NBA DFS: March 10th

SO with an appetizing eight-game slate on tap for tonight, I’m going to do my first DFS write-up of the year and give you some of my favorite plays! All of the pricing I’ll allude to is FanDuel since I primarily play over there. Before the plays, I’ll give you a quick rundown on how to construct your lineups. Use my advice at your own risk!

First and foremost, when digesting the slate, figure out which teams are playing up in pace. The reason you want to target the teams playing up in pace is because they’re going to receive more possessions than they would at the pace they normally play at. More possessions give the players you roster a better chance at scoring more fantasy points.

 

So, the teams playing up in pace on Friday are:

  • Chicago
  • Minnesota
  • Boston
  • Dallas
  • Sacramento
  • Toronto

 

Now that we’ve determined that, don’t use that as your only metric of research. Using Vegas as a research tool is important as well. Vegas puts out all of the games Over/Under lines for the day, and the higher totals are normally the games we should target. Again, it comes down to amount of possessions. The higher the game total, the more points being scored which means plenty of offensive possessions for the players YOU selected.

Another research tactic that is helping DFS players take down tournaments and simply get a green return on their investment each night is DVP of Defense vs. Position. DVP allows us to figure out which teams on the particular slate we should attack and at what positions.

And finally, using your gut sometimes is better than any of the stuff above combined. Only your gut would have told you told roster Elfrid Payton in a SLOW paced game against the Bulls the last time the Magic took the court. Payton scored 70+ FanDuel points and was in every winning tournament lineup on that night. So, with that being said, here are some of my favorite studs, value and high-risk/high-reward plays of the night!

 

Let’s break it down position-by-position!

 

Point-Guard;

Elite – Isaiah Thomas ($9,200 FD @ Denver)IT2

Let’s start off by saying that I’m well aware players like John Walla and Stephen Curry are on the board. I simply don’t care. Thomas gets a check next to the pace, DVP and Vegas boxes. The Over/Under is currently at 223, Denver allows the second-most FanDuel points per game to opposing PG’s. Another couple things we should keep in mind is the fact that Thomas is coming off a bad game so his ownership will be lower than normal AND the fact his price has finally lowered to a reasonable $9.2K makes this an elite spot for the diminutive PG.

Value – Cory Joseph ($5,000 FD vs. Atlanta)

There are definitely more reasons to spend up at PG than spending down at the position on this slate, but if Joseph fits into your lineup at $5K you should be comfortable with that decision. He profiles more as a cash game play – someone you’d like to use more in 50/50’s, double-ups and tournaments of that nature because of his limited upside. That said, he’s getting all of the PG minutes and has hit and surpassed value in three straight games. Did I forget to mention we could score at will on Dennis Schroder? He’s a mannequin defensively.

 

Shooting-Guard;

Elite – Bradley Beal ($7,600 FD @ Sacramento)

Although Washington is playing down in pace, the Kings offer no defensive resistance at the shooting-guard position as they allow the fourth-most FD points per game to SG. Beal has found his groove this season and is actually managing to stay healthy. Beal is safe for all formats and could be an elite tournament play at his very reasonable salary. Let’s not forget, Beal flashed 60-point DFS upside in February against a Cleveland team who also doesn’t defend shooting-guards well. This is a PRIME spot for Beal.

Value – Sean Kilpatrick ($4,200 FD @ Dallas) KILPATRICK

Yes, I understand rostering Nets’ players are cringe worthy but there is plenty of merit to this play that I see. First off, Brook Lopez will miss Friday’s game, so his 15.5 shots will be distributed amongst the rest of the team, which bodes well for the Nets SG. Secondly, Kilpatrick has been ballin’ to say the least of late. He’s scored 20 or more actual point in three straight games while posting 30-plus FanDuel points in each contest. He’s crushing value and his price is so low that even if he flopped it wouldn’t kill your lineups. Plus, nobody on Dallas’ second-unit has a chance at guarding him, especially with the midget J.J. Barea returning. No chance at all. With that being said, yes, I do like him MORE if he’s coming off of the bench. So keep an eye on what Brooklyn does with their starting lineup. Kilpatrick is a GPP play only!

