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Daily Fantasy Basketball Strategy: March 24, 2016

We have a small five-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 review and analyze the top plays of the night, 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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Russell Westbrook He’s had triple-doubles in four of the last five games, and he’s playing like a man on a mission to takeover the world. Shelvin Mack is going to have his hands full even trying to be a pebble in Westy’s path. The Utah bigs will try and form a wall around the rim, but more than likely Russ will jump over said wall. Averaged 48 fantasy points (FPs) in three games versus Utah this season, and I have him projected at a cool 50 tonight.

Jrue Holiday If I don’t roll with Russ, there’s two places I’ll be going, one being Jrue Holiday. With Anthony Davis, Ryan Anderson, Tyreke Evans and Eric Gordon out, Jrue is the whole f’n show (yes, RVD reference) in Nawlins. His usage rate should continue to be super high. I have him at 41 FPs.

Kyrie Irving The other PG I will have shares of is Kyrie. While his Duke Blue Devils play in the Sweet 16, Kyrie will be doing work on the weakling Nets. There’s two fears that come to mind when I think of Irving tonight. 1) His birthday was last night, he had a big game and maybe he celebrated a bit before or after they traveled to Brroklyn? 2) The Nets suck, so the game could be a blowout, but Vegas has the spread at 8, so maybe not. I do like his price and upside tonight if he plays over 30 minutes.

Cheap risk option: Tim Frazier is likely to hit above value for the fifth straight game as long as Norris Cole is out once again. Shane Larkin is minimum price, and while he’s not that good, on a slate this size he’s a viable punt option. He at least has played minutes in the low-20s and put up 20, 18 and 18 FPs in three of the last four. I know… not exciting, but min price, guys.

SHOOTING GUARD

Monta Ellis SG is a mess tonight, I’m going to roll with Monta over the other top options tonight, because the matchup is better, and he saves you a little money in the process. If I don’t go with Ellis, I’m probably going with the next guy I mention, or a punt play so that I can spend up elsewhere.

Jamal Crawford He’s playing around 30 minutes a night again, and with minutes comes production. The ‘ol vet can still score it big time, and while his ceiling isn’t overly high, he’s really cheap so his value line is only 21 FPs. I’m confident he can pass that tonight against the Blazers.

Cheap risk option: I don’t trust anyone here enough to persuade you into them, but Arron Afflalo, Sean Kilpatrick and — if you really feel lucky — Rondae Hollis-Jefferson are worth punt consideration.

SMALL FORWARD

Paul George Pick your poison with the big three at SF tonight, my stud of choice though is George, who had a down game last time out, was heating up well before that. The Pelicans are damaged throughout their roster, and George is going to have somebody worthless trying to guard him, even if he only plays three quarters he should dominate and finish with 40+ FPs, but he has a high ceiling.

Gordon Hayward There’s a strong five at SF tonight and then there’s a sinkhole to useless names. If I want you want to save a little bit here, Hayward is almost $2K less than George and still always a solid play. I have GHay projected at 34 FPs.

Cheap risk option: If you go punt life, Luke Babbitt has put up 23 and 31 FPs the last two games. The Pels have no choice but to play him around 30 minutes due to their injury problems. If Moe Harkless gets named the starter again tonight for Portland, he’s definitely worth a look at the minimum price.

POWER FORWARD

Kristaps Porzingis RUN IT BACK! I was all about his in yesterday’s writeup as he faced the Bulls, and he had a really big night (29pts, 10rebs), so of course I am going right back to the well with the same matchup going on again.

Kevin Love Another player who had a nice night last night, and Love has an even better matchup tonight in Brooklyn. He’s had success against the Nets this year and I have him projected at 36 FPs.

Cheap risk option: If I go punt at PF it’s for Ed Davis. The matchup isn’t great, but he’ll get his 20+ minutes and we’ll hope he gets a couple steals or blocks to get him to the 20 FP threshold.

CENTER

DeAndre Jordan Will have him in mostly all of my lineups tonight. He’s a rebounds and blocks beast, his points come very efficiently due to most of shis shots being dunks via alley-oop passes. He was huge last night for the Clips and tonight Mason Plumlee is defending him. Yep.

Ian Mahinmi Mahinmi is getting the minutes and solid production right now and with the matchup tonight against the depleted Pelicans, he should have no problem getting you a cheap 25+ FPs.

Cheap risk option: Omer Asik has to play a lot with all of their injuries, so there’s a good chance for a double-double and for him to hit value for the third straight game. Steven Adams is always worth punt consideration as he only plays around mid-20s minutes, but gets those hustle numbers. I have Adams at 19 FPs tonight.

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) Russell Westbrook
2) Jrue Holiday
3) Chris Paul
4) Kyrie Irving
5) Tim Frazier (if N. Cole is out)
6) Derrick Rose
7) Jose Calderon

SG
1) Monta Ellis
2) Jamal Crawford
3) C.J. McCollum
4) J.J. Redick
5) Jimmy Butler
6) J.R. Smith

SF
1) Paul George
2) Kevin Durant
3) Carmelo Anthony
4) Gordon Hayward
5) LeBron James
6) Luke Babbitt

PF
1) Kristaps Porzingis
2) Kevin Love
3) Thaddeus Young
4) Nikola Mirotic
5) Myles Turner
6) Tristan Thompson

C
1) DeAndre Jordan
2) Brook Lopez
3) Ian Mahinmi
4) Robin Lopez
5) Omer Asik
6) 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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