tobias Harris (60%)
Lonzo Ball (60%)
Enes Kanter (55%)
Dennis Schroder (50%)
30 players in my player pool for a 7-game slate

My best lineup on FD in the $2.22 Pick ‘N Roll was 1,193rd out of 26,812 entries (ended up winning $6.00, but only cashed 5 of my 20 lineups)

PG Damian Lillard 43.1 (20.8% owned)
PG Lonzo Ball 46.9 (54.2% owned)
SG Shai Gilgeous-Alexander 60.0 (18.5% owned)
SG Josh Hart 21.2 (34.2% owned)
SF LeBron James 45.4 (61.2% owned)
SF E’Twaun Moore 26.9 (27.3% owned)
PF Jayson Tatum 39.2 (29.1% owned)
PF Nemanja Bjelica 50.4 (18.5% owned)
C Tristan Thompson 30.0 (2.7% owned)

Total 363.1 (Winning Lineup was 427.2, cash line was 332.4)

My best lineup on DK in the $1 And One was 108th out of 59,453 entries (ended up winning $12.00, but did cash 9 of my 20 lineups)

PG Shai Gilgeous-Alexander 66.5 (11.1% owned)
SG E’Twaun Moore 28.75 (29.0% owned)
SF Jaylen Brown 31.25 (8.7% owned)
PF Kevin Love 39.25 (18.2% owned)
C Jahlil Okafor 57.0 (12.5% owned)
G CJ McCollum 42.0 (25.2% owned)
F LeBron James 46.5 (54.8% owned)
UTIL Devonte’ Graham 52.25 (7.7% owned)

Total 363.5 (Winning Lineup was 402.75, cash line was 289.75)

A couple of notes to take away from all this: It was certainly hard to predict the success that Jahlil Okafor was going to have against Detroit. He was announced as a starter about an hour before lock. He was an easier play to make on DK where he was the bare minimum and on FD, there’s only 1 center position available. Nevertheless, I had him in 2 of my DK lineups and 1 of my FD lineups. This was one of those situations where a lineup optimizer wasn’t picking him up either so I had to manually insert him into those lineups. He was only 2.0% owned on FD, but was 12.5% owned on DK (not considered a chalky play by any means, as most people probably thought that Drummond would eat him alive). Shai Gilgeous-Alexander had a ceiling game for the ages with a 20-20-10 triple-double. He was under 20% owned on both sites and Devonte’ Graham continued his strong play with 46.6 FD FPTS at 25.8% ownership, 52.25 DK FPTS at 7.7% ownership. Okafor was the play to have to win a GPP, but lifesastripper (clever username!) won the Pick N Roll with a 3% owned PJ Washington. Factor111 won the And One with the only score over 400 with his Okafor and Gilgeous-Alexander picks. De’Aaron Fox also helped him out at 13% ownership with a 60.5 FPT effort. Congrats guys!!

Today’s Slate

We have a manageable 6-game main slate tonight across the industry. I’ll try to comment game-by-game just to see if we can uncover some fantasy goodness.

Phoenix visits Atlanta with Phoenix favored by 5 with a 225 Vegas total. A lot hinges on Trae Young and whether or not he plays. If he does with no minute restrictions, I’ll be interested against the fast-paced Suns. Alex Len is questionable so that would give Damian Jones all the minutes that he can handle against Aron Baynes. He probably won’t get more than 25 minutes but at the bare minimum on both sites, I have some interest. John Collins will get some backup center minutes so he should get between 30-35 minutes tonight. At $8.3K on both sites, he’s a nice spend up option. On the Phoenix side, the only players I like are Devin Booker, Kelly Oubre and Ricky Rubio. They get all the usage on this team. You could put Deandre Ayton in there as well but he’s more of a secondary option for me at the moment.

Utah visits Brooklyn with Utah favored by 3 with a slate-low 219.5 Vegas total. Rudy Gobert stands out for me at first glance but he’s priced up to $9.0K on FD, $9.2K on DK. He should dominate the glass against the Brooklyn frontcourt. Donovan Mitchell is questionable with an illness so I really don’t want to have to go there with him. Bojan Bogdanovic, Joe Ingles and Emmanuel Mudiay stand to benefit the most if Mitchell is out. Kyrie Irving made his return last game and had 31.3 FD FPTS, 32 DK FPTS in his 20 minutes of action. His price is down to $8.6K on DK, but unless we get word that his minutes are going up to the 30-minute range, I’ll be staying away. If I was picking a Net to roster, it would be Jarrett Allen or DeAndre Jordan but even then, I’m thinking it’s a stretch. They’re not core plays for me as of right now.

Houston visits Memphis with Houston favored by 5 with a slate-high 238 Vegas total. Houston begins with the Beard, James Harden, in what should be the best DFS smash spot tonight. Memphis plays at a fast pace, suitable to Harden’s style of play. Russell Westbrook is sitting out this game which makes Harden even more attractive. It wouldn’t surprise me to see him with over 50% ownership tonight in GPPs. Clint Capela will garner some ownership as well but I like Jonas Valanciunas more on the Memphis side. Memphis overall looks rather attractive as Ja Morant, Jaren Jackson Jr., Dillon Brooks and Jae Crowder stand out as nice mid-range plays in a fast-paced environment.

The NY Knicks visit Milwaukee with Milwaukee favored heavily by 16 with a 227.5 Vegas total. The blowout risk is high in Milwaukee which means that Giannis Antetokounmpo may not get his full compliment of minutes. That’s been the risk of rostering Giannis all season long. I’ll have some shares but not as much as I’ll have Harden. Eric Bledsoe price is down to $6.2K on FD, $6.5K on DK so I’ll have some shares there. On the New York side, if this game stays close, it’ll be Julius Randle, Elfrid Payton, and RJ Barrett leading the way. Mitchell Robinson ($4.9K on FD, $4.7K on DK) can have a GPP-winning performance at any time and he should come in at really low ownership (if he plays, he’s currently questionable).

Dallas visits Golden State with Dallas favored by 8 with a 223.5 Vegas total. Luka Doncic is another high-end stud to pay up for. He’s probably my second favorite stud on the slate behind Harden, so I’ll have some shares against the Warriors. If the Warriors keep the game close, D’Angelo Russell will have to be balling out. He’s a streaky shooter and if his shot is falling, he can win you a shootout and that’s what you’ll be hoping for against Doncic. A Doncic/Russell lineup could be fantasy gold if the game is high scoring. You can also grab some of the other Golden State mid to low-range pieces like Draymond Green, Alec Burks and Omari Spellman to compliment your lineups.

The final game pits Cleveland (on a B2B) against the LA Clippers with the Clippers favored by 15 with a 224 Vegas total. Another blowout risk here. Paul George is listed as questionable and if he is out, Kawhi Leonard will be expected to carry the workload. He’s another high-priced stud to consider and I like him plenty against the turnover-prone Cleveland squad. I also wouldn’t mind rostering Montrezl Harrell and Lou Williams off the bench. Cleveland’s price points are creeping up on both sites (except for Tristan Thompson, whose DK price went down $600 to $6.9K), so they are not on my radar as primary plays tonight.

Those are my initial takes on the slate. Good luck tonight Grinders and let’s win that DFS money!!!!

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