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Mike Barner

MLB Fantasy Baseball Trade Analyzer and Off-Season Signings

*Mike Barner – @rotomikebarner*

MLB Fantasy Baseball Trade Analyzer and Off-Season Signings

It might hard to believe it if you live in the NorthEast, but baseball season is just around the corner. With only about a month left before pitchers and catchers report to Spring Training, the time is now to start preparing for your fantasy baseball draft. In the first of our season preview series, we’ll take a look at some familiar players who have joined new teams and discuss the impact it will have on their fantasy value.

Giancarlo Stanton, New York Yankees

MLB Fantasy Baseball Trade Analyzer and Off-Season Signings

The Yankees rebuild certainly didn’t take long. After trading away several veterans in the middle of the 2016 season, the Yankees progressed faster than expected in 2017, losing in the American League Championship Series to the Houston Astros. One of the big reasons for their success was the strength of their offense, which finished second in runs scored and first in home runs in all of baseball.

So how did they improve their team for this year? By bringing in another power hitter of course. The Yankees took advantage of the Marlins need to slash payroll, trading for the reigning NL MVP in Stanton with Starlin Castro being the only player of significance to the major league roster that they gave up.

Entering the 2017 season, Stanton had played 123 games or less in four of the previous five seasons. He managed to stay healthy though, missing only three games all year. He cashed in the added at-bats, setting career-highs in home runs (59), RBI (132) and runs scored (123). Unlike many of the games elite home run hitters, he still managed to hit .281 and finished with a career-low 23.6% strikeout percentage.

Stanton will now team up with Aaron Judge to form one of the elite power-hitting combinations in the league. It will be hard for Stanton to play 159 games again this year, but the good news is that he will get some time at designated hitter, which should help keep him fresh. He’s going to be part of a potent overall lineup and should again finish with excellent counting stats. From a batting average perspective, he might not experience significant regression either as his .288 BABIP was actually the lowest of his career. Expect him to have another valuable campaign and be a borderline first-round pick in fantasy.

Dee Gordon, Seattle Mariners

MLB Fantasy Baseball Trade Analyzer and Off-Season Signings

Another member of the Marlins fire sale was Gordon, who was shipped to the Mariners and will now play center field. Gordon led the majors with 60 stolen bases last year, marking the third time in the last four seasons that he has stolen at least 58 bases. The only time he didn’t was when he was limited to 79 games in 2016 due to a suspension, finishing with 30 steals.

While most known for his ability to steal bases, Gordon’s fantasy value is much more than just that one category. He hit at least .308 in two of the last three seasons and scored 114 runs last year. He only has a 15.1% strikeout percentage for his career, which allows him to leg out some extra hits due to his speed.

Luckily for this season, he will still be eligible at second base and will eventually get you the added value of dual-position eligibility. He will be part of a powerful lineup that features Nelson Cruz, Robinson Cano, and Kyle Seager hitting behind him, so he should have plenty of opportunities to score runs again this year. Even without much power, he should still finish as one of the more valuable second base eligible players in fantasy, especially when you consider the scarcity of stolen bases.

Andrew McCutchen, San Francisco Giants

MLB Fantasy Baseball Trade Analyzer and Off-Season Signings

The Giants desperately needed to find offense this winter, especially in their outfield. They decided to swing a deal with the Pirates for McCutchen, providing a significant boost to their lineup. While his stats don’t jump off the page, McCutchen has hit at least 21 home runs and recorded at least 79 RBI in each of the last seven seasons. He also does an excellent job of getting on base, posting an OBP of at least .363 in all but one season during his career.

While McCutchen can still provide value, it’s important to note that he doesn’t really excel in any one category. He used to provide value on the base paths, stealing at least 20 bases in each of the first five seasons of his career. However, he has stolen 11 bases or less in each of the last three seasons. He batted a respectable .279 last year, but that’s not going to be a difference maker in your league. He’s still someone to consider on draft day, but make sure you are drafting him based on his current production, not his high-profile name. If you are drafting based on the latter, you will likely overpay for him on draft day.

Evan Longoria, San Francisco Giants

MLB Fantasy Baseball Trade Analyzer and Off-Season Signings

The Giants were serious about making major additions to their lineup, also acquiring Longoria from the Rays. Longoria had spent his entire 10-year career with the Rays, becoming the face of the franchise. He’s had some excellent run-producing seasons, hitting at least 30 home runs four times and driving in at least 100 runs five times in his career. He’s also been extremely reliable, playing at least 160 games in each of the last four years.

Longoria is still a fine player, but he’s not nearly as valuable in fantasy as he once was. Besides an outlier season where he hit 36 home runs in 2016, he has hit 22 home runs or less in three of the last four seasons. He doesn’t do a great job of getting on base either, posting an OBP of .328 or lower in each of the last four years. Third base is a deep position in fantasy, which could leave Longoria outside the top-15 at the position.

Wade Davis, Colorado Rockies

MLB Fantasy Baseball Trade Analyzer and Off-Season Signings

The Rockies were the beneficiaries of one of the better surprises at closer last year, getting 41 saves from Greg Holland. The majority of Holland’s success came over the first half of the season when he recorded 28 of his saves and a sparkling 1.62 ERA. The second half was much more of a struggle, finishing with a 6.38 ERA in 24 innings. The Rockies decided not to bring him back for 2018, instead signing Davis to a hefty three-year contract.

