Editor's note: FanDuel.com is hosting a one-day $125,000 Fantasy Basketball contest for Monday's games. It's $25 to enter and first prize is $15,000. Starts Monday at tipoff. Enter now!
We've got a huge night ahead of us Monday, with nine games on the schedule, a nice change from the five games we had to pick from last Monday. Additionally, we've got a bevy of fun matchups to look forward to, including a handful that should make FanDuel players very happy.
There are probably three games you should be targeting above all others tonight: Denver-Cleveland, Phoenix-Boston and Philadelphia-San Antonio. I have stacked my lineup with five players from these three games, which feature each of the five teams ranked between 24th and 28th in points allowed per game.
How you choose to build your team is, of course, up to you, but I think you will be disappointed in yourself if you miss out on these games. Specifically, loading your lineup with Spurs players seems like a smart way to go to me, against a Philadelphia team that has been bleeding points after a decent start.
The Spurs are a mixed bag for tonight because Gregg Popovich has a quick trigger when it comes to pulling his stars in blowouts. The good news is, the game can't become a blowout without the Spurs putting up plenty of points, and they've got a lot of cheap options from which to choose.
I originally had Manu Ginobili in my lineup, but ended up settling on Tony Parker, Kawhi Leonard and Boris Diaw against the 76ers. Diaw doesn't put up huge numbers, but he has been consistent recently, putting up at least 17 FanDuel points in each of the last five games. At the price you'll be paying for him today, you might not need more than that, and you always need these low-end guys to hit if you want to build a lineup with stars. For a cheap guy, Diaw seems safe tonight.
Chasing matchups can be a risky proposition for daily Fantasy games, because sometimes unexpected flukes can happen on a given night. You can rely on bad defenses to give up a ton of points in the long run, but sometimes teams play above their abilities for one night.If you hit on the right matchups, it can pay off big, so here's hoping luck is on my side tonight.
My roster for Nov. 17 at FanDuel.com
PG Tony Parker, Spurs vs. Philadelphia ($6,900)
PG Kyrie Irving, Cavaliers vs. Denver ($7,900)
SG Courtney Lee, Grizzlies vs. Houston ($5,300)
SG Wesley Matthews, Trail Blazers vs. New Orleans ($5,300)
SF Kawhi Leonard, Spurs vs. Philadelphia ($6,800)
SF Jeff Green, Celtics vs. Phoenix ($6,800)
PF Dirk Nowitzki, Mavericks at Charlotte ($7,500)
PF Boris Diaw, Spurs vs. Philadelphia ($4,400)
C Marc Gasol Grizzlies vs. Houston, ($8,100)
Brandon Jennings, PG, Pistons vs. Orlando ($7,000)
I had sworn off Jennings earlier in the season, so I definitely don't feel great about this one, but you can't argue against how well he is playing right now. He is clearly the best point guard in Detroit, and the brief flirtation with D.J. Augustin pushing him for playing time has ended. The Magic have done a solid job against opposing point guards, but are still allowing 31.7 FanDuel points per game to them. Jennings is averaging 37.5 FanDuel points per game over the last five and coach Stan Van Gundy seems to trust him now, so I will too. Don't burn me again, Brandon.
Eric Bledsoe, Suns at Boston ($6,600)
Bledsoe has been a disappointment this season, but this price still seems low. He is averaging 27.4 FanDuel points per game this season in just 30.7 minutes, though he has struggled with consistency. Bledsoe has as many games with 40-plus FanDuel points over the last five as games with fewer than 16, which highlights the risk you are taking with putting him out here. However, the Celtics have struggled defensively so far, allowing 108.4 points per game, so Bledsoe's got a nice opportunity to put together one of his good games.
Kawhi Leonard, Spurs vs. Philadelphia ($6,800)
Leonard's slow start seems built into his price still, which is a good thing for anyone who wants to have him in the lineup for this matchup. The 76ers allow opposing small forwards to rack up 44.9 FanDuel points per game against them, the second-highest total in the league, which dovetails rather nicely with Leonard's recent return to form. He is averaging 34.1 FanDuel points per game over the last five and the only thing that could keep him from that total tonight is if the Spurs go up big early and pull the starters.
Overpay of the night
Andre Drummond, C, Pistons vs. Orlando ($7,200)
The Magic are giving up plenty of points to opposing centers this season, the sixth-most in the league by FanDuel scoring. But still, you're paying Drummond like he's a 30-plus Fantasy point guy, but he has failed to reach that mark in three of the last five games. He is averaging just 24.9 FanDuel points per game overall, and is a risky play given his major struggles so far this season.
CT: Given the minutes limits and regular nights off you're willing to see, it's hard to say Ginobili is a must-own player in any format, let alone a shallow 10-team league. However, he's also playing some fantastic basketball right now, averaging 13.5 points and 4.0 assists per game, solid enough numbers on most nights. If you play in league that differentiates between PG and SG, Ginobili has more value than Sloan for sure.
CT: Based on my trade value chart from last week, the Lee/Jennings side comes out on top, however I think I'd rather get a better second option than Lee if I am trading Evans at this high value. Evans is doing a terrific job filling up the box score, but selling high on him is the right call, because he probably won't keep averaging 7.1 assists per game while splitting ball-handling duties. It's not a bad trade, and the thought is right, but Lee's role and recent injury history scare me.