Thursday, Sep 5th
Monday, Sep 9th

Showdown Slant ???? Week 8

Weekly Showdown Data Exploration And Training From Top Showdown Mind Xandamere

In this article I’ll be reviewing the prior week’s Showdown contests, trying to spot trends and see what we can learn to take advantage of this still-soft format. Because of how many games are going to be included, the format will be some bullet-point notes on each game, followed by a wrap-up with learnings so far (both in the most recent week as well as season to date). 

First, keep in mind that NBA is chalky. Massively so. Because of how robust projections are, that leads to overconfidence in outcomes – which is where edge comes from, both in cash and in tournaments. While projections are very good at capturing median outcomes, some of those projections have a greater range to them than others (more variance or volatility) – in cash, we can take advantage of this by sacrificing some median in order to limit our range of outcomes, while in tournaments we can take advantage by sacrificing some median in order to increase our range of outcomes. That, at the end of the day, is what DFS is all about (no matter the sport), and in some ways NBA is the easiest for this because we don’t have to worry about random outliers like a 90 yard touchdown or a grand slam from a backup catcher.

Weekly wrap-up

  • It was a good week for cash games though driven just by a big performance on Monday. I ended up over +$1k for the week in Showdown cash, pushing my season-long ROI to 11.6% (I also took more slates off this week due to being out of town a bit). 
  • I was hoping to dive into Showdown tournaments last week, but the timing was tricky (I live on the West coast, so the later Showdown tourneys start around my dinner time and kiddo playtime – DFS is a tough hobby sometimes!). Plus, Superdraft has been having so much overlay in its tournaments that I have been focused on those. Hopefully I’ll get to Showdown tourneys sometime soon….
  • One of the biggest trends I’m consistently seeing is identifying the overlooked mid-range plays. The guys in the $5k – $7.5k price range or so that are coming in at 10-20% ownership – that’s been a pattern that we’ve seen result in wins time and time again this season. If I was building a “cheat sheet” for Showdown tournament strategy, “be overweight the mid-range plays” would be on there.
  • I’m also seeing that the field is slow to react to late news (for example, Joel Embiid was ruled out ~15 minutes before lock yesterday, but he was still 18% owned in the big tournament and 15-20% owned in cash games). This highlights again that for most NBA DFS players, Showdown is the afterthought to their main slate play – when there’s late news, most people are scrambling to adjust their main slate lineups first and Showdown is a lower priority. There is massive edge in Showdown when there is late news on a game as you can trust that a large percentage of the field will just not be able to react in time. 
2/9 Nets @ Pistons
  • Didn’t play cash
  • The tourney was won in a 4-way tie by a roster with Plumlee captain at 3.7% ownership, Harden, Grant, Wright, Jordan, and Brown. Love this roster – everyone was on the big Nets as captain choices, or Grant if they used a Piston captain, so the rest of the Pistons came in at egregiously low ownership. But, the Nets have been a horrendous defense – we’ve seen team after team put up massive games against them – so looking for ways to attack that made a lot of sense and also avoided the incredibly chalky (and expensive) Harden/Kyrie captain constructions. 
2/9 Knicks @ Heat
  • Didn’t play cash
  • A repeat of the matchup of 2 days ago and the same captain came out on top, as the tourney was won in a 2-way tie by a roster with Butler captain at 27% ownership, Adebayo, Herro, Olynyk, Robinson, and Payton. This roster was a sharp 2v2 pivot away from a giant train in second place, with Herro/Robinson over Randle/Noel. Fading Randle was awfully scary, but at 94.2% ownership there is always a case to be made for at least being underweight if you’re building multiple lineups. 
2/9 Warriors @ Spurs
  • Didn’t play cash
  • The tourney had a solo winner with Curry captain at 34.3% ownership, Green, Oubre, Johnson, Gay, and Paschall. The Warriors crushed the Spurs here so most starters didn’t really have gaudy point totals, while the funny play to me here is Paschall – days after failing as a huge chalk play, of course he comes in and smashes when nobody is on him (7.8% ownership) for the ultimate flop lag play.
