Tag Archives: Kelly Olynyk

DFS Trade Deadline Hidden Gems

When building a DFS lineup, we all know the big stars to consider. Even the novice DFS player knows to target LeBron, Anthony Davis, James Harden, Stephen Curry, etc. However, when it comes time to take down a Guaranteed Prize Pool (GPP) tournament, the key is to find the hidden gem in that night’s slate of games. In DFS, gems do not stay hidden for long, so it is imperative to be the first one to find that prize. If you are one day late, that could be the difference between infamy and glory.

Let’s focus on the players that may become hidden gems after the all-star break. With the trade deadline looming this Thursday at 3 PM, DFS players should get a shovel and get ready to start digging.

Miami Heat v San Antonio Spurs - Game Four

Dwyane Wade

Alright, Wade is hardly a hidden gem, but the way that the media speaks about him it’s as if he hasn’t been an elite player in years.  Truth be told, when Wade had been on the court this year, he’s been stellar with the 3rd highest usage rate at 32.2, 10th in points per 36 mins at 23.9, and he has the 13th highest PER at 22.49. He’s due back from his latest injury Friday, and the Heat will be “all in” trying to make the playoffs.  Look for Wade to play significant minutes and produce at a superstar level (while on the court). Get him in your lineups while his price on DFS sites is still low – this is probably the lowest it’s going to be all season. He may get hurt again, but before he does, he may win you a GPP.

Kelly Olynyk

Only because I love you readers, will I share with you this vital secret. Danny Ainge’s valentine was Kelly Olynyk. Oh, you think I’m kidding. Well, I’m not. Ainge and the Celtics front office are infatuated with pony tailed Kelly. While Olynyk hasn’t been consistent yet in his brief NBA career, he has shown flashes of brilliance. Even after losing his starting job to Tyler Zeller, Kelly erupted for a game of 30 points on 17 shots, three three pointers, nine rebounds, two blocks and three steals. How many centers are capable of a line like that? And a closer look at his stats shows that he averages 16.3 pts per 36 mins. That’s higher than Jrue Holiday, Andrew Wiggins, Bradley Beal and Michael Carter-Williams. And this guy shoots 50 percent, averages 5.4 rebounds, two blocks, and a three pointer per game in only 24.5 minutes per game. He is one monster game away from winning us all some serious cash. And if he starts getting big minutes…look out.

nik and zach

Nikola Pekovic

It’s hard for the strongest man on plant earth (according to Dwight Howard) and a villain in Super Man II (Google “Superman Villain Non”) to stay hidden. But that’s the case with Pekovic. Everyone assumes the Wolves are tanking and want to play young guys (and this probably is true), but they haven’t gone this route yet. While it’s possible the Wolves may move veterans K-Mart, Thaddeus Young, and even Pekovic by 3pm Thursday – I’m staying bullish on this guy even if he does get traded. True, he doesn’t fill up a stat sheet, but he currently averages 17.9 pts per 36 mins. That’s more than Kevin Love, John Wall, and Tyreke Evans, among others.  If Pekovic stays healthy and gets minutes (he’s still starting for Minnesota ahead of Dieng), he can bully his and your way past Superman and into a high GPP finish. While his price is still low on DFS sites, he makes for an excellent contrarian play.

Cleanthony Early/Lance Thomas

Now that Carmelo has brought an NBA championship to New York…oops, I mean an All-Star appearance to New York, look for him to shut it down in the next couple days. That opens up a lot of minutes and tons of shots for the Knicks. Lance Thomas might be the immediate beneficiary at small forward (and lots of DFS players will flock to Tim Hardaway Jr. as a solid option at SG) but don’t sleep on Early (known for his steals and threes). Derek Fisher loves this kid and is going to find minutes for him on the floor. The Knicks only goal from now on is to see what talent (if any) they have on the roster. 

Isaiah Thomas

The Dragic trade rumors are reaching peak level, and if he gets dealt, get ready to make Thomas a staple in your DFS lineup. He’s been a decent DFS option with only 25.7 mins per game this season, but he has the 21st highest points per 36 minutes at 21.4 and a usage rate of 24.6. Accordingly, if he gets starter minutes on Phoenix, he’ll be an immediate elite fantasy player in the Suns up-tempo offense.


