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Friday 22nd Sep 2017

Welcome to the Mastersball PGA DFS adventure, for those among us who are also somehow enamored with the links.

If you have followed me here for the last year, you might know that I returned to the game of golf just a year ago, after a 41-year layoff. I played pretty regularly as a teenager, then quit due to a fight between my brother and his friend. And, now, I play three-to-four times a week, weather permitting in Northern California.

I can tell you my handicap dropped from around 33 a year ago, to 23.7 at present, which means if you are a hacker, we are brethren.

Anyway, the weekly PGA DFS contests at DraftKings make a nice forum to learn the tactics of fantasy golf, share the grief of a duff and the joy of a 250-yard drive right down the middle.

Do check out the Mastersball Deal and the link below, and then you can challenge the other Mastersballers and me!

Ok, so what about the Waste Management Open, in Phoenix this weekend? Well, ideally the tourney will be bereft of the crazy winds and rains that invaded Torrey Pines last weekend.

I will tell you that I went very conservative, grabbing players in price zones who had thus far done well in making the cut for their tourneys. That meant I largely shied from Bubba Watson and Zach Johnson, though I love both guys.

As for picks, and logic:

Phil Mickelson ($10,600): The high priced spread, Mickelson has delivered 81.8 points over two tourneys thus far. He got killed at the Farmers with a second-round 76, his worst score ever. Nowhere to go but up. I am willing to gamble.

J.J. Henry ($5900): A low-priced gambit, Henry played pretty well at Torrey Pines before the Sunday weather handed him an 80. Five-for-five making the cut.

James Hahn ($6400): Another lower priced selection, Hahn has made the cut five of five times thus far, and has one top ten finish.

C. Howell III ($8200): Six straight top 25 finishes for Howell, who is eight-for-eight on the tour since the start of 2015.

Kevin Kisner ($10,400): Six-for-six on the tour, with four top ten finishes. 

Billy Horschel ($7900): Horschel tied for eighth in La Jolla and has two strong finishes. I mean, we are all learning.

Don't forget you can follow me @lawrmichaels.

What a week we've had leading up to the All-Star Break! The NBA has so much parity and drama that on any given night, any team is likely to pull out a win. This season has been wrought with upstarts, rookies and overperformers. The East is a one-trick pony, and the West features two historic teams. Going into Saturday, we have plenty of storylines and a plethora of fantasy studs.

Can't Miss

John Wall ($9400): The former Kentucky Wildcat is truly a star. The Wizards have dealt with plenty of injuries and Wall has done his best to keep the franchise afloat. A matchup against the defensively woeful Rockets is just what the doctor ordered. Wall is a must-start tonight.

LaMarcus Aldridge ($7200): This is more of a gut pick. After being humiliated by the Warriors, I expect the Spurs,and the oft criticized Aldridge to come out swinging. The Cavs aren't an easy matchup, but the former Blazer has the size and moves on Kevin Love ($7100), which should lead to a big game.

High Risk

Courtney Lee ($4000): A player predicated on the 3-ball, Lee has a soft matchup. This could lead to plenty of kick outs from the post and a bunch of spot up looks against the less than average Kings defense. I love Lee as a cheap points-based player.

C.J. Miles ($4400): This is dependant on a blowout. Denver is a bad team, and Indiana is looking to secure a playoff spot. In a game like this, I love high usage bench players such as Miles.

Fillers

Omer Asik ($3409): Normally a higher risk, Asik has a great matchup against the Nets and should dominate the boards. I love low-scoring players that can rack up fantasy points, and given the matchup, Asik fits the bill.

Will Barton ($5900): Barton is a scorer in what appears to be a matchup that should produce points. Despite Denver's struggles this season, they have kept games close enough to rely on starters. In a game that produces fireworks, I expect Barton to go off.

Enjoy your weekend, and happy balling.

Today, the Premier League is back and the season of injuries and rotation in teams starting XIs. This means that there will be plenty of little Easter eggs to find all over the pitch. Now without further ado, let us dig into the matchups and uncover some winners for Saturday’s action.

Forwards

Harry Kane ($7800): Kane is Tottenham and if Spurs want to have any chance of making the Champions League this season, they know that the England starlet is their answer. In a matchup against Crystal Palace, Kane should find plenty of space to operate and bag a goal.

Troy Deeney ($5200): Deeney is a strong physical player who can both score and set up goals. Against Newcastle, Deeney and Odion Ighalo ($6900) will get plenty of opportunities to score. At a nice price point, Deeney is hard to pass up on for a player so important to Watford’s success.

Midfielders

Junior Stanislas ($5300): Bournemouth is a team that enjoys playing through the midfield and any chance they get, they will dictate the game in that direction. Against Sunderland, that shouldn’t be an issue, meaning Stanislas will see plenty of the ball and have opportunities for shots and possibly a goal.

Jonjo Shelvey ($4600): Shelvey is a player I always liked as a Liverpool supporter. As you don’t lose points for an intercepted pass, Shelvey’s long Hollywood style passes can only be beneficial. Coming off an inspired start for Newcastle, look for the England man to push on and keep momentum going.

Yaya Toure ($5900): Toure hasn’t been nearly as prolific this season as in years past, but the Ivorian is still a crucial cog in Man City’s title push. With the Citizens looking to mount a charge on Arsenal, look for them to really turn it up a notch against West Ham. Toure will be the catalyst with tackles, interceptions and a handful of shots as well.

