Daily Fantasy Basketball Strategy: November 6, 2015
Strange night in the NBA coming up tonight as Thursday’s unusually large five game slate has created a domino effect where we only have ten games on a Friday Night.
Before I get too ahead of myself, let me introduce myself to the Fantasy Fix audience. My name is Ricky Sanders and let’s just say this ain’t my first rodeo. Currently I reside over at the FantasyDraft Locker Room which is the content site for up-and-coming daily fantasy site FantasyDraft.com. However, I’ve written for such sites as FakePigskin.com, RotoExperts.com and DailyRoto.com, so if the name looks familiar it’s probably because you’ve trolled me before. (Kidding of course)
I spend time covering all three sports because somehow, someway I have found myself a job as a full-time grinder. Still when NBA season rolls around, I still hold it near and dear to my heart because it’s both my favorite sport and the reason I earned my first break in this industry (RotoExperts was looking for a NBA contributor). For that reason, I am happy to be here at the Fantasy Fix today babbling away about a weird slate which only includes three spreads of two points or less. I’m not one of those grinders who is going to hold back my extreme sleeper picks or anything like that…I like to “leave it all on the field” as they say. So without further ado, here are the guys I’ll be looking to roster tonight. Note: there is only one late night, West Coast game with a spread less than 17.5 points so there should be a great deal of game diversification tonight within rosters (which makes it more fun):
“The” Play: The Lakers are still figuring out how to make three guards who all command the ball work together in the starting lineup together (D’Angelo Russell, Jordan Clarkson and Kobe Bryant). As expected with a smaller lineup, the Lakers are playing at a quick pace (101.7) which currently ranks third in the association. Due to both the lack of defensive talent and speed of the game, none of the three possess a defensive rating sub-117 so far this season. Therefore, it’s not really a surprise starting point guards (PGs) each have produced at least 29.3 in four games against the Lakers and that’s including Deron Williams who was limited to just 30 minutes. Every single one of the starters to have faced L.A. has produced over a fantasy point per minute so Jarrett Jack ($5,700), who has been battling a hamstring injury, makes a ton of sense. He has played at least 35 minutes in two of his last three games, so if he sees anywhere near that minute allotment once again, he should go off.
Others to Consider: At a price tag still hovering around the minimum, rookie T.J. McConnell ($4,000) makes a hell of a lot of sense to plug in as a punt. He started last game, logged 35 minutes and nearly dropped a triple-double on Milwaukee who’s typically like the Darrelle Revis of PGs. However, it was a bit concerning that Phil Pressey logged minutes in a close game down the stretch ahead of McConnell especially because Pressey has a history with Coach Brett Brown…Believe it or not, Brown helped coach Pressey’s little league team as an eight year old, so that’s just something to keep in mind if rostering Philly PGs tonight. Also, Jeff Teague‘s ($6,500) usage rate is up more than two percent so far this season due to the departure of DeMarre Carroll and his price still does not accurately reflect the change. The usuals Stephen Curry ($10,300), Reggie Jackson ($7,500), Isaiah Thomas ($6,800) (especially if starting again) and Ty Lawson ($6,100) all are worthy of consideration as well but you already knew that. UPDATE: Michael Carter-Williams will sit out again and Tyler Ennis ($3,000) will start in his place so he can be looked at as a pure punt.
“The” Play: Last year’s basement dweller in terms of defensive efficiency against opposing shooting guards (SGs) is at it again this season: the Sacramento Kings. Sure it’s only a five game sample but they yet again rank dead last against the position and a notable one will suit up against them tonight: James Harden ($10,000). To this point, I have avoided using Harden at his price point because it has not corrected itself in concurrence with the addition of Ty Lawson. So far Harden is shooting just 29.4 percent from the field though his usage rate is up 1.4 percentage points. Not only is the matchup incredibly favorable but the team is favored by 6.5 in the game with highest total (over/under) of the night. Although he has struggled this season, the matchup and pace of this game is enough to convince me to finally roster the All-Star especially in cash games.
