Renee Miller

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DRAFT NBA Strategy: Tuesday

Tuesday, March 13, 2018


DRAFT Strategy Tuesday

 

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’ll draft two guards, two forwards and one center. Leagues are 2, 3, 6, or 10 people and the draft begins when the league is full, usually within minutes. You can find more information at Draft.com or quickly join a contest from anywhere after downloading the app!

 

 

Today's slate is a huge 11 game affair with some high point totals and plenty of stars. It’s one of those nights you can do 10-person DRAFTs with confidence. Let's begin with team-vs.-position matchups -- which teams have been easiest or hardest to rack up DFS value against?

 

 

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.

 

 

 

Pace: We do get some pace mismatches tonight, notably the Cavaliers visiting Phoenix (a 230 point total), the Nuggets visiting the Lakers (231.5 point total), and the Pacers in Philadelphia (211 point total). LeBron James, Nikola Jokic and Victor Oladipo are just a few star names that jump out at me. Both the Raptors-Nets and Hornets-Pelicans games should also be fast and high scoring; these should be good games to draw from as well. The Spurs get a pace bump from the Magic, but the Spurs played so badly on the first half of this back-to-back set it’s hard to get excited about them tonight. I do think Pau Gasol rebounds tonight at very low ownership after his disastrous Monday. The Pistons-Jazz and Mavericks-Knicks games are both slower in pace and on a slate this big, games you won’t target quite as much.  

 

 

Defensive Efficiency: Cleveland and Phoenix both rank in the bottom three in defensive efficiency, explaining the high total on this game. Toronto should take advantage of Brooklyn’s 23rd rank in DE, and guys like Kyle Lowry, DeMar DeRozan and Jonas Valanciunas should reach or exceed their reasonable projections tonight. However, Toronto is fourth in DE and doesn’t give up a lot of fantasy points to any position making the Nets less enticing. Orlando faces a tough Spurs defense, as does Detroit; the Jazz and Spurs are tied for second in DE. Finally, Indiana is 11th in DE while the 76ers are a surprising fifth in that category. These teams are also well-matched in offensive efficiency, making this another intriguing game to target.

 

 

 

Positional Defense (DvP) and Scarcity

 

G: Whenever Russell Westbrook is on the slate he’s going to be a top pick in DRAFTs but I’ll bet he doesn’t go first overall too often. I’m always happy to land him with picks 3-5. The dropoff to Oladipo and Kemba Walker is steep, but they are definitely the next two guards off the board for me. There is a big middle tier of guards to pluck from in 6-10 person DRAFTs, so don’t panic if those top three pass you by. All of the top 10 teams in fantasy points allowed to point guards are playing tonight, so it’s going to be hard to go wrong with guards.

 

Advice: I think the second tier of guards will outscore the second tier of forwards, so I’m starting with F. In 3-6 person DRAFTs, my personal favorites, I’ll grab Kyle Lowry, Lou Williams, Efrid Payton, Lonzo Ball, Gary Harris, or Jrue Holiday if I miss one of the top 3 Gs.

 

 

F: Forward starts with LeBron James and Anthony Davis tonight. With Westbrook, these should be the first three picks in any DRAFT. It’s hard to choose between them, but Davis at home in what should be a closer game gets a slight edge. There are some nice matchup-based plays further down, including Paul Millsap vs. the generous Lakers, Tobias Harris, Paul George, Blake Griffin, who could be sneaky in a tough matchup with Reggie Bullock and Stanley Johnson questionable. The Jazz have allowed the eighth most fantasy points to PFs during their last five games. The depth of forward tonight makes the 10-person DRAFT viable. Larry Nance Jr., Julius Randle, Denzel Valentine, Joe Ingles, Michael Beasley, Corey Brewer, and Bobby Portis are guys I don’t mind at all on my rosters.

 

Advice: Try to get Davis or James in the first round. If you do, then focus on those tier-2 guards before coming back around to one of the remaining forwards in a good matchup and high scoring game.