2/9 Celtics @ Jazz
  • Didn’t play cash
  • Tourney had a solo winner with a large 7.25 point margin over a big train in second place. The roster was Mitchell captain at 19% ownership, Brown, Gobert, Bogdanovic, Ingles, and Grant Williams. Nobody ever wants to play Grant Williams, and he came in at 6.3% ownership here, resulting in a highly differentiated lineup (which is especially tough on the last Showdown of the night, which is the largest tourney). 
2/10 Raptors @ Wizards
  • The cash build for this one was tough for me. I ended up going Bembry captain (who was expected to play more with Anunoby and Watanabe out), Beal, Westbrook, Lowry, Siakam, and VanVleet. What I felt weird about here was wanting all of the studs, and Lowry was the easiest one to not play, but he was also the cheapest. Playing one of the studs at captain left me in weird value territory – I could do Boucher and Benbry as my value plays if I played Lowry captain, but he was the value option I felt the shakiest about. This was sort of an experiment for me as I haven’t played around much with punt captains in cash, so I was curious to see how it would work. Turns out the Lowry captain lineup smashed, I was just nervous about his health/playing time. 
  • The tourney was won in a 3-way tie by a roster with Powell captain at 3.2% ownership, Beal, Westbrook, Lowry, Boucher, and Lopez. Powell at 3.2% captain (and 25.4% total!) was pretty egregious considering what he’s done since joining the starting lineup- nine games with only one below 30 points! People wanted to pay up for the name-brand studs, of course, but in this one Powell ran hot on shooting and outscored them all at a massive ownership discount.
2/10 Hawks @ Mavericks
  • In cash I ran Doncic captain, Young, Richardson, Reddish, Finney-Smith, and Gallinari. I’m expecting this to be a pretty chalky lineup and the basic construction is, with some small pivots (Huerter/Brunson over Reddish/Richardson, Kleber as a straight pivot off of Reddish). 
  • The tournament was won in a 2-way tie by a roster with Brunson captain at 1.4% ownership, Doncic, Young, Collins, Heurter, and Finney-Smith. This was a super interesting lineup – most lineups were running a stronger (more expensive) captain, but in this one, having a solid performance from Brunson allowed an extra stud (Collins) who wasn’t really able to be played in a lineup with Doncic or Young captain unless you used a real punt play, none of whom really went off in this game. This strategy doesn’t always work (and in fact usually doesn’t work!), but on some slates where the pricing on the studs makes it impossible to get all of them, going with a punt captain can create a strong overall build – in this case none of these players were particularly low owned, with Brunson being the lowest but still a relatively high 35.6% overall, but it played out perfectly to create a solid top-to-bottom roster. 
2/10 Pelicans @ Bulls
  • Didn’t play cash
  • The tourney was won in a 9-way tie by a roster with LaVine captain at 38.9% ownership, Williamson, Ball, Young, White, and Lewis Jr. Lewis Jr. made a great punt option at modest ownership (and went absolutely berserk), but the real plays I like on this roster were Ball and White at mid-30s ownership for the starting point guards on their respective teams – those were sharp plays who had a lot more upside than the field was crediting them with (they weren’t flawless plays, but they were not more than 2-to-1 underdogs to be outscored by guys like Zion and Ingram). 
2/10 Bucks @ Suns
  • In cash I went with Giannis captain, Middleton, Ayton, Paul, Connaughton, and Augustin. There was no great way to get 4 studs without 2 punts – I would have had to use Middleton captain or something like that in order to upgrade Augustin to Forbes, which wasn’t even that big of an upgrade. I was comfortable enough here with the roles of Augustin and Connaughton as not complete hope-and-pray punts. Resulted in a very slightly positive ROI.
  • The fourney was won in a 4-way tie by a roster with Paul captain at 6.2% ownership, Giannis, Middleton, Crowder, Kaminsky, and Forbes. With Giannis so incredibly expensive it was tough to build good rosters with him at captain, even though he put up 70.75 Draftkings points, so I’m not terribly surprised to see a non-Giannis captain roster win this one. Crowder was a real gem here though – following a trend we’ve seen, people shied away from him in his first game back from injury (and he wasn’t starting), letting him come in at just 3.3% ownership. Obviously not starting made him a risk – but 3.3% ownership is just criminally low and made him a fantastic tournament option.
