DraftStreet Diary: Winning When You Least Expect It

It’s not always easy to remember my own ‘rules’ for playing in daily leagues. One is consistency; make the same basic plays every day. Another is diversity; entering multiple teams (where permitted) increases your chances of winning. The toughest one to follow is the hardest to explain, but it’s about overconfidence.

Some days, you absolutely love your lineup, with a strong conviction about certain players being ‘sure’ to perform well. That is often a mirage. The flip side is, when nobody seems to stand out and you make player selections almost reluctantly, it’s surprising how often one of those teams finishes in the money.

On Saturday night, I liked Greg Stiemsma at his $4,808 salary, knowing he would start. Used him in the $1,000 Guaranteed Prize Pool ($2 per team) then entered three more times when a second $300 GPP opened up with just 165 teams. When the news came via Twitter that Luol Deng would definitely not play, I suddenly loved the price — a mere $5,004 — on Jimmy Butler. That last-minute substitution in my ‘third-best’ lineups of Butler (and Tiago Splitter) for Stiemsma (and Derrick Williams) paid off, twice. Finishing 23rd of 550 was worth $10 and coming third of 165 paid $40; those ‘afterthought’ rosters produced a $38 profit on my $12 investment.

The $100 weekly bankroll has bounced back to $84 and will reset tomorrow. Hoping to finish in the black for the fourth straight week, I’ll join some Double-Up leagues and Snake drafts today in addition to the usual GPP tournaments. Yes, that breaks the consistency rule, but those ‘safer’ contests — basically 50-50 propositions — pay off far more often than Salary Cap tournaments. The odds in our Freeroll were 794-1 and I spend six bucks a day turning 549/1 into 547/3; those consolation prizes make it an affordable habit.

It’s important to note that many DS leagues today close at 1:00 EST. If you want to use any Lakers or Raptors, get in early. The majority of leagues close at 6:00, limited to the other three games. Today’s chart is for those late-closers; I entered a couple of Kobe Bryant and Dwight Howard lineups already.

DraftStreet 15Jan. 20
StarsOver $13,000
Kevin Durant$22,672
Russell Westbrook$19,286
Rajon Rondo$16,178
Nikola Vucevic$15,633
Greg Monroe$14,402
ScrubsUnder $9,000
Brandon Knight$8,253
Tayshaun Prince$8,269
Corey Brewer$7,521
Mike James$3,952
Kevin Martin$7,387
Starters$9,000 to $13,000
Serge Ibaka$12,571
Dirk Nowitzki$12,505
Kevin Garnett$12,076
Elton Brand$11,140
Jared Sullinger$9,314

There are very few options at C, and while a team with both Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook sounds great, they eat up nearly 43% of the $100K cap, leaving you scrambling for six bargains. I’ve chosen KD as my anchor, picked Nikola Vucevic over Greg Monroe and filled with two affordable guards, though Rajon Rondo ($16,178) is tempting and I’ll use him in other configurations. You can make unlimited roster moves until the 6:00 EST deadline.

F1 Kevin Durant (OKC-F) $22,672
F2 Serge Ibaka (OKC-F) $12,571
G1 Darren Collison (DAL-G) $12,216
G2 Arron Afflalo (ORL-G) $11,162
C1 Nikola Vucevic (ORL-C) $15,633
C2 Kosta Koufos (DEN-C) $9,585
U1 Tayshaun Prince (DET-F) $8,269
U2 Wilson Chandler (DEN-F) $7,875

If you still haven’t joined DraftStreet, open a free account. They have free leagues that will help you learn the rules, then if you like it as much as me, make a deposit and try a few $2 contests. Check out the Pick’Em format as well as Salary Cap leagues; both are great fun, win or lose.

The Fantasy Spin, published by 9:00 every morning, previews all four Sunday games and recaps of Saturday night, when Stephen Curry and Chris Paul returned from injuries.

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