5 Stats to Know: NBA DFS March 3


We have a bit of a weird NBA DFS slate in front of us Friday night, because only two teams are on the second leg of a back-to-back. The other piece of good news is there are some very important games so we should see a minimum of chaos, not something we can say often at this point of an NBA season. Let’s outline five players to help us climb up the leaderboards for Friday. 


1. The Hawks are 26th in points per game allowed while defending isolation 

We’re going to have to make the Damian Lillard decision again Friday night. His salary on DraftKings is incredibly high (it’s a bit easier to swallow on FanDuel) but at the same time, he’s scoring almost 1.90 points per minute with a 43.1% usage rate in the scenario the Blazers are in Friday night. This matchup holds the highest total on the evening as it currently stands at 241 points while the matchup for Lillard is strong, even past him raking sixth in points per game in isolation – 

While Lillard doesn’t have the same floor in his profile the other super-expensive players do, he has the same style of ceiling and will have to take a ton of shots in this game. While his salary makes you slightly nervous, he has to be considered in this environment. 

2. The Thunder are dead last in rebounds allowed per game 

Not only are they last in rebounds allowed, but they are also tied for the most points per game allowed on putbacks. Walker Kessler of the Jazz has gotten expensive but he deserves to be in this matchup since he scores 2.6 points on putbacks and since Dec. 1, Kessler is 12th in rebound chances per game. He’s scoring 1.29 points per minute in the current situation for the Jazz while the Thunder are 23rd against rebounders and 19th in points per game allowed in the paint. This is a fantastic spot for the strengths of Kessler and I will have plenty of exposure. 

3. Memphis is 25th in rebounds allowed per game 

Perhaps this is more of a gut feeling, but I think Nikola Jokic has a big game and is worth his hefty price tag. The last time the Nuggets faced the Grizzlies Feb. 25, they got flat-out embarrassed and were losing by around 30 points through a large portion of that game. The scene shifts to Denver, and Jokic has been up and down for fantasy results (by his standards) since the All-Star break. Jokic is sixth in rebound chances per game while he’s scoring 1.69 points per minute. The Grizzlies are still second in the West and I believe Jokic makes a statement tonight that the West still runs through Denver even after the last matchup with Memphis. There will be enough value options that I believe we can afford multiple studs in the lineup on Friday, even if you choose Jokic doesn’t have to be one of them. 

4. CJ McCollum is scoring 6.9 points per game as the ball handler in the pick-and-roll

The Pelicans are taking on the Warriors, who played Thursday night. They beat the Clippers with a good old-fashioned Warriors avalanche of points, winning the third quarter 42-16 but they should have a few tired legs. The Pelicans have been without Zion Williamson but now they are likely to be without Jonas Valanciunas on Friday and that is a big loss. McCollum should have more chances to shoot the ball and while I believe Brandon Ingram (justifiably) gets some attention from the field, McCollum is scoring 1.21 points per minute and has a 32.5% usage rate. Wednesday, McCollum recorded 73 touches and had nearly six minutes of possession. If Ingram is more popular, McCollum is going to be a very interesting pivot. 


5. Dennis Schroder is sporting a 25.9% usage rate without LeBron James 

The Lakers are still going to be without D’Angelo Russell as well, so Schroder is locked into 34-36 minutes tonight and he’s scoring 1.00 points per minute. The FD salary is up there but the DK salary still has a lot of meat on the bone since these teams are in the top four in pace. Minnesota is 12th against primary ball handlers and Schroder has averaged 87.5 touches per game since LeBron has been out. It’s a short period but that ranks third in the league, and Anthony Davis missed a game, so it’s skewed just a bit. Still, the upside is there and he’s a great way to get a player from the late-night hammer. 

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