 

Small-Forward;

Elite – Jimmy Butler ($9,100 FD vs. Houston) BUTLER

So both of the small-forwards I’m going to list have crushed us of late. Neither have paid off their salaries and one of them, Jimmy Butler, is VERY expensive. Although that isn’t the case on Friday as his price is discounted to $9.1K. Butler hasn’t hit 50 FD points since January 29th, but in the highest Over/Under on the slate, and nobody that can defend him, he’s in the right spot to do so. Although it’s weird to say that now that Wade is back, Wade should take some attention off of Butler and allow him more room to operate. Am I saying it’s a lock for Butler to hit 50 FDP? No. But with the added exposure to James Harden’s turnover problems, he could wreak havoc in the passing lanes all night. Butler can be used in all formats on Friday.

Value – Terrence Ross ($4,500 FD @ Charlotte)

Since arriving in Orlando, here are Ross’ minutes in each game he’s played in; 33, 35, 37, 35, 32, 35, and 31. That screams cash game lock. At $4.5K and 31-plus minutes, Ross should easily hit value. He’s let us down two straight games failing to eclipse 20 FD points, so because of recency bias, his ownership should be lower than it has the last few times the Magic have been on the slate. Ross is viable for tournaments and cash. Don’t be scared away if Nikola Vucevic plays because he’s crushed value in the past few weeks when Vuc has been in the lineup. His return hurts someone like Aaron Gordon more.

 

Power-Forward;

Elite – Draymond Green ($8,100 FD @ Minnesota) DRAY

It almost feels like a cop out taking Green who could be the priciest PF on the slate if Nikola Jokic is out but he’s simply the best play if that happens to be the case. Now, does he have the best matchup? Absolutely not as the T’Wolves are one of the best teams at defending power-forward, but with no Kevin Durant, Green has so much more freedom offensively. He’s scored 33 or more FD points in six straight games while scoring 10-plus actual points in each one of those contests. Green’s very safe for cash and does have tournament upside at his current value.

Value – Trevor Booker ($5,300 FD @ Dallas)

Mannnn, this is bullshit. Two Brooklyn guys on ONE write-up. Time to DRINK! But with Brook Lopez out as I previously mentioned in this article, there are shots to be had! Now we should expect Booker to come off the bench as per usual, but he could see extended run as a stretch-five, especially when Dallas plays Dirk Nowitzki at center. At $5.3K, it’s reasonable to think Booker can hit and exceed value and give you around 30 FDP. Power-forward is god-awful on Friday. It flat out sucks. So getting someone with 30-point upside and is locked into 25-plus minutes is a nice play. I could see the case to be made for cash, but I lean towards using him in tournaments.

 

Center;

Elite – Karl-Anthony Towns ($10,600 FD vs. Golden State)

Towns is easily my favorite play on the board. His price is the only thing that might scare people away, but not I. He has a seven-contest streak of 21-plus points and 14-plus rebounds and he’s in a plus matchup against the Warriors. In the two previous meetings between the Wolves and the Warriors, Towns went for over 40 FD points in both games, one he dropped a 50-burger. All those things considered Towns will likely be a staple in every one of my tournament lineups tonight.

PLUMValue – Mason Plumlee ($5,600 FD vs. Boston)

This play is strictly based on Nikola Jokic’s availability. If Jokic plays, can the Plumlee idea and reconstruct your lineup accordingly. BUT, if he’s not, Plumdog is an excellent play. Attacking Boston bigs is something that every DFS player should experience. When you do, you’ll never stop doing it. Boston can’t rebound the basketball and Plumlee is coming off of two straight double-figure rebounding outputs. He’s a cash game lock with Jokic out and at his reduced price offers some upside in GPP’s if you’re not looking to spend up on KAT and budget your money elsewhere.

The Build or Die Problem in the NBA

Not sure if you have noticed, but there is rarely change in the NBA finals scene.

Every five or so years NBA fans finally get a new group of teams in the championship scene. We have seen a total of 10 teams win an NBA title since 1990, but we are currently in the middle of one of the rare changes of the guard. We are seeing teams like the Warriors and Cavs pick up where the Celtics,Lakers,Spurs and Heat left off. This change is the perfect time to start the dreaded rebuild.

In 2011 who thought that we would see the Warriors win a NBA title and be a perennial contender? The answer is none of you. That team was stacked with studs like Kwame Brown, Monta Ellis and a young Steph Curry. They also finished 11th in the Western Conference. In five short years they have become NBA champions and a “super team.”

