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2/22 NBA DFS: Hustle Your Opponents With Russell

2/22 NBA DFS: Hustle Your Opponents With Russell
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Daily Fantasy Rundown – February 22 NBA DFS Picks and Analysis

Welcome to Monday’s edition of the Daily Fantasy Rundown with “dinkpiece”, “leonem” and “TheNumbersGuy”. 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 goal is to bring analysis that will help you build rosters that put you in position to win consistently over the long term.

*Any time a player’s salary is reference as a discount or premium, it is relative to the average cost of a roster spot.

**Usage/Assist/Rebounding Rates courtesy of unless otherwise noted.

Slate note: It’s a really fun seven game slate with a surprising amount of options. Given some of the difficulty in cash games later in the year and some overlap tonight between cash/tournament plays, it’s a fun night to shift some more bankroll to the tournament side of things and multi-enter with different combinations.

Point Guard – Our featured site for the point guard position is FanDuel

Top Play:

Stephen Curry (GS) – With no Russell Westbrook in action, Curry is the clear top point guard. Here’s what we said about Westbrook yesterday: “Westbrook’s incredible floor challenges the bands of pricing systems and makes him a perpetually strong cash game play. The question is rarely about his skill, his price, or his matchup but the slate as a whole and whether you can configure a strong supporting cast to justify him in cash games.” While Curry has a bit of a different floor/ceiling dynamic than Westbrook, we feel similarly. He’s consistently slightly underpriced across the industry, and that’s particularly true in competitive atmospheres (single digit spread tonight) that can result in 36 or more minutes of playing time. He’s a great play in a vacuum across the industry tonight. However, the point guard position is very deep, and we’d rather pay up for frontcourt options.

Next in line:

Chris Paul (LAC) – Like with Curry, there’s not really a need to pay up for Paul due to the opportunity cost associated with doing so. In Paul’s case, that’s an even easier decision because he carries immense blowout risk (16 point home favorite, thigh issue). The expected value in 32 minutes is still so strong that we don’t mind finishing off a cash game roster with Paul but by and large we’d like to get exposure to him in tournament formats. Paul continues to be a monster per minute performer as his season long usage and assist rates without Blake Griffin sit at 29.2 and 50.4 respectively. The Suns are a phenomenal matchup for opposing point guards. They are fourth in the NBA in pace and 28th in defensive efficiency against point guards. They’ve been dropping in the latter category due to the injuries to Eric Bledsoe and Brandon Knight and have been specifically getting toasted in pick-n-roll ball handler situations, allowing the sixth most points per possession (PPP) on those play types.

Value Plays:

D’Angelo Russell (LAL) is the guy to look at (especially on DraftKings) as he provides a great combination of cap relief while representing a strong, safe value in a vacuum. He’s permanently moved into the starting lineup. While we hesitate to trust Coach Byron Scott, his hand might be forced here as playing/developing younger players is a way to save his job. Russell, who averages 0.8 FanDuel points per minute (ceiling is definitely higher than this), needs just 30-31 minutes at that rate to hit value. He played 34 in his promotion to the starting lineup last night, and we’re expecting a baseline of around 32 minutes. With the potential for increased per minute production based on his talent and a playing time expectation that puts him above his value thresholds even if that doesn’t occur, Russell has the most built in profit at the position.

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