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NBA DFS Risers and Fallers for Week 16

A lot can change in the NBA landscape in just a weeks' time. Since we last talked, John Wall and Kevin Love have gone down to injury and will miss serious time, and trade happenings are moving players - or just keeping them on the sideline until a deal gets done. Throw all of that mess on top of the already chaotic hour or two leading up to lock time - where we deal with countless late scratches and start/rest situations - and you've got a recipe for some difficult decisions to make when you need to construct your roster.

Of course, the silver lining to much of the chaos I just mentioned is that these moves open up opportunity - in the form of minutes, Usage rate, etc - for some of the up-and-comers. If we're able to identify these plays before the public does, we not only gain an advantage (by way of leverage) in tournaments, but we also get these players at a much lower price point.

Before I get further off on a tangent, here are two players whose current salaries outweigh their production, and two others who have become too cheap to ignore. Let's take a look.

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DFS Value Risers - Week 16

Jamal Murray (PG/SG, DEN)

Jamal Murray is one of the draft picks I was most intrigued with - from a fantasy perspective and just general offensive contribution - from the 2016 NBA Draft, and he's starting to resemble the super threat self he was back in his college days. Since he really stepped onto the stage earlier this month, he's contributed DraftKings point total performances of 40, 47 and 54, to name a few. He's not going to produce at that level consistency, but he is showing an elite ceiling. The reason he's even higher on my radar right now is that, after three mediocre performances, his price is a drastic $1,200 less than it was 4 days ago. For the season, he's averaging .91 DraftKings points per minute, and when he's playing his usual allotment of 32-36 minutes with a 23% Usage rate, he has the ability to provide a safe floor and a high ceiling - currently at a value price. The position flexibility here ups his value as well. His next few opponents - Thunder, Warriors, Hornets and Rockets all offer (save for Charlotte) their own unique set of defensive challenges, but they present offensive opportunity in the form of fast paced matchups that result, usually, in high-scoring affairs. He's a big time GPP asset this week.

Pau Gasol (PF/C, SAS)

The value we've seemingly lost in the back court in San Antonio has resurfaced in the front court, in this case in the form of Pau Gasol. Gasol's price has dropped $1,100 since January 28th. A look through his game logs reveal he was able to hit and surpass value in four of his last six games, so the drop is a bit surprising. Nonetheless, he is the type of player that provides a stable floor of production, and when San Antonio is resting other front court teammates (as they often do), we see Gasol's Usage rate percentage climb over 20%. His current production per minute is relatively fantastic (1.1), and when he plays for 25+ minutes, he'll have little trouble providing cash value. His ultimate ceiling is a little limited, which takes him out of consideration for tournaments on most nights, but he's worth a shot on smaller slates. As for cash games, he's a good play at this price point and I'd continue rolling him out in good situations until that price creeps back above 6k.


DFS Value Fallers - Week 15

Dejounte Murray (PG, SAS)

Oh, Dejounte, it pains me to place you in this section, because, well, it sort of paints you in a negative light. After all, this is the value falling section. Murray's play, however, has been rising (along with his minutes) and he's packaged together some really impressive performances thus far since getting "the nod" from Coach Popovich. He's exceeded his price implied value in seven straight games. Even after his price has crept up above $5.5K, he's manged to exceed value by 2-4 points. The problem, here, is that I think we've seen enough of his ceiling and a consistent floor such that he'll be priced in a way that it will be difficult for him to give us plus-value - the kind of performances that are so far above their price implied total, that they alter the landscape of tournaments. Before his price reached it's current point - $5,900 - he was exceeding value by large margins - double digits, even. The other downside here is that the Spurs offense itself somewhat limits Murray's upside. As he stands right now, he's still a fine cash game play. The minutes look solid and the Usage rate is back above 20%. That said, the value has certainly decreased and the tournament allure has dwindled a healthy amount.

Gerald Green (SG/SF, HOU)

The Gerald Green fantasy era of early January - what a fun ride that was while it lasted. A few fantasy point explosions and locker room scuffles later, and we find ourselves with the option to roster Green at a steep price with very uncertain minutes and a dwindling Usage rate. That's a big "no thank you" from me, unless something changes (injury, trade) that would open up the opportunity again. Green's fantasy production was almost entirely (too) reliant on scoring buckets, and since that Usage rate well has dried up for him, he's not offering much in terms of floor or ceiling. The Eric Gordon back-tweak injury could lend him a few minutes, but he's still hard pass with a price point of $5,600.


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