FanDuel NBA Week In Review (Thu. 2/27/2014 – Wed. 3/5/2014)
A lot can happen in one week of fantasy NBA action on FanDuel. One of the best weapons in a FanDuel user’s arsenal is hindsight, and it’s important to use it to take stock of recent trends to help inform your lineup decisions for upcoming contests. With that in mind here’s a look back at the top performers, best values, and biggest busts of the week that was in the NBA starting on Thursday February 27th and ending with a shower of prize money on Super Wednesday March 5th.
Top Performers (Most Fantasy Points Per Game)
All data covers games played between 2/27/2014 – 3/5/2014. Player prices shown are as of 3/6/2014.
1. Kevin Durant – OKC, SF ($12,100) – 51.6 fantasy points per game
2. LeBron James – MIA, SF ($11,400) – 50.1 fantasy points per game
3. Ty Lawson – DEN, PG ($8,200) – 48.0 fantasy points per game
4. DeMar DeRozan – TOR, SG ($8,400) – 47.8 fantasy points per game
5. Al Jefferson – CHA, C ($9,200) – 47.1 fantasy points per game
6. Kevin Love – MIN, PF ($11,600) – 46.3 fantasy points per game
7. Pau Gasol – LAL, PF ($9,000) – 44.2 fantasy points per game
8. John Wall – WAS, PG ($9,000) – 43.2 fantasy points per game
9. Andre Drummond – DET, C (7,700) – 41.8 fantasy points per game
10. James Harden – HOU, SG (9,500) – 41.6 fantasy points per game
The Durantula climbs back up to the number one position on the top fantasy performers list with three games above the 50 fantasy point plateau last week including a 60.3 point gem in just three quarters of action as the Thunder blew out the hapless Sixers on Tuesday. Durant did have one relatively mediocre game with just 41.7 fantasy points against Charlotte, and overall his value per dollar remains slightly below what you’d want from a player that takes up 20% of your roster’s salary cap. As strange as it sounds to recommend against playing the top performer in the league, it’s simply hard to justify paying for Durant on nights where there is value to be found in other small forwards. He can absolutely make your team on nights when he’s truly on and the game is close, but with five straight sub-60 outings prior to the Philly game its clear he won’t do it for you every night.
Best Values (Most Fantasy Points Per Game Per $1,000 in Salary)
Only includes players with at least 2 games played over the last week.
1. Tyreke Evans – NOR, SG ($5,400) – 40.3 fantasy points per game
2. Greivis Vasquez – TOR, PG ($4,000) – 27.7 fantasy points per game
3. Matt Barnes – LAC, SF ($5,300) – 36.2 fantasy points per game
4. Reggie Evans – SAC, PF ($3,500) – 22.3 fantasy points per game
5. Kyle O’Quinn – ORL, C ($4,600) – 29.2 fantasy points per game
6. Marcus Morris – PHO, PF ($4,000) – 25.2 fantasy points per game
7. Terrence Jones – HOU, PF ($5,800) – 36.5 fantasy points per game
8. Maurice Harkless – ORL, SF (4,400) – 27.6 fantasy points per game
9. Andray Blatche – BKN, PF (5,100) – 31.8 fantasy points per game
10. Cody Zeller – CHA, PF ($3,600) – 22.4 fantasy points per game
Tyreke Evans looks electric in his new role as the starting small forward for the New Orleans Pelicans, and the early results last week translated nicely against his low FanDuel salary to the tune of 7.46 fantasy points per thousand dollars. Projected out to a full $60,000 roster that would represent a score of 447.5 points! Unfortunately it looks like Evans’ price is set to jump quickly into a more reasonable range with a raise to $7,200 for Friday’s upcoming contests. Still, he should remain a top value play at the thin SG position on FanDuel if he keeps playing 40 minutes per game with a high usage rate as he’s done in three straight and putting up scores like the 48.9 and 50 fantasy points he offered in his last two games. The salary hike should help keep his ownership percentage down to a less appallingly widespread level, so those who truly believe in Tyreke will have an opportunity to capitalize on his continued point production.
Biggest Busts (Fewest Fantasy Points Per Game Per $1,000 in Salary)
Only includes players priced at or above $5,500 and with at least 2 games played last week.
1. Victor Oladipo – ORL, SG ($6,800) – 13.5 fantasy points per game
2. Kemba Walker – CHA, PG ($8,400) – 22.6 fantasy points per game
3. LaMarcus Aldridge – POR, PF ($9,800) – 26.4 fantasy points per game
4. Jared Sullinger – BOS, PF ($6,400) – 18.8 fantasy points per game
5. Luol Deng – CLE, SF ($6,200) – 18.4 fantasy points per game
6. Chris Bosh – MIA, C ($6,600) – 19.9 fantasy points per game
7. Kendall Marshall – LAL, PG ($5,900) – 18.7 fantasy points per game
8. Derrick Favors – UTA, PF (6,700) – 21.7 fantasy points per game
9. Mike Conley – MEM, PG (7,100) – 23.2 fantasy points per game
10. Evan Turner – IND, SF ($5,500) – 18.0 fantasy points per game
Victor Oladipo went from hot to not as quickly as can happen in the NBA with the worst value score of the week at 13.5 fantasy points per game on the heels of being a top value with nearly 40 fantasy points per game the week before. Typical shooting guard! As volatile as players at the position tend to be, Oladipo exaggerates the trend even further thanks to a combination of his bench role and inconsistent minutes, his poor shooting percentage at just 41.1% on the season, and his reckless high-turnover style of play. It’s easy to forget he’s a rookie with his fantastic production so far this year, so expect continued improvement and developing consistency as the season progresses. The full extent of what he’ll be capable of in the future given a starting job, better shot selection, and a more controlled and efficient approach is quite scary.
