For those who do not know me, I go by Ben Jammin
xBenJamminx is my DFS and Twitter name and I amxBen_Jammin on Instagram
Please check out my first NBA article ever that I wrote yesterday, would love feedback/thoughts.
The Three Little Pigs
Everyone knows this story. There’s 3 little pigs and a wolf who huffs and puffs and tries to blowww their houses down. Why is this relevant? Well it really isn’t super relevant but it’s the first thing I thought of when I saw the player pool. So let me elaborate.
There are 3 pigs, one who made his house out of straw. One blow and this POS house falls down. This house is James Harden. You blow on him and he flops, falls, dives, trips, tumbles, whatever. The second pig made his house out of sticks. This house is Lebron James. It takes a lot more to bring him down, but after a few blows, he’s falling to the ground with worse acting than a 1960s actress getting shot. Then there’s the third pig who made his house out of bricks. This house is Demarcus Cousins. And he is legitimately a brick house. These are the 3 STUDS of the night, with the way that I construct my lineup with value first, I can choose any one, two or even all 3 of these guys. Which is the most optimal construction? Well that’s for you to figure out, but if you wanted to, you have that opportunity. They won’t be mentioned for the rest of the article.
If you’re like me, when there are too many good options you get anxious, with only a finite amount of choices that can be made. This is what happens to me on big slates like yesterday. My picks all were on FIRE and more than 90% of the Value picks went OFF. Did I have a great night? Not really. My lineups did well, but mental mistakes and last minute tinkering cost me winning BIG money. *Trust Your Gut*
With that said, I LOVE small slates. My favorites are 3-4 game slates in NBA and especially MLB but that’s not here yet (Please come soon!). Some of the biggest GPP nights I’ve had were on these small slates and my cash lineups always make me feel less anxious than when there’s a player pool of 102323 players. So I would like to delve into some GPP strategy that I use on these smaller slates since this is where I tend to spend most of my tournament money.
I was told that the first article was a bit lengthy, and while I wanted to cut the words down, I actually enjoy thinking, talking and writing about DFS. So if you are here just for the player picks themselves, that’s fine. I give you my personal analysis of players, with favorable statistics, and WHY I am choosing them. The college semester just ended for me also so I have some more free time and was going to be analyzing the slates more closely this way anyway.
But if you would like to read more about my thoughts on strategy and HOW I personally approach slates like these, just scroll to the bottom.
Without further ado, the meat and potatoes.
(Players in BOLD are the obvious top dollar choices, not necessarily top by value)
Jameer Nelson $4,500 – He’s shaped like a running back. As long as he’s ‘running’ the show, and logging heavy minutes, he’s in play for me. The Minnesota PGs are actually pretty decent at guarding point guards but he’ll probably get another 30 minutes. Not my favorite play, but valuable.
Patrick Beverley $4,900 – If you read my article yesterday you would know that I said he’s been the most consistent PG this season in regards to DK points. I spoke about how he averages 24 ppg and will have at least 20, he scored 28 yesterday. I don’t see Collison slowing him down.
Zach Lavine $5,400 – As much as I love Rubio, Zach Lavine is still in play at value because of the combination of Denver’s already bad defense against PG’s and their bench players assuming starting roles. He gets about 23 mins per game but he’s not afraid to take 10+ shots per game, he can score 5x maybe 6x value but has a only a decent floor.
Darren Collison $4,900 – Ooohh Boy I love this spot for DC. Rajon Rondo is suspended, and while he’s no rondo, this kid loves to score and can fill up the stat sheet with assists and steals. In a game where the total is 220 and the matchup is so good, how good you ask? For the 11 Point Guards who logged more than 30mpg vs Patrick Beverley, they have averaged 43.5 DK PPG, with the lowest being 20.8, and that was Jose Calderon. He’s a Must Play.
Ricky Rubio $7,000 – Rubi-Yoooo. I really like this kid, he’s taken on the persona of a watered down Pistol Pete. He has the passing game down no doubt, and he has good handle, but he doesn’t score. Although, his second highest scoring game was vs Denver 4 days ago. I think he produces.
Isiah Thomas $7,700 – He’s the top dollar play for PG and I don’t mind using him at all. Out of the 10 PGs who played a minimum of 30mpg vs Cleveland, 4 have scored 50 DK points or more and Wall had 65.5. Isaiah Thomas can score with the best of them and averages 35+mpg.
