4 Under-the-Radar Daily Fantasy Basketball Plays for 2/24/16

Andre Drummond draws a dream matchup tonight but may go overlooked due to a loaded center pool.

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 and give you an edge.

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. As a general rule, I’d try to relegate these players to GPP-only use, where their high risk-reward styles make more sense.

Andre Drummond, C, Detroit Pistons

FanDuel Price: $8,600

Why He Will Go Overlooked:

Andre Drummond draws the best matchup of any center on the slate, so don't expect him to be completely under-the-radar. There are reasons to believe he will go underowned though, considering his massive potential tonight.

Center is absolutely loaded today, especially at the top. Karl-Anthony Towns is always popular and will likely be so again tonight even in a mediocre matchup. Chicago's offense runs through Pau Gasol right now, and he'll be heavily targeted against Washington. DeAndre Jordan draws a terrific matchup against the Nuggets, and everyone will be on Hassan Whiteside after back-to-back 50-point performances, especially considering the way centers have been abusing Golden State recently. Marcin Gortat, Robin Lopez, and Nikola Jokic will all be popular mid-range priced options.

Drummond hasn't played up to his lofty standards recently, topping 35 FanDuel points in only four of his past 10 games. There is also significant blowout concern for this game, as the Pistons are listed as 11-point favorites, the largest spread on the slate. Both factors could cause daily fantasy players to err on the side of caution and roster one of the previously mentioned centers.

Teammates Reggie Jackson and Tobias Harris both figure to be popular options tonight as well, which may pull some ownership off of Drummond.

Why You Should Use Him:

An easy answer would be that the Sixers have allowed the most fantasy points to opposing centers this season, but let's take a closer look and examine how they match up with Drummond specifically.

Drummond's calling card is his rebounding -- more specifically, his work on the offensive glass. On the season, Drummond has 270 put-back points. To put that in perspective, Enes Kanter ranks second with 163. Philadelphia is ranked 28th in Rebounding Rate on the season, and according to they rank out as the fifth-worst team at preventing put-backs.

Drummond is also very effective in the pick and roll, where he has shot 64.5%, the highest mark among players with at least 100 shot attempts as the roll man. On the season, the Sixers have allowed the second-highest points per possession to opposing roll men out of the pick and roll.

Philadelphia has also struggled to defend in the low-post, allowing the third most points per possession in the post on the year. More specifically, Jahlil Okafor has allowed the second most points in the post among all NBA players, which isn't surprising when you consider that he ranks second worst among 73 centers in Defensive Real Plus-Minus. Drummond is ninth in the NBA in post-up points and should have his way down low tonight.

Philadelphia is also the second most blocked team in the NBA, which bodes well for Drummond, who swats away 1.53 shots per game.

Vegas also has Detroit projected to outscore their season average by 9.3 points tonight, which is the biggest boost they projected any team to receive. Expect their second leading scorer to be a big part of reaching that total.

Drummond completely owned Philadelphia in two previous meetings this season, averaging 21.5 points, 17 rebounds, 4.5 combined steals and blocks, and 49.4 FanDuel points per game. The numbers add up to a monster game from Drummond tonight.

Kawhi Leonard, SF, San Antonio Spurs

FanDuel Price: $7,700

Why He Will Go Overlooked:

This is assuming that Kawhi Leonard will not be cleared to play before lineup lock, which is a very realistic possibility considering the Spurs play the last game of the night. If that is the case, Leonard will obviously be very under-owned.

Even if Leonard is cleared before tip-off, he still will likely go overlooked due to the available value options at small forward. Both Luol Deng and Tobias Harris figure to be very popular options.

Why You Should Use Him:

I will denote this by saying this pick is not for the faint of heart. There is definitely a chance that if you roster Leonard without concrete knowledge of his status, you may end up with a zero in your lineup.

If Leonard does suit up, he draws a matchup perfectly suited for his skill-set. You'll also get him at a discounted price tag and ownership. If Leonard is declared active after lineup lock, he could very well be a GPP-winning play.

Per, the Kings have been the fourth worst team at defending spot-up shooters on the season on a points-per-possession basis. That offers an explanation for the league-worst 10.7 three-pointers they have allowed per game this season. Leonard has the second-most points in the NBA as a spot-up shooter this season, and 28.5% of his total points this season have come as a spot up shooter. His Effective Field Goal Percentage (eFG%) as a spot up shooter is 69%, which is 11.7% higher than his season mark, as well as the fourth-highest mark among qualified spot-up shooters.

