It’s a very short slate — only two games — with some crazy interesting plays today.
Because there are only two games, variance is going to play a crucial role. A lot of owners will roster almost exactly the same teams. It may come down to guessing right on one $3,000 player while the other owner guesses wrong on a $3,000 player.
With that in mind, I’ve expanded today’s list. I’m not going to go into excruciating detail about everyone, but I’m going to go into detail about the guys I’ll be using, barring injury or rest.
I’ve entered into a pile of .25-cent qualifiers at Draft Kings today — for the big Micro Millions NBA Main Event and the PGA Millionaire Maker. The NBA event, Friday, has a $20 entry fee with $400,000 in prizes, including a life-altering $100,000 to first place. The PGA event, April 9, also costs $20 to enter and will have $2.2 million in prizes with the top spot getting a ridiculous $1 million.
On a night like tonight, where variance will be so high, you and I have as much of a chance to win as the people who play daily fantasy sports for a living. It’s worth throwing a quarter at a couple tournaments for a chance to win a $20 ticket into a big-money tournament.
I hope last night’s picks helped you out. I was so very close to a big win in a couple lineups. Enes Kanter and Serge Ibaka held me back, I hope you went the other way at those positions and won big.
NBA DFS Draft Kings top plays for Thursday, March 5
Value play: Aaron Brooks, $5,400 — Brooks has the best matchup of the night and will continue to start for the injured Derrick Rose. Jimmy Butler is also out, which means there will be extra scoring to go around.
Top play: Russell Westbrook, $11,400 — Until he stops getting triple-doubles every night we have to keep starting him regardless of the price. He scored 95 points in fantasy last night. That’s absurd. If he sits, D.J. Augustin because an absolute must-play at $5,500.
Other options: Damian Lillard, $8,100, and Rajon Rondo, $5,700 — If you take a look at recent games you might cringe. Lillard shot 1-for-13 last night with seven missed threes, 5 turnovers and scored just 5 points. He finished with 31 fantasy points because he pulled down 18 rebounds. But he gets one of the best matchups of the night and his floor is second only to Westbrook tonight. Rondo is averaging just 20.1 fantasy points per game in his last 10, but last night he shot .600 from the floor (9-for-15) and is averaging 25.5 fantasy points per game in his last two. His opponent, Lillard’s Trailblazers, have allowed the fifth-most fantasy points per game to point guards.
Value play: Wesley Matthews, $5,600 — Matthews held my GPP fate in his hands in a couple lineups last night. When the game went into overtime I thought he would get enough points to push me up a tier in the standings but it didn’t happen. He still helped me make a small profit, so it’s all good. He gets Dallas tonight, who has allowed the seventh-most fantasy points to opposing shooting guards in the last three weeks.
Top play: Matthews — He also has the highest floor and ceiling of any shooting guard today. He’ll be in just about every one of my lineups tonight.
Other options: Monta Ellis, $6,800, Dion Waiters, $4,100, Aaron Afflalo, $3,600 — Ellis is a bit overpriced based on recent performance but he’s a $7,000 player so there is a touch of value there. Waiters scored 20 real points and 38 fantasy points last night alongside Westbrook as he was beasting. Afflalo was added to the list late. He has Waiters’s floor, but not his ceiling, at a slight discount.
Value play: Tony Snell, $4,000, or Mike Dunleavy, $3,600 — I’m paying the extra $400 for Snell because the ceiling and floor are both higher. Both are options because of the Bulls depleted starting ranks.
Top play: Nicolas Batum, $5,500 or Snell — I have Batum and/or Snell in pretty much every lineup. The Trailblazers have the best overall matchup of the night, in particular their bigs should dominate on the boards. Batum flirted with a triple-double, made 4-of-6 three-pointers and scored 48.25 fantasy points last night.
Other options: Richard Jefferson, $3,300, Kyle Singler, $3,000, Al-Farouq Aminu, $4,600 — All three of these player are benefiting from injured starters. Aminu actually has the second-highest ceiling among SFs tonight. I have him in what I consider one of my best lineups of the night. Jefferson and Singler are a bit more risky but are near-minimum- and minimum-priced plays that should probably get to 18 points tonight, which is what they’d need to make value.
Value play: None. … sigh, Amar’e Stoudamire, $3,600 — I feel like I have to give you something here. With Chandler Parsons out again and Tyson Chandler ailing, Stoudamire will have to carry a heavier load. Before he got hurt he wasn’t terribly effective, but he scored 26 fantasy points in just 23 minutes last game in his return from injury.
Top play: Pau Gasol, $9,400, or LaMarcus Aldridge, $9,100 — I’m paying up for Gasol in almost every lineup. The Thunder have allowed the seventh-most fantasy points to opposing power forwards and, as I’ve said a couple times already, the Bulls are running without a few starters so there’s more fantasy goodness to go around than usual. Aldridge is the kind of player you must consider every game regardless of matchups. He should pull down a pile of rebounds tonight.
Other options: Serge Ibaka, $8,000, Nikola Mirotic, $5,700, Dirk Nowitzki, $6,400, Mitch McGary, $4,000, Bernard James, $3,000 — You could make a case for starting any one of these players. Ibaka is way better than his pitiful 11-fantasy-point performance last game. But that game means a lot of fantasy owners are going to avoid him tonight. Mirotic is probable and has filled in quite a bit of scoring for the Bulls with their guards out. Nowitzki is almost a lock for 30 points, that’s a pretty good floor and ceiling for under $7,000. McGary has burned us before, but he has three 30-fantasy-point games in his last 10 and a discounted price. If Steven Adams plays, McGary becomes a riskier play. James is a risky play to begin with but virtually a non-factor if Tyson Chandler plays.
Value play: Robin Lopez, $3,800, and Enes Kanter, $5,900 — Lopez is averaging 9.7 points, 7.1 rebounds and 1.5 blocks per game. Against the Dallas bigs, Lopez should easily get his seven boards and I’m guessing he’ll get a double-double. I have him in most of my lineups. Kanter burned me last night, but as I’ve said in the past, you have to have a short memory in DFS. Only Joakim Noah has a better floor/ceiling profile than Kanter tonight.
Must play: Lopez, Kanter or Joakim Noah, $7,400 — Noah is averaging 10 points, 12 boards and six assists in his last 10 games. He’s had eight assists in four of the last 10 games. If the Bulls try to keep pace with Russell Westbrook I wouldn’t be surprised if Noah finally hits the triple-double.
Other options: Nick Collison, $3,400, Tyson Chandler, $6,500, Chris Kaman, $3,000, Steven Adams, $3,500 — I’m not using any of these guys in my lineups. Adams is questionable and a game-time decision. If he plays it means less time for guys like Collison and McGary. If Adams sits again, Collison gets 20-25 minutes. He’s averaged almost 25 fantasy points per game in the last two and 17 in the last 10. If he splits the difference and gets to 20 he’s paid for his very inexpensive salary. Chandler is probable and will likely kick James out of the starting lineup. He’s missed three games with injury which has messed with his ceiling/floor statistics, but he still has a 20-point floor tonight with some upside. Kaman averaged 17.6 minutes and 17 points in his last 10 games. At minimum price, anything more than 18 points is gravy.
Good luck today and every day.