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  • txdave41

    I am now into my 3rd year of NBA DFS and I just can’t figure out how to work short slates. I lose them almost every time which is baffling since I am picking the same players going off as everyone else. No matter how high my score kept rising, the cash line kept going up. Seems like if I don’t get in that cash line at the beginning then it’s not going to happen. Why am I always coming up short no matter who I pick?

    I did some digging today and noticed something interesting. It appears that Lebron James sunk my lineup. Here was my best lineup last night that won me a pathetic $2.50

    Lowry – 54.5
    Johnson – 15.4
    Wade – 37.5
    Clarkson – 30.3
    James – 56.8
    Butler – 44.9
    Williams – 9.7
    Gibson – 27.2
    Lopez – 50.5

    326.8 total

    Despite having 30% of my lineup crush value with 50+ score, my lineup was sunk by Johnson and Williams. Using the 5X rule, Williams came up 15.3 pts short and Johnson 9.1. That’s about a 25 pt deficient that I needed to make up elsewhere. Lopez, Lowry and James definitely helped erase that deficient which is why I got over 300, but on a short slate, that’s not enough. Thousands of people were scoring 350-400. I still can’t figure out why their score so easily goes up there and I’m having to fight tooth and nail to just get over 300.

    So I tried a lineup with no punts. I knew Marvin and Johnson were pontentially the weak spots going in and sure enough, they burned me bad. So I tried the same lineup without James this time. Now I could afford to pay up for D’angelo Russell and Julius Randle. Now my lineup would have looked like this:

    Lowry 54.5
    Russell 50.6
    Wade 37.5
    Clarkson 30.3
    Butler 44.9
    Wiggins 35.9
    Randle 45.8
    Gibson 27.2
    Lopez 50.5

    377.20 total!

    Much higher total and I could have gone in feeling safer with Randle and Russell. I had James in every lineup and I think he was the main reason I lost. Of course, Russell almost never scores that high so maybe it’s just a fluke. Also James was 50% or higher owned in my GPP so how did so much of the competition still manage to score in the high 300s? I looked at several of their lineups and saw one thing in common. They simply got lucky with their punt. Most went with Bojan or Frank. Pure luck. Bojan almost never scores that high. Marvin Williams could have easily been the one to get the 30+ score, not Frank. Simply rotten luck on my part.

    However, if I had avoided James, I would not even had to play the wack a mole game with punts. Does safe and balanced approach seem to work better for small slates or is it really just a night by night approach?

  • Dooks

    If you look at the results from GPPs every night, you’ll often see that the top score is a team who uses a more balanced approach and avoids the high $$ players.

  • DomTwan

    I suffer from contrarian’s disease

  • hungry4wins

    I think the problem is you’re trying to build your lineup from expensive players as your core. I don’t know about the others, but I find it extremely challenging to build from the top to the bottom. There just aren’t that many good punts in the 3000-4500 range to be the fillers around the expensive core players. Instead, you should find 3-4 in the mid-range salary (4500-6500) that you really like and build on them. Also, your core players should not totally be scoring-dependent. Find guys that can both score and dish out assists or grab rebounds in the paint. Guys that are multi-dimensional are less likely to bust your lineups.

  • lineupofpeace

    Instead of being results oriented, ask yourself if there’s a logical reason why it may benefit you to fade studs on a short slate.

    You’re using 1 slate (a tiny sample size) to draw a pretty drastic conclusion, and that’s usually not a winning strategy.

    Every night comes down to lineup construction – if there are obvious value plays and studs in good spots, it’s probably suicide to fade the studs since they’ll be incredibly highly owned on a short slate. If there’s not much value, maybe it’s worth fading. But you can’t say that definitively fading studs on a short slate is a good strategy every time.

  • CJtheGrump

    It hurts more when the stud in a good spot doesn’t come close to value. It’s a bit of a red herring, as I find my poorly performing lineups have other picks that were horrendous. Still….. the stud could go off for 70 or 80 points, but many times just gets you 45 or 50. Well I can do that with a midranger, and it happens more often.

