Daily Fantasy Rundown – February 23 NBA DFS Picks and Analysis
Welcome to Tuesday’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 Basketball-Reference.com unless otherwise noted.
Point Guard – Our featured site for the point guard position is FanDuel
On a night where Stephen Curry and Russell Westbrook are off, John Wall (WSH) and Damian Lillard (POR) project as the top scorers at the point guard position. From a purely projection standpoint, both Wall and Lillard project to get on top of their mid 40s value threshold. We think there’s room for more value in their respective matchups. Wall faces a Pelicans’ defense that ranks 29th in defensive efficiency vs. PGs, 27th in overall defensive efficiency, and they’re a bottom 10 team in transition defense (Wall has scored 318 points in transition this season, which is the fourth best mark in the NBA).
Lillard draws a Nets defense that’s ranked 27th in defensive efficiency vs. PGs, 27th in overall defensive efficiency, and they’re defense is ranked dead last against ball handlers in pick and roll situations. This is where Lillard excels, averaging 0.92 points per possession as the ball handler in pick and rolls (42 percent frequency and ranked in the 87th percentile). These two point guards can be used in all formats, and it’s easier to pay up for one of them in cash games on FanDuel, but on DraftKings it’ll be more difficult to do so due to the tight pricing nature of that site and the lack of viable punt plays that the slate is offering at the moment. If choosing between the two for cash games, we view Wall as a slightly safer option since Lillard is battling some blowout concerns (Portland are favored by 11.5 points at home) while Wall is taking part in the most competitive game in this slate (4.5 spread) that also features the highest total (213 points).
Next in line:
Jrue Holiday (NOP) – John Wall and Damian Lillard are in excellent spots tonight and we believe meeting value won’t be an issue for those point guards, but Holiday offers similar per dollar upside at a reduced cost, making him a friendlier target for cash games. Admittedly, we haven’t hit on Holiday’s opportunities enough. Since Tyreke Evans was shut down, Holiday has generated a 34 percent usage rate (vs. 28.5 percent with Evans on the floor), 43 percent assist rate (vs. 36 percent with Evans on the floor) and seven percent rebounding rate while logging 30 minutes per game in those 11 games despite coming off the bench. His point per minute production has seen a boost as a result (Holiday is averaging 1.25 FanDuel points per minute after Evans was shut down vs. 1.09 with Evans on the floor). Over his last five games, Holiday has posted 53, 43, 43, 50 and 37 FanDuel points. While we’ll usually ignore small samples, and five games is certainly a small sample, it’s hard to ignore those performances when they’re not just noise (they’re backed up by huge opportunities and a boost in per minute production). The only real difference between Holiday and our top plays is the minutes expectation. Lillard and Wall are averaging 36 minutes per game this season, and Holiday usually doesn’t play more than 33 minutes. Still, in a plus matchup (Washington is ranked 21st in defensive efficiency vs. PGs, fifth in pace), we’re projecting Holiday for 33 minutes (right around where they’ve been in his last five games), which puts his expected value in the low 40s and his price around the industry is only asking for 36-37 Fantasy points to return value. He’s our number one target at the point guard position for cash games.