 

 

C: I haven’t mentioned center yet, because it’s pretty easy tonight. There are 11 games, so it’s not going to be a challenge filling the center slot even in a 10-person DRAFT. Nikola Jokic and Joel Embiid get top five DvP matchups, but Karl-Anthony Towns did his usual thing vs. Washington earlier in the season, and Andre Drummond put up over 80 fantasy points on the Jazz back in January (a 30 point, 24 rebound, 6 block gem).

 

Advice: Center is a fifth round pick for me. I prefer any of the top seven centers over Nikola Vucevic – if it gets to that point, I’ll take Valanciunas vs. the Nets. Dwayne Dedmon, Pau Gasol, and even Kyle O’Quinn (if Enes Kanter is out) are super deep options.

 

 

Editor's Note:  Since 2004, TeamRankings.com users have dominated NCAA bracket pools and won top prizes. Ready to maximize your edge? Check out their bracket picks and tools for 2018.

 

 

UNDERRATED PLAYERS

These players have a great chance to outperform their DRAFT projection/ranking.

 

Lou Williams, LA Clippers (35.8 projection): Williams just quietly keeps on having a great season. Often over 20 real points, he is capable of posting huge lines via multiple steals or 10-plus assists on top of his scoring. This is going to be a fruitful game for fantasy and Williams is my top player in it. I’d grab him over Donovan Mitchell, Bradley Beal, and Ben Simmons.

 


Paul Millsap, Denver Nuggets (31.3 projection): The Lakers are better on defense this year overall but have some gaping holes. They allow the most fantasy points to opposing small forwards, and sixth-most to power forwards. Millsap has worked back quickly, evidenced by his 21 point, 6 rebound, 3 block game against these Lakers last week. His projection is on the high side, and it’s possible he doesn’t exceed it by much, but Millsap is a guy who could go overlooked and make a nice round three pick. I think he finishes in the top 10 among F, but is ranked as the 15th.

 


Denzel Valentine, Chicago Bulls (23.3 projection): Valentine has exceeded this number in three of the last four games, missing vs. Memphis. He’s playing 25-30 minutes most nights and bounced back from two poor shooting games Sunday with 12 points, 6 rebounds and 7 assists. His peripherals are what I expect to boost him over this number againt a Clippers team that ranks sixth in fantasy points allowed to SFs. I’ve already noted the fast pace and high total on this game. You’ll only want to look this deep in 10-person DRAFTs, but it wouldn’t surprise me if he outscored guys like John Collins, Taj Gibson, or Carmelo Anthony tonight.

 

 

 

OVERRATED PLAYERS

These players may not live up to their DRAFT projection or ranking.

 

Spencer Dinwiddie, Brooklyn Nets (29.9 projection): The Raptors’ defense keeps getting better as the season goes on. They give up the fifth-fewest fantasy points to opposing PGs, and are big favorites here. In the last three (easier) games, Dinwiddie hasn’t reached this number and he’s shown inconsistency in all statistical categories. I don’t see the need to take a risk on Dinwiddie when there are several alternatives in his range. Gary Harris is my favorite of the bunch there around 30 projected points.

 


Nikola Vucevic, Orlando Magic (37.4 projection): Vuc didn’t have a great outing against the Spurs the first time these teams played this season, and most guys don’t. You’ll safely avoid him in anything but a 10-person DRAFT, but pass him by if it comes to that. This is going to be a low scoring and not very fantasy-friendly game.

 


T.J. Warren, Phoenix Suns/LaMarcus Aldridge, San Antonio Spurs/Aaron Gordon, Orlando Magic (projections 31.9-36.2): All three have an injury designation—head, back, ankle…and with the exception of Warren, are playing in difficult matchups. The Spurs and Magic allow the third and fifth fewest fantasy points to opposing fours, despite Orlando’s fast pace and lax DE rating. In this range of DRAFTs, you’re better off with Nance Jr., Millsap, Kuzma or Griffin.



Renee Miller, Ph.D. is a neuroscientist and has been a daily fantasy sports fanatic since 2011. She is the author of "Cognitive Bias in Fantasy Sports: Is your brain sabotaging your team?". You can find her on twitter @reneemiller01.
Email :Renee Miller



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