The Single Bullet - Single Entry plays for tonight's NBA slate

The Single Bullet focuses on single entry tournaments on Fanduel including NBA, NFL, and MLB contests. My goal is to become a better DFS player and writer. Single entry tournaments strike me as the most interesting type of GPP because of the massive challenge of creating a perfect lineup for that given slate coupled with the game theory requisite with only making one lineup. Each day, my purpose will be to reflect on the previous single entry and then provide a few insights about the upcoming slate.

Welcome back everyone! I took a one-day hiatus because of a very busy Thursday and a very short slate. As mentioned in a previous post, I am currently stuck in a bit of a slump and thought last night’s 4-game slate was the perfect opportunity to take a night off and relax instead of stressing about how to differentiate my lineup. Hopefully, the break proves helpful and I can begin a nice run starting tonight.

Tonight’s Slate

We receive a particularly large slate to dig into today with 10 games. Luckily, the slate only includes one late night game and much of the NBA action will take place between 7 and 9:30 PM. Going forward, I am adopting a more rigid bankroll strategy and plan to limit tournament entries each evening and attempt to improve as a cash game player. For tonight, I will only enter a few tournament entries, all of which will be of the single entry format. That said; let’s utilize a studs and duds approach for this entry because stacking seems less likely given the large slate size.


1. Elfrid Payton – $6,500 – Chalk Elf screwed the world the other night in what proved to be a terrible performance. That said, his shooting percentage this month is 49%. I am going to consider this game a bit of an outlier and trust that with his massive sum of minutes Elf provides a ton of upside. You cannot receive a better defensive matchup in the NBA playing across from IT2. I expect Elf to bounce back tonight at a potential lower ownership. Caveat: Keep up on news to see if Evan Fournier and D. J. Augustin end up playing tonight. With tip-off at 7:30, information will be available to see if Elf remains a great play.

2. John Wall – $10,200 – Speaking of really good matchups for point guards, John Wall finds himself in a similar position against the Hawks. Dennis Schroder has a -2.70 DRPM rating. The Wizards are currently 3.5 point underdogs so I expect Wall to receive his full complement of minutes. While the price is very lofty, Wall has been a very consistent performer over the last couple of months. He has five consecutive games over 37 minutes and hung 44 plus Fanduel points on the Hawks in only 32 minutes in November.

3. Nicolas Batum – $7,100 – I am not sure if this is more of a cash game play versus a tournament play, but given his 7.1k price tag you can do worse than Nicolas Batum against the Knicks. The Hornets are 1-point favorites on the road and the Knicks are becoming more disastrous as each day passes. The Knicks are 30th in DVP against the position. Batum nearly triple doubled in the Garden in November and I like the upside at this price.

4. Lebron James – $10,800 – Notwithstanding any news closer to lock, Lebron is playing in the Coors Field of NBA matchups tonight against the Nets. The Nets are brutal against small forwards with a 30th ranked DVP, but equally dole out fantasy points to all positions at an alarming rate. Trevor Booker has just been ruled out. Be sure to keep an eye on the alerts later in case the Cavaliers decide to rest anyone tonight as well.

5. James Johnson – $5,600 – While the Heat attain the lowest implied total of the evening, the absence of Hassan Whiteside will benefit Johnson in a reasonable matchup against the Bulls. The Bulls are 17th in DVP versus the forward position. Johnson has a 23% usage without Whiteside in the lineup and could be a sneaky play this evening for tournaments.

6. Goran Dragic – $7,200 – See above about James Johnson with a better matchup. Dragic soaks up nearly 30% of the usage pie in Miami without Whiteside. If the Heat have any prayer of staying in this game, Dragic will have to get over 40 Fanduel points.


1. Anthony Davis – $10,300 – Assuming he plays, I will avoid the Brow against the Spurs. The pace is down for the Pelicans as well as the implied points. If Brow sits, I would still consider Terrence Jones a dud as well. The Spurs are strong against frontcourt players and I do not see a ton of upside in his $5,700 price tag. Typically, if Brow sits we plug in Jones and move on. Not tonight.

2. Carmelo Anthony – $8,000 – I already know what you are thinking. In November, Carmelo exploded against this team. Fair enough, but in the other few recent meetings Melo did not approach reaching value at this price. More importantly, at this price, we are looking for a 50 burger and I just cannot see that in this defensive matchup. He will contend with stingy MKG defense all night. With the rumor mill going crazy about Carmelo’s future I am going to pass and look for better value at the SF position tonight.

3. Brook Lopez – $7400 – In a previous entry I discussed my distaste for the role Brook Lopez plays in Brooklyn. Granted, he consistently produces for fantasy lineups each day. Yet, I find it very challenging to imagine a man of his stature with such paltry rebounding numbers. Venting aside, the matchup against the Cavaliers is one of the worst for big men. Even without Trevor Booker, I am going to avoid Brook and look elsewhere at center tonight.

4. Trevor Ariza – $5,200 – Do not let the status of Eric Gordon entice you tonight. Ariza, even at this price, never shows upside. In 5 of his last 6 games, Ariza has not eclipsed the 20 point Fanduel mark. I might instead pivot to Ariza’s teammate, Sam Dekker, who for a cheaper price has flashed upside as of late.

Those are just a few of my ideas for tonight’s NBA slate. I will get back to posting my lineup for tomorrow’s entry. I hope everyone has a good night. Please share the players you are targeting for your Single Bullet this evening!

About the Author

  • Joe Cistaro (joeycis)

  • Joe Cistaro has blogged on RotoGrinders since January 2017. He fell in love with daily fantasy sports after winning an NBA single-entry tournament on FanDuel in the fall of 2013. A small-time player, Joe enjoys writing about MLB and NBA DFS while connecting with the RotoGrinders community.


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