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If it seems too good to be true, well, sometimes it isn't. In Thursday night's early game the Timberwolves and Knicks went to overtime in what turned into a very profitable game between tanking teams.
Seemingly the only major player not to hit value from that game was Wednesday's darling, Kevin Martin. Even Andrew Wiggins, who has been struggling mightily, managed to approach value in the extra period. I stacked Langston Galloway (36.9 FanDuel points), Zach LaVine (34.4), Martin (20.4) and Gorgui Dieng (47.7) and felt really good heading into the later games.
Of course, the final game was a different story. The Utah Jazz, and specifically Rudy Gobert, have been on fire lately. Gobert and Derrick Favors had a favorable matchup against the hapless Lakers. If nothing else there figured to be rebounding opportunities for the pair to gobble up all night. I entered that final game approaching 300 points with Favors and Gordon Hayward left to play.
Astonishingly, Favors and Gobert were outworked on the glass all night by Tarik Black and Jordan Hill. The Jazz were fortunate enough to pull out a disgusting 80-73 victory and I was left to think of what could have been if Favors had lived up to expectations.
Is there a lesson to be learned here? Process over results. You're never going to have any extended success in this game if you second-guess good decisions because of bad results. The Knicks are terrible against outside shooters and Minnesota was shorthanded, making LaVine, Martin and Wiggins really smart plays. The Lakers are terrible against bigs and Favors/Gobert were rolling. There was no way to predict Black doing his best Hassan Whiteside impersonation in the first half.
With that we move on to the traditionally robust Friday slate.
Portland at Orlando
Combined FanDuel points allowed per game: 393.5
LaMarcus Aldridge against this front court is just not fair. Portland has been getting torched by guards lately. Elfrid Payton has topped 35 FanDuel points in three of his last four and five of his last eight.
New York at Philadelphia
Combined FanDuel points allowed per game: 401.8
Once again the best game of the night from a DFS perspective is between a pair of bottom dwellers. Galloway and Andrea Bargnani look like great values for the Knicks while Nerlens Noel (probable) and Ish Smith look like the plays for Philadelphia.
Milwaukee at Brooklyn
Combined FanDuel points allowed per game: 390.2
Khris Middleton has seen his price fall 10 percent after a disappointing week. He's a good tournament play against a Brooklyn team that struggles to defend the wing. Ersan Ilyasova and Giannis Antetokounmpo are also in play here.
Indiana at Cleveland
Combined FanDuel points allowed per game: 385.7
Unless we get some late injury news or Cleveland decides to rest a star I don't like anyone here. Kyrie Irving and Roy Hibbert are the only players with a positive matchup in terms of positional ease.
Denver at Miami
Combined FanDuel points allowed per game: 391.6
Denver has been better since firing Brian Shaw, but the Nuggets are still giving up a ton of points (118 to Houston Thursday night). Dwyane Wade is willing this team to the playoffs, but the real story is a possible Whiteside/Jusuf Nurkic wrestling match.
Toronto at Chicago
Combined FanDuel points allowed per game: 392.9
I wouldn't let George Hill's stinker deter me from continuing to pick point guards against the Bulls. Kyle Lowry's price is a little too high for me in cash games, but I'll run him out there in a few tournaments for sure.
Atlanta at Oklahoma City
Combined FanDuel points allowed per game: 388.2
Can you afford to play Russell Westbrook at $13,200? Not on Friday, unless more value pops up late. If Enes Kanter can't go, Steven Adams becomes a must-play and Mitch McGary becomes relevant again.
Memphis at Dallas
Combined FanDuel points allowed per game: 381.2
Much like the Pacers/Cavs tilt I'm staying away unless we get some big news about players resting. I don't see any values I love and the matchups are not good at all.
Boston at San Antonio
Combined FanDuel points allowed per game: 389.4
This is an interesting game to say the least. It will have one of the highest Vegas totals on the night and several decent values. I could see playing any combination of Marcus Smart, Tony Parker, Kawhi Leonard, Tim Duncan, Brandon Bass, Kelly Olynyk or Tyler Zeller in tournaments.
Charlotte at Sacramento
Combined FanDuel points allowed per game: 398.5
If Demarcus Cousins sits then this game probably becomes the most stackable for me, if not it's a little bit of a mess. Basically everyone from Charlotte has a good matchup, but I especially like Gerald Henderson and Al Jefferson.
New Orleans at Golden State
Combined FanDuel points allowed per game: 384.3
If Anthony Davis sits again I like Draymond Green, Eric Gordon and Alexis Ajinca in this one. Stephen Curry wasn't great in his first game without Klay Thompson and the length of Tyreke Evans could bother him.
Washington at L.A. Clippers
Combined FanDuel points allowed per game: 378.5
Stay away ... like run. If I had to pick something from this game, I'd say Paul Pierce is the best value and I don't like him very much.
My roster for March 20 at FanDuel.com:
PG Langston Galloway, Knicks @ 76ers
PG Ish Smith, 76ers vs. Knicks ($5,500)
SG Giannis Antetokounmpo, Bucks vs. Nets ($7,200)
SG Dwyane Wade, Heat vs. Nuggets ($8,400)
SF Gerald Henderson, Hornets vs. Kings ($5,400)
SF Rudy Gay, Kings vs. Hornets ($8,300) -- SWAP with Draymond Green for $7,700 if Cousins plays and Davis doesn't
PF LaMarcus Aldridge, Trailblazers @ Magic ($9,600)
PF Ersan Ilyasova, Bucks @ Nets ($5,400)
C Steven Adams, Thunder vs. Hawks (5,100)
Steven Adams, C, Thunder vs, Hawks ($5,100)
As I said above, Adams is the play of the day if Kanter sits, but he's a nice value either way. Adams is averaging 11.5 points and 10.2 rebounds in the four games since Serge Ibaka was injured. He's a lock for 30-plus minutes and may flirt with 40 if Kanter can't play. The Hawks have been mediocre against big men and will struggle to rebound with the muscular Adams.
Langston Galloway, PG, Knicks @ 76ers ($5,000)
The Knicks are likely without Tim Hardaway Jr. again, leaving Galloway with big minutes against another juicy matchup. Galloway has topped 20 points and 32 FanDuel points in his last two games (both without Hardaway). The 76ers do not offer much resistance at the position and this should be another down-to-the-wire game for a Knicks team that has played two in a row.
Ish Smith, PG, 76ers vs. Knicks ($5,500)
Smith and Galloway make it really difficult to pay up for Westbrook, because as of Friday morning the best value is at point guard. Smith has scored 27-plus FanDuel points in four of his last five games. The Knicks are terrible against guards and should offer little defense in what will be a competitive game. I like Smith and the aforementioned Galloway to combine for 60-plus Fantasy points.
My favorite tournament stack
Since I'm filling in for Chris Towers I thought I'd offer something a little different.
If you're putting together a tournament stack, I don't think you can go wrong with Knicks/76ers or Hornets/Kings. I'm gonna go with Hornets/Kings personally, especially if Boogie sits again. Rudy Gay and Ben McLemore are both in play for the Kings, in addition to nearly the entire Hornets lineup.
Here's one of many angles you could take at this:
That leaves you with $25,700 for your final three spots. You could go Westbrook-Galloway-Giannis or Curry-Payton-Wade. Either way, you have exposure to what should be one of the best games of the night for Fantasy, with far less overlapping than we'll see in the Knicks/76ers game.