Each day on XN Sports, I’m going to provide you with a GPP Strategy Guide to help you build NBA tournament lineups. I’ll share my overall thoughts on the slate, and also provide a rough outline of how I’m approaching roster construction. I’ll also try to include a knowledge nugget or two that applies more generally to NBA roster construction.
Tonight’s featured Contest On DraftKings:
$300K Tip-Off Special
– $300,000 prize pool
– $50,000 first place prize
– Top 24,000 finishing positions are paid out. Draft your team here.
There are two things that immediately jump out at me when I look at this slate. The first is that there’s only three games. This tells me that, to differentiate myself in tournaments, I really need to think outside of the box. If you read my DFS NBA Primer, you know that I don’t worry about being contrarian as much with my basketball lineups, but that pretty much goes out the window on a short slate like this. If you just build lineups that you perceive as optimal, you’re likely going to be sharing a top prize even if your lineup does great. Another key observation is that the total in the NO/GS game is much higher than the other totals. This means we likely want to use players from this game, but we may want to choose players who are not being heavily targeted.
One thing I like to do when creating tournament lineups is to start with a couple 3 to 4 player cores, typically composed primarily of value plays. From there, I generate lineups by limiting myself to the top 2 to 3 players I like at each position and swapping them around. With this in mind, I will share with you one such core that I believe could lead to tournament success tonight.
PG – Mo Williams ($4,900)
SG – Jodie Meeks ($3,000)
PF – Anthony Davis ($10,400)
C – Al Horford ($7,300)
Avg. Rem. / Player: $5,480
I really like Mo Williams for a number of reasons. First of all, he’s been shooting the ball well recently and has extreme upside at his low salary. He’s also going to play a chunk of minutes with Kyrie Irving out. Best of all, I think his ownership % will likely be fairly low with much of the attention going to Nate Robinson and Steph Curry. If it’s announced that Ish Smith will play following his recent acquisition by the Pelicans, I’ll be doing an all out fade of Nate Robinson. His ownership % is likely going to be through the roof and I think he makes for a good fade opportunity.
I like Jodie Meeks because he’s a good shooter, and could see a good number of minutes if the Hawks end this one early. I debated putting him in this article or not because he is a backup and it’s hard to project exactly how involved he’ll be on this much changed Pistons team, but I will have decent exposure to him. At $3,000, I think he’s worth a shot on a decent number of teams.
Anthony Davis is going to have outrageous ownership, and I’m going to contribute to that. There’s merit in fading him on a few teams just in case he somehow has an off night, but don’t get too crazy. I’m generally more willing to follow the crowd on an all-star play like Anthony Davis than I am on a cheap guy that everyone loves. Just roster him and worry about finding value elsewhere.
Al Horford is one of my favorite plays on the slate. I expect his ownership to be drastically lower than Andre Drummond‘s, and they are both very high upside players. Horford has been developing his three point shot, adding to an already impressive skill-set. Further, we’re getting the opportunity for a one-two punch here. This is somewhat of a long shot, but Andre Drummond is very well known for getting into foul trouble. If he does it again, it will hurt those who roster him, and it could lead to a big game for Al Horford. Don’t pull a complete fade on an absolute monster like Andre Drummond, who will be putting in heavy-duty with Monroe now gone, but don’t ignore Horford, either.
Now, the job is yours to find additional players to fill your tournament lineups. Remember to take into account the high total in the NO/GS game. Use this core as much as you wish, but also use the logic behind roster construction on this slate to build others. Supplement your own research with the great NBA DFS articles already up on XN Sports. Feel free to keep the discussion going below or on Twitter. Good luck!