Daily Fantasy Rundown – January 16 NBA DFS Picks and Analysis
Welcome to Saturday’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.
Slate Note: Saturday slates are typically a challenge for NBA DFS-ers as many teams are playing on back-to-backs after a heavy Friday slate and thus they don’t hold shoot-arounds on Saturday morning and we don’t get information to assess injuries. This particular slate features 10 of the 16 teams in action playing at least their third game in four nights. Most of the teams on this slate are in the midst of very challenging schedules which may have an impact on rotations (deepening them) and effectiveness. Here’s a quick look at the teams we feel are most impacted.
Milwaukee Bucks – The Bucks are playing their fourth game in five nights and coming off an overtime win last night. Not only is it their fourth in five but the Bucks tight rotations of late have led to HEAVY minutes from their key players. It’s anecdotal but we saw Jimmy Butler have to play his fourth game in five nights after an overtime game last night and the results weren’t pretty. Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton are the two who are most effected. Giannis has played 122 minutes in the last three games and Middelton has played 129 minutes. Jabari Parker (96), Greg Monroe (95), and Michael Carter-Williams (105) have logged far less minutes but have also had a heavy workload of late. The Bucks are super thin so they may not have another choice but to play these guys heavier minutes again, but we have big concerns over effectiveness tonight.
Boston Celtics – The Celtics are playing their fourth in five nights as well but they’re a bit more equipped to deal with this schedule as a deeper roster on the whole. The guards/wings are most impacted as the Celtics depth is a little lighter in the backcourt: Isaiah Thomas (94), Avery Bradley (117), Jae Crowder (99), and Marcus Smart (91) have all logged heavier minutes of late. Bradley’s are the most noticeable and can easily get scaled back by playing more Evan Turner (73). In general, we’re less concerned about the Celtics than the Bucks, but it’s worth noting that there are reasons to scale back some exposure.
Washington Wizards – The Wizards are playing their sixth game in eight nights and with all the injuries they’ve had, the depth is a concern. Bradley Beal won’t play on a back-to-back and if Otto Porter is out as well, they’re pretty thin on the wings. Marcin Gortat should return which really helps the frontcourt minutes spread out. John Wall is the big concern here as he’s been carrying a very hefty load.
Other schedule issues to keep in mind. Charlotte, Brooklyn, Atlanta, and Portland are all playing their third game in four nights and are on a back-to-back. Golden State and Utah are playing their third game in four nights, but are not on a back-to-back. The Warriors are playing their sixth game in eight days while the Jazz are playing their seventh game in 10 days. Sacramento is the other team playing their third game in four nights but is not on a back-to-back.
The rested teams are: Detroit, Philadelphia, Memphis, Los Angeles Lakers and the Los Angeles Clippers.
Point Guard – Our featured site for the point guard position is FanDuel
Chris Paul (LAC) – Stephen Curry (GS) is technically projected as our top scorer at the point guard position and Damian Lillard (POR) is projected right alongside Chris Paul, but Paul is our primary target at the point guard position for Saturday’s slate. As we noted above, the Clippers are one of the few teams that are well rested on this slate and Paul has additional upside through the injury and illnesses of teammates. Since Griffin has gone down, Paul has posted a 30.4 usage rate and 58.2 assist rate which is up from 25.4 and 46.9 prior to the Griffin injury. In Paul’s last game where DeAndre Jordan sat we saw Paul’s rebounding rate jump from 6.3 percent to 10.3 percent. Jordan is questionable as he’s still getting over an illness and Paul has one of the most favorable matchups in the league. The Kings rank 29th in defensive efficiency against point guards and 27th in overall defensive efficiency. The Clippers have the highest implied team total of the slate (111 points) and Paul is the most direct exposure to their offense. With no concerns over fatigue and the best matchup on the slate, Paul represents our primary target on this slate.