George Hill

The cruelest words in DFS are “questionable” and “minutes restriction.” And Hill has been the epitome of the latter this year. However, the restrictions are finally going to be lifted. The Pacers have absolutely zero quality playmakers on their team (sorry Rodney Stuckey and others, you don’t count), so Hill is going to dominate the ball and the stat sheet the next few months. His numbers with the minutes restriction were already impressive (14th highest PER at 22.30 and 24th highest points per 36 minutes at 21.2) so the unleashing of Hill should be fun to watch.  Note: the Pacers are shopping for a point guard, so if they land someone like Ty Lawson that will surely hurt, but not kill, Hill’s value.

 Mo Williams

Mo was traded to his seventh NBA team last week (the Charlotte Hornets), as the Brian Roberts experiment at point guard was an utter disaster. With the Hornets vying for a playoff spot in the weak Eastern Conference and Kemba Walker out until at least mid-March, Williams will immediately step into a starting gig for the Hornets. He posted consistently solid numbers in his 19 starts this season with the Timberwolves (16 pts, two three pointers, eight assists, three rebounds, and a steal per game), and he should post similar numbers feeding Big Al and the Hornets.

 Jameer Nelson

Yes, he is still in the league currently backing up Ty Lawson.  But several teams actually want to acquire this guy for the second half of the season…especially the Miami Heat who have been dying at point guard. The Heat are going to be in desperation mode the final 30+ games to grab a playoff spot, and if they acquire Nelson, he’ll be locked into heavy minutes ASAP. Last year starting for Orlando he averaged 12 points, seven assists, two three pointers, three rebounds and a steal per game. It’s not crazy to think he could post similar numbers in Miami.

 Rodney Hood

If you know the names Joe Ingles and Elijah Millsap (brother of Paul), you are probably a savvy DFS player. Both of these guys (mostly Ingles) have been sneaky plays in DFS land. However, they were only getting big minutes due to the injury of the rookie Hood. The Jazz are eager to get Hood back on the floor, as they hope he’ll be a vital piece of their future, along with Hayward, Exum and Gobert. Accordingly, he should be in line for consistent minutes and starting for the Jazz at shooting guard after the All-Star break.

 Carl Landry

Jason Thompson is doing everything in his power to get traded out of Sacramento. If he does, someone has to play power forward for them. Enter Carl Landry. New coach George Karl will love this energy guy, and starter or not, should give him ample minutes for the Kings. How soon we forget that Landry was in the running for Sixth Man of the Year while on Golden State a couple years ago. He could easily post similar numbers (11 points and six rebounds) to that season if given the chance.

Hopefully, this will allow you to target key players that you might have overlooked. And hopefully one or more of these players will assist you in winning some cash in a GPP very soon. If you want more information or have any questions, do not hesitate to email me at dagreen35@gmail.com or message me on twitter @DanielAGreen1.


The Blueprint to Gaming your Fantasy Basketball League: Relative Value

Hey Guys,

I hope you are surviving your week. If you find yourself needing a bit of a break from your 9 to 5 and you happen to play fantasy basketball, it’s time to push your work off your desk and pay attention to what I’m about to tell you.

Today, I’m going to teach you how to take your team to the next level.  How will we do that? Of course, by masterfully crafting and then subsequently executing trades.

Before we start conjuring up trades, we need to make sure we understand the intricacies of the fantasy marketplace. Today- this will be our main focus and we will transition into constructing trades later this week.

Particularly important to our analysis, the relationship between excess supply and excess demand needs to be properly explained.  Excess supply represents a scenario where a manager has a variety of options and will look to sell an asset into any spike in value.  An example of this type of situation would be that an owner of Goran Dragic (concerned about the glut of point guards in Phoenix) might look to trade him after his solid performance in Boston two nights ago. While his performance was great, his value is still down relative to projections before the season. The spike in his value is merely a lower high, a potential sign of sellers dominating buyers in the future.