2/11 Raptors @ Celtics 
  • In cash I ran Brown captain, Tatum, Siakam, Lowry, Boucher, and Ojeleye (who was, surprisingly, starting). Ojeleye is a low usage guy but a starting role should solidify at least somewhat decent production. My only real choice here was this lineup vs. Tatum captain and then Kemba instead of Lowry – while Tatum was obviously the highest projected player here, I felt Lowry over Kemba was a significant upgrade, as Kemba is incredibly shooting-dependent for his scoring (and has been shooting incredibly poorly). This one was super frustrating as I was cleanly doubling up for almost the entire game until the very end, when the Celtics left their starters in an extra couple of possessions after Toronto pulled theirs – Kemba hit a couple of free throws to leave me losing to the other option I mentioned by 0.12 points and I ended on a very modest ROI. 
  • The tourney was won in a 14-way tie by a roster with Tatum captain at 23.5% ownership, Brown, Lowry, Walker, Boucher, and Ojeleye. Given that this was just a 1v1 pivot of the other cash game lineup I was considering (and that was highly played in cash), with Lowry instead of Siakam, I’m surprised it wasn’t higher owned, but Ojeleye came in at just 18.1% overall ownership – surprisingly low given his price and starting role. 
2/11 Pacers @ Pistons
  • With the late Plumlee news we got Isaiah Stewart as a value play. In cash I went with Wright captain, which let me fit Sabonis, Brogdon, Grant, Griffin, and Stewart. My decision here was this versus using Grant captain and then Turner/McDermott instead of Griffin/Wright. I decided that I slightly preferred the 3/3 balance of my lineup instead of having 4 Pacers, and I thought that despite starting, McDermott felt a little overpriced at $6,200. Continuing a recent trend for me, this lineup was doing great until the very end, when Wright totally disappeared in the second half and other constructions passed me. 
  • The tourney was won in a 2-way tie by a roster with Sabonis captain at 29.3% ownership, Brogdon, Turner, Jackson, McConnell, and Stewart. Stewart was actually just 56% owned in cash games – shockingly low, to me, for a starting center at $2k. But the real gem here was McConnell at 16.5% ownership – we’ve seen him put up some big games from the bench, and he’s been part of more than one winning Showdown lineup this season in Pacers games. Plays like that are what can differentiate you in critical ways. 
2/11 Sixers @ Blazers
  • This was a weird one where most of the reliable cheap value was on the Sixers’ side. I ran Lillard captain, Embiid, Simmons, Curry, Green, and Maxey. I feel weird with a 5-1 lineup in cash, but the cheap Portland guys were A) generally not as cheap and B) didn’t feel as secure as the cheap Sixers guys, so here we are. Ended up cashing so I’ll take it.
  • The tourney was won in an 11-way tie by a roster with Simmons captain at 10.1% ownership, Embiid, Lillard, Curry, Jones Jr., and Giles. This roster left $1k on the table and was a pivot from a much larger train that was the same roster except with Lillard captain – once again we see that you don’t have to be THAT different, just one pivot can achieve significantly less duplication. 
2/12 Knicks @ Wizards
  • With Beal out the obvious captain for cash games was Westbrook, and then Garrison Mathews made a cheap punt play who should see a lot of minutes. I ran Westbrook, Randle, Hachimura, Robinson, Payton, and Mathews in cash. The choice for me here was between Barrett and Hachimura – Barrett has been the higher scorer on the season, but his minutes have been shakier since Derrick Rose joined the team, so I was a little wary there and felt Hachimura was safer on a thinner team. This went south via Derrick Rose, who apparently was popping in optimals somewhere, and outscored Payton significantly. 
  • The tourney had a solo winner with Randle captain at 23.2% ownership, Westbrook, Rose, Robinson, Quickley, and Mathews. This was so close to cash lineups that I’m surprised it was a solo win – it was Randle captain instead of Westbrook, which was an obvious tourney pivot at about 40% the captain ownership, and then Quickley instead of Payton or Hachimura. Simple pivots that the field didn’t make and a well-deserved solo win.