  • crazypaul

    I’ve been doing research the last few nights on this very theory. Of course, some nights a stud is going to go bonkers and win everything, however look at it this way (I’ll use FD pricing).

    Scenario A:
    Stud Player costs $11.5K
    Punt player costs $4.5K

    Scenario B:
    Great Player costs $8.0K
    Good Player costs $7.0K

    If you’re overall GPP goal is to get an average of 40 FTPS a position (360 total), you would need 80 FTPS from each scenario. Which is more likely to happen? Scenario A (Stud going for 60 & Punt going for 20) or Scenario B (Great going for 45 & Good going for 35)? Most of the time, Scenario B is going to happen more often, however most people will chase Scenario A in hopes that duo can pay off 100+ FTPS. At least thats how Ive seen it go so far this season.

    Now I have noticed that using Scenario A 1 time in your lineup works much more often than forcing it twice into your lineup. The likelihood of 2 studs & 2 punts both going off are significantly low (take last night into consideration). This season more than any I can remember in the past has seen more punts fail and more studs under-produce in good situations.

  • txdave41

    @CJtheGrump said...

    It hurts more when the stud in a good spot doesn’t come close to value. It’s a bit of a red herring, as I find my poorly performing lineups have other picks that were horrendous. Still….. the stud could go off for 70 or 80 points, but many times just gets you 45 or 50. Well I can do that with a midranger, and it happens more often

    I find that when a stud goes off like that, the majority owns him and it just runs the cash line up so I’m probably going to lose that night anyways. It ends up hurting everyone even if you have the guy on the team. I did another test on last night’s results, and you could have scored over 400 using all guys no higher than 8K! Harden definitely wasn’t worth the risk I took to pay him off.

  • txdave41

    @crazypaul said...

    I’ve been doing research the last few nights on this very theory. Of course, some nights a stud is going to go bonkers and win everything, however look at it this way (I’ll use FD pricing).

    Scenario A:
    Stud Player costs $11.5K
    Punt player costs $4.5K

    Scenario B:
    Great Player costs $8.0K
    Good Player costs $7.0K

    If you’re overall GPP goal is to get an average of 40 FTPS a position (360 total), you would need 80 FTPS from each scenario. Which is more likely to happen? Scenario A (Stud going for 60 & Punt going for 20) or Scenario B (Great going for 45 & Good going for 35)? Most of the time, Scenario B is going to happen more often, however most people will chase Scenario A in hopes that duo can pay off 100+ FTPS. At least thats how Ive seen it go so far this season.

    Now I have noticed that using Scenario A 1 time in your lineup works much more often than forcing it twice into your lineup. The likelihood of 2 studs & 2 punts both going off are significantly low (take last night into consideration). This season more than any I can remember in the past has seen more punts fail and more studs under-produce in good situations.

    Really good points there. I agree! Appreciate everyone taking time to respond and give their thoughts. Great advice, all!

  • digglahhh

    A few thoughts in favor of balance:

    1. Using the stud is sort of self-regulating because their ownership is often so high in short slates — people figure, who is is there on whom to spend the money? Therefore, the stud becomes less of a factor in your placing (at large) because so many people have that same performance that it all falls on which paired punt(s) perform better. So, even if the studs do perform, you’re relegated to a battle of punts. If the studs don’t perform, you’re probably behind the balanced line-ups in two ways – your stud doesn’t outproduce their 8K guy, and your punt is going to get killed by their midrange guy.

    2. Related, not going too stud-heavy often serves as the best way to differentiate your line-up on a short slate. …On a short slate, I’d probably argue that if the stud busts and you DON’T have him, you gain a greater advantage over the field than you gain if the stud hits and you DO have him.

