DraftStreet Diary: Only Two NBA Games? Thursday Night Leagues Still Challenging

This feature looks at Salary Cap leagues every morning. Picking an eight-man team in a one-day fantasy league is always fun; it’s that $100,000 cap that makes it a game of skill.

By comparison, Pick ‘Em is simple. You choose one player from each of eight tiers; there are no salaries. A tier can have as few as two or as many as eight players; there is no guarantee that any player will be part of the game on a given night. While it’s a great format for beginners, it’s tougher to win than you might think, even for a so-called expert.

Yesterday we examined Snake drafts, where two, three or six people draft live in a one-night fantasy league. With only two NBA games tonight, there aren’t enough players for that format, but there is a Pick’Em tournament, with a $2 entry fee and a $400 GPP (Guaranteed Prize Pool) where I’ve entered the maximum three teams. Here’s a screenshot:

I’m leaning to Taj Gibson in Tier 3, but it’s a tough call over Luol Deng and Andre Igoudala. Evaluating players is easy; click on Full Profile, then Game Log, and you’ll what Iggy has done lately. The FPTS category is what matters; he’s obviously capable of 41 but isn’t a sure thing to hit 30 on a given night.

I try my luck every night, mostly in the Salary Cap leagues but with a few Pick ‘Em and Snake drafts for variety. The weekly bankroll of $100 resets each Monday; it’s dwindled to $78.50 after getting skunked on Wednesday.

As you may already know, our $300 Friday Freeroll closes at 7:00 EST tomorrow. There is no entry fee, no obligation and you could win $100 in cash. I’m in there every week, with 900 or a thousand others. My highest finish is 11th. Believe me, it is much easier to win money in $2 leagues with triple the prize pool and half as many entries.

DraftStreet 15Feb. 7
StarsOver $13,000
Kobe Bryant$17,748
Paul Pierce$16,446
Ty Lawson$15,639
Danilo Gallinari$14,211
Steve Nash$13,751
ScrubsUnder $9,000
Kosta Koufos$8,412
Javale McGee$8,167
Marco Belinelli$7,661
Corey Brewer$8,426
Wilson Chandler$7,906
Starters$9,000 to $13,000
Earl Clark$12,547
Jimmy Butler$10,734
Antawn Jamison$10,088
Metta World Peace$10,701
Carlos Boozer$10,195

With 13 games on Wednesday, the ‘middle class’ (salaries from $9,000 to $13,000) was loaded, but tonight it’s slim pickings. I think there’s better value at the top of the salary scale, and listed four Denver players among the five ‘Scrubs’ on today’s chart. In fact, Tier 7 in the Pick ‘Em forces you to choose one of JaVale McGee, Andre Miller, Corey Brewer or Wilson Chandler — a tough call.

F1 Danilo Gallinari (DEN-F) $14,211
F2 Kenneth Faried (DEN-F) $13,893
G1 Ty Lawson (DEN-G) $15,639
G2 Steve Nash (LAL-G) $13,751
C1 Kosta Koufos (DEN-C) $8,412
C2 JaVale McGee (DEN-C) $8,167
U1 Earl Clark (LAL-F) $12,547
U2 Taj Gibson (CHI-F) $13,242

That’s the recipe I’m using tonight. Load up on Nuggets, don’t overpay for stars. You can make changes right up to the 8:00 EST deadline.

To get started with tonight’s leagues, open a free DraftStreet account. Don’t forget to enter tomorrow’s Freeroll, which pays out $300 in cash (via PayPal) to the top 15 finishers.

The Fantasy Spin, published by 9:00 every morning, reviews the highlights (and lowlights) of all 13 Wednesday games and preview’s tonight’s doubleheader in more detail.

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