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DRAFT NBA Strategy: Friday

by Spencer Limbach
Updated On: October 4, 2018, 4:04 pm ET

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 LeBron James 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!

 

 

Below, I will highlight several players who are projected too high/low on DRAFT’s default rankings. This should provide insight to potential values and avoidable land mines for your squad. We will then parse through some game theory and overall strategy for tonight’s DRAFT slate.

 

 

Best of luck and happy drafting!

 

 

Editor’s Note: Compete in a live snake draft right now! Drafts take as little as 2 minutes to complete and last just one night. 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

 

 

 

UNDERRATED PLAYERS

 

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

 

 

Dario Saric – F – Philadelphia (DRAFT Projection: 34.8 FP)

 

As you’ve probably heard, Joel Embiid is out tonight. He exited Wednesday’s game (vs NYK) after playing just eight minutes. Dario Saric stepped up following Embiid’s departure, finishing with 26 points, 14 rebounds, and five assists (54 FP) through 36 minutes. Needless to say, Saric’s upside gains another dimension with Embiid off the floor. This could be another fantasy feast against an Atlanta team that ranks 28th in team defensive efficiency and 26th in rebound rate. I’ll rank Saric as the fifth best forward on this slate, behind Davis, LeBron, Giannis, and George.

 

 

Will Barton – G – Denver (DRAFT Projection: 31.8 FP)

 

Barton has been up-and-down lately, notching two performances of 47+ FP while averaging just 24 FPPG in three other recent games. Of those lackluster games, one was a blowout and the other two represented some tough matchups. Barton has an excellent opportunity to get back on track while facing an Oklahoma City team that has struggled to defend opposing shooting guards ever since Andre Roberson’s injury. The minutes and opportunities should come in this tight, high-scoring draw.  

 

 

 

OVERRATED PLAYERS

 

These players may not live up to their DRAFT projection.

 

 

Chris Paul – G – Houston (DRAFT Projection: 39.2 FP)

 

Will he even play tonight? If he does play, how many minutes can we expect? At the time of writing this article, Chris Paul is listed as questionable. There’s a real possibility he’ll sit while considering Houston is a 17 point home favorite vs Phoenix. I’m viewing CP3 as an unnecessary risk, even if he does start this game. Jrue Holiday, CJ McCollum, and Eric Bledsoe make for confident alternatives despite holding a lower raw projection.

 

 

Lou Williams – G – LA Clippers (DRAFT Projection: 35.9 FP)

 

Williams may be running into somewhat of a wall down the stretch. He’s still capable of 45-50 FP performances when things are clicking, but his floor has bottomed out around the 25 FP range. The matchup against Portland doesn’t look great on paper (Blazers are third vs opposing backcourts), and Danilo Gallinari’s expected return (even in limited minutes) could cut into Lou’s production.

 

 

Marc Gasol – C – Memphis (DRAFT Projection: 36.0 FP)

 

There’s severe blowout risk with Memphis currently listed as 15 point road underdogs at Utah. The matchup is terrible for Gasol, as the Jazz rank third vs centers, second in team defensive efficiency, 27th in pace, and eighth in rebound rate. Memphis doesn’t have anything to play for at this stage in the season, so Gasol’s playing time could be more brief than usual.

 

 

 

OVERALL STRATEGY

 

Where does James Harden fit into the mix? You know you have a star-studded slate when James Harden ranks fifth overall with a 51.4 FP projection. I like Harden tonight, believing he can achieve that mark despite severe blowout risk vs Phoenix. He has next level efficiency in a fantastic matchup, potentially seeing more usage if CP3 is out. Having said that, guys like Lillard, Simmons, Holiday, and McCollum wouldn’t be bad alternatives if you decide to snag an elite center (KAT, anyone?) before Harden.

 

 

Beware of the blowout risk. The constant theme of this article revolves around blowout risk. Here are the games to be aware of from that perspective:

 

  • Houston favored by 17 vs Phoenix
  • Utah favored by 15 vs Memphis

 

I’m less optimistic for Donovan Mitchell, Rudy Gobert, and Ricky Rubio due to this (add the aforementioned Chris Paul to that list). Harden has a good enough matchup with elite efficiency, so I believe his projection holds better.

 

 

Lonzo Ball is questionable. He’s another player that I don’t believe is worth the risk tonight. His current DRAFT projection of 36.5 FP suggests he should be selected in leagues of four or more people. The Lakers probably don’t want to force Ball into action without much to play for. Even if Ball starts, the matchup doesn’t look good vs Milwaukee. Give me CJ McCollum or Eric Bledsoe instead.

 

UPDATE: Lonzo Ball has been ruled out, ending any speculation on the matter. 

Spencer Limbach
Spencer Limbach is a multi-sport daily fantasy specialist for Rotoworld. He can be found on twitter @Spencer_JL.