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Fan Duel Fantasy Basketball: The Anthony Davis Strategy

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Steve Dykes-USA TODAY Sports

It used to be called the LeBron James Strategy, as well as the Kvin Durant Strategy, but this year we're calling it the Anthony Davis Strategy, since Davis is by far the best daily fantasy basketball-er, which while it comes with its benefits -- like, 53.6 FanDuel points per game -- it also comes with its risks. Davis, who is scoring 10 more FD points per game than LeBron James, costs his owners $11,800 of their daily fantasy salary.

The benefit is, well, yeah, you're getting 53 FD points per game, sometimes more on a given night, but when you put over 1/6th of your salary toward one player you have to find other areas to roster on the cheap.

Usually, you can find a player or two at under $6,000 to help serve you in other areas, but with Davis rostered you're looking at trying to find two, sometimes three players under the $5,000 price tag. That's pretty risky, but it can be done.

The key is to hit on players on the upswing, before Fan Duel adjusts the price to make them un-roster-able in the Anthony Davis Strategy. Think of guys like Solomon Hill who was an opportunity add and who cost, at one point, $4,100. Now, Hill has done enough to warrant a price tag that pushes him toward an average salary, which isn't helpful.

Injury adds are always the way to go. I talk about a few in our Bargains section below, but when a player goes down -- like, Ricky Rubio -- someone off the bench whose production hasn't made him roster-able -- like, Mo Williams -- steps in and picks up the newfound minutes. Of course that doesn't mean a player will suddenly turn into a daily fantasy hoops stud, but in this game opportunity is a big boon.

If you are going to roster Anthony Davis, which, yeah, you should, you have to find bargains. Deep bargains. It's doable, but it takes research, foresight, and a whole lot of luck.


Boris Diaw, $4,800, PF: With Tiago Splitter out, Diaw continues to see more minutes for the Spurs. He put up 42.7 FD points against the Cavaliers on Wednesday, which is not a normal output for him, but for the price, he has been giving you 21.4 FD points per game.

Mo Williams, $5,500, PG: With Ricky Rubio out, the Timberwolves turned to rookie Zach LaVine at the point, as opposed to Williams. Well, LaVein struggled and, over the last two games, Williams has looked great. He put up 35.1 and 24.2 FD points, respectively, and is now officially back in the starting lineup.

Giannis Antetokounmpo, $5,500, SG: Don't look now, but here comes Alphabet! He put up 42.4 FD points in the Bucks triple overtime win over the Nets on Wednesday, and has scored 29-plus FD points in three of his last five games. He's starting, playing minutes and starting to really figure out how to play the game. At this point, he's closing in on must-start territory.

Nick Young, $5,300, SG: The Lakers finally got Nick Young back this week, and "Swaggy P" has already had a nice impact, helping to carry some of the scoring load for Kobe Bryant. In his first two games back he's averaged 25 FD points, and while he doesn't do much besides score points, at this price he has some nice upside value.

Gorgui Dieng, $5,500, C: Dieng is coming off a big game against the Knicks, where he dropped 32.4 FD points. He's been filling in for Nikola Pekovic, who is likely out for at least another week, and with Thaddeus Young also out, the Timberwolves have been in dire need of a big to step up. Dieng has done a nice job and should continue to provide nice value while Pekovic is out.


Kevin Love, $8,500, PF: He's already said that he's "lost" in the offense, and while he's putting up good numbers -- 33.8 FD points per game -- he hasn't had that "breakout-type" of game yet and has been, well, for the price, a daily league bust at this point. I have no doubt he'll get it figured out, but right now I wouldn't bank on Love for $8,500.

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