NBA Daily Fantasy Basketball – Sleepers + Cash Game Picks 12/25

Merry Christmas Everyone!!!!!! Hope you are all doing well today and have spent (or will spend) the required time with the fam today. But let’s be honest – WE ALL JUST WANT TO WIN SOME STRAIGHT CASH HOMIE PLAYING NBA DFS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Today the most valuable info I have to offer are the target scores (based on pretty vanilla projections) for each of the slates. That should make it helpful building lineups if you’re just a casual player without some kind of lineup optimizer helping you out. Lastly I have some game strategy that might give you some food for thought today.

Okay here are some target scores for all the different slates on Friday December 25, 2015. Remember, we use these scores – in combination with projections to see if the lineup we just built is capable of reaching these scores. As long as your lineup is within range of the target score, I’m ok with it. If your players need to have the best games of their life to reach the target score, you might as well throw your money in the trash can.

Draftkings
261 (Full Slate)
260 (2:30 Turbo)
250 (5:00 Afternoon)
245 (8:00 Late)

Fanduel
290 (Full Slate)
280 (2:30 Afternoon)
280 (5:00 Late)
260 (8:00 Late Night)

Yahoo
255 (Full Slate)
245 (2:30 4 Games)
250 (5:00 3 Games)
250 (8:00 2 Games)

You can try and be cute in the 2/3 game slates – but normally what I do is lock my lineup with the 3 or 4 of the best (highest owned) players and rotate value around them. Certainly in cash games I wouldn’t want to be fading any big superstar outside of maybe Harden.

Cash Game Targets: Lebron, Curry, Westbrook, Durant, CP3 … ect. Probably about in that order too on the higher end. I’ll only play cash games in the 2 and possibly 3 game slates, just for my own reasons. I just feel it’s easier to construct a cash lineup when all you need to do is put the best players in and fill around them guys that project to produce given the minuets they’ll likely get. Let everyone else fade the best players & see what happens. When you get out to 4+ games you honestly have to think too much ….. and I’m not going to be grinding on Christmas day over $5 50/50 lineups.

Here’s what I would consider to be some of the chalk value … outside of what’s going on Yahoo. To be honest, looks like you could run a stars/scrub lineup easier on Yahoo since there’s playable $10 guys. On Fanduel & Draftkings … I’ll explain more in depth below, skillfully punting will likely be what takes the GPPs down tonight.

G – Lou Williams
$5,400 Fanduel
$13 Yahoo

G – JJ Redick
$10 Yahoo

G – Patrick Beverley
$4,200 Fanduel
$10 Yahoo

G – Manu Ginobili
$4,100 Draftkings
$10 Yahoo

C – Tim Duncan
$17 Yahoo

I think this is the 4th or 5th year playing NBA DFS on Xmas, and I’m excited once again. On a day like Christmas, I actually team my bankroll with my brother, who also plays DFS a little more casually, but certainly knows the NBA and how to formulate lineups. The reason I do this on big nights in the NBA is because Christmas day is all about lineup combinations. The more lineup combinations you can expose yourself you – the better chance (I feel) you have at hitting a top 1% score. Combining my bankroll with someone allows me to have even more freedom to build top 1% lineups. Instead of having $500 to play with, now it’s $1,000 … it’s a huge advantage and most of the more successful DFS players do something similar. There might come an age in DFS where teaming up is more frowned upon, like it was in online poker – but for now, as long as you’re not manipulating smaller field events it seems to be an accepted practice and something you should consider if you have other friends/family who play DFS too.

