Victiv NBA Picks - 11/18
The DFS Landscape is ever changing and this is a big part of what makes this industry so appealing. Fanduel and Draftkings are obviously the head of the class right now as they dominate the headlines, the advertising, and the player pool providing huge field tournaments and hundreds of different game options every single day… The past few months have seen a few new players enter the fray and give us all a little something different to get excited about. Fantasyaces.com is a solid site with a slightly different look and feel to that of what we are all used to. I have found the competition over there to be excellent and the support from their staff is excellent as well. If you are a part of the Rotogrinders Community, you have no doubt heard about some of the latest offerings from Victiv.com. This site will be the focus of my blog as it seems a little monotonous to continue to give picks and advice for the staples of the fantasy industry. Victiv is just getting its feet off the ground on their NBA offerings and I am excited to give them a try this evening… They are also offering a $1,000 Freeroll tomorrow(11/19) as well as a few smaller tournaments.
Let me start out by giving a short background on myself… This is my first foray into daily fantasy basketball this season as I have been a season long player for the past 15 years. I checked the Rotogrinders rankings and I currently am sitting at 999. So yeah, I am small stakes player with a small budget, but I have a real passion for the game of basketball and for daily fantasy. I played a little bit of NFL last season and really got into baseball this past year and had some success. I was hoping that my many many years of fantasy experience in NBA would translate over into the daily game and it has to some degree. The learning curve can be pretty steep as this is definitely a whole different ballgame(no pun intended) in terms of what it takes to be successful. I have played basketball my entire life, played in high school, played 4 years of college and had a short run playing some semi-pro ball as well. I also have some writing experience as I used to do freelance writing for a local paper and covered local concerts and album reviews. I have been waiting for an opportunity to write a blog on something “different” on the site that I hope will catch on. This seems like a good opportunity to write about a new site trying to make a splash in the industry. So with all of that said, I hope to provide an interesting and possibly humorous(you can be the judge) take on what players and strategies I think will work the best for that evening’s games…
Victiv Format and Scoring
The first thing that you really want to pay attention to when visiting a new site is the roster construction and the scoring of that particular site… You would be doing yourself a huge disservice not to know what to focus on when picking those players. The daily fantasy format is unique in that most sites do not penalize players for missing shots. This goes out to the Kobe Bryant’s of the world, as long as that player keeps chucking them up, the better chance he has to put fantasy points on the board. Victiv is fairly standard in its offerings with 1 point for every point scored, 1.25 for rebounds and assists, 2 points for steals and blocks, and -.5 point for TO’s. What can you gather from this information? If turnovers were a concern for you on other sites, those TO’s hurt just a little bit less here(queue up Michael Carter-Williams and Tony Wroten). There are also no bonuses for three pointers made or for double doubles or anything like that.
Their rosters are made up of 2 Guards, 3 Forwards, 1 C, 2 Flex, and 1 Sub… I will dive into the sub thing more later as this is a pretty drastic departure from Fanduel. Having flexibility is king here as you are not forced to specify between point and shooting guards, small and power forwards, etc…. Basically if you really want to run 4 PG’s out there on any particular day, Victiv nor anyone else is going to stop you from doing so.
Now that you have a good handle on what we are dealing with here, let’s dive into the picks that are going to make you all the envy of, well… Rotogrinders Nation(or all 6 of you that actually read this)!
Kobe Bryant($9000) – SG LA Lakers
Yes he is the 5th most expensive player on the board tonight.. Yes, he probably has a sore elbow from jacking up shots at a historic rate. However, is there any reason to doubt that this guy is going to slow down? He is averaging 24.4 shot attempts a game as well as 9 free throw attempts. Unless there is a site out there that puts in a penalty for the number of bricks put up, this is the guy that you want to roster. Atlanta ranks in the bottom third of the NBA defending guards and lets be honest here, that doesn’t really even matter. Kobe will continue to shoot and continue to produce for his owners and pay off his salary. He has scored double figures in 9 out of 10 games this year, scoring 20 or more in 8 of those games. When he absolutely must pass(I know, its not very often) he is still chipping in 4.8 assists and 5.2 boards along with nearly 28 pts per game. Put Kobe on your roster and watch him pile up the shots…er points.
Jeff Teague($7500) – PG Atlanta Hawks
Has anyone actually watched Jeremy Lin attempt to play defense? When Linsanity was in full effect nobody cared that the opposing PG was lighting him up on a regular basis as long as he was getting into the lane and scoring buckets.. Not only is Lin a horrible defender, but the Lakers as a whole have decided that watching Kobe score points and chasing Michael’s all time scoring mark is more fun that actually playing any defense at all. Teague should have little issue getting into the lane and dropping the ball off to his bigs or scoring in the lane. He has put up a couple of duds the past week, but I like his chances of making wide open shots this evening.
