Are you paying attention? Did you use the value plays yesterday?
I did. I also took down my second NBA tournament of the season. It’s nice when you can turn $2 into $250. I had a total of $8 in play and turned it into $256.50.
I can’t guarantee those kind of results every day. That’s not how tournaments work. As I said Sunday, my advice skews more to the boom-bust side of the spectrum, so I’m going to have bad weeks but I have to keep believing that every once in a while I’m going to hit one out of the park.
My two tournament wins this season have both come in late game slates. Last night I noticed that almost all of my value plays were in the late slates, so I threw a $2 lineup out there and it posted 364 points.
Here’s the lineup:
In yesterday’s post I talked about every one of those players.
It feels like I’m bragging — I am a bit. It feels nice to win. But really I want to use this to help reinforce some of the tips I’ve given out and some of the rules I follow while building lineups.
1. If you want to get struck by lightning go outside in a thunderstorm. I love this line. Here’s the deal: You can’t win if you don’t play. The more you play and the more variance you infuse into your lineups the better chance you have of winning a tournament. When a tournament limits your player options by taking some games away it forces you to research players you might not consider. This increases your knowledge base and forces you to be a better player.
2. $100 in your bankroll is worth more than $100 you lose tonight. That’s a poor paraphrase of a quote from Mike Caro, a poker player/theorist/genius. The key takeaway here: don’t overspend. I had $8 in play last night. $8. And it became $256. Despite that nice increase to my bankroll I only have $12 in play tonight. If it wasn’t for Champions League soccer (Fingers crossed Ospina starts in goal for Arsenal) I wouldn’t even have that much in.
3. Start with value plays, especially the ones with great matchups, then finish with studs, especially the ones with great matchups.
NBA DFS Draft Kings value picks for Tuesday, Feb. 24
Reggie Jackson, $4,500 and George Hill, $5,200 — As a backup in Oklahoma City, Jackson kept showing up on the ceiling/floor ratings when he’d get an opportunity. In his debut as Detroit’s starter Feb. 22, he didn’t disappoint, scoring 17 points with five boards and five assists on his way to a 29.75-fantasy-point performance. He gets one of the top point guard matchups of the night against Cleveland. Hill has a better matchup against Oklahoma City. Both are in play today.
J.R. Smith, $5,000 and Kentavius Caldwell-Pope, $4,200 — Smith has four stars out of four on my ceiling/consistency list for today. He’s scored at least 26.5 fantasy points and played at least 29 minutes in four consecutive games but his salary has only risen $600. It’s not a great matchup for him or Pope, but they are above average which is better than most SG matchups tonight. The best matchup goes to Monta Ellis, $7,100, who should be considered when you figure out what kind of extra cash you have. I wouldn’t be against putting him in at starting SG and ignoring the values here tonight.
Richard Jefferson, $3,500, Andre Iguodala, $3,900, Harrison Barnes, $4,100, and James Johnson, $4,700 — First off, let me say, yuck. I’m not a huge fan of any of these players. Jefferson is in most of my lineups. Iguodala, Barnes and Johnson are in a couple. Jefferson’s price is great and Chandler Parsons is out again. Starting in place of Parsons on Feb. 22, Jefferson scored 35 fantasy points with 10 points and 10 rebounds. Iguodala, Barnes and Johnson scored well on my consistency/floor chart, each coming in with four stars. Iguodala and Barnes have the best matchup but because we have to flip a coin to decide which one to pick I can’t go all-in. Johnson might be the safest pick of this whole bunch, which is saying a lot considering he can make 10 field goals one night and go 1-for-5 from the floor the next.
Mitch McGary, $3,900 and Dirk Nowitzki, $6,300 — Nowitzki isn’t much of a value at $6,300, but he gets the best power forward matchup of the night and is well below the studs at the position. He’s a safe play with a little bit of upside. McGary scored well on my ceiling chart but not the floor. He’s a boom-or-bust pick, but with Steven Adams out again, McGary should pick up quite a few minutes playing both the four and five for Oklahoma City. You could also consider Luis Scola, $3,900, or David Lee, $4,500, but I’m going to have Nowitzki in most of my lineups.
Timofey Mozgov, $5,200, Marcin Gortat, $5,100, and Enes Kanter, $6,000 — Mozgov has the best C matchup of the night against Detroit and he scored well on the ceiling/floor chart too. Gortat, Jonas Valencias, $5,100, and Andrew Bogut, $4,700, all scored highest on the ceiling floor chart. Gortat has the second-best C matchup of the night which is why I highlighted him above. Kanter scored as well as Mozgov and has a good matchup so he should provide value even though his price has increased.
Post picks note: I considered adding a fourth tip at the top today: Start Russell Westbrook whenever Kevin Durant is out. Kevin Durant is out tonight. With these values you can get Westbrook and LeBron James in your lineups tonight. Neither of those players have great matchups but both of them are a triple-double-and-a-70-point-fantasy-game-waiting-to-happen.