Excess demand, on the contrary, exists when buyers step in and buy an asset on any type of weakness. When these buyers step in to buy the pullback in an asset, they are essentially raising its floor value. An example of this situation taking place would be if the owner of Kelly Olynyk received an influx of trade rumors even after his 13 minutes/four board/three turnover dud for the Gonzaga alum. Here, the market could be betting on the fact that Kelly O. has shown enough early this season that this game could have been a blip on the radar. If buyers do appear in on Olynyk’s value, their purchase would conversely form a higher low.  A higher low has a high probability of foreshadowing a trend of higher demand (and prices) in the future.


Once we’ve established pockets of excess supply and demand in the marketplace, it’s essential that we couple this knowledge with a thorough understanding of your league’s scoring settings. This is where a shrewd owner understands the importance of players like James Harden and Kyrie Irving who contribute most of their points in FTMs and 3PM or the downfalls of guys like DeAndre Jordan and Michael Carter Williams who struggle in FT% and FG%, respectively.


With many fantasy owners operating in many leagues at the same time, they often lose sight in the scoring discrepancies that exist in between leagues. This is where an owner forms a bias about a player that may impede his or her ability to properly value the asset they either possess or want to acquire. An example of this is analyzing a guy like Al Jefferson. Often thought to be one of the best centers in the game and a high round draft pick (went for $54/$230 budget in my league), the big man only averages 2.5 FTMs out of his 20 PPG. For fantasy purposes, he is a very inefficient scorer, but an asset his owners would ask an arm and a leg for. In reality, Jefferson more accurately depicts one of these pockets of excess supply. Understanding valuable insights presents crafty owners with enticing opportunities down the road.


Our last aspect of analysis today revolves around the mantra of understanding the relationship between acquisition limits and the strength (or weakness) of the league’s waiver wire. In smaller leagues (10-12 teams) with lenient acquisition rules, roster flexibility is an asset that most owners overlook. The ability to add extra games to your fantasy lineup is analogous to taking walks in baseball.  Why not take the free base runners if given the opportunity to do so? (Sorry for mixing up sports). When it comes to making trades, it is so important to remember this concept.  In shallow leagues, trading in two good talents for one elite talent is the way to go. The marginal utility between the elite and good player supersedes the discrepancy between the additional good player and the waiver wire replacement that can be added and dropped at moments notice.  This is where a guy with Derrick Favors who might play 3.5 games per week loses out to the guy who gets 5.5 games out of the Chris Kaman-Brandan Wright revolving door.

Utah Jazz v Portland Trail Blazers     arrows  NBA: Golden State Warriors at Dallas Mavericks

While I know you guys were hoping I would jump right into the trading, laying out the foundation of knowledge is essential for consistent success in trading.  Hopefully, these three concepts provide you with enough insight to start exploring enticing, yet realistic, trade opportunities that will take your team to the top.

Thanks for reading.




A Crazy Person’s (ir)Rational take on the 2013-2014 NBA Rookie of the Year Chase

Can Cody Zeller make me look like a genius?
Can Cody Zeller make me look like a genius?

Hey Guys,

People like new things.

Whether it’s a new car or a new house, the idea of encountering a newly acquired item is an exciting prospect. Similarly, IPOs (Initial Public Offerings) happen when private companies go public and schmucks like you and me can buy their stock. Today, we’re not talking about new convertibles or Noodles & Company IPO stock.  We’re talking about investing in NBA rookies- an equally exciting unknown.

As my common courtesy to you, I present to you Vegas’ current lines for the 2013-2014 NBA Rookie of the Year:

Screen shot 2013-07-25 at 10.08.47 AM

As you can see, the early favorites for the achievement are 1) Victor Oladipo +400, 2) Trey Burke +450, tied for 3) Ben McLemore and Kelly Olynyk +800 and tied for 4) Cody Zeller and C.J. McCollum +1000.

Being the giving guy that I am, I’m going to devise a hedge for you that provides you the optimal risk/reward scenario. If you haven’t figured it out by now, we’re devising a healthy portfolio of NBA rookies. This is some financial engineering shit.  Albeit, in its most basic form.

To start off, it is essential that we take some of (if not) all of the favorites.  Our blue chip stocks. For me, the only top five favorite that I’ll be leaving off is C.J. McCollum. While I don’t doubt McCollum possesses the skill and ability to thrive in the NBA, I just don’t see the youngster getting the ample run necessary to obtain the award. In a backcourt featuring Damian Lillard, it’s gonna be tough for the Lehigh alum to shine.  The other five noted above are locks for part of our hedge.

Secondly, we need to scan the list for some “spec” plays.  By carefully investing in some speculative names, we can bolster our Risk/Reward ratio. At 15-1, Anthony Bennett (the #1 selection in this year’s NBA Draft) could be worth the risk.  While he might have a nagging shoulder injury, scouts have proclaimed him the most NBA-ready prospect. Michael Carter Williams is the only show in Philly right now with Nerlens Noel recovering from ACL surgery.  Also at 15-1, MCW might be worth a shot too.

Notable players I don’t like:

Alex Len (20-1)- Big men take a lot of time to develop.

Otto Porter (12-1)- He won’t put up the stats necessary to win.

Shabazz Muhammad (15-1)- I think that Kevin Martin sees the majority of the minutes there.  He’s not a good enough shooter to excel next to Ricky Rubio.

My Homerun pick: Dennis Schroeder (30-1) on Atlanta has already been compared to Tony Parker.  Even if Jeff Teague stays healthy, it’s sounding like the German will get enough time on the court.  Nevertheless, this one’s all or nothing.

At 8-1, betting the field (remaining players not listed) can be helpful but unnecessary.  I’d be more inclined to include this entry into our hedge in a baseball bet.  Baseball minor league systems feature thousands of prospects, making it harder to predict who will thrive given an opportunity.

I think we’re ready to set up the optimal risk/reward strategy. Get your calculators out.

Remember, our list includes: Oladipo (4-1), Burke (9-2), McClemore (8-1), Olynyk (8-1), Zeller (10-1), Bennett (15-1), MCW (15-1) and Schroeder (30-1). For the sake of convenience, say you had a grand to “invest” in this portfolio.

According to Vegas, the probabilities of these players actually winning the award go as followed: Oladipo (20%), Burke (18.2%), McClemore (11.1%), Olynyk (11.1%), Zeller (9.1%), Bennett (6.25%), MCW (6.25%) and Schroeder (3.23%).

Next, we proceed to allocate our $1000 according to these probabilities. Take a look:

Screen shot 2013-07-25 at 11.49.27 AM

Under this model, we could win (at most) $967.74 for risking $852.21.  Under the most likely scenario, we would have actually lost money (winning $800 if Oladipo won compared to risking the $852.21.) Keep in mind we didn’t use the full $1000 in this scenario; by leaving out certain players, we only encompassed 85.221% of the outcomes.

In this case, our optimal strategy would have produced a $1.14/$1 Reward/Risk ratio (if Schroeder wins).  But the odds of that happening are astronomically low at 3.22%. Therefore, we need to look at the expected value (EV) of this scenario.  Our EV would be $737.34 if we risked $852.21.  Looks like a negative return of 13.5% to me.

Thus, we need to construct our own risk tolerance model. Here’s mine:

Screen shot 2013-07-25 at 11.49.51 AM

To bolster my return, I’m going to risk more of the $1000.  In doing so, I need to create my own probabilities of the given outcomes occurring. Note: this is fundamentally incorrect.  The chances that somebody who is not on my list wins the ROY are greater than 1%. While this is a bit arbitrary, I decided to go with this apportionment: Oladipo (25%), Burke (20%), McClemore (11%), Olynyk (14.5%), Zeller (13.5%), Bennett (8%), MCW (5%) and Schroeder (2%).

In my case, my optimal strategy would have produced a $1.36/$1 Reward Risk ratio (if Zeller wins).  The odds of this happening, according to my model, are 13.5%.  That’s a hell of a lot better than Vegas’s 3.22%.

The expected value of my setup was a positive return of 3%.  You also have to remember that we lose everything if none of these outcomes occur. Therefore, my upside is roughly only about $30 and my downside is losing $1000. This is why Vegas always wins.

Anyways, I hope you were able to stick with my tangential thought-process and are able to set up your own model that’s probably better than mine. Remember, this is just another (Editor’s note: the only) way for me to enjoy watching basketball. Money makes everything fun.