The Single Bullet - The Luck of the Irish? Narrative Street Blog

The Single Bullet focuses on the strategy, game theory, and construction of single entry lineups for all sports on Fanduel. Winning a single entry GPP requires the construction of the perfect lineup for the given slate. The quest to design this perfect “Single Bullet” requires thought about prices, statistical trends, opponent strategies, and obviously requires a lot a bit of luck. My purpose for this blog is to reflect on past lineups as well as consider bigger questions about future slates when it comes to single entry tournaments. Hopefully, through this reflection and discussion with other RG members, I as well as everyone else can improve our Single Entry play. My Twitter account is @MrJCis, if you would like to leave me feedback or talk DFS.

Hello, hello, hello! Happy St. Patrick’s Day to all of my fellow grinders. This year, St. Patrick’s Day acts as a reminder that my youth has come and passed. I remember previous years where St. Patty’s Day meant going out with friends, sweating my bracket, and drinking green beers. This year, St. Patrick’s Day meant handcrafting a “leprechaun trap” with my stepson as our grammar schools continue to perpetuate nonsensical myths to our youth. Times change… Luckily there is basketball tonight to enjoy as I ponder various explanations for a little green dude dancing around my house when the little guy is asleep. We will start with yesterday’s Single Bullet and then move onto our “Under the Radar” section that might house a few St. Patty’s narratives.

Last Night’s Bullet

Lately, I begin my day entering various tournaments that interest me with my “Single Bullet” entry. Consequently, everyday the slates provide so many options, news, and pivots that I become overwhelmed and cancel a ton of entries to limit the potential damage if something breaks. That strategy makes each slate a little more comfortable and reduces the pressure I feel during lineup construction. Further, the reduced pressure has recently made me more willing to take chances, take stands, and trust my own instincts. Bankroll management is clearly the key to liberating my imagination lately; recent results would dictate the increased imagination is helping my profitability.

Last night, I spent all day attempting to fit Russell Westbrook in because he is Russell Westbrook. For me, Westbrook is becoming nearly impossible to fade, especially on a limited slate. Unfortunately, with all of the value available to us last night, Russell Westbrook meant leaving money on the table! I could not find a lineup I was comfortable with given all of the present value. So instead, I used my imagination and moved off Russ and stacked up two games with high totals.

Carmelo was a lock for me yesterday. If you read my blog regularly you would understand the disgust I felt as I made that statement. As I wrestle with the incoming urge to vomit, consider the spot against against the Nets, the Knicks’ futility on defense, and the lack of Porzingis on the floor; I needed to make Melo happen. Further, which seemed to not be a popular idea earlier in the day, I wanted to fit Jeremy Lin into this game because of the frenetic pace, his recent shot attempts, and oh yeah, the Knicks’ futility on defense. Lin has recently seen an uptick in minutes and has been taking a ton of shots. He has not been shy around the arc either. I imagined many of those shots would be open looks against the hapless Knicks.

Afterwards, my construction ended up leading me down a path where all of my preferred plays came from the two games. The puzzle just came together. Chris Paul was my under the radar play of the day when I considered the other options at point guard and the other present studs to soak up salary (RWB, Jokic, and Lebron). Speights and Hernangomez were super chalky, but fit the build. Finally, my Denver players were in a supreme spot and the ownership percentages meant little to me.

As I concluded developing my lineup, I realized that nothing I selected was very contrarian. That said, I decided to limit my volume to the entry posted above and 4 entries in the “Enormous” Shot. I was relatively content to cash in each entry and boost my ROI; never considering there was a chance I could contend for a tournament victory. After reflection, I could have been different by moving down to Kyle O’Quinn from Willy for some extra salary to move up elsewhere. However to be fair, that take seems very results oriented, as Hernangomez could not avoid foul trouble last night. That said, it feels good to continue profiting but I am anxious to have a big night. Let’s move onto “Under the Radar” and hope to uncover the jewel that could win a GPP tonight.

Today’s Slate

Tonight’s slate seems like a stars and scrubs type of night as we are again presented with a ton of value. The Boston Celtics provide a variety of value options against the hapless Nets. Further, Tyler Ullis will be everyone’s shiny new toy tonight as Eric Bledsoe is out for the season. While I cannot avoid popular plays that are in incredible spots, I do want to look elsewhere in some of the chalkiest spots to find some leverage against the field.

Under the Radar

1. Elfrid Payton – $7200 – He’s baaaaaaaaack! If you read my blog, you know I have an Elf on the Shelf problem. No, not the stupid Elf I have to hide throughout December. I love Christmas Day! No! Not because of the presents! Because I get to put that little bastard in a box until the following year. Oh yeah, Elfrid Payton. The Suns are a joke, but the Magic are equally jokey. Is that a word? Who cares? Play Elf!

2. Jaylen Brown – $3700 – Here is a situation I will monitor all day. I want to know who the chalkiest of the Boston options will be. I don’t need to recite the Nets defensive statistics. If you are reading this, then you play DFS daily and know how bad said statistics are. However, Fanduel wisely raised the price of Avery Bradley and Marcus Smart. Also, both play the same position as ABC and James Harden. Considering I might be high on both of those options, I like punting at small forward instead. Jaylen Brown might be “slightly” overlooked today, but he has shown upside when given a healthy portion of minutes. The Nets are a great matchup for Brown. St. Patty’s narrative?

3. Kelly Olynyk – $3800 – Please read the above blurb about Jaylen Brown. Did you read it? Okay. Everything above applies to Kelly including the St. Patty’s narrative. However, center might be a popular spot to spend up tonight given Boogie against the Rockets and Whiteside against the Wolves. Further, Al Horford just produced a monster performance and gets the Nets. If this game gets out of hand, Kelly might get a lot of run and might not need it with this tiny price tag. I think Olynk might be an option we can use tonight to differentiate from the other value plays.

4. Ryan Anderson – $4600 – That price… Anderson is so cheap when you consider the upside he has shown this year. I am not crazy about him matching up against the Brow; but I do like pairing him with Harden as a potential low owned option against his old team. Anderson is a much better shooter from long range on the road. Where better than his old confines? Make this pick if you are willing to take on a ton of risk. His range of outcomes is very wide. He can break 30 Fanduel points or fall below ten.

5. Markieff Morris – $6100 – Power forward seems to be a good place to find cheap value options tonight. Further, we have a couple high price items we could consider buying at this position as well. That said, Markieff Morris feels like a player that could go overlooked. We know that Markieff has a great deal of upside. When John Wall might be laboring, Markieff might get some extra work offensively. He draws a fair matchup against the Bulls and could be a player nobody bothers to roster tonight.

The Boston Celtics will likely be the puzzle I attempt to solve all day long. A lot rides on the Nets situation, the starting lineups, and who becomes popular as the daily touting takes place. Due to the various chalk options such as Boston players, Tyler Ullis, and others, my approach to this slate might be the same as the last few. I might load up a handful of entries into the big field, small dollar GPPs hoping to pass a ton of dead lineups.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day to all! Good luck everyone. Please leave me any comments or feedback so we can keep this discussion going up until lock time.

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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