Daily Fantasy Basketball Strategy: February 28, 2016
First off, how insane is Steph Curry? Setting the all-time, single season 3-pointers made record with 25 games to go. We’re witnessing something truly special with that kid.
Now, to the reason you’re here. There are seven games today, but with the majority of the big dollar DFS games are featuring the five-game evening slate, so that’s what I will be focusing on in this breakdown, not the first two day games. Today I will be analyzing the evening slate and giving you my top overall plays, top cheap value plays and positional rankings. But first, let’s check out the Vegas numbers to help us get a feel for what to expect as it comes to scoring tonight.
Vegas lines and totals
Portland (+4.5) @ Indiana — Vegas projected game total of 211.5
Philadelphia (+10.5) @ Orlando — 211
Toronto (-3) @ Detroit — 201.5
Minnesota (+6.5) @ Dallas — 214
Miami (-1) @ New York — 198
Three of the five totals sit at totals over 210, YAHTZEE! GPP stacks from that trio of games will be popular, and if you want to go contrarian, maybe throw out a Heat stack, but it’s contrarian for a reason. I think my one contrarian GPP lineup will be a mixture of Heat and Raptors players.
Goran Dragic – If you want to pay up and go safe at PG, Damian Lillard is the way to go. I just don’t feel that he has a whole lot of upside at his price point, and on this slate I would prefer to pay up at other positions. My top guy here tonight is Dragic. The Dragon has been hot lately and taking more shots, even in the last game with Wade back, Dragic took 17 shots. I just feel he has the best upside to price ratio on this slate and have him projected at 34 fantasy points (FPs).
Elfrid Payton – Ehhh, putting any faith in a Scott Skiles coached point guard crew is always terrifying, but Elfrid has returned to playing right around 30 minutes the past two games and looked better than the few games prior. His price has dropped enough that he only needs to get you 23 FPs to hit value, and if he plays 30 against the Sixers who aren’t a strong defensive bunch at PG, Elf should be able to land you at least 25 FPs and have some upside. He’s averaging 33 FPPG (fantasy points per game) in three matchups this season versus Philly at 31 minutes per game.
Cheap risk option: Cory Joseph is probably the cheapest I will look tonight at the point, and with a small slate like this one, he looks like a pretty appealing cheap play since he actually has legit upside. He’s put up 26+ FPs in three of the last five, so while there’s a chance he only gets you 15, that chance that he nets you 25 is worth his cheap price tag with the added flexibility he allows to use at other positions. If you have to go even cheaper, Devin Harris got up to 22 minutes the last game, and if he plays 20+ again tonight, he could get you 15-20 FPs at a near minimum salary.
Dwyane Wade – The usage has just been too high recently, and the way Wade has put the team on his aging back and racked up the stats has been even more impressive. While there’s a little reason for concern coming off a game yesterday and facing a second straight solid (SG) defense, I think he’s fairly safe to at least meet value at his price (32 FPs) and surely has upside. The only fear here is the uncertainty to what role Joe Johnson (who isn’t available on DraftKings tonight) will play in his first game with the Heat.
Wesley Matthews – Look who has shown signs of life the past few games. Matthews has beaten value in three straight games, posting 29, 25 and 27 FPs. What has been the reason for this resurgence? He’s been knocking down his deep balls, shooting 12/25 over that span. Tonight he plays Minnesota who is just middle of the pack against opposing wings, and with most of the Wolves’ defensive focus on Dirk and Parsons, Wes should see plenty more good looks, let’s just hope he continues to sink them. I love the value/savings here.
Cheap risk option: Let’s face it, there’s no ideal punt options at SG tonight, but if I were to take a shot, it’d be on Nik Stauskas who has seen slight bumps in minutes in four straight games, up to 28 last game. While Nik only sees a handful of shots, I like him to net you at least 15 and an upside of 24 FPs in a high scoring game such as this if he again gets 26+ minutes.
Carmelo Anthony – If I am paying up at SF, it will be for Melo. While he hasn’t been great against Miami this season, he’s really ramped up his game since the break, grabbing more boards and especially dishing out assists. While I only have him hitting a couple above his value line (value is 38, I have him at 41), there’s not a whole lot of top tier options on this slate who could go for over 40 FPs, Melo is absolutely one of them, and there’s not many small forward options that are that appealing.
Tobias Harris – Since being traded to the Pistons, Harris has went for 25+ FPs in each of the five games, an average of 30.3 FPPG. Like I said above, I’m not a fan of the SF spot today, so just playing a safe(ish) mid-tier priced option who can hit value may be the better way to go.
Cheap risk option: The only target to consider here really is Shabazz Muhammad. He’s went for 26, 20, 17.5 and 19.5 over the last four games and with a value line of 20, I don’t really mind punting at SF with him tonight in a game with such a hefty projected total, he can score the rock.
Gorgui Dieng – The options in the mid-tier price range at power forward are plentiful. I couldn’t argue against using any of them because with Dieng, Aaron Gordon, Kristaps Porzingis and the next guy I will mention, they all have upside on their price values. Dieng gets a bump over Gordon for me due to knowing he’ll play over 35 minutes and has bigger blocks upside. I will have a healthy helping of both, maybe even in the same lineups some.
Myles Turner – Turner going up against the weak paint defenders of Portland (25th in the league against opposing PFs) is a beautiful sight. While Myles has been depending on his scoring and not grabbing a lot of boards (as we saw in college also), it’s the games that he racks up blocks that he creams his value, and he should get a couple against this Blazers crew. I have him projected at 32 FPs.
Cheap risk option: David Lee is the obvious value option at PF tonight. He’s played two games with his new team and played 15 and then 25 minutes for 13.5 and 37.5(!) FPs. I think he’ll stay around 20 minutes and can definitely get you 20 FPs if so with his rebounding skills.
Nikola Vucevic – No active player averages more rebounds against the Sixers than Vucevic. The Magic big man loves going up against the team that traded him away. He’s averaging 45 FPPG against Philly over the past two seasons (five games), and he lit them up for 53 just last week. I’ll be pretty all-in on Vooch tonight, have him projected at 47 FPs.
Karl-Anthony Towns – It’s hard to not say Hassan Whiteside here after witnessing the war path he’s been on post-break with 52 FPPG in these last four games, but he’s had a rough go at it in his previous three matchups against Robin Lopez, so I’m leaning to KAT and Vucci Mane. Towns has went for over 50 FPs in two of the last three and matches up well against Pachulia and Lee, so I could easily see another 50-burger tonight for KAT. You have likely noticed how I’ve went non-elite options mostly everywhere up to this point, that’s because I am spending up at center tonight, and I will very likely use two centers in 75% of my lineups.
Ian Mahinmi – If you don’t go studs here, look at my guy Mahinmi who has played over 31 minutes in each of the Pacers five games since the break and averaged 29.8 FPs. As I mentioned with Turner, the Blazers are extra generous in handing out FPs to opposing bigs, so Ian should get plenty of boards, but his biggest selling point for his upside is his ability to rack up steals and blocks, averaging over one each the last five.
Cheap risk option: I’m not going cheap at center tonight, but if you for some reason decide to or just need a cheap option, Bismack Biyombo and Aron Baynes would be the two that I would look at. Both have 20 FP upside, Biyombo the safer option with a better matchup, too.
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.
As always, stay locked to Twitter and Rotoworld for any late-breaking news the hour before the first game tips at 6 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.