1) Russell Westbrook, Houston Rockets
FanDuel: $8,700, PG DraftKings: $8,400, PG Yahoo: $45, PG FantasyDraft: $15,500, G
Well first and foremost, I’d just like to thank those in charge for the pricing at the respective sites. We are usually pretty snarky with them here in this space, because egregiously low price tags obviously make for great cash game plays.
But today I could not be more thankful for them dropping Westbrook’s price tag this low. I can just go about my normal business of talking usage rates, assist rates, rebound rates, FPPM rates, etc. and still be happy with my recommendation. I will let all of the others handle the heavy Narrative Street lifting (and there are many).
(Luckily, I don’t have to tell you that I was actually considering bringing it up today depending on where his price tag landed, but now I don’t have to. Wait, I mean, no I didn’———)
So Russ is at $8,700 on FD and $8,400 on DK after scoring ‘only’ 39 fantasy points on Friday against Philly, a game in which he was $9,100 on FD and $9,000 on DK. The last time Russ was this cheap on FD was November 27th ($8,600). The last time he was this cheap on DK was November 24th (same price). Again, just a heartfelt thank you to the pricing peeps.
We pretty much know what we are getting night to night in regards to his usage/assist/rebound rates; he is very consistent with those each game (the one wildcard is obviously how efficiently he is shooting the ball; breaking news, I know). His 32.9% usage rate, 33% assist rate, and 11.6% rebound rate this season have led to him getting 1.29 FD / 1.36 DK points per minute. And the usage specifically has been elevated in his last eight games: 33.2%, 45.7%, 39.8%, 30.6%, 40%, 33.6%, 33.9%, and 34.5%. Only one of those games is below his season number.
Derrick Rose, Detroit Pistons
FanDuel: $6,600, PG DraftKings: $6,500, PG/SG Yahoo: $24, PG FantasyDraft: $12,200, G
I am looking at D-Rose for my next stop in cash games on DK/FDRFT. The Pistons have the same guys listed out (Griffin, Jackson, Kennard, Markieff), and Rose has thrived in that situation all season.
If we look at CourtIQ, Rose is at 1.3 DK points per minute in a 229-minute sample with those four guys OFF. He is being that productive thanks to a 35.1% usage rate and 42.7% assist rate. Those are some big-time rates, and he maintains that level of production when Drummond is out there with him too.
The matchup really stands out here as well, as Cleveland is battling it out with Atlanta for worst defense in the league that doesn’t reside in our nation’s capital. That is why you see the Pistons with such a higher team total than their season average in Noto’s First Look. And they are especially horrendous against opposing backcourts, ranking dead last in defensive efficiency in that metric.
Finally, when looking at Rose’s minutes, we see that he has been anywhere from 26.25 to 30.5 minutes in his past six games. They are doing all they can not to extend him, but I find it quite interesting that he has been at 28, 29, and 30.5 in the last three. Anywhere in that range is going to be good for me at his per-minute production, especially when we factor in a little bit of a bump since they are playing the Cavs.