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NBA GPP Recap: The KAT’s Out of the Bag

NBA GPP Recap: The KAT’s Out of the Bag
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NBA GPP Recap: The KAT’s Out of the Bag

Another big night of NBA DFS has come and gone. With the All-Star break looming, take a much needed break and breathe. Then, watch this small clip and read the rest of this piece you lazy bum.

Of course, this is what it is like for KAT, who is undoubtedly a rising superstar in the league. The jig is up, this guy is awesome and everyone knows it.

Position Player Statline DK Points FD Points
PG Chris Paul 35Pts, 13Ast, 5Reb, 1Blk,3Stl, 2TO 70.75 66.5
SG James Harden 34Pts. 11Ast, 9Reb, 2Stl, 8TO 64.75 57.3
SF Robert Covington 29Pts, 6Stl, 5Reb, 1Ast, 7TO 48.75 41.5
PF Jared Sullinger 21Pts, 11Reb, 7Ast, 1Stl 49.25 46.7
C Karl-Anthony Towns 35Pts, 11Reb, 1At, 3Blk 57.75 55.7

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.


$500K Super Baller, $1,065 Entry, $100,000 to First Place
Winner: kia12345678
Team: Rajon Rondo, Kyrie Irving, James Harden, Evan Fournier, Marcus Morris, Shabazz Muhammad, Zach Randolph, Markieff Morris, Gorgui Dieng
Score: 347.60

$175K Monster, $300 Entry, $25,000 to First Place
Winner: mattdominik
Team: Kyrie Irving, Isaiah Thomas, Klay Thompson, E’Twaun Moore, Kawhi Leonard, Robert Covington, Markieff Morris, Thaddeus Young, DeAndre Jordan
Score: 364.20

$300K Slam, $25 Entry, $30,000 to First Place
Winner: legend17
Team: Chris Paul, Patty Mills, Evan Fournier, DeMar DeRozan, Danilo Gallinari, Robert Covington, Derrick Favors, Aaron Gordon, Andre Drummond
Score: 383.50


$400K Mega All-Star, $1,060 Entry, $100,000 to First Place
Winner: Kobe4MVP
Team: Elfrid Payton, JJ Redick, Marcus Morris, Anthony Tolliver, DeAndre Jordan, Chris Paul, Zach Randolph, Andre Drummond
Score: 332.25

$150K 3-Ball, $300 Entry, $20,000 to First Place
Winner: BobbyFi
Team: Chris Paul, Kyle Korver, Jeff Green, Anthony Davis, DeAndre Jordan, Patty Mills, Maurice Harkless, Jeff Teague
Score: 339.25

$350K Crossover, $27 Entry, $50,000 to First Place
Winner: ynenk03
Team: Patty Mills, Nik Stauskas, Kawhi Leonard, Zach Randolph, Andre Drummond, Kyrie Irving, Jerami Grant, Isaiah Thomas
Score: 354.50

Lowly 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, despite there being a relative lack of value on paper there were plenty of guys who finished well above their expectations. The range that did the most damage for GPPs ($4,000-$5,000) was crucial for exploiting value and allowing you to pay up for the monster games by some of the best players in the league.

Player Salary FD Points Slam Own %
Patty Mills $4,100 39.7 2.3%
Evan Fournier $5,000 36.9 5.2%
Robert Covington $4,700 41.5 11.3%

The ownership levels attached here are really surprising to me, but particularly for Fournier and Covington. Although we knew that Tony Parker was going to be out prior to tip, it was suspected that McCallum would start (which he did). While that still means plenty of minutes for Patty Mills, given the point guard depth last night, it didn’t necessarily warrant taking a chance on him. So many of the best point guards were awesome last night, so you could have gotten away with not playing Patty. Fournier and Covington though both represented a position with little depth, but still drew rather shockingly low ownerships. Fournier was starting and expected to get big minutes again for the injured Tobias Harris, and produced again in his absence. And Covington had a great matchup with a terrible Kings defense with an even lower price. Connecting on players like this with low ownerships is how you win GPPs.

