Another attempt is in the books! With a 10 game slate there were plenty of options to choose from. I took my time to build a balanced lineup and tried to keep high variance plays out of the equation. Below I’ll break down the reason I selected each player.
Last Night’s Lineup
PG- Jameer Nelson – He was getting the start since the Nuggets decided to rest Ty Lawson. For the most part, Nelson plays well when he receives the minutes. He was $4,000 which was a price I felt was low enough to hit value. In addition, although the matchup appeared to be tough on paper, Beno Udrih was the starting point guard for the Grizzlies for this matchup. So essentially it wasn’t that tough. Apparently I was the only one who thought Nelson was a good play because he was owned by 70 percent of the tournament. He exceeded value as he scored 34.25 fantasy points, but being that most other owners had him in, I was unable to put myself ahead of the pack.
SG- Dwayne Wade – Heading into this game Wade had topped 40 points in four of his last five games. Not to mention he had a big game against the Cavs in Miami on Christmas Day. His stat line for that game was as follows: 23 points, 5 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 steals, 1 block shot, and 2 three pointers. I didn’t feel that a similar performance was out of the question. Needless to say, he had a big game. I also took into account that he was playing really well and was going up a team he steps his game up against. I also considered his price to be high enough where other could fade, but not too high that value was out of reach. He ended up being owned by 40 percent of the teams and exceeded value as he scored 46 fantasy points.
SF- Rodney Hood – Hood was $4,600 and needed 25.3 fantasy points to hit value, which was something he was able to surpass in his three previous games. He had topped 27 fantasy points in three consecutive games. He doesn’t offer a particularly high ceiling, but had established somewhat of a comfortable enough floor. I didn’t consider Hood a high risk and found his price tag to be fair. In the end, he didn’t pan out as planned and scored just 16 fantasy points. It was the wrong time for him to have an off night since I was the only team who took a chance with him.
PF- Thaddeus Young – This was the ideal narrative street situation as Young was set to face his former team. The price and matchup all made sense to me. Young had topped 29 fantasy points in three of his last four games heading into this one. The Timberwolves allow the sixth most fantasy points per game to opposing power forwards. I took all of this into consideration, plus the price of just $5,900. There wasn’t much to dislike. I also thought he probably wouldn’t get many takers as he’s not a “sexy play.” I was wrong about that, as he was owned by 40 percent of the teams. The result was that he produced a tad under value.
C- Demarcus Cousins– Here’s the elite player I built around. He was less than $10,000 and has the potential to score as many fantasy points of some of the other players that were priced higher. He’s pretty much matchup proof and provides both a high floor and high ceiling. He scored over 50 fantasy points which was what I was hoping for. He was owned by 40 percent of the field.
G- George Hill – Much like my thought process with Thaddeus Young, I didn’t think Hill would be heavily owned. In this instance, I was right, as I was the only team who plugged Hill into their lineup. What I saw was a point guard that had a great matchup and was reasonably priced. He faced the Raptors who allow over 49 fantasy points per game and was under $7,000. Prior to this game, he had topped 30 fantasy points in two consecutive games. I didn’t think a third time in a row was unfeasible. He scored 30.5 fantasy points and I was content with rostering Hill.
F – Derrick Favors – This is where it went wrong for me. Everything on paper appeared as if Favors was the play, but he performed way below my expectations. Heading into this game, Favors had topped 39 fantasy points in three of his last four games. I placed too much emphasis on his recent success and disregarded the matchup entirely. The Hornets aren’t the worst defensively against opposing power forwards. Hindsight being 20/20, this wasn’t the best option to roll with at forward and probably the reason that I was the only one who rostered him.
UTIL – Steven Adams – I found his price, matchup, and situation so appealing I couldn’t resist but to roster Adams. With Serge Ibaka and Kevin Durant out, Adams’ usage rate was much higher than the norm. However, his price hadn’t adjusted. He was $3,500 coming off a double-double and was playing against the Mavericks who have been recently struggling against opposing bigs. Playing Adams freed up some cap room to spend in other positions and I didn’t think he’d struggle to hit value. He didn’t score as many points as I expected, but exceeded value which is good enough for me.
What I Learned
As usual I built my team around one stud. The bad news is that four other teams chose the same player to build around. What I’ve been doing is looking for the high-level player that I feel has a similar ceiling as some of the other high-level players, but is priced lower. For example, Russell Westbrook was available in this slate, but I decided to pay $2,800 less and go with Demarcus Cousins. Obviously Westbrook is playing on another level right now, but saving that extra money allows me to spread it across the rest of my lineup and not have to take so many chances on some of the other players like I have done in some of my precious attempts. In this instance what hurt me the most was Derrick Favors underperforming. He was owned by just one other team and if he had produced to his expectations, I’d probably be writing about my win. If you notice, I kept my lineup very balanced, which is something I said I would focus on doing. I steered away as much as possible on low floor players which is something I preach when creating my steps lineups. Overall I’m happy with my lineup and felt I put a good team together. Unfortunately sometimes that’s just not enough.
Results: I got seventh place.
Total Fantasy Points (this round): 272.75
Days Played: 6 Days
Money Spent: $4 in Entries
Current Step: Step One
I’ll remain firing one lineup at a time for the time being, but look forward to continue sharing my experience with you. If you have any questions, feel free to hit me up on Twitter @Armando_Marsal. Until next time!