Ryan Knaus

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DRAFT DFS Strategy: Monday

Monday, March 12, 2018

This new column covers daily rankings and strategy for Draft.com's DFS games. If you aren’t familiar with DRAFT, it’s an innovative DFS game with a live draft feature -- instead of building within a salary cap, you're participating in snake drafts that typically last 2-5 minutes. The scoring system is identical to FanDuel, and anyone you draft is yours alone -- if you take Russell Westbrook with your first pick, nobody else in your league can have him.


You can find more information at Draft.com or quickly join a contest from anywhere after downloading the app!



The NBA schedule is turned upside-down this week, with very busy nights on Tuesday and Thursday, light nights on Wednesday and Friday, and a four-game Monday to kick things off. We'll begin with the past-month fantasy values allowed by each of tonight's eight active teams: 



Editor’s Note: With over 15,000 reviews, DRAFT is the highest rated fantasy sports app. For a limited time, DRAFT is giving Rotoworld readers a FREE entry into a real money draft and a Money-Back Guarantee up to $100! Here's the link.


 For additional insight, here are Vegas' lines for tonight's games:





Spurs at Rockets


Rockets -11.5

Bucks at Grizzlies


Bucks -7.5

Kings at Thunder


Thunder -12.5

Heat at Blazers


Blazers -6.5




These players have a good chance to outperform their DRAFT projection.



Khris Middleton - SF - vs. Memphis (DRAFT projection: 32.9 FP)


The forward spot thins out quickly, as mentioned elsewhere, and Middleton is almost a must-draft once Giannis Antetokounmpo and Paul George are off the board. The Grizzlies' defense is atrocious and they've been the No. 1 most lenient of tonight's teams vs. SFs this month, while finishing second vs. SGs and first vs. PGs. I want plenty of that matchup and grabbing Middleton is an easy way to get there.


Eric Bledsoe - PG - vs. Memphis (DRAFT projection: 35.4 FP)


That's a healthy projected fantasy-point total for EB, but as stated above, he couldn't ask for a better matchup tonight. Kobe Simmons and Xavier Rathan-Mayes continue to man the PG spot for the decimated Grizzlies, and Bledsoe should get whatever he wants vs. them tonight. He's coming off a pair of quiet games with 29.6 FP and 23.5 FP, but don't be swayed by recency bias and a small sample size.


Steven Adams - C - vs. Sacramento (DRAFT projection: 31.8 FP)


The obvious caveat here is that Adams is questionable to play tonight due to a left ankle injury he sustained on Saturday. He's an iron-man who hasn't missed a game since mid-December, so I'm optimistic that he'll suit up, but you should fade him if you're drafting early in the day. Assuming he's cleared to play prior lineups locking at 8pm ET, though, I'm all about him on a night with few definitively appealing centers to choose from. He destroyed the Kings with 49.7 FP the last time they met and I expect more of the same tonight -- it helps that Sacramento has been a pushover matchup vs. centers the past month.


Editor's Note: The crew at TeamRankings.com stayed up all night crunching the March Madness numbers. Want the biggest edge in your pool? Get data-driven predictions for any possible NCAA matchup.




These players may not live up to their DRAFT projection.


Bam Adebayo - C - vs. POR (DRAFT projection: 25.5 FP)


Hassan Whiteside (hip) won't play on Monday, which should yield another start for Bam Adebayo. He's a fringe option in 6-team DRAFT leagues, but I'd much prefer teammate Kelly Olynyk tonight -- Olynyk is playing well and has more statistical versatility, and he's nowhere near as prone to foul trouble. In 11 starts at center this year, Adebayo has mediocre averages of 8.0 points, 6.7 rebounds, 1.0 assists, 0.9 steals, 0.6 blocks and 1.3 turnovers. That adds up to 20.7 fantasy points, which isn't going to get it done.


Goran Dragic - PG - vs. POR (DRAFT projection: 33.6 FP)


Don't get me wrong, Dragic is a decent second guard if he falls to you -- there's a pretty big dropoff to guys like Dejounte Murray, Tyler Johnson and Eric Gordon. But if I'm choosing between other guards in Dragic's neighborhood, like C.J. McCollum or Eric Bledsoe, I'm easily putting him last on my list. The reason is simple -- matchups. Portland has (to my surprise) been extremely stingy vs. opposing guards this month. They've allowed just 37.7 FP per game to point guards, for instance, compared to 49.6 FP for the Grizzlies, 47.7 FP for the Kings, and 46.1 FP for the Thunder.


Kosta Koufos - C - vs. OKC (DRAFT projection: 23.4 FP)


This is specific to 10-team DRAFT leagues, with Koufos projected as the 9th-best center tonight. I'm not buying it. The Thunder have been the toughest team vs. centers for the past month (among tonight's active teams), Willie Cauley-Stein is back, and there's a good chance Koufos won't even play. The Kings often hand out DNP-CDs without announcing it, so why take the risk? It's the second game in a back-to-back set, on the road, and has all the makings of a rest day for the 29-year-old Koufos.


Rudy Gay - SF - vs. Houston (DRAFT projection: 24.3 FP)


Gay is listed as the eighth-best forward tonight, which means he'll be on plenty of rosters in leagues with more than 2-3 teams. I'm not buying it. For one thing, the Rockets have been an awful matchups for forwards lately (see matchup chart above). Added to which, this is the first half of a back-to-back set and it's unclear if Gay will sit out one game, or possibly play limited minutes in both. The absence of LaMarcus Aldridge (knee) gives Gay a slight edge, but I'd rather wait a few picks and gamble on someone like Ed Davis (projected at 21.5), James Johnson (21.4) or Corey Brewer (20.4).





Don't chase your center. If you're sold on Marc Gasol as easily the best center on the board tonight, I get it. After that, I'm not burning an early pick on a pool of centers who look interchangeable for value. Clint Capela, Pau Gasol, Willie Cauley-Stein and Steven Adams and all have some upside and varying degrees of risk -- Capela has been quite lately, Pau is hit-or-miss, WCS is playing in a back-to-back after an extended absence, and Adams is questionable with a sprained ankle. (I'm still on board with drafting Adams, I'm just not doing it in the first few rounds). In 6-team and 10-team leagues, I'd even be content securing reliable Gs and Fs before settling for Jusuf Nurkic or Kelly Olynyk.


Don't sleep on forwards. As usual, forward is leaner than the other positions. That trend is exaggerated during tonight's four-game slate -- even if you're in a 3-team DRAFT league, someone will be choosing between Carmelo Anthony, Kyle Anderson, Justise Winslow and Dillon Brooks for their final spot. I'm not sure I could pass up Russell Westbrook (vs. the Kings) with the No. 1 pick tonight, but I'm eager to get Giannis Antetokounmpo in as many leagues as possible -- with that stud forward in the bag, I'd still have a chance to land guards like Lillard, CP3 and Bledsoe.

Despite residing in Portland, Maine, Ryan Knaus remains a heartbroken Sonics fan who longs for the days of Shawn Kemp and Xavier McDaniel. He has written for Rotoworld.com since 2007. You can follow him on Twitter.
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