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Daily Fantasy Basketball Strategy: March 3, 2016

When I was little I’d wake up and be ecstatic when it was Christmas day or Easter day — okay, basically any holiday where I received gifts. Well, this morning was no different. When my cell phone alarm went off, I awoke with a smile, ok, I wanted to throw my phone against the wall, but DAMMIT when I finally got up and realized that the Warriors and Thunder were playing again tonight, I felt like a kid on a holiday morning again! It will be hard to get yourself to not stack that game tonight, because you’ll want to be even more invested in it than just the general excitement of the game. This opens up opportunity to go contrarian and fade it (not completely but not to stack it) in GPP tournaments, hoping the game isn’t close or super high scoring, because so many will be stacking the game that if for some reason it isn’t, you’re way ahead of the majority. While this seems like a suicide mission, it’s worth considering with at least one lineup. So many times I’ve seen contrarian players cash in HUGE primarily fading a game like this. Just something to think on.

And while you’re thinking, have you thought about playing DFS on FantasyDraft.com? If you sign up through our referral link, you will receive one month of our Front Office DFS content for free. If you already have a subscription to NBA Front Office, let us know and we will give you the first month of MLB Front Office content for free, and that crew is awesome as well. Today’s slate will be broken down specifically aimed at FantasyDraft, but know every suggestion made is a player that I’ll use on every DFS site tonight, the positions and prices will of course vary. Now, let’s get the grind started with some Vegas number review and analysis.

Vegas lines and totals

Phoenix (+13.5) @ Miami — 211
San Antonio (-?) @ New Orleans — ???
Sacramento (?) @ Dallas — ???
Oklahoma City (?) @ Golden State — ???

As of writing this, there’s only Vegas numbers for the Suns/Heat game which is projected to get ugly, but be high scoring. I’ll update this analysis later when more numbers come in.

GUARD

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Stephen Curry ($19,200) – He’s the man, he’s a myth, he’s a legend and he’s a top play tonight in part 3 of Warriors vs Thunder. Obviously Curry and Russell Westbrook are top plays tonight, but they’re both super high priced, and this is a small slate, so there’s not a lot of value out their to exploit to fit both in your lineup. So, I’ll use both in varying lineups, but if I am choosing one, give me Steph who has averaged 61 fantasy points (FPs) in the two matchups between these teams this season. The other perk for Steph is he’s had two nights off after resting his ankle Wednesday and being off last night, while OKC were active last night against the Clippers. Another reason that I mentioned going contrarian earlier, because if Golden State blows this open early which is always possible, this game would bury 85% of the GPP field.

Rajon Rondo ($14,600) – You heard me talk about going contrarian earlier in this article, right? Well, if you do and decide to fade the miraculous duo I just talked about, Rondo is the contrarian play of the night at guard. Rondo has been terrific this season and is capable of lighting it up for 50+ FPs on any given night. Well, tonight he goes up against the Mavericks who are bottom-6 in the league against opposing point guards. Rondo has beaten value at this price point in seven of the last eight games.

Dwyane Wade ($12,600) – Am I a little worried that the Heat could be up on the Suns by 20+ by halftime, yes, but Wade can be hella efficient even in just 30 minutes, and he matches up really well against the inexperienced Suns’ wings. While Wade deferred to the hot hand of Joe Johnson last game, look for him to be the one taking over this one, with a high usage rate and a good amount of assists to go along with his scoring. Also, the Suns guards are turnover happy, and Wade loves to rack up steals and blocks when the opportunity is there. If this were a full slate I may steer away, but on a slate like this and his price not as high as the top elite players, I like him as a guy who will score you plenty enough tonight.

Wesley Matthews ($9,300)- Wes has quietly been right at or above value (24 FPs) in five straight games, and tonight he goes up against the team that allows the most FPs to opposing shooting guards in the league. I like the value, safe feel, upside and flexibility that Wes gives you on this four game slate. Look for him to end around 30 FPs.

Cheap risk option: In the bargain bin tonight there are a few names to think about like Raymond Felton, Norris Cole, Ronnie Price and Archie Goodwin. All are similarly priced in the mid-to-low $8K range on FantasyDraft, and all could easily hit value or totally tank. I have them ranked as you see them above.

FORWARD/CENTER

DeMarcus Cousins ($19,300) – Yep, even over Durant. Cousins is just a freaking monster, he’s averaged over 58 FPs the last seven games, and he’s already faced the Mavs twice this season, an average of 63 FPs. SIGN ME UP! I can’t wait to watch David Lee try and defend Boogie at times, that’s going to be comical.

Kevin Durant ($18,300) – Yeah, him also though. While I keep hinting at fading the big game in tourneys, I’ll still play the game heavily in most of my lineups and Durant is the best to go after as he can easily go for the most FPs of the bunch and is the cheapest. He just put up 68 FPs against the team a couple nights back and that actually lowered his season average against them to 69.8 FPPG. They have no answer for the Durantula.

Chandler Parsons ($12,000) – See Matthews, Wesley. Same story, different book for Parsons, the Kings can’t stop wings or really any offensively gifted players, so Parsons and Wes will have plenty of opportunity to shoot there ways above value tonight. There’s been inconsistency with Chandler recently, but when he’s on, he lights it up big time, and tonight everything shapes up perfectly for a night like that.

Alex Len ($10,300) – Blowout or not, all the Len tonight. While Tyson Chandler mostly deals with Hassan Whiteside, Len will take it to Luol Deng and Amare Stoudemire in the post. The Heat have a serious mismatch issue here, as Len should easily rack up a nice double-double before this one gets too ugly. Since becoming a starter two games ago, Len has played 34 minutes each night and posted 34 and 50 FPs in those contests, 30+ again tonight. Too much value at this price.

Cheap risk option: While everyone else pays up, take a shot on Tyson Chandler tonight in some GPPs. Whiteside gets his, but by no means shuts down opposing centers from getting theirs as well. Look for Tyson to battle his way to a low-end double-double which will get him to value-island. David Lee is too cheap to totally ignore, but after getting in foul trouble against the Magic, I can’t even imagine how quick he could collect fouls guarding Cousins, so he’s just a punt option. The value guy I may look to most tonight at this position is Steven Adams. The Thunder need his inside presence against Golden State and while he lacks a high ceiling, he’s averaged 26 FPs against GS this year, so he’s been solid enough to get you above value for cheap.

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.

GUARD
1) Stephen Curry
2) Russell Westbrook
3) Rajon Rondo
4) Dwyane Wade
5) Wesley Matthews
6) Jrue Holiday
7) Deron Williams
8) Goran Dragic
9) Raymond Felton
10) Darren Collison

FORWARD/CENTER
1) DeMarcus Cousins
2) Kevin Durant
3) Alex Len
4) Chandler Parsons
5) Anthony Davis
6) Draymond Green
7) Hassan Whiteside
8) Steven Adams
9) Dirk Nowitzki
10) Luol Deng
11) Tyson Chandler
12) P.J. Tucker

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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