2/12 Pelicans @ Mavericks
  • In cash I ran Doncic captain (duh), Ingram, Williamson, Richardson, Finney-Smith, and Lewis. The Pelicans have been giving Lewis more run the last few games and he’s played well with it, with 19, 20, and 24 minutes in the past 3 games and 14.25, 13, and 27.5 Draftkings points. At $2k that was a punt I was fine making in order to get in the big 3 guys I wanted. Lewis didn’t do so hot (Redick, the other punt option, outperformed him), but this still netted a modest positive ROI so amidst a cold streak, I’ll take it. 
  • The tourney was won in a 4-way split by a roster with Doncic captain at 62.9% ownership, Porzingis, Williamson, Bledsoe, Hernangomez, and Redick. Once again we see a common theme – a midrange guy going completely overlooked, as Bledsoe came in at just 11.1% ownership (wow). Nice roster here and a small split up top. 
2/12 Bucks @ Jazz
  • Didn’t play cash.
  • The tourney was won in a 14-way tie by a roster with Gobert captain at 10.1% ownership, Giannis, Mitchell, Clarkson, Lopez, and Augustin. Lopez and Augustin came in very low owned at 23.5% and 17.3% ownership, while Gobert was a low owned captain, and yet this was still a (relatively) large tie for first – why? I would guess because it spent all of the salary. There were about 290 Gobert captain lineups and 14 of them (~5%) were this exact roster, because everything fit so neatly. 
2/12 Grizzlies @ Lakers
  • In cash I ran James captain, Davis, Valanciunas, Morant, Allen, and Gasol. Projections were pushing Konchar, and I think he’s a good tourney play, but I decided to go with the starter (Gasol) whose role was more stable. This one hit – lots of people played Tyus and/or Konchar vs. Allen and/or Gasol, and Allen/Gasol outscored their respective similarly-priced friends. 
  • The tourney was won in a 7-way tie by a roster with Davis captain at 17.5% ownership, James, Morant, Kuzma, Jones, and Allen. Davis at less than half the captain ownership of LeBron was a steal, but the real winning play here was Kuzma. He isn’t a guy people tend to play when the Lakers are at full strength (and to be fair, that’s because he rarely has big games unless they’re down someone) – but at just 14.9% ownership, he made a nice differentiator.
2/13 Sixers @ Suns
  • In cash I ran Embiid captain, Simmons, Harris, Paul, Korkmaz, and Payne. Payne was underpriced coming back from a long absence so he made a nice value option here. As soon as this locked I saw my mistake – if I had come down from Harris to Ayton (which was kind of a wash, projections-wise), I could have used Green instead of Korkmaz – Danny Green is not exactly an amazing play but he was going to play significantly more minutes than Korkmaz and had a higher floor. I’ll just have to hope I get lucky here as in hindsight that feels like a real mistake. Did not get lucky. Boo.
  • The tourney was won in a 2-way tie by a roster with Saric captain at 0.1% ownership, Embiid, Simmons, Booker, Paul, and Green. That’s right, Dario Saric captain. There were only 2 rosters with Saric captain and they were both this roster, which is incredibly bizarre, but wow. First time we’ve seen a 0.1% owned captain win a tournament this season!
2/13 Pacers @ Hawks
  • In cash I went Brogdon captain, Sabonis, Young, Reddish, McDermott, Gallinari. Sabonis was a bit too pricey to fit in captain with a lineup I liked, as was Trae, so went with Broggy so I could avoid the scary-floor plays. I thought about Goodwin as a punt with Rondo out, but with Mays around I didn’t feel super safe with his floor, or any of the super cheap dudes. Somehow Goodwin ended up being chalky in cash, so that worked out great for me. 
  • The tourney was won in a 4-way tie by a roster with McDermott captain at 5.4% ownership, Sabonis, Capela, Brogdon, Turner, and McConnell. This was the incredibly rare 5-1 onslaught win where the scoring just worked out perfectly, and as such I’m glad I didn’t MME this one because I never would have landed on this lineup. Not only did a cheap captain win by allowing more expensive plays, but the scoring was distributed in such a way that it was all Pacers – which is VERY unusual. 
