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You've gotta have fun when you're playing Fantasy, whether in a long-term league or every night on FanDuel. Sure, you're trying to make your money go as far as possible on FanDuel, but if you aren't enjoying it, what's the point?
There's value in taking a wholly rational, analytics-driven view of your lineup on any given night, and I certainly take that into account when building mine. However, I also know I'm going to spend six hours on the couch watching basketball -- and trying to ignore an increasingly hostile wife's death-stares -- so I want to make sure I'm enjoying myself.
So, sometimes I'll make picks with an eye on what will make for the best viewing experience for me. Monday, that meant riding with both Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan as they went up against the Celtics, a move that worked out beautifully for me. Because I can be somewhat superstitious, I'm going to keep that theme tonight by riding the Greg Monroe-Andre Drummond frontline tandem against the Magic.
Orlando's frontcourt is a bit stouter than Boston's, but I still like the way this duo is playing. They fit well together, and have been tremendous in the post-Josh Smith era, averaging 69.7 FanDuel points per game combined over the last 14 games, including 76.7 the last time they faced off against the Magic.
Monroe actually struggled in that matchup against the Magic. Drummond did all of the heavy lifting, so maybe this isn't necessarily the most prudent way to build my lineup tonight. Still, it'll sure be fun watching one of the NBA's best frontcourt duos go to work for me,
Miami at Charlotte
Combined FanDuel points allowed per game: 384.61
Al Jefferson should dominate this matchup, but I'm a bit worried about his minutes and role coming off this injury.
Utah at Cleveland
Combined FanDuel points allowed per game: 398.08
The Cavaliers will certainly want to avenge the heartbreaking loss they suffered in the season's first week, but I still like Gordon Hayward and Derrick Favors to find success against a team that is still struggling defensively. The Cavaliers actually have the worst defensive rating in the league since acquiring Timofey Mozgov.
New York at Philadelphia
Combined FanDuel points allowed per game: 414.63
With New York being a mess and the 76ers' general air of malaise, this one could be tough to watch. It's hard to rely on anyone in New York.
Indiana at Atlanta
Combined FanDuel points allowed per game: 391.26
Horford has at least 32.7 FanDuel points in each of the last six games, but still has a pretty reasonable price tonight. It's a tough matchup, but he's rolling.
Toronto at Memphis
Combined FanDuel points allowed per game: 387.31
I love the idea of buying low on DeMar DeRozan, coming off arguably his worst game of the season and costing just $7,300. He has 28 or more FanDuel points in each of his first three games after injury.
Dallas at Minnesota
Combined FanDuel points allowed per game: 409.95
This one should be fast and high-scoring, and I like Tyson Chandler as a solid, dependable option yet again.
LA Lakers at New Orleans
Combined FanDuel points allowed per game: 408.84
A lot will depend on whether Jrue Holiday, Anthony Davis and Kobe Bryant play. That's a lot of starpower surrounded by question marks.
Oklahoma City at Washington
Combined FanDuel points allowed per game: 384.73
The Wizards have been blocked just 178 times, the eighth-fewest times in the league, so this might not be a great one for Serge Ibaka. It's tough to block mid-range jumpers.
Portland at Phoenix
Combined FanDuel points allowed per game: 392.57
If you really want to get risky, throw Meyers Leonard or Thomas Robinson into a lineup and hope they can scrape together a double-double.
Brooklyn at Sacramento
Combined FanDuel points allowed per game: 403.37
Mason Plumlee will try, but there's no way he is slowing Cousins down. Boogie had 46.6 FanDuel points against the Nets in their last matchup, and even his sky-high turnover rate can't slow him down.
Houston at Golden State
Combined FanDuel points allowed per game: 392.08
It's a tough matchup, but Dwight Howard did have 35.5 FanDuel points against the Warriors last week. He has at least 30 in four straight, and could be worth this price, though there are safer options.
