Daily fantasy basketball is a passion of mine, something I look forward to every night as I force my way through yet another day at the normal nine to five. Of course, I really do not expect to ever win the first place prize money, it is fun to test my skill against thousands of players from around the world.

As I do virtually every night, I like to play in the “NBA Swat” daily fantasy basketball tournament on FanDuel. I like the fact that the entry fee for this tournament is only a dollar while the first place winner scores a health $4,000. Last night my team was absolutely pathetic and I did not even come close to cashing.

However, “odeanmachine” did not have that same problem and amassed 340 fantasy points on his or her way to collecting the top prize. While my night did not go as expected, I always like to do a post-game review of the differences between my team and the winning team. I do this so that I can try to glean some winning strategies from the players having more success from me. My take away from this analysis shows me that a handful of players can really make the difference in winning or losing, especially if you are able to successfully select some top scorers from the lower salary price ranges. That is what the winner did last night. The following is a brief discussion of last night’s fantasy basketball lineup.

$60K Mon NBA Swat Winning Lineup December 15, 2014

The Winning Lineup of "odeanmachine"

Point Guard # 1: C. Joseph – While this power forward has been disappointing in his ability to score a significant amount of points, especially considering how much playing time he gets, he is rather consistent. His salary is low and the $4,600 price tag allows fantasy coaches to snag one or two studs at other positions. With that said, I am sure that the winning coach would have been extremely upset if his 18.5 fantasy points would have caused him or her to miss out on the $4,000 first place prize. Joseph only had 12 points, 5 rebounds, 1 steal, and 1 assist, while committing three turnovers.

Point Guard # 2: R. Rondo – Another disappointing player was Rondo. Despite the fact that Boston put up 105 points, Rondo ended with 29.9 fantasy points. At a salary of $8,400, that simply is not acceptable. Rondo contributed 7 assists, 7 rebounds, 4 steals, and a mere 5 points. He also had two turnovers.

Shooting Guard # 1: J. Crawford – Crawford is a reasonably priced shooting guard at $5,300. However, it always seems like he should be contributing more than the 20 he usually puts up. Last night was no exception and he only had 18.9, including 7 assists, 5 points, 3 rebounds, and 1 steal, against 1 turnover. I am constantly tempted to start him – not sure why – and this time I am glad I resisted the urge. However, he did not hurt the winning too much, which I guess is a good thing.

Shooting Guard # 2: R. Stuckey – Stuckey was a complete stud last night. While relatively inexpensive at $5,600, he scored a massive 41.5 fantasy points. Stuckey scored 20 points, 10 rebounds, 7 assists, and only had one turnover. Congrats on the double double Mr. Stuckey.

Small Forward # 1: E. Turner – Turner is another player that helped the winning team reach the top prize. While cheaply priced at $4,700, his return on investment was huge as he scored a nice 28 fantasy points, including 12 points, 6 assist, 3 steals and 5 rebounds. Of course, he had five turnovers but that is to be expected from a player trying to get in the mix like he did last night.

Small Forward # 2: L. James – Cleveland players were huge last night, including King James. While the score was relatively low (the Cavs won 97 to 88), James had a very respectable 57.9 fantasy points on his elevated salary of $10,700. James had a double double with 27 points and 13 assists. He also had 7 rebounds, 3 blocks and 1 steal.

Power Forward # 1: T. Gibson – Gibson is another reason the top player was the top player. Modestly priced at $6,000, this power forward had a big night in his team’s loss to Atlanta. He had an amazing 38.9 fantasy points, with 17 rebounds, 15 points, 2 blocks, 1 assist, while being guilty of two turnovers.

Power Forward # 2: K. Love – Another Cleveland player having a very solid game last night was Kevin Love. Love had 58.1 points and had a double double consisting of 22 points and 18 rebounds. He also contributed to the scoring line with 4 steals and 5 assists. Love only had one turnover, which is great considering how active he was on the hard wood.

Center: K. Olynyk – The clear cut super stud of the night was Olynyk, the center for Boston. While he only cost $5,400, he had 48.3 points. If he keeps playing that way, there is no doubt that he will work his way back into the starting lineup. Olynyk had 30 points, 9 rebounds, 3 steals, 2 blocks, and 1 assist. In fact, he would have had over 50 points if he would not have committed four turnovers.

My December 15, 2014 Losing Lineup

As shown below, I did well on picking my lower salary players while my “studs” were my duds. Here is a lineup (at least the results that they produced) that I would like to avoid in the future.

Point Guard # 1: J. Bayless – 26.8 points on a $3,900 salary.

Point Guard # 2: M. Carter-Williams – 23 points on a $9,200 salary.

Shooting Guard # 1: R. Stuckey – 41.5 points on a $5,600 salary.

Shooting Guard # 2: G. Antetokounmpo – 13.6 on a $5,900 salary.

Small Forward # 1: R. Covington – 28.2 on a $4,700 salary.

Small Forward # 2: K. Leonard – 35.8 on a $7,300 salary.

Power Forward # 1: L. Aldridge – 40.3 on a $9,600 salary.

Power Forward # 2: P. Gasol – 36.9 on $9,300 salary.

Center: T. Zeller – 18 on a $4,200 salary.