We’re happy to announce the launch of the FanDuel Partners Basketball Championship (FPBC). The FPBC is a daily fantasy sports (DFS) competition to decide which website is the top fantasy basketball projector in the industry. RotoWire will be going toe-to-toe against representatives from RotoGrinders, DraftPros and seven other reputable sites in the fantasy industry over the next five weeks, with contests running each Wednesday and Friday through March 25.
Winners will be determined based on the highest aggregate score from all contests during the five-week contest period. However, the two lowest contest scores for each partner site during the contest will be omitted from the aggregate score calculation. More details about the event can be found here.
Throughout the FPBC, we’ll post articles highlighting our thought process when constructing lineups, including different RotoWire tools that helped influence those decisions.
If one has ever landed on RotoWire.com in pursuit of fantasy advice, articles and tools exist to aid in making all manner of lineup decisions, whether it’s season-long or for daily purposes. In the latter realm, our NBA Lineup Optimizer is quite valuable in backing up matchups that seem exploitable on the surface, while also helping subscribers avoid potential pratfalls. Upon inspection of the initial optimal lineup, four cogs of my favored lineup immediately present themselves: Reggie Jackson, Goran Dragic, Tobias Harris, and Andre Drummond.
Coming off back-to-back efforts of 43.8 and 34.6 FanDuel points, Jackson is presented with the Sixers, who have been one of the most-yielding teams to point guards all season. The matchup has become more accommodating over the last 10 games, as Ish Smith and company have allowed 45.1 FD points per contest, or sixth-most in that time frame — RotoWire’s NBA Defense vs. Position Stats tool is a must-use to identify these sort of trends. In a similar vein, Drummond is looking to post his third double-double in as many outings against the Sixers this season. Currently in the midst of his second-longest double-double streak (10 games) of the season, Drummond is among the best bets to strike gold versus a Philly squad that’s conceded the most FD points (50.8 per game) to centers in 2015-16. Finally, their new comrade, Tobias Harris, has fit in seamlessly since joining the Pistons at the trade deadline, putting up 30 and 29.5 FD points in this past weekend’s back-to-back set while logging 35 minutes on both occasions.
With the trio of Pistons in the fold, Dragic is intriguing due to his standout performances since the break. Of course, he’s profiting due to circumstance, but even with Dwyane Wade back in action Sunday, Dragic notched 39.1 FD points versus a Pacers squad that has contained point guards for most of the season. That point total marks his floor over the last three games – also, 42 and 46.4 FD points – and he should be able to replicate that success against the Warriors, who have surrendered the most FD points (50 per game) to point guards over the past 10 contests.
Moving on to the remaining roster construction, Wade can’t do worse than Monday’s brick-riddled, 4-for-21 feat of shooting, and two-guard isn’t ripe with many interesting options. However, DeMar DeRozan torched the Timberwolves for 45.6 FD points just before the break, which I’m banking on him repeating Wednesday.
At this point, $24,500 remains, leaving open the possibility of one more high-priced player. The price tag is prohibitive for ballers like Russell Westbrook ($10,900), DeMarcus Cousins ($10,900), and Stephen Curry ($10,800), and with my PG and C spots already filled, small forward has the few existing elite options in LeBron James and Paul George. Because the $1,200 difference in salary allows for flexibility with the rest of the decisions to be made, George is the preferable choice at this stage of the game. Plus, his floor (at least 30 FD points in eight straight games) and potential ceiling (he’s tallied two double-doubles in three post-break tilts en route to 42.3 FD points per contest) is too good to pass up.
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Due to salary constraints, there’s not much wiggle room the rest of the way, but the George call will yield fruit shortly. In the search for guaranteed production, the final SG slot has been given to Zach LaVine, who has totaled at least 21 FD points in nine of the last 10 games (and the mark was 20.4 in the other). Lavine will come off the bench Wednesday, but he should still be good for 25-30 minutes.
Avoiding power forward until the end all but admits that triple-double machine Draymond Green will sit on the DFS pine on this day. Left $10,900 to play with, Serge Ibaka’s capacity for rebounding and defensive counting stats, in conjunction with his $5,700 sticker price, make the Thunder big man the best bang for his buck among those available. With a mostly steady core and one seat left in the lineup, the list of available, viable players has been whittled down to Taj Gibson ($5,000), Tristan Thompson ($5,000), and Jared Dudley ($4,600), to name three. Gibson has failed to separate himself from the pack in a frontcourt sans Joakim Noah and Nikola Mirotic since Jan. 25, reaching the 20-FD-point threshold just twice over the last six games. With Gibson crossed off, Thompson’s ledger is littered with hits (38.6, 38, 34.3) and misses (8.8, 8.2) in the course of the past eight contests. The lack of consistency is unappealing, which doesn’t characterize Dudley, even with Markieff Morris arriving in Washington at the deadline. In four games since the break, Dudley has tallied 16.9, 28.2, 24, and 30.3 FD points on the backs of 12 points, 4.3 rebounds, 4.0 assists, 1.0 block, and 0.5 steal in 29 minutes per tilt. The hope, as always, is 25-plus FD points to augment the heavy hitters already on the squad.
Now that PF is full, the final lineup follows:
Can this squad beat the other nine lineups constructed by fantasy experts? Follow the action here.