FanDuel Diary: A Forgettable Friday

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Congratulations to “knicksfan18” who scored a remarkable 324 points — led by Russell Westbrook (50) and Antawn Jamison (48) — to qualify for the $150,000 DFBBC final and earn a trip to Las Vegas for that event in March.

Things didn’t go as planned in my Friday leagues. Kobe Bryant was content to watch everyone else score for a change, Tyreke Evans was a late scratch and I sure picked the wrong guy between Gerald Wallace (29) and Arron Afflalo (8). The best part about daily fantasy games is, you can forget about those bad nights and start fresh the next day.

I’m now down $52 from this week’s $100 bankroll and tonight is the last chance to get even, as there will be no FanDuel leagues on Sunday — just two NBA games are scheduled. I’ve entered three different teams in the $5K Shot ($2 each) and will join a few other $1 tournaments, then invest the rest in $2 and $5 leagues with fewer players.

FanDuel 15 Dec. 1
Stars Over $7,000
Kevin Durant $9,900
LeBron James $9,600
David Lee $8,600
Tim Duncan $8,600
Blake Griffin $8,100
Scrubs Under $5,000
Andray Blatche $4,500
Larry Sanders $4,700
Aaron Brooks $4,000
Courtney Lee $3,400
Jeremy Pargo $3,800
Starters $5,000 to $7,000
Luol Deng $6,800
Omer Asik $6,600
Klay Thompson $5,700
George Hill $5,800
Manu Ginobili $6,000

It’s a fairly busy Saturday with ten games, which means thousands of possible combinations. The chart lists five players in each of three price ranges, as a sample of who costs what. I’m going with LBJ over KD tonight, hoping the Warriors score big and the Jazz are tired.

You can make unlimited changes to your lineup until 7:30 EST. Here’s mine for the time being:

PG Stephen Curry IND@GS $7,500
PG George Hill IND@GS $5,800
SG James Harden UTA@HOU $7,900
SG Manu Ginobili MEM@SA $6,000
SF LeBron James BKN@MIA $9,600
SF Courtney Lee BOS@MIL $3,400
PF David Lee IND@GS $8,600
PF Andray Blatche BKN@MIA $4,500
C Omer Asik UTA@HOU $6,600

Today’s Fantasy Spin previews every NBA game in more detail and reviews what happened last night, including the Lakers hitting 17 three-pointers.

FanDuel Diary: $1,000 Winner-Take-All Tournament Tonight

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On a busy night in the NBA, there are a wide variety of leagues and formats at FanDuel. One that deserves special consideration is for high-rollers, at least from my perspective. It costs $25 to enter, there will be only 46 teams, and the winner will get the entire $1,000 prize pool! Just clock the logo to join.

There’s also another qualifying tournament this evening for the Daily Fantasy Basketball Championship. That one has a $10 entry fee, $5,000 cash in consolation prizes and the winner earns a trip to Las Vegas for the $150,000 DFBBC final in March. I won $75 for finishing ninth out of 1,769 teams in last week’s qualifier  and will be taking my best shot again.

Daily leagues are very challenging; you’re trying to choose the best 9-man team for tonight’s games only, within a $60,000 salary cap. Most of my leagues are at the $1 and $2 level, as my weekly bankroll is $100 and we’re down $21.70 heading into the weekend. Follow my (mis)adventures here every day.

FanDuel 15 Nov. 30
Stars Over $7,000
Kevin Durant $9,700
Russell Westbrook $9,600
Kevin Love $9,100
Carmelo Anthony $8,600
Jrue Holiday $7,600
Scrubs Under $5,000
Aaron Brooks $4,100
Trevor Ariza $4,700
Ben Gordon $4,500
Andray Blatche $4,100
Kyle Singler $4,200
Starters $5,000 to $7,000
Tyson Chandler $6,100
Damian Lillard $6,900
Evan Turner $6,400
Nikola Pekovic $6,800
Mike Conley $6,500

With 11 games and 22 teams in action, there are a wide variety of options in each price range. The chart offers a few suggestions, but there are thousands of possible combinations. It takes handicapping skill to win, but as in any fantasy league, a little good luck never hurts.

You can make unlimited changes to your lineup until 7:00 EST. Here’s mine for now:

PG George Hill IND@SAC $5,600
PG Aaron Brooks IND@SAC $4,100
SG Kobe Bryant DEN@LAL $8,800
SG Evan Turner PHI@CHA $6,400
SF Kevin Durant UTA@OKC $9,700
SF Gerald Wallace BKN@ORL $5,400
PF Kevin Love MIL@MIN $9,100
PF Andray Blatche BKN@ORL $4,100
C Nikola Pekovic MIL@MIN $6,800

This gets Kobe, KD and Love into the same lineup but counts on Blatche and Brooks to outproduce their low salaries. Replacing one of my three high-priced all-stars with someone in the $7,000 range would let me upgrade at two other spots. It’s the old question of stars-and-scrubs vs. balance; there is no ‘right answer’ because anything can happen on the floor, and it often does.

Today’s Fantasy Spin looks at all 11 NBA games in more detail and reviews what happened last night, including the Spurs’ junior varsity vs. the Heat.

FanDuel Diary: Plenty Of Options On Busy NBA Night

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Congratulation to “dreamteamtheme,” whose team scored 309 points to win the $600 first prize in yesterday’s $3,000 tournament. My Raptors (Lowry and Valanciunas) failed to fire, so I finished well out of the money.