Others I like – Gordon Hayward(yes he is a guard on Victiv), Darren Collison, Reggie Jackson
Anthony Davis($11,300) – PF New Orleans Pelicans
With a few of the guys you normally see listed as forwards in the guard section, forward is really bad today with only a 4 game slate… You probably were going to play “The Brow” anyway, but he is as close to a must play here as you are going to see. There isn’t much that I need to tell you about the numbers, the guy is an absolute beast and continues to stuff the stat sheet. 50 points is almost starting to look like a floor for this guy. I don’t see anyone in the Sacramento frontcourt slowing him down tonight.
Ed Davis($5100) – PF Los Angeles Lakers
There has been some talk in Tinsel Town about the Lakers making some changes to their lineup… One obvious change would be for more Ed Davis and less Carlos Boozer. Boozer is declining at a rapid rate especially on the defensive end. Davis is producing at a high level on the glass and blocking shots and seems to be happier with no touches in LA’s “offense” than CB is. Instead of standing around and watching others shoot, Davis has been crashing the boards and making it hard to keep him off the floor. Matter of fact, a stat came out this week that Davis is a minus 5 in his 236 minutes this season while Boozer is a minus-118 in his 277 minutes. Davis is averaging 14 pts, 10.2 boards and 2.6 blocks per 36 minutes while only averaging 23.6 actual minutes per game.. I don’t see him taking the starting job over quite yet, but it only makes sense to start giving him more court time. If you are going to roster Anthony tonight, you probably want to go with the “Brothers Davis” in the frontcourt.
Others I Like – Carmelo Anthony, Ryan Anderson(if Asik sits)
Jordan Hill($6900) – C LA Lakers
Hill continues to pile up the boards and has found the range with the mid-range no jump jumper(watch the form, its not pretty). As the only true “big” in LA right now, he has been given every opportunity to produce as long as he can stay on the floor. Neither Paul Millsap or Al Horford are true centers and I can see Hill having a nice game on the glass. He also has hit double figures scoring in 8 straight games, I like that streak to continue tonight.
Derrick Favors($7700) – C Utah Jazz
Favor has seemed to make that “jump” into the next tier as he has gotten more consistent on the offensive end. He is averaging close to 17 points per game along with 8.5 boards. OKC does have a strong front line defensively, but I don’t see them slowing him down tonight.. He did have 15 boards the last time he faced OKC and his skills around the basket have improved enough this year I see him being able to score as well.
The Infamous “SUB” Spot
If you don’t know, Victiv has introduced a 9th roster spot that is being called the “SUB”. The basics around this are that this can be any player, any position with a salary of $5,000 or less. This player’s points will not count unless they outscore one of your 8 active starters… This really will help safeguard against players that are late scratch’s or game time decisions. Some will argue that this is against the spirit of the game, but I say since we all are subject to the same rules(good or bad), I think its another interesting strategy piece that will add some excitement to these contests.
I have a theory right now that using a “safe” sub in tournament games is the way to go. Conversely, I think using a riskier player in cash games has a chance to pay off. These seems to roll opposite of traditional thinking as far as GPP/Cash plays. My reasoning behind this comes from multiple near misses in GPP’s usually due to one player “crapping the bed”, I know this is a technical term. I have been 1 player away it seems on multiple occasions and this is due to the nature of making a GPP roster. You throw out a few “risky” options in order to save salary somewhere else or for that player to go off and they just do not produce. Under this scenario, I think the best bet would be to have a consistent 15-20 fantasy point per game type guy waiting in the wings. Instead of taking a really low score, you are able to sub that out for a decent number and that might just be enough to push you over the edge in a GPP… If you pair a risky player with risky “sub”, you may end up with nothing from both spots. In a cash game, having a sub that has big upside is just a nice bonus that has the potential to pay off but certainly doesn’t break you if they do not.
SUB Candidates – Not Jared From Subway
Larry Sanders($5,000) – Block potential alone puts him in range.
Omer Asik($4900) – Check the injury report, but if he plays, nice safe sub option that has a pretty high floor.
Enes Kanter($4500) – Starter that has foul trouble/playing time issues, but has 30 point upside
OJ Mayo($4400) – Ultimate boom or bust option, would not shock me if he scores 25 points or puts up 2 points with 4 TO’s
Anthony Morrow($4300) – See OJ Mayo. One Trick Pony that sometimes has the trick going. If he does not, look out below.
Ben McLemore($4400) – Can score the basketball but upside limited with Collison back
Steven Adams($4200) – 11 blocks the past two games, cannot score but could produce with boards/blocks
Iman Shumpert($3700) – Looks like he will return tonight, big minutes and big upside
Thabo Sefolosha($3600) – Production per minute is bad but minutes equals opportunity. Carroll out again tonight.
Nick “Swaggy P” Young($3500) – Makes at least 3 plays per game that make you wonder how he got in the NBA, but the guy can put the ball in the hole at times.
Dennis Schroder($3,000) – Backup PG could see extended minutes if the game gets out of hand. Been playing at a high level.
Rudy Gobert($2000) – Min price, gets extra minutes at the expense of Kanter.
Thank you all for reading and please let me know what you thought about this article and the format… Also interested to see what people think about the “SUB” option that Victiv is offering..
Maybe I will see you all in some of the games tonight, good luck to all!