Others to Consider: Bradley Beal ($6,600) has been logging heavy minutes for the Wizards (35.3 minutes per game) which has led to a career high 25.3 points per game. Despite averaging 25-plus real points, he’s still priced as a mid-tier option on all sites. Avoid that price at your own risk. The only downside is the likely matchup against an upper-echelon defender in Avery Bradley. Also, Victor Oladipo ($7,700) (increase in minutes and production this season), Kobe Bryant ($6,500) and Kyle Korver ($4,400) (as a borderline punt) make a whole lot of sense at the position. Marcus Thorton ($4,000) is still under-priced and makes for an interesting unorthodox stack with Harden that almost no one will think to do.
“The” Play: At some juncture in time Evan Fournier ($5,200) is going to have to put up a stinker after back-to-back 29-plus point performances but, with Nikola Vucevic set to miss tonight’s game, his scoring will be needed yet again. Toronto ranks in the bottom half of efficiency thus far the small forward (SF) position so I’m not really concerned with who is guarding him. Assuming he tosses up 20-plus shots for the third straight game, he will produce more than enough to justify his mediocre price tag. It should be noted he has shot at least 52.4 percent in back-to-back games so mild regression is on the horizon. With that type of shooting volume, it’s hard to worry too much about that happening tonight especially with the crazy value price he’s still attached to.
Others to Consider: P.J. Tucker ($3,500) did not look afraid to shoot the corner threes last game and his salary is at an all-time low. He may not need 25 minutes to reach value at this cost. Aaron Gordon ($4,000) is likely to see extended minutes with Vucevic out, Carmelo Anthony ($8,400), Marcus Morris ($6,100), Tobias Harris ($6,200) and DeMarre Carroll ($5,800) all are viable options if trying to contrarian in tournaments or roster a duo of small forwards in your lineup.
“The” Play: If Philadelphia is going to compete with the Cavaliers in Cleveland tonight, Nerlens Noel ($7,000) is going to have to come up big. The thing I absolutely love about Noel is he’s typically good for about four combined steals and blocks in a given night. With that type of floor, it’s hard to ever overlook his name when constructing a cash lineup. He also plays in blowouts until the fat lady is essentially singing so I don’t even really worry about his minutes unless we start talking about a 30-ish point game. The guy is averaging a double-double, aka picking up where he left off at the end of last year, so he should enjoy continued success against an inferior athlete in Kevin Love.
Others to Consider: Ersan Ilyasova ($4,700) has hit a couple bumps in the road already and looks like his typical, inconsistent self. Coach Stan Van Gundy’s propensity to play his starters big minutes raises his otherwise moderate ceiling. In a GPP, he’s worth a shot but I wouldn’t do it in cash. J.J. Hickson ($4,000) is intriguing if all the other bigs sit again and I like Luis Scola ($3,800) in a matchup versus an inexperienced Aaron Gordon. Never forget Anthony Davis ($10,700) nor Greg Monroe ($8,500) either because both can explode anytime they toe the hardwood. Tristan Thompson ($4,800) is also worthy of an honorable mention as he’s currently hovering around a double-double average.
“The” Play: Andre Drummond ($8,900) is no longer just a rebounding specialist. He has worked on his game in the post and his stats have ballooned in the process. Through four games, he is nearly averaging 20-20. That’s twenty points and twenty rebounds. Only Stephen Curry is averaging more fantasy points per game of anyone on the slate tonight and Drummond’s price is a sizable discount. The Suns like to run which could create even more rebound opportunities than normal which should help negate the reasonably challenging matchup against Tyson Chandler. Insert Drummond into your lineup and sleep like a baby because fouls are really the only possible obstacle for him posting another monstrous line.
Others to Consider: Tyson Chandler($6,000), Brook Lopez ($6,800) and Marreese Speights ($3,100) are all worth a shot as contrarian options to GOAT Drummond. UPDATE: Dwight Howard is out so upgrade PF Clint Capela ($3,700) and even Kosta Koufos ($4,700) who was slated to draw a difficult matchup against D12 but now he will not.
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