by Ray Kuhn
Daily fantasy basketball is a roller coaster ride. You have to have a short memory but also learn from both your successes and failures. If you are new to this feature then welcome aboard, and if not, then welcome back.
There are six games to choose from tonight, and that includes the Spurs on the second end of a back to back. At this point we should be accustomed to Gregg Popovich resting at least a few veterans, but this is certainly something that needs to be verified leading up to game time.
We also have to remember that with a new season and a new site, there are some learning curves. There is more to this than merely picking players you think will succeed, roster construction plays a large part in your success aside from than just basketball knowledge. Depending on the player pool for that night and the type of contest, sometimes it might not be the most viable strategy to fill your team with multiple value plays or go with a straight up stars and “scrubs” strategy.
There will be more on this as we move forward, but depending on the available players, it is likely that you will be better served with only one cheaper, $3,500 and under, player while building a roster with multiple stars and few good mid-range value plays.
Let’s take a look at six players (two at each position) you should be looking at as you set your lineup for tonight. All of information referenced is based on game play at Fantasy Score (USA Today’s DFS engine). If you do play on other sites in the industry the same logic and thought process is applicable.
- Evan Fournier, G, Orlando Magic, $2,900. Fournier’s name should not be new to regular readers of this space. However at this price, I just cannot ignore him. He has scored in double figures every night, with an average of 16.0 points per game, but he does little else. That does help to keep his value down, but in reality not much was expected of Fournier to start the season prior to Victor Oladipo’s injury. Don’t expect miracles out of the Orlando guard, but paired with the right big ticket stars, and you can find success thanks to Fournier’s low price.
- Stephen Curry, G, Golden State Warriors, $8,700. Yes, that is correct. I am not wasting anytime spending the money saved from Fournier. Curry gets the Spurs in the second game in and as many nights, which should work to his advantage. Also with Klay Thompson battling an injury, that might mean even more shots than normal for Curry.
- Zach Randolph, F, Memphis Grizzlies, $5,600. Randolph is a very solid player, but often does not get his full due. Among forward’s playing tonight, Randolph has the third most FP’s at 35.1 and is $2,300 cheaper than the most expensive forward. Additionally, the Lakers front court does not frighten me.
- Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, F, Charlotte Hornets, $3,300. Once again, we have a solid, cheap option here, but there is a little more volatility at play than with Fournier. Depending on the rest of your lineup, it is a level of risk that could be managed. In fact with Kidd-Gilchrist healthy and once again back in the starting lineup, I would have even more comfort were it not for his 5.25 FP performance on Sunday against the Lakers. So far this season the forward is averaging just 9.4 points per game, but that comes with 5.6 rebounds and the occasional block and assist mixed in. I’m not saying he is a must start, but if you are looking for a low cost forward, I like Kidd-Gilchrist better than in his price range.
- LeMarcus Aldridge, C, Portland Trail Blazers, $8,100. The fact that Aldridge is eligible at center is a nice bonus here. With DeMarcus Cousins having to deal with Tyson Chandler tonight, I have Alridge as the number one option at the center position even though he mostly lines up as a forward. You would like to see him with more than 7.1 rebounds per game, but the potential for double digits is there and the 22.9 points coupled with a few assists are well worth the price.
- Jordan Hill, C, Los Angeles Lakers, $4,200. If you don’t want to spend for a center, then Hill is the guy I like best after the first five based on price and production. Going against the Grizzlies on the offensive end is always difficult for opponents, but Hill has shown the ability to make an outside shot, and someone needs to score and rebound for the Lakers. I wouldn’t expect an over 40 FP performance like he put up in two consecutive games last week, but a floor of 25 FP’s and the potential for that is certainly worth looking at.
Below is a lineup I am using tonight:
Guards: Stephen Curry, Reggie Jackson, Damian Lillard
Forwards: Tobias Harris, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Zach Randolp
Center: Nilola Vucevic
Flex: LeMarcus Aldridge