Armando Marsal
Fantasy Writer

After my first attempt on Friday, I took a couple of days off before proceeding. The main reason is because I couldn’t put together a lineup that I felt stood a chance in this type of tournament, without taking too much of a risk on some players. In essence, it wasn’t something I was willing to do. Below I’ll discuss my lineup along with the thought process behind my decisions.

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Last Night’s Lineup

PG- Deron Williams – Once again, I rolled with Williams. He played well in his previous game, his salary didn’t increase by a ton, and he had a great matchup against the Nuggets. Not to mention, Jarrett Jack was out once again, so Williams was likely going to play a ton of minutes in what I expected to be a high scoring and fast paced game.

SG- James Harden – This was the best player available that night. I thought to myself that I stood no chance in winning this tournament without Harden in my lineup. As I mentioned above, I built around him.

SF- P.J. Tucker – The Suns traded away a lot of their offensive producers and Tucker has picked up some of that slack. He had score more than 29 fantasy points in back-to-back games and was less than $5,000. I’ll take that every day, and twice on Monday. In addition, he had produced more fantasy points than his season average of 21.6 fantasy points in seven of his last eight games. In addition, he was facing the Celtics which allow the second most fantasy points per game to opposing power forwards.

PF- Tim Duncan – Once again I went with the good ol’ reliable option at the power forward position for the second straight time. Duncan has played well against the Jazz this season and was at a really good price of just $7,000. He had recorded a double-double in five of his last nine games heading into this game. I also thought he would be overlooked and not highly owned because of Paul Gasol being an option. I was right, I was the only one that picked him and he had his sixth double-double in the last 10 games.

C- Marc Gasol – I decided to steer away from the popular Hassan Whiteside and take my chances with Gasol. He was cheaper than Whiteside and I felt he offered a higher floor, but less of a ceiling, and I was ok with that. I ended up being the only one that owned him.

G- Eric Gordon – I know he is usually more of a tournament play, but on this evening I felt he had a pretty high floor because of how high his usage rate was going to be. The Pelicans were without Jrue Holiday, Ryan Anderson, and Anthony Davis in this game. Someone had to score points for this team. Gordon was that guy. He had some big games earlier this season when his usage rate went up.

F – Terrence Jones – He was in the starting lineup and had played a couple of solid games heading into this game. In addition, this was a great matchup for Jones, as the Timberwolves allow the third most fantasy points per game to opposing power forwards. Lastly, the $4,600 salary was what sealed the deal for me. Even though he played way above expectations, I took him expecting him to easily exceed value in this game.

UTIL – Alex Len – Len had been seeing a ton of minutes in the two games prior to this one. This is likely because of the trades the Suns had made and the lack of depth they have. In the two games leading up to this one, he scored more than 25 fantasy points in each of those games. He was just $4,000 which meant little risk for a possible high-reward. I didn’t think hitting value would be difficult for him and I would have been content with a 25 fantasy point game. Fortunately, he had a big game and I was able to capitalize by having him in my starting lineup.

Steps

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What I Learned

Much like my first attempt at a steps tournament, I built my team around a stud. After some analysis, I felt like I chose a team that was riskier than it should have been in my first steps tournament. I was fortunate to cash, but still felt like I needed to make some adjustments. This time around I decided to minimize my risk and target more consistency while looking for the biggest bang for my buck. Players like Marc Gasol and Tim Duncan definitely help in these tournaments. Especially at the price I paid for them. They offer decent floors and are usually avoided because their ceiling isn’t as high as other players. For steps tournaments I prefer big slates because there are more players to choose from and that decreases the chances of everyone having the same player on their rosters. While you’re always going to have a player that other teams have, the chances are less likely when there’s more games. Once again, I’ll stress this, balance is important. In tournaments it’s ok to play high variance plays because you’re looking for the most upside for any given player. While upside is always something to look for while setting up a lineup, in steps it’s not terrible to focus more on a high floor.

Results: I got first place and won a step two ticket.
Days Played: 2 Days
Money Spent: $2 in Entries
Current Step: Step Two

For now I’m playing one at a time and so far it’s been a successful run. Once I get the hang of it and boost my bankroll, there’s a good chance I’ll start firing at multiple steps on a given night. However, the goal is to move up in the steps with the minimum investment possible. So far I’ve invested $2 and I’m on step two. Until next time!