In my previous attempt, I took a different approach in creating my lineup and it didn’t work out as planned. After taking some days off, I kicked April off with another attempt at a steps tournament. As usual, I’ll break down my lineup below.
Last Night’s Lineup
PG- Deron Williams – Heading into this game Williams had been playing well. He topped 30 fantasy points in five of his last six games and had a favorable matchup against the Knicks. The Knicks surrender 49.1 fantasy points per game to point guards and Williams was averaging 32 fantasy points per game against them. At $5,800, I really considered Williams to be great value. He needed about 32 fantasy points to hit value which is exactly what he was averaging against the Knicks. I strongly felt that, worst case scenario, he would hit value. He ended up exceeding value as he scored 48.75 fantasy points and even better, was the fact that I was the only team that drafted him.
SG- Gerald Henderson – With Michael Kidd-Gilchrist out for this game, I expected a higher than normal usage rate for Henderson. Heading into this game, Henderson had scored more than 30 fantasy points in three of his last four games. In addition, he was averaging nearly 34 fantasy points per game against the Pistons. Detroit allows the sixth most fantasy points per game to opposing shooting guards. He was just $5,700, so based on the numbers I didn’t think hitting value was a tough task for Henderson. He ended up scoring 26.25 fantasy points and fell short of value.
SF- Chase Budinger – With all of the injuries to the Timberwolves, Budinger had been seeing extra playing time and had produced solid numbers heading into this game. He was at a low price of $4,900 and need about 27 fantasy points to hit value. He had topped 27 fantasy points in six of the last eight games going into this one. Another thing I took into account is that a couple of games ago he played against the Raptors and scored 35.5 fantasy points. I considered his floor relatively high for this game and thought value was attainable.
PF- LaMarcus Aldridge – This game had high scoring implications based on the lines at Vegas, so I really wanted one of the studs of this game. I decided to roll with Aldridge because of his price and what he has to offer. He had played well against the Clippers this season, averaging 45.53 fantasy points per game against them. The Clippers struggle defending against power forwards, they allow the third most fantasy points per game to them (45.7). Aldridge has 50+ fantasy point potential any given night. This was a game where I thought the chances were higher given his success against them this season, along with the fact that they don’t defend well. I was okay paying $9,000 for that possibility.
C-Nikola Vucevic– This was the second game in a row that Vucevic’s price dropped below $8,000 and I became intrigued. Especially after a 42 point performance he was coming off of. I also considered the fact he was playing against the third worse defense against centers. The Pistons allow the third most fantasy points to opposing centers (50.2). In his previous game against the Pistons, he had scored 45.75 fantasy points. With several other solid center options, I didn’t think many people would be on Vucevic and I really liked his situation. He ended up scoring 44 fantasy points and I was the only team who took him that evening.
G- Greivis Vasquez – Vazquez was getting the start for the injured Kyle Lowry and had a favorable matchup against Minnesota. He had already played once against them and had scored 24 fantasy points. While his upside is limited and his floor isn’t generally safe, this was one of those times that there was an exception to the rule. The Timberwolves were dinged up, they allow 51.5 fantasy points per game to point guards which is the fourth most, and he had already had a productive game against them. At only $4,800, the risk/reward factor made sense. Rostering him allowed me to spend money elsewhere.
F – Pau Gasol – I decided to roll with the man who leads the NBA in double-doubles. One of the things that stood out was that he was averaging nearly 50 fantasy points per game against the Bucks in three games this season. Gasol had also put some solid performances in three of his last four games prior to this one. He scored 40 or more fantasy points in that time frame. The Bucks allow 45.2 fantasy points per game to opposing power forwards, which is sixth most in the league. This was a favorable matchup and one he had exploited before. I was the only team that played Gasol that night and he underperformed that night as he scored 35.75 fantasy points.
UTIL – Omri Casspi – He was getting the start against the Rockets because Rudy Gay was out due to a concussion. Houston gives up the sixth most fantasy points per game to opposing small forwards. There was a good chance that this would be a high scoring game and with potentially a higher usage rate for Casspi, I thought it was a no brainer at $3,400. After all he only, needed about 19 fantasy points to hit value. In a high scoring and fast paced game, it didn’t seem that hitting value was unrealistic. He had a big night as he scored 36.25 fantasy points. One other team drafted him as well.
What I Learned
In my previous attempt I took more chances than ever before as far as players were concerned. This time I went more balanced, but also focused on searching for the best value based on projected points and price. If you’ll notice I didn’t pay up for an elite player such as Anthony Davis, James Harden, or Russell Westbrook. Instead, I decided to build around Aldridge. Many of the players I chose had success in previous meetings against their opponents. That also helped in my decision making. I also went with players I felt wouldn’t be heavily owned, without having to take too big of a risk. Having three players below $5,000 was helpful in creating more wiggle room in the salary cap to spend at other position. However, opportunities like these where there’s a ton of value don’t come every night. As in some of my other attempts where I was successful I went with a balanced lineup. I took calculated risks in Budinger and Casspi. Budinger was not a sexy name, but was in a perfect situation. The minutes were there along with production. Casspi was the biggest concern in my lineup, but he had proven he could produce quality numbers when the minutes where there and the chances of him missing value were slim to none based on his price. This team was built around a solid foundation as I went with three bigs who all had 45+ fantasy point ceilings. Most of the more economical guys in my lineup were in a good position to hit value. As I’ve stressed before, balance is key and so is keeping the risks to a minimum. One thing I emphasized more this time around was getting the biggest bang for my buck. My players panned out for the most part, which meant a profitable evening.
Results: I got second place.
Total Fantasy Points (this round): 293.75
Days Played: 7 Days
Money Spent: $8 in Entries
Current Step: Step Two
I’ll remain firing one lineup at a time for the time being, but look forward to continuing to share my experience with you. If you have any questions, feel free to hit me up on Twitter @Armando_Marsal. Until next time!