Davis had 32 saves for the Cubs last year and a 2.30 ERA, which was actually the first time he finished with an ERA above 2.00 since 2013. He also posted a 12.1 K/9, which was the second highest of his career. When a pitcher moves to Coors Field, there is always a concern that their stats could regress pitching in such a hitter-friendly environment. Davis did give up six home runs last year, which were three more than the previous three seasons combined. However, his ground ball to flyball ratio was 0.70, which is very close to his career ratio of 0.67.

The big increase was in his home run to flyball percentage, which was 9.1%. That’s significantly up from his career mark of 6.5%. While I don’t think he’ll come close to replicating the excellent three-year stretch he had with the Royals prior to last season, he should still finish the season as a top-10 closer.

Carlos Santana, Philadelphia Phillies

MLB Fantasy Baseball Trade Analyzer and Off-Season Signings

The rebuilding Phillies added a significant bat to their lineup, signing Santana to a three-year contract early on in free agency. He’ll take over as their everyday first baseman after spending the first eight years of his career with Cleveland.

Santana had spectacular power season in 2016, hitting 34 home runs and slugging .498. Other than that season, he’s never hit more than 27 home runs or slugged above .457 in any of his full seasons in the majors. He hasn’t been a significant run producer either, recording 87 RBI or less in each season of his career.

The positives for Santana is that he gets on base, posting an OBP of at least .363 in five of the last six years. He’s also done a nice job cutting down on his strikeouts, with his strikeout percentage decreasing in each of the last three seasons. However, based on his low batting average and limited ceiling, he’s a borderline top-20 first baseman.

Marcell Ozuna, St. Louis Cardinals

MLB Fantasy Baseball Trade Analyzer and Off-Season Signings

Ozuna established himself as one of the top outfielders in the league last year, finishing the season batting .312 with 37 home runs, 124 RBI, and 93 runs scored. He showed an improved eye at the plate, setting a career best with a 9.4% walk percentage, which was more than two percent higher than any of his previous four seasons.

Like Stanton and Gordon, he too was a part of the fire sale in Miami and will now roam the outfield for the Cardinals. His power will be a welcomed addition as the Cardinals finished in the bottom half of the league in home runs last season.

The Marlins were certainly a flawed team, but they had a potent lineup with Ozuna, Stanton, Gordon, Christian Yelich, J.T. Realmuto and Justin Bour. The Cardinals have some talented hitters, but their lineup doesn’t project to be as deep as the Marlins was last year. Ozuna will still likely be a top 15-to-20 outfielder, but he could experience some regression in counting stats.

Gerrit Cole, Houston Astros

MLB Fantasy Baseball Trade Analyzer and Off-Season Signings

The defending World Seris champs aren’t resting on their laurels this winter, making a big trade with the Pirates to add Cole to their starting rotation. The Astros already have one of the best lineups in baseball, but now boast a solid starting trio of Dallas Keuchel, Justin Verlander, and Cole.

Cole’s best season with the Pirates came in 2015 when he finished 19-8 with a 2.60 ERA and 202 strikeouts in 208 innings. However, his numbers have declined in the two years since, finishing last year 12-12 with a 4.26 ERA and 196 strikeouts in 203 innings. His main problem in 2017 was a massive increase in home runs allowed. He only allowed 29 home runs from 2014 through 2016 but gave up a whopping 31 in 2017 alone. When you add in the fact that he also issued a career-high 55 walks, you get the big jump in ERA.

There is a reason for optimism this year though as his ground ball to flyball ratio was 0.85 last year, which is almost right on pace with his career mark. His home run to flyball percentage jumped all the way up to 11.3%, almost double his previous career high. With some regression to the norm this season, Cole should get his ERA back down under 4.00. He’s a reliable source for strikeouts and should have plenty of chances to rack up wins on a great team, making him a top-25 starting pitcher with upside.

NBA Fantasy Basketball Schedule Analysis for Week 15

*Mike Barner*


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RING in 2018 with code “NEWYEAR40” at checkout for 40% off Seasonal Package

NBA Fantasy Basketball Schedule Analysis for Week 15

It’s important to know the intricacies of the NBA schedule to gain an advantage over your opponent in a head-to-head fantasy league as starting your best players might not always give you the best chance to win. Here are some moves you might want to consider for your team based on the week ahead.

Teams With The Most Games – 4 Games Each
Atlanta Hawks, Charlotte Hornets, Chicago Bulls, Dallas Mavericks, Houston Rockets, Los Angeles Clippers, Minnesota Timberwolves, New Orleans Pelicans, Oklahoma City Thunder, Philadelphia 76ers, Phoenix Suns, Sacramento Kings, San Antonio Spurs

With 13 teams playing four games each this week, you could already be set at several positions on your team. However, if you need a player or two to help you get over the hump, consider adding the players below who are still available in the majority of leagues.

NBA Fantasy Basketball Schedule Analysis for Week 15

Dewayne Dedmon, Atlanta Hawks

Dedmon began the season as the Hawks starting center and was off to a strong start before missing over a month with a knee injury. He’s healthy now and has played in six straight games, averaging 8.8 points, 8.7 rebounds and 0.7 blocks over that stretch. While his numbers don’t jump off the charts and he’s coming off the bench now, having someone who can at least approach a double-double every night of a four-game week can provide value. He faces the Jazz, Raptors, Hornets and Wizards this week, all four of which are teams with big centers. Dedmon could see some added playing time as a result. He’s still available in 58% of Yahoo! leagues and is someone to target if you need help in the middle.

