The Gut Check for September 10, 2020: NBA and NFL Edition

Hope everyone enjoyed the double overtime game between the Celtics and Raptors 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 over the past year. I’ve played mostly NFL, NBA and MLB but have tried other sports like KBO, PGA, NASCAR and MMA (especially during the pandemic). 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! I find that this blog is a great way to start your day. 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 20 to 25-max contests like the $2.22 Pick ‘N Roll and the $1 And-One, and 150-max contests like the $0.25 Fadeaway or $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 NBA, you have to be able to adapt to breaking news in a quick fashion and lineup optimizers certainly help in that regard.

The blog will be used to look back at the previous slate, my player exposures, and where I and/or the public 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. If you’re a Twitter user like myself, feel free to look me up at @CpaCripps.

Yesterday’s Results

Last night, I played 25 lineups in the 150-max $3.33 Clutch Shot and maxed out the $2.22 Pick ‘N Roll on FanDuel. Total fees paid were $138.75. I ended up winning $27.00 total ($15.00 in the Clutch and $12.00 in the Pick ‘N Roll) for a loss of $111.75 for a negative ROI of 80.54%. On a two-game slate, if you don’t get a share of 1st place, chances are high that you lost money overall in GPPs (or in this case didn’t stack the Raptors/Celtics, you lost money big time). For those who are wondering, I do use a lineup optimizer for my lineup builds. I just find it easier to do my 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 (hence why I play more on FanDuel than DraftKings) but I can tell you that right now combined, my account balances are a little over $525.00. For the type of small stakes player that I am, there are a lot of highs and a lot of lows. 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. 2020 hasn’t been that bad overall as I’ve been able to withdraw more this year than any of my previous years playing DFS. Consistency has been the key for me.

Here’s a look at my top 5 player exposures from last night’s main slates:

For FD (spread out over 25 lineups):

Jerami Grant (100%)
Nikola Jokic (100%)
Lou Williams (96%)
Marcus Smart (96%)
OG Anunoby (72%)
23 players in my player pool for a 2-game slate

My best lineup on FD in the $3.33 Clutch Shot was for 20,060th out of 143,000 entries (ended up winning $5.00 in the Clutch with this lineup, $4.00 in the Pick ‘N Roll, cashing only 3 of my 25 lineups overall)

PG Kyle Lowry 59.6 (38.7% owned)
PG Lou Williams 20.7 (49.0% owned)
SG Fred VanVleet 52.3 (36.6% owned)
SG Marcus Smart 52.2 (58.5% owned)
SF OG Anunoby 29.1 (42.7% owned)
SF Jerami Grant 6.0 (46.7% owned)
PF Daniel Theis 32.4 (47.3% owned)
PF “(player-popup #michael-porter-jr)Michael Porter Jr 26.7 (38.7% owned)
C Nikola Jokic 48.2 (48.9% owned)

Total 327.2 (Winning Lineup was 387.9, cash line was 315.6)

A couple of notes to take away from the slate: As I mentioned in the intro, if you didn’t stack the Raptors/Celtics game, you would’ve had a hard time cashing. Kyle Lowry, Fred VanVleet, Marcus Smart, Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown all went for over 50 FPTS last night. The only player from the Clippers/Nuggets game that went off was Kawhi Leonard, who went for a slate-high 73.7 FD FPTS. My plan to have Nikola Jokic and Jerami Grant in 100% of my lineups failed miserably last night thanks mostly to Grant’s 6 FPT performance in his 34 minutes of action. Tomorrow night’s Game 7 between Toronto and Boston should be a great contest. Looking forward to it!

Today’s Slate

We do have a basketball game tonight starting at 7:00pm EST. I’ll give you some first thoughts, core and secondary plays as we try to unlock the keys to success.

LA Lakers vs Houston with LA favored by 5 with a 219.5 Vegas total. Danuel House Jr. has already been ruled out, so that helps Eric Gordon and Jeff Green for the most part. They should get 30-35 minutes each tonight as they try to even the series at 2 games apiece. P.J. Tucker was terrible in Game 4, so this may be the time to fire him up. Rajon Rondo is no longer sneaking up on anybody as he has been terrific in his three games back. Kyle Kuzma is a nice wild card piece to have in your lineup. His minutes aren’t secure but is a difference maker on the court when he takes the floor.

We also have a big NFL game tonight at 8:20 pm EST between the defending Super Bowl champions Kansas City Chiefs hosting the Houston Texans. The Vegas total is at 54 right now with the Chiefs favored by 9.5. The Chiefs are a dynamic offensive football team, so I’m expecting Patrick Mahomes to run and gun all night long. He has a new rookie running back in Clyde Edwards-Helaire who’s been a great pass catching back out of LSU and is a wild card in his first professional game. If he doesn’t pass protect well, you could see Darrel Williams in the game often (certainly a contrarian route to take). Deshaun Watson will have to play catch-up against the lightning quick Chiefs offense so I expect him to throw the ball a lot. It wouldn’t surprise me if he’s the No.1 scorer of the slate as he certainly has the ability to keep up with Mahomes. The true test will be Will Fuller as the No.1 receiver on this Houston squad. David Johnson is the new featured running back since Bill O’Brien traded his star receiver DeAndre Hopkins for him. He’s either a mad genius that sees Johnson’s full potential or just freaking crazy as a general manager/head coach. Time will tell but I expect Houston to try to get Johnson the ball early and often (either on the ground or through the air). I’ve got 15 tickets to the $1 million dollar game on FD so I expect to spread my exposure quite a bit. Don’t forget the $250K touchdown bonus for the first player to score a touchdown in the MVP slot gets to share that prize. Plan your scenarios wisely tonight. I’ll have very little defense in my showdown/single-game lineups. This should be fun to watch!

Those are my initial takes on the games tonight. Be aware of your bankroll, don’t risk more than you’re willing to lose. 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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