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

Andre Drummond's recent struggles may leave him underowned tonight, despite a terrific matchup.

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.

Rajon Rondo, PG, Sacramento Kings

FanDuel Price: $8,000

Why He Will Go Overlooked:

Russell Westbrook and Stephen Curry always demand attention when they're on the slate, and there are a plethora of other viable point guard options as well. Chris Paul, John Wall, Kemba Walker, Isaiah Thomas, and Jrue Holiday all draw terrific matchups and will likely be popular choices. Brandon Jennings will likely be a very popular value play too -- assuming Elfrid Payton sits again.

DeMarcus Cousins also figures to be a very popular play tonight, which will draw some ownership off of his teammate, Rajon Rondo.

Why You Should Use Him:

Rondo has dealt with some inconsistency recently, but his average since the All-Star Break is still 35.9 FanDuel points, and he has five games of 40-plus FanDuel points during that time.

Rondo draws a matchup with the Pelicans, who rank fifth-worst in the league in Defensive Efficiency and have allowed 117 points per game over their past five contests. Vegas has taken note of their defense and the projected pace this game will be played at, giving it the highest over/under on the slate and projecting the Kings to outscore their season average by six points.

In three games against the Pelicans this season, Rondo has averaged 39.3 FanDuel points. He could very easily match that total tonight, and will be much lower owned than other point guards in his price range. Give him a look in GPPs.

Andre Drummond, C, Detroit Pistons

FanDuel Price: $7,900

Why He Will Go Overlooked:

DeMarcus Cousins, DeAndre Jordan, and Dwight Howard are likely to dominate the minutes at center today, as all are in terrific matchups. Andre Drummond has two games with fewer than 25 FanDuel points in his past three contests and is likely to fly under-the-radar.

Why You Should Use Him:

Atlanta has struggled to defend opposing centers all season, as reflected by their 24th rank against the position in our Matchup/Game Composite tool.

A big part of their struggles against big men is the fact that the Hawks cannot keep them off the glass. Atlanta ranks second worst in Rebounding Rate on the season, and they have allowed the sixth-most points on putbacks this season. Drummond leads the league in putback points, with 301, which is 105 more points than the next highest total.

In two previous meetings with Atlanta this season, Drummond has averaged 48.9 FanDuel points and 5.5 offensive rebounds per game -- so the matchup clearly fits in this case.

Our projections like Drummond tonight too, listing him as the best value on the board above $5,500.

Al Horford, C, Atlanta Hawks

FanDuel Price: $7,000

Why He Will Go Overlooked:

Similar to Drummond, Al Horford is part of a very deep center player pool. He also has under 30 FanDuel points in five of his past six games, and this game has the lowest over/under on the slate. Few will be on Horford today.

Why You Should Use Him:

While Horford has struggled recently, tonight's matchup fits his skill-set very well.

On offense, Horford excels in the pick and roll and in the low post -- two areas the Pistons have struggled to defend this season. Detroit has allowed the most points to opposing roll-men in the pick and roll this season, and have been a bottom ten team against the post up too. They have allowed the 10th-most points in the post, the 5th-most points per possession, and the 2nd-highest field goal percentage in the post.

Horford should go nowhere near your cash game lineups tonight, but he's worth getting some exposure to in GPPs.

Ryan Anderson, PF, New Orleans Pelicans

FanDuel Price: $5,600

Why He Will Go Overlooked:

People rarely roster Ryan Anderson when he isn't starting for Anthony Davis, and they are likely to overlook him again tonight. Davis and Jrue Holiday will likely both be popular plays within their positions too, which will prevent most daily fantasy players from going with Anderson.

Why You Should Use Him:

Anderson has remained productive, despite his bench role, averaging 26.9 FanDuel points over his past five games.

On paper, it is hard to find a matchup better suited for Anderson's skill-set than this one with the Kings. Anderson's three biggest strengths are as a spot-up shooter, operating in the pick and roll, and running the floor in transition. Sacramento ranks in the bottom 10 at defending all three skills and has been especially porous at defending shooters. Their 10.4 three-pointers allowed per game easily is worst in the league.

To add some validity to the numbers, Anderson has averaged 35.1 FanDuel points in three games against Sacramento this season -- only one of which he started in.

Anderson is too risky for cash game consideration, but he has the ability to get hot in an instant, and Sacramento's inattentive defense may give him the opportunity to do just that. He has the potential to be a game-changer in GPPs in the game with the highest over/under on the slate.

Nikola Mirotic, SF, Chicago Bulls

FanDuel Price: $5,100

Why He Will Go Overlooked:

Nikola Mirotic has been a huge disappointment for fantasy owners this season, and drafters may still be a bit concerned about his minutes following an injury.

Kevin Durant and Carmelo Anthony are likely to be popular among expensive small forwards, and there are several viable mid-range and value plays as well, which should keep Mirotic's ownership in check.

Why You Should Use Him:

While his minutes have been all over the map since his return, Mirotic has been able to top 25 FanDuel points in three of his past four games. He was called on to play 32 minutes in Chicago's most recent game, and with all of the injuries the Bulls are dealing with, he could see similar run tonight.

Derrick Rose, Mike Dunleavy, and Pau Gasol are all currently listed as questionable, while Jimmy Butler is probable. Be sure to follow the injury news throughout the day because Mirotic will become a terrific value play if Gasol and Dunleavy are ruled out again.

Washington has struggled to defend the perimeter all season, especially against wings. They rank 24th against small forwards according to our Matchup/Game Composite tool, and they have allowed the third highest three-point percentage in the league to opposing teams. They've predictably struggled to contain spot-up shooters as well, allowing the third highest Effective Field Goal Percentage to spot-up shooters.

Mirotic's specialty is as a perimeter scorer, and tonight's matchup with Washington could definitely allow him to find his stroke from downtown. If Gasol and Dunleavy are both ruled out, Mirotic is in play in cash formats. If only one is out, he is more of a GPP play.