The Pick and Roll

Wednesday December 10, 2014
Hi everyone, this is my first post on Roto Grinders so please bare with me as I learn better ways to format and display data. If you have any ideas on things that can improve this article please put them in the comment section below. This blog will focus on daily NBA plays using DK pricing as well as review my previous day’s Pick and Roll ($12 GPP) team from Draft Kings. Additionally, from time to time I’ll try and touch on DFS topics or some type of NBA stat or useful tool that may be confusing to beginners.

*All prices in this article will refer to Draft Kings pricing.

Let me preface these picks by saying that I’m not a professional DFS player or anywhere close to it. I’ve only been playing for less than a year now and while I have been profitable I am nowhere near the player as some of the others that provide content here on RG.

PG – Zach Lavine $5,000: I really wanted to put Kemba Walker here, but $8k on Draft Kings is just too steep for me. There are several point guards with great match-ups tonight (Wall, MCW, Lillard, Teague, Rondo, & Holiday) but they’re all priced so high that it will be hard for them to reach value. Both Minnesota and Portland are in the top 10 in terms of team pace in the league and Lavine should thrive in an uptempo game if Mo Williams is out again. He’s reached at least 29 points in each of his past three games & I fully expect a similar output tonight at home in a game with a 205 over/under against Damian Lillard who is far from an elite defender.

If you’re looking for safety at the PG position it’s hard to argue with MCW right now. The price is ridiculously high and he’s grouped with far superior players to him right now. However, DFS isn’t always about who is the best basketball player, it’s about opportunity and right now no team relies on their team more than the Sixers do with MCW.

SG – Rodney Stuckey $4,600: Nobody is going to be very excited about rostering Rodney Stuckey tonight. However, over the past three games he has been starting at point guard and averaging 28 minutes per game and 28.6 dk points per game. A match-up against Chris Paul may scare some people off but I won’t be one of them. Stuckey has been plagued with foul trouble in his brief stint at the point guard position but if he can stay on the court for somewhere around 30 minutes I like his chances of meeting value.

SF – Draymond Green $6,300: Small Forward is void of reasonable plays tonight. Draymond Green has flourished in the Warriors starting lineup with Steve Kerr as head coach. He’s been phenomenal all season and recently had a 60+ dk point game. While I wouldn’t expect that type of output tonight, he’s as safe as it gets and it’s nice to know that he does have a 60 point game in his range of outcomes.

PF – Marreesse Speights $4,100: In the event that Andrew Bogut misses this game both Speights and Ezeli will see extended run. With the Rockets undersized up front I really love this spot for Speights. He’s been incredibly efficient off the Warriors bench this season averaging well north of a fantasy point per minute. If given 30 minutes I like his potential of hitting close to 8x his salary.

If you want to spend a little more Pau Gasol has been on fire of late and I expect him to see a heavy dose of opportunities with Noah already ruled out.

I love Dirk Nowitzki but he doesn’t have a snowball’s chance in hell of sticking with Anthony Davis. The Brow’s price has just climbed to unplayable levels ($11,700) when factored with his current production. If I’m aware of this, I’m sure Rick Carlisle is too, so I expect the Brow to see a healthy dose of Brandin Wright and Tyson Chandler tonight. A look at the Brow’s usage rate of 24.7 (35th in the league) tells you all you need to know about how I feel about the coaching job Monty Williams is doing this year.

C – Timofey Mozgov $5,700: Let me start off by saying Mozgov is not a cash game play. He literally has a range of potential outcomes from 10 fantasy points to somewhere north of 40 points every night given his propensity for foul trouble. However, the weakness of this Miami defense is in the paint so I really like this match-up for the big fella. With Faried and McGee ailing Mozgov has logged 49 and 33 minutes respectively each of the past two games and recorded 34 dk points. As is always the case with Mozgov his ability to produce solid fantasy numbers is tied directly to ability to stay on the court.

**As always it’s important to note that the daily NBA landscape changes significantly throughout the day and that while I feel the picks above are solid, it’s quite possible and probably even likely that better values will arise throughout the day due to illness, injury, etc. If you’re wanting to play NBA DFS I strongly suggest that you get a twitter account and make it your best friend everyday from around 6:00 – lineup lock.

Today’s Topic is Usage Rate
Usage rate is often referred to by savvy NBA reporters and DFS players. However, I figure a lot of people don’t fully understand exactly what usage rate is. Here’s the formula:
Usage Rate = {[FGA + (FT Att. x 0.44) + (Ast x 0.33) + TO] x 40 x League Pace} divided by (Minutes x Team Pace)

Essentially, usage rate identifies the percentage of possessions per 40 minutes that end in either a shot, free throws, an assist, or a turnover by player x. While a high usage rate isn’t exactly an indicator of fantasy success on a given night, it does help when assessing a players potential floor as the more he has the ball in his hands the more likely he is to find fantasy points.

This seasons top five leaders in usage rate are:

  1. Russell Westbrook 39.9
  2. Kobe Bryant 34.0
  3. Dwyane Wade 31.5
  4. Boogie Cousins 30.8
  5. James Harden 30.3

Last night’s Pick and Roll Team

Last night wasn’t about building a good team, it was about building a team that didn’t completely suck. Nobody in either the Pick and Roll or the Crossover scored over 300 points. I fell into the Cory Joseph trap with the majority of the field and Courtney Lee got in foul trouble. Luckily I got a big night from Chris Bosh that enabled me to cash (Top 671 Cashed). Overall it was a decent night and I can’t complain too much. Hopefully the success continues tonight.

Thanks for reading Grinders and good luck to you all tonight!

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