December 3, 2014 Winning Lineup (NBA Swat)

While there are many different options to choose from when playing a daily fantasy NBA game, one of my favorite games is the “NBA Swat.” For a one dollar buy in, you compete against 57,471 different basketball enthusiasts from around the world for the top prize of $4,000. Of course, there are also prizes ranging as low as $2.50 (including placing anywhere higher than 10,660th). With that said, I want to be the top dog so I craft my lineups with a “go-for broke” attitude because, let’s face it, $2.50 is not going to change my day while $4,000 will….

With that in mind, I typically try to analyze the scores from the winning team from the night before to see what they did differently from me and the rest of the pack that were not quite as successful. The scores for December 3, 2014 were, in a word, “huge.” 369.8 points huge! Because there are nine players in a starting lineup, that averages 41.09 fantasy points per player. As such, a major “congrats” is due to “jjames15” for his/her efforts coming up with the following lineup:

PG 1: J. Teague - Teague has been on fire lately so 46 fantasy points from the $7,100 point guard is almost to be expected.

PG 2: K. Lowry - Likewise, Lowry is a model of consistency so 51 fantasy points from this $8,700 player is almost routine.

SG 1: D. Wade - Coming off an injury that kept him out of Miami’s lineup for a few games, D. Wade lit it up and fantasy owners were rewarded with 44.1 fantasy points from this $7,900 star.

SG 2: B. Beal - Beal, on the other hand, was a true steal at $6,600 and contributed 40.9 fantasy points to the wining lineup.

SF 1: J. Green - $6,600 must have been the sweet spot last night because that is the price for this forward that donated a whopping 39.5 fantasy points to jjames15’s amazing night.

SF 2: T. Ross - If there was a dog in this lineup, Ross could be said to fit that bill as he only contributed fantasy 16.8 points. However, if you drill down on the math, because his salary was $4,800, that’s actually close to a 3.5X return on investment. While you typically cannot win these leagues with players that score less than 4X ROI, at least Ross almost held his own.

PF 1: T. Young - Another less than perfect performance was put in by Young as he cost $6,500 and that investment only yielded 24.7 fantasy points.

PF 2: M. Teletovic - While there is no doubt that Beal and Green helped boast this team’s final points total over the winning line, Teletovic was one of the best values of the night. Costing a mere $4,400, this Brooklyn power forward scored an amazing 47 fantasy points, consisting of 26 points, 15 rebounds, and 2 assists. Because he was only owned by 2.9% of the gamers, Teletovic was simply the man!

C: A. Drummond - Rounding off this heck of night was a very nice performance from Detroit Center. While his price was not cheap (i.e., $7,200), he certainly earned his salary and paid dividends to the tune of 59.8 fantasy points. That’s a healthy 8X ROI!

The most frustrating part of playing daily fantasy sports is that, in hindsight, this winning lineup was completely doable by me. Indeed, when setting my lineup, I considered most, if not all, of the top performing players on this winning team. Ugh!!!!

December 4, 2014 NBA FanDuel Lineup Analysis

While I have been rather successful this NBA season in drafting teams that end up in the money, I have not yet cracked one of the top lineups which, to me, would be anything over a $100 payout.

There are only three games on tap for tonight: Cleveland Cavaliers at New York Knicks (8:00 p.m. ET start time), Indiana Pacers at Portland Trailblazers (10:00 p.m. ET start time), and New Orleans Pelicans at Golden State Warriors (10:30 p.m. ET start time). These limited game nights are tricky. While it seems very easy to pick a quality lineup when there are only so many studs available, I have found the converse is usually true.

Instead, there is always a handful of players that very few people select and, when you are lucky enough to pick them for your team, you end up sharing prize slots with a ton of other gamers. As such, I would expect that the top prizes will be split tonight amongst several different fantasy teams. Hopefully, my team will be one of those top teams!

The Highest Scoring Game Of The Night

Strategy-wise, when there are only a few games on the schedule for a night, it is important to try to guess which game will be the highest scoring game and select a minimum of four quality players from those two teams. Tonight, I’m thinking that the NO versus GSW will be the highest scoring game so it is a good idea to select a few players from that game. Some of the obvious choices from the Pelicans are Jrue Holiday, Tyreke Evans, and Anthony Davis, while Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Andrew Bogut are the studs from the Warriors.

Selecting A Few Studs From The Last Game Of The Night

Another strategy I like to do is reserve a few studs from the last game of the night. That way as they score, I can watch my team climbing the leader board instead of the other way around. Because this game starts at 10:30 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, it certainly fits the bill.

The Second Highest Scoring Game Of The Night

Another game that has the potential to score a bunch of points is the Cavs and Knicks game. While it is the first game of the night, picking the correct players from this game is crucial to starting the night off right! Of course, from Cleveland there are three absolute no brainers to choose from: Kyrie Irving, LeBron James, and Kevin Love. From New York, the choices are not as obvious but certainly could include Carmelo Anthony. With that said, although the Knicks do not have as many super stars as the Cavs, there is a ton of value in the starting lineup just waiting to be had.

The Third Highest Scoring Game Of The Night

While the Indiana Pacers have some true out-and-out studs in their lineup, they play so slowly that it’s like watching paint dry. Of course, slow games equal fewer opportunities to earn fantasy points so I tend to choose very selectively from games involving them. Unfortunately, tonight’s game is packed with unique opportunities for value plus scoring so it is hard to pass up on all of the available options. For example, Donald Sloan and Rodney Stuckey are both getting the start for the Pacers, as is Roy Hibbert who is arguably the best Center available tonight. From the Trailblazers, Damian Lillard, Wesley Matthews and LaMarcus Aldridge are each competing for slots on my team!

My December 4, 2014 NBA Lineup

PG 1: D. Sloan

PG 2: K. Irving

SG 1: W. Matthews

SG 2: K. Thompson

SF 1: H. Barnes

SF 2: N. Batum

PF 1: A. Stoudemire

PF 2: A. Davis

C: S. Dalembert

Good Luck Everyone!