How did this happen? Well besides getting rid of Kwame Brown the Warriors built the right way! All they had to do was make smart decisions with a few picks and they scored in drafting Curry, Thompson, Green and Barnes. This was from 2009-2012 and they obviously missed on a few picks in the time before their title as well. They also traded some picks in 2013, but every rebuild will have some mistakes. The Warriors noticed that they weren’t contenders and began to build in 2009. After years of doing so they finally got that title and landed Durant (who saw the potential) to help continue their roll.

Now we have another stretch of years coming up where the Warriors and Cavs will likely dominate in the playoffs just as well as they do in the regular season. Other NBA teams should be looking at this time to build for when those teams age out.

The Celtics are well on their way to rejoining the elite. They have had some good drafts and pieced together valuable pieces to acquire that superstar once they are ready to strike. The Celtics are just one of the many teams that could end up in the “Elite” group once the NBA’s championship scene changes again.

Let us know on twitter @PWTBLCAST who you think might be part of the next Elite in the NBA!

 

It’s Time for the Mets to Move on from Their Captain

david_wright_33

 

Okay. I know what you guys are thinking. Especially you, Mets fans. He’s still a solid player when he’s healthy, but that four letter word previously mentioned is the most important thing you’ll read this entire article; when. Wright has played just 38 and 37 games over the past two seasons and has played north of 112 games just once since 2013. SO, I pose this question. Should Mets move on from David Wright before he’s most remembered for his injury history when he should be praised for his play? I say yes.

It’s undeniable fact that Wright is one of the Mets greatest players in its franchise history and definitely the best over the last decade or so. Offensively, Wright is the franchise leader in hits, runs, RBI, total bases, doubles, walks, and WAR. He’s second in games played and second in home runs as well. Stats matter sometimes, and although they don’t tell you the entire story, it shows the great years Wright has put forth for a very storied franchise.

But the amount of years Wright has been in the league I briefly touched on in the paragraph above is what is coming around to bite Wright in the ass. The Captain is now 34-years old and father time is knocking on the door. Most recently, Wright has come down with another injury, this time in his shoulder. It’s hindering his throwing ability so he’ll be shut down until further notice, putting opening day in question. According to MLB.com, Doctors believe the injury has something to with the neck surgery he had last June. Yikes.

Anytime one injury directly connects with another, the status of that player going forward simply doesn’t look good and it doesn’t sit well with me. It doesn’t make me feel comfortable with that player moving forward, as the thought of injury will linger in the back of my mind every single time he’s involved in the game at all. As I mentioned in the intro, Wright’s played just 75 games over the past two seasons, so beginning the season on the disabled list is less than ideal for an already injury-prone player.

As for Wright’s production on the field, here are his numbers from 2014-’16;

 

  • 209 G
  • .266/.339/.396/.735 slash line
  • 20 HR
  • 94 RBI
  • 96 R

 

Those numbers are really solid for a 162 game campaign. Unfortunately for the third basemen, it’s 209 games, and it’s over a three-year span. He’s never had elite power, but what power he did have has virtually evaporated. At this point, when healthy, Wright is a glorified singles hitter with enough sauce to shoot one into the gap at times. Maybe even channel his inner Rey Ordonez and belt one out of the park like Rey did 12 times during his career.

The Mets window is closing by the day and just in 2015, they proved that they can go the distance even without their captain manning the hot corner everyday. It’s obviously different in 2017 than it was two years ago due to the team’s roster construction, but bringing in someone who will be on the field and contribute every game is key.

Wright’s production and glory years, so to speak, won’t go unnoticed if he were released, traded or waived. That being said, the Mets should consider it in my opinion. Father time catches up to everyone — except Bartolo Colon — and he’s having a chat with David Wright a lot sooner than everyone thought.

The OFFICIAL Fast Food Bracket!

 

32 Fast Food chains began. Only one will remain! We need YOU, the people, to help us decide which should move on!

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And we’re off!

 

We’ve completed round one and there weren’t that many upsets. Chipotle is still the favorite, but tune in to our podcast to find out who makes it to the Elite 8!

 

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Onto the Sweet 16!

