Booms and Busts NBA 2/10

Tonight I’m going to give you two guys who I think are going to perform very well tonight and two guys who people are picking who I don’t think will do as well. Winning at daily fantasy tends to happen at the margins. Most players know who the great picks are, but the true winners are able to sort through the guys who look good but are bad picks, and those who may not look that appealing but are going to do very well tonight.

Two Booms

Stephen Curry

I like Curry the most tonight because basically every factor points to him having a big game. David Lee is questionable tonight, although it looks like he may play. If he’s out like he’s been out, Curry becomes the entire offense. People tend to be afraid of blowouts, and GSW is favored by 15 points, but our research has shown that players are expected to do just as well favored by 12 as they are favored by 1. Curry is also at home, where in general players tend to do better, as well as get more liberal scoring on assists. Curry is also facing Philadelphia who gives up a the most fantasy points to point guards, mostly because they give up 10 assists per game to that position, and Curry excels at dishing out dimes. Icing on the cake is that in the previous matchup Curry had a triple double. The only negative is that in the previous matchup Curry had a below average USG%, which tends to be a good signal of performance in future matchups. That isn’t nearly enough of a factor to fade Curry though. Biggest slam dunk of the night.

Jonas Valanciunas

Not a lot of people have Val on their radar tonight but he should be. Because New Orleans has failed to play an elite Center in the past several games, how much they have been crushed at the position after sliding Anthony Davis to PF and starting a platoon of Alex Ajinca and Greg Steisma has been lost on DFSers. Let me name a few performances.

Demarcus Cousins: 18/11/6/3/4 in 29 minutes.

Andre Drummond: 21/20/1/1/2

Mason Plumlee: 22/13/0/3/2

Joakim Noah: 14/16/5/1/1

New Orleans starters at Center aren’t even quality backups on any other team.
Valanciunas’ price is quite reasonable on Fanduel, 23 FPPG for $5500 in salary. The minutes aren’t always there as he can lose to Patrick Patterson and Chuck Hayes, but even when he doesn’t have minutes, Val tends to produce. His output is up from Demar Derozan’s recent injury that seemed to give his offensive game a bump, but even in each game Derozan has been back for, Val has gotten a double double in only 20 minutes of play.

Val also does not correlate with many stats, but he correlates most highly with defensive efficiency, which NOP is statistically bottom 5 in the league. NOP also has a lot of size at PF with Anthony Davis, and they may be forced to play Valanciunas more minutes with a quite slim Amir Johnson starting at PF, and backup Chuck Hayes with only 6’6” of height.

I’m not totally sold on Val as a GPP play. He hasn’t broken the 40 FP mark this season, and that isn’t surprising considering he’s the 3rd offensive option at best on the team. But Val has an unusually high floor for his salary, with his lowest output of the season at 11.1, which is better than almost everyone with salaries under 8k. He’s a consistent performer with a good matchup. This isn’t a great night for Centers, so it seems like a good idea to go for a low salary guy like Valanciunas.

Two Busts

Lance Stephenson

I don’t hate Stephenson tonight, but there’s a few things that are not going for him. First off, he’s coming off a lower back injury. While not serious, as someone who experiences regular lower back injuries, back injuries are felt for a long time, and could continue to affect his play for a few games. Denver is in the top 10 in fantasy points given up to SGs, but some of that had to do with Denver giving a lot of minutes to Nate Robinson, who is currently out with a knee injury. In Stephenson’s previous matchup, he managed nearly a triple double. But his USG%, which tends to be the best predictor of how well someone will do in a future matchup, was only 3rd on the team, behind Paul George and David West. This matchup also is favorable for George Hill and Roy Hibbert, as Hill has been on fire recently and Hibbert should do well against a team that gives up the most points in the paint in the league. With so many people projected to do well and only so many points to go around, it may be worth fading Stephenson, who is likely to be in 30+% lineups tonight. However, on Draftkings his salary is very low at $6300, I don’t think you can avoid playing him there, especially considering Stephenson is at home where players tend to perform better.

Andre Iguodola

Iguodola had an eye catching 32 points in the previous matchup against Philly, which has people gushing. The truth is though that 21 of those 32 points came from 3 point land, where Iggy went 7 for 11, far above is .387 season average and his .332 career average from distance. Iggy has not had a big boost in Bogut and Lee’s absence, barely shooting more field goals that his season average, and still had a woefully low USG%, 15% and 12% in the last two games, right at his season average. They’re at home against Philly so it’s not like Iguodola is going to be a total bust here, but like Stephenson, it’s very likely we see 30%+ starts tonight, and that should be worth a fade.

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View all posts by Daniel Steinberg
Daniel Steinberg

About the Author

Daniel Steinberg Daniel Steinberg is a former bond trader at a multi-billion dollar proprietary trading firm in Chicago. He uses his knowledge of statistics and his creativity from his career as a poker professional to create the most advanced Daily Fantasy statistical analysis that you will find anywhere. Follow him on twitter @DanielSingerS

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