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FanDuel NBA Weekly Report: Is LeBron James worth the money?

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Gene Sweeney Jr.

Hello, Fake Teams-ers. I'm Tom Lorenzo, I edit the site and I'm here to write a weekly FanDuel report to help you win some money playing daily fantasy basketball. As a quick introduction, I used to host a fantasy sports show on Sirius/XM, I was the lead fantasy hoops writer for for about five years, I worked for Matthew Berry at the Talented Mr. Roto and I lead the fantasy basketball content for AOL FanHouse for a few years. That's me, and this is my weekly column where I'll discuss the bargains, the risers/fallers and the overpriced ballers in the FanDuel platform.

With all of that out of the way, let's talk LeBron James, shall we?

Overpriced Player of the Week

Easily, the worst way to spend your FanDuel money right now is on LeBron James. No, that's not always the case, especially since he truly is one of a handful of players who can return a 60-plus FDP night on the regular. This season, however, the struggle in Cleveland is real. James is averaging just 37.77 FDPs per game, which puts him at 17th overall, while carrying a $10,400 price tag, which is currently the second highest salary in the game.

We know that things haven't yet clicked in Cleveland, which is making LeBron's fantasy game struggle. Consider he's scored fewer than 30 fantasy points in two of the four games he's played this season, has just one block (good for only 2 FDPs), and is averaging over four turnovers per game (which amounts to -8 fantasy points per).

On the flip side, you have someone like Rudy Gay who is averaging 36.44 FDPs per game with a $8,300 price tag. Gay doesn't carry the same upside as LeBron James, and he too has scored fewer than 30 FDPs in two games this season, but with the cash value you get in carrying Gay on your roster over LeBron, you don't have to make up for the -$2,100 elsewhere.

I'm not saying LeBron James won't find his stride, it's just that right now he's not worth it. Having him on your roster at the moment is doing more harm than good.


Roy Hibbert, C, $6,300: Hibbert's not necessarily lighting the night on fire, but he is averaging a cool 32 FDPs at the low, low price of $6,300. With blocks being worth 2 points per, and Hibbert averaging 4.2 per game, he's making his 12 and 9 average quite manageable.

Chris Copeland, SF, $5,400: Yes, another Pacers player, but one who is almost the complete opposite of Hibbert. Copeland earns all his worth on the offensive side of the ball, giving you very little on defense. Still, at his price, and with a 27 fantasy point-per-game average, it's adding guys like Copeland to your roster that make carrying someone like Anthony Davis manageable.

Elfrid Payton, PG, $5,800: Over his last three games the rookie point guard is averaging just over 30 fantasy points per, which is a fantastic bargain. Beware, however, as we know, that rookies have their ups and downs, but right now, Payton is on a high -- especially scoring over 30 fantasy points against the Raptors and Bulls this past week.

Garrett Temple, PG, $4,900: He's been a pleasant surprise, filling in for Bradley Beal. He's playing major minutes at shooting guard and over his last two has gone for 33.4 and 29 FDPs, respectively. The good news here, too, is that he has PG eligibility, which allows you to find a cheap option at point to subsidize someone like, say, his teammate John Wall.


Josh Smith, SF, $7,800: Smith has been OK, averaging 33.7 FDPs on the season, but as we know he's terribly streaky. He's shooting 31.4 percent from the floor on the season and, man, Greg Monroe has been impressive in his two games so far. With Stan Van Gundy calling the shots, it's a wonder whether or not he's going to have a much shorter leash here for Smith while he struggles from the field.

O.J. Mayo, SG, $4,900: The price looks nice, but Mayo is the kind of hot-and-cold that will earn him a DNP-CD any day now from head coach Jason Kidd. Scoring fewer than 15 FDPs in two games this season, Mayo has killed fantasy owners looking for a bargain. The upside, sure, it's kinda there, but I wouldn't take the risk at this point.

Carmelo Anthony, PF, $9,100: Again, much like LeBron, Anthony has yet to really find his stride. The new offense isn't helping him much, and neither is the fact that his teammates are providing much help. There are a number of better, cheaper plays at PF -- Markieff Morris, Derrick Favors, etc. -- to make starting Carmelo Anthony a poor option these days.

Got questions? Feel free to hit me up on Twitter: @TomLorenzo