T.J. McConnell, Philadelphia 76ers

Sixers guard J.J. Redick (leg) has missed the last two games due to injury, opening up added playing time for McConnell. He’s taken full advantage of the opportunity, averaging 13.0 points, 2.5 rebounds, 4.5 assists, 2.5 steals and 1.0 three-pointer in those two contests. The initial diagnosis for Redick suggests that he could be out for part, or all, of Week 15, which would give McConnell a significant boost in value. McConnell has proven he can produce with added minutes, averaging 12.6 points, 4.6 rebounds, 7.4 assists and 2.0 steals in seven games that he has played at least 30 minutes in this season. Still available in 70% of Yahoo! leagues, McConnell could be in store for a big week.

Wesley Johnson, Los Angeles Clippers

The Clippers have been one of the teams hit hardest by injuries this season, which has led to some unexpectedly productive players on their roster. Johnson is one of them, who is averaging 24 minutes per game this year. That’s double his playing time average with the Clippers last season. His overall numbers don’t jump off the page, but he’s been playing much better of late, averaging 13.8 points, 6.4 rebounds, 0.8 steals, 1.2 blocks and 2.6 three-pointers in his last five games. He’s still available in 91% of Yahoo! leagues and is a worthy pickup, especially if you need help in three-pointers.

Teams With The Fewest Games – 2 Games Each
Orlando Magic

The Magic are the only team to play just two games this week, significantly reducing the value of the players on their roster. As a result, consider benching the players below who you may normally start most weeks.

NBA Fantasy Basketball Schedule Analysis for Week 15

Evan Fournier, Orlando Magic

Fournier has been an excellent source of offense for the Magic, averaging 18.0 points and 2.2 three-pointers per game. The problem is, those are the only counting stats where he provides significant value as he is averaging just 3.3 rebounds, 2.9 assists and 0.9 steals per game. With only two games this week, he likely won’t have enough opportunities to accumulate points and three-pointers to warrant starting.

Bismack Biyombo, Orlando Magic

Biyombo has done an excellent job filling in for Nikola Vucevic (hand), averaging 9.1 points, 10.3 rebounds and 2.3 blocks in 12 games. He does get two juicy matchups against the Kings and Pacers, two of the worst teams in the league at defending the center position. However, with so many other teams playing four games each, it’s tough to roll out Biyombo based on his limited offensive upside. He will continue to be valuable for as long as Vucevic is out, but this might be the week to place him on your bench.

NBA Daily Fantasy Basketball Sleepers for 1/19/18

*Mike Barner*

NBA Daily Fantasy Basketball Sleepers for 1/19/18

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POINT GUARDS

NBA Daily Fantasy Basketball Sleepers

Darren Collison, IND at LAL
FanDuel = $5,300
DraftKings = $5,600

Collison’s overall scoring average is down at 12.8 points per game, but he sure is efficient, shooting a career-high 50.7% from the field to go along with 88.8% from the free-throw line. Although he’s not a volume scorer, he still provides a steady floor with averages of 2.7 rebounds, 5.3 assists, 1.2 steals and 1.3 three-pointers per game. He gets a favorable match Friday against a Lakers team that plays at the fastest pace (103.6 possessions per game) in the league, which should give him added opportunities to provide value at this reasonable price.

Tyler Ennis, LAL vs. IND
FanDuel = $3,800
DraftKings = $3,900

The Lakers are going to be short-handed at guard Friday with both Lonzo Ball (knee) and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (Achilles) ruled out, so expect Ennis to be in the starting lineup. He’s played well in his previous five starts this season, averaging 9.2 points, 3.4 rebounds, 5.4 assists and 0.8 steals per game. His upside isn’t extremely high, but it doesn’t have to be to warrant consideration for your entry at this very cheap price.

SHOOTING GUARDS

NBA Daily Fantasy Basketball Sleepers

Tim Hardaway Jr., NY at UTA
FanDuel = $5,600
DraftKings = $6,100

Hardaway has played well in three games since returning from a leg injury, averaging 19.0 points, 4.0 rebounds, 1.7 steals and 2.7 three-pointers per game. He played 26 minutes or less in two of those games, so his ceiling could be much higher if he can return to his normal amount of playing time Friday. With a career-high 24% usage rate this year, Hardaway is one of the better value plays of the night at shooting guard.

Josh Hart, LAL vs. IND
FanDuel = $4,500
DraftKings = $4,600

Hart is another player who will likely see increased playing time with both Ball and Caldwell-Pope injured. Hart has played at least 30 minutes in a game five times this season, averaging 15.2 points, 7.0 rebounds, 1.0 steal and 2.0 three-pointers per contest. Jordan Clarkson is in a shooting slump right now, hitting only 37.6% of his shots so far this month. While Clarkson might have the higher upside when his shot is falling, I feel more comfortable going with Hart’s consistency Friday.

SMALL FORWARDS

NBA Daily Fantasy Basketball Sleepers

Wilson Chandler, DEN vs. PHO
FanDuel = $5,000
DraftKings = $4,300

Chandler’s scoring is way down this season at 9.4 points per game, his lowest since the 2011-12 season where he only played eight total games. His playing time hasn’t decreased, but his usage rate is a career-low 14.8%. The good news is the minutes are still there and he is averaging 6.7 rebounds over his last seven games. He played very well in his first meeting with the Suns this season, finishing with 17 points, seven rebounds, four assists, and three three-pointers. The Suns play at the fourth-fastest pace (102.4) and allow the most points per game (112.4) in the league, so Chandler does have some upside in this contest.

