The Gut Check for January 15, 2020

Hope everyone enjoyed all of the cheap value chalk plays 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-$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 15 lineups in the $2.22 Pick ‘N Roll and several $2 100-man contests (top 12 pay) on FD and maxed out the $1 20-entry And One on DK. Total fees paid across both sites $85.30 ($65.30 on FD and $20.00 on DK). Considering the way my night started where I was barely cashing anything, I ended up winning $108.40 for a profit of $23.10 (27% ROI, I’ll take that!) ($90.80 won on FD and $18.00 won on DK). For the 6-game main slate, here’s a look at my top 5 player exposures:

For FD:

Kawhi Leonard (73%)
James Harden (67%)
P.J. Tucker (67%)
Luka Doncic (60%)
Lou Williams, Montrezl Harrell & Kelly Oubre (47%)
40 players in my player pool for a 6-game slate

For DK:

Devin Booker (70%)
Elie Okobo (60%)
James Harden (55%)
Alec Burks (50%)
P.J. Tucker (50%)
41 players in my player pool for a 6-game slate

My best lineup on FD in the $2.22 Pick ‘N Roll was 830th out of 26,812 entries (ended up winning $7.00, but only cashed 5 of my 15 lineups)

PG Luka Doncic 32.6 (50.0% owned)
PG Austin Rivers 17.9 (13.5% owned)
SG James Harden 59.2 (62.3% owned)
SG Kevin Huerter 54.0 (14.3% owned)
SF Tim Hardaway 23.6 (15.7% owned)
SF Mikal Bridges 39.6 (13.7% owned)
PF Kawhi Leonard 60.6 (25.7% owned)
PF P.J. Tucker 12.9 (25.4% owned)
C Jonas Valanciunas 31.2 (9.3% owned)

Total 331.6 (Winning Lineup was 395.4, cash line was 291.4)

My best lineup on DK in the $1 And One was 1,727th out of 59,453 entries (ended up winning $7.00, but only cashed 7 of my 20 lineups)

PG RJ Barrett 41.5 (4.3% owned)
SG Ben McLemore 22.75 (44.3% owned)
SF Cedi Osman 27.75 (13.7% owned)
PF P.J. Tucker 13.75 (30.4% owned)
C Julius Randle 49.25 (10.7% owned)
G Lou Williams 30.75 (9.7% owned)
F Kawhi Leonard 61.25 (14.5% owned)
UTIL Clint Capela 38.5 (26.9% owned)

Total 285.5 (Winning Lineup was 346.75, cash line was 254.75)

A couple of notes to take away from all this: Obviously, the cheap chalk plays like Elie Okobo, P.J. Tucker, Kyle Anderson, Austin Rivers, Ben McLemore, and Damian Jones (among others I’m sure) didn’t live up to the touted hype last night. That’s why the cash lines for many GPPs were roughly 40 fantasy points lower than what they should have been. If you somehow went against the grain and went with more mid-tier plays as opposed to cheap chalk plays/matching them with studs, you probably had a profitable night. If chalk doesn’t hit, contrarian plays win out. As an example, James Harden was definitely the chalk at 62.3% owned in the $2.22 FD contest. Elie Okobo would’ve been his SG2 for the most part, so those combined salaries were $15.2K. A reasonable pivot would’ve been Devin Booker and D’Angelo Russell at a price of $16K. Harden/Okobo scored 67.3 for a point/$ of 4.43. I had projected scores for Harden/Okobo at about 80 for a point/$ of 5.26. Booker/Russell scored 77.5 for a point/$ of 4.84. I had a projected score of about 88 for Booker/Russell for a point/$ of 5.50. You can reasonably state that you’d go with Booker/Russell if the $800 price difference doesn’t affect your lineup construction too much. The projected scores came in reasonably to what the actual result was. Now hindsight being 20/20, you would’ve done a lot better with a Booker/”(player-popup #kevin-huerter)Kevin Huerter”:/players/kevin-huerter-408969 combo at a total price of $13.5K and actual score of 108.9 (a very nice 8.07 point/$, a GPP winning combo!). That’s DFS for ya!

Today’s Slate

We have a large 10-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.

Detroit visits Boston with Boston favored by 9 with a 218 Vegas total. Kemba Walker stands out for the Celtics but he has struggled lately. His price is down to $6.7K on FD, $7.2K on DK. They’ll need Enes Kanter to step up against Drummond in the paint. Jayson Tatum is listed as questionable with a sore knee, so that’s news we’ll have to wait for. On the Detroit side, Andre Drummond price is down to $10.2K on FD and $9.4K on DK. The DK price is enticing but he has looked disinterested on the court in his past two games. In those games, it was Christian Wood that went off and his price is very reasonable across the industry. Wood is listed as questionable today so we’ll have to wait for news on him. I wouldn’t mind going back to Derrick Rose and Bruce Brown at their price points.

Brooklyn (on a B2B) visits Philadelphia with Philadelphia favored by 7 with a 218 Vegas total. Kyrie Irving played 32 minutes last night so hopefully we get the same amount of minutes tonight. They’ll need him against Philadelphia. I have more interest on the Philly side with Ben Simmons, Al Horford, Tobias Harris and Josh Richardson taking up most of the usage at reasonable price points across both sites.

