5 Under-the-Radar Daily Fantasy Basketball Plays for 3/2/16

It's hard to imagine, but circumstances may leave Russell Westbrook overlooked tonight. Who else will fly under-the-radar?

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.

Russell Westbrook, PG, Oklahoma City Thunder

FanDuel Price: $11,000

Why He Will Go Overlooked:

It sounds foolish to say Russell Westbrook will go overlooked, but while projecting ownership, I had a very tough time envisioning him being a popular option on this particular slate.

For starters, point guard is absolutely loaded tonight. Let's start with Chris Paul and John Wall, who are both priced similarly to Westbrook. Both have been playing excellent lately -- putting up similar numbers to Westbrook -- and both find themselves in more favorable matchups.

Kemba Walker is coming off of a 47.7 FanDuel point performance, and draws a very exploitable matchup against Philadelphia. Jrue Holiday hasn't had under 30 FanDuel points since February 8th, and draws an elite matchup against Houston. Among mid-range price options -- Mike Conley and D'Angelo Russell -- both find themselves in expanded roles and advantageous matchups.

With so many cheaper options available at point guard, expect people to look to spend up at other positions. James Harden, Kevin Durant, and Anthony Davis all draw better matchups than Westbrook, and are listed at much shallower positions.

Why You Should Use Him:

Westbrook has been in elite form recently, averaging 56.1 FanDuel points over his last three games, with his last game under 45 FanDuel points coming 15 games ago.

While many will be scared of the matchup with Chris Paul and the Clippers, who have allowed the fifth fewest fantasy points to opposing point guards, matchups with elite defenses haven't been enough to slow down Westbrook this season. Westbrook has played 15 games against teams who rank among the top 10 fewest points allowed to point guards this season. In those games, he's averaged 49.1 FanDuel points, including a 54.5 point FanDuel performance in his last matchup with Paul.

This game has the highest over/under on the slate, set at 220.5. The Thunder have been in seven games with an over/under of 220 or more this season. In those seven games, Westbrook has averaged 53 FanDuel points per game, with no games below 48 FanDuel points.

Westbrook isn't someone I'm forcing into my cash lineup, but he makes for an excellent tournament play tonight, as he has the highest upside of any player and will likely see lower ownership than he has in some time.

Aaron Gordon, PF, Orlando Magic

FanDuel Price: $6,500

Why He Will Go Overlooked:

The hype train on Aaron Gordon has been in full force following the Dunk Contest, and the young forward hasn't disappointed -- until last night, that is. Gordon dropped a dud last night, as Coach Skiles held him to just 19 minutes in a close game. Skiles instead decided to give Ersan Ilyasova, C.J. Watson, and Roy Devyn Marble big run off the bench. The daily fantasy community has been burned by Skiles enough this season that the majority will be hesitant to jump back on Gordon tonight.

Gordon will also lose some ownership to Anthony Davis, Zach Randolph, and Jabari Parker, who figure to be the chalk at power forward.

Why You Should Use Him:

Prior to getting the Skiles treatment, Gordon was on a very impressive streak, averaging 34.2 FanDuel points over his past nine games, all of which he topped 30 FanDuel points in.

Assuming Gordon gets the 30-plus minutes he was seeing previously, he should be able to return to crushing value in a cushy matchup against the Bulls, who may be without their best post defender, Taj Gibson.

The Bulls have allowed the fifth most fantasy points to opposing teams, along with the ninth most to power forwards. They've been that bad against power forwards with Gibson, who ranks 16th among power forwards in Defensive Real Plus-Minus (DRPM), in the lineup. It's scary to imagine what they'll be like if Bobby Portis, who ranks 92nd among 96 power forwards in DRPM, has to play heavy minutes in place of Gibson.

Orlando is also projected to outscore their season average by 5.2 points tonight, according to Vegas. If Gordon can stay on the floor, he should be a big part of the Magic reaching that projection.

Jordan Clarkson, SG, Los Angeles Lakers

FanDuel Price: $6,000

Why He Will Go Overlooked:

Jordan Clarkson continues to be overlooked with the entire daily fantasy community on D'Angelo Russell.