Big Winner Spotlight – Biggameboys Bags the Super Slam, Turns $25 Into $13,000
Super Wednesday night on FanDuel is the primetime of daily NBA fantasy and the biggest prize in the pool is first place in the $120K Super Slam, a tournament that every FanDuel user should take a serious look at entering each week. Biggameboys did just that on March 5th and put up a score of 319.8 fantasy points, good enough to turn a $25 entry fee into a cool $13,000 in prize money in one night. Here’s a look at the high-scoring team:
Raymond Felton ($5,700) was a prescient pick coming off four straight games in the teens in fantasy points following a recent felony gun charge that surely is weighing on his mind. As a result an incredibly low 0.6% of users included the Knicks point guard in their Super Slam lineups. The savviest of FanDuel users recognized that Felton was still getting his usual allotment of minutes and that Ricky Rubio has trouble guarding every point guard in the NBA, which made Felton a better bet than usual to return to productivity. The embattled floor general had put up back to back 35+ fantasy point nights less than two weeks earlier, so his strong contributions against the Timberwolves weren’t a total fluke. With Carmelo Anthony seeming tired after carrying the team for weeks, it was just a matter of time before other Knicks saw more usage. Felton’s focus on defense and willingness to pass make great foundations to build on when his shot is falling like it was in Minnesota.
Josh Smith ($8,600) continues to bounce back and forth from the 20’s to 40’s in fantasy scoring on an almost nightly basis, leaving him as one of the most frustrating to own and difficult to project players in the league. His pure talent allows him to shine even in the toughest of matchups while his inconsistent usage and lackluster effort can hold him back against any opponent. Chicago represented one of those more difficult matchups in this game but fell to the dominant pressure of Smith and the Pistons other two big men in Greg Monroe and Andre Drummond. Smith’s production has definitely suffered due to their presence and the diverse options available to Detroit on the offensive end. That’s why his defensive effort is so important to his fantasy success, something that was on full display on Wednesday with his six blocks and two steals against the Bulls. Only 1.8% of entries in the Super Slam included Smith, which left his 48.3 fantasy points standing as one of the most influential performances of the night.
Greg Monroe ($7,200) is a lot like Josh Smith, at least on paper. They share the frontcourt in Detroit and often alternate big nights based on which player sees more usage. That wasn’t quite the case on Wednesday as Monroe joined Smith in topping the 40 point level. Monroe chose a different path with a focus on offense with 27 points and five assists. His rebounding is usually his strength and provides a solid floor with added upside on most nights, but an unusually low seven on Wednesday kept him from being the play of the night. Monroe was owned by even fewer teams than Smith at just 0.7% in the Super Slam, a pretty surprising number despite the tough matchup against Chicago. With the big three forwards in Detroit they seem to be a bit less prone to the influence of tough matchups as they each take some pressure and attention off the other. You could certainly do worse than a DET frontcourt stack on most nights.
J.J. Hickson ($5,500) has seen his minutes fluctuate quite a bit this year and they’ve been hovering in the mid 20’s of late whether he’s been in the starting lineup or not. That didn’t change on Wednesday, but Hickson’s usage and efficiency definitely did with a 36.5 fantasy point explosion on the heels of three straight games of 20 or fewer fantasy points. Dallas is not a threatening matchup for frontcourt players but few FanDuel users saw this game coming from Hickson, which left him owned by only 1% of entries in the Super Slam. A great game from Hickson is not unheard of as he put up 47.5 fantasy points in a game less than 10 days prior, but his outbursts usually are powered by high-volume rebounding. This time around it was his defense with five blocks to go along with his well-rounded offensive day. Hickson goes up against the woeful Lakers on Friday and could make it back-to-back big nights if he can capitalize on the matchup.
Meanwhile, Ricky Rubio ($6,600), Gordon Hayward ($6,600), Monta Ellis ($7,100), Wilson Chandler ($5,200), and Dirk Nowitzki ($7,400) all chipped in between 24.2 and 34.4 fantasy points to round out this deep and balanced lineup. Biggameboys went against the grain with four players owned by fewer than 2% of entries in the Super Slam and looks like an oracle after all four of those wild cards dropped at least 36 fantasy points apiece. Even more impressive, Biggameboys finished a full 17 points ahead of second place finisher Tharipa, who ended up with 302.8 points. Only Skippycee in third place at 302.3 points joined them in topping the 300 point mark in the Super Slam on what was one of the lowest-scoring nights so far this NBA season on FanDuel.
Make sure to visit FanDuel to enter the Fri NBA Primetime Slam tournament if you want to take your shot at another big prize ($15,000 for first place). And don’t forget to keep an eye out for the next $120K Wed NBA Super Slam tournament that takes place on Super Wednesday March 12th for your next chance to win the $13,000 first place prize.