If you plan on playing NBA daily fantasy each night, there are going to be ups and downs. Some of the players you like will fail to produce, and ultimately, cost you a few dollars for not doing their part to get you a higher point total.
When this happens, it’s easy to say “I shouldn’t have played him” or “I should have played Player X because that player went off”, but operating in that mindset while playing DFS can be extremely detrimental to your future gains.
As an example, I was all-in on Isaiah Canaan as one of my core players last night. I was fully aware of his flaws as a player, most notably of which is the fact that he is not a good point guard. But, I saw value in his situation and price and pulled the trigger.
The 76ers guard rewarded my faith in him with an 11.5 DraftKings-point night—about half that amount needed to make value. I undoubtedly lost a few matchups due to the performance.
But, instead of chalking it up to Canaan being a bad play, it’s important to look at the thought process behind it and juxtapose those thoughts with what actually happened.
I was on Canaan for a trio of major reasons:
- He was a lock for 30 minutes, at least in my eyes.
- There was going to be garbage time vs. the Cavaliers.
- Nobody would seriously challenge him for playing time until injured Sixers return.
And, while TJ McConnell proved me wrong on the third point, Canaan played 31 minutes, including just over 7 minutes in the fourth quarter, after the Cavaliers had built their lead up to 15.
The problem ended up being Canaan’s lack of aggressiveness. He attempted only eight shots and two free-throws—none in the fourth quarter—which was surprising considering he normally takes about 10 shots with 5-6 free-throws for the 76ers.
Without going further into this already lengthy rant, my message is this: process over results. If your process of selecting players is correct, you will have success the majority of the time. On the nights you miss on a player, dig a little, and see whether it was actually a bad call or if it was simply “one of those nights”.
Today’s news and notes:
- Joffery Lauvergne (back) and Nikola Jokic (back) are both questionable for tonight’s late game against the Lakers. The interior of the Nuggets defense was putrid before, but they could be even worse tonight. Roy Hibbert and Julius Randle are smiling.
- Jabari Parker (knee) is slated to play on Wednesday, which marks his return to the lineup for the first time since tearing his ACL last year. I wouldn’t play him in his debut, but make sure you’re watching to see how it affects the Bucks.
- Kristaps Porzingis has a soft tissue neck injury, but should be back soon. He has been phenomenal for fantasy this year and is worth deploying when he gets back to 100-percent.
- Ty Lawson finally showed up to the party for the Rockets, dropping 14 points, 11 assists and five rebounds. I am not using him in cash games, but he is officially back on the radar for a tournament option.
- Giannis Antetokounmpo has scored 20 points in each of his starts this season. If he keeps this up, he will enter the elite tier soon enough with his ability to contribute in every category. Keep using him until his price goes up.
- Chandler Parsons (knee) is going to be on a strict minutes restriction for the foreseeable future. Reports say it’s less than 20 minutes per game, so stay away for now.
- DeMarcus Cousins (Achilles) is out at least the next two games. This tidbit appeared in this space a few days ago, but here’s a friendly reminder.
As always, please check the news up until tip-off and adjust your lineups accordingly.
BUILDING BLOCKS – Studs and Must-Have Values to Build Your Core Lineup
Kyle Lowry, PG, TOR ($7,900): Lowry is the most expensive point guard on the slate, and has a slight edge over Reggie Jackson for the best one available. I’ll take Lowry’s matchup against the less-than-imposing perimeter defense of the Mavericks, and lock him in as one of my studs given his fairly high floor.
Deron Williams, PG, DAL ($5,700): I don’t think that Williams will have much success guarding Kyle Lowry, but thankfully, getting toasted on defense doesn’t matter for fantasy. Williams’ price is solid, and he has looked good for the Mavericks in the two games he has been healthy enough to play. I am always searching for value at point guard, and I won’t be passing up Williams here.
Andre Drummond, C, DET ($8,200): Drummond might be my favorite play of the night, and I think he has a chance to be the highest scoring player on the board. The Pacers are a team in transition right now as they shift towards a run-and-gun, small-ball style. They don’t have a center capable of slowing down Drummond’s assault on the glass, so another monster double-double could be headed Drummond’s way.