For the most part – the narrative that Christmas day is where superstars (max contract guys) look at the other guys in the locker room and say “i got this tonight brah” … is 100% true. Kobe might be weird and try to get 10 assists, but I fully expect LeBron to be in St Vincent St Mary’s Bron mode – and even someone like Harden (who lots of smart people are fading) to have $200+ million reason to show up and play great against the Spurs since Adidas will be running ads all day with his beard plaster all over the place. If Anthony Davis pulls up lame on Christmas day, I will believe hell has frozen over on a holy day. Nothing is guaranteed in DFS – but would you be passing up chances to make yourself look good when everyone is watching??? Nope. Neither will Lebron, Harden, Curry, Kobe, Rose, Westbrook, Durant.

“I love me some me” – TO once said.

That brings me back to my point about today. We’re all going to be on the same players. The ‘pros’ have been building lineups for 24 hours, and even the casual guy has had an extra day to think about the NBA. Think about your lineup combinations. Westbrook/Curry, Curry/Bron, Paul/Durant – there’s lots of superstar combos can roll with. Think Kobe is going to have a vintage Kobe night??? Well that means the ‘value’ picks that will have to guard him are worth fading in that lineup, and maybe someone like CP3 or Blake is worth it … since Kobe going off should keep the Lakers from getting blown out. Think Westbrook OR Durant has a big game – but not both??? Well, you’ll probably want to build lineups where you get equal exposure pairing both with other stars like Curry, Bron … ect. Stacking will also be something I do. It’s possible there’s only 1 or 2 competitive games on the entire slate. If that game goes to OT (or 4 OTs!!!!) you’re almost guaranteed to hit the big one if you stack your entire lineup. Personally I guarantee I will stack the Warriors/Cavs in a lineup, and I might do the Spurs/Houston just to be wacky, or a mix between Cavs/GSW and maybe LA/LA.

Punting. Okay. On a night like tonight – especially if you play the partial 2/3 game slates, the art of punting will be in play. Just a few nights ago there was a Turbo slate with GSW/Utah and Lakers/OKC as the two games to pick from. EVERYONE near the top had Andre Roberson (OKC) who finished with 38.9 fanduel points and was only 3.3% owned in a 2 game slate. One player will likely decide where the majority of the money goes today. Think about game flows, and punt with 1 or 2 players. I see winning lineups ALL THE TIME with one, sometimes two players with less than 10 fantasy points. Just make sure when you punt it’s strategic. For example – on the full slate, I could see making an argument you could punt Center because it seems to be the weakest position in terms of upside. In these short slate GPPs, going out on a limb and punting one of the other positions might prove profitable as well. Game flows should also help you with punting. If you think the Lakers, Rockets or anyone gets blown out – that will be 5 – 10++ more minuets for a guy that was only projected to get maybe 20. One other way I sometime land on punts is by projecting fouls on the starters. Westbrook, Harden, Kobe (in his day) and others just bully their way to the free-throw line. It’s not a great way to land on a punt play but in 1/2 game slates I don’t mind the logic of playing a backup that might get 5 extra mins in the 1st half due to the starter getting 2 fouls. Also remember, when you are punting – it’s to pay up for a guy that’s going to exceed projections for whatever reason you’ve come up with since the punt will still likely only get us minimal points. Just make sure it all makes sense within the lineup, and you’ve skillfully punted – and not just picked the cheapest guy at the last position you need to fill.

Okay now go win a GPP!! Remember, to have fun – and stay within your bankroll. I have more money to spend on DFS this Christmas because I’m blessed enough to be successful in many other business ventures. I remember only playing Freerolls and $1 DFS games not too long ago because I didn’t have very much money I could afford to lose. Don’t push yourself beyond your limits tonight. There’s no shame in playing $1 games or freerolls. I proudly show my results here daily in games that are often $1 or $2 dollars . Like I said – tonight is about combinations. If you’re off the guys that set off all the good lineup combinations, you’re likely going to have a near 100% losing night. There’s a good chance I whiff entirely today. I’m comfortable completely whiffing on $1,000 of entries and still being able to come back tomorrow (with a bruised ego) and play. Some people it’s $10,000, for some it’s $1. Wherever you stand, stick to it tonight.

Good luck!

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