Daily Fantasy Basketball Strategy: March 27, 2015
We have a nice four-game NBA evening slate on our hands today, 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!
John Wall – I’m a bit concerned that Stephen Curry will either sit out or play limited minutes due to an ugly game tonight, so Wall is my top play here in an equally great matchup. Honestly, there’s a ton of PGs with great matchups tonight, so I’ll have lineups using PGs from all price levels. Wall has just been amazing recently, going all out every game, so I like for him to have a monster 50+ fantasy points (FPs) night against the Lakers.
Jordan Clarkson – With D’Angelo Russell already ruled out, Clarkson is locked in for 30+ minutes and a boost in usage. Jordan has put up 30+ FPs in two of the last three games, and with a solid matchup and a value line of just 24 FPs, he brings some valuable upside to your lineup.
J.J. Barea – He’ll be HEAVILY owned on all DFS sites, both cash-games and GPP tournaments, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t just follow suit. Deron Williams has already been confirmed as out tonight, so Barea will get the starting nod again after a terrific 35 FP performance on Friday as a starter. Tonight he has an even better matchup against the Kings who are worst in the league against opposing PGs. Unless you’re building a contrarian GPP lineup, just get him in there.
Cheap risk option: If you need a real cheap punt guard, look at Marcelo Huertas who should see an uptick in minutes with Russell out also. He needs 17 FPs to hit value, but I have him projected at 21.
James Harden – 65, 66 and 72. That’s his FPs from the last three games despite battling an illness. There’s really no answer for Harden defensively aside from maybe Kawhi-land, so I don’t even need to explain to you how Monta Ellis will be hopeless with this defensive assignment. Look for near 60 FPs again from the bearded assassin.
Louis Williams – Yet another Laker guard who benefits greatly from Russell being out, and Lou is priced really reasonably as well, with a value line of 24. I have Lou at 28 FPs tonight in a fine matchup against Bradley Beal.
Cheap risk option: No doubt here that it’s Raymond Felton you should target as a nice value at SG. With Deron out last game, Ray lit it up for 32 FPs, and this is a better matchup. That said, I don’t feel he goes for 30 again, I have him at a still valuable 25 FPs.
Otto Porter – I know, I can’t get away from this game, and there’s good reason for that, it’s going to be super high scoring. Porter has hit value at this price point in seven of the last eight games, so he’s remaining quite consistent of late, and the Lakers are terrible at stop wings on defense.
Robert Covington – The Sixers don’t stand much of a chance against the Warriors, but before it gets totally out of hand and the starters get benched, Covington should be able to amass a nice stat line. Check the game log: 39, 43, 32, 42, 19, 34 over the last six games, and it’s been his steals, blocks and boards that have kept him hitting those impressive numbers, because he’s only shot 40-percent during the stretch.
Cheap risk option: While my spreadsheet analysis loves Harrison Barnes tonight at his price (has him at 24 FPs), I personally prefer Omri Casspi slightly more due to less blowout concern, but both are fine and have similar projected numbers.
DeMarcus Cousins – If he is active tonight — right now listed as questionable — DMC is the play of the night, period. He would bull-rush the Mavericks for a ginormous fantasy night, so I’d be starting my lineups with the Boogie Man. Projections have him at 60 FPs.
Dirk Nowitzki – Whether Cousins plays or not, I love Dirk tonight, but if DMC is out, Dirk goes from just one of my favorite plays of the night, to a must play. Nowitzki has been tearing up his competition since the break, carrying an unattractive Mavericks roster into the playoff race. I have the future Hall of Famer at 38 FPs.
Cheap risk option: Carl Landry and Brandon Bass should be at the top of your cheap PF lists tonight. Landry will again benefit from the absence of Nerlens Noel, and even though the matchup is poor, he should play enough to hit around or above his 20 FP value line. Bass has went for 20+ FPs in seven of the last nine games, so the odds are in your favor for him to keep his play up and hit value tonight against the Wizards.
Dwight Howard – I like Marcin Gortat tonight, but for a few hundred less, I prefer to go with Howard and the higher upside. Dwight went off for 50 FPs the lone time these teams faced off previously this season, and while I don’t think he does quite that again, I do have him at 38 FPs and feel there’s upside to that, too. After his awful last game and Gortat looking nice at the top with a nice green “28th” under the opponents rank, Dwight will be under-owned.
Ian Mahinmi – While I do like Dwight a lot, I still feel Mahinmi will get his as well in this one, enough to cruise him past his value line at this price. With the rebound, steal and block upside Ian brings to the floor, he should be able to get you 25+ FPs tonight.
Cheap risk option: If Cousins doesn’t play, Willie Cauley-Stein and Kostas Koufos will be nice bargain plays. If DMC is active, Willie is still worth a thought after his explosion on Friday night against the Suns, but I have him at just 21 FPs. If you’re feeling risky, take a look at Zaza Pachulia who looked to be out of the Mavs’ rotation until Friday night when he came off the bench to play 25 minutes. I could see the Mavs needing his physicality and mind trick against Cousins. Also, with a blowout very possible, Marreese Speights should get some extra run late, and his 1+ fantasy point per minute play could cash in.
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 6 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.