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FanDuel NBA Simulations Picks For March 20th

FanDuel NBA Simulations Picks For March 20th
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For the first time in the history of my DFS career, I successfully played a slate without watching a single minute of the games. I even did it while carrying out my civic duty of social distancing and I will see if I can do it once again for Friday’s eight game slate.

With Thursday’s slate in the books, let’s take a look at the leaderboard and assess where Thursday’s strategies went right and where they went wrong.

The Good:

The hunt for value was largely successful AND unowned. PJ Tucker, De’Anthony Melton, and Josh Jackson all delivered 25 FanDuel points for essentially $4,000 or under – hitting the 6x threshold we hoped for. The three combined for 6.4 percent in total ownership. This is interesting as I thought the strategy would largely be popular but given the casual nature of these games it looks like more balanced rosters with familiar names are the focus. 

Josh Richardson (28.9) and Terrence Ross (25.4) fell just short but still delivered solid performances. They did come with a bit more ownership (combined for ~25 percent) and I’m not entirely sure why. Perhaps the “matchups” which don’t actually matter but are displayed on the scoreboard are making an impact? Perhaps the mid-tier price tags are just going to command a bit more ownership as balanced rosters and name value wins the day?

Some of the secondary studs we highlighted (Joel Embiid and Damian Lillard) hit their Top 10 percentile outcomes and were potential slate winners as well. 

The Bad:

Not all of the value plays we identified hit. Bismack Biyombo found the lower floor we know is available with these cheap value plays. He scored just 10 FanDuel points at three percent ownership. I assume Malik Monk was similar since I can’t find his performance on any teams on the leaderboard and I didn’t end up using him. 

In addition, the mystery position we had a difficult time identifying value or high-end options from provided the consensus slate winner as Kristaps Porzingis scored 58.4 FanDuel points at an incredible 33 percent ownership. This was Porzingis’ fourth highest score of the season (a Top 8 percentile outcome) and it came at one of the heaviest ownership numbers on the slate. When the chalk hits…. What can you do? 

Porzingis was higher owned than Giannis Antetokounmpo and James Harden who we identified as strong plays to spend up for. Both scored more than 59 FanDuel points which represented more like Top third outcomes for those two. 

A mixed bag in total but I think the strategy is in the right direction, especially given the relatively low ownership numbers. Let’s take a look at Friday’s slate.

The value stars:

PG – Reggie Jackson (LAC) – 6x rate = 44 percent, 7x rate = 35 percent
PG – Mike Conley (UTA) – 6x rate = 42 percent, 7x rate = 24 percent
SG – Malik Beasley (MIN) – 6x rate = 33 percent, 7x rate = 26 percent
SF – OG Anunoby (TOR) – 6x rate = 41 percent, 7x rate = 25 percent
SF – DeAndre Hunter (ATL) – 6x rate = 41 percent, 7x rate = 19 percent
SF – Mikal Bridges (PHO) – 6x rate = 39 percent, 7x rate = 31 percent
PF – Christian Wood (DET) – 6x rate = 40 percent, 7x rate = 36 percent
PF – James Johnson (MIN) – 6x rate = 50 percent, 7x rate = 34 percent
PF – Paul Millsap (DEN) – 6x rate = 41 percent, 7x rate = 21 percent
C – Aron Baynes (PHO) – 6x rate = 36 percent, 7x rate = 24 percent

Overall the values look a bit better than yesterday with some higher upside options but the positional values are very different. While SF and PF were a problem spot yesterday in finding depth there is a ton today.

The consistent studs:

Tier one – 60 points > 30 percent of the time

No one. 

Tier Two – 60 points > 10 percent of the time

PG – Trae Young – 60 points = 20 percent, 70 points = 5 percent

PF – Kawhi Leonard – 60 points = 18 percent, 70 points = 0 percent

C – Nikola Jokic – 60 points = 14 percent, 70 points = 5 percent

SG – Bradley Beal – 60 points = 14 percent, 70 points = 0 percent

C – Karl Anthony Towns – 60 points = 9 percent, 70 points = 6 percent

We don’t have the tier one studs today so we might see more balanced roster builds on the whole. We extended the second tier of options to include Karl-Anthony Towns who is under the 10 percent threshold but when he goes above 60 is often going above 70. He actually may end up being the better center target compared to Jokic given the higher ceiling upside even though there is a strong gap in cost.

Given the lack of value at shooting guard and center, studs to build around would include Bradley Beal, Nikola Jokic, and Karl Anthony Towns. Trae Young’s rather consistent ceiling makes him a good candidate for one of the PG slots while the lack of depth at small forward makes it a better position to value hunt on this slate.

Good luck on Friday’s slate of simulations!

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