Birdwings Challenge Round Two: Tuesday February 7th

In this series I will take on Birdwings in head 2 head cash games on draftkings.  Birdwings is one of the most successful cash players in all of DFS.  This series will give you an opportunity to hear my approach to cash as well as my analysis of Birdwings’ rosters.  

The Slate

This three game slate was ripe for strategy discussion.   There wasn`t a lot of value to be had and the best play of the night in Harden came in at a massive 13.3k in salary.  That’s more than Westbrook has been all year!

The Result

To Harden or not to Harden

So we had an extensive discussion on the group me chat about whether Harden was a fade or a lock at 13.3k.  By the way if your not in that group me, you have got to join!  You are missing out on great strategy discussion, lineup discussion, and all the latest roster news.  There was absolutely no consensus as the team was split right down the middle as to whether to lock or fade.  Ironically I ended up on one side of the coin and Birdwings on the other!

What we agreed on

Sean Kilpatrick and Marvin Williams were the only two players we had in common, and this was not too surprising considering we were on opposite sides of the Harden debate.  He had to fill in with heavy value, and I could afford some meatier players.  I chose Kilpatrick because outside of Harden I did not trust anyone at shooting guard, and as such I wanted to pay the least amount for this position.  Kilpatrick’s minutes were up and he had been playing well as of late.  Unfortunately that did not translate and he was an awful dud for  both of us.

Marvin Williams was in a great spot because of Zeller’s absence.  FWIW, I loved Kaminsky and Williams.  I could not fit both in my roster, and I chose Marvin because I felt he had a slightly higher floor and his scoring was more based on rebounds, where Kaminsky had a lower rebounding average and depended more on shooting.

My Approach

I decided to fade Harden because even at scoring 67 fantasy points(roughly 5x), I felt I could find better value in the midrange, as well as upside Harden could never tap into at that price.  While I didn`t expect Yogi to repeat his performance against Dallas this weekend,  I felt he had a safe floor with DWill out and I could lock in 25-30 pts.  Yogi got out to an absolutely awful start,  and while he did manage a decent second half, he fell short for me.

The next choice I had was between Lillard and Kemba.   I decided on Lillard for a couple reasons.  First the blowout potential in Charlotte.  Second, I felt like Lillard would come out with something to prove after a dismal 4-20 performance against this same Dallas team a couple days prior.  This decision worked out extremely well for me, as Bird went with Kemba and I got an extra 20 pts out of it.

Batum was a lock for me across a majority of my rosters tonight.  I like Batum any time he goes against a very weak rebounding team, and Brooklyn ranks 28th in the league in rebounding differential.  I felt that this gave Batum a safe floor, at small forward where there were not a lot of great plays.  Batum did not disappoint and hit a cool 45, that helped propel me.

Aminu was purely a safe floor play on my part.  Finding safe floors is even more critical on short slates,  and I would have been happy with 25 fantasy points.  Aminu’s big second half landed him at 33, and helped me overcome some of my other short comings.

Center had a couple decent plays,  at the price point I needed it was Vuc or Lopez.  Vuc had more upside, but Lopez was the safer floor, so I went with Lopez.  I will say, there is some value at times to taking 2 higher upside plays over 2 floors, and hoping at least one goes off, but I felt safe with this setup, and when going against harden I wanted to make sure I had the floor to take advantage of the benefits of a balanced approach.

Lastly I plugged in Ibaka in the last utility position.  It’s scary to plug a guy into cash coming off a 10 fp performance, but that performance came at the hands of a very tough Atlanta front court.  Ibaka was grossly mis-priced at 6200, and I felt good taking advantage of the huge discount.

Birdwings approach

Birdwings approach is pretty text book here.  Stacking Frank and Marvin insured that you took advantage of Zeller’s absence and hedged should one or the other dominate.  Bogdan was another value play out there that was popular for those playing Harden.  Capela was another great center choice that I simply could not fit as his cheaper price but I took on other sites.  Lastly Aaron Gordon was a great pairing with Harden, as he was going to be guarding Harden a majority of the game,  which meant a nice minutes floor.  Unfortunately he got hurt half way through the game, and while he wasn`t at a pace that would have given Birdwings the win, who knows what would have happened, and it certainly would have been a lot closer!

Wrapping up

I am thrilled with a 2-0 start, but I am running well.  I won`t finish this series unscathed.  Tomorrow brings a big 12 game slate and a chance to go 3-0!

Photo by Sam Forencich/NBAE via Getty Images

Rob Gardner

Rob got a start as a professional poker player with almost a 10 year career. After Black Friday killed off online poker, Rob made a transition to DFS. Rob has had success in NBA, NFL and MLB, include a win in the fan duel super strike.

lilprog has 40 posts and counting.See all posts by lilprog

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