Editors Note: This is the first piece written by our new fantasy sports expert Brandon Russell. Brandon will be writing pieces for Over The Grill that are designed to help our readers optimize their lineups for a FanDuel or DraftKings setting. He will be posting an optimal lineup followed by an explanation for why he believes in that lineup. Please let us know in the comments section what you think about this type of piece and any comments on his lineup as these are designed to be interactive pieces
Point Guard: Ray McCallum
Shooting Guard: Kevin Martin
Small Forward: Demarre Carroll
Power Forward: Zach Randolph
Center: Alex Len
Guard: Mike Conley
Forward: Kenneth Faried
Utility: Steph Curry
Remaining Salary: $900
Point Guard: Point guards are relatively deep tonight, with good options within each price range, which is why I decided to go with three tonight. Ray McCallum has proven enough to guarantee minutes on a regular basis and Rudy Gay will have his hands full with a rested Demarre Carroll, so playmaking will be Ray’s respond out tonight. At only $3900, he is a steal. Mike Conley and Steph Curry are also good plays tonight. Conley has had a relatively bad fantasy year but still has a high ceiling. I don’t think Aaron Brooks will be able to handle him and Conley will go off for at least 20 points, 7 assists, and a few steals. Curry hasn’t been going off lately but is still a superstar and will rise to the occasion against a competitive Phoenix team. He has put up at least 25 and 7 in both outings against the Suns and he should continue that trend.
Shooting Guard: Khris Middleton and Kevin Martin are the best options at SG tonight because you know what you are getting with them. Middleton has potential to go off in multiple categories, especially scoring, and will get you at least 20 fantasy points on a bad day. K-Mart missed last weeks game against the Clippers but he is coming off a strong game and could easily go off again. In last weeks game, Gary Neal got the start and had a very solid outing so expect better from Martin. If they are too steep, Redick is always worth a look when Crawford isn’t playing but his value is limited to scoring which makes a risky play.
Small Forward: I strongly recommend playing either Demarre Carroll or PJ Tucker. The expensive forwards simply aren’t worth the price and have low ceilings. Carroll should be in for a solid game coming off a day of rest and will be ready to get out and run against the Kings. Tucker has been relatively consistent and while he is far from the first option, he is a necessary role player that will get his minutes as long as he shows up on time. Jeff Green is slowly getting the green light to shoot more but I expect other players to carry the load in Memphis tonight.
Power Forward: It should be a crime that Randolph is as cheap as he is. Z-Bo is still a double double machine and even with Chicago shorthanded, I expect this game to be competitive to the end. Gasol will have his hands full with Noah and I see Randolph benefiting by catching loose rebounds and carrying the offense. Kenneth Faried is slowly rising is price but is worth the cost because of his capability to go off for 20-20. With a new coach, I hope Faried finds opportunity to take a more central role in the offense. Denver’s big men are also very few so the game is Faried’s to take over. Going against the Knicks only makes Faried that much better a play.
Center: Alex Len is a little banged up but I think he will power through and have a good game against the Warriors. Centers have been successful against the Warriors recently and I believe Len’s game is developing. Thanks to the trades Phoenix made, he’s the only true big man they have and his minutes will be consistent as long as he stays out of foul trouble. Obviously check to make sure his status is confirmed but Len should be good to go. If possible, Deandre Jordan should be in for a big game, especially if Pekovic is able to play. Without Blake Griffin, Jordan is a very reliable play.