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Monday's schedule was hell for Fantasy. Looking ahead at the games, it was hard to pinpoint any obvious plays to go for. It was just a bad mixture of unappetizing matchups, injuries and rotation uncertainty.
If Monday's was a worst-case scenario for Fantasy, Tuesday looks like it could be the mirror image. Both nights featured six games, but while Monday was littered with potential blowouts -- the average Vegas line was 9.7 points -- Tuesday should have many more competitive games. At the very least, the schedule is much more conducive to Fantasy production, with an average combined FanDuel points allowed mark of 392.8, compared to 387.0 Monday.
None of this necessarily means Tuesday will be better, but I did have a much easier time building a lineup I liked for tonight. I went extreme with my boom-or-bust lineup, but each of my sub-$5,000 players projects to either start or play 30-ish minutes tonight.
That's no guarantee of a good night, but it looks good from where I'm standing, at least.
Toronto at Detroit
Combined FanDuel points allowed per game: 395.6
Keep an eye on Greg Monroe's status before touching this game. Andre Drummond could be a must-play against a pretty soft frontcourt if Monroe remains out.
Miami at Milwaukeee
Combined FanDuel points allowed per game: 379.3
I'm staying away from this one. On a night with so many good matchups to choose from, this one sticks out for featuring two below-average pace teams.
LA Lakers at Oklahoma City
Combined FanDuel points allowed per game: 400.1
The Thunder should win pretty easily with the Lakers on the second night of a back-to-back, but Byron Scott's decision to shuffle his rotation -- again -- could pay dividends in Fantasy against the league's fastest-paced team since the break.
San Antonio at Dallas
Combined FanDuel points allowed per game: 386.4
A resurgent Tiago Splitter looks like a pretty good play against the league's worst rebounding team.
Philadelphia at Sacramento
Combined FanDuel points allowed per game: 410.9
These two teams love to run, and they love to turn the ball over. Good things should happen here.
Golden State at Portland
Combined FanDuel points allowed per game: 384.4
With LaMarcus Aldridge, Chris Kaman and Nicolas Batum all dealing with injuries that could keep them out, the normally stable Blazers' rotation could be thrown into disarray. If we don't hear anything about their status, this might be a stayaway game thanks to the late start.
My roster for March 24 at FanDuel.com:
PG Russell Westbrook, Thunder vs. L.A.
PG Damian Lillard, Trail Blazers vs. Golden State ($8,100)
SG Dion Waiters, Thunder vs. L.A. Lakers ($4,600)
SG Ben McLemore, Kings vs. Philadelphia ($4,200)
SF Harrison Barnes, Warriors at Portland ($4,400)
SF Alonzo Gee, Trail Blazers vs. Portland ($3,500)
PF Nerlens Noel, 76ers at Sacramento ($7,600)
PF Ryan Kelly, Lakers at Oklahoma City ($3,500)
C DeMarcus Cousins, Kings vs. Philadelphia ($10,700)
DeMarcus Cousins, C, Kingsvs. Philadelphia($10,700)
As you'll see a bit later, I love both halves of this frontcourt matchup, and history is on my side. Nagging injuries have become a concern for Cousins, but as long as he plays he is one of the best players in the game, and he more than held up his end of the bargain the last time he faced the Sixers, racking up 72.3 FanDuel points in a loss less than two weeks ago. Assuming he doesn't sit out for any unexpected reason, Cousins should be in line for yet another massive line against a game, but undersized Philadelphia frontcourt.
Nerlens Noel, PF, 76ers at Sacramento ($7,600)
Though I don't think it will be enough to really vault him into Rookie of the Year consideration, you have to love the way Noel is playing lately. He is averaging 35.0 FanDuel points per game in the month of March, while increasing both his usage and efficiency across the board offensively and maintaining his stellar defensive production. That last bit is what puts him over the top for me tonight, as he gets to take on a Kings team that struggles mightily to take care of the ball -- only two teams turn the ball over more frequently than Sacramento, and no team has been blocked as often on a per-game basis. Noel had 39.4 FanDuel points in their last meeting, and should thrive yet again tonight.
Ryan Kelly, PF, Lakers at Oklahoma City($3,500)
This is pretty much just a Hail Mary; Kelly is shooting just 29.4 percent from the field this season, and has scored in double figures just five times in 38 games. However, he is going to be starting at power forward tonight, which should allow him to get the most of his minutes. Kelly has been used primarily as a small forward this season, where his shooting plays down, so it isn't terribly surprising that he has struggled. You don't need much from Kelly here, and there is reason to believe a move into the starting lineup could get him going; he averaged 21.3 FanDuel points in 25 starts a year ago.
Overpay of the night
Giannis Antetokounmpo, SG, Bucks vs. Miami ($7,500)
As good as Antetokounmpo has been of late, $7,500 feels a bit high for him tonight. The Heat have done a good job against Antetokounmpo this season, limiting him to below his season average in FanDuel scoring overall, with a high of 27.7 in their last matchup. At this price, you need a minimum of 30 FanDuel points, and that could be tough for him to do in what should be a pretty low scoring game. DeMar DeRozan has a much better matchup for $100 more, and there are a number of low-cost SGs you can choose from if you want to avoid the middle class, so it's tough to justify Antetokounmpo for me at this price.
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CT: This is going to be a fascinating argument to have in the offseason, for a number of reasons. Irving has been indisputably better this season, besting him in six of the nine standard categories, while posting a higher usage rate in each month. Irving is in the midst of his best season ever, while Love has often been invisible in the Cavaliers' offense, posting his worst season since he was a rookie. And yet, Love is the only player averaging double figures in rebounding while also hitting 100-plus 3-pointers this season, and he is also dishing out 2.3 assists per game and rarely turns the ball over, so he isn't without his merits. I would probably take Irving over Love next season, but if the Cavaliers tweak their offense to get Love more involved, it wouldn't surprise me if he provides a much better return on investment next season, especially with how hard it is to fill the forward position.
CT: Lin should easily surpass Williams' contributions in field-goal percentage, where Williams has been a disaster all season. Free-throw percentage should be about a push, so assists are where Williams will have to make up for his putrid shooting from the field. He has an edge on Lin in that category, but you have to account for two factors: first, Lin has been limited to five fewer minutes per game; secondly, Williams is at real risk of being shut down at some point. The team hasn't made any noise about it, but it wouldn't be a surprise to see Williams take the last few weeks of the season off, especially if he gets any kind of injury. At this point, I would take Lin over him without hesitation.