5 Under-the-Radar Daily Fantasy Basketball Plays for 4/1/16

Isaiah Thomas has struggled in back to back games but should thrive in tonight's matchup. Who else may go overlooked?

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.

Andre Drummond, C, Detroit Pistons

FanDuel Price: $8,500

Why He Will Go Overlooked:

Hassan Whiteside and Kosta Koufos will likely both be heavily targeted in their head-to-head matchup with DeMarcus Cousins suspended. If Derrick Favors is held out of action, Rudy Gobert will likely be fairly popular, too. Marcin Gortat draws a promising matchup against Phoenix and will likely draw some ownership.

The depth at center, combined with the fact the Detroit-Dallas game currently has the second-lowest over/under on the slate, will likely leave Andre Drummond overlooked.

Why You Should Use Him:

Drummond has topped 40 FanDuel points in three of his past four games, while averaging 42.1 over that span.

He draws a matchup against the Mavericks, who have allowed big fantasy totals to opposing big men all season. A big part of their struggles stem from their inability to rebound, ranking 26th in Rebounding Rate.

In addition to struggling to keep bigs off the glass, Dallas has struggled to defend in the post, allowing the third-most points in the post this season. That is a matchup to exploit.

Drummond posted a monster double-double in his one game against Dallas this season, piling up 25 points and 17 boards on his way to 47.9 FanDuel points. That's pretty much been the norm for Drummond in this matchup, as he has averaged 16.7 points, 20 rebounds, and 47.8 FanDuel points in his past three games against the Mavericks.

Isaiah Thomas, PG, Boston Celtics

FanDuel Price: $7,900

Why He Will Go Overlooked:

Isaiah Thomas has back to back games with under 28 FanDuel points and is part of a very deep point guard player pool. Stephen Curry, John Wall, Kemba Walker, Brandon Knight, Ishmael Smith, and Jose Juan Barea will likely all be more popular than Thomas.

Why You Should Use Him:

While Thomas hasn't played like his usual self recently, he is still averaging 35.6 FanDuel points over his past six games. Plus, tonight's matchup is tailor-made for Thomas, so a bounceback performance seems very possible.

Golden State's two biggest weaknesses as a defense are defending in transition and against pick and roll ball handlers. With this in mind, it makes much more sense that they have allowed the fifth-most fantasy points to opposing point guards.

Tonight's game will be played at a blistering speed, as both Boston and Golden State rank in the top three in Pace.

Enter Isaiah Thomas, who ranks sixth in the entire NBA in transition points. Thomas has nearly double the transition points the next highest Boston player has and should thrive in tonight's uptempo game.

In addition to being a dangerous weapon on the break, Thomas is a wizard in the pick and roll. Thomas has the ninth-most points as the pick and roll ball handler among active point guards. Per, in 24 games against the 10 worst teams at defending the pick and roll this season, Thomas has averaged 38.3 FanDuel points per game.

Gordon Hayward, SF, Utah Jazz

FanDuel Price: $6,900

Why He Will Go Overlooked:

Gordon Hayward has averaged just 26.1 FanDuel points over his past four and is part of a loaded and top-heavy small forward player pool tonight. Top options such as LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, and Nicolas Batum will all likely be more popular than Hayward.

In the mid-range, Robert Covington and Rudy Gay both could be popular options. Otto Porter and P.J. Tucker both may attract some attention as value plays too. Expect Hayward to get lost in the shuffle.

Why You Should Use Him:

Derrick Favors could be held out of tonight's game, in which case Hayward would be in line for a boost in production. Per, Hayward has averaged 34.9 FanDuel points in 17 games without Favors this season. Per, Hayward has averaged 0.94 FanDuel points per minute on a 28.4 Usage Rate without Favors on the floor, as opposed to 0.87 FanDuel points per minute with a Usage Rate of 24.4 with Favors.

Even if Favors is active for tonight's game, Hayward would still be worth consideration based on the matchup.

Minnesota's defense has shown an inability to defend pick and roll ball handlers and to defend in transition -- ranking in the bottom-10 in both categories.

Hayward thrives in both areas, as he is one of the best small forwards in transition and has the fourth-most points as a pick and roll ball handler among small forwards.

Hayward has been unbelievably efficient in transition, posting a transition points per possession higher than any player with at least 100 transition field goal attempts. His transition Effective Field Goal Percentage (eFG%) of 70 percent is a big improvement from his 49 percent season eFG%.

Jeff Teague, PG, Atlanta Hawks

FanDuel Price: $6,500

Why He Will Go Overlooked:

Jeff Teague draws a matchup against a tough Cleveland defense and is part of a very plentiful pool of point guard options.

Why You Should Use Him:

While Teague's production is always difficult to predict, he has been hot recently, averaging 35.1 FanDuel points over his past three contests.

Cleveland boasts one of the league's stingiest defenses. While their defense as a whole is excellent, their effort against point guards has not been. Other than point guard, Cleveland has been a top-10 team against every position in terms of fantasy points allowed. A big reason for their struggle against the position is Kyrie Irving, who ranks 81st in Defensive Real Plus-Minus among 84 qualified point guards.

Teague has done well against Irving in his career, averaging 35 FanDuel points per game in their last five matchups.

Bradley Beal, SG, Washington Wizards

FanDuel Price: $5,900

Why He Will Go Overlooked:

Bradley Beal will be fighting for ownership among other shooting guards, as well as his teammates tonight. Among the shooting guards, Dwyane Wade and Devin Booker will both be heavily targeted. For the Wizards, expect all five starters to garner some interest, including Markieff Morris in a revenge game. In the end, Beal will likely be lower owned than he should be for this elite matchup.

Why You Should Use Him:

Who knows how long it will last, but Beal is back to playing big minutes for the Wizards as they attempt a last-ditch playoff run. Over his past seven games, the oft-injured shooting guard has averaged 34 minutes per game. Those minutes have yielded mixed results, but Beal has topped 30 FanDuel points in three of those games.

Beal draws a prime matchup against Phoenix tonight, who rank dead last against shooting guards among teams in action tonight, according to our Matchup/Game Composite Score. While rookie sensation Devin Booker is a delight to watch on the offensive end, the 19 year old has shown his inexperience on the defensive end -- ranking last among 97 shooting guards in Defensive Real Plus-Minus.

Digging a bit deeper shows that this is truly a perfect matchup for Beal's skill-set. Phoenix has been the worst team at defending in transition, as well as against shooters coming off of off-ball screens, per Beal has been highly effective in transition and is easily the team leader in points and shot attempts coming off of screens.

Beal took full advantage of this matchup in their one previous meeting this season, dropping 53.1 FanDuel points on Phoenix.