Dillon Brooks, MEM vs. SAC
FanDuel = $3,900
DraftKings = $4,200

Brooks enters Friday on a small hot streak, averaging 18.0 points, 4.5 rebounds, and 3.5 three-pointers in his last two games. He played at least 27 minutes in both of those games and could be in line for added playing time again Friday with James Ennis III (calf) already ruled out. The Kings have struggled to defend opposing small forwards this season, so Brooks might be worth the risk if you are playing in a tournament Friday.

POWER FORWARDS

NBA Daily Fantasy Basketball Sleepers

Domantas Sabonis, IND at LAL
FanDuel = $6,000
DraftKings = $6,400

Sabonis continues to fill in as the starting center for the Pacers with Myles Turner (elbow) sidelined. He’s done a nice job so far, averaging 12.4 points, 11.0 rebounds, and 2.8 assists through 13 starts. Not only will the Lakers uptempo pace likely afford Sabonis a few extra opportunities to produce, but they also allow the sixth-most FanDuel points per game and the eighth-most DraftKings points per game to opposing centers. Expect Sabonis to at least approach another double-double in this game.

JaMychal Green, MEM vs. SAC
FanDuel = $5,200
DraftKings = $5,300

Green is in the midst of one of his most productive stretches this season, averaging 12.8 points, 9.0 rebounds and 1.0 steal in his last six games. The Grizzlies are struggling this season and don’t have great depth up front, so Green is likely going to see heavy playing time if he keeps this up. The Kings have a lot of size up front but have struggled to defend power forwards throughout this season. Don’t be surprised if he and Sabonis have very similar stat lines when the night is all said and done.

CENTERS

NBA Daily Fantasy Basketball Sleepers

Julius Randle, LAL vs. IND
FanDuel = $6,600
DraftKings = $6,600

Randle has been one of the most productive players for the Lakers, posting the third-highest usage rate (24.8%) on the team. His overall numbers have been a bit inconsistent of late but he has still managed to score at least 15 points in five of his last seven games. With the Lakers thin at guard, they could look to their frontcourt for added production. The Pacers allow the most points per game on both FanDuel and DraftKings to opposing centers, making Randle someone to strongly consider for your entry.

Jonas Valanciunas, TOR vs. SA
FanDuel = $5,500
DraftKings = $5,400

Valanciunasis playing well right now, scoring at least 15 points and grabbing at least 13 rebounds in four of his last seven games. He’s only averaging 21 minutes per game this season but has played at least 26 minutes in three of his last six contests. The Spurs have a lot of size up front, so Valanciunas could be in line for added playing time again Friday. At this price, don’t be afraid to take a chance on him in tournament play based on his minutes potential.

Daily Fantasy Football Lineup Recommendations – Conference Championships

*Mike Barner*

Daily Fantasy Football Lineup Recommendations – Conference Championships

The NFL DFS season comes to a close with the Conference Championships on Sunday. Thank you for reading all of our articles throughout this season. We hope we were able to help you craft a winning entry more often than not. Let’s ride off into the sunset with one more big payday. Put your favorite recommendations from the article below in our lineup optimizer and hit calculate. You can let it fill in the rest of the spots for you or choose your personal favorites from the NFL Player Lab.

**QUARTERBACKS**

Daily Fantasy Football Lineup Recommendations - Conference Championships

Tom Brady vs. Jacksonville Jaguars
Stadium – Gillette Stadium
DraftKings = $7,700
FanDuel = $9,000

Brady is well known for his success in the playoffs and started out true to form last weekend, throwing for 337 yards and three touchdowns against the Titans. He has by far the most playoff experience of any of the quarterbacks still playing, appearing in 11 career Conference Championship games. He threw for 2,756 yards and 15 touchdowns in those games. The Jaguars have an elite defense, but most teams still left standing at this point are going to be tough to score against. The Jaguars did allow 42 points to the Steelers last week, so they aren’t impenetrable. Brady is the most expensive quarterback, but he also has the highest upside.

Case Keenum vs. Philadelphia Eagles
Stadium – Lincoln Financial Field
DraftKings = $6,600
FanDuel = $8,000

Keenum carried his excellent play during the regular season into the playoffs, throwing for 318 yards and one touchdown last week against the Saints. The fact that he played so well and helped lead an improbable comeback was especially impressive when you consider it was his first career start in the playoffs. The Eagles defense is no pushover, but they did allow 24 passing touchdowns this season, tied with the Patriots for the most among the four teams still playing. If you don’t want to pay up for Brady, Keenum should be the next best option.

**RUNNING BACKS**

Daily Fantasy Football Lineup Recommendations - Conference Championships

Leonard Fournette vs. New England Patriots
Stadium – Gillette Stadium
DraftKings = $7,200
FanDuel = $8,500

Fournette is the one clear workhorse left at running back in the playoffs. He rushed 25 times for 109 yards and three touchdowns in the Divisional Round, marking his ninth game with at least 20 carries this season. He’s been fairly involved in the passing game as well, receiving at least four targets in five of his last six games. Although the Patriots allowed only six rushing touchdowns all season, they did allow an average of 114.8 rushing yards per game, placing them in the bottom half of the league.  With plenty of carries likely on tap this week, Fournette is an excellent option for your entry.

