The Gut Check for January 23, 2020
Hope everyone enjoyed a fun-filled breaking news type of day yesterday, 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 played the 17 lineups that I won tickets on in the $9 Legendary Shot on FanDuel. I was basically playing with free money but I continued my strategy of putting these lineups in the $2 100-man (top 12 paid) contests and in the $0.50 satellites for the Big Game Bowl (20 tickets out of 428 entries). I also maxed out the 20-max $1 And One on DK. Total fees paid across both sites $68.00 ($48.00 on FD and $20.00 on DK, not including the 17 “free” tickets). I won $109.41 total for a profit of $41.41 (60.90% ROI) ($76.00 won on FD and $33.41 won on DK). I also ended up winning two tickets to the Big Game Bowl, so an extra $18.00 in entries for the Super Bowl (bringing my total tickets up to 5 for the Big Game). I must say that I’ve had a pretty good month overall where I haven’t had to redeposit to either site since January 2nd, so I’m doing well as far as bankroll management goes. That’s a great New Years’ Resolution to have and we should all strive for. Here’s a look at my top 5 player exposures:
My best lineup on FD in the $9.00 Legendary Shot was 1,599th out of 79,365 entries (ended up winning $22.00, but only cashed 3 out of my 17 lineups)
PG Kemba Walker 29.6 (35.1% owned)
PG Goran Dragic 43.2 (2.4% owned)
SG Lou Williams 32.7 (61.8% owned)
SG Donovan Mitchell 34.3 (35.6% owned)
SF Pascal Siakam 41.5 (9.6% owned)
SF Tobias Harris 43.2 (21.4% owned)
PF Domantas Sabonis 47.6 (4.3% owned)
PF Jayson Tatum 45.4 (28.6% owned)
C Montrezl Harrell 46.4 (41.8% owned)
Total 363.9 (Winning Lineup was 418.2, cash line was 322.8)
My best lineup on DK in the $1 And One was 1,202nd out of 59,453 entries (ended up winning $5.00, but did cash 9 of my 20 lineups)
PG Jeff Teague 18.75 (43.8% owned)
SG Lou Williams 34.5 (50.8% owned)
SF Will Barton 26.75 (6.7% owned)
PF Christian Wood 28.75 (26.5% owned)
C Dewayne Dedmon 30.0 (11.0% owned)
G Russell Westbrook 69.0 (7.5% owned)
F John Collins 67.0 (20.8% owned)
UTIL Montrezl Harrell 44.75 (28.6% owned)
Total 319.5 (Winning Lineup was 375.25, cash line was 282.25)
A couple of notes to take away from all this: It was obvious as the day went on and news started to trickle in that Lou Williams and Montrezl Harrell were going to be highly owned. As more news broke closer to lock and value started to open up at various positions (Christian Wood, Jeff Teague, Dewayne Dedmon among others), I started to shift my focus more on Karl Anthony-Towns as a direct pivot off of Harrell. It certainly was tougher to do because of their salaries and I thought that maybe Harrell was going to struggle moreso than what I was expecting. Come to find out, I was wrong in that assumption and it cost me on FD in particular, where I had 14 lineups of KAT and 3 lineups of Harrell (2 out of the 3 Harrell lineups cashed). giantsquid won the $9 Legendary Shot with a 418.2 score and a 4.8% owned Markieff Morris and a surprisingly low-owned LaMarcus Aldridge at 5.5% ownership. giantsquid is one of those pros who I admire and we can all learn a little bit from. Gobluedp won the $1 And One on DK with a 2.5% owned Reggie Jackson and another surprising low-owned pivot in Russell Westbrook at 7.5% ownership.
We have a small 3-game slate tonight. In these smaller slates, there will be a lot of overlap at the top, so I would manage your bankroll wisely. I’ll go game-by-game to see if we can unlock some fantasy goodness.
Washington (on a B2B) visits Cleveland with Cleveland favored by 1 with a slate-high 232 Vegas total. I would certainly look at Kevin Love, Collin Sexton and Tristan Thompson first and foremost as they are getting over 30+ minutes a game in recent games. Washington is lead by Bradley Beal who has come alive the past two games, so this should be a competitive affair between two basement-dwelling teams. I wouldn’t mind taking a flier on Ian Mahinmi or Davis Bertans whose minutes are trending upward.
The LA Lakers (on a B2B) visit Brooklyn with LA favored by 5 with a 227 Vegas total. Kyrie Irving is probable to play against his old teammate LeBron James. DeAndre Jordan is considered questionable so if he is out, that brings Jarrett Allen in play at a $5.7K on FD, $5.9K on DK price point. Irving’s status is important because it also impacts Spencer Dinwiddie and Caris LeVert. There’s no word yet on whether Anthony Davis will sit out on the back end of a back-to-back. I wouldn’t imagine that LeBron will be sitting but I like both in this matchup. If I had to pick one of the two, I’d lean more towards Anthony Davis because of the extra peripheral stats he could get against Brooklyn’s frontcourt. The center rotation for the Lakers continues to be Dwight Howard and JaVale McGee. Howard played 27 minutes while JaVale played 17 minutes last night, so if I was to guess, I would think that JaVale gets more run tonight barring foul trouble.
The late-night hammer pits Dallas visiting Portland with Dallas favored by 2 with a 229.5 Vegas total. Luka Doncic against Damian Lillard. I don’t think you could go wrong with either as they both have huge ceilings. I don’t imagine Lillard having another 61 point game so if I had to choose, it would be Luka with his triple-double upside. Hassan Whiteside should have a good game regardless of who starts at center. It could be Boban Marjanovic but I don’t see him getting more than 15 minutes regardless. He’s priced up too after his game against the Clippers ($5.0K on FD, $3.9K on DK), but Dallas really doesn’t have a lot of big bodies to handle Whiteside. Kristaps Porzingis will get some center minutes as will Maxi Kleber, so there will be a rotation of players throughout Dallas’ frontcourt but Whiteside should be able to grab all the rebounds (offensive and defensive) in this matchup. I can see a 20-20 game from him tonight.
Those are my initial takes on the slate. Best of luck tonight Grinders. Let’s win that DFS money!!!!