The NBA Pick and Roll column will be an approach to the NBA slate that features one high priced option and one low priced option for each position focused on DraftKings salary! The research provided should be applicable to both sites overall, but be aware that the salary is very different.
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Tuesday, March 10th
Last night was one of the worst slates I can remember with the Bucks completely screwing everything up after it started and foul trouble galore and injuries. It’s a good reminder of what the NBA can look like towards the end of the season and we should all be betting accordingly. Let’s put that nightmare behind us.
High Salary – Russell Westbrook, Rockets
It seems like Westbrook’s price just doesn’t move all that much and we should want some exposure to a game with a 244 total. His production has been spotty lately, much like his teammate James Harden but the Wolves are a matchup that cures a lot of ails. Minnesota is fourth-worst to the position and D’Angelo Russell is not a good defender with a net rating of -8.3. It’s not like Westbrook needs exceptional matchups to pay off his price, but we should want to take advantage of them when they present them at his current salary.
Low Salary – RJ Barrett, Knicks
There’s going to be some merit to taking a Spurs point guard since Dejounte Murray is out, but you’re still guessing between three players in hopes of getting the right one. Instead, I’ll stick with attacking the Wizards as we have all season and Barrett is a player that has flashed some scoring upside in his rookie season. The DKPM is nothing special at 0.85 for the season but the usage is almost 24% and that’s a good combo for his 25-28 minutes per night. He just put up 40+ DK a few games ago and holds that upside again here. He also won’t be the only Knick in the article today.
High Salary – Coby White, Bulls
We got some early news on this slate which is welcome after last night and that is White will bump into the starting lineup. Even though the Bulls are getting healthier, they are still without Zach Lavine and that means White is in line to play around 32-35 minutes and be a primary scoring threat. On the season, White is a 27.7% usage rate and a 1.04 DKPM player with LaVine off the floor and even in the short sample of the last week, the usage remains over 26% and the DKPM has actually gone up a bit to 1.14. Given the fact that Cleveland is in the bottom five to guards, White still has room to hit 6x even at the elevated price tag.
Low Salary – Terrence Ross, Magic
When we get teams in a massive pace up spot, we tend to like those players and that’s the case for the Magic tonight. They sit 26th in pace while Memphis is still inside the top five so this is a pace leap, to say the least. With Evan Fournier still out, that affords other chances to players like Ross and the other Magic player that made the cut tonight. Ross has seen is usage rate jump by 3.3% on the season when Fournier is off the court and that brings it up to almost 26%. Even though you can’t expect that all the time playing with starters, Ross can be deadly from deep at 53.7% over his last six games. Memphis gives up the fourth-most three point attempts and the ninth-highest FG% from that range.
High Salary – Paul George, Clippers
This pick is contingent on Steph Curry playing, because if he doesn’t I won’t want to bank on full minutes from George. I’m annoyed he finally broke out for a 50 burger on a slate that wasn’t a main one because I’ve continued to play him every time out at this price tag. George is behind Kawhi Leonard in usage and DKPM abut he’s still far too cheap for a player that has a 1.32 DKPM himself. Curry playing for the Warriors should keep this game close, otherwise this will likely be a fade for me. It would change if Kawhi happened to sit but they have two days off after this game.
Low Salary – Dario Saric, Suns
These two teams just squared off a couple days ago and Saric went bonkers for over 40 DK points, scoring 24 real points in the process. That might not happen again but there’s still that potential since the Blazers are just dreadful defensively. Since Saric has been starting, he’s continually scored in the double digits and has worked himself into some rebounds as well, with at least five in four of those six games. I’m willing to take shots with anyone playing against the Blazers and possible Carmelo Anthony defense, Saric included.
High Salary – Aaron Gordon, Magic
Speaking of Magic players in a pace up spot, this bode well for Gordon who has really picked up his play lately. Over the past month, Gordon has shot up from a 0.97 DKPM to a 1.16 and that’s a big difference at the end of the day. The usage is about the same but he’s just producing so much more lately, ,it’s hard to not take him seriously in this type of matchup. Memphis is the fifth-worst team to power forward on the season and there’s double-double upside here for Gordon. Even if not, a line of 24/8/4 or something similar is very much in play for this game.
Low Salary – Lauri Markkanen, Bulls
Flat out, Markkanen is just too cheap for a player that could clip 30 minutes in this game. He’s played 21, 22 and 26 minutes so far in three games back from a lengthy layoff and he produced his best DK score last time at 28.5. For a player that is still under $5,000 and should see a couple more minutes without LaVine, the potential for 6x or more is palpable. He looks like a prime salary saver at this juncture.
High Salary – Andre Drummond, Cavaliers
If it’s one thing we know about Drummond, it’s that he dominates in the paint as far as fantasy goes. Call him out of date for the modern NBA but those points rack up all the same and his 1.43 DKPM with the Cavaliers stands out. He has three games of full minute against the Bulls this season and has 52, 38 and 67 in those matchups. I like my odds of getting at least 50 DK here and since he’s under $9,000, that’s all we need. If he approaches 60-65, all the better.
Low Salary – Mitchell Robinson, Knicks
There’s been certain spots for Robinson through the season and this stands out as one of them to me. When we see him get solid minutes in great matchups, he’s capable of posting big numbers like he did against the Bulls on the 29th of last month. He did the same thing to Charlotte as well with both games going over 40 DK points. He resides in the top 20 in paint touches per game which is impressive considering out of those 20 players, Robinson averages the fewest minutes. The Wizards are 23rd in paint points allowed and 29th in paint rebounds allowed and this is a perfect spot to get Robinson for 25+ minutes and well over 30 DK points.
FanDuel First Look
Point Guard – Luka Doncic, Russell Westbrook, Steph Curry, Ricky Rubio, Coby White, Collin Sexton, Elfrid Payton, Patrick Beverly
Shooting Guard – James Harden, Bradley Beal, Devin Booker, D’Angelo Russell, CJ McCollum, Malik Beasley, Terrence Ross, RJ Barrett, Lou Williams
Small Forward – LeBron James, Paul George, Mikal Bridges, Otto Porter, Juancho Hernangomez, Cedi Osman
Power Forward – Kristaps Porzingis, Kawhi Leonard, Domantas Sabonis, Julius Randle, Aaron Gordon, Kevin Love, Robert Covington, Thad Young, James Johnson, Dario Saric, Lauri Markkanen
Center – Hassan Whiteside, Nikola Vucevic, Andre Drummond, Marquese Chriss, Montrezl Harrell, Mitchell Robinson, Ivaca Zubac
PG – Westbrook, White
SG – Ross, Barrett
SF – George, Hernangomez
PF – Markkanen, Gordon
C – Drummond
Some of the pricing for FD tonight isn’t that far off DK, so many of the plays aren’t that much different. Markkanen, George, Drummond and White are still quite affordable and then you add in Westbrook at the top. That would be mostly where I’m starting tonight and that leaves you $5,700. Now, George would switch if Curry doesn’t play and Drummond isn’t a desperate need as you can certainly go cheaper and then upgrade George to LeBron if you chose to. I’m not looking to spend up at SG even with Harden there for the taking and the Ross/Barrett pairing looks like it could have 60-70 FD point upside.
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