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Daily Fantasy Basketball Strategy: March 22, 2016

We have a small 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 give my top plays of the night with added analysis, 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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Kemba Walker I love Russell Westbrook every night, and I have him projected highest at PG tonight, but personally, I’m not paying up for him tonight. I prefer to save a couple grand and go with Kemba who has a gravy matchup with Brooklyn tonight. After a dreadful game last night against those pesky Spurs, Walker will look to bounce back in a major way against the Nets, and the law of averages agrees. I have him projected at a very solid 41 fantasy points (FPs) tonight, that’s 4 FPs higher than I have Jrue Holiday.

Goran Dragic Dragic is hot as dragon fire right now, and he takes that vibe into a great matchup against the Pelicans, who have been worthless against point guards all year long. I love this price level for Goran, and I will have a lot of shares of him tonight, possibly even more than Kemba since I am trending towards spending up bigger at other positions. Dragic is averaging 35 FPs over the last five games, that’s five above his value line at tonight’s price, and coincidentally exactly what my projections have him at.

Cheap risk option: There’s several value guys that I am looking at tonight at the point, the first being Tim Frazier. Plain and simply, if Norris Cole is out again, I’ll be using Frazier a lot as a cheap filler guy. In three games with the Pelicans, Frazier has went for 33, 21 and 35 FPs as the first guard off the bench. Jeremy Lin went retro ‘Linsanity’ mode last night, and he’ll be a very popular play tonight due to that and the promising matchup. Lin is super cheap and has put up 21 and 43 FPs the last two games, but I would expect closer to the low-20s than 40s tonight. Donald Sloan and Mario Huertas are both under $4K and worth looks themselves, both have hit value more than they’ve missed the past week or so.

SHOOTING GUARD

James Harden When Harden gets to play his former team, the Thunder, I almost always instantly start my lineups with him. He loves punishing OKC management for one of the very few mistakes they’ve made over the last serval years. Harden continued this crusade this season averaging 58 FPs against the Thunder in two matchups this season. He’s my favorite guy to pay up for tonight at any position, even though my projections seem to prefer Durant. On the year, Harden sports a 32.6 usage rate, but in the two games against OKC it boosts up to 33.9%.

Dwyane Wade No Anthony Davis around to stop Wade from getting into the paint and finishing, so the flood gates should be open for a big night for Wade. Dwyane will play his usual 30 minutes and on the year he’s averaged more than 1 fantasy point per minute (FPPM). Wade’s jump shot leaves a lot to be desired, so free access to the rim tonight has my scoring projection for him really high. I have him projected at a fairly conservative 36 FPs, which is fantastic value at his price. I’ll have several lineups that include the Heat guard duo of Wade and Dragic.

Cheap risk option: There’s not really any ideal value plays at SG tonight, so I prefer to pay up, but Courtney Lee is a decent bet to get you around 20 FPs for super cheap if you need a punt option. While he has a low ceiling (which is ok at his super low price), Lee has at least put up a run of 31, 23, 19, 16 and 20 FPs the last five.

SMALL FORWARD

Kevin Durant While he’s about $4K more than the next guy on the list, my spreadsheet analysis projections do have Kevin Durant 26 FPs better than the next best SF, so he would be more than making up his price if that’s really the case. The reason I have Harden narrowly above him regardless of what my numbers suggest is the fact that KD for some odd reason averages a decent bit less FPs at home (47.5 FPPG) than he has on the road (53.1 FPPG). That said, KD did put up 55 FPs against Houston in OKC in January, so while I give a slight edge to Harden, I love KD as well. I’ll definitely find a way to form a competitive KD+Harden GPP squad.

Matt Barnes If I don’t go with Durant, I will probably look to save some money here to pay up for Harden and a top big man. To do that, I need to find a cheaper mid-tier guy, and I’m drawn to Barnes who has been better than Lance Stephenson since ZBo returned to the Memphis lineup. I have barnes projected at 28 FPs, which would be just fine by me at his price on this small of a slate.

Cheap risk option: Dante Cunningham should start and play a lot of minutes again tonight with Anthony Davis and likely Ryan Anderson out tonight. Cunningham isn’t reliable for big DFS outings, but if he’s playing 35ish minutes as it seems he’ll again need to, it’d be really, really hard for him to not put up at least 20 FPs which is still two above his value line. My projections have him sitting at 23 FPs.

POWER FORWARD

Zach Randolph The Grizzlies top two guys (Conley and Gasol) are both out, so that leaves a ton of weight on ZBo’s shoulders, and he’s looked up to taking that on for now. Zach put up his first career triple-double in his first game back this past weekend, and he followed that up with another solid double-double last night. Tonight he gets a matchup against a guy scouts labeled the new and improved ZBo, Julius Randle, so it should be fn to see them go head-to-head. Randolph should get plenty of shots and boards tonight, and I have him at 36 FPs. Thaddeus Young is the safer play, especially in cash games though.

Marvin Williams My spreadsheet loves Marvin tonight despite him coming off of three down games in a row. Williams just matches up great with whatever D-League-esque wing the Nets throw out at him, and Marv should see plenty of open looks from behind the arc. I have Williams projected for 30 FPs.

Cheap risk option: Brandon Bass remains a really cheap option who will at least end you near value. The last seven games he’s put up 19, 21, 29, 18, 27, 21 and 19.5 FPs, so he’s stayed pretty consistently valuable for a punt play. Donatas Motiejunas is also worth a glance due to his near minimum price tag, but he’s nowhere near as safe, despite a tad more upside, than Bass.

CENTER

Hassan Whiteside With Anthony Davis out, Whiteside is all the rage in my analysis against the Pelicans. Even if he plays just under 30 minutes tonight off the bench, that’s more than enough time for him to go beastiality on Asik and crew for big time boards, blocks and solid points resulting in a huge DFS night. My sheet has him at 45 FPs, 9 over his value line at this price.

Enes Kanter While he’s not the best defender, playing against the Rockets is a perfect fit for Kanter who has been really solid the past couple weeks, and that trend should continue tonight. I have kanter pegged for 26 minutes and a big 30 FPs. All the pieces are sitting right for Enes to rise to the occasion.

Cheap risk option: Speaking of Omer Asik, due to a lack of other options for New Orleans, he’s left to do a lot more than they may desire. I don’t think he’ll scrape the big double-double he had in their last game, but I think he can go for 10 points, 10 boards and a block or two if he can stay out of foul trouble playing against Whiteside. Omer is so cheap that he’s definitely worth a look as a cheap value utility play, or if you decide to pay up big elsewhere and need a punt-level center, like if you try to make a Durant+Harden lineup.

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) Goran Dragic
2) Kemba Walker
3) Russell Westbrook
4) D’Angelo Russell
5) Jrue Holiday
6) Tim Frazier (if N. Cole is out)
7) Patrick Beverley
8) Jeremy Lin

SG
1) James Harden
2) Dwyane Wade
3) Nicolas Batum
4) Kobe Bryant (questionable)
5) Courtney Lee
6) Josh Richardson

SF
1) Kevin Durant
2) Matt Barnes
3) Joe Johnson
4) Lance Stephenson
5) Dante Cunningham
6) Trevor Ariza
7) Tony Allen

PF
1) Thaddeus Young
2) Zach Randolph
3) Marvin Williams
4) Julius Randle
5) Brandon Bass
6) Serge Ibaka

C
1) Hassan Whiteside
2) Enes Kanter
3) Omer Asik
4) Dwight Howard
5) Brook Lopez (questionable)
6) Al Jefferson
7) Steven Adams

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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