Defenders

Pablo Zabaleta ($3000): This is the third City player I am including, but Zabaleta is a very cheap option with massive potential. The Argentine is always eager to get forward and supply the final ball and that leads to a large amount of points. At just $3000, as long as Zabaleta is on the team sheet, you shouldn’t hesitate.

Christian Fuchs ($4400): Despite Leicester City cooling off a bit as of late, Fuchs continues to perform well. When you can get a defender that features on set plays, never second guess as the added points for crosses are plenty valuable.

Chris Smalling ($3000): “Mike” Smalling has been United’s best player by a mile this season. With solid performances at the back, Smalling will provide plenty of points for tackles and interceptions. The England International has had a knack for scoring goals in the past and that only adds to my intrigue in what is a good matchup against Southampton, who are struggling at the moment.

As I sit here taking in the Warriors vs. Spurs game, I am thinking that with all the hype this game has caused, whatever the NBA Finals are will be a letdown. Even if the Cavs make it (and they should) and they face either of the two West juggernauts, nothing will be the new kids on the block (Warriors) vs. the old reliable (Spurs). This weekend saw the firing of David Blatt, and Monday saw Blake Griffin announce that his return will be delayed, and yet the world is still only abuzz with this game. Well, let me take some time to focus on the matchups for Tuesday and who to start and who to sit.

Can’t Miss

Damian Lillard ($9300): Lillard has had a couple of stinkers recently, but a matchup with the defensively inept Kings, who are on a back-to-back, is too good to pass up. The Portland guard has such a high ceiling and this cushy matchup will bring that ceiling into play.

Chandler Parsons ($6300): Parsons seems to have finally found a groove this season, and the past four games have been superb. The Lakers aren’t a tough defense by any means, but they also are ranked 27th in the league against SFs. With the roll Parsons is currently on, this Maverick is a must start.

Brook Lopez ($7200): Lopez has been a great fantasy player all season, and one of the few bright spots on an otherwise horrific Nets roster. With Hassan Whiteside ($7500) either missing the game or making a return after two games out, Lopez should have an easier matchup than usual. Start the Brooklyn big man and reap the rewards.

High Risk

Jamal Crawford ($4200): With Blake Griffin set to miss more time, Crawford will continue to be a big part of the Clippers offense. Jamal is really a one-category player, but with a nice matchup against the Pacers, I like Crawford’s ability to deliver a good return on the investment.

Patrick Patterson ($3700): Patterson isn’t a guy who will really light up the stat sheet, but he is a guy heavily involved in the Raptors rotation. Getting near the 30- minute mark makes Patterson an attractive option, and at $3700, I am willing to fill out a roster with the Raptor.

Fillers

Deron Williams ($6200): The former Net has had a much better season compared to his Brooklyn/New Jersey years. The Lakers are horrible at defending PGs and at $6200, Williams is a perfect choice if you're looking to save some money.

Jabari Parker ($5100): Parker is a bit hit or miss, with three of the last six games over 30 fantasy points and two under 22. However, the Magic are on a back-to-back and Parker is always a threat to go off for a double-double. Plus, he doesn’t need to score in order to help your fantasy team. I love the price tag and will use Parker often in my rosters.

That’s all for now. I am going to sit back and enjoy this game. Happy balling!

The NFL slate this week in the Championship Round is delicious. Manning vs. Brady and the Panthers looking to put to rest all of the doubters. There will be plenty of tactical decisions and players with immense talent on display. I am looking forward to watching both games and now let’s have a look to help you determine who to start and who to sit in your DFS games.

Quarterback

Start:

Carson Palmer ($6800): You can throw on the Panthers, as Russell Wilson proved last week, and Palmer has been sensational all year. I feel as if this will be the higher scoring of the two games, and Palmer should be able to rack up the yards and possibly a couple of scores.

Sit:

Tom Brady ($7400): The Broncos defense is very good, and the Pats might just try and throw a wrinkle into their gameplan. I just rate Denver’s defense very high and don’t feel Brady is worth the price tag.

Running Back

Start:

Steven Jackson ($3000): I just have that feeling. The Pats are known to throw out crazy gameplans and Jackson is a good candidate to be the beneficiary.

C.J. Anderson ($4400): The last time these two teams met, Anderson had a field day. I believe the Broncos will try to lean heavily on the run again, and that is good news for C.J.

Sit:

Jonathan Stewart ($5900): Stewart had a nice game last week, but the Cardinals defense has been solid against the run all year. This game has the markings of a Cam special with the Panthers relying heavily on the passing game.

Wide Receiver

Start:

Michael Floyd ($5300): Floyd has gotten a lot of attention in the red zone and is probably the best WR on the Cardinals. With Josh Norman probably sticking tight on Larry Fitzgerald ($6900), Floyd will have more room to roam.

Ted Ginn Jr ($4300): Ginn has been Cam’s main target this whole season, and that should remain the same for this game. The former Dolphin can really stretch the field and should be the beneficiary of some Cam specials.

Sit:

Demaryius Thomas ($7000): Thomas hasn’t been the same force this year, and the Patriots secondary is much improved. With Manning throwing ducks, I just don’t have faith in Thomas at that price.

Tight End

Start:

Greg Olsen ($7100): Olsen has been fantastic all year, and without Tyrann Mathieu, the Cardinals will have matchup problems. Look for Olsen to rack up the targets, especially in the red zone.

Sit:

None. I expect Rob Gronkowski ($7600) to have a good outing, and there are really only two TE options this week.

Good luck, and enjoy the games!

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