The Gut Check for January 20, 2020
Hope everyone enjoyed their NFL and NBA Sunday fix, 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.
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.
I had only 10 lineups in the $2.22 Pick ‘N Roll on FD and maxed out the $1 20-entry And One on DK. Total fees paid across both sites $42.20 ($22.20 on FD and $20.00 on DK). I won $37.40 for a loss of $4.80 (-11.37% ROI) ($20.40 won on FD and $17.00 won on DK). For the 2-game main slate, here’s a look at my top 5 player exposures:
My best lineup on FD in the $2.22 Pick ‘N Roll was 114th out of 2,145 entries (ended up winning $6.00, but only cashed that lineup along with a league victory out of 10 lineups)
PG Kendrick Nunn 31.6 (48.4% owned)
PG Derrick White 29.8 (7.7% owned)
SG Jimmy Butler 37.0 (70.5% owned)
SG DeMar DeRozan 45.3 (72.7% owned)
SF Will Barton 32.9 (80.5% owned)
SF T.J. Warren 30.1 (69.0% owned)
PF Bam Adebayo 53.2 (54.1% owned)
PF LaMarcus Aldridge 37.3 (51.5% owned)
C Mason Plumlee 20.4 (17.9% owned)
Total 317.6 (Winning Lineup was 337.3, cash line was 305.7)
My best lineup on DK in the $1 And One was 413th out of 23,781 entries (ended up winning $5.00, but only cashed 6 of my 20 lineups)
PG Patty Mills 30.25 (29.5% owned)
SG Derrick White 29.0 (13.0% owned)
SF Duncan Robinson 23.75 (25.2% owned)
PF LaMarcus Aldridge 36.5 (55.4% owned)
C Domantas Sabonis 58.25 (63.2% owned)
G Goran Dragic 27.75 (32.3% owned)
F Jimmy Butler 35.25 (61.8% owned)
UTIL Nikola Jokic 56.5 (39.8% owned)
Total 297.25 (Winning Lineup was 321.5, cash line was 269.5)
A couple of notes to take away from all this: I never risk too much of my bankroll on a 2-game slate because a lot of it comes down to how often can you get the nuts to be profitable. In yesterday’s blog, I mentioned that it becomes -EV the more lineups you put in a 2-game slate trying to get that winning lineup. With 10 out of a possible 25 lineups in the Pick ‘N Roll, I wasn’t risking a whole lot but was also able to make a stand. That stand was fading Nikola Jokic and locking in Mason Plumlee as a potential lower-owned pivot. I also locked in DeMar DeRozan and Jimmy Butler as my SGs and Bam Adebayo and LaMarcus Aldridge as my PFs in all 10 lineups. My strategy seemed to work well into the 2nd quarter of the Indiana/Denver game in which I had 1st place with Plumlee on the floor and Jokic on the bench. If Jokic struggled, I stood to have a good day. I had four other lineups within 2 points of the cash line so I wasn’t too far off of a good day. Low-owned pivots even sometimes work out on a 2-game slate as Doug McDermott came in with 29.4 FD FPTS at 7.6% ownership, 32.5 DK FPTS at 9.4% ownership. He was in the winning lineup in both GPPs I was in with no split at the top of the leaderboard.
We have a full slate of games split up quite a bit on DK and on FD for MLK Day. I’ll try to comment game-by-game just to see if we can uncover some fantasy goodness.
Detroit at Washington for a 2pm EST start, Washington favored by 1 with a 233 Vegas total. Bradley Beal has been losing minutes over his past few games and his price has steadily declined to $7.3K on both sites. This looks to be a relatively high scoring game so Washington will need him if they plan on beating the Pistons. Andre Drummond should be able to feast on the Washington bigs ($10.2K on FD, $9.6K on DK). I would also like to think that Detroit will need Christian Wood and Svi Mykhailiuk to have good games off the bench to keep this game competitive.