 

Are the Raptors heading towards a possible early Extinction this year?

Last week the Toronto Raptors made a move to acquire a solid veteran in Serge Ibaka from the Orlando Magic. This move was made shortly after it was announced that Cavs forward Kevin Love would miss an extended period of time. I made the reference during one of our recent podcasts that I believe that this showed that the Cavaliers appeared Vulnerable, and the Raptors understood this. While the Celtics and Danny Ainge sat around with their thumbs up their ass because they “haven’t seen the potential or their starting unit”, and clearly Jae Crowder is the second coming in their eyes, the Raptors pounced. Sure it wasn’t free, with a return package including Terrance Ross to the Magic, but it nonetheless showed that they were finally able to make a run for the east. Along with the Ibaka move they picked up veteran PJ Tucker from the Suns. Also a good move to ensure depth, adequate of a deep postseason run. Then today chaos erupted.

It was announced that All Star, Kyle Lowry, would miss what is likely the remainder of the season, and isn’t guaranteed ready for the beginning of the playoffs. While it’s not a death blow, this is absolutely negative news north of the border. Lowry was enjoying a fine year, Averaging almost 23 ppg, while shooting a clip of .417 from three (per basketballreference.com). Whether people want to admit shits about to get wonky or not, I have little reason to believe it won’t. Let’s just take a look at the options for his replacements. 

Internally the Raptors are looking at Cory Joseph,  and Delon Wright. Both fine contributors of the bench. But that’s just it. They’re not going to able to step in and replicate his performance. Those expectations are just way too lofty, especially with how well Lowry has handled this squad all year. Interesting enough there are two veteran floor generals , (maybe) on the Market. First the Obvious ex Mav, Deron Williams. And more recently ex New York Knick, Brandon Jennings. While some may say Williams would possibly give up signing with Cleveland at the chance for starting with Toronto, it seems unlikely. D-Will wants to win, and the Cavs present him the best opportunity, even with a reduced role. Jennings on the other hand is erratic, and while he certainly could log valuable minutes, lacks perimeter shooting abilities. This becomes problematic alongside Demar Derozan, whose perimeter game certainly wouldn’t be considered a strong suit.

Personally I think this is more than losing you’re starting Point Guard. You’re losing one of your leaders, as well as you’re best perimeter option, which is huge among today’s playoff teams. Not to mention he will have little to no time to build Chemistry with Ibaka and Tucker. While I’m not saying this will ultimately doom the Raptors, it will at the very least set them back handily.

Five Under the Radar Fantasy Baseball Game Changers for 2017

By this time most people are ready for their draft, but the most important time in all fantasy baseball years comes soon after most drafts. Your “dream team” isn’t going to last and the choices you make to fill those holes will make or break your season. Here’s five players to possibly make filing those holes easier.

5. Nate Jones

Jones will likely be drafted in some leagues if the Nationals get off their ass and get a closer, but if he’s not you have to keep an eye on him. One of the most underrated relievers in baseball had a great season in 2016. He posted an ERA in the low twos and a strikeout rate around 10, but where his upside lies is in his ridiculous pitch selection. He has sinker that averages 97 mph, a Greyson Allen dirty slider and a change up/curve combo that can buckle hitters. Imagine that as a closer and then you can start imagining what he can do for your fantasy team.

4. Josh Hader

Another pitcher on this list, but in a completely different role. Hader threw just nine innings last year in the big leagues and he may not start the year with the big league club. Lets be honest the Brewers aren’t going to compete this year let the kids get a chance. Hader is young and has control issues at times, but there is no doubt he could be special if he can pound the strike zone. By June or July his great strikeout rate may be worth a look to fill some sort of hole on your team if the Brewers give him a opportunity.

3. Ryan Zimmerman

Okay, before you laugh Zimm still has a chance to be a big league contributor. He needs to stay health, but if he can get a little more lift on his swing that 94.1 mph average exit velocity will result in more home runs. He won’t likely be drafted to start the year and will have to prove that he can stay health to earn a spot on most fantasy teams. With that being said if he’s batting .270 with 10 home runs entering June I am sure he wont still be on the waiver wire by the time you get around to take a look.

