LoL Targets: January 17

Let’s all savor this moment. For one small moment in time, I am 100% happy with my choice to draft Immortals players in all of my DraftKings fantasy contests and season-long fantasy leagues on Riot’s site. Hopefully, you followed my advice in yesterday’s Targets and are feeling that same contentment flow through you right now after they absolutely destroyed in their first game.

Enjoy that feeling, because we all know that nothing goes entirely as planned in fantasy sports. I’m sure they’ll sabotage our contest hopes some day but, for now, they’re my best friends.

Enough rambling, let’s get into the picks!

Featured Image Photo Credit: LoL Esports Flickr

Top

The Stud: Balls vs. FOX ($7100)
It’s tough to pick a stud here today because all of the top teams are playing the bottom-tier teams, which likely means that the games will be over quickly. Too quickly.

I’m going with Balls because FOX’s top laner showed some bad habits and exploitable mistakes in yesterday’s match. I also think FOX will put up the best fight of the weak opponents, and C9 will likely need to bully them down with teamfights.

The Value Pick: Impact vs. REN ($6100)
NRG has said that Impact will be starting today, and we have no reason to doubt them. But DraftKings still gives you a bit of a discount on the price ($200) because of the potential of the subs playing again. That puts Impact, the #1 LCS fantasy top laner last season, up against the rookie RF Legendary at a discount price.

The big risk here is that REN plays a very slow, very safe strategy that avoids mess teamfights like they tried to yesterday. But if NRG can gain an advantage, they should be able to force REN to fight them, or give up too much by playing passive.

Jungle

The Stud: Rush vs. FOX ($6400)
Rush will be out for vengeance today after suffering C9′s loss yesterday. FOX has Froggen, but the rest of their coordination is shaky and should absolutely crumble when Rush starts sowing chaos all over the map.

The Value Pick: IWDominate vs. TSM ($4900)
This is risky, but junglers on teams projected to lose always are. TSM had some big movement and coordination mistakes in yesterday’s game, which IWD should be able to exploit for some early points if it happens again. TL made some mistakes too, but overall looked decent. If you go for this pick, you’re hoping that TSM’s cohesion to start crack under the pressure of losing their first game in the LCS.

Mid

The Stud: Bjergsen vs. TL ($7700)
On the flip side of that matchup, I think Bjergsen is the safest bet. He came out of TSM’s loss yesterday with decent stats (1/3/9 KDA and 375 CS), and should be eager to rebound against TL today. Whenever TSM gets nervous, they always fall back on Bjergsen and I think they’ll draft a comp that lets him shine and throw his weight around a bit to keep Fenix and Piglet in check.

The Value Pick: Alex Ich vs. NRG ($7800)
It’s hard to pick anyone lower on the mid list. Froggen was a stud, but there’s no chance he gets to farm in peace against C9 tomorrow—he will be harassed non-stop. Alex Ich proved today that he can still put up big points in long games, and if NRG struggles at all with their roster changes this weekend, it could drag out into another long game that gives both sides solid fantasy points.

AD Carry

The Stud: Stixxay vs. DIG ($8700)
Dignitas was an absolute mess and they don’t have any substitute players to blame! Kiwikid is still a highly exploitable weak spot and Aphromoo has all the skills needed to set Stixxay up for kills in lane that’ll snowball him into a lifedraining demigod that easily claims the entire yellow-and-black squad as sacrifices.

The Value Pick: Keith vs. C9 ($6500)
Keith had some great plays yesterday and made some bold moves to secure kills. But Froggen is still the flashiest player on the team and should draw all of the attention. If that happens, Keith and crew in the bot lane should be able to power up relatively hassle-free. That said, having Rush in the enemy’s jungle adds a lot of risk to this pick. But, as far as cheap ADCs go, this is easily your best hope for dividends.

Support

The Stud: Aphromoo vs. DIG ($6600)
Aphro is the patron saint of ADCs, who know that they can always trust him for guidance, CC onto their squishy targets, and reassuring compliments. He led Stixxay through the valley of death yesterday in TSM’s bot lane, and this matchup should feel like heaven.

The Value Pick: Smoothie vs. TSM ($4600)
Like our earlier IWDominate pick, you want to look into this one if you think TSM is going to start tilting after their loss to CLG yesterday. It definitely seemed like Yellowstar doesn’t have full command of the team’s movements yet (or, more troubling, he does and made some pretty awful shotcalls during the match). Either way, he should have a lot to think about during the game outside of laning mechanics, which could give Smooothie and Piglet a way in.

Team

The Stud: CLG vs. DIG ($5200)
Until you hear otherwise, you can probably just assume that the team playing against Dignitas will be the stud pick here each week.

The Value Pick: Renegades vs. NRG ($3900)
I wasn’t super excited by any of the REN players in yesterday’s match—at least for fantasy. They seem to be emulating the classic Korean playstyle, which is super clean, very safe, and focused on making calculated tactical strikes on objectives to build up a lead and never let it go.

That could work out great for them in the LCS, but it’s going to make Fantasy owners sadder than late-night puppy-rescue infomercials. The one exception to that is the team spot, which only cares about objectives. That means that Renegades team spot should be a big earner in any match that they don’t get completely stomped in.

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.