Toronto visits Atlanta with Toronto favored by 8 with a 230.5 Vegas total. Toronto appears to be at full strength now and it’ll be interesting to see if Nick Nurse takes some of the minute restrictions off of Pascal Siakam and Fred VanVleet. At their price points in the low $7K range, I’ll have some shares of both players against Atlanta. Toronto will do their best to keep Trae Young at bay, so I can see Kevin Huerter, De’Andre Hunter or Cam Reddish needing to step up and shoot the ball well to keep Atlanta in the game. Alex Len is expected to miss this game so Marc Gasol and Serge Ibaka shouldn’t have a tough time in the paint against Damian Jones and John Collins.
Philadelphia visits Brooklyn with Brooklyn favored by 1 with a 218 Vegas total. These two teams met just 5 days ago with Philadelphia winning 117-106 in Philadelphia. I would imagine the blueprint to be the same in this one with over 30+ minutes for Kyrie Irving, Spencer Dinwiddie, Jarrett Allen and Taurean Prince. Philadelphia will have their main 4 guys getting 30+ minutes (Ben Simmons who had 41 minutes against Brooklyn, Al Horford, Tobias Harris & Josh Richardson). Tobias has struggled in the two games since the Brooklyn matchup but he did go off for 34 real-life points against them ($6.6K on FD which is too cheap, $7.6K on DK).
The FD main slate starts at 5pm EST tonight with 11 games on the slate and it starts with Orlando visiting Charlotte with Orlando favored by 4 with a slate-low 207.5 Vegas total. Devonte Graham looks to be a solid option at $6.8K on FD, $7.1K on DK. He can take over a game like no other so I’ll have some shares of him. Orlando plays at a slow pace, similar to Charlotte but my primary focus on the Orlando side would be Nikola Vucevic ($8.5K on FD, $8.4K on DK). He’s struggled the past three games but can certainly put up the peripheral stats against Charlotte’s big men who should have a hard time containing him. I do like Evan Fournier, Aaron Gordon and Markelle Fultz at their mid $5K price points as nice value plays.
NY Knicks visit Cleveland with Cleveland favored by 1 with a 221.5 Vegas total. The battle of the basement dwellers, this game doesn’t look good on paper but for DFS purposes, there might be a gem or two to uncover. Reggie Bullock played 41 minutes in place of RJ Barrett so I’m intrigued at his $4K FD, $4.4K DK price point. Julius Randle, Marcus Morris, Elfrid Payton and Mitchell Robinson tend to log big minutes for the Knicks and close out games. Cleveland will need Kevin Love and Tristan Thompson to match up with Randle and Robinson. Collin Sexton has played very well his past three games and at $5.8K on FD, $6.1K on DK, I’ll have some shares.
Sacramento visits Miami (on a B2B) with Miami favored by 5 with a 222.5 Vegas total. Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo are in the high $8K-low $9K range and should do well against Sacramento but that’s alot to pay for these two. De’Aaron Fox could have a good game against Miami but it looks to be more of a floor game as Miami is solid defensively. You can certainly look to some of the mid-range pieces of this game, like Kendrick Nunn, Goran Dragic, Duncan Robinson, Buddy Hield, Nemanja Bjelica and Marvin Bagley III, for some much-needed value plays.
Oklahoma City visits Houston with Houston favored by 6 with a 229 Vegas total. Chris Paul ($6.8K on FD, $7.1K on DK) makes his return to Houston (if you believe in revenge narratives). These two teams met not even two weeks ago in Russell Westbrook revenge narrative in Oklahoma City. OKC won 113-92, so I can see Houston exacting some revenge in this spot. James Harden struggled in this spot last time out but is always in play. Russell Westbrook has played over 40 minutes the past two games and has been rounding into form. He’s still reasonably priced at $9.5K on FD, $9.8K on DK and has triple-double upside every time he’s on the court. On the OKC side, Steven Adams is priced at $6.0K on FD, $6.5K on DK. That seems to be a misprint but despite his struggles, I’ll be going there with him. If he gets close to 30 minutes and this game stays close, he should crush that price tag. Watch the injury reports and beat reporters from OKC, this could be another night to get Nerlens Noel in your lineup if Adams is somewhat limited.