Dion Lewis vs. Jacksonville Jaguars
Stadium – Gillette Stadium
DraftKings = $8,100
FanDuel = $7,700

Lewis racked up yardage against the Titans last week, rushing 15 times for 62 yards and hauling in nine of ten targets for 79 yards. It marked his third-straight game with at least 100 total yards, all of which came with Rex Burkhead (knee) injured. Burkhead is expected to be available to return this week, but he might not be able to resume his normal workload right away. Lewis has done nothing to lose any touches either. The Jaguars allowed 116.3 rushing yards per game during the regular season, the most of any of the four remaining teams. Look for Lewis to provide enough value again in this game.

Latavius Murray vs. Philadelphia Eagles
Stadium – Lincoln Financial Field
DraftKings = $5,700
FanDuel = $6,900

Murray has been splitting time with Jerick McKinnon in the Vikings backfield but had 20 rushing attempts last week compared to only eight for McKinnon. He rushed for just 50 yards, but he did manage to score a touchdown. He’s had a knack for reaching the end zone lately, scoring at least one touchdown in three of his last four games. The Eagles are tough against the run, but Murray can still provide value at this price based on his touchdown potential.

**WIDE RECEIVERS**

Daily Fantasy Football Lineup Recommendations - Conference Championships

Adam Thielen vs. Philadelphia Eagles
Stadium – Lincoln Financial Field
DraftKings = $7,400
FanDuel = $7,400

Thielen set career-highs across the board this season, finishing in the top-10 in the league in targets (142), receptions (91) and receiving yards (1,276). He only had four touchdowns, but still provided tremendous value in DFS most weeks. He showed no signs of slowing down last week against the Saints, hauling in six of nine targets for 74 yards. The Eagles allowed Julio Jones to record nine catches and 101 receiving yards for the Falcons in the Divisional Round, so they can give up some big performances. Volume alone makes Thielen worth consideration.

Stefon Diggs vs. Philadelphia Eagles
Stadium – Lincoln Financial Field
DraftKings = $6,900
FanDuel = $6,700

Diggs had 20 fewer receptions this regular season than he did in the previous year, but a lot of that was because his catch percentage dropped by almost nine percent. He still received 95 targets and finished with a career-high eight touchdowns. He made the most of his catches as well, averaging 13.3 yards per reception this season compared to only 10.8 yards per reception last year. Last week against the Saints, he caught six of 10 targets, finishing with 136 yards and, of course, the game-winning touchdown. Playing both he and Thielen in your lineup is not a bad idea when you consider the other options available during a limited week.

Marqise Lee vs. New England Patriots
Stadium – Gillette Stadium
DraftKings = $4,400
FanDuel = $6,100

Simply put, Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles has struggled to throw the ball in two games during the playoffs, combining to complete 26-of-49 passes for 301 yards and two touchdowns. He’s provided value with rushing yards, but that doesn’t help his receivers. The Jaguars might need to throw the ball more Sunday to keep up with the Patriots offense, which could mean added production for Lee. Lee received six targets last week against the Steelers and had 95 targets during the regular season as one of Bortles’ go-to options. Of all the receivers on the Jaguars, Lee might have the highest ceiling.

Chris Hogan vs. Jacksonville Jaguars
Stadium – Gillette Stadium
DraftKings = $5,000
FanDuel = $6,100

Hogan only caught one of his four targets last week but salvaged the day by cashing in that one catch for a touchdown. Although he only played nine games during the regular season, he finished with a career-high five touchdown receptions. He averaged 6.6 targets per game, so he’s played a significant role in the Patriots offense when healthy. There aren’t a lot of great cheap options with so many excellent defenses taking the field Sunday, but Hogan’s touchdown potential gives him upside.

**TIGHT ENDS**

Daily Fantasy Football Lineup Recommendations - Conference Championships

Rob Gronkowski vs. Jacksonville Jaguars
Stadium – Gillette Stadium
DraftKings = $7,900
FanDuel = $8,400

Gronkowski had another dominant playoff performance against the Titans last week, catching six passes for 81 yards and one touchdown. In 11 career playoff games, Gronkowski has 835 receiving yards and 10 touchdowns. The Jaguars limited opposing tight ends to just five touchdowns during the regular season, but facing Gronkowski is an entirely different animal. He’s clearly the tight end with the highest ceiling in the Conference Championships.

Kyle Rudolph vs. Philadelphia Eagles
Stadium – Lincoln Financial Field
DraftKings = $4,500
FanDuel = $6,100

Rudolph finished with 83 receptions and 840 yards in 2016 but had only 57 receptions for 532 yards this year. He saw a drastic decrease in targets, but still managed to score eight touchdowns, which was actually one more than last year. The Vikings look for him when they get in close as he received 18 targets inside the red zone this season. If you don’t want to pay up for Gronkowski, take a chance on Rudolph possibly scoring a touchdown in this game.

**DEFENSES/SPECIAL TEAMS**

Daily Fantasy Football Lineup Recommendations - Conference Championships

Minnesota Vikings vs. Philadelphia Eagles
Stadium – Lincoln Financial Field
DraftKings = $3,800
FanDuel = $4,900

Eagles quarterback Nick Foles wasn’t overly impressive against the Falcons last week, throwing for 246 yards and no touchdowns. He gets a tough matchup Sunday against a Vikings defense that allowed the second-fewest net passing yards per game (192) and the fewest touchdown passes (13) in the league during the regular season. With six interceptions in their last four games, the Vikings defense has excellent value Sunday.

New England Patriots vs. Jacksonville Jaguars
Stadium – Gillette Stadium
DraftKings = $3,500
FanDuel = $5,200

With Bortles struggling, the Patriots defense could be in line for a big performance. They don’t create a ton of turnovers, but they do have 18 sacks in their last three games. Bortles really struggled on the road during the regular season, throwing only six touchdown passes to go along with eight interceptions away from EverBank Field. That’s not a recipe for success against the Patriots, who are dominant at home.

