DraftStreet Diary: Thanks For Nothing, Dwight

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Breaking my own rule about ‘falling in love’ with any player on any given day, I thought Dwight Howard would destroy the Raptors yesterday, as Aaron Gray isn’t very good and undersized Amir Johnson is playing hurt. I loaded up on presumably safe plays — 2-man and 3-man Snake drafts and some Double-Up Salary Cap leagues where you win just by finishing in the top half. Howard was in every lineup, and his ejection for two technical fouls in just 17 minutes ruined my day (a $50 loss) and my week (down $66). After three straight winning weeks, it was a very disappointing finish.

We have a fresh $100 bankroll every Monday and though I usually start cautiously, there are nine games on this national holiday that offer interesting possibilities.

Many DS leagues today close at 1:00 EST. If you want to use any Kings or Hornets in what could be a wide-open affair, don’t be late. Two other games start at 2:00, others at 3:30 and 4:00. Expect additional leagues to pop up after 1:00; there might even be a 7:00 deadline that includes only the three evening games. Today’s chart covers the entire day, so not everyone listed will be available in the later-closing leagues.

DraftStreet 15 Jan. 21
Stars Over $13,000
Chris Paul $19,672
Dwight Howard $19,464
Carmelo Anthony $18,012
LaMarcus Aldridge $17,424
James Harden $16,558
Scrubs Under $9,000
Gerald Henderson $8,690
Derrick Williams $8,013
Greg Stiemsma $5,382
Kyle Korver $8,685
Marcus Thornton $6,603
Starters $9,000 to $13,000
J.J. Hickson $12,994
Jeff Teague $11,964
Eric Gordon $11,645
Matt Barnes $10,885
Ryan Anderson $9,793

There’s an abundance of options in all three price ranges and at every position. I’m going to avoid the most expensive stars and use the following lineup in at least one league, anchored by the two Spurs greats and filling with medium-priced players who might outperform their salaries.

F1 Tim Duncan (SA-F) $17,975
F2 Blake Griffin (LAC-F) $15,430
G1 Tony Parker (SA-G) $15,538
G2 Luke Ridnour (MIN-G) $10,166
C1 Omer Asik (HOU-C) $11,165
C2 Robin Lopez (NO-C) $9,113
U1 Al-Farouq Aminu (NO-F) $11,928
U2 Kyle Korver (ATL-G) $8,685

That’s subject to change until the 1:00 deadline. Reacting to breaking news — replacing a player who comes up ill, or adding one who benefits from such a change — can really pay off.

If you still haven’t tried DraftStreet, open a free account. Free leagues will help you learn the rules; when you are ready, 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 and more challenging than you might expect.

The Fantasy Spin, published by 9:00 every morning, recaps four very interesting Sunday games and previews what might happen on the hardwood today.

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