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.

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Facets Player of the Night: E’Twaun Moore

1 E'Twaun

Did he score 40+ points? No. Did he assist his teammates 7 times or grab 8 rebounds? No and no. What the 26 year old who the Bulls signed to be their third-string point guard did was ignite a fourth quarter comeback and knock down a game-winning three after a fantastic play call Coach Thibs drew up.

E’Twaun wasn’t just great during the fourth, he was great during his entire 22 minutes he spent on the floor. He went 9-10 from the floor for a career high 19 points. He didn’t turn the ball over once and Chicago was an outstanding +/- +17 with him ON the floor.

His fourth quarter was special. He scored 13 points on 6/6 from the field, including the aforementioned game-winning three. Not only was his offensive performance special, he was really good on defense guarding Russell Westbrook down the stretch for the last four or five minutes of the game.

The Bulls have been very unfortunate lately, losing Rose, Butler and Taj Gibson for extended periods of time due to injury. This was a breathe of fresh air for all Bulls fans and a HUGE win going forward. Winning games versus other playoff teams without two of it’s stars and a key role player will keep optimism alive in Chicago until the cavalry returns from injury. This is probably the only time he’ll end up as a player of the night during his entire NBA career, but tonight, it’s E’Twaun’s night.

All Facets of the Game NBA All-Star Ballot

We’re less than two months away from the all-star game and the ballot just opened up to all fans. So it’s time we show you who we believe should be on both conferences all-star teams.

Eastern Conference

Starters

1JWALLGuardJohn Wall He’s moved himself into the elite point guard discussion this season. He can score at the rim with the best of them, he’s only 0.3 assists per game from leading the league and he’s third in steals per game. He’s been the best point guard in the east and should be compensated with a starting position in this years all-star game.

NBA: Preseason-Chicago Bulls at Milwaukee Bucks

Guard: Jimmy Butler Between he and Dwyane Wade, you can flip a coin. That being said Jimmy, gets me nod for this spot. He’s been one of the better two-way players in the entire league and he’s having a career year. He’s taken the third most free-throws in the league and is playing his way towards a max contract after declining the Bulls first offer.

1LBJ

Forward: LeBron James The leagues best player is a shoe in, year in year out. The 25 points a night leads the eastern conference and his 7,8 assists per is up a full assist from his career average. Right there in the MVP discussion per usual, LBJ would be here with or without the numbers due to the fans.

tumblr_miugb1TXJc1s6bjpio1_400

Forward: Carmelo Anthony As bad as the five win Knicks have been, Melo isn’t the reason by any means. One of the leagues best scorer, as per usual, Melo has been scoring and rebounding at a solid clip. Carmelo deserves better than this, but maybe he should have listened to his instinct and left for Chicago.

1VUC

Forward: Nikola Vucevic The surprise of the bunch to many, but Nikola has been nothing short of amazing this season. Averaging 18 and 12 is no joke, and doing it on 51.5 percent shooting is impressive. Impressive enough to get him a starting bid.

Bench

Kyle LowryJeff TeagueDwyane WadeTobias Harris – Jeff GreenPau GasolChris BoshAl Jefferson

Western Conference

Starters

Golden State Warriors v Utah Jazz

Guard: Stephen Curry The league’s MVP thus far has been nothing short of spectacular. Averaging 24/7/5 on almost 50/40/90 shooting, Wardell is third in PER and is who everyone wants to watch when the team from Oakland takes the floor.

1BEARD

Guard: James Harden – He’s scoring the most points per game in the entire NBA, the beard is a strong MVP candidate. Not only has he done it just scoring, but he’s assisting and rebounding at a high level as well; 7 and 6 per, respectively.

1BLAKE

Forward: Blake Griffin – Mr. I only dunk seems to be shooting pretty good outside of just dunking the ball. Shooting 49 percent from the floor and an outstanding 53 percent from three. His rebounding numbers are down, but Blake is a star, and he shines during the all-star game.

1AD

Forward: Anthony Davis – Has a star blossomed before our eyes. AD may be the best player in basketball this season. Best two-way player in the game deserves this nod more than maybe anybody. Will he be the first MVP in the last 20 years that isn’t one of the two best teams in his respective conference?

1MARCGASOL

Forward: Marc Gasol – The best center in the NBA this season, Gasol has featured a little bit of everything this year; scoring, passing, defense and rebounding. He should be a starter as he’s at the top of the list, as the two starting west guards are, for the MVP.

Bench

Damian LillardChris PaulKlay ThompsonMonta EllisKobe BryantLaMarcus AldridgeDeMarcus Cousins

The Time is Now for the Chicago Bulls

I couldn’t help but think how the absolute time to win a championship for Chicago is NOW. They’ve acquired the deepest team they have had since Derrick Rose has arrived on the scene not to mention the state of the Eastern Conference is in. There are only a few other teams that are even contenders, and one being the Cavs, are in a state of flux and we are all wondering if and when they’ll morph into the team we thought they would. Health, is the number one concern in Chicago, but at full strength, there may not be a deeper team in the Eastern Conference, maybe the entire association.

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Derrick is healthy, sort of. Even though we’re only fifteen games in, Jimmy Butler has turned into one of the better two-way players in the entire NBA. The bigs rotation of Jo, Pau, Taj and Nikola are incredibly talented and multidimensional. The depth, not just at a few positions, at all of them are unmatched in the East. The depth aspect is all predicated on Thibs rotations further down the road. They can be great, but McDermott hasn’t been good. At all. Mirotic has been inconsistent as ever and Tom seems to have quite the short leash when he doesn’t show up on the defensive end, which is nothing out of the norm. They’ve found a great backup point guard in Aaron Brooks to continue the undersized scoring spark plug that can score 10 straight in the blink of an eye.

Chicago has been lacking that second big-time scoring option the whole Derrick Rose tenure. Luol Deng was never a crunch time isolation scorer the way Pau Gasol is. The rejuvenated Spaniard hasn’t looked this impressive in the past four seasons. His current numbers for 2014-2015 are higher than his career marks, which are going to help him, one day after his career is over, make the hall of fame. He’s scoring, rebounding, blocking numbers are all up from his career marks. Pau had more blocks in his first 10 games with Chicago than Carlos Boozer did his entire final season with the Bulls. Pretty incredible and fairly predictable at the same time. He can clearly become that second option that Derrick and the Bulls have been searching for, late in games, and especially when the game slows down during the postseason.

But, I say the time is now, because that is simply the fact of the matter. Who knows what’s going to happen when Jimmy Butler demands max money, deserving if he continues this productivity. The 34-year-old Pau is under contract for only these next two seasons, and I’m not sure the sustainability of his production continues for many more years. Depth comes and goes frequently as players who succeed want bigger roles, more money, all of the things that keep them hard to retain. Not to mention teams get better as free agents hit the market and such.

Management never wants to make a splash, so Jimmy Butler’s future really is in question. Derrick is the key and everyone knows it. I’m not as worried as everyone seems to be. It’s November. But he needs to be healthy for the latter stretch of the season if the Bulls are to have championship aspirations. The second option has finally arrived. Along with bench mob 3.0 so to speak. This is the year for the Bulls, it’s time to bring number 7 to the windy city.