NBA Daily Fantasy Basketball Lineup Picks for 1/18/18

*Mike Barner*

NBA Daily Fantasy Basketball Lineup Picks for 1/18/18

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Use Code “NEWYEAR40” at checkout for 40% off Seasonal Package

POINT GUARDS

NBA Daily Fantasy Basketball Lineup Picks

Damian Lillard, POR vs. IND
FanDuel = $9,400
DraftKings = $8,700

Lillard has played well since returning from a calf injury, averaging 26.0 points, 4.5 rebounds, 7.8 assists, 1.8 steals and 2.3 three-pointers in four games. He continues to be the main offensive weapon for the Trail Blazers, posting a 30% usage rate that ranks 15th-highest in the league. He has a usage rate of at least 30% in each of the last three seasons, so don’t expect him to slow down anytime soon. With 18 points to go along with seven rebounds, seven assists, one steal and one block in his first meeting with the Pacers this year, Lillard is shaping up to provide big numbers again Thursday.

T.J. McConnell, PHI at BOS
FanDuel = $5,100
DraftKings = $4,400

Sixers guard J.J. Redick (leg) will not play Thursday, which is a significant loss for their backcourt. Jerryd Bayless is expected to replace him in the starting lineup, but McConnell should see added playing time as well. McConnell has played at least 30 minutes in a game six times this season, averaging 12.8 points, 4.8 rebounds, 7.5 assists and 2.0 steals in those contests. Even though Bayless may be listed as the starter, McConnell could very well outproduce him in this game.

SHOOTING GUARDS

NBA Daily Fantasy Basketball Lineup Picks

Victor Oladipo, IND at POR
FanDuel = $9,300
DraftKings = $8,500

This should be a fun matchup between Oladipo and C.J. McCollum on Thursday. Oladipo has had the season of his career, posting a 30.2% usage rate that ranks inside the top-15 in the league. He’s not just a scorer though, also averaging 5.2 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 2.0 steals per game He’s had a few subpar stat lines lately,  but that was mostly due to lopsided scores limiting his playing time. Expect him to see plenty of minutes and provide excellent value at this price Thursday.

Dwyane Wade, CLE vs. ORL
FanDuel = $5,200
DraftKings = $4,800

Wade has transitioned to a bench role for the Cavaliers and is averaging a career-low 24 minutes per game as a result. While his scoring is down significantly, he’s still provided value by averaging 3.9 rebounds, 3.8 assists and 1.0 steal per game. He’s already played the Magic twice this season, averaging 10.5 points, 5.5 rebounds and 3.5 assists per contest. His limited playing time doesn’t give him a high ceiling, but he can still provide enough production across the board to warrant consideration at this price.

SMALL FORWARDS

NBA Daily Fantasy Basketball Lineup Picks

Jimmy Butler, MIN at HOU
FanDuel = $10,000
DraftKings = $8,800

Butler got off to a slow start with his new team but looks like the player we saw on the Bulls last season now. His usage rate is creeping up and he’s averaging 24.6 points over his last 14 games. He’s been the perfect fit for a young Timberwolves team that needed veteran leadership and someone who can make the big shots when it matters the most. Don’t forget that he’s an excellent defender as well, averaging 2.9 steals in his last 10 games. This should be a high scoring game Thursday, leaving Butler with significant upside. Of note, Butler is only small forward eligible on FanDuel as he is listed as a shooting guard on DraftKings.

P.J. Tucker, HOU vs. MIN
FanDuel = $3,700
DraftKings = $3,500

The fallout from some of the Rockets players making their way into the Clippers locker room after Monday’s game is that both Trevor Ariza and Gerald Green have been suspended for the next two games. While Green is the more flashy offensive player, the loss of Ariza is significant because he is averaging 36 minutes per game. His absence should open up some extra minutes for Tucker, who averaged 6.6 points, 8.5 rebounds, 1.3 steals and 1.5 three-pointers in the 11 games that he played at least 30 minutes in this season. Factoring in his dirt cheap price, he warrants consideration in tournament play.

POWER FORWARDS

NBA Daily Fantasy Basketball Lineup Picks

Domantas Sabonis, IND at POR
FanDuel = $6,000
DraftKings = $6,000

Sabonis continues to fill in for Myles Turner (elbow), who will miss at least the next three games. The Pacers have to be thrilled with the progress Sabonis has made during his second season in the league, especially when given added playing time. He’s started 12 games this season, averaging 12.7 points, 11.1 rebounds, and 2.8 assists per contest.  He won’t provide many defensive stats or three-pointers, but he doesn’t need to in order to be valuable at this price.

Taj Gibson, MIN at HOU
FanDuel = $5,600
DraftKings – $5,400

On the surface, this might not look like an ideal matchup for Gibson against a Rockets team that likes to deploy a lot of small lineups. However, Gibson is a versatile defender who is not out of his element on the perimeter. Timberwolves coach Tom Thibodeau is also known for riding his starters heavy minutes, so don’t expect Gibson to see a decline in playing time Thursday. The Rockets play at the eighth-fastest pace (101.5 possessions per game) in the league, so Gibson should be able to compile enough stats to warrant consideration for your entry on a night with only four games.

