I made a lot of money last night thanks to 2 words: recency bias. This topic has been brought up here before but bears repeating because of what I witnessed yesterday.
James Harden was the only (THE ONLY!) player priced above the 10K range, playing in the highest over/under game of the night and had a perfect matchup against a Wizards team that have had trouble guarding wings all season. I went into last night’s slate thinking he’d be nearly 40 to 50 percent owned. As lineups locked, my eyes widened, squinted and then widened again as I saw his ownership percentages near 20. I’m sure you’re aware by now of the results (42 points, 9 rebounds, 7 assists, 2 blocks and 2 steals accumulating to 70.75 DK points).
He burned so many owners the night before when he hit 2 of only 9 shots taken and scored a very underwhelming 30.25 DK points. The majority of those owners carried that pain with them to the following night’s slate of games and paid a steep price for doing so. Point being, it happened . . . get over it and continue to make the logical decisions moving forward. Short term memory can kill you in the DFS world. Harden has been one of the most consistent fantasy options for us all year so he shouldn’t be punished for having an off night every month or so. NBA DFS is a marathon, not a sprint. As long as you continue to make the right plays, it’ll pay off more often than not and your bankroll will reflect that after the season. Learn to forget. This brings us to point guard . . .
Letting you know in advance, I’m not the biggest fan of this 4 game slate
Shane Larkin ($4500, 18.8 USG) – Shane Larkin is no James Harden, I’m very well aware of that. On a night like tonight where there’s very little value to be found, you’re going to have to trust the process a bit more. Look at the trends, likely game scripts, matchups and so on. Larkin put up a dud on Tuesday night against Houston scoring only 8.5 DK points in 16 min. He was struggling with turnovers (4) and didn’t play much because of it. In the 4 games before, he was averaging 25.5 minutes a game (26.15 DK points). Brooklyn will very much continue to use Larkin, especially after losing Rondae Hollis-Jefferson (ankle) for the next 2 months. Much like Harden, people are going to sour on him because of Tuesday’s awful outing. You can either follow suit or think it out a bit more thoroughly and consider him. He’s exceeded value in 9 out of his last 11 games and faces a Sixers team that are very fantasy friendly to their opponents. Whether this game stays close or gets out of hand (NETS -7), Larkin should get his fair share of minutes . . . but in the event of a blowout, he’ll get a lot of garbage time and probably crush value with extended run
Aaron Afflalo ($4400, 18.6 USG) – The grossest position of the night and it’s not even close. Pick your poison. Besides Jimmy Butler, all these guys are scrubs you’ll never feel comfortable rostering. So, I’ll just go with the best matchup on the board and that’s Afflalo. The Kings give up the second most fantasy points in the league to opposing shooting guards, 3rd worst DEF EFF overall and this game has a nice over/under of 207.5. He’s failed to reach value in 4 straight so you don’t feel good about that, but I’m not going to feel good about anyone here so let’s move on.
Bojan Bogdanovic ($4200, 17.5 USG) – Man, did I want to roster Bojan on Tuesday. I really, really did but couldn’t get myself to pull the trigger. He’s only scored over 20 DK points twice all year. Both games being against the Houston Rockets (38.3, 32.3 DK points). He’s just been an awful player this entire season (9.8 PER) and somebody I’ve personally tried to avoid rostering, even when they’ve given him the chance to play more. So why recommend him? Because I’m trying to fit in Westbrook and Cousins into all my lineups and as mentioned above, value is so hard to find tonight. Also a part of my reasoning is this: I believe he’s going to be very highly owned after what he did on Tuesday and his newfound starting role so if he struggles, I’m not the only one going down with the ship. There’s a real chance he’s the highest owned player on the night and that’s kind of disturbing to me.
Taj Gibson ($4000, 15.7 USG) – If you’re looking for value here, look away because as much as it pains me to do this, my recommendation would be Taj Gibson. He’s literally the only guy under 5K that’d I’d consider on a slate like this. If you play DFS as often as I do, you probably got just as frustrated as I did last night trying to keep tabs on the Bulls starting lineup throughout the day. We tend to get overly excited when players get inserted into the starting lineup because of the bump in minutes so when news first broke in the morning that Gibson was practicing with the starting unit, I locked him into most of my rosters and built around him. Around an hour before tipoff, reports leaked that he was indeed starting so I left my roster as constructed. Then just about 45 minutes later, the Bulls PR sent out official starting lineups which had listed Mirotic as the starting PF. I frantically removed Taj from every lineup I had him locked into after reading he was out. Next thing you know, I’m watching the Bulls game and look who gets announced as the starting PF . . . TAJ GIBSON! As painful as it was watching all of that unfold, he only ends up playing 20 minutes, which is about what he averages on the season. The Bulls front court rotation is nearly impossible to predict so I could never feel right when rostering one but if Gibson stays in the starting lineup, I could see him getting more playing time than usual mainly because Mirotic will not be able contain Blake Griffin. They’re going to need Taj’s defense more than ever tonight and at only $4000, why not?
Joakim Noah ($4500, 12.8 USG) – I know, after reading what I just wrote about Taj Gibson and how unpredictable that rotation is, how can I recommend 2 of them? That’s how I feel about tonight’s slate.
Noah is not going to play a lot. He’s only played over 25 min twice all season long so don’t expect otherwise on the second of a back to back, but with the way he’s been playing as of late and how cheap he is, he doesn’t need to play major minutes to pay off that price tag. He averages about a fantasy point per minute so as long as he gets near 25, he should reach value with ease. With how roster construction is looking so far, I think I’m going to pay down at SG, SF and C to fit in Westbrook and Cousins and figure out the rest later, so I may see more Noah in my lineups than I’d prefer to but on a night like this, well . . . you get the picture.
Featured Image Credit: By Chris Green (Chrisg21090 at en.wikipedia) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons