Benny “The Eagle”, Vol. 13: Lineup Full of Kryptonite
Benny “The Eagle”: Vol.13 – Lineup Full of Kryptonite
Benny “The Eagle”: Vol. 1
Benny “The Eagle”: Vol. 2 – Having Second Thoughts
Benny “The Eagle”: Vol. 3 – The Used
Benny “The Eagle”: Vol. 4 – The Law of Diminishing Returns
Benny “The Eagle”: Vol. 5 – Something Smells Gamey
Benny “The Eagle”: Vol.6 – Going Around and Around with the Round Ball
Benny “The Eagle”: Vol.7 – Processing the Process
Benny “The Eagle”: Vol.8 – Match Game
Benny “The Eagle”: Vol.9 – Guess Who?
Benny “The Eagle”: Vol.10 – Risky Business
Benny “The Eagle”: Vol.11 – Playing the Field
Benny “The Eagle”: Vol.12 – Green Bars and High Scores
Everyone has their weaknesses. Maybe it's cheesecake, maybe it's scotch, maybe it's a pretty face. Everyone has weak spots that make them vulnerable to failure. Even Superman with all his lazer eyes, super speed, freezing breath, and ability to fly got reduced to a lump of blubbering spandex when kryptonite was in the area.
When it comes to sports, we all have our weaknesses too. Whether loving a player so much that it gives you a blindspot to their weaknesses, or loathing a player so much that you can't admit their strengths, your sports kryptonite can be the undoing of your bankroll. If you wind up rostering a player because you have a soft spot for them, or NEVER put a player in your lineup because of your bias, you are likely consistently building weakened lineups.
I'm a big Chicago Bears fan, so I have taught my children from an early age to always root against “The Hated Packers”. It's rare you get to cheer for a Bears winner, so you may as well get what joy you can from the losses of your most abhorred rival. Watching the NFC final a week ago and cheering for #TeamSadRodgers was about as good as I could hope for this season. JOY! All this being said, I'm more than happy to admit that Rodgers has won me season long NFL fantasy titles as my QB, and he took me to a GPP win on NFC semi-final weekend. If you can't be ‘em, at least turn their successes to your benefit right? Don't let your feelings get in the way of sound decision making. It's a good thing to keep in mind for DFS purposes, but also, frankly, for all of life.
I haven't had enough time in the NBA game to develop many strong biases for or against many players. Once you've been burned a few times though, it's not hard to start saying to yourself, “NEVER AGAIN!” Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Fool me three times and I make you DFS Dead to Me. So, without further ado, here are the guys the top 5 guys that I have at some point this season vowed never to burn money with again:
Eric Bledsoe – When he's hot, he's unstoppable. When he's cold he will single-handedly defeat his own team. Too many nights early on in the season, I told myself that the matchup and pace were just too good to pass up. More often than not though now, I'd rather miss out than get burned again. Bledsoe's fantasy production is extremely scoring dependent. To him, “Box Out” is just something he says when the cookies are all gone. Seemingly regardless of matchup, the biggest determining factor in his fantasy score is his shooting percentage which even in just the past two weeks has been anywhere between .273 and .550. There are six other regulars on his own team who produce 5x or better more consistently than him.
Kemba Walker – In fairness, Kemba is a reasonably consistent player. That hasn't however kept him from disappointing me HARD, time and again. With all the injuries the Hornets have dealt with this season, it's often left their rotation quite tight and thus led to the assumption of increased production for many of their players. As their 23-26 record shows though, they've been disappointing more often than not. He regularly falls into that upper-mid tier price range where he's tempting to drop down to from higher priced stars to spread salary out more evenly in my lineup. It's been a rare evening that that has worked out well for me. I'll let him just keep Walker-ing on into someone else's lineup instead.
Kyle O'Quinn – It's hard to bang on the second (third?) string center on an awful team that has to deal with Melo chucking selfish bricks of sadness out of Iso night in and night out, but on the few occasions that he's been a “sure thing”, when Joakim Noah and Kristaps Porzingas have sat, he has found ways to create regrets for me all the same. Who amongst us doesn't shudder with the memory of Kyle O'Quinn night a couple weeks back when he seemed assured of greatness only to register 4.75 fpts while Willy Hernangomez stole the show? Couple that with a big let down back in late November and he can gladly join my fantasy spaceship to the Sun.
LaMarcus Aldridge – LMA was a favourite play of mine when he was in Portland. He had very little competition for touches and was the center piece of their offence. Since he shipped out to SanAntonio though, he's just another faceless soul in a Spurs jersey. Apart from Kawhi Leonard, all the players on the Spurs appear to be interchangeable pieces in the machine. My disappointment likely has more to do with my unreasonably high expectations of him than his actual production, but it's just too hard to make myself want to play him anymore.
LeBron James – LeBron James may be the greatest basketball player of all time. My disappointment with him isn't really that he isn't a good play, but rather that he's rarely a GREAT play other than in cash games. When I pay over 10k for a player I NEED to believe that he has a shot at producing 65+ fpts. I understand that's pretty high expectations, but I blame Russell Westbrook for that. Russ has ruined LeBron for me. LeBron is about as consistent a performer as there is, almost never putting up a terrible Harden-esque line, but also rarely blowing the roof off either. Like Homer being gifted the Denver Broncos, it's hard to be disappointed with 45fpts on a given night, but it's also pretty hard to get excited about.
Somewhat interesting is that almost all of these guys, apart from O'Quinn, are proven producers in the NBA. A lot of what thrills or disappoints us about the production of a given player likely has more to do with our expectations than their actual production. The NBA season is nearly 200 days long. If a guy disappoints you on two or three of those nights it may be enough to put you off them entirely and that could be a costly mistake. Don't let small sample sizes and data sets put you off players that you should be considering in the right spots. Don't let your feelings and your fear impulses devolve you into being controlled by your lizard brain instead of thinking things through rationally. When you feel like a guy is a lock or feel like you couldn't bring yourself to play a guy no matter the circumstance, always go back to the numbers and make well informed decisions instead of giving instead of being overcome by your kryptonite. Look at their production in the Advanced Stats, consider their consistency in the Scoring & Values, and then agree along with everyone else to fade Cory Joseph anyways.
Entry fees this week:
Winnings this week:
Net this week: -$37.50
Bankroll: $312.16 (+$112.16 on the season)
It was a down week. Having sick kids is awful, but apparently was a blessing in disguise this week as it kept me from having time to play many days on a week that may have been the worst of the season for a lot of folks I know. When I take into account that on Monday night I had a score of 291.5 and lost all 15 of my H2H's but placed in the top 25% of all my double ups, I can rest a little easier knowing that I made some good decisions, but variance was not in my favour. Onwards and upwards my friends. It can't get much worse than that.
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