NBA Tournament Thoughts with ShipMyMoney

Tonight on FantasyDraft, we have a $10,000 Pick and Roll with a reasonable $25 entry fee and a 13-entry limit, so we will not see the field overrun by anyone one player with a big bankroll. The contest tips off at 7:30pm ET with 8 games, so here are some of the players I am eyeing on for my tournament lineups.

Guard

Ricky Rubio, Utah Jazz, $13,300

Rubio has been playing phenomenal basketball of late and he faces a Charlotte team that is on the second leg of a back-to-back and has been struggling defensively of late.  Charlotte ranks 18th in defensive rating since January 1st.  Rubio has been extremely aggressive on the offensive end lately as well.  For the season, Rubio has a 23.8 usage percentage.  Over Utah’s last five games, Rubio has an average usage percentage of 29.8 percent.  Rodney Hood’s departure should do nothing to hurt Rubio’s offensive involvement either.  One final note is that Rubio has really been pushing the pace of play for the Jazz.  Utah ranks 7th in pace over their last 10 games so this is not likely to be the extremely slow-paced Utah offense that most people think of.

Zach LaVine, Chicago Bulls, $11,700

LaVine faces his former Minnesota team tonight at an affordable price tag.  Lavine has played 31 minutes in each of his last two games, so his playing time tonight should not be an issue after he was brought back slowly from his injury.  He has a 30.8 usage percentage this season and is averaging 1.13 FantasyDraft points per minute.  He has a solid floor and massive ceiling for this price.

Forward

LeBron James, Cleveland Cavaliers, $22,300

LeBron is expensive, but it really does not matter.  We have not seen James being particularly productive from a fantasy perspective in a while but let’s not forget how consistent he was before Isaiah Thomas returned from injury.  There was a stretch of more than a month where, if you rostered him every night regardless of matchup, you would have not been disappointed more than a couple of times.  The Cavaliers lost Jae Crowder, Thomas, Dwayne Wade, Channing Frye, Derrick Rose and probably four other guys that I am forgetting at the trade deadline yesterday.  As of now, it does not appear that their replacements will be suiting up tonight.

Kevin Love, of course, is still out with an injury.  James has played just 51 minutes this season without any of Crowder, Wade, Frye, Rose, Thomas or Love, recording a 34 percent usage percentage, 53.6 assist percentage and 1.51 FantasyDraft points per minute.  He has played 181 minutes without Rose, Wade, Thomas or Love (the high usage players and/or ball-handlers that will not be playing tonight) and recorded a 34.2 usage percentage, 60.2 assist percentage and 1.46 FantasyDraft points per minute.  The Hawks are playing at the 9th-fastest pace since the start of the new year (and Cleveland is third) so there should also be plenty of possessions for James.

Zach Randolph, Sacramento Kings, $10,000

Skal Labissiere is still out for the Kings and they have not played a game since February 5th so there should be no reason for Randolph to rest tonight in one of the many narrative street games on tonight’s slate as the former Jailblazer takes on his former team.  Randolph has played at least 28 minutes in five of his last six games, averaging a 29.4 percent usage rate and 8.3 rebounds per game.  The price tag tonight is very appealing and people always have reservations about rostering Sacramento players so it is possible that he is lower owned that otherwise warranted.

Center

Joel Embiid, Philadelphia 76ers, $17,200

We have not seen a blow-up game from Embiid in a while and he, frankly, has been pretty disappointing of late.  That has led to his price tag falling to a point that gives him a massive amount of upside, however.  The matchup against Anthony Davis will be fun to watch and bigs have been very productive against the Pelicans all season long.  Embiid has usage rates of 39, 37.7, 37.7 and 33.4 percent over his last four games, so his inconsistent production has not been because of a lack of opportunity.

There is one thing to keep tabs on and that is the report that the young Cameroonian is dealing with an ankle injury.  This report could be nothing to worry about since Embiid last played on Tuesday – or it could be the first warning flag that Embiid may sit tonight since the ‘Sixers do play again on Saturday.  Either way we should have news since tipoff for this contest is 7pm ET, the same as the contest lock.

Nikola Jokic, Denver Nuggets, $16,000

Mason Plumlee is still out for tonight’s game, which means that Mike Malone does not have the ability to play Nikola Jokic at power forward and hurt his fantasy value.  Jokic has a 25.2 usage percentage, 28.6 assist percentage, 18.8 rebounding percentage and has averaging 1.27 FantasyDraft points per minute in 775 minutes without Plumlee or Millsap on the floor this season.  If we add Plumlee to the floor, he falls to a 24 percent usage percentage, 24.4 assist percentage, 17.9 rebounding percentage and 1.18 FantasyDraft points per minute.  He should do very well tonight in a matchup against the Rockets that will be up in pace and that should allow him to showcase all of his skills at the offensive end with open passing lanes.  There is virtually no risk and nothing but upside for Jokic at $16,000.

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 FanVice.com 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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