Long Time No-Hero

Since the true emergence of Blake Griffin, Chris Paul has not made many large splashes in NBA DFS. Sure, he still carries a high price tag, is a lock for a ton of assists and is seemingly always relatively in low ownership, but hasn’t always warranted play despite those things in his favor. Last night, in an OT finish, vintage CP3 (without Blake Griffin, who was probably off punching some random guy) came out to play.

Player FD Points / Own% DK Points / Own%
Chris Paul 66.5 / 3.5% 70.75 / 1.3%

Certainly Paul has generated more usage and has been forced to play more of an offensive role without Griffin, but I’m not surprised by the incredibly low ownership. Last night, there were so many great point guard matchups, with better prices, that it didn’t make sense to stretch to Paul, unless you were playing in a tournament. Obviously, very few people even made that connection in tournaments, but if you did you were greatly rewarded.

DFS Champ: Create-A-Player

The first few weeks I ran this piece, James Harden was the all-time “create-a-player.” Then there was a stage where Draymond Green owned this section, but now I’m giving it back to Harden. The best thing about Harden is the fact that you know the ball is going to always be in his hands. There is no standing in the corner waiting for penetration and a kick-out, he has the rock seemingly at all times. In that case, it’s no surprise that when he’s playing an up-tempo game against a weak defensive backcourt, he’s going to shred them.

Player FD Slam Own % DK Crossover Own %
Harden 20.4% 12.8%

The ownership percentages here really intrigue me. Harden and DeMarcus Cousins were far and away the top options on the night given their respective matchups, and given that there were as a plethora of other options at center (or PF on DK) last night, it seems that most people would have gravitated towards Harden if paying up. It appears that was not the case, and that Harden actually ended up being a solid tournament play given his performance and ownership.

Player FD Points DK Points
Harden 57.3 64.75

Player Statline
Harden 34Pts, 11Ast, 9Reb, 2Stl, 8TO

The near triple-double numbers are nothing new for Harden. Actually, if turnovers counted, he would have been close to a quad-double (crazy, right?). In showing these two boxes together, I just wanted to point out a brief note about the scoring between FD and DK and illustrate again how Harden might carry a little extra value on DraftKings. First of all, DK is nearly always going to have a small boost in player point total thanks to the bonuses on double-doubles and triple-doubles, but also they award extra points on three-point baskets. Harden is obviously a weapon from deep, meaning that each game he can add 1-2 extra fantasy points just by connecting from downtown. The other big one, especially for someone like Harden who is turnover prone, is the way turnovers are scored on each site. For FanDuel, a site without bonuses, turnovers are scored as -1, as opposed to -0.5 on DK. Last night, in a turnover heavy game for Harden he lost 8 FD points that he otherwise earned, just by turning it over. 

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?

Once again, before you take a look at the ownership levels on the winning lineups, I’d like you to try and envision them. By now you know who was good last night and which players you would have needed to assemble a potentially winning lineup, but think about their ownership levels collectively. 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: 3.5%, 2.3%, 5.2%,4.5%, 6%, 11.3%, 2%, 6.3%, 9.1%

DK Crossover: 9.0%, 1.7%, 5.9%, 48.3%, 15.4%, 12.8%, 13.3%, 1.1%

Were you close to guessing?

Woohoo! This was the first time that I was actually quite close to guessing the appropriate ranges for the winning teams. Thinking back to last night, aware that there was not much value and essentially not one NEED TO HAVE value play, it makes sense that ownership was a bit more spread out. As such, each winning lineup had a more than a few players that fell below the 10% mark, and even some under 5%. This is when the game is at it’s best, in my opinion. The slate was wide open with very little free spaces, and room for the best lineup to naturally find way to the top. The only ownership percentage of the two that stuck out was the obvious value presented by Zach Randolph on DraftKings – perhaps the easiest play of the night, but an acceptable fade in tournaments.

I’m four weeks in now, so the data is starting to stack up a little bit better. In next week’s piece, I’ll be able to give you a graph trying to find some “middling” ground of GPP ownerships, while identifying any extreme outliers that we’ve had thus far.

Congrats to the winners!

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