2/13 Rockets @ Knicks
  • With Mitchell Robinson out the cash build felt pretty straightforward (and will be extremely chalky, I imagine). I ran Randle captain, Wall, Cousins, Gordon, Noel, and Gibson (who should see more backup C minutes with no Robinson). This was (unsurprisingly) a chalky line but was good for a positive ROI and (and would have been a total smash with 2 more points from Taj, alas).
  • The tourney was won in a 3-way tie by a roster with Gordon captain at 7.1%, Randle, Wall, Payton, Quickley, and Noel. Sharp roster here with Gordon at low captain ownership despite a starting role we’ve seen him succeed in before, and then Payton and Quickley both at very low ownership (poor Elf gets no respect – and then Quickley got extra run due to the blowout). 
2/13 Nets @ Warriors
  • Didn’t play cash.
  • The tourney was won in a 2-way tie by a roster with Harden captain at 9.8% ownership, Durant, Wiggins, Oubre, Brown, and Bazemore. This is an interesting roster because of the ownership – Harden was just 52.5% owned overall and low in the captain spot, because people are scared of him on the Nets when all of him, Irving, and Durant are active. And that’s fair, he hasn’t had the same usage as he did on the Rockets – but he’s been coming into form with the Nets as they’ve figured out how to play together and delivered some strong games, but still came at discounted ownership. He made a great captain option at less than half the ownership of Durant and Curry. Brown was 29.7% owned despite starting, as I think people didn’t adjust to him in the different role. 
2/13 Heat @ Jazz
  • It was hard to get a cash build with the 4 guys I really wanted – Butler, Gobert, Adebayo, and Butler. I ended up going with Clarkson captain to fit those 4 and then Niang as a punt play to make it fit. I felt ok about this and the 4-2 Jazz build as the Jazz were home favorites and had been playing extremely well, while the Heat traveling to altitude were in what I thought was a let-down spot. Modestly positive ROI here.
  • The tourney was won in a 34-way tie by a roster with Adebayo captain at 9.7% ownership, Butler, Mitchell, Gobert, O’Neale, and Niang. It was a large tie because of how close it was to a cash lineup – the other most common cash lineup in this one was this exact lineup except with Mitchell captain instead of Adebayo, so if you look at the top of the tourney you will see pivots of this with each of the other studs in the captain spot. Didn’t result in a huge win because of the large tie, but this was an easy pivot to make from a common cash construction, and we know that small pivots are generally what it takes to win a tournament. This tournament also shows how optimizer usage sways ownership enormously, as all 4 of Adebayo, Butler, Mitchell, and Gobert projected very similarly, but Mitchell was the highest owned captain at 24.3% while Adebayo was the lowest at 9.7% – effectively the field was saying Mitchell had roughly 2.5 to 1 odds of outscoring Adebayo, which I think is plainly false. 
2/14 Celtics @ Wizards
  • We got news that Moritz Wagner was starting, giving us a starting center at just $2,200 – that let me build a cash lineup of Wagner, Beal, Westbrook, Tatum, Brown, and Mathews (who was also starting and was just $2,800). Projections were preferring the same lineup with Mathews captain and Wagner in the flex, but I figured that A) I trust the floor of a center more than a pure shooter and B) I thought Wagner was perhaps being a bit underprojected here, because projections have a tough time with someone who has barely played this season (most projection systems were giving him between 16 and 20 minutes, while he ended up playing 22:20) while I also thought there was more fragility to Mathews’ projection as he had only been seeing big minutes when either Beal or Westbrook was out. This was a situation where we can use our judgment to identify fragility in projections – in Mathews’ case I thought it was to the downside, while in Wagner’s I thought it was to the upside. This worked out happily as Wagner smashed while Mathews struggled (and played under 20 minutes). 