    3. All of this is obviously contingent on the quality of the mid range guys/upper tier, non-studs, and the punts.

    4. Truly huge games are pretty tough to get, and studs are priced high due to their floor as much as for their ceiling. Even the best guys rarely put up 60+. On the other hand, 7K – 9K guys, in aggregate, put up 50 point games all the time — some group of them will do it every night. To chase the 70 point game with the super stud is to chase something that is likely to not even happen at all. On the other hand, 50 point games from 7 – 9k guys will at least happen, it’s just a matter of identifying which guys will do it on a given night.

    5. Maximizing exposure to potential 45+ point games. Your punt is unlikely to put up a big game. Even if a 3.5K guy “hits,” that means 25 points or so. There are two implications I take from this. One is that for each punt I have, I know that I have one fewer chance at one of my players truly “going off.” With the one stud, I have a slightly elevated chance of huge game, from that one guy – like one realistic but remote shot at 65+. With a balanced LU, I have several chances at 50+ games. You spread your risk. The other point here is that if the stud just has an average game, the punt is unlikely to “make up” for it. …If an 11K guy goes 4x value, to get those points back, your 3.5K punt needs to go an extra 3x value. If, instead, you pair a 6k and 8k guy and one goes 4x, the other guy “only” needs to go an extra 1x (give or take) to get those points back.

    6. All that said, I wouldn’t pay much attention to your hindsight example. In your original LU, you would have been fine if you picked the correct punts. And, when you constructed the balanced retrospective line-up, you had the luxury of knowing who did what. Randle and Russell had borderline career nights – if you would have known they were going to do that, you would have rostered them in the first place, while keeping Lebron. …Either strategy can work. Your real problem was simply that some of the picks you made turned out the wrong – the simplest of problems that each one of us make almost every night.

  • mellofellowsu

    @txdave41 said...

    I am now into my 3rd year of NBA DFS and I just can’t figure out how to work short slates. I lose them almost every time which is baffling since I am picking the same players going off as everyone else. No matter how high my score kept rising, the cash line kept going up. Seems like if I don’t get in that cash line at the beginning then it’s not going to happen. Why am I always coming up short no matter who I pick?

    I think someone else said it well, it’s about lineup construction. The best positional players on any given night can often be a hinderance. Often times it is advantageous to go with second and third options if they are in good spots because they lead to more pathways to victory.

    Take the other night, Steph Curry was I believe the 4th rated PG and RW was the top one. Given that RW was much more highly owned, he really needs to come close to his ceiling to be of great benefit to you. The higher the ownership, the higher score your guy needs to get to ensure you remain ahead of those that didn’t pick him. If that player doesn’t get that high score, then you’re highly vulnerable to the rest of the field.

    If Steph just has a typical 40 fps type of game, sure it’s not RW’s 55, but you also have the benefit of not having had to roster that punt that only gets you 15 and instead you can play a mid-tier player that will likely get you at least 30 and often times they can get you more. Punts rarely have that type of ceiling, whereas mid-tier players go for big score every night as someone already mentioned. Most of your LU you want to be mid-tier players. Have to let the probabilities work for you instead of against you.

  • madchuck

    this is not always true. If a stud goes off, like Harden did last night, you’re in a bad spot. Harden scored 72FP last night. With that type of output, it really doesn’t matter what the scrub does.

  • mellofellowsu

    @madchuck said...

    this is not always true. If a stud goes off, like Harden did last night, you’re in a bad spot. Harden scored 72FP last night. With that type of output, it really doesn’t matter what the scrub does.

    Well nothing is always true. But as has been said, if you roster a stud (with high ownership) you have one pathway to victory, he must overperform. He cannot be just average or you’ll be passed up. We just saw this Tuesday, the winning LU didn’t have RW or Harden, who were both supposed to surpass 70 fps. I think actually both were above their averages but they literally needed to get that 70 to pay off because they were so highly owned.

    The concept behind fading isn’t based on a belief that the stud is due for a bad game. It’s based on what type of score you would need from him for it to pay off based on his ownership level, coupled with whether or not you believe an lower owned alternative can outperform expectations. It’s easier to win at this when you’re on the right side of unlikely outcomes. And unlikely outcomes occur every night.