Three more studs to consider: Reggie Jackson, PG, DET ($7,500) – Jimmy Butler, SG, CHI ($7,700) – Anthony Davis, PF, NO ($10,500)
BARGAINS – Complementary Players Who Look To Have Favorable Pricing
Elfrid Payton, PG, ORL ($6,200): I am always tempted to use Payton when he hovers around the $6,000 mark because he can put up a triple-double on any night. He contributes across the board despite being a poor shooter, and this game against the Pelicans should have a fast pace.
Emmanuel Mudiay, PG, DEN ($5,900): You could probably blindly take whatever point guard faces the Lakers for the next few months and be just fine with the production you get. Mudiay has a nice price, and should bounce back from a pair of less-than-stellar games.
Jordan Clarkson, PG, LAL ($5,200): The Nuggets-Lakers contest has the highest over/under total in Vegas, so getting more exposure to this game isn’t a bad idea for fantasy. Clarkson is one of the fixtures of Byron Scott’s unstable rotation madness, and he is priced modestly tonight given his ceiling.
Eric Gordon, SG, NO ($5,400): I can’t quit you, Eric Gordon. His price has remained pretty much flat since the opener, despite having a sizable role on this team. The matchup with Victor Oladipo is not enticing, but the overall flow of this game is favorable.
Danilo Gallinari, SF, DEN ($6,400): Gallo has not performed up to standard in his last two games after a nice opener, though, this game should present a much softer matchup than either the Thunder or Andrew Wiggins and the Timberwolves. The Lakers don’t have a defender that should be able to bother Gallinari, and he should find it easier to get his stroke back here.
Chris Bosh, PF, MIA ($7,100): Bosh’s price tag has simply dropped too low for him not to be mentioned here. The matchup against the Hawks is just okay, but he’s still option 1A or 1B on offense, so he could pay this salary off with relative ease.
Julius Randle, PF, LAL ($6,100): This Nuggets defense has allowed Karl-Anthony Towns to look like Hakeem Olajuwon and Serge Ibaka annihilate the boards. The emerging Julius Randle won’t match his absurd 57 DraftKings point night against Dallas, but 20 and 10 wouldn’t surprise me with the lack of depth down low for Denver.
Kosta Koufos, C, SAC ($3,700): Marc Gasol isn’t a matchup to target no matter how bad his team is playing. With that said, Koufos should get the start for DeMarcus Cousins and is priced too low for the minutes he will receive.
LOTTERY TICKETS – High Risk, High Reward Plays
Goran Dragic, PG, MIA ($5,800): It’s probably safe to say that the “Dragon” is not the player we expected him to be after his huge breakout season with Phoenix, but he is way better than his production suggests. He is going to get going soon, and he is an exceptional tournament play if you think that is tonight.
Lou Williams, PG, LAL ($4,600): Williams is going to play 25-30 minutes a night and has a solid role as a scorer off-the-bench for the Lakers. Against the Nuggets, he could have one of those nights that won him 6th Man of the Year last season.
Jonas Valanciunas, C, TOR ($6,200): The big man from Toronto is maddeningly inconsistent with his fantasy production, but he is priced just right if you want to take the chance of him being “on” tonight.
BUYER’S REMORSE – Reasons for Skepticism
Mike Conley, PG, MEM ($6,800): I rarely ever “like” playing Conley because I just don’t think his team’s style of play will translate into sensational fantasy performances all that often. The Kings matchup should be favorable, but I am still staying away.
Kobe Bryant, SG, LAL ($6,600): Kobe has been brutal this season, and something has to change here. What isn’t likely to change is his fantasy value, which has been circling the drain since the opening night performance. I wouldn’t play him despite the awesome matchup with Denver.
Chandler Parsons, SF, DAL ($6,000): As noted above, Parsons will be on a strict minutes restriction.
Nikola Vucevic, C, ORL ($7,700): Vucevic has the potential to be the top center in fantasy any night, but I don’t think it happens versus Anthony Davis: Destroyer of Worlds.