NBA DFS Picks for FanDuel and DraftKings – 3/14/17

Welcome to another edition of ResearchFantasy’s NBA Breakdown. These picks are what I consider to be the best play of the day, relative to their price. One of the most important things we must consider in daily fantasy is how many points a player gets per dollar. It helps us identify value plays to pair with studs that we know will produce in order to maximize our potential points in lineups. I also try to identify plays that can be used in either cash games or tournaments. Typically, when I build my cash games, I am looking for players that have the best floor combined with good upside. If you have any questions, comments or suggestions, please let us know!

Pricing is FantasyDraft/FanDuel/DraftKings

POINT GUARD:

Russell Westbrook (23900/13400/13400) – On a short slate, against a weak opponent like Brooklyn, it just doesn’t seem to make sense to pass on Russell Westbrook. Well, I mean one good reason is that this game very well could end up being a blowout. Other than that, though, it looks like it should be another 60-70 point fantasy game for Russ. We had similar concerns when Oklahoma City played Phoenix, and we saw exactly how that turned out for him. For what it’s worth, Vegas only has Oklahoma City listed as a 6 point favorite, so I think this should be worth doing tonight. I’ll have an abundance of him.

Jeremy Lin (11300/5800/5700) – Another popular option tonight is probably going to be the man playing the other side of the point guard matchup to Russ: Jeremy Lin. We all got really scared by Lin when he went 1-9 in the first half of the game against the Knicks on Sunday, but he finished nicely and we weren’t killed by his output. With Russ playing as fast as he does, he certainly doesn’t have any time for defense. Lin will certainly be one of the other guys I have a great deal of ownership on tonight.

SHOOTING GUARD:

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (11100/4700/5600) – This is a tough one for me. For what it’s worth, I really C.J. McCollum tonight as well, but since I have some pretty expensive options at other positions, I decided to go the value route at shooting guard. This makes sense, as so much of the strategy in DFS comes down to trying to save at this position anyway. KCP has been awful, but Cleveland has to with defending the position. Something is going to have to give, and with this being such a short slate, I think it will happen here. It always seems like some off the radar play always comes through with a big game on these short slates, and my bet for tonight will be on Caldwell-Pope.

Jordan Crawford (7700/3500/3900) – I’m not quite sure why Crawford is still priced here. He’s blown out value in 2/3 games, and has every opportunity to do it again tonight against the Blazers. They play way more offense than they do defense, and Crawford has shown that he hasn’t lost his step while he was out of the Association. I’ll be using him all over the place tonight so that I can fit in a few other high dollar plays in my lineups.

SMALL FORWARD:

LeBron James (19600/11200/11000) – It’s hard to look past LeBron James right now with what he has to do for the Cavs. It doesn’t hurt that he’s one of, if not the best, player in the game. He’s a guy you want to have for sure in your cash games, and he’s probably someone that you’ll at least consider in tournaments. There is some merit to fading these types of high owned plays in tournaments, but tonight, especially on a site like DraftKings, LeBron could be the pivot from Westbrook. I’ll have him where I can, and you should consider it as well.

Paul George (15100/8100/8200) – If you want a real pivot at the position, I’d look at Paul George. I think the mentality will be to pay up for Westbrook, and drop down to a lower priced option at this position, or just spend up on LeBron. That could leave George as someone who ends up as a really low owned played. That’s exactly what we want in tournaments. He’s been very good over the course of the last few games, and he’s one of the highest floor and ceiling players in the league. It wouldn’t shock me to see him approach 50 fantasy points tonight.

POWER FORWARD:

Kristaps Porzingis (13700/6600/7200) – Let’s stay in the Knicks game, and lets talk about someone who I expect to finish the year off strong, and that is Kristaps Porzingis. The upside here is 50 points, which at this price absolutely has to put him on your radar. He does have a lower floor, because this is the Knicks, and the bottom could fall out at any time. I’m leaning towards making him one of the highest owned players I have tonight. He has put up some really nice games in recent weeks, so make sure you have at least some exposure to him tonight.

Trevor Booker (9800/5400/5000) – I really wish they would give Booker some more time on the court, because if they did, he could be someone we could drop into our lineups each night. I don’t know what his contract situation is, but hopefully he can end up somewhere else where they’ll actually play him. Nonetheless, he’s an interesting option tonight against the Thunder. I could actually see him giving the OKC big guys some problems because he is pretty physical and plays with a crazy motor. I love the price especially on DraftKings, where I could see him hitting 6x value tonight.

CENTER:

Brook Lopez (12300/7000/6500) – I want to suggest playing DeMarcus Cousins at his bargain bin price tonight, but then he’ll have three fouls within the first 12 minutes of the game and be worthless, so I’ll spare you the suggestion. Lopez still seems to be a bit underpriced to me in this matchup with the Nets. He should be able to get his, which I feel like could consist of around 34-37 fantasy points. That is good enough for me on a night like this. If you are the gambling type, then Cousins is the best route due to his upside but he’s been so untrustworthy.

Steven Adams (9800/5300/5000) – Speaking of underpriced, I feel like that best describes Steven Adams. It’s always a great strategy to target against the Nets tonight, so we should beef up our exposure to him. There is a slight chance he could go under looked after some not so great games in the past three, and if that’s the case, we could really end up winning here. I think he has a reasonable safe floor for cash games and the upside we are looking for in tournaments.

Slate Strategy

When is Russell Westbrook going to actually play on a full slate? It seems like his only games come on short slates. Anyway, I think the decision starts with Russell Westbrook. I think it makes sense to use him in cash games because he’ll likely be very highly owned, but there is always some merit in pivoting from him in tournaments just in case he finishes with under 50  points. While he will be high owned, he won’t be so high owned that it kills the vast majority of the field if he flops.

After the Westbrook decision, I think you need to look at the tier of players that are priced $9k and above to decide who, if any, you really want to build around. They all have upside in the matchups they are in. I would imagine that Curry could end up being the lowest owned because he just hasn’t really been putting together big games, despite having a great opportunity.

At this point, I think you try to look for some value on the slate, and for me, my favorite option is Jordan Crawford who is just underpriced for a slate like this. I’ll put him in and start to work some mid-range plays in that have some solid upside.

Situations to Monitor

Detroit – Tobias Harris is questionable. If he misses, it’s a bump to Marcus Morris, Stanley Johnson and Jon Leuer.

Oklahoma City – Taj Gibson is questionable with a hip injury. If he misses, Enes Kanter probably benefits the most, but Steven Adams is likely to see a few more minutes as well.

Philadelphia – Robert Covington is questionable tonight. His absence would mean more work for Dario Saric and Timothe Luwawu-Cabbarot.

 

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