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When I start to set out my FanDuel lineup, I always put together the FanDuel points allowed data for each team first. I will look at other stats like pace or the Vegas over/under line for the game to get an idea of what to expect, but I think combined FanDuel points is one of the most important stats you can look at.
Some teams fare better by that metric than they do by pure points allowed or even defensive rating or other advanced stats. For instance, nobody would ever mistake the Jazz for a great defensive team, but they rank third in FanDuel points allowed per game because they rarely turn the ball over and clean up the boards well on both ends of the floor. It's not just about scoring, especially in FanDuel, where you get more points for rebounds and assists than points.
Tonight, we have one game that looks like a great matchup from this perspective, at least on the surface. The Nuggets and Lakers both allow more than 200 FanDuel points per game on the season, and they rank in the top-five in the league as a result. This should be a great matchup to take advantage of, but I'm just not feeling it tonight.
I have a few players from this matchup, though Jordan Clarkson is the only one I went out of my way to select. Arron Afflalo has been good at times lately, but is also coming off a six-point effort in the team's most recent game, and that highlights the issue with both teams. They have a few guys you might feel good about on the whole, but it's awfully hard to trust anyone on any given night with how much the rotations fluctuate. One night, Kenneth Faried or Carlos Boozer might post a big double-double for their respective teams, but both have also been held to single digits in one of their last three games.
Going against either the Nuggets or Lakers is usually enough to pique my interest, but neither team has been consistent enough to fully convince me they can take advantage of the matchup.
Detroit at Charlotte
Combined FanDuel points allowed per game: 390.3
The Pistons have been the seventh-best offense in the league since Jan. 1, while the Hornets have been the best defense. It's strength vs. strength tonight, and you might not want to rely on your usual Pistons, though Andre Drummond could have more opportunities for offensive rebounds than usual.
Houston at Phoenix
Combined FanDuel points allowed per game: 391.5
These two teams rank second and third in pace since Jan. 1, so expect a ton of points here.
Sacramento at Chicago
Combined FanDuel points allowed per game: 400.9
The Kings might be getting a new coach after the All-Star break, but we shouldn't expect anything to change right now. DeMarcus Cousins is about as good as they come, even against this deep frontline.
Brooklyn at Memphis
Combined FanDuel points allowed per game: 382.7
These two teams like to grind out games, so expect a final score in the 90's. Brook Lopez is averaging just 14.5 points and 5.3 rebounds in his last four against the Grizzlies.
Denver at LA Lakers
Combined FanDuel points allowed per game: 409.5
Someone is going to go off in this game, but can you really trust anyone on either roster?
My roster for Feb. 6 at FanDuel.com:
PG Jordan Clarkson, Lakers vs. Denver($4,900)
PG Brian Roberts, Hornets vs. Detroit($5,100)
SG James Harden, Rockets at Phoenix($11,200)
SG Arron Afflalo, Nuggets at L.A. Lakers ($5,500)
SF Gerald Henderson, Hornets vs. Detroit($5,700)
SF Trevor Ariza, Rockets at Phoenix ($5,500)
PF Greg Monroe, Pistons at Charlotte($8,000)
PF Donatas Motiejunas, Rockets at Phoenix($5,700)
C Al Jefferson, Hornets vs. Detroit ($8,300)
Al Jefferson, C, Hornets vs. Detroit($8,300)
There's a decent grouping of centers in the $8,000-$8,500 range onight, but I think Jefferson has the highest upside out of all of them. For one thing, he has hit his stride lately, averaging 35.7 FanDuel points per game over the last seven, including three double-doubles in six games. And perhaps just as importantly, the Pistons haven't been good at all against centers lately, allowing a league-high 54.9 FanDuel points per-48 minutes to opposing centers over the last three weeks, per RotoGrinders.com. The Pistons take a ton of shots at the rim, so there will be plenty of blocked shot opportunities, and Andre Drummond is still developing as a post defender on the other end. He just gave up 29 points to Nikola Pekovic on a balky ankle, so Jefferson could be in line for a huge game as the Hornets continue to lean heavily on him.
