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Fanduel Basketball DFS Lineup Picks and More - 02/05/14
I've flirted with a few ideas for this column. I initially considered writing something that would focus on the sleepers and busts of the day, guys that were going to perform to the opposite of expectations. I may still do that in the future, but today I'm going to give something else a whirl. I will begin every one of my articles with a sort of disclaimer:
I have many unpopular opinions to accompany the mild ones, so I may, at times, make predictions or claims that seem far-fetched. In my eyes, fantasy basketball is much more fun with a tiny bit of risk and a whole lot of luck. Reading about it is only fun when you learn something new or are inspired. Numbers and news remain important and relevant, of course, but basketball is much more than that, isn't it? It's blood, sweat, anger, grit, will-power and athleticism. It's the character of the men out there on the court and the pride that they fight for. Numbers are a small part of it, and they'll only get you so far. Let's talk about more than just that.
So without further ado, let's get this edition started. We have 12 games on the slate for Wednesday, February 5th, with the Heat and Clippers facing off at 10:30 P.M. EST!
Has a player ever left a bad taste in your mouth? Maybe he was hyped up all week long on every facet of the media and then... nothing, disappearing like a puff of air. Maybe he was ejected from the game like Joakim Noah, after going 1-6 from the field in 19 minutes. It's an inevitable part of the game, guys, and we can't avoid these barely D-league worthy performances every now and again. Who's going to be that source of that frustration tonight?
Kyle Lowry, PG - Toronto Raptors ($8,400)
After Monday night's game, he was quoted saying his knee injury is "not serious." What a load of bologna! He shot 1-8 from the field, so it was obvious he couldn't get enough lift to put the ball in the hoop. He only played 25 minutes, way short of his average of 38 minutes over the past six games. The knee is obviously troubling him, and as long as the pain is there, no matter how severe, it's hard for me to see him playing up to this kind of salary. Keep in mind that he hasn't even been cleared for the contest against the Kings yet (I'm writing this as of Tuesday morning, so things may change). Even if he is cleared, he'll be given the task of defending Isaiah Thomas, and who the heck wants that job? Lowry's knee will be put to the ultimate test if he's cleared. He won't be able to keep up with Thomas, he won't be on the floor long and therefore his value is a lot lower than the price it will cost you to roster him. To provide a bit of context here, you should know that I'm starting RoLo over him in my eight-category league.
Chandler Parsons, SF - Houston Rockets ($7,000)
The price tag isn't too steep, but I'd rather take someone like Ariza, Batum or even DeMarre Carroll. Parsons only saw 19 minutes on the court in his last showing. His defense was reportedly less than admirable, and McHale decided that Parsons should meet the bench. Rightfully so, in my opinion. The guy can shoot and rebound, but if you can't keep your man away from the basket, then I'll find someone who will. This is the NBA! Everyone can score, but a solid defender is much harder to find. For that reason, I am hesitant to select Parsons for my lineups. He's only worth the price if he hits the court and drains the long balls, which is something he hasn't done much of in nearly two weeks. There are plenty of better options out there, so don't even think of taking this guy.
Kevin Love, PF - Minnesota Timberwolves ($11,100)
Yep, Kevin Love is going to leave a sour taste in your mouth at this price. For that amount of dough, he should put up a stat line that we've yet to see all season. Pekovic is still out, Ibaka is playing well and Kevin isn't a great defender. What does all of that mean? It's a recipe for disaster. With Nikola still sidelined, Minnesota is going to struggle to score and rebound. Is Turiaf going to do it? Nope! Rubio? Nope! Martin? Maybe, but it surely won't be enough. Now, don't get me wrong-- Kevin is probably going to have a good night when it's all said and done, but it's not going to be worthy of nearly 20% of your cap space. OKC is a VERY tough place to play. Save your money for someone more valuable.
One of the best feelings in the world is taking a chance on a "nobody" and having him stuff the stat sheet. Plucking a stud from the waiver wire or fishing through pages and pages of information to find that diamond in the rough, that's the beautiful part of fantasy sports. These guys are going to be diamonds after tonight:
Serge Ibaka, PF - OKC Thunder ($7,500)
I mentioned him a little bit earlier, but this guy is worth every penny. The man is on a hot streak, averaging nearly 70% from the field in his last seven games. No, he's not only taking three or four shots a game; he's averaging a whopping 16 attempts! In addition to his amazing shooting, he's been averaging eight rebounds a game over the same stretch. With the T-Wolves coming to town without Pekovic in their lineup, Ibaka should continue to put up these ridiculous numbers. A modest-- yes, modest-- stat projection for him in this game could look something like this: 12-17 FG, 3-4 FT, 12 rebounds, 2 assists and 3 blocks. You'd be crazy to ignore this guy at such a reasonable price. Put him in your lineup immediately.
Khris Middleton, SF - Milwaukee Bucks ($4,400)
Here's your cheap-as-dirt value pick for the day! Caron Butler is now out indefinitely with a high-ankle sprain, and that means Middleton gets the nod for additional minutes. He's been playing rather well lately, coming off of a 6-for-9 performance beyond the arc. Middleton racked up 19 pts, 4 rebounds and 3 assists in 25 minutes against the Knicks. The Bucks take on the Nuggets tonight, and who's there to stop Middleton from continuing this streak? Nobody! Chandler certainly can't, Faried most likely can't, so there's absolutely no reason for the bill to stop here. Picking this guy will get you some solid stats for a cheap price, opening up your salary for someone like Davis or DeRozan.
Seasonal Fantasy Strategy Interlude
Now, let's talk about something else. I've been seeing a lot of discussion here and there about trading guys from the Heat/Pacers/Trailblazers/etc. The consensus is that some of those guys, like James/Wade, George, Aldridge, Durant will be sitting out and/or resting when your fantasy playoffs roll around. The idea is that you should give these guys up to acquire a guy that will play throughout your playoff schedule. Of course, his stats may not be as pretty as the all stars', but you're getting the quantity, and that's what's important. So should you really be doing this?
Well, most fantasy playoff schedules begin in mid-to-late March and stretch throughout the end of the NBA regular season. Let's take LeBron James, for example. Up until the last week of March in the 12-13 season, LeBron was averaging over 35 minutes a game. Once April hit, he only played in 4 of 10 games and barely saw 30 minutes of action in those contests. Miami, however, had the #1 seed in the bag. There was little-to-no chance that New York would catch up and steal that from them. This season, there are very tight races in both divisions, and those should factor into your decision.
If, by the end of this month, there are no teams that hold an obvious lead in their respective conference, I think you should hold on to your stars. If there is no clear evidence of one team forfeiting a seed or losing a foothold in the race, then you don't need to trade these guys. They're going to see playing time as long as the GB is small. If Indiana happens to edge out Miami, then you might look for a deal to ship out James. The same goes for the other clubs with players like Durant, Aldridge, Duncan and George. Otherwise, you're keeping them. They're too valuable to give away, and I can assure you that if these teams still have a chance at the top seed, they're going to pursue it...
Here's my FanDuel team for 02/05/2014:
- Isaiah Thomas
- Rajon Rondo
- Kevin Martin
- Demar DeRozan
- Khris Middleton
- DeMarre Carroll
- Jared Sullinger
- Serge Ibaka
- DeAndre Jordan
If you liked today's column, you can let me know @Roto_Royalty on Twitter! You can also shoot me an e-mail at Roto_Royalty@yahoo.com. Feel free to send in your questions, and I might feature them in one of my columns! Good luck out there and enjoy the game!