DraftStreet Diary: It’s a New Week, Not a Moment Too Soon

Although every day is a brand new ‘season’ for daily fantasy basketball leagues, I tend to think in weeks. Mondays begin with a $100 bankroll, which is spent roughly $15 at a time, making sure it lasts through Sunday. Any profits early in the week get reinvested.

The past seven days were frustrating. I used the ‘right’ players (like Michael Beasley) at the ‘wrong’ time — Friday, when he shot 2-13, sandwiched between games of 27 points and 24 points — and lost $87.50, one of my worst weeks of the season.

It takes skill to identify the players most likely to succeed each night, but some good luck never hurts, like when your inexpensive eighth man gets hot. You also need to avoid bad luck — injuries, illnesses, foul trouble — because it’s almost impossible to win when a high-priced player disappoints. On Sunday, one of my ‘key’ players was Kyle Lowry, who had more turnovers than assists, and I used Matt Barnes more than once, thinking he would be fresh and motivated after a one-game suspension. Instead, he was scoreless. D’oh!

This evening, we start over. I’m going to focus on Kevin Durant instead of LeBron James, as the Heat not only played in Canada yesterday, they had a Super Bowl party and stayed overnight. Today, they have to fly home before playing again. While a tired LBJ is still capable of a triple-double, it might not be needed against the Bobcats.

DraftStreet 15Feb. 4
StarsOver $13,000
LeBron James$22,703
Kevin Durant$21,982
Blake Griffin$18,081
LaMarcus Aldridge$16,912
Jrue Holiday$16,418
ScrubsUnder $9,000
Marvin Williams$8,951
Isaiah Thomas$8,789
Dante Cunningham$8,488
Nick Collison$7,340
Steve Novak$3,915
Starters$9,000 to $13,000
J.R. Smith$11,043
Darren Collison$12,313
George Hill$11,679
Amare Stoudemire$11,215
Randy Foye$9,431

There are eight NBA games tonight, which means millions of possible 8-man lineups. After you eliminate benchwarmers, players who are hurt, and those who don’t score enough when they do play, there are still a lot more excellent options (in every price range) than we have room for in the chart. Here’s one lineup I’ve entered; you can make changes right up to the 7:00 EST deadline, and it pays to keep up with breaking news.

F1 Kevin Durant (OKC-F) $21,982
F2 Nick Collison (OKC-F) $7,340
G1 Russell Westbrook (OKC-G) $16,885
G2 J.R. Smith (NY-G) $11,043
C1 Nikola Pekovic (MIN-C) $13,508
C2 Nikola Vucevic (ORL-C) $15,802
U1 Randy Foye (UTA-G) $9,431
U2 Steve Novak (NY-F) $3,915

Using Steve Novak for less than $4,000 is a hunch; he might hit four or five 3-pointers in garbage time if the Knicks are as far ahead as I expect. On the theory that  Nikola Vucevic would like to remind the 76ers that they shouldn’t have traded him, I’m willing to pay more than usual for my centers.

It’s always free to open a DraftStreet account. There are free leagues every day to get started, and $2 leagues have fewer entries and higher payouts than our Friday Freeroll, which was a 900-1 shot last week and 1,067-1 the week before.

The Fantasy Spin, published by 9:00 every morning, previews all of tonight’s games in more detail and recaps what happened on Sunday afternoon, when the Celtics won for the fourth straight time despite the absence of Rajon Rondo.

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