Armando Marsal

Fantasy Writer


Taking a couple of days off did not help this time around. After cashing in on my first two challenges, I fell short in my third attempt. This was the first huge slate since my previous steps challenge so I gave it a go. Anthony Davis and Russell Westbrook were questionable heading into their games; therefore I built around another stud. Boy was that a mistake; as both of them scored over 80 fantasy points that evening. Below I’ll go over my lineups with some details as to why I decided to roll with that specific player.

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Last Night’s Lineup

PG- Stephen Curry – I built my lineup around Curry. He’s an elite talent and was cheaper than $10,000. He was playing the Bucks who had been more susceptible against point guards since losing Brandon Knight. I also thought I’d be the only one who owned him and if he had a big game, I’d be in an advantageous position. Only one of those scenarios happened. I was the only one who owned him, and while he didn’t have a bad game, he didn’t score as much as I expected.

SG- J.J. Redick – Heading into this game he had scored 24+ fantasy points in three consecutive games. His salary remained constant at $4,500, so I figured he would be able to at least hit value based on the matchup and his recent games. In addition, I didn’t think he’d be owned much. I was fortunate that he exceeded my expectations and was only drafted by one other team.

SF- Wilson Chandler – Chandler had topped 22 fantasy points in four of the five games since returning from injury prior to this game. He was playing against the Timberwolves who allow the third most fantasy points per game to opposing small forwards. His $5,100 salary also was appealing because it provided some wiggle room for other players I was eyeing. All this overshadowed the fact that at any given moment, Chandler could score less than 20 fantasy points. Well, that’s exactly what happened as he scored 18 fantasy points.

PF- Nerlens Noel – Noel was on my radar because of how consistent he had been playing heading into this game and the matchup against the Thunder. He had scored 30+ fantasy points in five of seven games and was reasonably priced at $6,500. I considered his floor to be at least 30 fantasy points, but he exceeded that and scored 41.

C- Enes Kanter – This is where it went downhill for me. Kanter was $5,900, played the Sixers, and had recorded a double-double in five of the last seven games. Not to mention he was coming off a big game against the Lakers where he scored 42 fantasy points. All things lined up for a big game for him, but that’s not what happened. He ended the night with just 15.75 fantasy points. I also thought by playing him I’d separate myself from the pack as nobody else would roster him. I was at least somewhat right about that as only one other team played him.

G- Ricky Rubio – Rubio had been on fire heading into this game and was coming off one of his better performances of the season where he posted a triple double. He had scored over 40 fantasy points in six of seven games and had a favorable matchup against the Nuggets. I also thought that the increase in price may scare some people away and he’d be owned by very few teams. The outcome – he was owned by 60 percent of the teams and had his worst game of the last nine he played.  Fun fact: Of the six teams that rostered him, only one cashed.

F – Luol Deng – Deng had struggled in consecutive games, but had the Lakers on deck. Prior to his two off nights, he had topped 30 fantasy points in five of the last six games. His usage rate was up because of the absence of Chris Bosh. Usually when players struggle a couple of nights in a row, people tend to stay away. I took that heavily into consideration, along with the matchup against the Lakers and decided to roster Deng. He performed below expectations and ended up being a bad selection.

UTIL – Greivis Vasquez – He was a starting point guard at $4,200. Now I know that just because a player is “starting” and is cheap that he doesn’t necessarily become an automatic start, but Vasquez has done a solid job in other opportunities as a starter. In addition, the matchup and potential game flow was one I believed was right for Vasquez. He ended up producing above expectations and scored 33 fantasy points.




What I Learned

As you can see, my strategy remained somewhat similar to the first two attempts. I picked one stud and built around him. One thing I learned is if Westbrook plays, he needs to be in your lineup. His price has skyrocketed, but he still finds a way to hit value. I also analyzed my team after the night was over and realized I took to many chances with some of my selections. Wilson Chandler, Enes Kanter, and Luol Deng are not necessarily as consistent as I would like for a steps tournament lineup. Mix that in with low upside players and you got yourself a poor team. On a night with so many games, settling for mediocrity is not ideal. I stressed balance in my first two tries at the steps tournaments, but didn’t quite have a balanced team this time around.

Results: 8th Place
Days Played: 3 Days
Money Spent: $2 in Entries
Current Step: Step One

For now I’ll remain playing one tournament at a time. So far it’s been a successful run with a slight hiccup in this third attempt. I’ll start from step one once again and take another stab at moving of the steps challenger ladder. Until next time!