New Orleans visits Memphis with Memphis favored by 2 with a slate-high 237 Vegas total. I love Jonas Valanciunas in this matchup at $6.5K on FD, $7.1K on DK. There is no big man on New Orleans that can contain him. You can also go to Jaren Jackson Jr. as option 1A for Memphis. For New Orlenas to keep this game close, Lonzo Ball and Brandon Ingram would be my two main plays. Ball is still underpriced at $6.7K on FD, $7K on DK. Jrue Holiday is questionable for this game so if he starts, I’ll have less interest in Ball. And we’re only two days away from Zion Williamson debut.
Chicago visits Milwaukee with the Bucks favored by 14 with a 225.5 Vegas total. If Chicago is to have a shot, Zach LaVine will have to have another great performance. He’s $8.7K on both sites so I’d be willing to take some GPP shots at him hoping for a miracle. Milwaukee has such a talented team that this game could be over with early. I hate predicting blowouts but Milwaukee has just been so good at blowouts this season that it has to be on the radar every game they play. For that reason, Giannis Antetokounmpo is off my radar (strictly based on price for me) but I may go with Khris Middleton and Eric Bledsoe in their complimentary roles.
The DK main slate tonight begins with the 7:30 pm EST game with the LA Lakers visiting Boston with Boston favored by 1 with a 222 Vegas total. Anthony Davis hasn’t practiced yet since the back bruise injury so I doubt he plays tonight in Boston. Kyle Kuzma should get another start and at $4.8K on FD ($6.3K on DK, less prohibitive there), I’ll have some interest. This is LeBron James team and they’ll need him to carry the load against a good Boston squad. JaVale McGee and Dwight Howard continue to share the center minutes and both have done well for LA. Kemba Walker and Jaylen Brown are both listed as questionable to play, and that news is important to us. Depending on the result, that could bring Gordon Hayward, Marcus Smart and Jayson Tatum as more focal plays for this slate.
Denver (on a B2B) visits Minnesota with Minnesota favored by 2 with a 219 Vegas total. This is a tough defensive matchup for Minnesota as Karl Anthony-Towns is working his way back from injury. He now gets Nikola Jokic, one of the best big man passers in the league. Andrew Wiggins and Robert Covington will have a hard time against this defense but if they get hot, Minnesota will have a shot at winning this game. As long as Jamal Murray is out, I’ll look to Will Barton who has taken over a lot of the point guard duties for Denver. I like Michael Porter Jr. price on FD at $5.3K compared to his $6.5K price tag on DK, so I’ll have some interest on FD for him.
San Antonio (on a B2B) visits Phoenix with Phoenix favored by 4 with a 228 Vegas total. DeMar DeRozan against Devin Booker. Two prime-time shooting guards going head-to-head. I’ll certainly have some shares of the big names here (DeRozan, Booker, Aldridge, Ayton), but I will also take some shots at Kelly Oubre Jr. if he plays. He’s underpriced at $7.2K on FD, $7.1K on DK and he’s worth a GPP flier at that price despite coming back from injury.
Indiana (on a B2B) visits Utah with Utah favored by 7 with a 217 Vegas total. This looks to be a defensive battle as I won’t have much interest. Donovan Mitchell price continues to drop now down to $6.5K on FD, $7.3K on DK but the matchup isn’t great. I like Domantas Sabonis price on DK at $7.9K ($9.1K on FD is a little prohibitive) and Malcolm Brogdon price on DK at $7.2K and on FD at $6.8K. T.J. Warren seems underpriced at $5.8K on FD, $6.2K on DK but he’s a streaky player that can go through cold spells. The matchup could be tough for him.
The final game pits Golden State visiting Portland with Portland favored by 7 with a 219 Vegas total. Hassan Whiteside is really underpriced on DK at $7.5K ($9.0K on FD which is about right to me). Whiteside should dominate the Warriors as he has double-double upside in this matchup. C.J. McCollum will not play in this game so it’s the Damian Lillard show once again. I’ll also take some shots with Anfernee Simons and Gary Trent Jr. as they soak up most of C.J.‘s minutes. On the Golden State side, D’Angelo Russell has been doing his best to keep Golden State in some games. They’ll need him again if Golden State plans to win this one. Draymond Green, Alec Burks and Damion Lee are all viable mid-range plays for the Warriors.
Those are my initial takes on the slate. Happy MLK Day everyone and good luck tonight Grinders. Let’s win that DFS money!!!!