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NBA GPP Recap: The Beard Got Weird

NBA GPP Recap: The Beard Got Weird
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NBA GPP Recap: The Beard Got Weird

People seem to be on the fence about James Harden. Should we hate him because of his sometimes terrible effort? Or should we love him because he has an awesome beard and he can do cool stuff with the basketball?

Watch this…and then make a decision.

I say he’s awesome.




DK Points

FD Points

PG Russell Westbrook 16Pts, 15Ast, 5Stl, 8Reb, 5TO 57.5 53.1
SG James Harden 33Pts, 17Reb, 14Ast, 1Stl, 6TO 80.25 70.4
SF Chandler Parsons 30Pts, 8Reb, 2Ast, 1Stl, 1TO 46 43.6
PF Kevin Love 17Pts, 18Reb, 2Stl, 4TO 43.5 38.6
Karl-Anthony Towns 27Pts, 17Reb, 3Ast, 6Blk, 1Stl, 3TO 67.25 62.9

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: makeitrain84
Team: Russell Westbrook, Elfrid Payton, James Harden, Evan Fournier, Tobias Harris, Chandler Parsons, Aaron Gordon, Dwight Powell, DeMarcus Cousins
Score: 346.40

$175K Monster, $300 Entry, $25,000 to First Place
Winner: bkbohn21
Team: Elfrid Payton, Tyler Johnson, Kent Bazemore, James Harden, Tobias Harris, Robert Covington, Paul Millsap, Julius Randle, DeMarcus Cousins
Score: 352.60

$300K Slam, $25 Entry, $30,000 to First Place
Winner: tebowsbrother
Team: Reggie Jackson, Elfrid Payton, Evan Fournier, James Harden, Chandler Parsons, Tobias Harris, Julius Randle, Ersan Ilyasova, DeMarcus Cousins
Score: 369.10


$60K All-Star, $1,060 Entry, $20,000 to First Place
Winner: Assani
Team: Elfrid Payton, Tyler Johnson, Chandler Parsons, Dwight Powell, Andrew Bogut, Ty Lawson, DeMarcus Cousins, Russell Westbrook
Score: 299.5

$175K 3-Ball, $300 Entry, $25,000 to First Place
Winner: dmiller61
Team: Elfrid Payton, Lou Williams, Tobias Harris, Charlie Villanueva, Jonas Valanciunas, James Harden, Julius Randle, Gordon Hayward
Score: 319.5

$350K Shootaround, $20 Entry, $50,000 to First Place
Winner: tomcecil
Team: Deron Williams, James Harden, Tobias Harris, Patrick Patterson, Karl-Anthony Towns, Elfrid Payton, Jerami Grant, Nikola Vucevic
Score: 351.25

“Over The Top” Priced Paradise

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. This week, the price range that found itself at home at the top of leaderboards was the star range, $8,500-$11,000. It was an odd scoring night, as you’ll notice by scanning through the winning rosters, but it certainly was important to have one, two or even three of the best players in the game on your roster, as it was a night meant for the stars.



FD Points

Slam Own %

DeMarcus Cousins $10,700 61.7 39.6%
James Harden $9,300 70.4 17.2%
Russell Westbrook $10,500 53.1 15.9%

Of course, on every single night of action we expect these guys to contribute monster fantasy point totals, but often we’re disappointed when they bottom out at 40 fantasy points (that’s sort of a joke, 40 fantasy points is a lot). It can be noted that the public did not shy away from using them, but for those that didn’t have at least one, there was no chance of winning.

Foreshadowing A Suspecting Hero

I changed the title a bit in this spot, because it’ll take some time before Karl-Anthony Towns is a coldblooded killer on every single night. Taken with the first pick in last year’s draft, it was highly anticipated that he would be good, great, or maybe even a star, but did anyone see it happening this quickly? Take a look at Towns’ line last night.


FD Points / Own%

DK Points / Own%

Karl-Anthony Towns 62.9/ 1.5% 67.25 / 2.5%

It’s fair to say that not many were anticipating the stardom last night, eh? At such tiny ownership percentages, using Towns was a surefire way to climb up the leaderboard, especially if you were able to pair him with any of the studs above, which well, you should have been given his middling price tag. KAT fit in right amongst the stars last night, and he might have created enough room for him to stay there.


It has been a long time since I used James Harden in this spot, but man, he deserves to have this section all to himself this week. By now you’ve seen his name quite a bit in this recap, as he might have single handedly won tournaments for you, but now it’s time to truly appreciate it all.


FD Slam Own %

DK Shootaround Own %

Harden 17.2% 3.8%

Hmm…quite a discrepancy in ownership between FanDuel and DraftKings. Harden has a similar price tag on the two, and plays at a position with little to no depth, but still he found himself below 20% ownership in tournaments. This always puzzles me a little bit given the fact that we know Harden has explosions like this in his back pocket at all times. The 17.2% people of FanDuel at least deserve moderate praise for his usage, on DraftKings though, shame on you.


FD Points

DK Points

Harden 70.4 80.25

For those of you who aren’t in to basic math, if you take the total scores from winning teams last night, and divide by Harden’s, you get somewhere between 4 and 5. That means that he was responsible for somewhere between 20-25% of total lineup creations last night. That is absurd. If you paired him with DMC (which a lot of winning lineups did) you had a 130-140 point head start on the competition. That is disgusting (in a good way).



Beard 33Pts, 17Reb, 14Ast, 1Stl, 6TO

There have been a lot of great triple-double lines this year. Those from Rondo’s 48 minute games, the ones from Draymond in the midst of the huge Warriors winning streak, and now this one from Harden. I can’t put my finger on which one is most impressive, but this certainly ranks up there. It’s so valuable in tournaments to be able to roster a guy that just absolutely dominates the ball and has the potential to do things like this. Harden is a frustrating player, but more so in the realm of actual play (where his defensive effort destroys a team). He’s a star in fantasy.

How Contrarian Must I Be?

I wrote this last week, but I’m going to leave it for newcomers.

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?

Before you take a look at the ownership levels on the winning lineups, I’d like you to try and envision them. No, you don’t need to close your eyes and put yourself in a safe place (although it doesn’t hurt), but try and guess how many players were less than 5%, less than 10% and so on.

And now that you’ve done that….take a look.

FD Slam: 6.8%, 11.5%, 27.8%, 17.2%, 9.9%, 43%, 22.6%, 8.6%, 39.6%

DK Shootaround: 16.6%, 3.8%, 20.5%, 3.6%, 2.5%, 14.3%, 0.5%, 22.7%

Were you close to guessing?

Ok. Wow. Yeah. Wow. What? Wow.

I noted the ownership discrepancy between FanDuel and DraftKings for James Harden, but take a look at how astronomically different the winning lineups were from an ownership standpoint. On FanDuel, there were 3 players less than 10% owned, but none under five percent. However, on DraftKings, the winner used 4 players that were under five percent owned.

What does this mean? Did you have to be this contrarian last night to win? Certainly I don’t believe you had to be quite this contrarian to win, but it did help to take a different angle last night, as some popular players provided huge duds. Dwight Powell, Hassaan Whiteside and others dragged down some potentially dominant lineups, allowing those who looked the other way to grab the top spots.

I’m going to chart the numbers from this week and keep collecting this data until we can try and get a solid average ownership that seems to provide some detail about roster creation.

Congrats to the winners!

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