NBA 3/3: The day the algorithm told us who to play
One of the very first things I like to do when beginning to break down a slate is to go to the Utility slot on DraftKings or go position by position on Fanduel and jot down any players that I think are too underpriced, regardless of their matchup. This gives me a good starting point and can help me identify value plays right off the bat. Today on DraftKings there were a handful of players that really stand out as being underpriced and have the talent and upside to crush value in any given matchup, and a couple as well on Fanduel. Today, the pricing algorithms have told us who to play.
Demarcus Cousins ($9200 on DK) – Sure, he’s facing the Spurs. That’s a great argument to have until you look at his price. $9200. The guy rarely scores below 40 fantasy points (and when he does it is usually because he got ejected). So let’s say he reaches his bare minimum of 40 points. That doesn’t kill your roster because of his massive discount today. We have previously had to pay as much as $12K for him before (and we did it then, so why not now)? You are going to get him at low ownership solely because of his matchup and people most likely trying to fit Russ in. If you really want to get wild, play both. Not only is he extremely underpriced, but he has actually had success against the Spurs, and that won’t change tonight. Who are they going to use to stop Davis AND Cousins? I’ll wait…. Here are Cousins two lines versus the Spurs earlier this season: 26 points, 6 assists, 17 rebounds and 37 points, 2 assists, and 17 rebounds. His usage hasn’t dropped at all in New Orleans, so this is a perfect spot to get an underowned Boogie at a discount.
Otto Porter ($5600 on DK) – Otto has been priced as high as $6600 recently on DK, and he now has a deflated price at 1K cheaper. Sure, he hasn’t shot the ball well of late, but when you rely so heavily on the 3 ball, you’re bound to have a couple down games. We now get a chance to play Otto coming off a game where he only played 19 minutes, solely due to the fact that the Wizards were blowing out the Raptors and Bogdonavich couldn’t miss from the field. On a team where the bench players contribute the second fewest points per game, only behind the T-Wolves, we know where the Wizards scoring is going to come from: the starting 5. Give me tons of Otto Porter where he is one of the safest SF plays night in and night out, with also a tournament winning upside at a discount. As well as most likely due to low ownership based on his recent game log. We try to predict the future, not the past in this industry. Past performance doesn’t always lead to how a player will perform in the future. If you need visual evidence, see Al Horford. He has been priced down recently as well due to his slump, and two nights ago he was one point away from a triple double.. When talented players are in slumps, it is great spots to target them because they see lower ownership but always have that tournament winning upside.
Taj Gibson ($3800 on DK) – It isn’t going to taste good, but you better believe I am going to eat this chalk. Last night the starters for the Thunder, other than Westbrook, combined for 12 points scored. This means two things: 1) Play Russell Westbrook (if you didn’t know, he’s averaging over 80 fantasy points in 2 games against the Suns this season). 2) The bench does the scoring outside of Russ. For the time being, Billy Donovan has stated he wants to keep Gibson with the second unit, and if so, Gibson will continue to produce. This is a 3 man show here between Russ, Kanter, and Gibson. All 3 make for great plays today, and Gibson should see 30+ minutes in the highest total game of the day at a near minimum price. Don’t overthink this one.
Terrence Ross ($4900 on FD) – Raise your hand if you are a personal victim of Ross’ terrible performance the other night. (I see only one person with their hand not up… you lucky sob). Ross burned a ton of people the other night and like Porter, this is a great spot to jump back on here. His price is still below 5K on FD and he has logged 33, 35, and 37 minutes and shot 15, 17, and 10 times with the Magic. They want this guy to be a focal point of their offense after trading Ibaka for him, and that is what they are doing. He is playing more minutes than anyone on the team. Sure, the matchup with the Heat is a bit of a buzzkill, but he is one of the safest options on FD tonight if you are looking to pay down at SF.
Alan “Big Sauce” Williams ($4400 on DK and $4900 on FD) – If you are paying down at Center tonight, you just need to play this man. Over the last 7 games, he has only logged at least 24 minutes 3 times, but his last 3 games have all been over 22. The Suns have now pushed Chandler out of their starting rotation, and this has resulted in Big Sauce seeing a ton of run. In those 3 games where he has played over 24 minutes, he has put up 36 (in 24 minutes), 49 (in 36 minutes), and 38 DK points (in 24 minutes). Talk about production. And he is still priced below $5K on both sites. The minutes should be there again tonight even on a back to back, and this will help you get exposure to the highest Vegas total on the board tonight.
All 5 of these guys are too underpriced tonight and offer just as much upside as they do safety. I will be looking to include all of these guys in my lineups tonight. As always, I appreciate any feedback. I enjoy interacting with other fellow grinders.
Here’s to helping your little blue guys find the green zone tonight!