  • The tourney was taken down in a solo win by a roster with Beal captain at 11.6% ownership, Westbrook, Brown, Walker, Wagner, and Aaron Nesmith at 0.3% ownership – Nesmith is a bench guy who barely plays except in injury situations or blowouts, but he saw solid playing time in both halves – over 28 total minutes (in which he scored a whopping 11.25 DK points). At min salary, though, that was enough to let him fit on this roster and deliver a solo win. Note here that second place was a roster with Wagner captain, Beal, Westbrook, Brown, Walker, and Bertans – a nice 2v2 pivot off of my cash lineup that was still good for a solid $1,800 finish. 
2/14 Pelicans @ Pistons
  • In cash I ran Grant captain, Ingram, Williamson, Plumlee, Jackson, and Dennis Smith Jr. – the Pistons being thin meant Smith was certain to see a fair bit of playing time. This worked out for a decent ROI despite Grant being terrible, largely because a lot of the field played Wright instead of Plumlee (play centers!). 
  • The tourney had a solo winner with Plumlee captain at 3.6% ownership, Ingram, Williamson, Grant, Bey, and Mykhailiuk. This roster already left $1,400 on the table but wasn’t even optimal due to how badly Grant performed – playing either Wright or Adams would have beaten this roster but left a whole lot more on the table. Mykhailiuk was a sharp bench play at 10% ownership and he went bonkers, while Plumlee was just a smart all-around play – a starting center who has been playing increasingly well of late but just 25.6% total almost and almost none in captain. 
2/14 Blazers @ Mavericks
  • In cash I played Doncic captain, Lillard, Kanter, Hardaway, Jones Jr., and Little. I felt like Little was a fairly safe value option with the Blazers being thin, but I was perhaps too enamored of his big game a while back – turns out he didn’t even play 5 minutes. The decision that cost me in this one was playing Jones Jr. over Simons, though – this lineup was overall very chalky in cash, with Simons vs. Jones the difference, and unfortunately Simons outscored Jones. The only other construction I considered was getting off of Kanter to avoid having to use Little, which in hindsight would have worked out, but the matchup for Kanter was such a strong one that I really wanted to use him.
  • The tourney was won in a 2-way tie by a roster with Doncic captain at 47.5% ownership, Lillard, Covington, Finney-Smith, Kleber, and Cauley-Stein. How do you manage just a 2-way tie when starting with a captain that half the field is using and not playing a single guy under 10% ownership? Say it with me, because we’ve seen this over and over – by using the mid-range guys that the field is ignoring. Covington came in at just 10.5% ownership and Finney-Smith at 18.1%, while Kleber and Cauley-Stein were 26.4% and 21.6%, respectively. Strong build here that followed a trend we’ve seen win a whole bunch of times this season.
2/14 Magic @ Suns
  • With how thin the Magic were, value abounded in this one. I played Vucevic captain, Paul, Ayton, Ross, Birch, and Okeke. This was a chalky construction (as is often the case in Showdown cash when one team is super thin), but a fair bit of the field used Booker over Paul, so while my ROI was positive it was only modestly so. I could have used Paul and Booker instead of Ayton by going from Okeke down to Bamba, but I wasn’t confident in Bamba’s playing time, and even though I have a personal grudge against Ayton for failing every freaking time I use him, I stuck with the “play centers over pure shooters” strategy.
  • The tourney was had a solo winner by a roster with Booker captain at 10.5% ownership, Vucevic, Bridges, Ross, Crowder, and Okeke. (and wasn’t the optimal, because Paul outscored Vuc). Half the field used Vuc in the captain spot here, which I think discounted the possibility of the Magic just failing utterly here (which is, of course, what happened) and Vuc being the one most vulnerable to losing playing time in a blowout. Once again there were mid-range plays who went ignored by the field as Bridges was 14.8% owned and Crowder was 16.8%. 
2/14 Lakers @ Nuggets
  • In cash there really felt like only one viable lineup to me – James captain, Jokic, Davis, Morris, Caldwell-Pope, and Hampton. I poked around at some options that had Jokic captain and then didn’t have Davis, but I didn’t land on anything I really liked, and the trio of KCP/Morris/Hampton all felt like solid value options. Andddd then AD missed half the time while Joker went berserk. Alas. Can’t predict injuries. 