Shooting Guard (Packed With Value)
Iman Shumpert $3,700 – Punt play. GPP. I can’t predict ownership of him but I assume he’ll be popular. He’s averaged 18 DK PPG for his career, and I don’t expect him to score much more than that. He’ll play around 25 minutes, low floor, low ceiling. But 18 points for this price is still acceptable value.
O.J. Mayo $5,700 – Jerryd Bayless and Greivis Vasquez are both already ruled out and O.J. Mayo is one of the more talented guards who just hasn’t really panned out. But with enough minutes and high projected usage, and playing the Lakers, he’s gonna bring his Rucker park streetball mentality out in the limelight of the Staples Center. He’s averaging 34 mpg his last 6 games. Good value.
Khris Middleton $5,300 – I use this kid all the time and he has a good matchup against the aging, once amazing Kobe the Muse. He’s been averaging 23 DK PPG and 37 mpg his last 6 games.
Evan Turner $4,900 – Both Boston SGs are in play for me. Evan Turner can score, he can put up points anywhere on the court with rebounds, assists and steals, and HE PLAYS D. He gets almost 30 mpg but it’s inconsistent. He has a floor of about 15 DK Points and has a ceiling way above value.
Avery Bradley $5,900 – I have been using Bradley ever since he got into the starting lineup, his price hasn’t increased much and he’s played over 33mpg his last 6 games. He averages 15+ shots a game and at least five 3point attempts per game. Avery played arguably the best defense that Steph Curry has seen all year IMO.
Will Barton $6,200 – I’m not sure where his explosion of points has come from but he’s been too consistent to fade. I wish I was on him more when he was cheaper but I don’t expect his scoring barrage to end here with the T-Wolves.
Shabazz Muhammad $3,600 – Punt Play. This is dumpster diving for value, but there is some narrative here, and I will sometimes bite on it depending how much I think it will matter. With him I think it will but it depends on his minutes. If you don’t know, Denver sucks vs anyone who dribbles a basketball. There’s rumors of Shabazz being traded to LAC so when he’s on the court he’s playing for money and opportunity. Very low floor though.
Corey Brewer $4,200 , Trevor Ariza $5,500 – Both Rockets SFs are in play and have been for a few games now. Their prices are still cheap relative to their usage and performance. I think they can both outperform their prices. If Ariza doesn’t play it’s a huge bump for Brewer, and then Thornton also comes into play.
Omri Casspi $5,600 – Highest over/under, a fast pace benefits him as he’s been logging a ton of minutes and putting up a bunch of shots. There will be points to go around in this game and he’s a shooter who can fill up the stat sheet on the low end of the spectrum.
Giannias Antetokounmpo $6,800 – The Alphabet is almost always in play for me when I know he’ll be getting minutes. He’s a little underpriced and should be like $800 more expensive. Good matchup, tons of minutes.
Rudy Gay $6,900 – Highest over/under of the day. One of the better talents in the league and has been performing relative to his price. I think he’ll have to take on a bigger role with Rondo out so expect him to shoulder the load and play a ton of minutes, getting some assists for Collison.
David Lee $3,700 – Punt Play. He’s scored at least 20 points in 6 of his last 10 games, it all depends on Brad Stevensl ridiculous rotation. But I think Boston is going to have trouble with the Cavs front court and need to give some extra minutes to Lee.
Donatas Motiejunas $3,400 – Punt Play. This pick stems from the fact that DM was active the last few games with his minutes increasing in each one. With Clint Capela dealing with food poisoning, he may either be held out or playing limited minutes. In 2014-15 he finished priced at $6,300 and was dropping 25-30 DK PPG, logging over 35mpg. I think he’ll get some decent run tonight in this fast paced game.
Julius Randle $5,900 – He’s my boy from Kentucky, he helped win me college pools and tons of bets 2 years ago, too bad they didn’t repeat. He’s been kind of inconsistent but he puts up tons of points when he gets the opportunity (Read: Kobe isn’t taking a ton of shots). He averages 28 DK PPG this season but can drop 15pts/19rebounds against Washington and make them look like a D2 college team trying to stop Kentucky. He has 6 double-doubles in his last 10 games. He’s going to be around for a while.
Jabari Parker $5,100 – Another talented rookie, JP started off the season slowly but since he’s been getting some extended run he has been reach value at about a 40% clip. Not too consistent but on a slate like this he can provide some needed value at the position.
Kevin Love $8,000 – Although he has a decent matchup, I think he is overpriced for what his role in this offense is. I would probably use him in a GPP but not cash.
