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NBA DFS Risers and Fallers for Week 18

Welcome back, my daily fantasy sports friends, to another edition of Risers and Fallers. There's not as much to cover this week, as we're just a day away from the All-Star Break. Did you know the break is a full 7 days? I sure didn't, and it made me sad because seven days without DFS hoops is going to be brutal.

Prices will likely fluctuate a bit over the seven day break, but I will point out some risers and fallers and help you determine which rises are merited and which are essentially smoke and mirror traps. After the break, look for rotations to get even tighter (for those teams in playoff contention) and for those teams in contention for draft lottery picks - look for them to do the opposite. They will likely expand rotations and/or allow some of the younger guys to get more floor time.

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 18

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (SG, LAL)

Caldwell-Pope's price hasn't dropped tremendously, but bare with me since there are slim pickings this week with just two games tonight and a week off immediately following. While the price has only crept down a few hundred this week, it is down $500 since the start of the month and down $600 from the peak in that stretch. What I do love here is his situation - as the opportunity for him to contribute offensively just got bigger with the departure of Jordan Clarkson. Lately, it has been Josh Hart benefiting the most from Clarkson's departure, but with Isiah Thomas in the fold now and Lonzo Ball returning soon, I can see KCP either moving to a reserve role or playing a role on both units. As he's a strong three point shooter and excellent at creating steals, I like his upside here with the price lower than usual. Seeing as he averages in the range of 32-35 minutes, we can feel good about locking him into our lineups in the right game context.

Jabari Parker (SF/PF, MIL)

Jabari is a value riser in the sense that while the price has crept downward, his minutes (17-20 per) and Usage rate (18-23% per) have remained the same in the small sample we have to work with since his return to the Bucks lineup. It's very rare we can get someone in Jabari's price range that commands such a high Usage rate. Their styles are dissimilar, but it's like the situation we have when Ryan Anderson hits rock (price) bottom - in tournaments, it makes sense to roster a guy we know is capable of providing 8-10 times his value - even when the shooting and fantasy outcomes are leaving something to be desired lately. It may take him a few more weeks to get comfortable, but I'm all in on rostering someone with his skill set, knowing the minutes and efficiency should increase. Of course, this is for tournament play only.


DFS Value Fallers - Week 18

Thon Maker (PF/C, MIL)

Thon has done a pretty solid job of contributing on both ends over the Bucks' last 10 games, beating his price implied value in seven of those 10 contests. For his size, he's not a very good rebounder, but he is contributing on the offensive end and he's done a solid job of off-ball rim defense - grabbing a block or two in four of his last six games. Milwaukee is constantly looking for ways to insert him (or any true Center, really, as that's their glaring weakness), but much of Maker's recent rise in minutes (averaging 18 for the year - 21 over the last 5) has to do with the absence of John Henson. Henson's absence has allowed Maker to grab minutes at the five and the four spot (hence the ability to roster at PF or C now) but those minutes are going to take a size-able hit when Henson returns - at least from a percentage standpoint. Losing four or five minutes may not look bad at the surface, but he's only producing 0.72 DraftKings points per minute. Seeing as he has only provided 4+ points over his price implied value twice in the last month - at a lower price, mind you - his value has taken quite a hit with the price increase to over $4k. While Henson remains sidelined, I don't mind him as a punt play, but he isn't one to get excited about.

Wilson Chandler (SF/PF, DEN)

Wilson Chandler really has no business being listed with the price tag he's currently tagged with at $4,900. Okay, so he has had two real strong performances (somewhat warranted?), but don't fall into the trap. That's exactly what this is: a trap. A look through the box score and advanced metrics for those games reveals quite a few anomalies. First and foremost, Chandler posted a 17% and 25% Usage rate in his last two games. His season average in that department? Just 14%. Those extra shots - and being pretty efficient on top of that (11-15 and 8-19 from the field, respectively), gave him some really strong performances. Another anomaly: averaging 2.5 in the blocks + steals category this past week, while his season average is just 1 per game. Rostering Chandler at his current tag would essentially just be point chasing recent performances. That's not a good strategy long term, and I'd be shocked if Chandler posts many more games with a higher than 20% Usage rate in the near future. He's a capable wing, but he plays with a unit that has some stellar offensive options - Jamal Murray, Gary Harris and Nikola Jokic, namely. On top of that, Paul Millsap will likely be back soon, which could put a dent in Chandler's minutes.


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