NBA Starting Five with MAS47

Welcome to the newest addition to FantasyDraft, “MAS47’s Starting Five.” In this article I will be breaking down five things that you need to know about each slate. These topics will range from, but are not limited to, narratives, chalk locks, fades, amazing matchups, terrible defenses, targetable games and much more. As you all know, every slate is a blank canvas and it will be my job to paint an appropriate picture.

The Price is Right. 

As I continue to get feedback on my now daily article here on FantasyDraft I want it to keep evolving around our readers’ needs/suggestions. Last night I had a loyal member of FantasyDraft sent me a direct message on Twitter asking if there’s any way that I could spend one of my five bullet points on where I think there’s an edge with players pricing. That could obviously mean spend-up or pay-down options, but the players that I feel like have the most attractive price tags. I liked the idea, so here we are. I’m going to focus my first bullet point every day on exactly that, where I feel the price is right on FantasyDraft compared to the rest of the industry.

In this section, I’m going to compare the pricing of DraftKings and FantasyDraft to help you conceptualize exactly why FantasyDraft’s pricing is more favorable. Both sites require you to roster eight players on your roster and FantasyDraft gives you a base salary cap of $100,000 whereas DraftKings gives you $50,000. I wasn’t a Math Major in college, but I can do that simple equation. If you multiply any player on DraftKings price tag by two you should be able to compare the two players side-by-side to see where your edge lies. I want to start with the rookie Lakers Point Guard Lonzo Ball. DraftKings has him priced at $7,500 while FantasyDraft has him priced at $13,600. Using the same equation, I mentioned prior that would put Ball at $15,000 on FantasyDraft. That’s a $1,400 difference that I don’t think you can ignore.

This Lakers/Nuggets game has the second highest projected pace (102.9). The defender responsible for guarding Ball, Jamal Murray, is ranked 91st in the NBA out of the 101 Point Guards that were ranked defensively (DRPM). Lonzo is coming off of an awful shooting game where he saw his minutes and usage take a hit in a clear-cut narrative with Isaiah Thomas facing his former team (Cleveland). The game-log alone will scare people off of him and this is the first player I’m locking into all of my lineups on FantasyDraft tonight. This section is already pretty long so the next two “price is right” plays I’m going to talk about in my next bullet point.

The Upper Hand. 

Looking back a month at the day the Clippers shipped Blake Griffin to the Detroit Pistons for what many, including main-steam media, thought was a bag of chips. Looking back in retrospect, that bag of chips tastes pretty good. Since the trade we’ve seen Blake Griffin’s daily fantasy sports stock plummet and Tobias Harris’ stock skyrocket. Not only that, the Clippers are in the playoffs if they were to start today. The Pistons are on the outside looking in at the top eight in the Eastern Conference. So who got the upper hand? You can certainly make the case for Los Angeles and the main reason is Tobias Harris. Tonight for the first time all Season, he’s more expensive than Blake Griffin on all three sites (FanDuel, DraftKings and FantasyDraft) and I’m not mad at it. Tonight he draws the dream matchup against a Chicago Bulls team who comes into tonight’s slate ranked dead in team defense since the All-Star Break. He might be too expensive for me to justify playing on both FanDuel and DraftKings tonight, but his price tag of just $15,000 on FantasyDraft is way too cheap given the usage, minutes and volume he’s been seeing night-in and night-out on this Clippers team.

To compare between the two sites again he’s $8,300 on DraftKings and using the same simple math I did above that would be the equivalent of $16,600 on FantasyDraft. That means you’re saving $1,600 once again with the LA Power Forward tonight and I think this is as close to a lock button as you can get. One more player I think is miss priced is Karl-Anthony Towns ($17,300). If you compare this price tag around the industry, it’s considerably cheaper. While he doesn’t draw the most appealing matchup tonight against Washington he’s seen a 28+% usage rate in two of his last three games. Fun fact, the team’s highest usage rate against the Golden State Warriors was Derrick Rose…. yep…. he had a 45% usage rate in the six minutes he played in the first half. Needless to say, he didn’t play a minute in the second half.

 

Buckets. A lot of BUCKETS. 

Tonight is what I would call a “sexy” slate. One of the reasons for that is the projected scoring and totals heading into tonight. For the first time in recent memory, we have three games that opened at above a 230 total (CLE/PHO, DEN/LA, and NO/CHA). That’s a lot of buckets y’all. My issue is some of my favorite players on the slate do not come from these games. Let’s break down the three games and who I think is a viable target in them.

