Daily Fantasy Rundown – November 2 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.
Point Guard – Our featured site for the point guard position is FanDuel
Russell Westbrook (OKC) – If paying up for one of the elite point guards tonight, Westbrook is the best option given an awesome game environment (-4.5 on the road, 214.5 total). Even playing alongside Kevin Durant, Westbrook is still posting crazy usage numbers, leading the NBA with a 36.2 mark (Basketball-Reference.com) early in the season to go along with a 42.0 assist rate. That sort of volume for a player of Westbrook’s talents (don’t forget he has posted a double digit total rebounding rate each of the past two seasons, which is rare for a guard) gives him an incredibly high ceiling. Tonight’s matchup against Houston is expected to be up tempo. From an efficiency standpoint, the Rockets were good against point guards last season (fourth best in the league), but that’s a little bit misleading as to how it pertains to tonight’s matchup. Patrick Beverley might not be lined up with Westbrook much as he’s coming off the bench (Ty Lawson is starting), and Dwight Howard, an elite rim protector, isn’t expected to play a full allotment of minutes. The high tag on FanDuel pushes Westbrook to a tournament option only, but he’s cash viable on DraftKings if some cap relief options emerge. NOTE: One minor concern here is that Houston starts Lawson-Beverley together and hides Lawson defensively on Roberson (leaving Beverley to defend Westbrook. It’s unlikely given they need to address someone covering Ibaka that isn’t Ariza, but it’s worth noting).
Next in line: Stephen Curry (GS) (viable every night of the season in tournaments but against a slower paced, defensive team and blowout concerns at home, he’s unnecessary in cash games)
Damian Lillard (POR) – As we mentioned in an earlier Rundown, FanDuel and DraftKings did a good job pricing Lillard in anticipation of a growing offensive role as LaMarcus Aldridge, Nicolas Batum and Wes Matthews all departed over the offseason. Even with the aggressive pricing, though, there is profit potential here. Lillard has a 32.5 usage rate (26.9 last season) and 41.0 assist rate (29.0 last season) through three games while getting consistently high minutes (36, 37, 36). The offense runs through him all the time now. This awesome volume meets a great game environment as the Blazers-Timberwolves game has the second lowest spread of the evening and features two teams that played at an above average pace last season. While we do expect some defensive improvement for the Timberwolves, the bar isn’t exactly set high as they were 29th in defensive efficiency against point guards last season. Lillard gives you the upside that Curry/Westbrook have but at a lower price tag – making him the best cash game option of the high cost point guards on FanDuel. On DraftKings, it’s a bit tougher to fit multiple studs in your lineup. Between that, lower price points on Westbrook/Curry and an emphasis on James Harden on that site, Lillard is just a secondary value play there.
Michael Carter-Williams (MIL) – It’s easy to get sucked into small sample size noise early on, but the Bucks look committed to giving MCW more consistent playing time. After averaging only 30.3 minutes per game with Milwaukee last season, MCW has played 36 and 34 (big blowout) minutes in the season’s first two games and 33 minutes in their most recent game. An extra four to five minutes per game would mean MCW is underpriced to begin the season since his role when on the court seems mostly unchanged. Last season he averaged .96 FanDuel points per minute, so an extra five minutes equates to nearly five more expected FanDuel points, giving MCW a good chance to hit his FanDuel value threshold of around 33 points (four times his salary, divided by a thousand, plus five). This game has the second lowest total, but the tightest spread. Brooklyn was ninth in defensive efficiency against point guards last season but is now starting Jarrett Jack, who has a poor 111 career defensive rating. It should also be noted that the Nets defense has allowed 100-plus points in all three games this season, and they haven’t exactly been facing up tempo teams (San Antonio, Memphis, Chicago were all below average in pace last season). On a night where it looks like a balanced roster construction is the way to go, Carter-Williams is a primary value play.