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I hope you rested last night, because we're right back at it Friday with our second 13-game slate in three days. We're still feeling the effects of the lengthened All-Star break, and it is creating an interesting dynamic in FanDuel Guaranteed Prize Pool tournaments.
On nights with fewer games, it's easier to pinpoint the big plays, necessitating fewer risks. If there are only two or three elite players available, chances are those two or three are going to be a huge amount of lineups; the same goes for those obvious bargain plays in the lower tiers. This creates less diversity in the lineups put out, which seems to create rising tide that lifts all boats.
Monday and Tuesday of this week, you needed to break 300 just to get your money back in the Slam. My 312-point showing put me in the 74th percentile Tuesday, which is a good showing, but not enough to get into the money. Wednesday, on the other hand, I cashed with a 281.8-point lineup, which had me all the way in the 84th percentile of lineups.
With a greater diversity in the number of lineups out there on these big nights, it's a bit easier to stand out when you hit; that's a good thing. Unfortunately, it also makes it tougher to actually hit on the right collection of players. Your best bet is to identify a dozen or so players you really like and try to fit them into as many lineup configurations at possible tonight.
Detroit at Orlando
Combined FanDuel points allowed per game: 400.5
Andre Drummond is averaging 43.3 FanDuel points per game in his last five games. Reggie Jackson is averaging 44.9 in that span. If Monroe's knee keeps him out for the sixth straight game, those two are probably must-plays.
LA Clippers at Philadelphia
Combined FanDuel points allowed per game: 397.4
If you want to go really cheap, you could see if Austin Rivers can rack up garbage time points for the second straight game with blowout potential.
Charlotte at Washington
Combined FanDuel points allowed per game: 377.4
John Wall averages 41.1 FanDuel points per game at home this season, nearly five more than on the road. Coming off a road trip, he could still be undervalued.
Miami at Atlanta
Combined FanDuel points allowed per game: 380.9
Kyle Korver is too good to keep slumping like this, but that slump could end up working out for you; he is averaging 28.5 FanDuel points per game against the Heat this season.
Cleveland at Brooklyn
Combined FanDuel points allowed per game: 396.0
The Cavaliers have been liberal with rest lately, so I would be hesitant to grab LeBron James at a price north of $11k in a non-competitive matchup.
Boston at New York
Combined FanDuel points allowed per game: 394.7
The Knicks have the league's worst 3-point defense, so Jae Crowder might actually be able to find the bottom of the net in this one and provide some value.
LA Lakers at Toronto
Combined FanDuel points allowed per game: 400.9
If Kyle Lowry sits out, there is value to be had here, and I think Lou Williams is the main beneficiary; Greivis Vasquez just hasn't been very good in his starts at point guard this season.
Minnesota at Houston
Combined FanDuel points allowed per game: 401.7
Dwight Howard is on a minutes limit and barely played in his first game back, so I'm still not touching him even against a great matchup.
Golden State at Memphis
Combined FanDuel points allowed per game: 377.3
The Grizzlies actually won their first matchup against the Warriors, and broke 100 in doing so. With the way the Warriors are rolling right now, the Grizzlies offense will probably have a lot of trouble getting going in this one.
Sacramento at New Orleans
Combined FanDuel points allowed per game: 399.3
If you want to stack a game, this might be the one to do it with, especially with two of the top big men in DeMarcus Cousins and Anthony Davis around. They could combine for 100-plus pretty easily on their own.
Dallas at San Antonio
Combined FanDuel points allowed per game: 386.4
With the Mavericks' rebounding issues, Tiago Splitter could be a cheap option at center if you want to invest in other spots.
Utah at Denver
Combined FanDuel points allowed per game: 388.8
This will be a clash of contrasting styles, with the fast-paced Nuggets going up against the league's best defense since the break. It might Derrick Favors' night to shine again, with a great personal matchup against Kenneth Faried; he had 39.5 FanDuel points in just 28 minutes in their last battle.
Portland at Phoenix
Combined FanDuel points allowed per game: 390.3
Injuries continue to dominate all discussion about the Trail Blazers. If LaMarcus Aldridge and Nicolas Batum remain sidelined, Dorell Wright should get plenty of run yet again.