I did cash for $13.50 in a $5 3-player league, so after two days in Week 5, the $100 bankroll is down just $16.50 but a family matter will take up most of my Wednesday, putting fantasy hoops in the background.

There won’t be daily leagues on Thursday (just two NBA games) so we’ll be loaded for bear this weekend, when there’s another qualifying tournament for the $200,000 DFBBC and we’ll have something special for our loyal readers.

FanDuel 15 Nov. 28
Stars Over $7,000
Kevin Durant $9,700
Russell Westbrook $9,600
Kevin Love $9,100
Chris Paul $8,200
Al Horford $7,400
Scrubs Under $5,000
Jae Crowder $4,100
Jamaal Tinsley $4,200
Gary Neal $4,400
Kyle Singler $4,200
Martell Webster $4,400
Starters $5,000 to $7,000
Tyson Chandler $6,100
Damian Lillard $6,900
Ryan Anderson $6,900
Greivis Vasquez $6,100
Kevin Martin $5,300

Eleven NBA games means 22 teams to choose from tonight, and a wide variety of options in each price range. The chart is merely the tip of the iceberg in terms of affordable talent.

You can make unlimited changes to your lineup until 7:00 EST. Here’s mine for now:

PG Russell Westbrook HOU@OKC $9,600
PG Kirk Hinrich DAL@CHI $4,100
SG Joe Johnson BKN@BOS$ 5,600
SG Richard Hamilton DAL@CHI $5,100
SF Kevin Durant HOU@OKC $9,700
SF Kyle Singler PHO@DET$ 4,200
PF Zach Randolph TOR@MEM $7,300
PF Serge Ibaka HOU@OKC $7,000
C Al Horford CHA@ATL $7,400

Singler has been great in five of seven games since being promoted to the starting lineup; that price is a bargain against Shannon Brown. Using Hinrich is more a reaction to Dallas being in disarray at PG; Darren Collison got benched for Dominique Jones. Keying on Durant and Westbrook assumes that Houston will play fast even though they are tired.

One of many possible and logical variations is “Knicks win big,” with Tyson Chandler ($6,100) at C and Carmelo Anthony ($8,600) at SF, instead of Durant. That lets you afford the upgrade from Ibaka to Kevin Love at PF. Good luck with your selections!

Today’s Fantasy Spin looks at all six NBA games in more detail and reviews what happened last night, including the latest injuries and roster shuffles.

Hornets Sting Clippers; Nets Win Battle of NYC

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The biggest upset of the season? The Hornets, coming off a lopsided loss the night before (their seventh straight defeat) and at the end of four road games in six nights, had ‘no chance’ against the mighty Clippers.

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FanDuel Diary: Join Our $3,000 Tournament Tonight

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Want to win $600 cash tonight for a $5 investment? Me too. Just click the logo to enter our $3,000 tournament. Pick a 9-man roster without exceeding the $60,000 salary cap and whoever scores the most fantasy points wins. Only six categories matter — PTS = 1pt, REB = 1pt, AST = 1pt, BLK = 2pts, STL = 2pts, TO = -1pt — and while a good player on a hot night can earn 50+, averaging about 30 per man will usually earn you a nice payout.

One of the best things about daily leagues is the consolation prizes. This contest is limited to 670 teams, and the top 71 finishers win at least $15 cash. $400 for second and $250 for third is worth shooting for.

We start each week here with a $100 bankroll. That’s actual currency, nothing theoretical. I played in a handful of $1 and $2 leagues on Monday without getting close — I’d guessed the Grizzlies would win big — so there’s $90 left and I’m entered in six events for a total of $20 this evening. Good luck!

FanDuel 15 Nov. 27
Stars Over $7,000
Dwight Howard $9,200
Kobe Bryant $8,800
Kevin Love $9,000
James Harden $7,900
Chandler Parsons $7,200
Scrubs Under $5,000
Jeremy Pargo $4,000
Alexey Shved $4,700
Jonas Valanciunas $4,600
Jermaine O’Neal $4,300
Aaron Brooks $4,100
Starters $5,000 to $7,000
Thaddeus Young $6,600
Tyreke Evans $6,900
Evan Turner $6,400
Markieff Morris $5,500
Metta World Peace $6,100

With only five NBA games on the calendar, there aren’t as many options as usual. Today’s chart offers five suggestions in each of three price ranges, and there are still other possibilities.

Here’s my tentative lineup, subject to unlimited changes until 7:00 EST.

PG Kyle Lowry TOR@HOU $7,000
PG Jrue Holiday DAL@PHI $7,200
SG James Harden TOR@HOU $7,900
SG Jeremy Pargo PHO@CLE $4,000
SF Metta World Peace IND@LAL $6,100
SF Chandler Parsons TOR@HOU $7,200
PF Kevin Love MIN@SAC $9,000
PF Thaddeus Young DAL@PHI $6,600
C Jonas Valanciunas TOR@HOU $4,600

I’m using two from each team in the Raptors-Rockets game, which I think will be fast-paced. Because of injuries, the SF pool is ridiculously shallow; there aren’t many attractive options beyond Parsons and MWP. I’m also leaving $400 on the table; most days I’ll plug the ‘best available’ player into my last roster spot to use up the entire salary cap, but in my weakest spot (backup SG) Pargo would be the play even if he cost $4,400.

Today’s Fantasy Spin looks at all five NBA games in more detail and reviews what happened last night, including the latest injuries and roster shuffles.