San Antonio visits Miami with Miami favored by 5 with a 222 Vegas total. Jimmy Butler price has risen to $8.8K on FD, $8.6K on DK but I love his matchup on paper. This is the type of game where I think Miami needs Derrick Jones Jr. to step up, so I have some interest in him at $4.4K on both sites. San Antonio will rely on DeMar DeRozan and LaMarcus Aldridge to carry the load and keep San Antonio in the game, so they will be in my player pool.

Indiana visits Minnesota with Indiana favored by 2 with a 218.5 Vegas total. Karl Anthony-Towns and Domantas Sabonis are questionable for this game so a lot hinges on that news. If KAT is out, Gorgui Dieng will get another start and they’ll need him to match up against Myles Turner. Malcolm Brogdon price has risen quickly since coming back but he’s still $6.8K on FD, $6.7K on DK, so I’ll have some shares of him. Andrew Wiggins has a tough matchup against Indiana’s defense, but his price is reasonable.

Washington visits Chicago with Chicago favored by 4 with a 227 Vegas total. Chicago gets the “who faces Washington” matchup so Zach LaVine, Lauri Markkanen and Tomas Satoransky are in great spots. There are a number of players questionable for Chicago so watch for lineup updates. Washington begins with Bradley Beal as he gets most of the usage on this team. I would also take some shots with Davis Bertans who has looked good since his return from injury. Troy Brown price has dropped to $5.6K on FD, $6.1K on DK. His length might be necessary against the Bulls.

Toronto visits Oklahoma City with OKC favored by 2 with a 213.5 Vegas total. Toronto is starting to get healthy but will be without Fred VanVleet for another game. Marc Gasol is questionable so he would be a nice surprise if he comes back against Steven Adams and the Thunder. Pascal Siakam came back last game and played 30 minutes so I would expect a similar workload tonight. He’s $7.9K on FD, $7.8K on DK (a drop of $1.3K on DK) so I’ll have some interest in Siakam at that price point. Kyle Lowry is still playign monster minutes for the Raptors and as long as he is doing that and balling out, I’ll have some shares at his $8.4K FD, $8.2K DK price points. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander put up 60 fantasy points against Minnesota but I don’t see him having quite an easy path to that tonight. Steven Adams price point of $6.8K on FD, $6.7K on DK is reasonable considering he’s getting 29 minutes per game on average and he’s dominating on the glass for the Thunder. Chris Paul did well against the Raptors last time out with over 50 fantasy points and at $6.6K on DK, $7K on FD, I’ll have some interest. Danilo Gallinari and Dennis Schroder will be part of my player pool but not key core plays for me.

Charlotte visits Denver with Denver favored by 9 with a slate-low 210.5 Vegas total. Charlotte may have a hard time matching up with Nikola Jokic tonight. You can certainly roster Devonte Graham and Terry Rozier but I see a hard defensive-style matchup and it doesn’t match up with their strengths. Jamal Murray and Gary Harris are listed as questionable, so depending on that news, you can possibly go to more Will Barton or Monte Morris. But my favorite play is Jokic, no question.

Portland visits Houston (on a B2B) with Houston favored by 8 with a 236 Vegas total. Russell Westbrook is back for this one and he matches up well with Damian Lillard. Westbrook/Harden/Capela against Lillard/McCollum/Whiteside with a little bit of Carmelo Anthony in a “revenge narrative” scenario. This will be a fun game to watch and I will have all of those players sprinkled throughout my lineups.

Dallas (on a B2B) visits Sacramento with Dallas favored by 2 with a 221.5 Vegas total. Luka Doncic played 27 minutes last night against the Warriors so he should be rested and ready for his full compliment of minutes tonight. He has struggled in his past four games but it’s just that his shot hasn’t been falling as much as it has in the past. He’s a double-double machine with upside for a triple-double every time he steps on the court. He could do it against De’Aaron Fox and this Sacramento squad. Tim Hardaway is still at a reasonable price point at $4.9K on FD, $5.2K on DK but is a streaky player who can shoot up bricks at any time. On the Sacramento side, I would run back my lineups with a combination of Fox, Buddy Hield, Nemanja Bjelica, Harrison Barnes and Marvin Bagley III and hope that this game turns into a shootout. It certainly has that potential.

Orlando visits the LA Lakers in the late-night hammer game with LA favored by 9 with a 212.5 Vegas total. Nikola Vucevic has been killing it for the Magic and will need to do so against the Lakers if Orlando plans to win this game. D.J. Augustin is questionable for the Magic so I like Markelle Fultz at his price point. The matchup isn’t great but his price point reflects that at $5.7K on FD, $5.6K on DK. On the Lakers side, Anthony Davis is questionable with his back injury. If he’s out, I’ll go back to Kyle Kuzma even though he disappointed us last game. LeBron James will man the point once again with Rajon Rondo out and I’ll consider JaVale McGee and Dwight Howard in their roles against Vucevic. They’re not core plays for me but will include them in my player pool as they will be splitting the center minutes against Vuc.

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

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