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 7:00 pm ET with 11 games, so here are some of the players I am eyeing on for my tournament lineups.

Guard

James Harden, Houston Rockets, $21,000

It does not take much convincing to persuade someone that Harden is a strong play any given night.  His price tag on FantasyDraft is very appealing, as is his matchup against the Minnesota Timberwolves.  For much of the season, Harden has “stuggled” alongside Chris Paul.  This has not been the case since Paul returned from injury, however, as we have seen a more aggressive Harden.  In the eight games since Paul’s return, Harden has averaged a 38.0 percent usage rate and he has averaged 35 minutes per game in the six games that were remotely competitive.  Harden is likely to see plenty of Jimmy Butler’s defense in this game, but he is matchup-proof because of his skill set and opportunity and the price tag makes his reward much higher than his risk.

Isaiah Thomas, Los Angeles Lakers, $11,100

Thomas has gotten off to a shaky start with the Lakers but there is no denying the upside that he has with this team.  He played 30 minutes in his debut (against Dallas) with a 28.6 percent usage rate and finished with 22 points and 6 assists.  He was ejected just four minutes into his second game with the Lakers.  In his last game before the break, he played 24 minutes with a 34.5 percent usage rate but finished with just 15.25 FantasyDraft points because he shot just 3 of 15 from the field.  Volatile players with immense upside are the exact types of players that we like in tournaments, as long as the volatility has led to their price being much lower than their ceiling suggests that it should be.  Thomas’s recent production should scare some people on a slate this big, but we should keep emotion out of it and latch on to Thomas’s potential ceiling.

Forward/Center

I normally discuss two forwards and two centers, but the center position is so strong on this slate that it feels disingenuous since most builds should have as many centers as possible and FantasyDraft does not force you to roster any true forwards.

Nikola Jokic, Denver Nuggets, $17,700

Jokic faces a San Antonio team that he just torched for 23 points, 11 assists and 13 rebounds in 32 minutes.  He has had success against them in the past, as well, averaging 1.46 FantasyDraft points per minute in six meetings against the Spurs since last season- including 62.8 points in his last game and 61 in a game last January.  The primary risk for Jokic is the return of Mason Plumlee.  Plumlee often plays alongside Jokic at the five and Jokic does lose some value because he gets a lower percentage of rebounds and assists when he is on the floor.  His price on FantasyDraft has not increased nearly as much as it should have based on his production without Plumlee, however, so there is still excess value once we account for the impact of Plumlee’s return.

Andre Drummond, Detroit Pistons, $17,100

Drummond is another center where it is not clear what is happening with his price tag.  There is no way that he goes overlooked at this price, but it does not really matter- we should not look to take a stand and fade Drummond.  Drummond has averaged 16.8 points and 18.4 rebounds per game since Blake Griffin joined the team.  While the Celtics are a strong defensive team, they have struggled against quality rebounders.  Drummond has at least 15 rebounds in all six games against Boston since the start of last season and he has at least 17 points in four of six- including a 26-point, 22-rebound game at the beginning of this season.

Karl-Anthony Towns, Minnesota Timberwolves, $17,200

Towns gets his favorite matchup in the NBA again as he takes on the Houston Rockets.  Towns consistently dominates this matchup and Houston has not shown the ability to stop him.  He has faced Houston six times since the start of last season and he has scored no fewer than 59.5 FantasyDraft points in any of the six games while averaging 65.5 fantasy points per game and 1.73 fantasy points per minute.  Despite low usage at times this season, Towns has usage rates of 28.1 and 26.2 percent in his two meetings this season.

Alex Len, Phoenix Suns, $9,400

Len started and played 37 minutes against the Jazz in Phoenix’s last game before the break.  He is expected to start again tonight.  He is still very inexpensive.  We have seen Len’s immense upside throughout the last couple of seasons whenever he gets a chance to play and he will get that opportunity now with Phoenix.  He has a tough matchup against DeAndre Jordan, but the price tag is just too low for the opportunity and upside that Len offers.

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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