My roster for Jan. 14 at FanDuel.com:
PG Langston Galloway, Knicks at
PG Jeremy Lin, Lakers at New Orleans ($4,900)
SG Victor Oladipo, Magic at Detroit ($7,100)
SG Wesley Matthews, Trail Blazers at Phoenix ($5,700)
SF LeBron James, Cavaliers vs. Utah ($10,700)
SF Dorell Wright, Trail Blazers at Phoenix ($3,500)
PF Greg Monroe, Pistons vs. Orlando ($8,300)
PF Derrick Favors, Jazz at Cleveland ($7,800)
C Andre Drummond, Pistons vs. Orlando ($8,000)
Damian Lillard, PG, Trail Blazers at Phoenix ($9,000)
There are a couple of ways to go at point guard tonight, so I'll lay them out here. I love Lillard's chances of putting up a big line tonight against Phoenix, with LaMarcus Aldridge sidelined by a thumb injury. As you'll read later, the Blazers don't really have anyone who can step up and fill Aldridge's shoes, but Lillard should step up with Aldridge out. He has averaged just 34.4 FanDuel points per game with Aldridge out, not great numbers from someone who averages 37.7 for the season, but his most recent game gives reason for optimism because he had 42.7 in 38 minutes against the Kings with Aldridge playing just 14 minutes. His price has declined lately, but Aldridge is coming off consecutive games with 40-plus FanDuel points, and Lillard gets to go against a bottom-three defense in what should be a fast, high-scoring game. The Blazers will need a ton from Lillard tonight.
Jeremy Lin, PG, Lakers at New Orleans ($4,900)
And here's the other way you can go, if you don't want to ride with a high-price option at point guard. Lin's value will depend on a couple of factors, and both really have to go his way in order to make him worth a spot in your lineup: first, Ronnie Price's elbow has to keep him out of this evening's game; second, Kobe Bryant has to sit out. If Bryant plays, Lin isn't going to get many chances to run the offense, so he wouldn't really get to take advantage of Price's absence. However, if both are out, this is a great matchup, especially with Jrue Holiday still hobbled. You won't want to pin your hopes on Lin, but if you're looking for a shot in the dark, he's a nice gamble coming off a 31.6 FanDuel-point game.
Langston Galloway, PG, Knicks at Philadelphia ($4,000)
This is the big gamble of the night, but it might not even end up being a gamble. Galloway's price is so low that you'll be happy if you get anythine from him at all. He has scored 28-plus FanDuel points in two of the last three games, while playing 28 minutes or more in three of four overall. The Knicks are a mess and I wouldn't feel great relying on anyone here, but they are also facing the 76ers, so your chances of a return on investment might be higher than it appears.
Overpay of the night
Dion Waiters, SG, Thunder vs. Washington ($5,400)
Waiters seems to have found a comfort zone in Oklahoma City that he never really had in Cleveland, and that might be enough to salvage his career. Waiters is a mercurial sort of fellow, so maybe a change in scenery might just be enough to kick start things for him. Of course, maybe he just had a good shooting stretch over the course of five games after the trade. Either way, I wouldn't want him in my lineup tonight, on the second night of a back-to-back going against a Wizards team that just kills Fantasy value. Opposing shooting guards average just 34.89 FanDuel points per-48 minutes against them, and Waiters just doesn't do enough besides score to give himself a decent floor if his shot isn't falling. Waiters may have improved his outlook with this move, but there are better options at shooting guard tonight.
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CT: I don't mind the idea of selling somewhat high on Lowry, because his production is likely to take a small dip with DeMar Derozan back. However, there are 99 guards currently averaging more Fantasy points per game than Smart in CBSSports.com leagues, so I'm not sure this is the move to make. Sure, Smart is going to improve moving forward, and has plenty of upside, I'm just not sure he lives up to it this season, especially in a Fantasy scoring format. The combination of defense and shooting Thompson and Smart bring would make for a solid pickup in a category-based league, but I don't think this is enough to give up a truly elite player in H2H.
@ScatterSports : @Stotts will play the hot hand with what he has left. Closed with Barton at the 4 last night. Nobody can be counted on.
CT: This is taken from a discussion on what the Trail Blazers will do in LaMarcus Aldridge's absence. Aldridge is without a timeline to return due to a thumb injury suffered, but I'm not sure Fantasy owners should really be running out to grab anyone from their corps of reserves. Thomas Robinson and Meyers Leonard should see bumps in playing time, but it won't be consistent enough to justify a spot on most Fantasy rosters; neither player is all that good. In Aldridge's
Waiver wire flier
George Hill, G, Pacers
Hill has been a major disappointment this season, but he was actually playing pretty well when he was able to get on the floor, averaging 14.2 points in just 25.4 minutes per game in his five appearances. He wasn't providing much else, but that is something that is likely to come with time, given how much this team is likely to nee from him. He was able to practice fully Tuesday and should be back from a groin injury soon after, which is a good sign. As underwhelming as Hill has been -- even going back to last season -- I still think he has a chance to turn into a very solid contributor in category-based Fantasy leagues. He is available in 22 percent of CBSSports.com leagues, and is worth scooping up if you need the help at guard.