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Daily Fantasy Basketball Strategy: March 10, 2016

We have a cute little four-game NBA slate on our hands tonight, and I’ll be breaking it down from top to bottom to help you formulate your DFS lineups and lead you towards ending the night in the green. I’ll break down the Vegas numbers, give my top plays of the night with analysis, point out the best cheap values on the slate and then end it with positional rankings.

Have you thought about playing DFS on FantasyDraft.com? If you sign up through our referral link, you will receive one month of our Front Office DFS content for free. If you already have a subscription to NBA Front Office, let us know and we will give you the first month of MLB Front Office content for free, and that crew is awesome as well. Today’s slate will be broken down specifically aimed at FantasyDraft, but know every suggestion made is a player that I’ll use on every DFS site tonight, the positions and prices will of course vary. Now, let’s get the grind started with some Vegas number review and analysis.

Vegas lines and totals

Atlanta (+4) @ Toronto — Vegas projected game total of 199
Chicago (+?) @ San Antonio — ???
Phoenix (+7.5) @ Denver — 214
Cleveland (-?) @ LA Lakers — ???

As I write this we’re still awaiting the numbers on two of the games, but we do get to see that beauty of a number for the Suns/Nuggets games. I will be playing that game pretty heavy, especially since most top plays involved aren’t overly expensive. The Cavs/Lakers game should be around a 208 line in my opinion, and I’ll also be in heavily on that one, especially in GPP lineups where I have more reasons to shoot and hope it’s not a blowout early, but the way Cleveland has been playing, I think we’ll be okay there. I may use a guy or two from the Hawks/Raptors game here and there, but I definitely won’t be stacking it.

GUARDS

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Kyrie Irving ($13,800) – The kid is really starting to hit his stride, and when you see him with a plus-matchup nowadays, you get him in your lineups, because there’s not many non-elite priced players who have the upside to go for 50+ fantasy points (FPs) like Kyrie. Too many will stick to the D’Angelo Russell recency bias train tonight, while their train has an unexpected stop ahead, I’m confident that the Irving train will chug above and beyond.

Emmanuel Mudiay ($11,700) – Five solid starts in a row and tonight he takes on the team that has allowed the most FPs to opposing point guards in the league. Mudiay has had a nice usage rate of 26.6% over the past five games, and he’s really looked like a much more confident player than he did earlier in the season. He shouldn’t have a problem getting you over 30 FPs whether Brandon Knight plays or not.

Jordan Clarkson ($11,300) – Everyone is all about Russell, but Jordan Clarkson has been doing it up lately, too. 35+ FPs in three of the last four games, and if Kobe Bryant sits out again, he’d be very likely to hit for 35+ again. Even if Bryant plays though, Clarkson should play 30+ minutes as long as the game doesn’t get ugly early.

Will Barton ($10,500) – I know he has put up not so good performances the last two times I wrote him up, including Tuesday night, but I am sticking with my guns here on this small slate. Barton should see more minutes tonight as the matchup is much better suited for his offensive skills than the last game was. His price is too low for what he is capable of if he plays 30 minutes at his usage rate when Gallinari is out. My projections have him at 34 FPs, and that’s despite the recent stagnant trend.

Cheap risk options: Marcelo Huertas has hit value at this price point four games in a row, and the great thing about him tonight is that whether the game becomes a blowout or not, he should still play similar minutes, possibly more if it gets bad. Cory Joseph is another cheapie guard who has plenty of potential to go for 20+ FPs tonight, and he actually put up 21 FPs the last time the Raptors played the Hawks.

FORWARDS/CENTERS

LeBron James ($17,500) – 46, 45, 48, 55, 60 and 48 are the FPs Bron has put up over the past six games, and there’s more where that came from tonight against the Lakers. LA has nobody that can stop James, whether he play at the three or four, so he should be in line for a 50 FP performance, 40+ if the game gets ugly before the fourth quarter. He’s a pretty safe cash option tonight.

Kawhi Leonard ($15,100) – If you prefer to save a little bit of dough, Kawhi has been equally as hot lately and also has a very promising matchup with the Jimmy Butler-less Bulls. I like him as well, and I have him projected at 41 FPs, but that’s still 10 less than I have King James sitting at.

LaMarcus Aldridge ($12,700) – Aldridge has been as money a PF as there has been over the past month. The big guy has really found his place in the Spurs offense and his game is showing the effects of being comfortable as he’s averaged over 25 points and 10 boards with 1.5 blocks, all while shooting 57% from the field and 96% from the foul line. Whether the Bulls throw Pau Gasol or Taj Gibson, LMA has a massive offensive advantage.

Alex Len ($12,300) – It will be hard to make a lineup that doesn’t have Len in it tonight, he’s been outrageously good since being re-inserted into the starting lineup over a week ago. Going for 50+ FPs in three of the last five games (34 and 32 the other two games), with a double-double in each of those games. Len will has all the reason to have another big night tonight as Kenneth Faried nor Darrell Arthur matchup well with his size and speed.

Nikola Jokic ($11,100) – He’s the real deal, folks. Tough matchup with veteran Tyson Chandler or not, Jokic should still receive plenty of minutes and enough touches to have another 30+ FP night. Jokic does more than just score and board, he’s had 3 or more assists in seven of the last eight games, and he’s had 1 or more blocks in six of the last seven games.

Cheap risk options: My goto value guy at the F/C spot is Nikola Mirotic. Playing 20 minutes Tuesday with no injury setbacks and then two nights off before this game was huge. Look for his minutes to extend into the low-20s tonight, more than enough time for him to knock down enough shots, grab some boards and pitch in a couple defensive stats to net you 20+ FPs for cheap. Tyson Chandler is playing 25-30 minutes a night now, and he’s gone for back-to-back double-doubles and 29 FPs in each. The matchup is a bit tougher tonight, but I’d be stunned if he didn’t at least get you to value — 21 FPs. P.J. Tucker is a safer cheap play, and while his ceiling isn’t overly high, you at least know he’ll play 30 minutes and give you enough hustle/defensive stats to get you 20 FPs.

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.

GUARDS
1) Kyrie Irving
2) Emmanuel Mudiay
3) Will Barton
4) Kyle Lowry
5) Jordan Clarkson
6) Derrick Rose
7) Devin Booker
8) Marcelo Huertas
9) Ronnie Price (if B. Knight is out)

FORWARD/CENTER
1) LeBron James
2) Alex Len
3) Kawhi Leonard
4) LaMarcus Aldridge
5) Nikola Jokic
6) Pau Gasol
7) Nikola Mirotic
8) Julius Randle
9) Kenneth Faried
10) Tyson Chandler

As always, stay locked to Twitter and Rotoworld for any late-breaking news the hour before the first game tips at 7:30 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.

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