The Hazy Way - The $12,000 Mistake
Yesterday I decided I was going to go all out in the work I put in for the last NBA slate before the All-Star break. I did my normal research, put together my projections, and put in my entries. 250 each in the Swat and Shot, 50 each in the $1 and $2 Mega Slam satellites. One each in the $25, $10, and $5 buy in tournaments. 50 in the WFFBC qualifier and 20 each in all the $1 and $2 Mini’s. That’s a lot of button clicking (seriously FanDuel, how hard would it be to have an input box for number of entries you want to submit?). Also a lot of money – approximately $1,150 at risk.
Normally when I put in 100 entries into the Swat and Shot, I’ll do somewhere between 40-50 unique lineups and enter them 2-3 times apiece. For this slate I decided I was going to try and make 250 unique lineups and enter them each one time apiece in the Swat and Shot. So I went about using my Excel Spreadsheet and started plugging players in. I always start with the Center position because it’s the one position with the least flexibility. With 250 lineups, I decide how much exposure I want with each center. I went with 50 Cousins, 50 Jordan, 50 Vucevic as my projections had those three far and away the best of the night. I then went 10 each of 10 other centers (the 10 that had the best $/pt). From there I always go with PF and SF, usually sorting the spreadsheet by remaining salary available and working with that as I plug in players. I take a similar approach as I do with Center – knowing I have 500 total PF slots I need to fill, I figure out what exposure I want.
Tops of that list were Charlie Villaneuva (before Ellis was available, I had to go back and swap out a lot of him before tip off), Josh Smith, Dirk Nowitzki, Jared Sullinger, Jason Smith, and LaMarcus Aldridge so those five got 50 apiece and then I did 25 apiece of 10 other players. At SF, the top of the list was James Johnson (ugh), Trevor Ariza, Matt Barnes, Kevin Durant, and Kawhi Leonard. There are a few more options at SF and I like to hit more of them so I only went 40 apiece on those five and then had 15 players at 20 apiece to fill out my 500 total.
So now that I had five of my nine positions filled, I sort by salary remaining again and then plug in one PG and one SG on each lineup depending on how much salary is left. For teams with a lot of salary available, I’d put in someone like Chris Paul, Russell Westbrook, Steph Curry, Damian Lillard, or John Wall at PG or rotate to Harden/Evans at SG – I tended to lean towards PG on this slate though. For teams with mid-range salary available, I’d go towards Rubio, Knight, or Augustin. For teams with little salary, I’d go with players like Marcus Smart, George Hill, Jordan Clarkson, Barea, etc;. I’d do the same at SG. Then I’d have one PG and one SG left to fill in and would look at how much available salary I’d have left and try and fit in two players within that amount using highest projected value, rotating between 2-3 players if I could to have some variance.
Doing all that took some work and I finished about 2.5 hours before tip off. Time to enter lineups. I wish there was a way to export lineups from Excel into FanDuel because it takes about one minute per lineup to enter. First I did the top 10 projected lineups and entered those 5 times each into the Mega Swat satellites. I also entered those in every other tournament I was entering using the top lineup for the $25 tournament, the second lineup for the $10 lineup, etc; By the time I completed that first step it was about two hours away from roster lock. I did the next best 10 lineups and entered those in the remaining 10 mini tournament slots to complete those entries. Now I had to start the tedious process of entering 230 lineups into the Shot and Swat. I knew there was no way I was going to get all 230 done as that would be about four hours worth of clicking, so I planned on entering each lineup twice into both the Shot and Swat and would do the top 115 projected.
I ended up being a bit optimistic in my clicking projections and with 10 minutes left had to mass export some lineups (and I had forgotten about and ignored the WFBBC qualifier, so I had to scurry to fill those) right before tip off. I ended up having one lineup run about 20 times (including in the WFBBC qualifier lol) in both the Shot and Swat – of course that lineup would suck. Would have been sweet if it’d been a good one.
All in all the night was a profitable one, mainly thanks to the top 20 lineups I entered. I ended up winning an amazing 30 tickets to the Mega Slam – $750 value on $150 in entries. Also did really well in the Mini events. Had a 4th and 7th in Mini Shot #2 for $65, 2nd and 4th in Mini Shot #1 for $115, 10th and 14th in Mini Swat #2 for $25, 5th and 10th in Mini Swat #1 for $40. That was along with 4-5 other cashes in each of those events which with just 20 entries was a good result. The 250 entries in the full size Shot and Swat didn’t do as well. I only cashed 43 times in the Shot and 53 times in the Swat and lost about $250 on those entries. Total profit for the night was about $500.
Here’s the thing that hurts though. I went and tortured myself afterwards and looked at all the lineups that I didn’t have time to enter. One of them was:
PG George Hill
PG JJ Barea
SG JJ Redick
SG DeMar DeRozan
SF Kevin Durant
SF Matt Barnes
PF Josh Smith
PF Zach Randolph
C DeAndre Jordan
That lineup would have scored 344.7 points. That would have been good for 2nd in the Shot and $6,000. 1st in the Swat and $6,000.
Ugh. If only I would have started two hours earlier. If only…