NBA Daily Fantasy Basketball – Sleepers + Cash Game Picks 1/20

It’s great to be back! Today we’ve got a very large 11 game NBA slate. For many of you that have been grinding for the last 12 days …. I don’t see any reason why you can’t jump in tonight & play a ton of contests. For me … and maybe those that are either still learning NBA DFS – or maybe you’re on a cold streak playing NBA DFS – tonight I see myself being very selective on the contests I decide to enter.

First thing is first – here are some target scores for the night depending on which slate of games you are playing. Personally, I’m really going to target the 8pm 4 game slate on Fanduel – and probably the two 3 game slates (8 and 8:30) on Draftkings. The 11 game slates will likely be exclusively GPP contests for me.

Draftkings (7pm 11 Games): 250
Draftkings (8pm 3 Games): 240
Draftkings (8:30pm 3 Games): 245
Draftkings (10:30pm 2 Games): 242

Fanduel (7pm 11 Games): 290
Fanduel (8pm 4 Games): 279
Fanduel (10:30pm 2 Games): 260

Here are my cash game/tournament targets. On the 2-4 game slates, you can almost enter the same lineup in cash & tournaments since there’s not a ton of difference between the two. However, I still recommend pushing the envelop a bit more in tournament lineups, either punting in a spot so you can move up for 1 more superstar – and/or trying to target a sleeper who will be low-owned.

Draftkings (7pm 11 Games): Kyle Lowry, Jimmy Butler
Draftkings (8pm 3 Games): Jimmy Butler, Draymond, Durant,
Draftkings (8:30pm 3 Games): Cousins, Clarkson, Kobe ??
Draftkings (10:30pm 2 Games): Lillard, Cousins

Fanduel (7pm 11 Games): Cousins, Lillard
Fanduel (8pm 4 Games): Westbrook, Curry, Butler, Harden
Fanduel (10:30pm 2 Games): Lillard, Clarkson, Milsap, Cousins

Sleeper/Value Guys: Okay – so I know most of you come to this site for these picks. Right now (about 10am PST) it’s still a little early to call out a ton of sleepers. The plays will become more apparent as the day moves on, since there’s lots of key guys out tonight. That doesn’t automatically make it a great night for sleepers … especially in the 11 game contests, but there will be lots of room to save money tonight. I’ll be updating this list as news crosses and I actually start building lineups.

G – Cory Joseph
$3,700 Fanduel

G – Gerald Green
$3,700 Fanduel

G – Ty Lawson
$3,600 Fanduel

G – Tyler Johnson
$4,500 Fanduel

F – Robert Covington
$4,800 Fanduel

Vacation Recap: For the last 12 days I’ve been on vacation. It started in Beverley Hills, CA – where I was basically making a pit stop between LA and Las Vegas so I could watch my favorite NFL team play the Steelers in a playoff game. The events that caused the Bengals to lose that playoff game are still haunting me, and likely will for a long time. A few days later I bet $300 on Alabama to win the National Championship by 7 or more points. A (somewhat) meaningless late TD drive by Clemson made my ticket worthless. Needless to say it was a really rough first days of my vacation.

I’ve told friends/family that I’ve “quit football” for the time being. I have no idea who won/lost the NFL games this past weekend. I was planning on going to the Super Bowl since I live a short distance away and can get tickets for basically face value. Now I’m probably not going watch the game, let alone go. I can imagine 8 months will likely heal my NFL wounds, but I didn’t watch much NFL this season, I quit all but 1 of my season-long fantasy leagues (and rarely played NFL DFS) …. next season will probably be even less. The Bengals melting down was the final nail in the coffin to pay more attention to sports that are less complicated (and penalizing) from a rules perspective.

So I really couldn’t play NBA DFS in Las Vegas due to state laws, but I probably wouldn’t have played anyway since you’re timing gets so messed up in Vegas staying up late/early. As I was driving back up through California – I entered a few contests but didn’t generate any real special results. I did make a major goof yesterday when I meant to enter a lineup in a $2 tournament …. but instead it was for a $25 tournament! My lineup wasn’t bad – except I didn’t avoid the Tyler Johnson bomb, which pretty much sank my chances of cashing. Tonight, I’m probably going to stick mainly to $1/$2/$5 50/50’s unless there’s a tournament with some overlay. In the shorter slates, I’ll probably do a 70/30 mix of cash games vs GPPs. I’d like to get my confidence rolling again before I fire off most of my lineups into GPPs. My plan is to end the night with a win – so if I have some good lineups rolling in the 7 and 8pm slates – I’ll probably just skip the late night slates. However, I really feel it’s important for me to end my night well so if I whiff on the middle turbo slates, I’ll probably play the late-night slates.

So my NBA DFS goal tonight really isn’t really to turn a profit. It’s to have sound processes creating my lineups. Being disciplined in entering more low-stakes cash games vs GPPs. And most importantly, I want to end the night feeling good about my lineups – so if I have early success – I’ll probably shut it down so I can carry that confidence into tomorrow.

Anyway, not much of a DFS strategy recap, and sorry it turned into an NFL sob-story, but I really have been out of the NBA DFS loop & am just looking to get back into the grind. I suggest if you’re just a casual NBA DFS play – or you’re picking up the sport after grinding NFL/CFB – make sure you really select your games carefully and don’t expect to come in and dominate right away. I feel like I’m a beginner tonight and I only took about 10 days off from playing. But the end of the week I should have my kick-step back & be in full grind mode. If you’re new or struggling with NBA DFS – don’t expect to turn it into a profit machine until you’ve really gotten comfortable with player rotations/playing time. That can take weeks, months, or even an entire season of studying the NBA to really understand. You should adjust your bankroll accordingly so you can afford to play all season. Remember – even if it cost you $100’s of dollars learning NBA DFS – it can all pay off in one night if you really stay focused & grind. Good luck!

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