Contrarian Central: Wednesday, March 18th
As with last week, I’ll provide a strategy for being contrarian in order to give your lineups upside in GPPs, while also giving some possible plays for tonight.
Remember that being contrarian does not mean just picking a bunch of low-owned players in the same lineup. Often times, all you need is one or two low-owned players in order to set your roster apart. Unless there’s some injury news that bolsters the value of these contrarian plays, none of them will be “core” plays for me. These are the guys that I’ll sprinkle into a lineup or two each along with my core players. Anyway, on to today’s strategy.
Analyzing Salaries and Recent Production to Predict Ownership Percentages
When making my player projections for each day, one major factor is each player’s recent game logs. Not only will that help determine how that player is trending, but also how high his ownership percentage will be. Almost every time you see a player with excellent recent production and a salary that hasn’t fully caught up yet, he’s going to be highly owned.
A simple way to find contrarian plays is to roster players priced near the “obvious” play who don’t have recent production that will keep them on everybody’s radar. Of course, this strategy only works when the contrarian play out-produces the guy everybody else has, so don’t go fading the obvious value plays every single night just to be different.
Contrarian Plays for Tonight
Having Rondo in your lineup is always a bit unsettling, but even though he hasn’t been the same in Dallas, he still has major upside at this low price. Rondo is the type of player that you can put into a lineup or two knowing that he can either kill an otherwise good lineup, or turn it into one of the best lineups of the night. He faces a weak Orlando defense and is in a spot where he could really rack up the assists.
Danny Green @ MIL (FD: $5500, DK: $5600)
Green is another high-ceiling, low-floor player that can swing your lineup quite a bit in either direction. Being that he’s on the Spurs and not named Kawhi Leonard, his ownership is almost always very low. Coming off of an overtime game, Green is one of the younger Spurs who shouldn’t be as tired as the old guys. If any of the Spurs sit out, he’ll gain quite a bit of value, but he’s still not a bad tournament play with a full roster.
Khris Middleton vs. SA (FD: $6800, DK: $6800)
With a few solid options around his price, along with poor recent production, I expect most people to be off of Middleton. I think he turns it around despite the tough matchup and wouldn’t be surprised at all to see a 35+ fantasy point performance.
Hollis Thompson (FD: $4100, DK: $4000) OR Robert Covington vs. DET (FD: $5500, DK: $4900)
Whoever starts. Philadelphia has been shuffling around its starting lineups like crazy lately. With the 7 PM EST start, we will find out before rosters lock, but lately with the Sixers we’ve been finding out just about a half hour before lock. Whoever starts is likely to see 30-34 minutes and plenty of shot attempts, while the one who comes off the bench will probably only play around 24 minutes. The likelihood of late news along with the presence of safer options will keep most people off of both players.
Amir Johnson vs. MIN (FD: $4600, DK: $4000)
Let me start by saying that I absolutely hate rostering Amir Johnson. I don’t have the best track record of predicting his performance, and I’m sure many of you have been burned by him as well. That said, his minutes and production have been up a bit lately, he draws a great matchup against a very thin Minnesota frontcourt, and he’s reasonably priced. Unless there’s news that uncovers some value at power forward, we may have to ride the Amir Johnson death train a little bit.
DeAndre Jordan @ SAC (FD: $9300, DK: $8800)
With Blake Griffin back and the high price, Jordan should easily be under 2% owned. That said, this recommendation is completely contingent on that status of DeMarcus Cousins. If Cousins ends up sitting, Jordan will be all over the boards and could get lots of easy putbacks and dunks. Should we not hear any news on Cousins, I might throw Jordan into a tournament lineup just in case. However, if DeMarcus is confirmed in the lineup, I can’t recommend Jordan at all.
Zaza Pachulia vs. SA (FD: $5200, DK: $4300)
Based on recent production, Pachulia should find his way onto some rosters. Still, there are so many more appealing ways to go at center. With higher-owned players like Justin Hamilton and Steven Adams priced near Zaza, he could really put lineups over the top if he’s able to out-produce those two. Another thing in Pachulia’s favor is that the Spurs just played an overtime game in New York on Tuesday night and they’ll be traveling to Milwaukee.