2. Robert Gsellman

This guy will require an injury or trade to make any sort of real impact this year, but it’s the Mets. One of those mustachioed pitching studs is going to have some sort of weird arm problem and Zach Wheeler may be starting that train early. Gsellman has a strong four pitch arsenal and ended last year with 2.42 ERA in eight appearances with the Mets.He could be a solid piece to fill in for a bit if you need that extra pitcher. I wouldn’t keep him on my team for long, but the Mets haven’t had a bad pitcher in a while.

1. Manny Margot

This may be a Roto specific add or he could be the 2017 Trea Turner for the whole year. Hes got 65 grade speed and has never stolen less than 30 bags in a year and in 2014 and 2015 he had 39 bases per year across levels. If he does nothing but steal he will be a valuable piece for Roto, but he can hit too. A solid bat, plus speed and a clear opportunity points to future fantasy star. This year will be the last year that you may find him on  a waiver wire and you can do MUCH worse than Margot to fill a hole on your team.

Some of these players may get drafted in some leagues, but these guys could easily keep your team stable if you end up fucking your draft up or if injures do the job.

* Pitch speed stats from Brooks Baseball and other stats from Fangraphs.

 

 

What the fuck Deshaun Watson?

So I don’t know if any one out there caught the    surprising (fucking not),  words out of Deshaun Watsons mouth. Wanna take a guess what team he is begging to draft him? Yep it’s everyone’s favorite apparently. The Cowboys. 

What ever happened to these high ranking young talents liking one of the other fucking teams in this league. A couple weeks ago Myles Garrett, the consensus number one defensive player in this years draft also beg for the Cowboys to pick him. And laid out an elaborate strategy involving trading Tony Romo and some more bull shit.

This article isn’t meant to be informative. It’s just how come there can’t be one fucking top tier talent speak out and want to go somewhere in this draft other than fucking Dallas for Christ sake? Well have no fear I’m sure some fucking 6th round tackle out of Northwestern Eastern Carolina University of Alabama or some stupid shit like that would lop off his left nut for the opportunity to play for the Cleveland Browns. Fucking Woof. 
P.S. I hope Jerry Jones listens to one of these guys and gets rid of something valauble and fucks that entire franchise up. Seriously fuck that guy.  

The unlikeliest of MVP Candidates; Ian Desmond

Neither the National or American league have one player currently running away with the MVP race. There are four, maybe five guys in each league that will likely continue to challenge one another for the award. The Mike Trout’s and Bryce Harper’s of the world are two of the names that will probably end up challenging for the award by seasons end. But with that said, there’s a dude in Texas who is flying completely under the radar that has been as valuable as anyone in the league. His name is Ian Desmond.

Offensively, Desmond has done a little bit of everything thus far in 2016. Here are his American League rankings:

 

If Desmond continues on the pace he’s played at, he’d end the season two hits shy of 200, score 115 runs, hit 43 doubles, 25 home runs, drive in 104 RBI and swipe 29 bags. All that while hitting north of .300, with an OPS near .900. This is all happening just a year after hitting .233 and a lot of people wondering if he’ll ever be an everyday player once again. Desmond has been especially good in the friendly confines in Arlington, as he’s strumming his guitar to a tune of .366 at home.

Where Desmond has made his money this season is when runners have been on base. With nobody on base, Desmond has hit just .252 this season but when at least one person’s on, he’s lighting opposing pitching up, hitting .398. Even more impressive is his .343 average with runners in scoring position. In 70 at-bats with RISP, Desmond has driven in 32 runs. His ability to come up clutch for the Rangers this season has helped them achieve the best record in the AL currently.

When Desmond signed in Texas, he knew Elvis Andrus was their shortstop as he agreed he would move to the outfield. In his seven professional seasons prior to 2016, Desmond had played 7.1 innings in the outfield. He has a .983 fielding percentage in center field which is right on par with the league average and already has five assists from the OF, putting him 11th in the entire league in that category.

When we think about the Texas Rangers, the first names that come to mind are Fielder, Hamels, Beltre and Darvish. All of a sudden, not a single of those aforementioned cornerstone players have been as valuable as Ian Desmond has for the Rangers this year. Don’t be surprised if Desmond is fighting for the award comes years end.

Let’s not forget where the Rangers were 72 games into the season in 2015. With virtually the same construction of the roster, they were 37-35, four games out of first place. 72 games into ’16, the Rangers have the best record in the American league at 46-26. It isn’t only because of Desmond and his fantastic first-half, but it is a very big reason as to why.