  • w3stcoastoff3ns3

    Here’s the truth; it varies from slate to slate and there is no optimal truth to this. Just do what feels right based on your research. I can tell you this tho, NEVER play a scrub to fit in a star. That shit always back fires.

  • CJtheGrump

    No Harden for me last night. Wouldn’t have had a prayer in tournaments, but I did fine in my double up. Well enough min-cash in pretty much every tournament also.

    Not sure what it would have done in a multiplier. Cash line was low last night, but that’s mostly due to the short slate.

    Anyone got links to last night’s DK triple ups? I know they post a handful of links in the main forum, but they don’t usually include the multipliers. I wonder whether I should have entered a couple multipliers.

  • Inujv87

    There was an article written by someone here in RG that talked about this in tourneys.

    This year especially because they hover around $12K on DK so even scoring 70 isn’t even 6x so you don’t really fall behind by not rostering them

  • pinstripeblue

    To support both arguments check out the top 2 finishers in last night $3 shot tourney…..1st place went fair and balanced while 2nd place went with the studs (Westbrook and Cousins)..so the bottom line nobody has bottled the answer…what it comes down to is creating a lineup which will score the most points!

    https://www.fanduel.com/games/16981/contests/16981-203907535/entries/1082395651/scoring?entry=1082230483

  • Njsum1

    As pointed out by @pinstripeblue, from a game theory perspective, there is no right or wrong answer as anything can happen on a given night. However, from a raw points perspective there is probably a way that you should always approach this situation that will lead to scoring more points over time.

    Yet why would I or moreover someone who has an exact workable solution to that question, answer it? I’m not saying I have the answer to that question, as I probably do not. Yet it is an essential question not only for short slates, but for all slates, not only for NBA, yet for all sports. Why would I or anyone simply give away an edge without compensation, to a bunch of random strangers with whom we are in direct competition? I can understand a writer/ tout answering that question as they are paid to, or someone who hopes to one day be compensated for providing DFS content looking to prove their worth. Seriously, and I’m not trying to be rude, just honest…why would someone who is simply a DFS player answer such an essential strategy question?

    I can understand wanting to be helpful and honestly answering a who to start question, or giving an honest opinion about a player for an upcoming slate, as they’re not exactly giving away the store by doing so.

    Since I do like to be helpful, here’s my advice…keep trying both approaches, preferably in the free or quarter games, and if you find an answer to the question, don’t tell anyone, unless of course someone pays you for your findings.

  • FoothillsFlash

    I’ve probably learned more from this thread than any other. Thanks to the OP for posing the questions and to the several contributors who spent a fair bit of time offering their insight. This is what RotoGrinders is all about!

  • txdave41

    @pinstripeblue said...

    To support both arguments check out the top 2 finishers in last night $3 shot tourney…..1st place went fair and balanced while 2nd place went with the studs (Westbrook and Cousins)..so the bottom line nobody has bottled the answer…what it comes down to is creating a lineup which will score the most points!

    https://www.fanduel.com/games/16981/contests/16981-203907535/entries/1082395651/scoring?entry=1082230483

    Well I just destroyed my bankroll over the weekend trying to go fair and balanced. I was stunned on Friday night when I lost every single match even 50/50s. Problem is my mid-tier guys fell short and it’s hopeless. The super reliable guys like Greek, Love, Curry, Draymond, Gay, even Demar. And then the studs went off for 60+ and were highly owned. That was the nail in the coffin. When a stud exceeds value by 20 points, you can only match their total score if their punt just gives up a 0 which definitely didn’t happen.

    I keep looking for patterns, but apparently there are none. I could go back to stars and scrubs tonight and I just know these studs will go back to putting up only 40 pts. It’s like they do this crap on purpose to screw me as crazy as that sounds.

  • mattyice522

    @txdave41 said...

