April 4, 2017, 7:37 pm
As the season winds down, DFS is as crazy at it has been all season. With the increased variance, you may want to consider the way you wager tonight. I will be playing tournaments more heavily than usual tonight and lowering my cash game wagers. To perform well in tournaments tonight, I believe you need Harden and a few cheap value plays. Below are suggestions for you to consider when constructing your lineups.
Tyler Ulis ($7,600)
I’m thoroughly impressed with the Phoenix Suns tanking lately. They have lost 12 games in a row and can likely be chalked up for another loss tonight against the Warriors. Now, at the time this article is being written, the Warriors have announced Draymond and Andre Iguodala will be out. If more Warriors are ruled out, then this becomes a tough game for Phoenix to lose. Regardless of who the Warriors rest, Ulis is in play.
He nearly triple-doubled against the Rockets last game with a 34-9-9 line and 60.25 DraftKings points. His rebounding in that game was higher than we can expect tonight, but his usage rate and assist rate were right about his season average in each. Additionally, that game had an unbelievably high pace and Ulis shot better than he normally will (15/22) from the field. While he will likely not score 60+ DraftKings points tonight, a 40-point game is reasonable.
Ulis is running close to 40 minutes per night, so he will need to score about a DraftKings point per minute to hit value. For the season, Ulis is scoring .87 DraftKings points per minute, and considering his role expansion lately, a higher rate is probable tonight. Also, the Warriors are a fast-paced team, further increasinh the likelihood of a more productive game. I expect a strong performance from Ulis tonight and will be playing him in cash games.
James Harden ($12,500)
MVP? James Harden will look to solidify his MVP bid tonight in what should be an entertaining, high-scoring affair against the Denver Nuggets. Beard sat out last game against the Suns with illness, but he is fully expected to suit up tonight. The Nuggets rank 29th against point guards and shooting guards, so Harden does not have to worry about much defense especially since the Nuggets are no longer in contention for a playoff spot.
I expect James Harden to pop off tonight and work towards a monster stat line. He needs to compete with Westbrook’s statistics for his MVP candidacy and he knows it. Over his last three games, he is rebounding at a 15.9% rate. For the season, his rebound rate is 12.2%. Three games is a small sample size, but Harden appears to be making an effort to crash the glass in recent games. Whether you believe he is consciously trying to pad his stats or not, his production lately should convince you that he is an elite play tonight.
His shooting lately is horrendous, but his ability to pass and rebound has bailed out DraftKings owners. In his most recent two games, Harden has shot 4/18 and 11/30. Yet, Harden scored 45.5 and 46 DraftKings points in those games. Three games ago, he shot 5/20 and scored 61.25 DraftKings points. His floor is incredibly high even on a bad shooting night. If the shots are falling tonight, he could have a juicy stat line.
Matt Barnes ($3,400)
Matt Barnes could be a difference maker in DraftKings lineups tonight. Barnes is playing roughly 20-24 minutes per night with Draymond and Andre in the rotation, so I expect a bump with both guys resting. In the infamous game Draymond and Iggy rested against San Antonio, Barnes played 35 minutes. If he gets as many as 30 minutes tonight against Phoenix, he will burn you if you fade him.
Barnes is shooting more than half of his shots from behind the arc, and though his shooting is not particularly impressive, he is still scoring fantasy points because he rebounds efficiently. In that game against the Spurs, Barnes scored 33.25 DraftKings points on 4/11 shooting. His total was boosted by his 9 rebounds and 5 assists. Tonight’s matchup is much faster and easier than a game in San Antonio, so he could post 35-40 DraftKings points if given the run.
Even at a conservative minutes projection, Barnes should score 6x his price. Play him in all formats.
James Michael McAdoo ($3,000)
If you are planning to play Harden as I suggested above, you need a few cheap players to round out the lineup. McAdoo is an interesting option given the Warriors thin rotation tonight. Against the Spurs (when the Warriors rested most of their team), McAdoo played almost 23 minutes and scored 22.25 DraftKings points on 2/7 shooting.
In that game, he did have two steals and two blocks. This inflates his scoring slightly since he typically will not block and steal as efficiently, but he is an athletic player who could register a similar total tonight in each category. McAdoo’s usage for the season is 14.2% and he rebounds at a 10.6% rate. If he is on the floor for 20+ minutes tonight with similar usage and rebounding, he will easily exceed value against the Suns.
However, due to the potential unpredictability of his minutes, I recommend him tonight for tournaments only.
DeAndre Jordan ($7,100)
From a pace perspective, tonight’s matchup with Dallas is not perfect for DFS. Nonetheless, Jordan is playing exceptionally well right now and the Mavs are a terrible rebounding team. The Mavericks are going to have a tough time keeping DeAndre from racking up about 15 rebounds.
About two weeks ago, the Clippers played Dallas. In that game, Jordan had 14 points and 18 rebounds in about 35 minutes. In two of his last three games, DeAndre has played 38+ minutes. The Clippers still need to play for playoff seeding, so Doc Rivers may continue to rely on DJ for heavy minutes down the final stretch of the season. He has scored 32+ DraftKings points in 9 of his last 10 games, and tonight should be no different. Own some Jordan shares tonight.