Three logical landing spots for Kevin Durant

Now that the 2015-2016 season has come to a close, one thing is on everyone’s mind; where is Kevin Durant going to play going forward? Well we’re here to speculate on three landing spots for the “Slim Reaper.”

 

3) Boston Celtics

Now look, Durant and his camp haven’t ruled out any teams so everyone that can make a play at him financially likely will. So after many discussions with teams across the league, we believe there will only be three teams remaining, one being the Boston Celtics.

The Celtics are an extremely promising young team with a Head Coach that has never had a poor word spoken about him, dating all the way back to his time at the University of Butler. The one thing they are lacking is star power. Isaiah Thomas is the closest thing to a star, but he’s only made one all-star team roster. That said, a large portion of their 48-win team will still be intact next season. Only three of their free agents had a real big impact on this past season’s team and both are restricted (Jared Sullinger, Tyler Zeller) and Boston will likely be able to match any contract offers made. Evan Turner is the third player but I’m fairly certain most people would consider getting Kevin Durant an upgrade over Turner.

The one thing the Celtics have a lot of is draft picks. The acquired the Nets’ next three first-round draft picks a couple of years back, as well as getting one from Dallas from trading Rajon Rondo and also having picks of their own. If Durant’s had specific stipulations about coming to Boston and one was trading their picks to acquire championship-ready talent, I’m nearly 100-percent sure the Celtics would oblige.

Now if they did acquire Durant, it’s likely they begin playing a lot of small ball. They’d still be able to slow the pace down and play big, especially if they resign Sullinger. That said, it would be on Durant if he would move down and play more power-forward.

The Celtics are a superstar away from being serious contenders in LeBron James’ conference. We’d call it the east but he’s owned it for six consecutive seasons so what’s the point? Does Durant think a Celtics team with him heading the roster can beat the Cavaliers and win championships? We think it’s more than plausible to think that he does.

 

2) Golden State Warriors

We understand many of you are wondering…WHAT? But hear us out. What does Durant seemingly want more than anything? A championship. Where have the Warriors made it too the past two seasons? The NBA Finals. The two are a perfect match.

If the Warriors want to make a serious push at Durant, they will be able to financially. The Warriors payroll was north of $93M this past season. If they resign nobody, including restricted free agents Harrison Barnes and Festus Ezeli, they’ll have close to $20M available in spending money. The salary cap is also rising, likely giving the Warriors a few couple of million to play with.

Strategically, the Warriors would have zero problems sliding Durant into the then departed Harrison Barnes’ role. The Warriors already have the league’s best offense and that’s before he ever put on their jersey and Durant would take them to a whole new level. Adding him and subtracting Barnes in the Dubs “death lineup” would be virtually unstoppable. Although we haven’t seen Durant play in an offense quite like this, we’re sure one of the three best players on the planet would drastically lower his isolation percentage for consistently great looks at the rim.

We personally believe the Warriors are the favorites heading into the 2016-’17 season without Durant, but if they acquired him, there would be no way around it. Yes he would still be in the daunted Western Conference, but he’d have so much help surrounding him, he’d be silly to not strongly consider this franchise as a candidate.

 

1) Oklahoma City Thunder

Yeah, yeah, how original. But out of all 30 teams in the NBA, resigning with the Thunder makes the most sense for Kevin Durant. At least for the 2016-’17 season, that is. Beyond that is really anyone’s guess.

The Thunder has virtually everyone from this year’s Western Conference Finals team coming back under contract. If Durant resigns, it’s likely the team won’t make any big time moves because of their limited amount of income left over.

Look, the Thunder might only have one more crack at it. Not only is Durant a free agent this year, Russell Westbrook becomes a free agent after the 2017-’18 season. If Durant signs a one-year deal, they’ll have another chance at getting back to the Western Conference Finals and this time, beating whoever’s in their way. It’ll be the second-year with Head Coach Billy Donovan and the players will begin to trust his methods a lot more.

The Thunder were one measly game away from this years NBA finals before collapsing against the Warriors. If Durant feels like next year will be different, he’ll resign without much hesitation. We should expect Durant to wreak havoc for the Thunder for at least one more season.