NBA Thoughts 1/25/17

What makes an NBA player (or any other sport, really) a great GPP play? Clearly, it’s not just ownership, and it’s not only production either — no matter how low owned a player is, if he does not have the ability to crush his value threshold he is not going to give you an edge in GPPs; and if a 60% owned player crushes their value threshold, it doesn’t elevate you from the field much. Yes, you’v passed the 40% who faded, but in a GPP when you are really aiming for a top 0.1% score, a 60% owned player crushing for you is simply not much of an edge. So, what are we really looking for in our GPP plays? Essentially, players that we project to have a much lower  percentage ownership than their percentage chance of crushing their value threshold. Put another way, if we think a player is going to be 5% owned by the public, but we think they have a 25% chance of reaching 6x (or higher) their salary on DraftKings, they become an outstanding GPP option. These are the players that can truly give you an edge and are the “true” values for GPPs. It is not the % chance of a player reaching value that you should really be considering, but instead, (% chance player meets or exceeds value – projected ownership of said player). The difference between those two numbers is what we should really be going after. Here are a few players who I believe meet that criteria.

  1. Richaun Holmes, $3,700 — After last night’s outburst and already announced as the starter tonight with Embiid and Okafor set to miss out again tonight in Milwaukee, Nerlens Noel is going to carry some truly massive ownership tonight. And, no doubt about it, in cash games he is essentially a must play. But this is a tough matchup for Noel who is in some serious risk of getting in foul trouble in this game. Giannis Antetekounmpo and Jabari Parker both like to drive to the rim, and given the defensive players cover them they should be able to to do so at will. Nerlens Noel will be there waiting for them, and he is an excellent rim protector — but he is also so the only rim protector the Sixers have in the starting lineup, and he is going to have to challenge these shots. Noel will also have to do battle with Greg Monroe (more on him soon) who will likely look to take Noel (and Holmes) into the block every chance he gets. While it is tough to predict foul trouble, this seems like a tough situation for Noel if we really break it down. Holmes and Noel shared every minute at the center position yesterday with Okafor and Embiid out, and that should be the case again tonight. If Noel does get into foul trouble (or plays poorly, or whatever), Holmes should benefit, and Holmes has been a fantasy point-per-minute producer this year and last. Rostering Holmes will also give you TREMENDOUS leverage against the hordes of Noel owners, and the times Holmes significantly outscores Noel (maybe 20-30% of the time) you are going to be sitting very pretty.
  1. Greg Monroe — The Bucks went through a 5-game losing streak recently and last game it resulted in John Henson being removed from the starting lineup for Marshall Plumlee, and then Henson ultimately got a DNP-CD as Monroe played 27 minutes off the bench, the Bucks won, and Monroe smashed. At home tonight against the 76ers, it seems likely coach Jason Kidd will stick with that formula, and we have seen Monroe have quite a few 35+ fantasy point games off the bench for the Bucks. He should go to work against both Richaun Holmes (not a good defender) and Nerlens Noel (a good defender but possibly tired playing on a road back-to-back, and not physically strong enough to deal with Monroe on the block). The Bucks are also favored in this game by 11 points, and Monroe has some truly incredible splits in Bucks’ wins/losses:

Monroe is averaging nearly 10 fantasy points per game more in Bucks’ wins. There may be some noise in this stat, but it does make some sense intuitively and the Bucks should definitely be in line for a victory here.


The Deeper Dive returns today with Loughy, Adam, and myself at 5:15 EST. Make sure to check it out. #LetsGetIt