The Gut Check for September 9, 2020

Hope everyone enjoyed the dismantling of the Milwaukee Bucks 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 $86.84 total ($56.00 in the Clutch and $30.84 in the Pick ‘N Roll) for a loss of $51.91 for a negative ROI of 37.41%. 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. 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 $660.00. I managed a 3rd place finish last night in the 25-max $2.22 MLB Bean Ball contest as I’ve started to dabble back into the MLB season (nice little $300 win). I won’t go through my MLB results until the end of the NBA playoffs (unless you all really want me to). I stick to NBA just for time management purposes (it takes a while to do these blogs every day). 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):

Khris Middleton (100%)
Bam Adebayo (96%)
Eric Bledsoe (88%)
Jae Crowder (68%)
Kyle Kuzma (68%)
23 players in my player pool for a 2-game slate

My best lineup on FD in the $3.33 Clutch Shot was for 3,141st out of 143,000 entries (ended up winning $8.00 in the Clutch with this lineup, $8.00 in the Pick ‘N Roll, cashing 10 of my 25 lineups overall)

PG Rajon Rondo 36.9 (28.2% owned)
PG Eric Bledsoe 35.9 (65.5% owned)
SG Khris Middleton 37.4 (68.0% owned)
SG Tyler Herro 35.6 (20.1% owned)
SF LeBron James 64.9 (56.6% owned)
SF Jae Crowder 30.7 (58.2% owned)
PF Bam Adebayo 18.2 (66.5% owned)
PF Kyle Kuzma 23.6 (37.3% owned)
C Brook Lopez 34.8 (39.4% owned)

Total 318.0 (Winning Lineup was 352.3, cash line was 284.1)

A couple of notes to take away from the slate: There were a couple of lineup changes on FanDuel that caught my eye when I was building lineups. The biggest one was Anthony Davis moving to the center spot, but one that I should’ve noticed more closely was Wesley Matthews moving to small forward. SF was a weak position to begin with and the usual build of LeBron James and Jae Crowder was certainly in the majority of lineups. It was made even worse when Danuel House Jr. was ruled out after the Miami/Milwaukee game had already started. I had him in one lineup and couldn’t pivot to anyone else as I already had Eric Gordon in my other SF spot. Matthews managed 25.7 FPTS at only 10.6% ownership and a $3.9K price point. Anthony Davis did manage to get 52 FPTS at a weak center position but it wasn’t optimal at his price point ($11.4K). At $5.8K, Brook Lopez managed 34.8 FPTS to put him in the optimal lineup. It was certainly nice to see my boy P.J. Tucker come crashing back down to earth with his 7.8 FPTS in his 38 minutes of work. Nice going P.J. If you rostered Russell Westbrook, James Harden and LeBron James in your lineups, chances were good that you had a good night. They were the top 3 scorers of the night but you needed Wesley Matthews to make it all gel together. You would’ve had to punt the PF spots (i.e. not roster Bam Adebayo or Robert Covington) and switch off to Jeff Green and Kyle Kuzma to make it work but that was the recipe for success last night.

Today’s Slate

We have two games tonight starting at 6:30pm EST. I’ll go through game-by-game to try to unlock some fantasy goodness. I’ll give you some first thoughts, core and secondary plays as we try to unlock the keys to success.

Toronto vs Boston with Boston favored by 3.5 with a 210 Vegas total. Needless to say but Toronto needs to win this game to avoid losing the series. They were beaten pretty convincingly in Game 5 with it being pretty much over with by the end of the 1st quarter. I expect a better shooting night out of the Raptors as that was their downfall early. Serge Ibaka is questionable to play tonight with a foot injury. He was seen in a walking boot yesterday, so if he’s unable to go, that will mean more minutes for Marc Gasol and his backup Chris Boucher. Boston has been able to beat them inside whenever they want in the series so that will need to be tightened up if they want to get to Game 7. There’s really no surprises out of both teams as their starters get big minutes when the game is competitive. Brad Wanamaker got extended run in the Game 5 blowout, playing 28 minutes. I don’t believe that Game 6 will be a blowout but if you believe that it will be, Wanamaker would be a guy to have in a low ownership spot.

The late-night hammer is Game 4 between the Denver Nuggets and LA Clippers with the Clippers favored by 8 with a 220.5 Vegas total. Nikola Jokic has played very well over the past two games playing 37 and 39 minutes respectively over that span. Paul George and Kawhi Leonard are on the top of their games as they look to extend their series lead to 3-1. Jamal Murray and Jokic will need a lot of help from Gary Harris, Jerami Grant and Michael Porter Jr. to make this a series, but we could also see Murray and/or Jokic get hot like the last series. Porter Jr. is a lot better off the bench, so hopefully Mike Malone keeps him with the second unit. LA has a deep bench though with Lou Williams and Montrezl Harrell leading the way for the second unit. If LA jumps out to a big lead early, I wouldn’t expect Denver to be able to keep up.

Those are my initial takes on the games. 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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