Daily Fantasy Rundown – November 19 NBA DFS Picks and Analysis
Welcome to Thursday’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.
Short Slate Disclaimer:
The game-by-game preview format is used for short slates. Nights when the schedule typically ranges from two to four games we refer to as a short slate and that will result in heavy overlap around the industry. The more overlap there is, the smaller the margin for error and the more variance that is introduced into your results. We understand the excitement associated with the start of the NBA season, but we’d recommend approaching this slate with some caution. We recommend playing a smaller percentage than your typical night or sitting out the slate altogether. On a short slate, there are fewer errors for your opponents to make and thus less room for a skill advantage to come to fruition.
*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.
Sacramento Kings at Miami Heat
Line: Miami -8
Pace rankings: Sacramento 1st, Miami 26th
Total team defensive efficiency: Sacramento 22nd, Miami 1st
Defensive efficiency ranks by position
Against point guards: Sacramento 18th, Miami 2nd
Against shooting guards: Sacramento 30th, Miami 2nd
Against small forwards: Sacramento 22nd, Miami 12th
Against power forwards: Sacramento 28th, Miami 11th
Against centers: Sacramento 4th, Miami 9th
Rebounding rate rank: Utah 11th, Miami 9th
Turnover ratio (from least to most): Sacramento 29th, Miami 18th
Top Play: DeMarcus Cousins (SAC) is the clear top expected scorer from a raw total perspective. Yesterday we talked about the incredible volume Cousins sees (league leading usage rate on the fastest paced team), which makes a viable DFS option each time out. However, we view Cousins only as a secondary option and someone that is quite frankly better suited for tournaments. It’s not a very good macro matchup for the Kings as Miami ranks first in team defensive efficiency, 26th in pace, and ninth in team rebounding rate. Specifically, against centers, Miami also ranks within the top 10 in defensive efficiency. There really aren’t any positives for Cousins from a matchup perspective; his value is solely derived in this contest from his skills and volume.
Hassan Whiteside (MIA) is someone we like to play price with, and unfortunately the price is starting to climb. He’s a better per dollar value than Cousins and will benefit from playing up in pace (increased possessions), but we prefer paying up at PG (Curry) or PF (Griffin), which makes it difficult to spend here. Plus, and we say this only half kidding, what are the odds we see some sort of double ejection of Cousins and Whiteside?
Value Plays: The three best values plays in this game, unsurprisingly, come from the Miami side as it’s a very strong macro matchup for them, playing against the number one team in pace who struggles defensively (22nd in team defensive efficiency). The first of these is Dwyane Wade (MIA). He’s tough to trust on full slates given that the team will be careful with his minutes. However, some recent blowouts have led to a pretty favorable price (barely above the average cost of a roster spot on FanDuel and DraftKings), making him a worthwhile investment in a dream matchup (Kings are dead last in defensive efficiency against shooting guards for the second straight year) at a scarce position, on a short slate. The second value play in Miami is Justise Winslow (MIA). We don’t have the same expectations for Winslow, but like Wade, he plays at a very scarce position (SF), and one that it makes sense to skimp on in order to fit in a couple of studs. Winslow is very cheap across the industry and his playing time has been very consistent over the last six games (31-plus minutes in five of six, low of 27). He’s hit at least 14.75 DraftKings points in all of those contests. While that’s not a gaudy floor by any means, it’s very possible people may be using single digit performers tonight. Plus, we’re expecting the great matchup to bolster the floor a bit. The final value play for the Heat is Goran Dragic (MIA). Dragic has been very disappointing this season, but he’s coming off one of his best Fantasy performances of the year against a similarly up tempo, sub-par defensive team in Minnesota. Meanwhile, his price has pretty much bottomed out, making it tough for Dragic to hurt you on such a short slate. There’s probably a bit more per dollar upside with Michael Carter-Williams (more on him below), but Dragic’s lower price point meshes a bit better with roster construction as a complementary guard to Stephen Curry.