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How To Win GPP and Cash Games in NBA Daily Fantasy Sports

Boston, Massachusetts, U.S – Chicago Bulls Scottie Pippen and Michael Jordan 4/1990

You have heard the terms, I’m sure of it. But do you really understand the difference between GPP (Guaranteed Prize Pool) and 50-50 or Cash games when it comes to NBA DFS? If you play daily fantasy sports I’m sure you have at least encountered the various options available to you when selecting a contest and it is important to know the difference. Had you previously been afraid to ask, we have you covered.  

Not all lineups are created equal and nor should they be as each contest requires drastically different things. Let’s start with GPP’s. 

You might have heard GPP’s referred to as lottery tickets and for the most part that is what they are. The majority of GPP’s pay out between 20 percent to 25 percent of entrants but the prize pool is heavily slanted towards the top-10 or so of finishers. After that the majority of winning lineups will allow you to double your investment or slightly more than that. But if that is what you are going for, then just play a 50-50 (more on those shortly). 

We are in a GPP to win, or least finish in the top-10 and take down a substantial return on our investment. Any profit we can get our hands on is most certainly welcomed but it is all about the upside here and the chase of the big pay day. 

But what should we be doing and how can we get there?

You aren’t going to get there by being like everyone else. Not only is that boring but you want that winners circle to belong to you alone. Risks have to be taken and star power is needed. Ownership percentage is important here as you want that diversification and you are going to need to hit on a few stud performances that are unique to your squad. This is something that has to be consistent across your entire roster. 

At the root of everything though, this is a superstar driven league. You need that 60- or 70-point performance at the top of your roster to bring you up to the top of the leaderboard. This means you have to take risks. While it may sound reckless, that is by design. Playing it safe will not allow you to beat hundreds or thousands of your closest friends and cash that big check. Quite simply, that is impossible without multiple superstars hitting their absolute ceilings but that is why there is only one winner at the end of each night.

If you are looking to max out your superstars that means we will also be hunting for value to balance out the salary out cap. Superstar doesn’t mean strictly the most expensive players out there either but we want players in a starring role with lots of usage between having the ball in their hand and carrying a heavy minute load. The same can be said for our value options, but remember they are priced the way they are for a reason. So that leads us into taking some chances but it’s all about hunting for opportunity. Look for players newly elevated into the starting lineup due to injury who will be taking on a larger role as we follow the usage. All or nothing is encouraged here as we will be living at the bottom of the salary chart.

Now let’s jump into some 50-50 discussion and forget about everything we just said. The contest is exactly as it sounds; just under half the entrants will double their money. It doesn’t matter if you finish in the first money spot or the last so don’t try to do more than you need to. Risk shouldn’t be in your vocabulary here and ownership doesn’t really matter. In fact the less diversification you have in your lineup the better as you really are just trying to blend in, double your money, and get out of there. 

We are after security and predictability here. Limiting question marks is important and we want to make stable choices for our roster. Don’t try and go chasing upside when there are plenty of safer options available. It is simply unnecessary. 

Based on the nature of the contests there is less risk associated with 50-50 contests but also less reward. But it’s the thrill of the chase and big pay day that we are all after. At the same time though, there is nothing wrong with doubling your money either. With the success rate lower in GPP’s augmenting your bankroll with 50-50’s is a prudent strategy. Just make sure you do so with two different lineups.