Nikola Jokic $4,100 – Punt Play. Dumpster Diving. He has a floor of about 10 and a ceiling of about 35. The problem is, he can hit anywhere in between. But at this price I believe he’s worth a look. He and Joffrey Lauvergne split time but Jokic has averaged 17 DK PPG and 17 mpg with and without Joffrey this year.
Gorgui Deng $5,100 – I think he’s undervalued and would be getting more minutes if Towns wasn’t there, but vs Denver everyone is in play especially bigs. He logs close to 30 mpg and will get you from 15-30 points and is decently consistent
Greg Monroe $7,100 – I’m not saying I’m definitely not playing him. If you are a center, and you played more than 30 minutes in a game vs the Lakers this year, you scored over 36 DK points. I like Monroe a lot and he stays out of foul trouble. He logs over 33 mpg and he AVERAGES a double-double and he’s had one in 5 of his last 6 games.
Small Slate GPP Strategy
First of all, thank you for reading the article and I hope you have an understanding of the players that I like for this slate. Like I mentioned yesterday, I am a single lineup player and I put most of my money into cash games, but I will make another 3-4 GPP lineups and throw them in some cheaper GPPs, along with my cash lineup. While I am historically conservative with my risk tolerance, I find that the best way for me to be successful is to be contrarian with my lineup construction, not the players themselves, which I don’t believe is the norm in the industry. (Please correct me if I’m wrong, but that’s been a mindset of mine) I’m always willing to learn, but I think this is the best practice for myself with the way I approach the game.
Yes there are other players who may do well tonight, who I am off of because of matchups or whatever, but that’s always going to happen due to variance. I like to find my core of value players and fill in the big boys around them. While most people find their elite players to build around, I do the opposite. I think this in general is being contrarian. How often are you building your lineup and you get to the last 2 spots and your Avg Rem / Player says a number like $3,300 and you’re scrambling to find some bottom of the barrel player to hopefully pass his floor of 3 and put up like 15 points max. I try to get that part out of the way early and get my values locked in. By the time I get down to my G/F/Uti spots, I have all the value I want already in, then I will fill in the big boys, maybe two 9k-10k guys and a 5k value play that I had waiting in the wings. Or I will use 3 guys in the 7k-9k range who I expect to have huge days. This all depends on the slate and players remaining of course.
So for example, the way I constructed two of my lineups yesterday, using the same picks you’ll find in yesterday’s article, was like this. On large slates sometimes I’ll make two lineups at a time, both cash lineups, and decide which one I like best and use it as cash and the other I’ll throw into a few GPP’s and satellites.
Numbers in ( ) are Fantasy Points scored yesterday. Keep in mind these picks were in my articles.
PG, I locked in Jameer Nelson(25.75) at $4,200 and Patrick Beverley(28.25) at $4,900
SG, I locked in Alan Crabbe(24.75) at $3,800 and Raymond Felton(32.5) at$4,900
SF, I locked in Matt Barnes at $4,300(36.5) for both lineups, 100% exposure. Love him.
PF, I locked in Luis Scola at $4,900(14.25) and Nikola Mirotic(22.5) at $5,100
C, I locked in Joakim Noah at $4,800 for both lineups. Read my notes from yesterday on him.
Lineup 1 is at $22,000 spent and $28,000 left for the remaining 3 players. $9,333 per person. I’m sure you realized that you have some nice cash to choose between 3 players or upgrade someone you’re not sure about.
Lineup 2 is at $24,000 spent and $26,000 left for the remaining 3 players. $8,666 per person.
Thoughts on yesterday.
Now with late news I heard Kent Bazemore(41.75) was starting, and I wrote up some nice notes on him yesterday. Him and Eric Gordon(20) worked their way into my lineups.
Notable players who I wrote up but regretfully didn’t use.. Tyreke Evans(52), Eric Bledsoe(50.25) and Luol Deng(39.25)..
Picks who flopped. John Wall(21) in a bad matchup who I thought would do better, and Brandon Knight(23.5). Also my PF’s failed me tonight, with Scola getting 2 early fouls and Mirotic just underperformed in a good matchup.
My boy Mr.30. C.J. McCollum(31.5) scored within his 30-39 range again.
I’m not going to say every pick I used stud wise, but this is how I set up my core yesterday.
Thank you very much for reading this, I truly hope someone wins some money based on reading my work, I put a lot into this and this is the type of research I do daily.
I appreciate any kind of feedback and/or comments.