Daily Fantasy Rundown – March 20 NBA DFS Picks and Analysis
Welcome to Sunday’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
Chris Paul (LAC) – Paul played last night, but outside of that, his contextual factors couldn’t get better today. He draws an elite road matchup vs. New Orleans today, and they’re ranked dead last in the NBA in defensive efficiency vs. PGs. Moreover, New Orleans is allowing 0.87 points per possession to ball handlers in pick and roll situations (second worst mark in the NBA), where Paul thrives (averaging 0.94 points per possession as a ball handler in PNR – 53 percent frequency in these situations and ranked inside the 89th percentile). Paul has played the Pelicans three times this season, and in those games, he’s averaging right around 45 Fantasy points. Our projection for Paul is around 43 Fantasy points today, just below his FanDuel value threshold. This puts him in play in all formats, but the point guard position carries extensive opportunity cost, so there’s no need to force Paul in cash games if you don’t have the salary. We do feel there is additional upside beyond that projection worth chasing in tournament formats.
Next in line (Value Plays):
Isaiah Thomas (BOS), Rajon Rondo (SAC) and Jrue Holiday (NOP) are the next in line options to Paul today, and they’re stronger point per dollar options than Paul. Thomas draws an elite matchup vs. Philadelphia (ranked 24th in defensive efficiency, sixth in pace and allowing the eight most assists per game), and the price remains ripe for an investment in cash games. Thomas needs 35 FanDuel points in order to meet value, and he’s averaging 35 FanDuel points this season. In three games vs. Philadelphia this season, Thomas has averaged 38 FanDuel points in reduced minutes (30). If the game can stay competitive (and given how Boston has struggled without Jae Crowder in the rotation lately, there’s a decent chance it stays somewhat competitive), Thomas will log around 35 minutes. His projected value is 37 FanDuel points, but there’s a chance for him to generate more value if he can get those 35 minutes. Rondo is simply a price play. He’s averaging 37 FanDuel points this season, and his value threshold is sitting at 37 FanDuel points. The Knicks represent an average matchup, and Rondo has seen at least 36 minutes in each of his last 10 games. We’re projecting him right around 39 FanDuel points today, which is a couple of points over his value threshold. He’s a tad more expensive than Thomas, but he’s just as strong of a point per dollar option.
Holiday has the tougher matchup (Clippers are ranked fifth in defensive efficiency vs. PGs), but that’s about the only thing that can hinder his value this afternoon. Without Anthony Davis, the Pelicans will have to funnel more opportunities to their guards to put less pressure on Ryan Anderson, and Holiday is one of the few healthy guards they have left. If Norris Cole is out, we see Holiday logging 35 minutes, with upside for 36-38 minutes, and he’s averaging 1.21 FanDuel points per minute without Davis and Evans this season. We’ll dock Holiday due to the matchup, but that still puts his projected point total around 40 FanDuel points, well above the 35 FanDuel points needed to meet value. We won’t call him a must play, but Holiday projects a little stronger than Rondo and Thomas from a point per dollar standpoint even in a tougher matchup. We love all three in cash games, but the differences in their projected values are very slim, making it difficult to pick one over the other. Our preference is Thomas and Rondo since their matchups are friendlier, but Holiday shouldn’t be overlooked simply due to the difficult matchup (more volume is coming his way without Davis around, and the minutes will become more significant if Cole is out).