Four-Pack of Wings: Daily Fantasy Basketball
Coming into the league as a physically prepared #2 pick in 2010, Evan Turner has failed to impress. Turner’s greatest value to fantasy owners lies in his abundant playing time; playing time he continues to receive solely because the Sixers options behind him are not NBA caliber — Damien Wilkins, Charles Jenkins and Royal Ivey. His daily salary of $6,900 on DraftKings is not attractive bait for a player who is not performing anywhere near that price level. The hard data: despite playing 36 minutes per game, he’s scored in single-digits on 16 occasions (26% of the time); he’s shot above 50% from the field once since January 30th (19 games); he went the entire month of February without connecting on a three-pointer; he’s shooting 37.9% inside the paint over the last thirty days according to Vorped.com (84 attempts). Not to mention that cheap points at the free throw line are not a part of his vocabulary (2.7 FTA). At 6’7 with an unselfish demeanor, Turner possesses the tools to flirt with a triple-double on any given night, but those moments of brilliance have been few and far between.
Nicolas Batum has been a mere shell of his late-December/early-January form since injuring his right (shooting) wrist on January 19th. Well, technically he proceeded to notch triple-doubles in two of the next three games, but since then the effects have been clear to see. A month by month breakdown should illustrate the point:
Batum remains a defensive force and a solid bet to pick up a steal and a block nightly (G/F eligibility), but the majority of key statistical areas have suffered precipitous drop-offs. His reluctance to shoot has resulted in a 5.5 drop in scoring output. His hesitation to mix it up on the interior has resulted in a 1.6 drop in boards. And lastly, his inability to handle the rock comfortably has restricted playmaking responsibilities and resulted in a 2.1 drop in assists. At a steep DraftKings salary of $6,800, his current production standard is not worth the daily price. This is by no means a knock on Batum, who when healthy is a fantasy beast. Amazingly he’s still just 24 years of age with five seasons of NBA experience in his back pocket.
Much like Turner mentioned above, Derrick Williams has also struggled to find an on-court identity and consistently produce like a 2nd overall pick should. Williams, however, is averaging 18 points and 8.6 rebounds in ten games post All-Star Break (three double-doubles), and his daily salary is $1,100 cheaper. While it should be noted that Nikola Pekovic and Andrei Kirilenko were only healthy for four and three of those games respectively (it is believed that both will return at some point this week), he was getting 35+ minutes and putting up healthy efforts prior to their exit. His shooting woes (41.7%) are more a knock on his shot selection (26% on 3.1 3PTA since February) than his inability to put the ball in the hoop. According to Vorped.com shot charts, Williams is shooting 58.1% on his last 86 paint attempts. Additionally, he’s getting to the foul line at a terrific frequency in March (7.4 FTA), but he’s shooting himself in the foot with a below 70% conversion rate. To elucidate this mad clutter: owners seeking points, rebounds and the occasional three from an aggressive PF-eligible option, Williams can be your man at a reasonable price.
Hello, Mr. Johnson! Former Syracuse product Wes Johnson has risen from the dead in recent weeks to pop up on fantasy radars for the first time since his rookie year. He’s seen his playing time swell to 29 minutes per over his last seven games, including making starts in each of the last three. During that span he’s rewarded Lindsey Hunter’s faith averaging 12 points, four rebounds, 1.7 3PT makes and one steal. With the long-overrated Jared Dudley seeing a cut in minutes and Shannon Brown buried deep in the doghouse, continued PT for Johnson appears to be in the cards. In anticipated full-court matchups, a DraftKings daily salary of $4,100 could hold economic value for the renewed sharpshooter. It should be noted that the Suns declined his $5.42 million option for 2013-2014 making him an unrestricted free agent at season’s end, so they clearly don’t view him as a long-term piece of their rebuilding puzzle.
Keep tabs on these minimum salary/rare usage options in DraftKings daily fantasy cash games, where you can enter their weekly $10,000 “Big Wednesday” tournament for $11. In addition, check out their newly unveiled “Bankshot” contest with $150,000 in guaranteed prizes. Entry fee is $200 with qualifier tournaments as low as $5 running through March 27th.
Follow on twitter @AdamGaneles