CENTERS

NBA Daily Fantasy Basketball Lineup Picks

Kevin Love, CLE vs. ORL
FanDuel = $7,500
DraftKings = $7,400

The Cavaliers are really struggling right now, losing five of their last six games. They’ve been blown out a couple of times, resulting in some ugly performances by Love. They were able to keep their last two games close, resulting in Love averaging 19.0 points, 8.5 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 2.0 three-pointers per contest. In his first meeting with the Magic earlier this month, Love finished with 27 points, five rebounds, and six three-pointers. The Magic allow the fifth-most points per game on FanDuel and the sixth-most points per game on DraftKings to opposing centers, making Love an excellent option Thursday.

Jusuf Nurkic, POR vs. IND
FanDuel = $6,500
DraftKings = $6,400

Nurkic has struggled in his last four games, averaging just 11.0 points and 6.3 rebounds. The good news is, he was able to salvage some of his value by averaging 2.0 blocks over that same stretch. His inconsistent performances on the season overall have been frustrating, making him a difficult player to count on in DFS. However, he has a favorable matchup Thursday as the Pacers allow the most points per game on both FanDuel and DraftKings to opposing centers. There aren’t a lot of great cheap center options due to the limited slate of games, but Nurkic is someone to consider in tournament play if you need to save some money at the position.

NBA Daily Fantasy Basketball Sleepers for 1/17/18

*Mike Barner*

NBA Daily Fantasy Basketball Sleepers for 1/17/18

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There are 10 games in the NBA on Wednesday, so there are a lot of options to wade through for your DFS entry. We took a look at some excellent options across the price scale in today’s article on Sports Illustrated. Now let’s dive even deeper into the schedule and see which cheap value plays can hopefully help you bring home some money.

POINT GUARDS

NBA Daily Fantasy Basketball Sleepers

Ish Smith, DET at TOR
FanDuel = $6,100
DraftKings = $5,800

Smith continues to do an excellent job filling in for Reggie Jackson (ankle), averaging 13.9 points, 3.7 rebounds, 4.9 assists and 1.1 steals in nine starts. He’s not a good three-point shooter, but he does only have six turnovers in his last seven games combined. With Jackson likely sidelined through the All-Star break, Smith’s playing time should be secure for the immediate future. At this reasonable price, he should be able to provide valuable production Wednesday.

Milos Teodosic, LAC vs. DEN
FanDuel = $5,100
DraftKings = $5,200

The Clippers continues to deal with injuries to their backcourt, leaving added minutes on the table for Teodosic. His numbers might not jump off the page, but he’s averaged a respectable 11.0 points, 2.7 rebounds, 6.7 assists and 3.0 three-pointers in his last three games. Wednesday brings a favorable matchup against the Nuggets, who allow the third-most points per game to opposing point guards on both FanDuel and DraftKings. There is plenty of potential here to consider Teodosic for your entry.

SHOOTING GUARDS

NBA Daily Fantasy Basketball Sleepers

Bogdan Bogdanovic, SAC vs. UTA
FanDuel = $5,100
DraftKings = $5,200

The Kings have changed up their starting lineup and deployed inconsistent rotations throughout the season, making many of their players a risky play in DFS. Bogdanovic has seen increased playing time lately, logging at least 30 minutes in five of his last six games. The good news is, the Kings recently announced they are going to start resting their veterans to open up minutes for their young players. That’s encouraging for Bogdanovic, who is averaging 14.7 points, 3.6 rebounds, 3.8 assists and 1.9 three-pointers in the 11 games that he has played at least 30 minutes this season. With secure minutes likely on top again Wednesday, Bogdanovic could provide significant value.

Zach LaVine, CHI vs. GS
FanDuel = $4,100
DraftKings = $5,100

If you’ve watched LaVine play in the last two games, it’s hard to believe he missed almost a year with a knee injury. He shot a combined 12-for-21 from the field and 5-for-8 from behind the arc in those two contests. He’s still on a minutes restriction and is not expected to play more than 20 minutes again in this game. However, he has shown he can score even in limited minutes and the Bulls are going to need plenty of offense to keep up with the Warriors. His price is especially cheap on FanDuel, but he is priced low enough of both sites Wednesday to warrant consideration.

SMALL FORWARDS

NBA Daily Fantasy Basketball Sleepers

Josh Richardson, MIA at MIL
FanDuel = $5,800
DraftKings = $6,200

The Heat have been decimated by injuries this season, the latest of which is Tyler Johnson (ankle) being listed as doubtful for Wednesday. Richardson has seen his playing time increase as a result, averaging 37 minutes in his last eight games. He’s made the most of the opportunity, averaging 14.0 points, 3.5 rebounds, 4.1 assists, 1.5 steals, 1.4 blocks and 1.9 three-pointers over that same stretch. He could be one of the safest cheap options at small forward to provide value in this game.

Denzel Valentine, CHI vs. GS
FanDuel = $4,400
DraftKings = $4,600

The return of LaVine has moved Valentine to the bench, but he still managed to score 12 points to go along with seven rebounds and two assists in 28 minutes Monday against the Heat. His value will likely take a significant hit once LaVine’s minutes restriction is lifted, but you don’t have to worry about that Wednesday. This should be a high scoring game considering the Warriors play at the fourth-fastest pace (102.4 possessions per game) in the league, making Valentine someone to consider at this cheap price.

