Using Pace as a leading indicator, what players in prime match-ups can we look to for value and a higher than usual DFS points floor on FanDuel.
Andy Grove, the legendary founder and Chairman of Intel once said about has objectives as a leader, “The art of management lies in the capacity to select from the many activities of seemingly comparable significance the one or two or three that provide leverage well beyond the others and concentrate on them.” He also was fond of saying, “Each time you make a commitment, you forfeit your chance to commit to something else.”
While I am sure he wasn’t thinking about DFS when he said those words – and rather about the much more important work of running a company. But the principles are one and the same. Every night (at least for NBA and MLB) we are looking for the right edge, the one piece of analysis or luck to fall our way that will help us out-leverage the competition and set us apart from what others are doing.
Take last night’s FD-Guru GPP lineup, for example.
Many people – me, you, FD-Guru, and thousands of others – had Devin Booker locked into lineups. He, of course, was ejected in the third quarter for fighting with Gorgui Dieng, disappointing scores of owners. Now, many people were affected equally by this and lost a quarter and a half of production. Owners who went straight chalk with other guards such as Derrick Rose, Kyle Lowry, and SGA were left scrambling with a player who didn’t come close to value because of getting tossed, but had no leverage to weather the storm because their fates were tied to popular player choices.
The right GPP move was to pivot off of some of those plays – as shown by the GPP lineup posted that rostered Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum. Both of these players crushed last night and – despite the loss of Booker – were able to carry the lineup well past the cash line in GPPs.
That’s our challenge this and every night in NBA. We know the players. We know their abilities and limitations. But the right time to deploy them, providing leverage from the field, is the key to smart roster construction. Differentiate your lineup in some unique way tonight.
Let’s find some players we can commit to who can help us make some money.
Atlanta Hawks @ Chicago Bulls
Hawks – 1st
Bulls – 24th
Dewayne Dedmon ($6,200) – I will be honest here, I am not totally in love with Dedmon’s price tonight. I much preferred the $5,500 Dedmon to this upgraded $6,200 version. But Dedmon simply destroys teams with bad defenses against centers, and what do you know, the Bulls come in ranked 28th against the position. One matchup item I love after digging into the numbers: the Bulls are third worst in the NBA in rebound differential. Dedmon has at least six rebounds in five of his last six games, and I project that number to be at least nine tonight if his minutes are there.
Sandwiched around some games lost due to an ankle injury, Dedmon has recently scored 35 FD points against the Magic, 41 against Philly, 27 against Brooklyn, 21 against Toronto, and 27 against Miami. That’s one game in the bunch at less than 4x value and he gets to go up against Robin Lopez tonight. For me, Dedmon makes a logical midrange pivot off the chalky Aron Baynes if not paying up for an Embiid or Jokic tonight.
Lauri Markkanen ($6,900) – More evidence as to why the Dedmon price is not superb – Markkanen comes in only $700 more expensive with a much higher floor and ceiling. The second-year big man has one game in the last month under 20 FD points, that being the 50-point shellacking by the Warriors earlier this month.
Markkanen has finally pushed past 30 minutes per game and is now averaging a point per minute fantasy production. Against the Hawks – ranked 29th against power forwards – Markkanen should have little resistance whether in the post-up or floating out to the three-point line. In a game with the third-highest total of the night, several Bulls should produce some monster lines, and Markkanen has one of the best individual match-ups on the team.
Detroit Pistons @ New Orleans Pelicans
Pistons – 22nd
Pelicans – 5th
Luke Kennard ($3,900) – Here is a perfect candidate for your FanDuel punt position tonight. FD does not actually list anyone at the SF position who will actually play SF for Detroit tonight so you have to know about the Pistons lineup plans to take advantage of a weak spot in the Pelicans’ defense. New Orleans ranks 29th in the league against opposing small forwards, which leaves the duo of Reggie Bullock and Luke Kennard in tremendous spots to produce tonight.
It’s Kennard who is seeing increased run lately. Kennard now surpasses 20 minutes per game on a nightly basis (up by 5.9 in his last four games) and has seen an 8.2 FD points per game increase over his last four. He has also seen usage of at least 23% in his last three games and scored at least 24 FD points in three of his last four. For a player who is trending up, buy low and give yourself access to the rest of the studs.
Jrue Holiday ($9,500) – Yes, Jrue Holiday is now priced in the range of guys like Blake Griffin, Nikola Vucevic, Andre Drummond, and Kemba Walker. But Jrue’s play recently has justified the price hike. His last five games – all on the road:
@MEM – 45 FD points, 25% usage
@POR – 32 FD points, 20% usage
@GSW – 49 FD points, 24% usage
@LAC – 51 FD points, 30% usage
@MIN – 46 FD points, 28% usage
Finally back home and facing a team ranked 22nd against shooting guards, this is going to be a ceiling game for Holiday. If you need a little icing on the cake to convince you – look at Holiday’s game log the last time these teams played on Dec. 9. In a game on the road and with Anthony Davis in the lineup. Holiday smoked the Pistons for 50.5 FD points and a 33.61 USAGE RATE!