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Daily Fantasy Basketball Strategy: March 19, 2016

We have an eight-game NBA slate on our hands tonight (not including the Nuggets/Hornets game that starts an hour earlier because all of the primary games on the DFS sites are for the eight-game slate), 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!

POINT GUARD

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Stephen Curry Will tonight be the night the Spurs lose their first home game? Will Pop bench some of his starters so that the world remains aware that he straight up DGAF until the playoffs? Probably to both. Regardless, the Spurs have no answer for Curry defensively, because Kawhi can’t guard Curry because then they’d be stuck with Tony Parker or Patty Mills defending Klay or Barnes, that wouldn’t go well. Curry lit up the Spurs earlier this season at Oracle for 50+ fantasy points (FPs), and he didn’t even play 30 minutes because the game got so ugly. I love Russell Westbrook and John Wall tonight also, but I want the supreme upside of Curry in a big time game. I have him projected at 55 FPs, and as always, if he’s really on, he can go for way more, but I feel at worst, he gets 45 FPs which is hitting value.

Reggie Jackson If I decide to go middle tier with a lineup, or to play both a stud and mid-tier PG, I am rolling with Reggie Jackson against the D-League-esque Nets PG rotation. Jackson returned to form last night with 19 points, seven boards and nine assists against an equally as weak defensive team in Sacramento. I like Jackson to continue to score and dish plenty of assists and hit you around 35 FPs.

Cheap risk option: It seems like Dennis Schroder is set in a 20 minutes per night role, but he’s getting around one fantasy point per minute (FPPM) the past three games, and in the game before last he blew it up for 33 FPs in 21 minutes. I feel like tonight against Houston sets him up for a night in between his standard 19 FPs and peak, I have him at 25 FPs which would be great from a cheapish play.

SHOOTING GUARD

James Harden He’s coming up 15 FPs better than my next highest shooting guard, so I like taking advantage when that great of an edge presents itself at a position, but it won’t be easy creating a Curry-Harden lineup, so you may have to split them some throughout your lineups. The Beard will do what he does best and score the ball and filling up the rest of the box score nicely. I have him projected at 53 FPs.

Monta Ellis The 30-year-old vet is tearing it up of late, going for 34+ FPs in five of the last six games. He’s already had a big game against the Thunder this year, so there’s no reason to think his hot streak will end tonight. Over the past five games Ellis is averaging 35 minutes, 15 points, 4.5 boards, 5.5 assists and 2.2 steals.

Cheap risk option: If you’re going to punt here, punt big and roster Sean Kilpatrick who appears to be set around 20 minutes a night for the Nets, and he’s really doing a solid job in his off the bench scorer role. 23, 27 and 17 FPs in the last three games, at near minimum price, I’m fine with that.

SMALL FORWARD

Lance Stephenson Keep on keepin on with Lance while his price tag is still reasonable. With Conley out he continues to be a focal point of the Grizzlies offense, and his 23.5 points, 8.25 rebounds and 5.75 assists per game over the last four games showcases that. I’ll be owning all the Stephenson once again tonight, and will continue to do so without hesitation until he burns me or his price takes a big jump.

Tobias Harris Above value at this price in five of the last six, Tobias has really found his comfort zone on his new team. Harris goes up against the defensively challenged wings of Brooklyn, so hitting above his 32 FP value line should be smart money, but when Lance is slightly cheaper, I just can’t get myself to look elsewhere. Even in the lineups that I use Kevin Durant or Carmelo Anthony, I will still have Lance in at the F slot.

Cheap risk option: The matchup isn’t as plush as the last few, but Doug McDermott has been on fire and playing around 30 minutes is huge for a player this cheap. McBuckets has scored 29, 20 and 25 points in those three games, knocking down 12-of-19 from beyond the arc. The upside at this price is worthy of your consideration as a semi-punt play at SF or as a value plug-in at the F or Util spots.

POWER FORWARD

Derrick Favors Look at what Thaddeus Young just did against the Bulls bigs two nights ago, I’ll save you time, he put up 16 points, 14 rebounds, 2 steals and 2 blocks in 31 minutes. Now just think of Favors getting that same opportunity. Yeah, I like the play if you can afford it based on your lineup construction. I have him projected at 38 FPs.

Bobby Portis More than likely, you used a top-dollar point guard and non-cheap SG and SF options, so you’ll be looking for salary relief at some other areas. Well, Portis is a great target as a cheap PF who has upside to do big things, but should at minimum hit above his 22 FP value line. With Pau out, BP has really stepped up especially the last two games, going for 23 and 34 FPs. With Taj Gibson likely to stay under 30 minutes, BP should again see minutes in the mid-20s and FPs in the same range.

Cheap risk option: While he’s not playing big minutes, Channing Frye has been seeing around 20 minutes for the Cavs and he’s been doing pretty well with it. 36, 26, 19, 21 and 20 FPs over the last five games, and he’s shot 18/28 from long range in that same span. If you want a cheapie who can net you around 20 FPs, Frye is definitely in play.

CENTER

Dwight Howard Dwight returns to his hometown for a big game against a tough Hawks team, and Howard has had a lot of success against them, so I’m all about it. Dwight put up 58.5 FPs the lone time these teams faced earlier this season, and while he’s coming off two unimpressive games in a row, the Hawks have given up the fourth most FPs to opposing centers on the year, so I’m not concerned.

Robin Lopez Plenty of other solid options for more dough, but if you’re needing to save a little bit here, look to RoLo. He’s been really good the last month, but he does have the occasional stinker mixed in. Lucky for us, he had a stinker last time out against Golden State, so he’s due for a run of two or three quality stat lines. 30, 41, 11, 32, 35, 7, 37, 50, 32 and 8 FPs over the last ten games, you see the pattern there. I have him projected for 30 FPs tonight against Marcin Gortat and the Wizards.

Cheap risk option: With Warriors big man, Andrew Bogut out tonight, it opens up a few extra minutes for Marreese Speights who is an above 1 FPPM guy, so if he plays even 22 minutes tonight, he’d be looking at around 25 FPs or more. Draymond Green will slide to center a lot tonight for the Dubs, so don’t expect Speights to shoot up to 30 minutes by any means.

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.

PG
1) Stephen Curry
2) Russell Westbrook
3) Chris Paul
4) John Wall
5) Reggie Jackson
6) Goran Dragic
7) Derrick Rose
8) Dennis Schroder

SG
1) James Harden
2) Monta Ellis
3) Dwyane Wade
4) Kentavious Caldwell-Pope
5) J.J. Redick
6) Bojan Bogdanovic
7) Sean Kilpatrick

SF
1) Lance Stephenson
2) Carmelo Anthony
3) Kevin Durant
4) Tobias Harris
5) Paul George
6) Matt Barnes
7) Doug McDermott
8) Gordon Hayward

PF
1) Derrick Favors
2) Paul Millsap
3) Draymond Green
4) Bobby Portis
5) Jamychal Green (if Z. Randolph is out again)
6) Kevin Love
7) Channing Frye

C
1) Dwight Howard
2) DeAndre Jordan
3) Brook Lopez
4) Robin Lopez
5) Al Horford
6) Marreese Speights
7) Enes Kanter

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.

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