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NBA DFS GPP Recap: DeAndre the Giant

NBA DFS GPP Recap: DeAndre the Giant
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NBA DFS GPP Recap: DeAndre the Giant

I stayed up late watching the Clippers game last night and I came away with two main observations. First, Kevin Durant is a freak. I don’t understand how he gets his shot up over every defender and makes it every single time. Secondly, DeAndre Jordan is a disgustingly large human being. Not disgusting as in gross, but disgusting as in, wow, how is any person that large?

Position Player Statline DK Points FD Points
PG Kemba Walker 30Pts, 2Ast, 7Reb, 2Stl, 1TO 46.25 44.4
SG James Harden 39Pts, 7Ast, 12Reb, 4Stl, 1Blk, 8TO 72.5 65.9
SF Kevin Durant 30Pts, 11Reb, 5Ast, 5Blk, 6TO 61.25 54.7
PF Cody Zeller 15Pts, 6Reb, 4Blk, 2Ast, 1TO 33 32.2
C DeAndre Jordan 20Pts, 18Reb, 1Blk, 2Ast, 1Stl 51 48.6

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: theclone
Team: Mike Conley, D’Angelo Russell, James Harden, Nicolas Batum, Robert Covington, Kawhi Leonard, Aaron Gordon, Nerlens Noel, Nikola Jokic
Score: 345.10

$200K Monster, $300 Entry, $20,000 to First Place
Winner: brutalmaster
Team: D’Angelo Russell, Kemba Walker, James Harden, Zach LaVine, Kevin Durant, Robert Covington, Bobby Portis, Jerami Grant, Nikola Jokic
Score: 333.20

$300K Super Slam, $25 Entry, $30,000 to First Place
Winner: ajm3
Team: Kemba Walker, D’Angelo Russell, James Harden, JJ Redick, Kevin Durant, Mario Hezonja, Cody Zeller, Zach Randolph, Nikola Jokic
Score: 349.40


$400K Mega All-Star, $1,060 Entry, $100,000 to First Place
Winner: p0cket00
Team: Isaiah Canaan, Mario Hezonja, Kevin Durant, Bobby Portis, Mason Plumlee, Patrick Beverley, DeMarcus Cousins, Isaiah Thomas
Score: 298.5

$150K 3-Ball, $300 Entry, $25,000 to First Place
Winner: klovegreen
Team: Patrick Beverley, Will Barton, Gordon Hayward, Aaron Gordon, Nikola Vucevic, James Harden, Dante Cunningham, Mario Hezonja
Score: 309.25

$350K Bird, $33 Entry, $50,000 to First Place
Winner: mscroggs300
Team: Patrick Beverley, James Harden, Kevin Durant, Bobby Portis, Dwight Howard, DJ Augstin, Shabazz Muhammad, Cody Zeller
Score: 319.5

Shoot for the Moon

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. Despite a monstrous slate last night, little viable value held down scores around the industry. The popular value that did exist seemingly crumbled and if you went with the herd you were left scrambling to find points in other places (more on this in the section below). A lot of those points came from the guys at the top ($9,000+). The players that we expect dominance from were dominant last night.

Player Salary FD Points Slam Own %
Kevin Durant $10,600 54.7 27.8%
James Harden $10,700 65.9 24.1%
Chris Paul $10,200 47.3 26.6%

This trio didn’t blow the roof off last night, but it was important to find “stable points” on a night where there were so many duds. Many of the highest owned value plays from last night did not work out, so if you were able to maneuver around them with a huge game from a star you stood a much better chance of finding the cash.

Game Theory – Applied

I’ve spent a lot of time discussing ownership percentages and if you’ve done reading throughout the industry, you’re aware of the game theory applications in tournaments. For instance, if we know a particular player is going to command tons of ownership, we can get a leg up on the field by dodging him and taking advantage of a dud performance. Obviously, this won’t be a completely successful strategy, as there will be plenty of times when a highly owned player performs exactly as expected (hence the high ownership). However, when it doesn’t go well for the masses, you can cash in by having deviated from the field.

I found this to be especially true in a few particular spots last night and by skimming the leaderboards, I think you’ll be able to note how relevant it was.

Player DK Points DK Own % FD Points FD Own %
Bobby Portis 23.5 39.3% 22.7 41.9
Cody Zeller 33 1.5% 32.2 1.6%
Jerami Grant 18 45.9% 16.7 22.2%
Mario Hezonja 35.75 5.4% 34 3.9%

Above, I listed first the more popular play, followed by the successful potential pivots last night. You can argue that positionally these players didn’t all fit together (although Grant/Hezonja are both SF on DK) but by using any of the group we were trying to achieve the same thing – immense value based on their low salary and opportunity. Since all the news relative to Grant and Portis was available before tipoff it was largely expected that they would command high ownership levels. As a result, a smart tournament pivot would have been to move to either of Zeller or Hezonja, or even by moving to other value plays that would have similar opportunities to produce, but at lower ownership percentages.

Doing this is obviously a risk. If you are one of the few that did not take Portis or Grant and they had career nights, you would have never found the cash. However, by trying to take advantage of game theory, should they dud you have a chance to make a large leap on the field.

Last night, swapping off was one small step for man and one giant leap into a pile of cash.

How Contrarian Must I Be?

After scrapping the Utility section thanks to overwhelming (and quite boring) data, I took to the DailyRoto forums to find a section that was a better fit. After a handful of sections, I decided to focus on the ownership aspect, especially in regards to the two major tournaments of the night (the Slam and Shootaround). Given that we can comprehend so easily how difficult it is to win a GPP, we’re often times stretching out of proportion just how to build a lineup. Fitting in a player that no one else will have, just because no one else will have him. Is this necessary? How contrarian do we need to be in order to finish first out of thousands of entries?

How did the ownership structure look between the winning teams last night?

FD Slam: 14.6%, 45.1%, 24.1%, 7%, 27.8%, 3.9%, 1.6%, 8.3%, 12.3%
DK Bird: 10.9%, 16.0%, 12.2%, 39.3%, 33.2%, 1.7%, 5.1%, 1.5%

I should note that both of the winning lineups from these tournaments included major value pivots, including Cody Zeller, DJ Augutin, Mario Hezonja and Shabazz Muhammad. As far as ownership goes, this is typically what I’ve come to expect. In the weeks to come I’m going to be compiling all the data to try to see if there is a discernable pattern but from doing the recap so frequently, these fairly balanced structures of ownership are what I’ve typically experienced. Most often it takes a few players that were off the radar of the masses, a few players that carried a decent ownership (more often than not due to an immense opportunity and potential value) and the rest of the team will be filled with players that slipped below the radar of the majority of teams, but were not irrelevant.

Congrats to the winners!

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