Let’s start with the Cleveland and Phoenix game. Everyone is probable and coming off of an injury for the Phoenix Suns. Warren, Booker and Jackson all missed the team’s last game against Charlotte, but are all expected to suit up tonight. When they’re all healthy it hurts all of their daily fantasy sports value. Elfrid Payton also takes a hit. There’s really only two players that I want from this game and they aren’t on the Suns. I think LeBron James ($21,200) is in the best spot of any Superstar on the entire slate and Larry Nance Jr. ($13,100) should have a breakout game tonight. If you’re looking for a stud on the slate to pay up for, it’s “The King” tonight in all formats. Don’t get caught game-log chasing with Nance either. Both of his last two games were blowouts. If this game stays close, which it should, you can expect both players to reach and most likely exceed value. Read the following bullet point for the next two games I highlighted above.

 

A DFS Dead End. 

The industry loves to flock where the highest totals are. I mentioned that in my article yesterday and the same will hold true for tonight’s slate. I think this New Orleans and Charlotte game is the perfect example of that. So you want to attack Anthony Davis every slate he’s on, but tonight he draws the fourth toughest matchup for his position. He’s matchup proof though, right? If you look at the historical data, you might be misguided. The last time he played against Charlotte he scored less than 50 FantasyDraft Points and the three games before that he dropped 60+ every time. So what changed? One thing. Dwight Howard. In the team’s last game on January 24, 2018 he played. On the three games prior, he did not. The head-to-head data coincides with this research as well. In his career, Anthony Davis has only hit or exceeded value in four of the fifteen games they’ve faced off. Before you say, “well, he had Boogie in all of those games so it’s different tonight” it isn’t that different. He’s only played against Dwight with Boogie two times out of the fifteen games. It’s practically the exact same situation with Holiday and Anthony Davis. The only positive is his price tag, in my opinion the fairest on FantasyDraft at $21,600, compared to the rest of the industry. I just can’t get behind it knowing what I know. Then you have Kemba playing on the road where he plays worse, Batum matched up with Jrue Holiday defense, Holiday matched up with Batum and Mirotic back to coming off of the bench. How do you attack this 230 total? I think the short answer is you don’t.

 

The Bright Lights. 

All lights will be shining on the players in the Lakers and Nuggets game in Staples Center tonight. I mentioned that you shouldn’t “jam in” players from the games with high totals just because they have a high total. If you’re picking between the three games tonight, this is the one I’d recommend. Again the issue is the matchups in it. I don’t want to chase with Randle tonight going against a top five interior defense with Paul Milsap and Nikola Jokic healthy. I don’t want to attack Jamal Murray against the third best on-ball defender at the Point Guard position in the NBA (Lonzo Ball). I don’t want to attack KCP or Harris/Barton against each other. So what are you left with? I talked about Ball above. I love him tonight. I don’t mind Jokic, Milsap or Lopez. Lopez and Milsap because of their price respectfully and Jokic because of the matchup. One more red flag here, Jokic has played against the Lakers eight times in his career. He’s hit value in one of those eight games. The final player that I think is extremely targetable is Kyle Kuzma ($12,400). Don’t be scared of the price tag here. I think it’s actually a little too cheap given his role on the Lakers without Brandon Ingram (out tonight) and the matchup against Denver. Of every Laker tonight, he’s my favorite. He’s played 38+ minutes and taken 10 or more field goal attempts in the last four games. That trend will continue tonight and considering the total, the matchup, the pace, the usage and the opportunity I like “Kuz” a lot tonight.

Sean Pfeiffer

Sean Pfeiffer

Sean Pfeiffer is the CEO and Founder of RotoRadar. He is a full-time daily fantasy sports Pro Analyst for RotoRadar that specializes in NBA and MLB. He took the leap of faith to pursue daily fantasy sports and RotoRadar full-time in August of 2015 and has never looked back. Previously he worked for ABC, FOX and ESPN as an anchor, on-air personality and producer. Pfeiffer assembled some of the largest names in the DFS industry in all sports providing insight daily on www.RotoRadar.net. He has had numerous top 1% finishes over the last three NBA Seasons himself. In the 2015/16 NBA Season he had 19 top 1% finishes, in the 2016/17 NBA Season he had 23 top 1% finishes, and in the 2017/18 NBA Season he had 11 top 1% finishes (In progress). Every day Sean spends anywhere between 10 to 12 hours of research into the lineups that he plays and provides for his members. There's not many people who can say they watch every second of every game every night, but that's exactly what Sean and his wife Jenna do. If there's any edge to be found, Sean is going to find it. Don't miss a chance to invest in one of the best full-time DFS Pros in the industry. Personal Information: He welcomed the light of his life into his family on March 15, 2017 as his wife Jenna gave birth to his first-born daughter, Kiara Morgan. Sean is from Houston, Texas and currently resides in Colorado Springs. Follow him on Twitter @RotoRadarCEO.

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