Insights FanDuel Partners Championship – Lineup Reverse Engineering

At DraftPros, we take great pride in the success of our ProTools, and the Player Rater is the key to how we built our lineup for the first round of the FanDuel Partners Championship.  We set out to do the following:

  • Maximize the amount of FIVE STAR plays that we could fit in our lineup.
  • If we could not fit in a FIVE STAR play, we made sure that no player under FOUR STARS made our lineup.
  • We wanted to maximize our exposure to good situations without relying on a game stack or paying up for a $10000 player.

Why did we avoid the $10000 players?  Our Player Rater wasn’t overly high on any of them.  We had Russell Westbrook and DeMarcus Cousins as FOUR STAR plays, but in order to fit one or both, we would have had to take advantage of the chalk value, and in order to differentiate ourselves, we felt that “fair and balanced” was the best approach to tonight’s slate.  Here’s our position by position breakdown:

NBA: DEC 23 Knicks at Cavaliers

Point Guard

We wanted to take advantage of the likely increase in minutes that Goran Dragic (4 STAR RATING) is likely to see in a big pace up spot against Golden State.  Beno Udrih has joined Tyler Johnson among Heat guards that are out for the season, and the absence of of Chris Bosh opens up a lot of usage for Dragic and Dwyane Wade.  We settled on Dragic based on the discount from Wade and the matchup with Golden State, who has been friendly to opposing point guards of late.

Kyrie Irving (4 STAR RATING)was our second point guard due to the strong chance he is widely under-owned with so many quality point guards priced ahead of him.  Irving is a $9000 player masquerading as a $7300 player for the time being, so we felt his ceiling was higher than almost any point guard on the slate.  Playing at home against Charlotte, a middling matchup, doesn’t scare us, as Irving has a very high usage rate and will go one on one with Kemba Walker.


Shooting Guard

Shooting guard is a great place to punt tonight, and we went with two sub $5000 shooting guards in JJ Redick (4 STAR RATING) and E’Twuan Moore (4 STAR RATING).  Redick is in a position where 25-30 fantasy points is completely in reach with an implied team total of 112 points in a pace up spot with the Nuggets on the second night of a back to back.  Moore is facing the Wizards on the second night of a back to back in the closest projected game of the night.  The Wizards are a bottom four defense against opposing shooting guards and are the worst three point defense team in the NBA.  Moore has shot over 58% from the three point line in his starts in place of the injured Jimmy Butler.


Small Forward

We decided to avoid the value in Memphis’ small forward core and pay up for Paul George (4 STAR RATING).  Goerge gets a great matchup against the “defense” of Carmelo Anthony and has been rolling in his last seven games, averaging 25.3 points per game.  New York has allowed over 105 points per game in their last 12 games.  Tobias Harris (5 STAR RATING) is our second small forward due to a strong matchup with the 76ers on the second night of a back to back.  Detroit is very short handed due to injury, and their starters are likely locked in for 30-35 minutes as a floor.


Power Forward

Zach Randolph (5 STAR RATING) was the easiest decision we had, as he represents the chalk tonight in a pristine matchup with the Lakers and is underpriced based on his current role with the now Marc Gasol-less Grizzlies.  We decided one chalk play was a plus and he’s unavoidable to us in this spot.  LaMarcus Aldridge (4 STAR RATING) is a great secondary play with Kawhi Leonard either out or limited in a massive pace up spot with the Sacramento Kings.  The Kings are a bottom five unit against opposing power forwards, and Aldridge represents the best offensive option on San Antonio.



We had the longest debate regarding the center spot, as we felt Andre Drummond, Hassan Whiteside and DeAndre Jordan (5 STAR RATING) were the best options on the slate.  Whiteside carries a 2 STAR RATING, and was taken out of discussion.  Drummond and Jordan are both 5 STAR RATED plays, but we ultimately decided we wanted access to Jordan in what should be a closer game with Denver.  Both Drummond and Jordan are facing opponents who played last night, but the double digit spread in Detroit and likely chalk nature of Drummond led us to Jordan.



As news continued to unfold leading up to lock, we pivoted away from LaMarcus Aldridge in favor of Bobby Portis due to the possibility of Pau Gasol not playing.  Once we had the extra salary, we pivoted from Goran Dragic to Kyle Lowry due to the likely higher floor and E’Twuan Moore to Danny Green due to likely low ownership and GPP upside.  The remaining salary allowed us to move away from the evening’s chalk center, Andre Drummond, to Karl-Anthony Towns.


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