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1/4 NBA DFS: Get On The Bus With Russ

1/4 NBA DFS: Get On The Bus With Russ
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Daily Fantasy Rundown – January 1 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.

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

Top Play:

Russell Westbrook (OKC) – Not only is Westbrook the top projected scorer from a raw total perspective, he’s the player we have pegged as most likely to return a profit based on his salary expectations. Over the last two seasons, Westbrook has a 40.2 usage rate, 11.7 rebound rate, and 48.6 assist rate in 46 games without Kevin Durant. Despite the huge increase in offensive responsibility, Westbrook’s field goal percentage has only dipped slightly in those games. As a result, he’s averaged 57.8 DraftKings points in those contests; his value threshold tonight is 52.8. Aside from the built in profit, the matchup is one of the better ones that exists. The Kings rank first in the NBA in pace and 28th in defensive efficiency against point guards. Fire up Westbrook in all formats across the industry.

Next in line: Isaiah Thomas (BOS) (a strong cash game option in a vacuum, but with an emphasis on Westbrook, you’ll likely have to find a cheaper complementary point guard)

Cheap Plays:

Right now, the best cheap option on the night is Shane Larkin (BKN), who will have to step into plenty of playing time with Jarrett Jack now out for the season. Look for Larkin to play 32-plus minutes. The matchup isn’t great (increase in pace is trumped by Boston’s good defense), but Larkin’s acceptable .91 DraftKings points per minute production should leave him approaching his value thresholds across the industry. Aside from Larkin, there are several other potential cheap plays, depending on injury situations and starting lineups. At the same price level, Mario Chalmers (MEM) (our favorite of the group if Mike Conley is out) and Shaun Livingston (GS) (we’re expecting Curry to rest tonight but he’s technically questionable) are options. As cheap punts, which may be necessary on the stricter pricing DraftKings but not as valuable on looser pricing sites, whoever starts for the Spurs in place of the injured Tony Parker would be viable. We’re hoping it’s Ray McCallum (SA) (minimum salary), but it’s also possible it’s Patty Mills (SA). If McCallum starts, he should play around five more minutes than Mills, but their projection is similar given Mills’ better per minute production as a scorer with the second unit. Price is the main reason we’d prefer McCallum.

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