Daily Fantasy Basketball Strategy: February 22, 2016
We’ve got a seven-game slate on tap tonight, looks like it will be a high scoring DFS night again, much like Saturday night was. In this article I will be breaking down the slate fully from the Vegas numbers, to the top plays and values at each position, all the way to my positional rankings. You’ll see within that I’ll mention players who I prefer in cash-games or GPP tournaments, as well as lineup strategies. Let’s get right to work.
Vegas lines and totals
Detroit (+9.5) @ Cleveland — projected Vegas total of 207
Indiana (?) @ Miami — ???
Toronto (-4.5) @ New York — 200.5
Boston (-4.5) @ Minnesota — 215.5
LA Lakers (+8) @ Milwaukee — 205.5
Golden State (-7) @ Atlanta — 223.5
Phoenix (+16.5) @ LA Clippers — 209
See what I mean about it looking like we’ll have a high scoring DFS night? Every game that we have a line for as of writing this has a 200+ projected total, four over 207 and two really sticking out with a 215.5 and 223.5, that’s major. There will be a ton of Warriors/Hawks stacks tonight, and in cash, I’m fine with that, but in GPPs (larger tournaments) I will try not to overly stack that game, instead going a bit contrarian and only using one or two players from that game, more so stacking with Wolves and Sixers. I don’t blame anyone for stacking Warriors, but with a line like that, I’ll take my chances to sit in the minority and pray things don’t go the majorities way. SO MANY POINTS TO BE HAD OUT THERE! Let’s get to the player analysis at each position and find some nice value options that will help you stack the rest of your lineup with higher priced studs.
Kyle Lowry – Of course I am a fan of Stephen Curry and Chris Paul (assuming he plays) tonight, but I am a little concerned about the nagging CP3 injury and a blowout game causing him to fall short of value. Curry is great, but I’m just leaning towards save a couple grand and rolling with Lowry who has a terrific matchup and a better chance surpass value while allowing more flexibility elsewhere. K-Low has averaged 53.5 fantasy points (FPs) in two matchups against the Knicks already this season, and nothing has changed, he’s still hot and the Knicks point guards still can’t stop anyone.
Goran Dragic – Plain and simple, if Dwyane Wade (questionable) is out again tonight, Dragic is a great play after posting back-to-back 46 FP showings with Wade sidelined. Dragic’s usage and offensive rates drop drastically when Wade is around to carry the ball as much as he does, so play this one by ear. If Wade does play, Michael Carter-Williams is the mid-tier option that I prefer.
D’Angelo Russell – Love the rookie point guard tonight at his lowly price tag. He started for the Lakers last night and was solid enough that he should serve the same role tonight, and even though the matchup is tougher, he only has to manage 22 FPs to hit value, which shouldn’t be that difficult since he’ll play over 30 minutes. Love the value potential here on a night that you want to bulk up elsewhere.
Cheap risk option: If you can find any potential at all at minimum price, you take it and run, and Ronnie Price who just recently returned from missing a month to injury, started at point guard over Archie Goodwin last night. Suns’ coach Earl Watson has hammered the point that Goodwin isn’t his idea of a point guard, and with Price back, he could enforce that thought, playing Archie zero minutes at point on Sunday night. Price fouled out in just 20 minutes against Tony Parker who was aggressive all night, but Price still managed 17 FPs. Price will have another doozie of a matchup tonight if CP3 is active, but only needs to hit 16 FPs to meet value, I’ll take the over.
Khris Middleton – You know I love me some Middleton, especially in cash, especially with a juicy matchup like this. Whether the Lakers put Clarkson or Kobe Bryant on him, Middleton will have the offensive advantage. I think this game stays close enough that Khris will be needed for over 30 minutes, and I have him projected at 37 FPs with upside.
Jamal Crawford – If Chris Paul sits, Crawford is a must-play, but either way he is a fine option tonight at this favorable mid-tier price. The value line for Crawford is 26 FPs, and he’s been above that and averaged 32 FPs over the past eight games. His 29% usage rate over that same sapn shows how much the Clippers are allowing him to do what he does best and put on offensive fireworks. He should show out tonight against the Suns who can’t defend guards, period.
Cheap risk option: Gerald Green is again an option in SG value-land if Wade is out. I really hate how much variance there is lying on the status of one guy, and this won’t be near the last guy I mention whose value hinges on Wade playing or not. If Wade plays, I’d probably go no lower in price than Kyle Korver, who always has the ability to hit mid-20s to low-30s if he gets hot, and in a game against the Warriors, he will need to be.
