@scottchristens6 gives some details on the NBA’s return and offers up some thoughts on bankroll management!!
Oh Lordy, YES!!
We’ve been in need of some good news for a while now and the recent announcement that the NBA will return on July 31st with a 22-team format certainly qualifies. There’s still a long way between now and then, and with the world constantly and drastically changing seemingly every single day, I’m having a hard time pushing down the “don’t count your chickens before they hatch” voice in the back of my head, but man am I happy right now. I hope you are too.
If you haven’t had a chance yet to brush up on the details, it’s looking like we’ll have 13 teams from the West and nine teams from the East playing games at a single site in Orlando with three courts available for games.
Those teams are the…
-Lakers, Clippers, Nuggets, Jazz, Thunder, Rockets, Mavs, Grizz, Trail Blazers, Pelicans, Kings, Spurs, and Suns.
-Bucks, Raptors, Celtics, Heat, Pacers, 76ers, Nets, Magic, and Wizards
There will be eight regular season games followed by the standard playoff structure that the NBA always uses. Top seven teams from each conference qualify for the playoffs while there could be a special play-in for the 8th seed on each side depending on how far back the 9th place teams are once the regular season wraps up.
The one thing that immediately stands out to me about this whole arrangement is that they hope to play 5-6 games a day, which, in my opinion, is right in the sweet spot for an NBA DFS slate. However, there are only the three courts and, as of now, they will require four hours between games to make sure that everything is clean and ready to go from a Covid standpoint, which means the fantasy sites could easily end up focusing their efforts on split slates.
If you’re like me and prefer sites to focus their offerings on larger, classic slates and not split slates of just two or three games, it can’t hurt to drop your favorite site a note over the next month or so and let them know what you think. It might not make any difference, but it certainly can’t hurt.
Without a game schedule or pricing, and because the restart of the season is still so far away, it’s tough to get into specifics about teams, players, and strategy. One thing we can do at the moment, however, is keep our eyes and ears open and pay attention to tweets and interviews with coaches and players to see if we can pick up any little nuggets of information to stash away for future reference.
Today I thought I’d take a little bit of time to talk about bankroll management. As I’ve mentioned in previous articles, I’ve been playing DFS for several years now and I’ve done a lot of things well but I’ve also made plenty of mistakes along the way. It’s mostly the mistakes that I focus on because that’s how I best feel I can help other people learn if they recognize my past mistakes as leaks in their own game.
I don’t feel comfortable or think it’s appropriate to preach, “you should do this,” or “you should do that,” when it comes to bankroll management because I think everyone approaches DFS a little bit (or a lot) differently. Instead, I’d rather talk about how I think about bankroll management and why it’s become very important to me, and, in the process, maybe some of what I say will resonate with you or give you something to chew on. I mostly play GPPs so I apologize in advance to the hardcore cash game subs – hopefully, you guys can find something of value here as well.
Although it might sound counterintuitive, proper bankroll management has given me freedom in a lot of ways. It certainly feels restrictive when my bankroll doesn’t allow me to play certain tournaments – of course – but that’s not really what I’m getting at.
When I play DFS, I want to make sure that I’m taking MY guys, the ones that really stick out to me as good plays based on my research and all the information that I’ve collected. At times in the past, when I piled more and more money into a slate, beyond what would be considered advisable, my tendency was to either dilute my player pool to make sure I got exposure to every “good” play if I was multi-entering or to gravitate toward the chalk if I was playing just one or two lineups but entering a bunch of stuff.
That’s not to say that chalk is bad and that I don’t ever want to have it in my GPP lineups. It just means that when faced with a decision between rostering a player that I liked – and would likely be low-owned – and rostering a player that everyone else seemed to like and considered a “must play,” it was a lot easier to give in and follow the herd when the stakes became uncomfortably high relative to my bankroll.
Someone might say, “well, if you were going to put a bunch of money in and play the chalk, why not just play cash then?” and that’s a very good question. The answer is that I wanted to have my cake and eat it too. I wanted to cash but I also wanted to keep the door open for a really big score. And too often what that type of thinking leads to is a decent lineup that may or may not cash but has little shot of winning. And in the GPP life, cashing often means 1.5x the buy-in while all the real money is up top. In the vast majority of GPPs, if I make two lineups and min-cash one, I haven’t even broken even, I’ve lost money.
I think it would be disingenuous to say that it’s impossible to win a GPP with a chalk lineup – it happens every once in a while – but every time I’ve taken down a GPP, and the majority of the winning lineups I’ve seen, have had some combination of chalk and lower-owned plays. When I’ve overextended myself, my GPP lineups have generally leaned too far to the chalk side of things and not enough to the contrarian options, and those are the types of lineups that bleed money without providing a good enough shot at the top of the leaderboard.
Another way that bankroll management has given me freedom besides rolling with my guys is that I can close my laptop and do something else or just enjoy watching the games as a fan when my DFS teams bomb. Obviously, I don’t like losing, but it becomes not that big of a deal when everything is in proportion. Basically, a losing slate is mildly disappointing. I also don’t have to sit there and agonize over a possible min-cash if I’m in too deep.
While it’s true that I’ve missed out on some money when I’ve hit a monster lineup and didn’t have it in everything I might’ve wanted to, the stress of playing for too much of my bankroll just isn’t worth it to me. I know some people enjoy that kind of sweat – and I certainly don’t mean any disrespect – but that’s something I’ve moved away from over the years and I’m a happier DFS player for it.
One thing I’ve learned is to accept a more patient and realistic approach to DFS. It’s really easy to fall into the trap of wanting it all to happen right now. As a GPP player, I’m going to lose money most slates – that’s the nature of the beast and that’s ok. Being fairly nitty with my bankroll isn’t glamorous, but it gives me the psychological freedom to roll with my guys and to have peace of mind when it just isn’t my night or week or month – ah, the GPP life! – and to really enjoy it and appreciate it when I hit something nice or go on a heater.
As we all know, in the world of DFS, there’s always another slate just around the corner, and I’m at the point in my DFS career where I always want to make sure I can prepare for the next one with a clear head, no regrets, and maximum enjoyment.
To all of you, EliteMafia, thanks for reading. Can’t wait for the NBA to fire back up again and looking forward to sharing the fun and excitement with all of you!!