Daily Dish: Monday's Fantasy lineup advice
Need help determining which players are worth their cost? Our Chris Towers tells you who to start and sit from Monday's slate of games in his latest Daily Dish.
Editor's note: FanDuel.com is hosting a one-day $175,000 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 had a strange set of games to pick from Friday, as all but two of the 12 games on the schedule were decided by double figures. Production is hard enough to predict on a daily basis anyways, but it's downright impossible once teams start pulling out their second units with 10 minutes left in the game.
Of course, blowouts can be good if you want to go cheap with the end of your roster, but they introduce an element of chaos that can be nerve wracking. And, while predicting which games might be blowouts is risky business, Monday's set of games looks like it could feature plenty of blowouts.
Specifically, the Blazers-76ers, Knicks-Rockets, Magic-Cavaliers, Pacers-Mavericks and Bulls-Jazz games all carry big blowout potential. You can approach a schedule like this one of two ways. On the one hand, you can simply go with the starters on the favored teams, like I did with my Rockets, Mavericks and Blazers choices. Here, you're just hoping the blowout doesn't progress so quickly that the starters are pulled out early.
The other option is to steer into the curve and try to pick out who might benefit most from extra playing time in a blowout. If you think the Mavericks are going to blowout the Pacers, you might want to snag an Al-Farouq Aminu or Chris Copeland from that game and hope the coaching staff gives them extra leash late in the game, with the outcome already in hand.
It's all about balancing risk vs. reward. You can't succeed playing it safe in a daily format, because you need to find a way to maximize your return on investment. Someone like Kostas Papanikolaou may lay an egg for me tonight, but he's cheap enough that the risk might just outweigh the reward.
You just have to figure out how high your tolerance for risk is.
My roster for Nov. 24 at FanDuel.com:
PG Damian Lillard, Trail Blazers at Philadelphia ($8,700)
PG Kyle Lowry, Raptors vs. Phoenix ($8,400)
SG Wesley Matthews, Trail Blazers at Philadelphia ($6,200)
SG Evan Fournier, Magic at Cleveland ($5,500)
SF Chandler Parsons, Mavericks vs. Indiana ($6,200)
SF Kostas Papanikolaou, Rockets vs. New York ($4,400)
PF Dirk Nowitzki, Mavericks vs. Indiana ($7,000)
PF Derrick Favors, Jazz vs. Chicago ($7,000)
C Tyson Chandler, Mavericks vs. Indiana ($6,300)
Evan Fournier, SG, Magic at Cleveland ($5,500)
Fournier has been among the most pleasant surprises in the league this season, emerging as a much-needed stabilizing force for a Magic team that is utterly bereft of shooting. He has managed to hang onto his role as the starting shooting guard even with Victor Oladipo's return, and has not played fewer than 30 minutes in a game since Nov. 5. The Cavaliers have done a decent job defending the three-point line this season, which is where much of Fournier's damage is done, however this still seems like a matchup he can take advantage of. Cleveland's perimeter defense is lacking, and both Kyrie Irving and Dion Waiters can get lost out by the 3-point line, and Fournier has proven he can take advantage of his opportunities this season.
Damian Lillard, PG, Trail Blazers at Philadelphia ($8,700)
This game will probably get out of hand in a hurry, but Lillard should still have plenty of time to put up big numbers. Opposing point guards are averaging 32.1 FanDuel points per game against the 76ers this season, and Lillard is certainly capable of posting huge lines in limited playing time if he has to. In another blowout, Lillard dropped 27 points and nine assists in just 30 minutes over the Nuggets, so you know he's good for it. This matchup should work out well for him.
Tyson Chandler, Mavericks vs. Indiana ($6,300)
The Pacers don't exactly seem like a great matchup for a center, but it's also not like Chandler is a guy who need a bunch of plays run for him. He has been a perfect fit in Dallas, averaging 10.6 points and 10.4 rebounds in just 27.3 minutes per game, and should be in for another solid outing tonight, especially if Roy Hibbert's ankle injury keeps him out tonight. Opposing centers are averaging 31.1 FanDuel points per-36 minutes against the Pacers this season, so Chandler should have another solid game filling out the box score.
Overpay of the night
DeAndre Jordan, C, Clippers at Charlotte ($7,200)
Jordan hasn't been too much less effective than he was a year ago, though his scoring and rebounding are both down, despite an increase in scoring efficiency. He has drawn free throws far less frequently than he did a year ago, and that explains away much of the drop in his production. Unfortunately, things don't seem to be improving much, as he is averaging just 7.6 points per game over the last five. Jordan derives much of his value from rebounding and shot-blocking, but you're still paying a high price for production that hasn't quite been there this season, and his diminished scoring is at least part of that. You probably need at least 30 FanDuel points from Jordan to justify this price tag, and he has reached that mark just twice in his last five games. There are simply better values at the center position than Jordan, given his current production.
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CT: Based on my Trade Value Chart from last week (Link: http://fantasynews.cbssports.com/fantasybasketball/story/24826725/week-5-fantasy-trade-values), this is a win for you, but it's close enough that it isn't a steal. Leonard still hasn't quite recovered from his early shooting slump, and you have to wonder if his eye issue is still causing him problems, but his overall production is still more than fine. His scoring is up to 13.6 per game, despite his shooting woes, so it isn't asking too much to expect him to settle in around 15 when all is said done. Meanwhile, Butler's value is higher than it ever will be, and he will probably be a less reliable contributor of peripheral stats than Leonard, so the loss of scoring might not be missed too much. Leonard's production hasn't matched it yet, but he should beat out Butler long term.
@AzazNYK: This is just a blip, right? or is Mario Chalmers actually good now?
CT: I've always been rather fond of Chalmers. His irrational confidence was a big part of Miami's success over the last few years, and he always seemed like someone who could put up solid numbers if given the chance at a bigger role. He has gotten that role recently, stepping into the starting lineup for Dwyane Wade, and has actually done a passable Wade impersonation. Chalmers is playing over his head, but he's also getting to the rim and the free throw line constantly, averaging 19.4 points on 11.0 field-goal attempts per game over the last five. Chalmers obviously isn't as good as Wade, but he is clearly the second-best guard on this team, and should be receiving big minutes even when Wade returns. He looks like a starting Fantasy option at guard even when Wade returns.
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