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Welcome to the inaugural edition of The Pulse. This column is designed to give daily fantasy enthusiasts insight to the most popular picks in a game slate, assessing their viability along the way. In other words, The Pulse is designed to gauge the daily fantasy world's opinion as a whole. We will then take it a step further, telling you when to “join the herd" and when to pivot elsewhere.

Buzz is calculated on a 1-10 scale by considering numerous daily fantasy media outlets picks and general conversation on forums/twitter.


POINT GUARD

As you can see in the chart below, Russell Westbrook is receiving the most buzz around the industry. There's enough value on the board to allow his salary, but I think people may be too hung up on his masterful performance last night. His colossal price tag is prohibitive, and I don't think you have to go “all-in" on him.

From here, Reggie Jackson is the mid-range point guard that everyone is talking about. I'm going with the crowd here, especially on DraftKings.

Mo Williams is receiving less buzz than Jackson, but I believe he's a better play on FanDuel. Actually, the Williams/Jackson combo may not be a bad idea.

Aaron Brooks is cheap, but I don't trust him outside of tournaments. He has a wide FP range; so even though the matchup is nice, we aren't sure how much usage he'll actually receive.

Mike Conley, Ricky Rubio, and Chris Paul are all on the lower side of the list, and I'm buying into CP3 as a reasonable pivot from Westbrook. There will certainly be a discrepancy in ownership %. Mike Conley strikes me as a solid pick in all formats, as his price is still depressed due to injury plagued pre-All Star game performances.


PLAYER

BUZZ

Russell Westbrook

8

Reggie Jackson

7

Mo Williams

6

Aaron Brooks

5

Mike Conley

4

Ricky Rubio

4

Chris Paul

3



SHOOTING GUARD

I found the SG situation more of a “mixed bag" than any other position, which really doesn't come as much of a surprise.

Jimmy Butler tops the list in a great draw with Minnesota, gaining even more traction in the wake of Pau Gasol's absence. I'm buying in due to matchup potential and positional scarcity.

It appears people are buying into a JR Smith uptick with Kyrie Irving out. That's not a bad strategy, especially considering the lack of viable options in the mid-range SG category. It's unlikely he'll put up an FP performance that hurts you.

I fully understand that New Orleans is bad at defending opposing wings, but I'm not buying into the Dwyane Wade pick. I feel his ceiling is limited alongside Dragic, and would rather reach up for Butler if spending at SG (especially at DK).

Giannis Antetokounmpo is a high upside option, and this matchup vs LAL should fit his playing style perfectly. There's merit in betting on upside at SG today.

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope is a cheap option receiving a little buzz, but the herd is gravitating more towards JR Smith for a similar price. Beware of that for tournaments, as JR is hardly essential in that department.

PLAYER

BUZZ

Jimmy Butler

6

JR Smith

6

Dwyane Wade

5

Giannis Antetokounmpo

4

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope

3



SMALL FORWARD

With DeMarcus Cousins doubtful, Rudy Gay is the popular choice at SF, and I don't disagree at all. He should be locked and loaded in majority of lineups.

Danilo Gallinari's price has risen, but he should see plenty of playing time for the short-handed Nuggets. He and Jae Crowder are the only legitimate SF value plays if you are looking in that direction. You get a little more savings for a similar projection with Crowder, but Gallinari may be a tad safer with added responsibility.

LeBron James is getting some love following the news regarding Irving's injury. Still, on a jam-packed slate, I'm having a tough time buying into this subpar matchup. I'd rather go with Rudy Gay (and a mid-range pick) for cash games.

Nicolas Batum's recent surge has the DFS world talking. He's a fine cash game filler alongside similarly priced Trevor Ariza and Khris Middleton.

Gordon Hayward is getting several mentions, but I'm hesitant to buy into his fantasy prospects tonight. He is a high upside option for tournaments, but as I stated before, I'd rather have Rudy Gay for a cheaper price.

PLAYER

BUZZ

Rudy Gay

7

Danilo Gallinari

6

Gordon Hayward

5

LeBron James

3

Nic Batum

3

Jae Crowder

3

Khris Middleton

3



POWER FORWARD

Taj Gibson is dominating DFS headlines with Pau Gasol ruled out. He's an excellent pick in all formats. Go against the grain at your own risk.

Terrence Jones is receiving too much love in this spot. Sure, he has been surging as of late, and he's a decent overall pick. However, I'd rather go with teammate Donatas Motiejunas for a much cheaper price tag (and similar playing time / FP potential).

JJ Hickson is receiving a ton of buzz as Jusuf Nurkic won't be playing for Denver. I'm hesitant to go all in on him, especially considering the volatility of Denver's frontcourt rotations. He doesn't need much to satisfy the near minimum price though.

Greg Monroe, Kevin Love, and Derrick Favors are getting attention in the upper-mid tier section, but I likely won't go that route when configuring lineups.

PLAYER

BUZZ

Taj Gibson

8

Terrence Jones

8

JJ Hickson

6

Greg Monroe

4

Kevin Love

4

Derrick Favors

3

Donatas Motiejunas

3



CENTER

Rudy Gobert appears to be the most popular DFS play of the day. He's tough to ignore with a great price, great matchup, and an expanded role. He has significantly more profit potential than any other Center. I'm definitely buying into this pick.

Marcin Gortat is the only other viable selection, sitting at a much cheaper price point than Gobert. There is a chance he could post similar (if not better) value than Gobert, but the upside seems capped.

PLAYER

BUZZ

Rudy Gobert

10

Marcin Gortat

7

Andre Drummond

3

Al Jefferson

3

Joakim Noah

3



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