NBA Thoughts 12/14/16 (Premium)

After a long weekend in NYC and food poisoning the last two days, I’m back for another edition of ‘How to lose money quickly!’. Surprisingly yesterday went pretty well considering the flood gates of tilt comments half way through the Portland game. Today I’ll get back to the basics where I’ll explain to you my lineup construction thoughts and share some players that help me carry out the strategy tonight. Glad to be back, let’s get to it!

Lineup Construction

It’s very easy to say today is a ‘stars and scrubs’ day due to the value the Cleveland team has presented us, but is it the best strategy? Unfortunately, we can’t roster all of the Cleveland guys because we need to fill our salary cap so selecting maybe one or two from their starting five seems like a better way to go. If I had to choose I’d stay safe and roster guys who I know will see the minutes, guys like Smith, Liggins, and Shumpert seem locked into 30+ minutes and those are the guys I’m looking at. With the big 3 out, we should see the pace slow down significantly as well. Cleveland should run more half court sets while Memphis is already one of the slowest paced teams in the league. Regardless of their price, rostering a handful of these guys could be a mistake on a ten-game slate.

With no one in the 9k-11k range on DraftKings, they’re begging you to go ‘stars and scrubs’. When making the most optimal lineups I could, I kept landing on a balanced approach which features a number of these underpriced $8k players and various mid-tier options where I need to save.

Last Wednesday

Last Wednesday we had another ten-game slate which featured quite a bit of value but also a handful of underpriced $8k players and mid-tier value. Here is the lineup that took down the big $4 tournament last week on DraftKings.


Hmm, that’s weird. There isn’t a player priced under $4,000 in this lineup. When rostering guys under $4k we need to make sure they have the ability to get 25+ points and some of the guys in this range have capped upside tonight. With most of the value coming from the same team in the lowest total game of the night, we’re exposing ourselves to a low ceiling and that’s counterintuitive in large field tournaments. If you’re aiming for upside, roster guys who are underpriced for their given role and matchup throughout your lineup. On a night like tonight, that might even be contrarian.

Guys who make it happen

Here are a few guys who fit the balanced style I’m aiming for tonight on both DraftKings and Fanduel.

Julius RandleMarcin Gortat
Omri CasspiJoel Embiid
Brook LopezJulius Randle
Hassan WhitesideOtto Porter
DeMar DerozanHassan Whiteside


The mid-tier is so strong tonight that jamming guys like Westbrook and Harden with cheap value doesn’t seem like the most optimal strategy. As of now, this is the way I feel comfortable constructing my lineups. It also provides me the upside I want in large field tournaments (350+ scores).

I’ll confirm these plays and more on the ‘Deeper Dive’ later today where we’ll go over all the value and identify where we might go wrong. As always, feel free to reach out on Twitter (@MLora) or in the premium slack chat where I’ll answer questions all day long leading up to lock. It’s good to be back, now let’s make some money. Till next time, party animals!