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NBA DFS GPP Recap: Carry On My Hayward Son

NBA DFS GPP Recap: Carry On My Hayward Son
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NBA DFS GPP Recap: Carry On My Hayward Son

Although I’m saddened that NBA DFS is coming to a close, I am not at all disappointed that this month of basketball is almost over. At this point in the season, half of the teams are using players I’ve never even heard of and the other half are starting guys that look like me.

It was a good run, NBA GPPs – here is the finale.

Position Player Statline DK Points FD Points
PG Rajon Rondo 25Pts, 12Ast, 8Reb, 3Stl, 6TO 58.5 52.6
SG James Harden 26Pts, 10Ast, 7Reb, 8Stl, 5TO 65.75 60.4
SF Gordon Hayward 22Pts, 5Ast, 6Reb, 1Blk, 4Stl, 1TO 47.50 45.70
PF Derrick Favors 17Pts, 15Reb, 4Ast, 3Blk, 3TO 47.75 44
C Andre Drummond 30Pts, 14Reb, 1Ast, 2Blk, 1TO 54 51.3

Note: If a player is listed above, this does not mean he was the top scoring player at his position. Also, player positioning may change in the future as positional eligibility varies from FanDuel and DraftKings.


$100K Baller, $1,065 Entry, $20,000 to First Place
Winner: gnightmoon
Team: Rajon Rondo, Stephen Curry, Wes Matthews, James Harden, Rudy Gay, Gordon Hayward, Derrick Favors, Jon Leuer, Kosta Koufos
Score: 378.20

$150K Monster, $300 Entry, $20,000 to First Place
Winner: gnightmoon
Team: Rajon Rondo, Stephen Curry, Wes Matthews, James Harden, Rudy Gay, Gordon Hayward, Derrick Favors, Jon Leuer, Kosta Koufos
Score: 378.20

$200K Slam, $25 Entry, $20,000 to First Place
Winner: 007dand
Team: Emmanuel Mudiay, Elfrid Payton, Devin Booker, James Harden, Andrew Wiggins, LeBron James, Amir Johnson Dirk Nowitzki, Kosta Koufos
Score: 390.80


$400K All-Star, $1,060 Entry, $100,000 to First Place
Winner: cubsfan333
Team: Darren Collison, James Harden, Rudy Gay, Jon Leuer, Karl-Anthony Towns, Rajon Rondo, Gorgui Dieng, Kosta Koufos
Score: 344

$125K 3-Ball, $300 Entry, $20,000 to First Place
Winner: Dmiller61
Team: Shelvin Mack, James Harden, Gordon Hayward, Derrick Favors, Kosta Koufos, Wes Matthews, Jon Leuer, Karl-Anthony Towns
Score: 358.25

$500K Crossover Championship, $27 Entry, $100,000 to First Place
Winner: shambles
Team: Rajon Rondo, James Harden, Stanley Johnson, Gorgui Dieng, Karl-Anthony Towns, Brandon Knight, Jon Leuer, Kosta Koufos
Score: 380.75

Go For Broke

Each week I’ve been identifying a certain range of salaries that have been exploited on FanDuel in GPPs and have led to top leaderboard finishes. Throughout the journey of this GPP recap each and every single range has had their glory, but often the range that helps spur the most successful lineups is the middle tier. Last week I highlighted the range from $5,000 to $6,000 and this week, I’m going to point out some of the top players from $5,500 to $6,500.

Player Salary FD Points Slam Own %
Emmanuel Mudiay $5,600 47.2 2.2%
Devin Booker $6,300 44.1 14.7%
Kevin Love $6.400 44 12.1%


First off, I was beyond shocked to see that Kevin Love has fallen so far into oblivion that he is below $6,500. What kind of world is this?! Secondly, I again want to stress just how important it is to find players from this range who can dominate the scoreboard. When deploying any roster construction strategy, whether it is stars and scrubs or a balanced approach, somewhere along the line you will be forced to take one or two players from this particular range. IF you can successfully navigate the middle forest and find the diamonds in the rough on a particular night, you set yourself up for a ton of success. Each of these three players was found on at the top of leaderboards on FanDuel last night.