James Harden, Khris Middleton, and Will Barton will all be popular options at shooting guard, too, which will keep Clarkson's ownership low.

Why You Should Use Him:

While everyone will be on Russell, and for good reason, Clarkson has been playing well lately too. Over his past seven games, Clarkson has averaged 31.9 FanDuel points in 33.7 minutes per game. While Clarkson is slightly more expensive than Russell, you can get him at much lower ownership, and at shooting guard, which allows you to fit in two of the many viable point guard options tonight.

Clarkson draws a premier matchup against the Nuggets, who have struggled to defend against guards all season. Starting point guard Emmanuel Mudiay ranks 51st among point guards in DRPM, while starting shooting guard Gary Harris ranks 68th among shooting guards in DRPM. Those two weren't able to keep Clarkson in check in their two previous meetings, allowing him to average 37.1 FanDuel points per game.

Vegas also has the Lakers projected to outscore their season average by 4.8 points tonight, which bodes well for Clarkson, who has led Los Angeles in scoring over their past nine games.

Zach LaVine, SG, Minnesota Timberwolves

FanDuel Price: $5,200

Why He Will Go Overlooked:

Zach LaVine also will lose some ownership to a fairly deep shooting guard pool, and will have to compete with Andrew Wiggins within his own team for ownership at shooting guard.

Why You Should Use Him:

LaVine has seen a larger role following the All-Star Break, averaging 25.2 FanDuel points in 33.5 minutes per game. With Andre Miller and Kevin Martin both out of the picture, as well as several bigs dealing with injuries, the Wolves are starved for depth and will likely give LaVine as many minutes as he can handle tonight.

LaVine draws a matchup against the Wizards, who play at the fifth fastest pace and struggle to defend off-ball scoring guards, both of which are great signs for the dunk contest champ.

Vegas has taken the increase in pace into account, projecting Minnesota to outscore their season average by 6.9 points in a game with an over/under of 220. This will be Minnesota's first time playing in a game with this high of an over/under, but in four games Vegas projected for over 213 points, LaVine has performed exceptionally, averaging 32.4 FanDuel points.

A big reason LaVine has performed better in fast-paced high scoring games is how effective he has been in transition. LaVine has the most transition points on the team, as well as the highest transition points per possession among Minnesota players with at least 30 transition shot attempts. He's also been much more efficient in transition than anywhere else, sporting a transition Effective Field Goal Percentage (eFG%) of 63.8 percent, which is significantly higher than his season eFG% of 49.1 percent.

Matt Barnes, SF, Memphis Grizzlies

FanDuel Price: $5,200

Why He Will Go Overlooked:

Kevin Durant, Paul George, and Giannis Antetokounmpo figure to be the chalk at small forward, while Trevor Ariza will likely be a more popular value play than Matt Barnes at small forward.

Barnes also will lose some ownership to Mike Conley and Zach Randolph, who will likely be popular options in this terrific matchup.

Why You Should Use Him:

Barnes has stepped into a more prominent role for Memphis due to injuries, averaging 35.3 minutes over his past four games. He turned those additional minutes into fantasy goodness, averaging 28.4 FanDuel points per game.

Barnes draws a terrific matchup tonight against the Kings, whose combination of playing at the fastest pace in the league and ranking 25th in Defensive Efficiency has led to the second most fantasy points allowed to opposing teams. They've defended power forwards, the position Barnes primarily plays for Memphis, especially poorly -- allowing the second most fantasy points to the position.

This will be a huge pace-up game for the Grizzlies, who rank 28th in pace. In addition to playing at the fastest pace in the league, the Kings have been the second worst transition defense in the league. For more on that, check out my article, Finding Daily Fantasy Basketball Matchups That Fit: Transition and Pace.

While the Grizzlies don't get out in transition much, Barnes has easily been the most effective player on the fast break for Memphis. He's first on the team in transition points, and has an eFG% of 59.6 percent in transition, a big jump from his season eFG% of 49.4 percent.