Giannis Antetokounmpo – I know it probably seems like I go to this guy every chance I get, and you’d probably be right in that assumption, but I will admit it, I’m good with Giannis being my safety net. The Greek Freak just doesn’t seem to let you down, and he’s put up 40+ FPs in three straight games. While his value line is at 32, and he may not ALWAYS hit that, he has insane upside, so going well above value is always a possibility with his box score filling skills. Even his “bad” games he gets right about 30 FPs, and his price doesn’t gut you when he misses value like LeBron James, Paul George or Carmelo Anthony would.
Jae Crowder – Oh yes, my man, Silent Jae has been quietly cruising to solid fantasy nights, and after his last two games just being decent, his ownership will be lower than it should with this really good matchup. I like his mid-tier price point for his upside here, and I have him projected at 28 FPs, but I kinda see that as his floor in this game with a projected game total of 215 points.
Luol Deng – Again, all pends on the status of Wade. With 53 and 49 FPs in the last two games with Wade out, all we can say is “DENG, that’s impressive!” I wouldn’t expect another 50 burger tonight, but 40 FPs is definitely in play if Wade sits out.
Cheap risk option: The kind of cheap value targets that I look for are those who have high scoring ability and are in games expected to be high scoring, Shabazz Muhammad meets that criteria fully. As with any cheap option has a low floor, but the scoring upside is real.
Draymond Green – Hadn’t listed any of the top dollar options at a position yet, but had to break that trend and go with the top power forward on the board. With Andrew Bogut and Festus Ezeli hurting, Draymond has been playing more center, and he’s about the GOAT at that spot. He can guard any position, and no center is capable of sticking with his offensive game. He will torch Al Horford and company tonight. Anything under 50 FPs for Dray tonight would be shocking, and I only see that as a possibility if Golden State happens to blow this one out of the water before Half. I’ll take my chances.
Gorgui Dieng – He let me down majorly on Saturday, but if I’ve learned one thing playing DFS, it’s to wipe the last slate clean from your mind and focus on the mean, not the outliers. Dieng has been amazing lately, and he simply had an off night, but tonight he has a promising matchup against the Celtics who allow big time numbers to opposing big men, so I am back in on the big fella tonight since he’s still sitting in the mid-tier price level.
Julius Randle – Another guy that I am all about at this position tonight. Randle has been named a starter the rest of the way and it’s not just because they want him to gain experience for the future, well, it is that also, but he’s been playing better than any other frontcourt player on the Lakers the past month plus. With 31 and 36 FPs in the two games since the break, Randle looks poised for a huge finish to the season. Use him now before the price rises too much.
Cheap risk option: I like Jon Leuer a lot in his off the bench role, but still playing solid minutes. He’s put up 23 and 30 FPs in the two games since the break, and if Tyson Chandler is out again, it will probably end another nice value night for him. If Chandler does sit, and Kris Humphries draws another start, he’d surely be in play if you need a cheap guy to land you 20 FPs.
Karl-Anthony Towns – Tough choice between Towns and DeAndre Jordan tonight, but with the blow out fear, I am leaning to the big KAT. Jordan going against Alex Len and Kris Humphries though is damn tempting even if he does only end up playing 25 minutes. Towns just has a great matchup as well and is a superior scorer featured in the second highest game total of the night. The rookie continues his demolition of the league tonight, I have him getting 43 FPs.
Ian Mahinmi – Yeah, if I don’t go with one of the few high priced centers tonight, I am going to save here and pay up elsewhere. Plus, Mahinmi has been incredible the past two games putting up 45 and 32 FPs in those. Tonight he gets the Heat who have Whiteside but nobody else, Ian should be able to hit around the mid-20s pretty safely in this one which would be just fine as long as you use that money you saved here wisely elsewhere.
Cheap risk option: If I go cheap here, I am looking at risky types like Tyler Zeller and Cole Aldrich. Aldrich has some upside if you feel the Clippers will roll in this game, because he puts up over one fantasy point per minute with Griffin out.
Cash game rankings:
This isn’t necessarily an order of who will score the most DraftKings points. Rather, the rankings are aimed to find the best price, value and production combo to help you win cash games, also taking into account potential ownership levels for each player.
1) Giannis Antetokounmpo
2) Jae Crowder
3) Luol Deng (if Wade is out)
4) Paul George (don’t sleep on him as a GPP play, 50 FPPG in 3 games v Mia)
5) LeBron James
6) Mirza Teletovic
7) Carmelo Anthony
8) Harrison Barnes
As always, stay locked to Twitter and Rotoworld for any late-breaking news the hour before the first game tips at 7 p.m. EST. I’ll do my best to update this article as news breaks throughout the day, but the best way to get the latest is always to follow me on Twitter @BigZack44, where I’ll do my best to break down the implications of any late scratches or lineup changes.