NBA Thoughts 2/24/17

NBA Thoughts by Peter Christensen aka DraftCheat


The week off for the NBA All-Star Break certainly felt like a lifetime to most daily fantasy NBA gamers, at least it did to me and I am sure I am not alone!  As a bonus, the NBA trade deadline concluded at 3pm ET yesterday, so that will give us a whole new landscape of players and situations to analyze.  Let’s take a look at the puzzle pieces we have been provided by The Association today.


Once again this article will focus on looking for players who can reach 3x their salary-based value on FantasyDraft. So, for a $10,000 priced player, we want to comfortably project 30 fantasy points, hopefully with upside for more. Let’s look at three players who should be able to get the job done tonight.


Malcolm Delaney, $6,000 – With Dennis Schroder suspended for tonight’s home matchup against the Heat, Malcolm Delaney will (almost assuredly) step into the starting lineup for the Hawks. While the matchup against the Heat is not an ideal one, Delaney is a near must play (at least in cash games aka H2Hs, 50/50s and 3-mans) as he was seeing nearly 100% of the backup point guard minutes whenever Schroder would come off the court.


During those stretches he performed reasonably well scoring roughly 0.8 FantasyDraft points per minute. What makes him such an enticing play (outside of his stone-minimum price point) is that his minutes appear to be very secure. Schroder and Delaney are the only two point guards on the roster, and the Hawks will likely need Delaney for 35+ minutes tonight assuming this game stays reasonably close. Things would have to go very wrong for Delaney to fail to reach the 18 fantasy points he needs at this price point and he will be locked into all my lineups.


Jimmy Butler, $17,300 – Butler should be fully healthy after recovering over the All-Star Break from his heel injury, and lands in a prime home matchup against the Suns. The Bulls will be a bit shorthanded tonight after trading away Taj Gibson and Doug McDermott, and the Suns are the worst team in the league at transition defense, an area where Jimmy Butler absolutely thrives. Butler brings a high floor and a huge ceiling – especially for his price point – into this game, and I would be surprised to see him fall short of 50 FantasyDraft points.


Kyle Lowry, $15,500 – The Raptors and Celtics have an important showdown in Toronto tonight, and we should see a rested Kyle Lowry push past 40 minutes in a close game. He’ll also see a lot of Isaiah Thomas, who grades out as one of the very worst point guard defenders in the league. With Avery Bradley still doubtful, the Celtics are more or less forced to leave IT2 on Lowry, and Lowry has the intelligence and ability to take advantage of the matchup. These teams have squared off three times already this season, and Lowry is averaging just shy of 50 fantasy points per game. Like Butler, he brings a great floor and ceiling into this matchup and should have no trouble reaching the 46 fantasy points he needs to pay off his salary, with upside to get close to 60. Fire him up.


Good luck out there tonight! ~ DraftCheat


Peter Christensen (aka DraftCheat) has been playing DFS full time since 2014. He’s a multiple time Live Finalist in MLB, NFL, NBA, and CFB, and took home the FanDuel Playboy College Football Championship for $100,000 in 2015. An analytically based player and unapologetic member of #TeamMath, DraftCheat prefers the GPP style of play and is a huge proponent of using Game Theory to improve results. A lifelong Minnesota resident, he grows weary of cheering on his hapless hometown teams.  You can find his work on for both articles as well as the Deeper Dive live video show airing regularly at 5pm ET or on Twitter @DraftCheat