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.
As we begin another week, there is healthy slate of games ahead of us. That means there are plenty of players to choose from when setting your lineups.
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. Additionally, you can also use these tips to help you in your season long leagues.
- Michael Carter-Williams, G, Philadelphia 76ers, $5,900. There is no disputing the success Carter-Williams had last year as he won the Rookie of the Year. However, a lot of his fantasy production came from the fact that Philadelphia really did not have any other options. After missing the first few weeks of the season after shoulder surgery, MCW is back and his value is reduced due to the missed games. Through two games he is averaging 30.88 FP’s, and we should only expect to his production and price increase.
- P.J. Hairston, G, Charlotte Hornets, $2,200. First, we must note that there is a reason why Hairston is a minimum salary player. One of the reasons for that is playing time, or lack thereof. But with both Gary Neal and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist expected to be sidelined with injuries; Hairston’s playing time will increase. Hairston has yet to reach double digits in points this season, but he is proficient from downtown. As long as Hairston is in the starting lineup, he is worth a look to help fit in multiple high priced studs.
- Kevin Love, F, Cleveland Cavaliers, $8,400. This might appear to be an odd selection, why not just go with Love’s teammate for an extra $700? But when building a lineup, every dollar counts, and I think Love can be just as good against the Nuggets. Love is averaging 35.12 FP’s per game, and the fact that he has yet to fully get going this season could make people shy away from him. There will be a lot of offense and scoring against Denver, and Love could be a good contrarian option in tournament. After all, he is still averaging 17.1 points and 10.2 rebounds a game.
- Jeff Green, F, Boston Celtics, $4,800. Going with Green helps to save money, but he is also a solid and dependable contributor. Green’s value is tied mostly to his scoring, and at 18.9 points per game he is doing just that. The worst case scenario is that Green gets you $2,500 points, but he also allows you to fit in a few big priced studs without the risk more unstable options. However, it would be nice for him to contribute more than 5.0 rebounds and 2.1 assists a game.
- Anderson Varejao, C, Cleveland Cavaliers, $4,500. With no one standing out as a true, legit bargain, Varejao is worth a look. Just like Green above, he may not be a standout, high upside option, but he is consistent. And his price and guaranteed production, an average of 22.69 FP’s, help in your roster construction. The problem though, is he is averaging just 6.0 rebounds per game, which has kept his point totals down.
- Joakim Noah, C, Chicago Bulls, $6,900. Noah has yet to truly have the explosive games we came to expect from him in years past, but he is still having a solid season. The scoring has not been there this season, only 7.9 points, but perhaps against the Clippers tonight in what figures to be a high scoring game, Noah will get untracked. Noah also has not been the same player on the boards, 9.5 rebounds per game, but the skill is there and eventually he will get going. In these formats, it is always nice to get a player a day early rather than a day late. Additionally, none of the other center matchups truly stand out to me.
Below is a lineup I am using tonight. As you can see, I have gone with a Cleveland stack after Portland’s 80 point first half against Denver on Saturday.
Guards: Michael Carter-Williams, PJ Hairston, Kyrie Irving
Forwards: LeBron James, Kevin Love, Jeff Green
Center: Anderson Varejao
Flex: Rajon Rondo