The Kings have also really struggled to defend in transition this season, another area where Leonard thrives. Sacramento has allowed the second most points in transition, the second most transition points per possession, and the third highest transition eFG%. Leonard has scored 14.7% of his points in transition and easily leads the Spurs in transition scoring. Among players with at least 80 transition field goal attempts, Leonard is third in the NBA in transition points per possession. His transition eFG% of 67.6% is a big improvement from his season eFG%.

The Kings have struggled to defend wings all season but have done an especially poor job recently. Over their past seven games, they have allowed the likes of Will Barton, Danilo Gallinari, Robert Covington, J.R. Smith, LeBron James, Avery Bradley, Joe Johnson, and E'Twaun Moore to average 39.1 FanDuel points against them. I'm no math major, but I know that's not good.

Mike Conley, PG, Memphis Grizzlies

FanDuel Price: $6,700

Why He Will Go Overlooked:

Point guard always seems to be loaded, and tonight is no exception. John Wall, Derrick Rose, Reggie Jackson, and Goran Dragic figure to be the most popular options at the position, and Mike Conley's price point finds him sandwiched right between them.

Zach Randolph will be a fairly popular option at a weaker power forward position too, which could pull some ownership off of Conley.

Conley is also coming off of a dud in which he shot 2-for-12 from the field, so recency bias may drop his ownership.

Why You Should Use Him:

Conley was beginning to step into a bigger role with Marc Gasol out before throwing up a complete dud in a tough matchup against Kyle Lowry. In the three previous games, Conley put up 35.9 FanDuel points per game, backed by a Usage Rate of 29.4%. Those numbers appear somewhat sustainable, as Conley's Usage Rate and FanDuel points per minute both are higher with Gasol off the floor, according to

Conley's improved offensive role will give him every opportunity to rebound tonight against the Lakers, who are quite possibly the worst defense in the league. Los Angeles has the worst Defensive Efficiency and has given up the most fantasy points to opposing teams.

The Lakers are especially bad at defending point guards, allowing the most fantasy points to the position for a consecutive year. That should come as no surprise, considering D'Angelo Russell and Jordan Clarkson rank 50th and 67th respectively among point guards in Defensive Real Plus-Minus.

Vegas also has Memphis projected to outscore their season average by 8.7 points tonight, which is the second biggest boost any team is projected to receive. Expect their leading active scorer to be a big part of reaching that total.

Conley has taken advantage of this matchup in the past, torching Los Angeles for 39.3 FanDuel points earlier this season, and averaging 34.48 against them over the past two seasons.

Jamal Crawford, SG, Los Angeles Clippers

FanDuel Price: $4,900

Why He Will Go Overlooked:

Jamal Crawford is coming off of a one-point fantasy performance in which he was the highest owned player. Ouch.

Needless to say, the daily fantasy community was not happy with him. Apparently it got so bad that Crawford took to social media to respond to his critics. Recency bias will likely be in full effect tonight.

Why You Should Use Him:

Not much has changed since two days ago when everyone was clamoring to get Crawford in their lineups, other than the fact that he is now $400 cheaper and will see lower ownership. He again draws a terrific matchup in an up-tempo game. You have to have a short memory in daily fantasy sports. If you loved Crawford two days ago, you should be all over him again tonight.

The big reason for Crawford's boost in value over the past month was the injury to Austin Rivers. Check out Crawford's numbers during the seven-game stretch without Rivers (prior to Monday's one FanDuel point outing) compared to his season numbers, per

Jamal CrawfordUsage RateMinutes per gameFanDuel Points Per Game
7 games without Rivers28.5%34.429.5
All other games23.5%25.517.9

Crawford's 28.5% Usage Rate during that span was the highest of any Los Angeles player.

Assuming Crawford sees similar Usage tonight, he should be similarly productive in this advantageous matchup with the Nuggets. On the year, the Nuggets rank 23rd in Defensive Efficiency and fantasy points allowed to opposing teams.

They've defended shooting guard worse than any position, allowing the fourth-most fantasy points to opposing shooting guards. Crawford will primarily be guarded by Will Barton and Gary Harris, who rank 35th and 65th respectively among shooting guards in Defensive Real Plus-Minus.

Denver has also allowed opposing teams to shoot 37.4% from behind the arc this season, the fourth-highest percentage in the NBA. That bodes well for Crawford, who has chucked 5.7 threes per game over his past five contests.

Vegas also has the Clippers projected for 111.5 points tonight, which is the highest total on the slate and 6.3 points higher than their season average. Crawford is the team's second-leading scorer since January 31 and should continue to be heavily involved tonight.