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.

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.

NBA 2014-2015 Predictions

We will give our predictions for both divisions, conferences, playoffs and personal awards.

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Eastern Conference

Atlantic                                                                                    

  1. Toronto Raptors                                                                
  2. New York Knicks                                                                 
  3. Brooklyn Nets                                                                    
  4. Boston Celtics                                                                    
  5. Philadelphia 76ers

Central                                                                                     

  1. Chicago Bulls                                                                     
  2. Cleveland Cavaliers                                                           
  3. Indiana Pacers
  4. Detroit Pistons
  5. Milwaukee Bucks

Southeast

  1. Washington Wizards
  2. Charlotte Hornets
  3. Miami Heat
  4. Atlanta Hawks
  5. Orlando Magic
Conference Standings
  1. Chicago Bulls
  2. Cleveland Cavaliers
  3. Toronto Raptors
  4. Washington Wizards
  5. Charlotte Hornets
  6. Miami Heat
  7. Atlanta Hawks
  8. New York Knicks

Western Conference

Northeast

  1. Portland Trailblazers
  2. Oklahoma City Thunder
  3. Denver Nuggets
  4. Utah Jazz
  5. Minnesota Timberwolves

Pacific

  1. Los Angeles Clippers
  2. Golden State Warriors
  3. Phoenix Suns
  4. Sacramento Kings
  5. Los Angeles Lakers

Southwest

  1. San Antonio Spurs
  2. Houston Rockets 
  3. Dallas Mavericks
  4. New Orleans Pelicans
  5. Memphis Grizzlies 
Conference Standings
  1. Los Angeles Clippers
  2. San Antonio Spurs
  3. Golden State Warriors
  4. Portland Trailblazers
  5. Oklahoma City Thunder
  6. Houston Rockets
  7. Phoenix Suns
  8. Dallas Mavericks

We both agreed that the Pelicans have a chance to overtake Dallas in their division and in the conference standings.

Player Awards

  • MVP

@The_Real_Grande1) Steph Curry 2) LeBron James 3) Derrick Rose

@jessedoyle7: 1) LeBron James 2) Derrick Rose 3) Anthony Davis

  • Rookie of the Year

@The_Real_Grande: 1) Jabari Parker 2) Nerlens Noel 3) Andrew Wiggins

@jessedoyle7: 1) Jabari Parker 2) Nerlens Noel 3) Andrew Wiggins

  • 6th Man of the Year

@The_Real_Grande: 1) Isaiah Thomas 2) Jamal Crawford 3) Ryan Anderson

@jessedoyle7: 1) Jamal Crawford 2) Ryan Anderson 3) Doug McDermott

  • Comeback Player of the Year

@The_Real_Grande: 1) Derrick Rose 2) Al Horford 3) Kobe Bryant

@jessedoyle7: 1) Derrick Rose 2) Kobe Bryant 3) Al Horford

  • Defensive Player of the Year

@The_Real_Grande: 1) Anthony Davis 2) Joakim Noah 3) LeBron James

@jessedoyle7: 1) Anthony Davis 2) Joakim Noah 3) DeAndre Jordan

  • Coach of the Year

@The_Real_Grande: 1) Tom Thibodeau 2) Doc Rivers 3) Gregg Popovich

@jessedoyle7: 1) Steve Kerr 2) Tom Thibodeau 3) David Blatt