3 Daily Fantasy Basketball Players to Avoid on 3/14/16
Finding players you want to roster is a lot easier than finding players to avoid. Here are three players based on their price and matchups that could be landmines for your rosters tonight.
You can find a ton of great information and research on guys you might want to include in your DFS NBA lineups tonight, but what about some guys you may want to lessen your exposure to, or even fade altogether?
Avoiding players whose matchups or situations aren't as great as they seem can often be just as important as finding the best targets each night. After all, it takes only one player to sink a lineup.
With a larger slate of NBA games on tonight, searching for the landmines could mean the difference from winning or losing your contests.
Alex Len, PF, Phoenix Suns
FanDuel Price: $7,000
Coming into the season, there were some doubt as to whether Alex Len was going to turn into anything but a role player for the Suns. However, after Phoenix fell out of playoff contention and fired Jeff Hornacek, they had nothing left to lose, and Len started to get some big minutes. From a raw fantasy perspective, he has not disappointed.
Len is averaging a double-double in seven games this month, with 17.7 points, and 13.1 rebounds. However, he has a True Shooting Percentage of only 47.6 percent this month, which is far from what you want a seven-foot big man to be shooting in nearly 34 minutes per game in March. Plus, coming into tonight’s game, Len is coming off a huge 26-point and 13-rebound game, and with his price soaring upwards, it’s best you lay off Len.
Len has to go against the Wolves tonight, and while Minnesota’s perimeter defense has been anything but good, their post defense has been solid all season. Minnesota ranks eighth and seventh, respectfully, against centers and power forwards this season, and while FanDuel has changed Len’s position eligibility over to a power forward after being a center all year, it still won’t help Len against one of the best rookies the league has seen in quite some time in Karl-Anthony Towns
Towns’ offense has been the story of his rookie season, but his defense hasn’t been that bad for a rookie, either. He is limiting players he defends to 55.7 percent from inside six feet from the basket, which is over four percent below the averages of those players averages at 60 percent. Considering Len has already had efficiency issues against better matchups, and considering his price increases have looked like what we all want our stock portfolios to look like, it might be time to sell high on Len. He is also averaging about four fouls per game over his last 10 games, which is just another factor in what could make Len a landmine for your rosters tonight.
Emmanuel Mudiay, PG, Denver Nuggets
FanDuel Price: $6,100
Speaking of young guys with efficiency issues, Emmanuel Mudiay is on pace for one of the worst nERD seasons our metric has ever seen with a rating of -13.3. However, up until his most recent game against the Wizards, Mudiay had been on fire, averaging nearly 38 FanDuel points in his five prior games to the one against Washington on Saturday.
However, looking deeper into those games, with the exception of an overtime game against Dallas, the four other games were against teams that rank in the bottom 13 in the league against point guards, and three of those games were against teams that rank 25th or worse in point guard defense, based on FanDuel points allowed to the position.
So after blowing up some lineups on Saturday, will Mudiay bounce back, or will he once again be in landmine territory? It’s probably the latter because the Nuggets have to go against one of the toughest point guard defenses in the NBA tonight in Miami. Goran Dragic and the Heat rank as the second toughest team against point guards this season, giving up only 0.76 FanDuel points per minute to the position. Dragic is one of the tougher defenders at his position in the league, and players he defends are shooting just 39.3 percent from the floor and 28.8 percent from the three-point line.
Chasing points in daily fantasy is never a good idea, and while I may be chasing a bad game with labeling Mudiay a landmine, Dragic’s defensive pedigree is good enough to assume that Mudiay might not have as much success tonight on the road as he did during his long home stand against teams like the Lakers, Nets and Suns. Mudiay is only shooting 30.8 percent from the floor on the road this season already, and he is averaging three points per game fewer on the road than at home.
Gordon Hayward, SF, Utah Jazz
FanDuel Price: $6,900
Gordon Hayward is coming off a great game last night against the Kings, who rank 25th in defense against small forwards, and now on no rest, the Jazz are welcoming in the Cavaliers tonight. While Cleveland is also on no rest, Hayward is going to have to go toe-to-toe with LeBron James tonight.
James may be slowing down slightly as he heads deeper into his 30s, but his defense is still elite. He has the Cavs ranked seventh in Defensive Rating at 103.7, and the Cavs rank sixth in defense against small forwards. James is allowing players he defends to shoot only 37.3 percent from the floor, 30 percent from beyond the arc, and less than 50 percent from inside six feet.
On top of that, not only has Hayward struggled at times when matching up with James, but the back-to-back won’t help Hayward much either tonight. In Hayward’s last six games on no rest dating back to the beginning of the calendar year, he is shooting only 32.4 percent from the floor. While his price is more than fair tonight, Hayward presents enough red flags to limit your exposure to him against an unfavorable matchup.