Editor's note: FanDuel.com is hosting a one-day $400,000 Fantasy Basketball contest for Wednesday's games. It's $25 to enter and first prize is $50,000. Starts Wednesday at tipoff. Enter now!
If you want to go star-heavy with your FanDuel lineup tonight, you won't have many options, as James Harden and Anthony Davis are the only players worth $10,000 or more among Wednesday's crop. Chances are, we're going to see those two in plenty of lineups tonight, which means your lineup is going to have trouble standing out if you build around them.
While you wouldn't want to miss out on patented huge games from either player, there are other paths to go by, if you choose. My lineup for Wednesday features neither player, as I am aiming for a bit more balance.
Both Davis and Harden have good matchups on the way, however, I like the slate of games I've picked from. As a general rule, if you can get 30 FanDuel Fantasy points from eight of the nine spots on your roster, you'll be in good standing.
For my Wednesday lineup, seven of my nine lineup spots are going up against opponents that surrender at least 28 Fantasy points per-36 minutes to their position, so hopefully those trends will continue.
Forecasting how matchups will play out in basketball is risky business, especially when you break it down to positions. However, it is early enough in the season where I am still experimenting for the right strategy on a daily basis. The good thing about the daily format is if my experiment on Wednesday fails, the slate gets wiped clean and I can try again Thursday or Friday.
My FanDuel.com roster for Nov. 12:
PG Reggie Jackson, Thunder at Boston ($7,700)
PG Damian Lillard, Trail Blazers at Denver ($8,200)
SG Eric Bledsoe, Suns vs. Brooklyn ($7,000)
SG Wesley Matthews, Trail Blazers at Nuggets ($6,300)
SF Trevor Ariza, at Minnesota ($6,300)
SF Wesley Johnson, Lakers at New Orleans ($4,200)
PF Markieff Morris, Suns vs. Brooklyn ($6,600)
PF Ryan Anderson, Pelicans vs. L.A. Lakers ($6,200)
C Al Horford, Hawks vs. Jazz ($7,400)
Jrue Holiday, PG, Pelicans vs. L.A. Lakers ($7,300)
Holiday is putting up essentially identical numbers to what he did for the Pelicans a year ago, which makes him a solid, if wholly unspectacular Fantasy option most nights. His cost today reflects this, but this matchup could give him a chance to put up bigger numbers than that. The Lakers are allowing opposing point guards to score 35.5 FanDuel Fantasy points per-36 minutes, so expect good things from Holiday tonight.
Jeremy Lamb, SF, Thunder at Boston ($5,500)
I might like Lamb even more if he qualified at SG, but he still has some value out here. The Celtics are allowing the fourth-most points per game in the league, and their feisty perimeter defenders are still allowing opponents to register the second-best 3-point percentage in the league. Lamb lives and dies with his jump shot, and the Celtics' struggles to defend the 3-point line could prove helpful for him. He scored 17 points in each of his first two games and is going to get plenty of shots for a Thunder team in desperate need of a spark.
Kelly Olynyk, C, Celtics vs. Oklahoma City ($5,300)
Steven Adams is a feisty and active defender, but he might struggle with Olynyk's finesse game. The Thunder haven't had to face a frontcourt with multiple shooters like Boston's so it will be interesting to see whether Adams can hang with Olynyk on the perimeter. Opposing centers are averaging 31.6 FanDuel Fantasy points per-36 minutes against the Thunder, so Olynyk could be in for a good night.
Overpay of the night
Brook Lopez, C, Nets at Phoenix ($7,200)
The Suns have embraced the positional revolution, and their fast-paced style of play and unique lineup combinations seems like a bad combination for Lopez in this matchup. Lopez has the size and skill to dominate the small Suns' frontcourt, but he might not be able to keep up with their speed. Opposing teams have gone without a true center on the floor for nearly eight minutes of gametime on average against the Suns, and the Nets might be best served following suit. Lopez is never a big minutes guy, so you should be aware of the risk in adding him tonight.
@mylesduve: Hey Chris, any buy low suggestions?
CT: Here are my Top five buy-low candidates at this point, in no particular order:
Chandler Parsons: Parsons' shooting motion is unorthodox, but we had 924 3-point attempts and 2,475 field-goals indicating it worked for him entering the season. Given that, there's no reason at all to write him off after seven bad games. If someone in your league is panicking, now is the time to swoop in on Parsons.
Kenneth Faried: Faried's production is down from a year ago, but like Parsons, it is almost solely due to cold shooting start. Unlike Parsons, it isn't like Faried has a wonky jumper to blame his struggles on. He is taking 83.8 percent of his shots within 10 feet of the rim, compared to 85.5 percent a year ago, but is shooting nearly 100 points worse. Faried is a ferocious finisher near the rim, so he should be a good bet to improve moving forward, and his minutes should increase as coach Brian Shaw settles on a rotation.
Jabari Parker: Parker is second on the Bucks in both minutes played and shots attempted, which are usually the biggest hurdles for rookies. He clearly has the trust of coach Jason Kidd early in his career, and is too talented as a scorer to continue struggling like this. At 12.3 field-goal attempts per game, Parker's got a huge ceiling.
Andre Drummond: We called Drummond a potential bust candidate before the season, but even the most pessimistic projections didn't see him shooting 42.0 percent from the field. From the free-throw line, sure. The Pistons are asking him to post-up more, and that has resulted in the average distance of his field-goal attempts increasing from 1.9 feet to 2.9 and his percentage of field goals coming off an assist dropping to 48.3. Stan Van Gundy is a clever enough coach to figure out the right way to use Drummond, so he should at least settle in around his per-game averages from last year.
Goran Dragic: Dragic's numbers are down across the board from his career-best 2014-15 campaign, highlighted by an assist rate that has plummeted from 28.1 percent to 13.4 this season. The presence of Isaiah Thomas as an extra ball-handler helps explain that to an extent, but you would also expect his shooting efficiency to improve with more work away from the ball. His average shot distance is down to 10.7 feet from the rim, and he is taking 41.2 percent of his shots within three feet of the rim, while being assisted on 35.3 percent of his makes. All of that inexplicably adds up to a 44.7 percent shooting mark from the field, a significant drop from a year ago. He has been ice cold from three-point range, which explains much of the drop, and that mark should improve as he gets more comfortable shooting off the catch. Dragic looks unlikely to reach the highs he enjoyed last season, but there is still plenty of room for improvement here.
Waiver wire fliers
Solomon Hill, F, Pacers
With how poorly C.J. Miles' season has gone so far, his absence might be helping the Pacers out right now. There is also the added benefit of the team finally getting the chance to see what they have in last year's first-round pick, and Hill has been impressive so far. He has a solid, well-rounded game, and has done much of his work without having shots hand-fed to him; only 34.6 percent of his shots have been assisted. He has shown a surprisingly robust off-the-bounce game, ranking second on the team in drives per game, according to SportsVU data from NBA.com. Hill's solid all-around game reminds me a bit of Jimmy Butler, in that he can help you a little bit everywhere in the stat sheet when he gets the chance. As a fourth forward in category-based leagues, I like taking a chance on Hill.