Reflecting on my last article about how you can’t fall in love with superstars, I’m going to go more in depth and break down a common mistake people make in constructing their lineups.
The most common mistake new players make when they build their lineup is they plug in their favorite superstars first.
I don’t necessarily mean their favorite players or even the top superstars with the best match up, but their favorite superstars.
Let’s say the top two players of the day are two points guards like Russell Westbrook and Steph Curry.
They are both in games that have a high total projected score and their games are expected to be close.
So you plug those two players in and next thing you know, 1/3 or your salary is gone and you are forced to play medium to low priced players for the rest of your line up.
Now every night is different and sometimes this method works great because there is a great value play at another position, but you need to know where the value players are before you plug in your expensive superstars.
Now let’s say in a night where Curry and Westbrook are 1a and 1b but the top value play of the day is also a point guard like Reggie Jackson who is starting for a new team, seeing 30+ minutes, and is priced 1/3 the price of Curry and Westbrook.
If there really aren’t any other value plays as good as Jackson is in this example, he becomes more important than the superstar player and should be plugged in first.
I typically find that building your lineup is easier by starting with players from the bottom and building up from there.
By playing a minimum priced (or close to it) instead of one of the most expensive players, it frees up a lot of money to make a more rounded team which is the goal for cash games.
The way you need to think of it is, if that value play is 1/3 the price of the superstar he needs to score 1/3 the points.
If the value play is really that good, you typically have better odds that they will score more than 1/3 of the points the superstar needs to score.
Let’s say the value play puts up 25 points which is not that hard to do if they are playing over 30 minutes in the game.
If the superstar costs 3 times as much, then that superstar needs to score 75 points which almost never happens.
Sometimes there is so much value on the board that it doesn’t matter.
You can plug in your top two superstars because and if they don’t reach value, you have other value plays which will make up for them, and you can afford a 10k player scoring 44 fantasy points.
But the goal in cash games is to find players you think are guaranteed to make a profit (exceed their value), and if there are only two value plays that meet this expectation, they are the ones who need to be in your lineup as opposed to the superstar that has a great match up.
There are typically great high priced players every night in all positions so even though you like Curry and Westbrook, take the value guard and upgrade that other player who you aren’t in love with.