Mondays are going to be a pretty light day for Fanduel, as our first Monday of the season features just six games to choose from. That's fine because we need to be eased back into the week after marathon sessions Friday and Saturday.
As with all smaller fields, Monday's doesn't give you a ton of options. You might build the perfect lineup for your team only to find you have $800 left over in your bank, mocking you as you try to find the right combination to fill in. I faced that conundrum a few times and tried out a few rosters before settling on this one.
I wanted Anthony Davis and his absurd collection of points, rebounds and blocks (worth double!), but just couldn't find a way to get his $10,900 salary into my lineup; especially not when his teammate comes at half the price. Omer Asik isn't a sexy pick, but at $5,600, he certainly gives you some versatility.
I went for a couple of guys who are riding hot starts and hoping they can keep it going, with Tony Wroten and Perry Jones on my roster. Jones could see his role reduced with Reggie Jackson expected back, but he has done a crude -- but passable -- Kevin Durant imitation for an OKC team that has been ravaged by injuries. And Wroten has been a stud every time he has had the chance to start, going back to last season, so his success so far should be no surprise.
If you have to target one game Monday, the Nuggets and Kings matchup could be a shootout, though both teams have been surprisingly defensive-minded in the early going. It is possible that keeps up, but I'd bet on their respective roster constructions to eventually start leading to leaks in the defense, as early as Monday.
Pelicans and Grizzlies might be a stay-away game, though the game does feature Davis and Marc Gasol, who have arguably been the top two Fantasy centers in the league so far. I just think Memphis' tendency to drag teams into the mud makes it tough to expect big production from them.
I've got some risk in my lineup, I can acknowledge that, especially with so much invested in what might be an ugly game between the Nets and Thunder, but the prices made sense there. I would have liked to get more Rockets in my lineup to take advantage of Philly's porous defense, but there's reason to believe the starters might be out by the fourth quarter. If you wanted to go really cheap, Patrick Beverley, Kostas Papanikolaou or even Isaiah Canaan might make sense as cheap guys with some garbage-time potential in that one.
My roster for Nov. 3 at FanDuel:
PG Tony Wroten, 76ers vs. Houston
PG Deron Williams, Nets vs. Oklahoma City ($7,700)
SG Joe Johnson, Nets vs. Oklahoma City ($6,600)
SG Alec Burks, Jazz at L.A. Clippers ($5,400)
SF Trevor Ariza, Rockets at Philadelphia ($6,100)
SF Perry Jones, Thunder at Brooklyn ($6,800)
PF Derrick Favors, Jazz at L.A. Clippers ($7,400)
PF Kenneth Faried, Nuggets vs. Sacramento ($7,300)
C Omer Asik, Pelicans at Memphis ($5,600)
Omer Asik, C, Pelicans at Memphis ($5,600)
This should be a tough matchup for the Pelicans overall, as the Grizzlies are allowing just 86.3 points per game en route to three straight wins. Asik, however, could thrive in this kind of game, as he can certainly match up with the Grizzlies' physicality. Asik has no problem dirtying up a game and should find plenty of opportunities for rebounds in a game that should feature plenty of misses. With rebounds worth 1.2 points in FanDuel, this could be another chance for Asik to prove his worth.
Trevor Ariza, Rockets at Philadelphia ($6,100)
I guess the only concern here is that the Rockets might go up by so much, so early that the starters get taken out before they rack up huge numbers. Of course, Ariza has played 30 minutes or more in each game, despite the Rockets winning each by double figures, so that might not be too much of a concern. He will play a big role in the team's plans all season long and could get plenty of opportunities to hit open 3-pointers tonight. Don't be surprised if he turns in another 20-point game, like he did last Wednesday.
Darren Collison, PG, Kings at Denver ($6,600)
I was skeptical of Collison's ability to fit into the Kings' offense, but he has done a solid job of it so far, averaging 6.7 assists and 14.7 points per game for the Kings. Those numbers might not jump off the page, but they are solid for the price Collison comes for, and could be easily bested in a game that has a chance to turn into a shootout. If you don't want to break the bank at the deepest position in the league, Collison is a nice fallback option.
Overpay of the night
Danilo Gallinari, SF, Nuggets vs. Sacramento ($5,500)
There aren't a lot of bad choices tonight, which tends to be the case on nights when there are fewer games. With fewer players available, your chances of making a big mistake are lessened. Still, while Gallo won't cost you much, you're hardly going to get much out of him, as the talented forward is averaging just 18 minutes per game. He will surely be unleashed at some point, but you want to steer clear until he finds his way.
@CTowersCBS If Michael Kidd-Gilchrist is out, who steps up?
You're probably looking for the waiver-wire pickup to make in case Kidd-Gilchrist's rib contusion keeps him out, right? Well, I'm sorry to disappoint, but I don't think it's going to work like that. The truth of the matter is, the Hornets don't have anyone on the roster who can make up for what Kidd-Gilchrist can do. Lance Stephenson will likely slide over to the three, with Gary Neal stepping into the starting lineup at the shooting guard spot. Neal may be able to provide some scoring, but he does little else, and might not be worth much more than a look in deeper leagues unless MKG's injury proves more serious than expected.
Asik has been better in the early going, but he's also got more competition for his role. If the Pelicans need an offensive boost Asik can't provide, they can simply slide Anthony Davis to center and play Ryan Anderson at the four, in lineups that torched the league last season. Sanders' rim protection is a more valuable asset in Milwaukee, and leads me to believe he will be the more dependable option long-term. He should also block more shots than Asik, who, opening night aside, is not a huge accumulator of swats.