Daily Fantasy Basketball Strategy: March 17, 2016
Happy St. Paddy’s Day, everybody! Before you bust out the green beer and tune in to the start of March Madness though, we have a healthy eight-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 give my top plays of the night with reasoning, point out the best cheap values on the slate, and then finish with positional rankings. Let’s get right to the daily grind!
*Forewarning* I will be helping set-up for a work function all day, and working the event all night. I am writing this late Wednesday night, and I will be unable to make any updates as injuries, late scratches, etc.. come up as I normally would. So, for tonight, you will have to monitor Twitter and Rotoworld for any injury or breaking news, because it’s critical to make pivot moves if one of your players you have rostered is ruled out, and it’s equally as big to use the cheaper guys who benefit from the extra minutes they receive with a starter sitting out.
John Wall – He costs the most, but of all of the top point guards available tonight, Wall has the best matchup. Wall is coming off of a triple-double last night, and tonight he gets the Sixers who he has averaged 58 fantasy points (FPs) against in three matchups this season.
Ish Smith – Sticking in the same game, while John Wall is a tenacious defender overall, the Wizards as a whole have allowed the 15th most FPs to opposing PGs on the year. Ish has averaged 38 FPs in four games against Washington, and should deliver another quality above value DFS night with the Sixers missing so many of their usual rotation players. I have Ish projected at 37 FPs.
Cheap risk option: He’s a little more expensive than I typically aim for in this section, but I really like the value potential in Jerryd Bayless tonight against the battered Grizzlies. The Grizz have been running Briante Weber and Ray McCallum out their at the point, so the veteran, Bayless should be able to dismantle that duo at will on the offensive end. Speaking of Weber, he’s a cheap option tonight as he’s near minimum price and has went for 30, 19.5 and 18 FPs in his three games with Memphis.
Jimmy Butler – He’s back and after brushing the rust off on Monday and Wednesday, Butler should be ready to go back to his prime-self tonight against the weakling Nets. The Wizards put the Bulls away quick last night, so Butler played just 28 minutes, but the Nets aren’t blowing anyone out, and Butler should see around 35 minutes. The Bulls will be without Pau Gasol and Taj Gibson, so there will be tons of usage to go around for Butler and Rose especially.
Khris Middleton – I like either paying up or punting at shooting guard tonight, and I’ll be doing a good bit of both. Middleton had an off game last time out, but overall he’s been just super dependable all season long and has been one of my favorite cash-game plays. Tonight he gets the bloodied Grizzlies who allowed Zach LaVine to put up 28 points on them last night, Middleton should have a gem of an evening.
Cheap risk option: Josh Richardson has been getting nice rotation minutes with the Heat recently, and has went for 27, 34, 16 and 36 FPs the last four games. At his price you’re ok with a floor of 15 and upside of 30. Also, with so many wings out again tonight, bust out the Sauce, Nik Stauskas is still really cheap and should play 30 minutes and see 10-15 shots. He has some really nice upside on his value line (18 FPs is value line), and I’ll have plenty of Sauce on my lineups tonight because of that potential.
Giannis Antetokounmpo – This is chalk for this article, it’s become a tradition to the point that you may start seeing me list him on nights the Bucks don’t even play. I’ll repeat what I always say, Giannis fills up the stat sheet across the board like so few others, so even if he has an off shooting night, he’d still get you over 30 FPs. He’s been a triple-double threat every game of late, and he may add another tonight. 66, 73, 41, 45, 32, 78 and 53 FPs over his last seven games, so you see the proof of what he’s doing since running a lot more point-forward. I start my lineups with him and go from there.
Lance Stephenson – If he plays, he’s a stud at this price level. After missing a game Tuesday, Lance was active again on Wednesday night and he lit up the Wolves for 24 points, 11 boards and 7 assists in 35 minutes off the bench. No Conley, Randolph or Gasol to take all the usage, the Griz seem to like the way Lance is running things and it’s paying off huge for DFS players. I have him at 34 FPs tonight.
Cheap risk option: Justise Winslow is still under-priced for the way he’s played in recent games. He’s playing around 30 minutes a night and put up 27, 28 and 28 FPs the last three games. Tonight he gets Charlotte who is lower-third against opposing wings, so if he sees the minutes again as expected, he should at least get you to his 20 FP value line, with upside for more.
LaMarcus Aldridge – He hasn’t gotten to play the Blazers since he’s become more acclimated with the Spurs offense, and now is the time he gets to truly show his ex-team why he made the move that he did. The Blazers have no big man who can defend LMA, and the Spurs will look to feature him plenty tonight. I have him at 38 FPs, and as long as the game doesn’t get ugly, he could go well beyond that.
Nikola Mirotic – If I don’t go LMA or Thad, I am likely going the cheap route at PF tonight. With Pau and Taj out, the Bulls will have to rely on Mirotic to play big minutes, and at this price he only needs 24 FPs to hit value, my analysis puts him at 30 FPs against the generous Nets defense.
Cheap risk option: Bobby Portis will also see elevated minutes due to those injuries, no doubt. Still I don’t expect anything huge from BP, but I have him at 23 FPs which is a few above his value line. Ed Davis is a bit riskier, but with Meyers Leonard out, Davis should see extended minutes and you’d only need 18 FPs for value with him. I don’t mind him as a GPP punt play.
Brook Lopez – The Bulls have no interior presence whatsoever with Taj now out as well as Pau and Noah, and Lopez being one of the best offensive bigs in the game, should show no mercy in this one. The Nets need to live in the paint tonight if they want to earn a victory, so Lopez may see a tad more usage than he already typically does. Playing against less experienced bigs, there could be some added opportunities for blocks as well. I have the big man at 42 FPs.
Rudy Gobert – Tyson Chandler is going to be no match for the big bad Gobert tonight. Rudy is coming off of two poor games in a row, one due to foul trouble guarding Boogie, the other just the cavs doing what they do which is not allowing centers to do a whole lot. With Gobert being under-owned due to those two let down games, and his fairly cheap price tag, there’s a lot of reasons to be about Rudy tonight, especially in tournaments.
Cheap risk option: If Jonas Valanciunas sits out again, Bismack Biyombo is THE play at center tonight against the Pacers. Biyombo’s per minute rebound numbers are huge and the block upside is as well, so if he’s playing over 20 minutes, he’ll shatter this 21 FP value line in this matchup.
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 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.