My roster for March 25 at FanDuel.com:
PG Reggie Jackson, Pistons at Orlando ($7,900)
PG Trey Burke, Jazz at Denver ($5,100)
SG Lou Williams, Raptors vs. L.A. Lakers ($4,700)
SG Kyle Korver, Hawks vs. Miami ($4,400)
SF Chase Budinger, Timberwolves at Houston ($4,700)
SF Joe Ingles, Jazz at Denver ($3,500)
PF Anthony Davis, Pelicans vs. Sacramento ($12,400)
PF Derrick Favors, Jazz at Denver ($7,900)
C Andre Drummond, Pistons at Orlando ($9,300)
Kevin Love, PF, Cavaliers at Brooklyn ($7,300)
Maybe I'm overreacting to one good game, but it certainly feels like Love is playing better since returning from a little hiatus last week. He has double digits in rebounds in three of four games, and only a brief shooting slump in his first two games back kept him from posting big FanDuel lines. One of those games came against this Nets team, and I think he's going to find his way in a rematch. He scored 26.2 FanDuel points in 27 minutes of action, a decent total made worst by the limited minutes he played in a blowout. The Nets allow the third-most FanDuel points per-36 minutes to opposing power forwards, so Love is a good candidate to bounce back as his price continues to fall.
Trey Burke, PG, Jazz at Denver ($5,100)
It came down to Trey Burke or Zach LaVine for this spot, and I opted for Burke for a few different reasons: first, Burke has been playing better, averaging 27.3 FanDuel points per game over the last five, to LaVine's 24.2; secondly, he has a much better matchup. Yes, the Rockets play at a fast pace that is conducive to Fantasy scoring, but they also have some good perimeter defenders and at least 20 minutes of Dwight Howard deterring opponents from the rim. The Nuggets have been better since their coaching change, but have still give up point totals of 100, 108 and 118 in their last four. Assuming Gordon Hayward's shoulder injury keeps him out yet again, Burke should once again play a big role; Burke has posted usage rates of 35.1 and 26.8 in the last two games with Hayward out.
Jason Terry, SG, Rockets vs. Minnesota ($3,500)
If you just look at Terry's 4.9-point showing Wednesday and assume he isn't worth your time, you are making a results-over-process judgment that could end up costing you. Yes, Terry was very, very bad Wednesday, and hasn't done much to write home about at all lately. However, he also played 27 minutes with Patrick Beverley out, and that is what I think the key number is. He uncharacteristically posted a 13.3 usage rate while turning the ball over on more than half of his possessions, both of which are outliers for his season as a whole. In 1,194 minutes played with Beverley off the floor, Terry has averaged 11.8 points and 3.6 assists per-36 minutes. Those aren't terribly impressive numbers, but Terry should get enough minutes and shots against a terrible defense to justify his bare-minimum price.
Overpay of the night
Zach Randolph, PF, Grizzlies vs. Golden State ($8,000)
At $8,000, you're looking for 35-plus FanDuel points at a minimum, and I'm not sure you can expect that from Randolph in this matchup. He's got a size advantage against Draymond Green, but Green has more than held his own against power forwards this season; opposing fours average just 31.8 FanDuel points per-36 minutes against the Warriors on the season, per RotoGrinders.com. Randolph scored an efficient 17 points and had a double-double in his last matchup with the Warriors, but still had just 26 FanDuel points in 26 minutes, as Green forced him into three turnovers and didn't allow a single peripheral stat. The Warriors are generally to be avoided in matchups, especially on a night with so many other matchups. Tim Duncan is $500 less and has a far better matchup, for one.
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CT: Losing Miles would hurt you in two of those categories, relative to Turner, but I think he's the one who has to go. For one, his skill set is most easily replaced; finding someone who can contribute a dozen points and some 3-pointers is just about the easiest thing in the world at this point. Turner might frustrate now that Isaiah Thomas is back in the fold, but finding someone who can chip in 10 points, five boards and six assists on any given night is just so much tougher. Lowry's injury is a concern, but I would certainly add him and hope he can come back by Week 23. If not, you won't have much trouble finding a last-minute replacement for Miles; heck, it might even be Miles, since he could go unclaimed.
CT: If Williams' knee issue is serious enough to cost him some time, I would go ahead and pull the trigger, but probably not otherwise. LaVine's value is tied entirely to Ricky Rubio's availability, and though it doesn't look good for Rubio to play much from here on out, that does hang over LaVine for the rest of the season. Wouldn't it be terrible if you went ahead with this only for Rubio to come back during a vital three-game stretch and cost you a chance at a championship? LaVine's got some upside, but his per-game averages over the last five (16.2-4.4-3.8) are hardly better than Williams' (15.0-3.8-5.4). The downside with LaVine is a little bit greater, and I'm not sure the upside is there.