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We are finally out of the dog days of January! February DFS is upon us — we’re a week out from the NBA trade deadline, and we’re one step closer to spring, nicer weather, and playoff runs. OH, AND THE NEW YORK KNICKS ARE THE BEST TEAM IN BASKETBALL?!?!? I digress.

From a DFS perspective, it was an interesting week highlighted by a Jaden Hardy and Mavericks chalk failure Wednesday night. I find it useful to analyze nights like these, when there is an extreme rest spot, where all the value is condensing around one spot, and how we should attack that.

Let’s use Wednesday as an example. I want to break down the optimal lineup, the winning Fadeaway lineup, and talk through what chalk looked like, what we can learn, and the different options there were to attack it.



First of all, what an interesting optimal lineup. It’s not a surprise to see no double teammates on slates this size (nine games), but most notably we see zero Mavericks! Donovan Mitchell, who had been major chalk nearly every slate over the last month, only ended up at 8.2% in the lotto and was a great play in a great matchup. Miles Bridges also came in under expected ownership and had a major usage spot with the Hornets shorthanded. Coby White continues to crush, while we knew we loved Keegan Murray as a leverage, salary, and matchup play. He was a whopping 0.62% owned, while scoring .75 more points than 28.1%-owned Victor Wembanyama, who was also $3,200 more.

Working backwards: What did we know about this slate? Well, it was a big one, especially for modern-day DFS standards when sites have been chopping off the late games. This slate was nine games. Despite the slate size, we knew where the chalk was and where the clear value plays appeared to be. The Mavericks were sitting literally all of their starters in Luka Doncic, Kyrie Irving, Derrick Jones Jr., Dereck Lively II, and Dante Exum. So, despite the worst of matchups on the road in Minnesota, ALL of the chalk was condensing there. But, as you can see, there are no Mavericks in that optimal lineup you see above. What about the winning lineup (see below)? Shout-out to beaker913 for not only winning the Fadeaway, but dominating, winning by 16.5 points over the next-closest person:

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