Fanduel is hosting a nine-man league that will run five weeks and pit Rotoworld against nine other fantasy sites with the winner getting a trip to the Playboy Mansion for the Fanduel Basketball Championship party. The contest will run every Wednesday and Friday for the next five weeks. I’ll be representing Rotoworld, posting this column on those days, sharing my lineups and talking strategy. At this point, winning would be nice, but I’m just going to attempt to avoid embarrassing myself against some of the best DFS minds out there.
The winner will be determined by the highest aggregate score over the five weeks, with our two lowest scores being thrown out. Since this is the first game and I may not have to use the score, I decided to go the Studs & Scrubs route. And when I say scrubs, I’m not kidding. But the Grizzlies’ matchup against the Lakers, combined with all the Memphis injuries, inspired me to load up on a team that ranks 26th in scoring this season. I’m just letting you know up front that I’m fully aware that my strategy is a little sketchy tonight.
Here’s my lineup:
Russell Westbrook $10,900 OKC vs. Mavericks
Reggie Jackson $6,800 DET vs. Sixers
E’Twaun Moore $4,500 CHI vs. Wizards
Lance Stephenson $3,600 MEM vs. Lakers
Paul George $8,700 IND vs. Knicks
Luol Deng $5,800 MIA vs. Warriors
Zach Randolph $6,400 MEM vs. Lakers
Bobby Portis $4,300 CHI vs. Wizards
Andre Drummond $8,600 DET vs. Sixers
Any time the Thunder play I try to roll with Westbrook and Kevin Durant, as they are essentially locks to score somewhere between 40 and 70 Fanduel points each. I ended up ditching Durant for Paul George, which you can read about below.
Jackson is facing the Sixers and should be able to run amok against Ish Smith and company. He’s also hot, scoring 34.6 and 43.8 Fanduel points in his previous two games and the matchup feels right. I considered using Goran Dragic ($6,400) here, as he’s hot and the Warriors actually give up more to opposing point guards than do the Sixers, but I also feel like Dragic could be due for an off night. Mike Conley ($6,700) has a great matchup against the Lakers, but I feel like Jackson has a better chance of not letting me down.
Things get pretty dicey at shooting guard for me. Moore posted a 7.2 dud last time I used him against the Cavaliers on Feb. 18, but has bounced back for 33.3 and 28.4 FD points in his previous two games. And as long as Jimmy Butler (knee) is out, Moore should continue to see plenty of opportunities. The Wizards are in the middle of the pack defensively as far as opposing SGs go and the price is right for me.
Tony Allen (knee) is anywhere from questionable to doubtful for Memphis and Stephenson racked up 23.6 points against the Raptors on Sunday. And if Allen is out, Stephenson could even start in his place against the Lakers, who give up the fifth most FD points in the league to opposing SGs. This is a gamble, especially with the outside chance that Allen plays, but at $3,600, Stephenson could come through without having to go bananas against one of the worst teams in the league.
I really struggled picking my small forwards. I originally had Durant and Matt Barnes, then switched it to Kevin Durant and Justise Winslow, and finally ended up with Paul George and Luol Deng. George is similar to Durant, posting between 30.8 and 53.2 Fanduel points in his last eight games. Saving money with George allowed me to upgrade Barnes/ Winslow to a red-hot Deng. He’s posted 32.7, 47 and 50.2 Fanduel points in his last three games, and while I still love Barnes’ matchup against the Lakers (worst defensively against opposing small forwards), Deng should have a nice game tonight without Chris Bosh, as long as he doesn’t get smothered by Draymond Green. If Barnes and/or Winslow go off and Deng struggles, I’m going to be kicking myself.
Randolph will matchup against Julius Randle and rookie Larry Nance. With Green, Gasol and Allen all out of the way, Randolph should have a really high usage rate against a terrible team (eighth worst against PFs). He’s also playing well, scoring between 26.1 and 41.8 Fanduel points in his previous five games.
Portis has been set free lately and had 27.9 Fanduel points against the Lakers on Monday night. He’s hit 20-plus FD points in seven of his last eight games and has looked better than teammate Taj Gibson. Hopefully he can keep it going against the Wizards, who are middle of the pack against PFs. And he’s playing pretty well this month, regardless of whether the Bulls are facing good or bad teams from night to night.
Drummond has a dream matchup against the Sixers, who were torched for 35 points by Nikola Vucevic in Tuesday’s loss to the Magic. The Sixers statistically give up the most fantasy points to opposing centers and Drummond has a real shot at another one of his 20-20 specials tonight. With my shaky shooting guards and forwards, I’ll need everything Drummond can give me.
Here we go!!