    Really good points there. I agree! Appreciate everyone taking time to respond and give their thoughts. Great advice, all!

    yeh those were legit points u made

  • mattyice522

    what about the flip side of that coin? tonight is a good example of what I mean with Glenn Robinson iii.. min priced player should be highly owned but extremely hard to not play.

  • FantasyTime69

    I think generally you should fill your lineup out with the best value plays then fit in the best stars as possible.

  • Tammy409

    Short Slates, Turbos, what have you are per their nature going to be filled with chalky, high ownership plays across the board and thus it is kind of a crapshoot no matter how you slice things. I don’t know what to tell you or suggest, but I find them riotously fun to play but also a bit of a crapshoot. One minute one finds oneself in the Top 5% and thirty seconds later out of the cash line. Lots of ebb and flow and sort of a ‘musical chairs’ as to who is in the money when the buzzer sounds.

    I also try to limit the amount of money I play in them, as I know they are far more difficult for me to compete in than larger field Gpps. I am a guy who has a hard time spending more than $3400 or Less than $8000 on any player, so generally have on DK’s four guys at $3000 that nobody else ever plays. People on Rotogrinders threads get all gloat and giddy when they pick a guy that is owned by like 9.8%, and to me anything above 3% is pure chalk. I play guys in every Lineup that are less than 1`% owned and usually am the only one seemingly playing them. This is not recommended but it is how I do it innately, naturally and is not contrarian or contrived… I am just tight as a tick with my pursestrings and find it difficult to pay for anyone but the true slate slayers. WIth short slates, it always seems like there is about $15,000 in excess salary and so I fall into the ‘well go ahead and spend for that guy who is more, and that backfires. He’s more money and more highly owned and he’s not going to help me one way or the other… What I’m trying to say is my lineups unintentionally look super chalky in short slates whereas they organically and consistently look way f’d up in full field tourneys and I tend to do better or way worse, but I don’t follow the field as closely, on full slates. Hope that made sense. GOod Luck.

  • CLYDENEWSOME

    Both ways work. Studs and Scrubs and also a roster full of good players. Its always about picking the right guys. Usually pick the right punt players which is tough to do, as there is a reason they are punt players. Roster full of good players can almost be tougher, as a player like a Batum, who is consistent can hit their floor or their ceiling, if too many hit their floor it is over. I try to really look at the game. Are they two good teams with little blowout chance, could it go to overtime, could their be foul trouble, etc…. If it was easy we would all pick the same top lineup every night and that of course doesn’t happen. Also, if you diversify even on all small slate it can help you.
    Pick the team with Superstars and Punts and pick the team that is loaded with good players but no superstars. One thing that is usually true, is a good player can get you 50 or 60 some nights, but a punt player almost never does.

  • Yombo

    this year i think studs have been paying off way more on FD than i remember, guys dropping 55-70 on a nightly basis and being priced too cheap that people still have reasonable teams with them

    fair and balanced seems to work pretty well on DK for the most part, but even tonight i punted a few guys to fit either a cousins, AD, or russ, but i also was able to put up a decent score in a lineup without any one of those guys

    one thing i will say is that a lot of people don’t warn you about in this thread is that balanced guys don’t always go for 50, a 25.9 from melo tonight is crippling but no one ever really talks about that aspect when they talk about balanced mid-range to high end guys. many of these guys bust every night too and sometimes theres peace in knowing on a 4 game slate without many great options at PG that russ will probably get you 50+ in a pace up game and a lot of the field will be on him. there’s a post in this thread saying 60-70 pt games don’t happen that often but nearly 3 guys approached or surpassed 60 tonight

    all else fails just make a few more teams to cover some other things you’re thinking about in terms of LU construction. also punting requires taking some chances, but there are punts to be had like justin holiday tonight. i also played jeff green but make sure minutes are there for those guys – can never tell if a punt is going to go off or even 5-7x, but guys with minutes generally are able to do so more frequently

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