Daily Fantasy Rundown – NBA DFS – April 11th, 2015
Welcome to Saturday’s edition of the Daily Fantasy Rundown with “leonem” and “dinkpiece”. Each day throughout the NBA season our daily NBA scouting reports will highlight the best top, value and cheap plays of the day based on the Daily Fantasy Industry’s pricing for salary cap games. Our analysis will help you consistently build winning rosters over the long run.
Bankroll Recommendation: With NBA season winding down and teams having less to play for and predictability waning, I’d recommend playing a reduced portion of your bankroll and focusing more on tournaments than cash games.
Top Play: Chris Paul (LAC) (tough matchup against a slow paced, good defensive team in the Grizzlies but the top play from a raw total standpoint and a tournament option as volume could rise in an important game)
Next in line:
Damian Lillard (POR) – On the surface this is a pretty poor matchup for Lillard given Utah’s slow pace and elite defense since Rudy Gobert took over as the team’s starting center. Utah is currently fifth in defensive efficiency against point guards. However, Lillard had success against Utah last time out (putting up a 23-12-8 line). While Utah is elite at defending pick-n-roll ball handler play types, Lillard should still be able to take advantage of the Utah guards in isolation and on the perimeter. Utah ranks in the seventh percentile at defending isolation play types and the 24th percentile on spot up play types while Lillard is approaching the 80th percentile in points per possession on both of those play types. Perhaps most importantly, though, will be the volume. Lillard’s season long usage, rebound and assist rates of 26.8, 7.0 and 29.2 respectively rise to 31.4, 7.4 and 34.8 in games that LaMarcus Aldridge has not played. That’s a huge shift in volume and with Arron Afflalo and Wes Matthews also out, it’s tough to not see Portland heavily relying on Lillard.
Ish Smith (PHI) – Smith is the best industry wide value play. With Isaiah Canaan out, Smith’s minutes should be stabilized at point guard and there’s a higher ceiling there as well. They were cut short last game in an extreme blowout (29 point loss), but as long as the game remains remotely close, Canaan should see 32-plus minutes. The team doesn’t have a natural point guard, and they’ve gotten thinner overall from their last outing (Luc Mbah a Moute and Nerlens Noel are out tonight). Chicago ranks 24th in defensive efficiency against point guards on the season, although it should be pointed out that Derrick Rose is expected to play between 24-28 minutes tonight. He’s a big upgrade defensively to Aaron Brooks.
Zach LaVine (MIN) – I probably have the gap between LaVine and Smith a bit closer than most (in fact I’m going back and forth between the two where priced the same). While LaVine has struggled with his per minute production this season, there are a couple of things in his favor tonight. For starters, he’s pretty much blowout proof as Minnesota is both intent on developing their younger players and extremely thin. If we look at LaVine’s past 10 games, he’s played less than 36 minutes just one time (32) and has hit or exceeded the 40 minute marker six times. With the safe playing time regardless of game situation, a blowout could actually favor LaVine as he’ll see less of Curry (Golden State is second in defensive efficiency against point guards). On top of the increased minutes resulting from Minnesota’s youth movement and lack of overall depth, LaVine is seeing a big rise in offensive responsibility. Over his past five games, LaVine has posted usage, rebound and assist rates of 24.4, 8.5 and 28.1, all easily surpassing his respective season long averages of 21.8, 6.3 and 23.3. The increase in volume from those rate stats will be further boosted by a matchup against the number ranked team in the NBA in pace. I could be off here, but with predictability waning as the NBA season winds down, I’m willing to take a chance on LaVine’s steady minutes and growing role, even if his season long efficiency and Golden State’s defense makes this look like a poor matchup.