  • The tourney was won in a 2-way tie by a roster with James captain at 27.5% ownership, Jokic, Murray, Kuzma, Caruso, and Campazzo. After the two studs, all of the other guys were between 12.7% and 21.4% owned, leading to a very small split up top by mixing in some of the plays the field was ignoring. Of course, Anthony Davis getting hurt towards the end of the first half made this roster work, because it led to Kuzma starting the second half and having a lot more opportunity.
2/15 Rockets @ Wizards
  • The Rockets were super thin with Oladipo, Tucker, and Gordon all out, so cash felt pretty obvious – Wall captain, Beal, Westbrook, Cousins, Tate, and Nwaba. I would have liked to have used Beal captain since the Rockets could just get smashed here, but I’m fine being heavy on the super thin team (as I write this as lock, I will bet that a Beal captain lineup wins the tourney – we’ll see if I’m right!).
  • The tourney was won by…wait for it…a 7-way tie by a roster with Beal captain at 33.1% ownership (told ya so), Westbrook, Wall, Bertans, Tate, and Nwaba. Just a small pivot from the cash lineup here, Beal captain instead of Wall and then Bertans instead of Cousins. Smart lineup, and Bertans came in at just 10.5% ownership to make it work in a relatively modest split. 
2/15 Hawks @ Knicks
  • There wasn’t a lot of solid value in this one besides Noel…I ran Noel captain so I could use all of Young, Randle, Capela, and Collins, with Hill as a punt play. Hill isn’t a high usage guy but the Hawks are so thin on the wings that he should be playing a lot of minutes, at least. I couldn’t find a lineup that I felt super comfortable with that had Randle captain, who I felt the best about of any player in this game. This didn’t work out as Hill flopped (I could have played Mays and that would have cashed…but I really should have just found a way to use Randle captain). 
  • The tourney was won in a 2-way tie by a roster with Randle captain at 31.1% ownership, Capela, Barrett, Gallinari, Noel, and Reddish. Once again we see mid-range pivots as this roster faded the more expensive (and chalkier) Young and Collins and got Barrett, Gallinari, and Reddish at low ownership while avoiding any sketchy punt plays. 
2/15 Sixers @ Jazz
  • Embiid was ruled out just a few minutes before lock so I was scrambling. I came down on Mitchell captain, Simmons, Harris, Gobert, Clarkson, and Bradley. Mike Scott was starting at center but it was hard to see him playing much, and when the Sixers extended Dwight Howard earlier in the season, the coach came out and said he wished he’d played Bradley more instead – so I went with that narrative and hoped for the best. In hindsight I should have played Simmons captain instead of Mitchell, as I could have afforded either, and Simmons was the guy on the shorthanded team. Bradley didn’t even play, but this lineup still somehow barely squeaked by into profit – for which I feel very lucky and grateful.
  • The tourney was won in an 8-way tie by a roster with Simmons captain at 16.5% ownership, Mitchell, Harris, Clarkson, O’Neale, and Howard. This was actually a cash-viable lineup (and, sadly, I saw it in some of my cash games, entered by a guy who didn’t enter this tourney – poor dude). Simmons was half the captain ownership of Mitchell, which was a great deal from an ownership perspective, and then Howard was the best bet to fill the center minutes that Mike Scott didn’t play. Sharp roster here.
2/15 Heat @ Clippers
  • Once again we had a very shorthanded team. In cash I ran Butler captain, Adebayo, Herro, Williams, Ibaka, and Jackson. I feel like this is going to be massively chalky….turns out it wasn’t, and it smashed. Not really sure what people played that failed here as Ibaka and Jackson didn’t even do that well.
  • The tourney was won in a 38-way tie by a roster with Butler captain at 38.5% ownership, Adebayo, Williams, Herro, Morris, and Zubac. Zubac came in at just 6.4% ownership, but we still saw a large tie because the rest of the roster was so chalky (total cumulative ownership of 391.8% is one of the highest I’ve seen). It was hard to get smartly different in this one given how thin the Clippers were.