NBA Core 4: March 21

Good morning and welcome to another edition of the FantasyDraft “Core 4”, brought to you by!   We have ourselves a nice eight-game slate tonight.  I’m absolutely loving the six to eight-game slates lately.  The “Core 4” today consists of three forwards and one punt point guard.   Good luck tonight!

Blake Griffin ($14,700)

As I write this blurb about Blake Griffin, I fear that for some reason he may rest tonight.  The Los Angeles Clippers will be playing their third game in four nights tonight against the Los Angeles Lakers.  Less than a week ago, when the Clippers were playing their third game in four nights both Griffin and DeAndre Jordan sat out for rest.  However, playing in virtually a home game tonight I think this is a perfect stat stuffing game for Griffin.  Over the last six games that Griffin has played, he’s done extremely well.  During that stretch he is averaging 18.0 PPG and 8.7 RPG.  The Clippers are currently locked into the fifth seed in the Western Conference trailing only one game from the fourth seeded Utah Jazz.  Their schedule softens up a bit coming down the stretch, so now is the time to make a run at a higher seed.

Unfortunately, Griffin has yet to experience playing against the Los Angeles Lakers this season.  The last two games for Griffin he has shown his scoring capabilities.  Granted the matchups were a walk in the park as Griffin played the Cleveland Cavaliers without their big three and the New York Knicks who tried to guard him with undersized Carmelo Anthony.  However, the field goal attempts (FGA) is the main thing that I love to see.  Griffin had 17 and 19 FGA’s for 23 and 30 points in those last two games.  Playing against a Lakers team who has given up the third most points in the league and has a lousy 20-50 record this season will provide another great opportunity for Griffin tonight.  Make sure that Griffin is playing tonight and if he is, lock him in!  He is in for a great stat stuffing game tonight on FantasyDraft.


James Johnson ($12,600)

It’s not often that a bench player makes the “Core 4”, but we have an exception tonight with James Johnson from the Miami Heat.  It appears Johnson’s production all season long has benefitted when a teammate has gotten injured, mostly Hassan Whiteside.  However tonight the injured player is Dion Waiters.  Waiters was injured early in their game with the Minnesota Timberwolves two games ago.  Since that time, the Heat needed another scoring threat to emerge and that is when James Johnson took the reins.  Over the last two games, Johnson is averaging 20.5 PPG on 68.0% shooting from the floor and 60.0% from behind the 3-point line.  Not only is Johnson providing a great scoring boost from the bench, but he’s also been filling up the stat sheet as he’s averaged 4.5 RPG, 5.5 APG, 1.5 BPG and 2.0 SPG.

James Johnson gets a juicy home matchup against the Phoenix Suns tonight!  Phoenix ranks third in pace and 26th in defensive efficiency.  They give up the second most points to opposing teams and the best 3P% at 38.5%.  Johnson is not a flame-thrower from deep, but he is shooting a career-high 34.4% this season.  In their lone matchup with Phoenix this season, Miami lost 99-90 but had to play without Johnson, Hassan Whiteside, Dion Waiters and Tyler Johnson.  Revenge is a sweet, sweet thing especially from a Miami team who is tied for the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference.  Johnson received a price increase of $1,100 since last game, so he’s currently $12,600 on FantasyDraft tonight.  In my opinion that was not enough of a price increase and I’ll be locking in Johnson at the forward position tonight.


Andre Drummond ($14,700)

In a daily sport like NBA DFS, it’s difficult not to have some bias towards players if they have let you down in the past.  Andre Drummond is that exact player for me, but I’m biting the bullet and will explain why he is a fantastic play tonight on FantasyDraft!  Mr. Drummond with his zero basketball IQ and I go way back.  Drummond continues to come in second in the entire league in rebounding as he is averaging 13.9 RPG this season.  This may be my last chance on Andre Drummond tonight.  If he can’t record a double-double against the Nets tonight who are 28th in rebounding differential this season than we have serious concerns.  Like the Miami Heat, the Detroit Pistons are tied with them for the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference, so every game from here on out is crucial for Detroit to return to the playoffs.

I’m trusting his recent form versus his past game against the Brooklyn Nets this season.  Against the Nets in 25 minutes, Drummond recorded six points, six rebounds and four assists as he shot 33.3% from the field against the worst team in the league.  To be fair this was the fifth game of the season, but it’s not like the 13-56 Nets were good back then either.  Brooklyn is 23rd in most points allowed in the paint this season and Drummond who lives in the paint should have a second Thanksgiving dinner.  Drummond is currently seventh among the entire league in points scored in the paint this season at 11.6 PPG.  Interesting stats on Drummond is that he also averages 1.8 FTM per game which equals a total of 13.4 PPG from free throws and paint touches.  Which means he only averages 1.2 PPG outside of the paint!


Randy Foye ($6,000)

Everyone loves a minimum priced punt play, right?!  We have one tonight in Randy Foye from the Brooklyn Nets.  Foye benefits tonight from the absence of Sean Kilpatrick and Joe Harris who have both already been ruled out.  Jeremy Lin is also doubtful as he sprained his ankle last game.  Over the last four games, Foye has played right around 28 minutes every game.  The minute’s security is a big benefit for someone minimum salary, especially if Lin is unable to go tonight.  Not only is Foye playing big minutes, but he’s also scored double figures in every one of those four games.  He is also averaging 20.5 FantasyDraft PPG during that stretch.  Another option for value on the Brooklyn side of the ball is Spencer Dinwiddie.  Dinwiddie would likely draw the start for Lin and is only $7,400 on FantasyDraft.

I do have to say I don’t recommend using them together as it is Brooklyn and this could blow up in your face if you do, but one of them for a punt tonight is completely viable.  Foye is the veteran and my trust runs deeper with him.  The minute’s security and the availability to fill up the box score with his outside shooting provides great upside at his cheap price tag.  Brooklyn is one of two teams who have been eliminated from the playoffs already as they have a league-low 13 wins.  For what it’s worth, eight of those 13 wins have come at home where they will be tonight.  They have a great opportunity to play spoiler against the Detroit Pistons.  One would think they would want to get close to their win total from last season at 21, but they would need to get hot very quickly.  Ultimately, Foye will provide salary relief.



With those four players locked into your rosters, you’ll be left with $13,000/per player remaining to fill out the rest of your lineup.  That is so much wiggle room for a roster that you can do whatever you would like!  Good luck with all your contests today!

Tyler Schmidt

Tyler Schmidt

Good luck with your lineups tonight. Find me on Twitter @tyschmidt4 and check out our great NBA content at DFSDatalytics! Tyler is from Bloomington, MN.  He went to Augsburg College in which he played basketball for 4 years and graduated with a bachelor's degree in MIS.

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