Game Theory in GPPs – DO NOT BE AFRAID

I have always been told that I’m longwinded. In school I was the kid that ran over his allotted presentation time just because I knew I could keep spewing out random stuff and make it sound like it fit in. I’ve been talking a lot about game theory in the last couple of weeks and in particular where one can differentiate themselves in GPPs to potentially catapult above the masses. Last night presented a perfect opportunity to do so…. but most of you are chicken shit.

Player DK Points DK Own% FD Points FD Own%
Rudy Gay 18.5 27.3 15.9 41.3
Gordon Hayward 47.5 9.0 45.7 18.8


I’m only giving you one pivot example, but the truth is, there were a billion other SFs you could have picked last night. Alright, well not that many, but there were plenty of feasible options for a higher salary or lower salary than Rudy Gay, yet so many of you in tournaments still decided to roster him. I understand that without DeMarcus Cousins, Gay’s usage increases, hence providing him more opportunity – blah, blah, blah. The point of not rostering Gay is not to overlook his opportunity, the point is to try and obtain and edge on the field by differentiating in a position where the masses are going to agree. Surely if Gay would have been awesome, you would have pointed at me and laughed and called me names – but that is the nature of playing GPPs. You will lose more than you win (unless you are Drew Dinkmeyer) but when you win, you want to win big. Taking advantage of opportunities that are provided like the Gay situation last night are your chances. Do not be afraid.

How Contrarian Must I Be?

It is all coming to an end folks. This is the last NBA GPP recap of the year and therefore, I have compiled the ownership data from the winning lineups of the DK Crossover/Bird and FD Slam since I started doing this section. I decided it would be best to display that data in spreadsheet form, broken down by positional ownerships. I didn’t want dates or names to help create any biases, so I totally eliminated them in favor of pure ownership numbers.

As for the conditional formatting, I highlighted cells green if the ownership of that particular player was under 5% and highlighted them red if ownership was greater than 35%. There was no particular reason I picked these two numbers, I just felt that they were decent indicators of how popular a player was on a given slate. I included the averages from those particular sets in row 13, a space below all of the rest of the data.


You might think I am a liar, but nothing on the DraftKings’ sheet shocked me. All of the ownerships evened out over time, with the lowest average ownership from winning lineups being the “F” position. Prior to totaling the data, I was mostly intrigued by the average ownerships of the SG and SF positions. The SG and SF positions are generally considered the weakest in terms of positional depth, which I figured would lead to more chalky decisions in tournaments, as only a few players would be clear-cut options. This was true of the SF position, which had the second highest average ownership amongst winning lineups, but SG had the second lowest. My guess is that this has something to do with lineup construction strategies, where people are continually finding middle tier players to roster due to the lack of upper tier options, as opposed to SF which has Giannis, LeBron, Melo, KD, etc.


I was a bit fooled when trying to guess average ownerships on FanDuel. Given the roster setup and the extra player, I was expecting average ownerships to spread out a bit more, but for the most part they actually increased. It was of no surprise that center and point guard had multiple nights with incredibly chalky picks as both the center and point guard positions carry the most depth and on most nights the most value. A lot of the winning lineups coming from FanDuel (like last night with Koufos) use a cheap point guard and center to allow them to differentiate at other positions. I was also shocked to see how frequently the PF positions was being exploited by low owned players as we noticed the opposite trend on DraftKings, where PF was the highest owned position on average from winning lineups.

Overall Conclusions

If you scroll through the winning lineups from side to side, you’ll note that not a single winning lineup used more than one player above 35% on a given night. That, in my opinion, is the true essence of GPP lineups. You will see a lot of green that indicates players are being rostered at extremely low ownerships, but the averages tell us that this doesn’t have to be the case. In terms of ownership, the most efficient way to attack GPPS, in the case of the past few months, has been to find a middle ground. Don’t load up on players at absurd ownership levels, but don’t also try to be too cute.

Congrats to the winners!