5 Stats to Know: NBA DFS March 1


We have nine games in front of us on Wednesday’s NBA DFS slate, and four of them are sporting a spread of at least 7.5 points, something to keep in mind when choosing players. There are also a lot of back-to-back scenarios although most of the teams on the second leg need to win for the playoff race. Let’s talk about five players that will help us build some lineups for the slate. 


1. The Pistons are 29th in points per game allowed in the paint 

That might lead some to think that we’re going to talk about Nikola Vucevic, since the Bulls are in Detroit to take on the Pistons. Instead, we’re going to the opposite end of the spectrum on salary and talking about Andre Drummond. Make no mistake, this is a very risky play, but Drummond has logged at least 14 minutes in each game since the Bulls have come back from the All-Star break. On the season, Drummond is scoring 1.33 points per minute, and he can put up a double-double in just 14-15 minutes, as he did just three games ago. The longtime Piston is mostly just a DraftKings play since I can utilize two centers but he’s extremely cheap, the matchup is fantastic, and Drummond has been a points-per-minute machine on the year. He could turn into a fascinating pivot to a player we’ll be talking about shortly from Los Angeles and potentially Willy Hernangomez from the Pelicans, but we still need news from that game. 

2. Jimmy Butler is shooting just 41.9% in isolation 

That’s nothing special, but he’s scoring 3.0 points per game in the play type, and the 76ers do have something of a weakness defending isolation plays, allowing the third-highest field goal rate. The salary for Butler is still very reasonable considering he just flirted with 60.0 DK points and a triple-double. This was off the heels of him calling out the team after a four-game losing streak and Butler is scoring 1.35 points per minute without Kyle Lowry on the floor, as will be the case Wednesday. This game has the lowest points total of the evening but that doesn’t mean we can’t use some players from it with Butler being the one I’d look at the most, and I’d expect more than 32 minutes. 

3. The Knicks are 27th in 3-point frequency allowed 

In their defense, the Knicks are third in field goal rate allowed, so they do still defend the 3-point line very well, but Cameron Johnson of the Nets is a sharpshooter and teams can ill afford to let him chuck from beyond the arc. He’s shooting 41.0% from downtown on the season and with the Nets, he has a 23.0% usage rate and 1.02 points per minute. I have some small fear that we’ve missed the boat since Johnson has scored over 36.0 DK points in each of the past two games but Johnson is not on the injury report Wednesday for any injury management issues. As long as he plays 28-30 minutes, he should be a strong mid-range play. 


4. Mo Bamba should start for the Lakers Wednesday 

He has only played a combined seven minutes across the past two games for the Lakers, but now Anthony Davis joins LeBron James on the sidelines. It’s not like the Lakers need to win or anything (note the facetiousness), but I digress. With Davis out, the Lakers should break Bamba out of hibernation and Bamba has scored 1.11 points per minute with those players off the court. He also gets to walk into a very generous matchup since the Thunder are dead last in rebounds allowed and in the bottom 10 in points per game allowed in the paint. Even if Bamba only plays 24 minutes or so, he can sail past the salary Wednesday.

5. Ja Morant is only $9,900 on DraftKings 

While I’m not sure he can match the 73.5 DK points he scored Tuesday night, this is the least expensive Morant has been on DK since the end of January. It’s an odd time to lower the salary considering the matchup that is in front of him according to the FTN Advanced DvP Tool

Houston does not have a ghost of a chance to stop Morant from penetrating into the paint as he’s driving to the hoop the second-most times in the league at 21.1 times. Morant has scored 14.9 points per game off that play while Morant is sporting a 35.3% usage rate and 1.55 points per minute. I can’t get by the salary and with some of the cheaper plays available to us, it’s not impossible to pair Davis and Morant together. 

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