FanDuel Keeps on Trucking!
While there's no tournament this week dedicated to SB Nation, there's always games and always a chance to win. Join using this link, read the tasty tidbits below, pick your team, and leave your lineup in the comments.
Then brag your ass off on Twitter using #FanDuelSBN. Extra points for extra obnoxiousness.
The Phoenix Suns, riding a 5-game winning streak, hit the road this week for three games in four days. It's a road slate that gets tougher and tougher each game.
First, the Suns face the Los Angeles Lakers, who may or may not play Kobe Bryant. The 36-year old Bryant has sat out the last three Laker games due to tiredness, even the nationally televised Christmas Day game, but has reportedly targeted Sunday's game as the game to return. The Lakers have gone 1-2 with Kobe out.
After that, it's the first game of the season against Anthony Davis and the New Orleans Pelicans, followed by yet another roadie against Russell Westbrook, Kevin Durant and the Oklahoma City Thunder on the second night of a back-to-back.
Let's take a look at who does well and who doesn't against these teams.
Who loves the Lakers?
Markieff Morris loves playing the Lakers. He scores and rebounds above his career averages.
Nearly everyone really loves playing the Lakers, who have by far the league's worst defense. Just pick your favorite Suns (except Bledsoe) and see what happens.
Who hates the Lakers?
Eric Bledsoe has been terrible against the Lakers this year after being really good a year ago, so he's a hit-or-miss guy. He sat the entire fourth quarter of one of the games while Hornacek played the hot Thomas and Dragic down the stretch.
Who loves the Pelicans?
Eric Bledsoe eats Pelicans for dinner. Last year, in 3 of the games (missed one to injury), Bledsoe put up 21.7 points, 5.7 assists and 4.7 rebounds - all at or above his season averages.
Goran Dragic also loves the Pellies. He put up 24 points per game against them last year in 4 games (all starts).
Markieff Morris was great against the Pelicans last year, putting up 17 points, 5 rebounds and 3 assists coming off the bench. Now he starts against the incredibly long Anthony Davis so we'll see how that goes. Morris might have a tough time getting off his shots in the paint.
Who hates the Pelicans?
I can't really find any Suns who play poorly against the Pelicans.
Who loves the Thunder?
Eric Bledsoe went off in two games last year against the Thunder (he missed the other two with injury), putting up 22 points, 9 assists and 5.5 rebounds - all above his season averages. A couple weeks ago, he only popped 12 points and 4 assists in the blowout loss, so he should be looking for redemption.
A year ago, Gerald Green was incredible against OKC, putting up 28 points per contest in 3 games (1 start). He made 18 of 30 three-pointers in those games. En fuego. A couple weeks ago, Green was so-so in the Suns blow out loss.
For Sacramento, Isaiah Thomas was incredible last year against the Thunder, putting up 31 points per game in 30 minutes a contest.
Who hates the Thunder?
Markieff Morris has not done well agains the Thunder. Last year, he scored below his averages on points and rebounds and this year was a complete no-show in the earlier blow out. Athletic fours like Ibaka appear to give him fits.
Who loves the Suns?
Fantasy-wise, these three opponents LOVE the Suns in so many ways. But the Suns love them more, and have found a way to beat these teams over the past year+. The Suns are 2-0 against the Lakers this season (5-1 since last year), 2-2 against the Thunder since last year and went 4-0 against the Pelicans last season. This week's game against the Pellies is the first of this season.
As Suns fans are aware, Kobe Bean Bryant does well against the Suns. Unless it's Game 7 of a playoff series in 2006, anyway. He seems to hit a higher percentage of his midrange shots against the Suns than his season average, so if he plays you can expect big fantasy stats. He will be well-rested too. Pick him up if he's playing.
If you're needing some rebounds for your fantasy team, pick up anyone playing against the Suns this week. For the Lakers, Ed Davis, Jordan Hill and Carlos Boozer have always feasted on the Suns on the boards and in the paint. Anthony Davis is Anthony Davis, Omer Asik is a monster and Serge Ibaka is a beast as well.
In fact, the Pelicans and Thunder are near the top of the league in rebounding and the Suns give up the league's most rebounds to the other team when factoring offensive and defensive rebounds into the picture.
The Pelicans' Ryan Anderson has made it his calling to bomb the Suns from deep, and is on a roll lately for the Pellies on the perimeter. Expect Anderson to fill it up from three-point land, especially when the Suns go small.
And finally, Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant are incredible offensively against the Suns.
Who hates the Suns?
Swaggy P (Nick Young) has never played well against the Suns, scoring below is career average against the boys in purple and orange.
Got it? I've given you the winners and losers. The rest is on you. To recap: #FanDuelSBN, leave your lineup below, and of course the link to make it all happen. I'd say "good luck" but you don't need it.