NBA Tournament Thoughts with SimpMyMoney

Tonight on FantasyDraft, we have an $11,000 Pick and Roll with a manageable $25 entry fee and a 15-entry limit, so we will not see the field overrun by anyone one player with a big bankroll. There are a healthy 11 games on the slate, so here are some of the players I am focusing on for my tournament lineups.


Lonzo Ball, Los Angeles Lakers, $12,000

Listen, Lonzo Ball has been bad this season.  There is no denying that.  There is also no denying that he has the potential to be extremely good in any given game, which can be seen just by looking at his first game against Phoenix or his game against Milwaukee.  He has the potential for a triple-double any time that he steps on the floor and that is what we are looking for primarily in tournaments.

In theory, he should benefit from fast-paced games where he can run the offense in transition and push the ball as much as possible.  That is the case against Phoenix tonight.  There is no guarantee he has a good game as he is capable of underperforming against anyone and Jordan Clarkson is waiting on the bench to take as many minutes as Ball’s poor performance allows, but there is huge upside for him in this spot and his price tag on FantasyDraft is the most appealing in the industry.

Lou Williams, Los Angeles Clippers, $11,100

The Cleveland Cavaliers have been the worst defense in the NBA this season and Lou Williams has played at least 35 minutes in each of the last three games without Patrick Beverley and Danilo Gallinari.  Beverley is doubtful for tonight’s game and Gallinari is out again.  Williams will be extremely popular but, at this price tag in this matchup, that is not enough of a reason not to play him in tournaments.

In 188 minutes without Beverley or Gallinari on the floor this season, Williams has a 26.8 usage percentage and 22.3 assist percentage while averaging 1.13 FantasyDraft points per minute.  Just using his per-minute average in this situation, we can see that he is a top value play even without accounting for his elite matchup.



Blake Griffin, Los Angeles Clippers, $17,800

Griffin has yet to really show his ceiling this season but he has an excellent matchup against a terrible Cleveland defense and he will most likely be playing again without Beverley or Gallinari.  He has played 150 minutes without either of those two on the floor this season and has a 34.6 usage percentage and 21.7 assist percentage.  119 of those minutes have been alongside Williams, where he has a 33.5 usage percentage and 18.6 assist percentage.

Blake has averaged 1.15 FantasyDraft points per minute in that span, but it is important to note that he has shot poorly in all three games since Beverley and Gallinari were injured so his per-minute production could be substantially higher if he actually shoots the ball well.

Derrick Favors, Utah Jazz, $12,100

Favors has averaged about 34 minutes per game without Rudy Gobert over the last two seasons and that has been the case this year as well.  His matchup against Brooklyn is excellent as the Nets do not have a center who can give the undersized Favors trouble.  He, like Williams, will probably be a popular option but he is also a very strong play in this matchup against a very weak Brooklyn frontcourt.


Nikola Jokic, Denver Nuggets, $14,800

Jokic is significantly underpriced for his upside in tournaments.  Sure, there is foul risk going against a frontcourt of Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins and Jokic is prone to foul trouble.  Outside of that, however, there is not much to dislike in this matchup.  The size of the Pelicans frontcourt assures that Jokic will be needed for as many minutes as he can handle.  New Orleans is allowing the most rebounds and the most assists per game to starting centers, in large part because of the number of minutes that starting centers are forced to play against their jumbo frontcourt.  There is risk but, at this price tag, the reward outweighs the risk as Jokic is more than capable of a 50-60 fantasy point outing.

Jusuf Nurkic, Portland Trailblazers, $12,300

Nurkic has disappointed in plenty of good spots this season but that does not change the fact that he is a very talented offensive player and he has a ton of upside in this spot against a Sacramento frontcourt that just allowed Dewayne Dedmon to post a 50-plus fantasy point game in less than 25 minutes of play.  Nurkic actually leads the Blazers with a 30.3 usage percentage this season.  The Kings are in the bottom 10 (or top 10 depends on how you look at it) in points, rebounds and assists allowed per 36 minutes to starting centers this season and Nurkic is capable of providing all three.  The main risk for Nurkic here is that the Kings have been getting blown out constantly but that is not something that we should worry about too much in tournaments where we are trying to maximize upside- especially when the price point more than makes up for the risk.

Best of luck in taking second place tonight! ~ ShipMyMoney

Adam Scherer

Adam Scherer

Adam Scherer (aka ShipMyMoney) has been playing full time DFS for the last two years since taking a “sabbatical” from law school. He specializes in MLB and NBA and has a couple live finals appearance under his belt along with a couple high five figure victories in tournaments. Adam likes to dig into the analytics as well as use the “eye test” particularly for his pitcher analysis and understanding NBA game flow and coaching strategies. You can find his work on for both articles as well as the Deeper Dive live video show airing regularly at 5pm ET or on Twitter @ShipMyMoneyDFS

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