Editor's note: FanDuel.com is hosting a one-day $175,000 Fantasy Basketball contest for Tuesday's games. It's $25 to enter and first prize is $15,000. Starts Tuesday at tipoff. Enter now!
Betting on stars worked out for me quite nicely, as LeBron James finally put together his first triple-double of the season in a wild game between the Pelicans and Cavaliers. On Tuesday, however, we don't really have a lot of stars available for a six-game schedule, so I have to go a different route in building my team.
I am not snagging the most expensive player at any position from Tuesday's slate, which allows me to flesh out my team a bit more. Sure, I could have gone with DeMarcus Cousins in what could be a very high-scoring game against the Mavericks, but that's a bit of a tough individual matchup for him, since center Tyson Chandler is just about the only plus defender on their roster.
I am betting big on that Kings-Mavericks matchup to be tonight's shootout, even if I didn't want to drop the cash for Cousins. I've got a couple of the head-to-head matchups for that game, and I'm expecting to take advantage of both team's struggles defending point guards tonight. I'm not the biggest Darren Collison fan, but this price is too good to pass up against a team that is allowing the 8th-most points in the league. Collison has been a great fit for the Kings, and that shouldn't stop being true tonight.
Elsewhere, I am sticking with my new principle of picking on the Lakers. It's nothing personal, I just still don't think they have the defensive personnel to slow teams down consistently. They did hold their most recent opponent to 92 points, but I think that might speak more to where the Hornets are with their offense than anything the Lakers did. Marc Gasol is playing the best ball of his life, having scored at least 18 points in five of the first seven games, and I'm not particularly concerned about Jordan Hill slowing him down. The Grizzlies frontcourt should overwhelm the Lakers tonight.
The nice thing about going with a balance roster is I can look at my team and say that I like every player I chose tonight to have a solid game. When you go stars-and-scrubs, you are just hoping the Donald Sloan's of the world can give you something Sloan ended up costing me last night. I have a pretty reasonable base-line expectation for everyone here, and if one or two of them can go off, I will be in the money again.
My roster for Nov. 11 at FanDuel.com
PG Devin Harris, Mavericks vs. Sacramento ($4,500)
PG Darren Collison, Kings at Dallas ($6,500)
SG Wesley Matthews, Trail Blazers vs. Charlotte ($5,700)
SG Evan Fournier, Magic at Toronto ($4,800)
SF Chandler Parsons, Mavericks vs. Sacramento ($6,200)
SF Rudy Gay, Kings at Dallas ($8,200)
PF Serge Ibaka, Thunder at Milwaukee ($8,000)
PF Zach Randolph, Grizzles vs. L.A. Lakers ($7,800)
C Marc Gasol, Grizzles vs. L.A. Lakers ($7,900)
Devin Harris, PG, Mavericks vs. Sacramento ($4,500)
Harris' role for the Mavericks depresses his Fantasy value on the whole, but he can still find success against the right matchups. He is one of the cheaper viable options around Tuesday, and he's got a fantastic matchup on the way against a Kings team that allows the most FanDuel Fantasy points per game to opposing point guards. The Kings have been slicing the Kings up for 34.9 FanDuel Fantasy points per-36 minutes, so Harris should provide solid return on investment even if he doesn't top 30 minutes tonight.
Brandon Knight, PG, Bucks vs. Oklahoma City ($7,400)
The problem with the point guard position for FanDuel is it is the easiest place to find values. There are half a dozen guys under $7,000 worth rostering on any given night, which makes it hard to bet on mid-level guys like Knight. However, Knight has played more like an elite Fantasy option for much of the season, averaging 35.6 FanDuel Fantasy points per game despite playing just 31.9 minutes. Playing time has been a bit inconsistent at times for him, but he looks like the Bucks' best player by a pretty wide margin, and he gets to go against a team that is allowing 30.6 FanDuel Fantasy points per-36 minutes to opposing point guards.
Jonas Valanciunas, C, Raptors vs. Orlando ($6,100)
The Magic have a fine center of their own in Nikola Vucevic, but that hasn't prevented opposing centers from feasting on them. In fact, the Magic are allowing centers to score 43.5 FanDuel points per game against them in just 41.8 minutes of action this season, the fifth-highest mark in the league. Vucevic is a handful, but the Magic have spacing issues, which tends to lead to lots of missed and blocked shots right near the rim. Valanciunas averaged 13.7 points and 11.0 rebounds per game against the Magic a year ago and is a solid option if you want to go cheap on the center spot.
Overpay of the night
Tim Duncan, PF, Spurs at Golden State ($8,000)There is no question Duncan can be worth this much on any given night, though he's gotten off to a bit of a slow start yet again this season. Still, we've played this game long enough to know you can't rely on Gregg Popovich to play his stars in the second half of a back-to-back. If you can set your lineup at the last minute and can wait to see if Duncan is playing, he might be a worthwhile play, but the combination of a late start and a tough matchup makes him unworthy of the risk here.
@iamwojciech: Chandler Parsons for my Roy Hibbert in 9-category H2H keeper. Kind of buy-low/sell-high? or is Hibbert back from dead for real? (I can afford to cut down on blocks with Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, DeMarcus Cousins, Jonas Valanciunas, K.J. McDaniels and Nerlens Noel).
CT: This is a perfect strategy. You gambled on some high-upside guys like Noel and McDaniels and paired them with a big-time bounceback candidate in Hibbert, and now is the time to pounce. On Monday's podcast, I suggested Parsons as a great buy-low option for a big man like Pau Gasol, and Hibbert would also fit that description. I have been high on the Hibbert bounceback bangwagon, but I still think this is a fantastic usage of your resources.
CT: The news that Leonard is having trouble focusing in his right eye has to be pretty terrifying for Fantasy owners who invested a high pick in Leonard. Taking him in the first or second round was a risky bet on his ability to finally put it all together while simultaneously taking on a bigger role for the Spurs, and it hasn't quite paid off yet. It's far too early to write him off, but you have to like Love more right now.
Waiver wire fliers
Jeremy Lamb, G, Thunder (64 percent owned)
I was high on Lamb coming into the season, especially given Kevin Durant's extended absence. An injury forced Lamb to miss most of the first two weeks, but he has come back and played pretty well since, scoring 17 points in each of his first two games, with four total assists and 6.0 rebounds per game. He has short-term value until Durant comes back, and the pending returns of Andre Roberson, Anthony Morrow and Perry Jones also cloud his value, but Lamb is a shooter and a scorer on a team desperate for offensive firepower, so he'll score in the mid-teens every night. Anything else he gives you is a bonus at this point.
Evan Fournier, G, Magic (43 percent owned)
Fournier has been shockingly effective for the Magic this season, filling in as both a scorer and a playmaker for a team that desperately needs both. He is another player whose value has an expiration date, because it's hard to see him continuing to get even 20-plus minutes per game when Victor Oladipo gets back. For now, however, Fournier is averaging 16.0 points and 2.6 assists per game over the last five, and clearly has a consistent role on that team. He is playing well over his head, shooting 50 percent, but should settle in as a 13-points, three-assists per game kind of player for the next few weeks, which gives him low-end value for the time being.