3 Under-the-Radar Daily Fantasy Basketball Plays for 1/21/16

Anthony Davis is normally a popular option, but he may go overlooked tonight. This could be the perfect opportunity to buy low on the talented big man.

If you have played daily fantasy sports for very long, you realize by now the importance of being contrarian, especially in large-field tournaments. Being able to recognize which players are going to be owned by the majority of the field and find players that you think have a similar point projection but will come at much lower ownership can really separate yourself from your opponents.

It’s a lot easier in NFL to identify the players who will be low-owned due to Thursday Night slates, but NBA can be much more difficult if you aren’t an experienced player.

The purpose of this article will be to bring you my favorite high-upside players at each position that will likely go overlooked.

If you have been following the daily under-the-radar, you'll notice that today's write-up only covers three players, as opposed to the usual five. It can be difficult to find players with low ownership on five-game slates like this, so I'd rather give you three players I feel strongly about than forcing two additional ones.

Keep in mind when constructing rosters that these are contrarian picks. There is a reason that they will be overlooked by many; they are risky plays. If possible, I’d try to relegate these players to GPP-only use, where their high risk-reward styles make more sense.

Anthony Davis, PF, New Orleans Pelicans

FanDuel Price: $10,300
DraftKings Price: $10,000

Why He Will Go Overlooked:

Anthony Davis is the least appealing of the studs tonight. There are also some power forwards who will be highly owned. DeMarcus Cousins (on DraftKings) and Paul Millsap should draw some ownership off of Davis. He hasn’t topped 50 FanDuel points in over two weeks and has burned many with injury issues recently. Detroit has a solid team defense, too, which is just another reason for people to ignore Davis in favor of someone like Millsap.

Why You Should Use Him:

While Detroit’s defense as a whole is intimidating, their defense against power forwards has been far from it, ranking 22nd in fantasy points allowed to the position. Detroit’s stretch-fours are regularly abused when they have to guard elite scoring forwards.

Detroit is also looked at as an elite rebounding team, but power forwards actually have an easy individual matchup against Ersan Ilyasova (58th among power forwards in Rebounding Rate), Marcus Morris (70th), and Anthony Tolliver (64th).

This game is also being played in New Orleans, where savvy daily fantasy sports players have been targeting Davis for years. Davis has benefited from generous statisticians at home over his career, collecting 95 more blocks and 4 more steals despite playing three fewer home games than away.

His price on DraftKings is the lowest it has been all season. If you get the chance to take a superstar at a discounted price and ownership percentage in a good matchup, you need to give him a long look in tournaments. Case in point: James Harden last night.

Jeff Teague, PG, Atlanta Hawks

FanDuel Price: $5,700
DraftKings Price: $5,800

Why He Will Go Overlooked:

Jeff Teague's minutes have been unpredictable lately. He’s played 30 or more minutes in only three of his past 10 games. He also has only one game of over 30 FanDuel points during that span.

Chris Paul, Reggie Jackson, Tyreke Evans, and Jrue Holiday all will likely be higher owned options at point guard.

Why You Should Use Him:

Teague comes at quite the discount on both sites considering his upside. Speaking of that upside, he has reached five times value (at his current price) 46% of the time this season, which is higher than any point guard on this slate at their current price.

Sacramento has allowed the second-most fantasy points to opposing teams this season and rank 25th in fantasy points allowed against point guards. They play at the fastest Pace in the NBA and are ranked 27th in Defensive Efficiency.

This game has an over/under of 218.5, which is one of the highest I’ve seen in awhile, and is expected to remain competitive.

Stanley Johnson, SF, Detroit Pistons

FanDuel Price: $3,800
DraftKings Price: $4,000

Why He Will Go Overlooked:

To put it simply: it’s Stanley Johnson. His big performances this season have been almost completely unpredictable, and there aren’t any injuries that would open up big minutes for him tonight.

Why You Should Use Him:

Johnson is starting to see more consistent playing time, averaging 25.25 minutes per game over his past eight games. During that span, he has been below 18 FanDuel points only twice.

While that is promising for the young rookie, what gets me excited about his prospects is how he has been used on the second half of back-to-backs this season.

Johnson has averaged 25 minutes and 23.23 FanDuel points per game on the back end of back-to-backs, as opposed to 22.2 minutes and 16.6 FanDuel points per game in all other games. While that may seem like an arbitrary stat, I think it carries some weight in this situation. Johnson is a rookie who plays limited minutes, so he has some of the freshest legs on the team at this point, and it would make sense that the team ride him on the back end of back-to-backs.

Starting small forward Marcus Morris has averaged nearly 39 minutes per game over his past four and played 37 last night. If Johnson gets some extra run tonight, he could do some damage against a Pelicans team ranked in the bottom 10 in fantasy points allowed, Defensive Efficiency, and Rebounding Rate.