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Daily Fantasy Basketball: NBA Studs, Duds, and Value Plays for January 20th

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I thought I’d give you guys a brief introduction to bankroll management today. It’s a short slate so there isn’t a lot to read up on in terms of plays. This doesn’t really concern those of you with hundreds of dollars to spend. This is you guys out there are playing 4-5 $1 games a day.

So why is bankroll management important? Well the obvious answer is so that you can continue to play. You don’t want to burn all of your money on a single entry that ends up out of the cash. So you develop a system, play for small pots and slowly develop your bankroll. Having a larger bankroll means that you can pay up for better tournaments. These higher priced contests usually have great payouts and less competition, so the more money you can spend the better. Being smart with your money is key.

My first tip for those of you with less than $100 is to STOP playing tournaments. Just stop. If there are more than 1,000 people in a contest then avoid it. The chances of you winning are minimal especially if you’re new to DFS like I’m sure most of you are. That dollar you spend to enter, 99% of the time, will go to waste. Instead of GPPs look into triple and quadruple up contests. You’re far more likely to place in one of them and the payout will be similar to the payout from a GPP if you placed in the 5th-10th percentile.

Focus mainly on cash games like 50/50 and Head-2-Head. I highly recommend staying under 200 players for 50/50s but above 20. If you enter the smaller ones they’re more likely to be filled with sharks, guys that have been doing this for years. If you go to big there’s a greater chance of 10-20 lineups getting lucky and outscoring you 90% of time.

You typically want to spend 10-15% of your total bankroll. On smaller slates like today, that number can be lower. So let’s say you have a $50 bankroll. Today, because there are only 2 games, you can limit yourself to three entries. One $1 triple up, one $1 H2H and one $1 50/50. On other days with larger slates you can probably double that and feel comfortable.

Never, ever, ever spend 10+% of your bankroll on a single entry. It looks enticing. That’s $5k first place prize is seriously sexy. I get it. But that’s the start of an addiction and it’s no joke. Manage your money wisely, be patient, analyze your lineups and correct your mistakes. You’ll have a bankroll in the hundreds in no time.

Now on to the games!

Oklahoma City Thunder @ Miami Heat – 7:30 P.M.

Take Kevin Durant, Dion Waiters and Hassan Whiteside - Durant is the most expensive option on the night but he’ll be worth it. On these small slates you best be sure you grab the highest scoring player or your chances of cashing out drop significantly. So it’s okay to overpay a little as there’s less chance of finding value.

Waiters is a comfy cozy option for the cash games tomorrow. He comes with a high floor and decent enough upside, he should hit 5X quite easily. The options at SG tonight don’t really intrigue me all that much so going low is a good idea.

Whiteside had trouble against DeMarcus Cousins. It was expected, but the severity of said trouble wasn’t. The one good thing to come of that performance was a drop in Whiteside’s price. He draws a good matchup as OKC allows quite a few points inside.

AvoidLuol Deng, Steven Adams and Mario Chalmers - Deng’s last performance against Sacramento was an anomaly. The Kings were without Rudy Gay and Cousins found himself hobbled by the end of the contest so any defense they could’ve hoped for was gone. Because of that game, Deng’s price shot up and therefore he finds himself here. Prior to the game against the Kings, Deng hadn’t hit 5X in over 10 games. No thank you.

Adams hasn’t hit 5X value since before Christmas. It’s quite disappointing. Whiteside and Chris Bosh’s length in addition to Chris Andersen’s size will limit his upside. Even though he’s dirt cheap I’m avoiding him.

Chalmers price rose a little bit while Wade was out. He won’t see the same minutes or be given the same opportunity to score as Wade is probable for tonight’s game.

Consider – Everyone else - Again, on two or three game slates nearly everyone is up for grabs. I don’t really want to take a stance on Westbrook. He is very pricey but of course he can pop off and make you a very happy camper. That being said, Miami likes to slow things down and their perimeter defense is nothing to laugh at. Despite Westbrook’s athleticism, Whiteside and Bosh can easily send his shots back if he decides to bring the ball inside. I don’t dislike him, but I like Durant more.

I like Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh and Serge Ibaka but there is obviously inconsistency to account for. I believe Ibaka will emerge as the best value of that group, but I wouldn’t fault you for choosing any of them.

Shabazz Napier is my sneaky value play of the night. Wade’s return will likely cause him to see fewer minutes, but he’s earned himself some playing time. At his price you’re not risking a whole lot.

San Antonio Spurs @ Denver Nuggets – 9:00 P.M.

TakeTy Lawson, Tim Duncan, Kawhi Leonard - Lawson and most other Nuggets starters should be well rested for this one. Golden State was up by so much some of them sat the entire 4th quarter yesterday. He is a little pricey for a normal slate but he’s my favorite PG on the night. He has a good matchup, he’ll just need to knock down some shots.

Pop messes with Duncan far too much. I understand he’s getting older and his knees are giving out, but give the man 30 minutes a game if you’re going to play him. Timmy should be able to control the post with ease tonight, although I worry a bit about his playing time. Just remember that we have to accept a certain amount of risk with just two games to choose from.

Leonard has looked great since his return. Even with a small sample to analyze, he’s the only Spur I feel comfortable projecting to hit 5X value.

Avoid – Nobody. There isn’t anyone in particular that I can honestly dismiss.

Consider – Yep, you guessed it! Everyone. - I’ll run through these quick. I don’t like Kenneth Faried because of his matchup and inability to stay on the floor for long but he’s a good tournament play if you’re feeling lucky.

Arron Afflalo has been fairly reliable if you ignore the GS performance but Danny Green can play defense. Speaking of Danny Green, I actually like him a lot. I only worry because he saw a January low 20 minutes in his last game against the Utah Jazz. Same story for Ginboli although he’s seen fewer minutes for quite a while now.

Tony Parker is very unreliable from night to night but Lawson doesn’t play great defense so there is some upside there.

Wilson Chandler and J.J. Hickson are value picks but both of them flopped against Golden State. I’m not putting my trust into either of them.

Nurkic is in a shooting slump and fouls like crazy. I’m avoiding him but for that price he only needs 20 minutes to hit value.

Jameer Nelson is a great punt at the PG slot. I favor him over Patty Mills although neither are terrible. Splitter and Diaw are like roller coasters. If you think tonight is when they reach the top then go for it but I’m afraid of heights.

That’s all for today folks! Good luck out there, don’t forget to follow me on Twitter so I can answer your questions! 

Here is a sample lineup for FanDuel using my suggestions. Good luck everyone!


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