Gerald Henderson, SF, Hornets vs. Detroit($5,700)
You'll see a bit more about Henderson later on for those of you who are also playing in yearly leagues and are looking for a nice pickup on waivers. The advice is pretty similar for Henderson, who has been providing exceptional value in FanDuel of late, averaging 34.3 FanDuel points per game over the last four while costing less than $6,000. The Pistons' offense is greatly improved, but they are still pretty mediocre on the other side of the ball, and Henderson is going to continue seeing a big role with Michael Kidd-Gilchrist out through the All-Star break and Lance Stephenson hardly pushing him for minutes.
Jordan Clarkson, PG, Lakers vs. Denver($4,900)
The fact that Clarkson is under $5k despite coming off two 30-FanDuel-point games seems crazy to me, even if he had just 5.9 in his previous game before that run. The Lakers need Clarkson to carry a big load for them, and that gives him a ceiling that players at this price level just don't generally have. In fact, over the last six games, Clarkson is averaging 27.1 FanDuel points, or 1.1 less than Jarrett Jack, who costs $2,400 more. Like I said earlier, I don't like many players in that Denver-L.A. matchup, but I really like Clarkson at this price.
Overpay of the night
Jarrett Jack, PG, Nets at Memphis ($7,300)
Jack's price hasn't gone down as much as you might expect in the wake of Deron Williams' return to action; he has topped 30 FanDuel points in two of his last four games. Still, this is an exceptionally tough matchup for anyone, and the margin for error for Jack seems to be a bit smaller when Williams is around. He is averaging 28.2 FanDuel points per game since Williams came back, a level of production that his price tag doesn't really justify, especially against this matchup.
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@LuckytheBird: @CTowersCBS my Draymond, Rubio, Bosh, and filler, for his Kyle Lowry, Mike Conley, Zach Randolph and Mason Plumlee? Draymond is incredible, makes me hesitant. 10-team, nine-category h2h
CT: Hold on, I need to catch my breath, because this one is a doozy. There might be seven top-100 players being moved in this deal, depending on how high you are on Plumlee -- or how low you are on Brook Lopez. Green has been a top-10 Fantasy player in category-based leagues overall, but Lowry hasn't been far behind. It's awfully tough to move someone like Green, but getting two top-10 guards back plus Randolph and Plumlee could make it worth it. Randolph is a two-category contributor, but he has been absolutely killing those two categories, and Plumlee is one Lopez injury away from being a nightly double-double threat. I think I might pull the trigger on it.
@leeal02 : Desperate for shooting guard in nine-category Rotisserie league & have big man depth. I just grabbed Spencer Hawes and had Robin Lopez return from injury. Does dealing Brook Lopez for Bradley Beal make sense?
CT: As disappointing as Beal has been this season, I think I love this deal for you. Yes, Lopez has been phenomenal lately, averaging 21.6 points and 8.0 rebounds per game over the last five, while shooting 52.6 percent from the field in that time. However, he is barely getting to the free-throw line, hardly dishes out assists, and is only contributing in blocks beyond his rebounds and scoring. Even when things are going well, Lopez is a two-category player, since he rebounds like a small forward on most nights. Beal has been frustrating, but he's still a solid all-around contributor, capable of posting decent numbers in six different categories, even if he will never win you any single one. The shooting guard pool is extremely shallow, so if you play in a league that differentiates between the guard positions, he is even more valuable. Assuming his toe sprain isn't serious enough to linger much past the All-Star break, I would pull the trigger on the deal.
Waiver Wire flier
Gerald Henderson, G, Hornets
Henderson has been up and down all season, but he is currently riding one of those upswings, having scored at least 13 points in each of the last four games, despite shooting below 30 percent in two of the four. That is because he is getting to the free-throw line like a mad man, averaging 6.8 free-throw attempts per game in this streak. He has also put up huge assist numbers in that span, and is averaging 34.8 Fantasy points per game in that span. Henderson has shown a consistently improved playmaking skill set this season, and the Hornets have had to rely on it more with the limited Brian Roberts running the point lately. Henderson is probably the team's best option on the perimeter at this point, and is still owned in just 59 percent of CBSSports.com leagues, despite his F and SF eligibility.