5 Under-the-Radar Daily Fantasy Basketball Plays for 2/26/16

Most DFS players will be off Marcin Gortat following a let-down performance, but he's in a prime spot for a bounce-back performance. Who else will fly under-the-radar tonight?

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. If possible, I’d try to relegate these players to GPP-only use, where their high risk-reward styles make more sense.

Kyle Lowry, PG, Toronto Raptors

FanDuel Price: $8,800

Why He Will Go Overlooked:

Chris Paul and John Wall will be where people spend up at point guard, while Mike Conley and D'Angelo Russell figure to be the chalk among mid-range priced point guards.

Kyle Lowry is pricey, coming off of a disappointing performance, and draws a matchup against the Cavaliers, who daily fantasy players tend to avoid when possible.

Why You Should Use Him:

While Cleveland normally imposes a tough matchup for players, their defense against point guards has left something to be desired. A quick look at a Defense vs. Position (DvP) chart will show that they are ranked in the top seven against every position, other than point guard, which they have allowed the 12th most fantasy points to this season. Cleveland's struggle against point guards is largely due to Kyrie Irving, who ranks 76th among 84 point guards in Defensive Real Plus-Minus.

Let's take a deeper look at how Lowry's skill set fits this matchup. He's been the most effective spot-up shooter among point guards this season, scoring 19 percent of his points as a spot-up shooter. Among spot-up shooters with at least 150 shot attempts, Lowry has the third highest Effective Field Goal Percentage (eFG%) and has scored the third most points per possession.

According to, Cleveland has been the eleventh worst team at defending spot-up shooters. Once again, their defense against point guards was their primary weakness, as Kyrie Irving has allowed his man to maintain a 63 percent eFG% against him. Among players with at least 50 set-shots defended, Irving's 1.24 points per possession allowed is the sixth highest in the NBA.

Lowry has averaged 44.2 FanDuel points in five games against Cleveland over the past two years. This season, Lowry has been even more dominant in this matchup, averaging 49.2 FanDuel points per game and shooting 60% from the floor.

Marcin Gortat, C, Washington Wizards

FanDuel Price: $7,000

Why He Will Go Overlooked:

Center isn't quite as loaded as usual, but there are still plenty of appealing options to keep people from using their one center spot on Marcin Gortat, who is coming off of a disappointing game against the Bulls.

As alluded to previously, John Wall will be very popular tonight, which may pull some additional ownership away from Gortat.

Why You Should Use Him:

Gortat has a very good opportunity to bounce-back tonight against a 76ers squad who has allowed the most fantasy points to opposing centers this season. Gortat put up 41.1 FanDuel points in his last game against Philadelphia, and has averaged 37.64 in five games against them over the past two seasons.

A deeper look into this matchup shows exactly why Gortat has thrived in the past. Among players with at least 100 shot attempts as the roll man in the pick and roll, Gortat has the highest points per possession and the second highest field goal percentage. 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.

The Sixers also have the third worst Rebounding Rate and are the second most blocked team in the NBA, which bodes well for Gortat, who averages 10 rebounds and 1.4 blocks per game.

The Wizards have the highest projected team total on the slate and are projected to outscore their season average by 8.7 points, which boosts the value of all their players.

Jeff Teague, PG, Atlanta Hawks

FanDuel Price: $6,200

Why He Will Go Overlooked:

Jeff Teague finds himself priced between Conley and Russell, and has disappointed owners for two straight games.

He also will lose some ownership to Al Horford, who will likely be a popular option tonight.

Why You Should Use Him:

Teague suffered a wrist injury and was limited to 18 minutes two games ago against Milwaukee, but was back to his usual role of 30 minutes in Atlanta's last game, and should be in line for near that number tonight. In the seven games before his injury, Teague was averaging 33.6 FanDuel points in 29.6 minutes per game.

Teague draws a terrific matchup against the Bulls, who have allowed the fifth most fantasy points to opposing teams and the third most to point guards. He'll draw the defense of a banged up Derrick Rose, who ranks 82nd among 84 point guards in Defensive Real Plus-Minus. If Rose is unable to go, he'll be defended by Aaron Brooks, who is ranked 62nd among point guards in Defensive Real Plus-Minus. Teague has averaged 30.8 FanDuel points per game in two matchups with Chicago this season.

Nikola Jokic, C, Denver Nuggets

FanDuel Price: $5,800

Why He Will Go Overlooked:

Nikola Jokic has seen back to back games of under 30 minutes and draws what appears to be a poor matchup according to DvP charts.

Jokic won't go completely overlooked after his recent stretch of play, but he likely won't be as popular as elite options such as DeMarcus Cousins, Pau Gasol, DeAndre Jordan, and Al Horford.

Why You Should Use Him:

Jokic has really performed well recently, averaging 36.6 FanDuel points per game over his past three. Jokic has flashed elite upside recently too, with four games of 38-plus FanDuel points in his past ten games.

He draws a matchup against the Mavericks, who have allowed the most points in the post on the season. Dallas is also ranked 25th in Rebounding Rate, which bodes well for Jokic, who has double-digit rebounds in each of his past three games.

Vegas has Denver projected to outscore their season average tonight, and the rookie center should be a big part of that. Give him a long look in this advantageous matchup.

J.J. Redick, SG, Los Angeles Clippers

FanDuel Price: $4,900

Why He Will Go Overlooked:

J.J. Redick is rarely a popular option, and that won't change today, as Jordan Clarkson, Bradley Beal, Evan Fournier, and Jamal Crawford will likely be more popular than him.

Why You Should Use Him:

Per, the Kings have been the third worst team at defending spot-up shooters on the season on a points-per-possession basis. Sacramento also ranks as the fifth worst team at defending shooters coming off of screens, allowing opponents coming off of ball screens to post a 52.9% eFG%. That offers an explanation for the league-worst 10.7 three-pointers they have allowed per game this season.

Redick has easily been the most efficient spot up shooter this season, with the highest points per possession as a spot up shooter, as well as the highest eFG% -- a scorching hot 83 percent. Sacramento’s struggles to defend shooters coming off of off-ball screens bodes very well for Redick, who has utilized off-ball screens to open up his shot at a higher frequency than any player in the NBA, while posting the second highest eFG% among players with at least 50 field goal attempts coming off of screens.

The Kings have also really struggled to defend in transition this season, another area where Redick thrives. Sacramento has allowed the second most points in transition, the second most transition points per possession, and the third highest transition eFG%. Redick leads the Clippers in transition points per possession and has shot better in transition, with a transition eFG% of 62.2 percent.

Redick has averaged 25.6 FanDuel points per game in seven matchups with Sacramento over the past two seasons. In three games against Sacramento this season, he has hit three three pointers per game, while shooting 65% from behind the arc.