LoL Targets: February 27

We’re seven weeks into the season and people are still predicting the imminent fall of IMT. Can they really go undefeated all season? Some decent tests threaten their record this weekend, but all of the matches today have some great fantasy potential.

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Top

The Stud: Lourlo vs. TIP ($6900)

Lourlo’s been waiting for weeks to get back on top. He’s burned plenty of fantasy owners lately, but this is his big chance for redemption. There’s no reason that he shouldn’t be farming points all day against Feng in the top lane.

Feng has the worst points average of any NA LCS top laner (7.7 compared to Lourlo’s 20.3). And this isn’t just a case of TL being a better team than TIP either. Feng’s points are an anomaly on his team, a clear weak spot along with Pirean, who is also bottom of his position standings.

Lourlo scored 20 points against TIP way back when and TL’s recent uncertainty should drag this game out and let him score even more.

The Value Pick: Darshan vs. IMT ($5500)

Darshan gets a bad wrap in fantasy because he’s often a split-pusher who avoids his team’s fights. I’m as guilty as anyone of occasionally overlooking him when I shouldn’t. So I’m making up for it today by believing in him when no one else does against this IMT squad.

Don’t let my gut lead you, though. Follow these four fun facts:
1) Darshan has a 20 points/game average.
2) Darshan scored 15 points when he previously lost to IMT, which means that the points floor should be pretty high. Huni only scored 9 more points that match, even though his team won.
3) Many teams think that shutting down Huni is key to beating IMT, and CLG could put a lot of effort into this lane which would help Darshan succeed.
4) IMT has looked vulnerable in matches for two weeks and CLG has looked trademarkedly stable.


Jungle

The Stud: Rush vs. DIG ($7200)

There are a lot of enticing picks on C9 today but, for my salary cap, Rush is the best option. He’s a thousand bucks cheaper than either of C9′s carries and he outscored both of them against DIG the last time they faced (25 points).

He’s been on a tear lately, scoring a combined 77 points last week! He should grab another easy 25 points today.

The Value Pick: Hard vs. TSM ($5500)

This matchup is dangerously intriguing, like a gorgeous spy who’s motioning you over to them. TSM got the better of FOX the first time around, but that was before FOX got their real roster and kicked off a decent win streak against the bottom-tier teams.

At the end of the day, I think these teams are pretty close to each other in power level right now. TSM has more raw skill but plays together quite poorly at times, while FOX has looked amazingly cohesive. Whichever team wins here should score big and since FOX has a $1000 discount at most positions, I’m more willing to pull them in as my cheap upset hopefuls.

Hard has averaged roughly 25 points in each of his wins in the past two weeks — not far behind FOX’s more expensive carries. If they can win this match, Hard will be the best value on the team.


Mid

The Stud: Jensen vs. DIG ($8300)

Rush is my favorite C9 pick today, but he’s not my only one. Jensen has been flourishing since his jungler stepped up (which seems to be a trend in his play across his career). So while Rush is hot, Jensen has been dropping massive point-bombs week after week. He even broke 100 combined points last week!

He was light against DIG last time around (15 points), but all signs to him making a bigger impact today. I’d expect close to 30 points if all goes as planned.

The Value Pick: Alex Ich vs. NRG ($5800)

Sane people should look to Froggen or Huhi, but I have a different offering for crazy dreamers who need to save a lot of money in the mid lane. Alex Ich has been extremely underwhelming this split, but they’re bringing in a new top laner today, Seraph.

Seraph was absolutely key to TIP’s success when he subbed for them — which were really the only weeks they had success at all. I would absolutely grab him if I was able to (he’ll hopefully be available in tomorrow’s lineups).

REN has shown a lot of good early-game moves lately, but always manage to fumble their lead after that. Super-carry Seraph should help them come out of laning phase with three real threats, which might be enough to keep momentum going.

All of that is reliant on NRG continuing to be in a bit of a slump, though. GBM in particular has had some underwhelming games this Split, which is why I like this Alex Ich pick against them. But NRG’s ADC also stepped down this week, which could make REN’s bot lane a good gamble too, if you’re feeling extra wild.


AD Carry

The Stud: Piglet vs. TIP ($7700)

Rumors of Piglet’s death have been greatly exaggerated. He’s bombed out of a few fantasy games lately, but even with his 8-point and 9-point games, he still has the highest average fantasy points of anyone but WildTurtle (who’s also a stud ADC pick today, as always).

Piglet scored just below his average against TIP last time (27 points). Unless TL gets personally smited by an angry deity, that number can really only go up today.

The Value Pick: Keith vs. TSM ($6700)

Once again, you can pay a hefty markup to buy the TSM side of this matchup, but I like Keith. He’s been the lone bright spot on this team all season long, and is finally getting his due now that Froggen and the boys are back in town.

He hasn’t scored less than 24 points in a match with his proper teammates and has hit two 40+ games to bring his average up to 33 points/game with that roster. If those were the only games we were counting, he would have the highest average of any ADC (even above IMT’s WildTurtle, who has a 32-point average). TSM let Apollo score close to 30 points when they collapsed against DIG last week. Keith should be able to replicate that if they can win.


Support

The Stud: Hai vs. DIG ($6400)

You can’t stop this guy. Hai has now climbed to the #2 fantasy support spot and always finds ways to be a part of his team’s brawls. He’s had to deal with Kiwikid’s engages for years (which is DIG’s biggest threat right now) and he will find ways to deal with it today, just like he always has.

The Value Pick: Big vs. TSM ($4700)

When you’re looking at value picks from the bot lane, I think I think it’s always best to pair up your picks. You’re already taking a risk by picking underdogs in two positions that rely on team success to get points. You don’t want to add to that by also needing to rely on two separate upsets to happen to get full points in both slots.

So, if you go with Keith, you need to go with Big too. He’s been a critical part of the team’s success lately (~25 points/game average) and, come on, he’s so happy to be in the LCS!


Team

The Stud: Immortals vs. CLG ($5700)

Obviously, don’t take this if you’re gambling on CLG winning in your other picks. But if you’re confident in IMT, like most people are, buy as many IMT players as you can and enjoy the slightly discounted price they’re at today. Their team spot in particular should be nice and juicy against the methodical CLG squad (23 points the last time they met).

The Value Pick: Echo Fox vs. TSM ($4100)

The bottom half of this list is scary. Most of the bottom teams scored single-digit points when they lost to their opponents previously, so they’re all extremely boom-or-bust. FOX or TSM is the cheapest I’d be willing to go if I needed to make sure I at least got some points on the board, win or loss.


The closest Josh Augustine got to going pro in esports was beating his older brother at Street Fighter. He currently works as a game designer at Daybreak Games. He’d love to talk with you on Twitter.