POWER FORWARDS

NBA Daily Fantasy Basketball Sleepers

Montrezl Harrell, LAC vs. DEN
FanDuel = $6,000
DraftKings = $4,500

DeAndre Jordan (ankle) will be out again Wednesday, opening up added minutes for Harrell. Harrell has played at least 21 minutes in both of the last two games with Jordan out, averaging 13.5 points, 6.0 rebounds and 1.5 blocks per game. In the last six games that Harrell has played at least 20 minutes, he is averaging 16.2 points, 7.2 rebounds, and 1.0 block. His price is especially appealing on DraftKings with increased playing time likely coming again Wednesday.

Nikola Mirotic, CHI vs. GS
FanDuel = $5,900
DraftKings = $5,600

Mirotic’s name has been mentioned heavily in trade rumors coming out of Chicago, which is no surprise considering how well he has played this season. Not only has he provided a spark off the bench for the Bulls, but he showed his ability to perform when it matters the most by scoring 18 points in the fourth quarter Monday against the Heat. The Warriors play at a fast pace and use a lot of small lineups, which is perfect for Mirotic’s style of play. He already mentioned how excited he is to face them, so look for Mirotic come up big in this game.

CENTERS

NBA Daily Fantasy Basketball Sleepers

Jonas Valanciunas, TOR vs. DET
FanDuel = $5,500
DraftKings = $5,200

Valanciunas has excellent upside, which he has shown by scoring at least 15 points and grabbing at least 13 rebounds in three of his last six games. The problem is, he’s very inconsistent, scoring no more than eight points and grabbing five rebounds or fewer in two of the other three games. He just doesn’t get enough minutes many nights, but the good news is the Raptors may be forced to play him more than normal Wednesday against Andre Drummond. At this price, he might be worth the risk in tournament play.

Marcin Gortat, WAS at CHA
FanDuel = $5,400
DraftKings = $5,200

Gortat is similar to Valanciunas in that his inconsistent playing time makes him a risky play in DFS. He’s shown he can be productive when given the opportunity, averaging 12.9 points, 11.2 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 1.2 blocks in 13 games where he has played at least 30 minutes this season. He played 37 minutes in his first meeting with the Hornets this year, finishing with eight points, 11 rebounds, and two blocks. He should see added playing time again Wednesday while battling Dwight Howard, making him someone to consider for your entry.

NBA Fantasy Basketball Schedule Analysis for Week 14

*Mike Barner*


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NBA Fantasy Basketball Schedule Analysis for Week 14

It’s important to know the intricacies of the NBA schedule to gain an advantage over your opponent in a head-to-head fantasy league as starting your best players might not always give you the best chance to win. Here are some moves you might want to consider for your team based on the week ahead.

Teams With The Most Games – 4 Games Each
Brooklyn Nets, Detroit Pistons, Indiana Pacers, Los Angeles Lakers, Memphis Grizzlies, Miami Heat, New York Knicks, San Antonio Spurs, Toronto Raptors, Utah Jazz

There are only ten teams playing four games each this week, which means you might be left with less of a base to build off of on your current squad than normal. If you need help filling out your starting lineup, consider adding the below players who are still available in most leagues.

NBA Fantasy Basketball Schedule Analysis for Week 14

Jarrett Jack, New York Knicks

The Knicks brought in Jack on a non-guaranteed contract and not only has he played well, but he has started 40 games this season. He was expected to split time with rookie point guard Frank Ntilikina but has firmly grabbed a hold of the starting job. Jack is averaging 27 minutes per game this season but has played at least 32 minutes in five of the last seven games. Jack has taken full advantage of the opportunity, averaging 14.8 points, 7.2 assists and 1.8 steals in those five games. Two of his four games this week come against the Nets and Lakers, both of which are in the top-five in the league in pace of play. Jack is still available in 65% of Yahoo! leagues and should be on your radar if you need a point guard.

Wayne Ellington, Miami Heat

The Heat have been one of the teams impacted the most by injuries this season, most recently losing Dion Waiters (ankle) for the season. Ellington has been a crucial part of their rotation as a result, averaging 25 minutes per game overall. He’s played much more than that lately though, logging at least 30 minutes in 12 of his last 13 games. He won’t provide much in the way of rebounds or assists, but he has made the sixth-most three-pointers (121) in the league. If you need a boost from behind the arc, he could be a difference maker with four games on tap for this week. He is still available in 66% of Yahoo! leagues.

JaMychal Green, Memphis Grizzlies

Green has been limited to just 26 games this season, but he is averaging a career-high 10.0 points to go along with 6.7 rebounds and 0.8 three-pointers per game. He’s off to a hot start in January, averaging 12.0 points, 8.0 rebounds, 1.3 steals and 1.0 block through four games. He could be in line for added minutes this week as the Grizzlies will need his size battling four big frontcourts in the Lakers, Knicks, Kings, and Pelicans. None of the four are particularly strong teams defensively either. Still available in 85% of Yahoo! leagues, Green has upside this week.

Teams With The Fewest Games – 2 Games Each
Dallas Mavericks, Phoenix Suns

With only two teams playing two games each this week, rolling with players on the Mavericks or Suns will put you at a disadvantage. As a result, consider benching the players below who you may normally start most weeks.

NBA Fantasy Basketball Schedule Analysis for Week 14

T.J. Warren, Phoenix Suns

Warren has stepped up to be the Suns’ second-best player this year, averaging career-highs in points (19.7), rebounds (5.5) and assists (1.4) per game. The problem is, he doesn’t provide great defensive stats and is only averaging 0.3 three-pointers per game. His two opponents this week are the Nuggets and the Trail Blazers, two teams in the bottom half of the league in terms of pace of play. With scoring being his main source of value, he just won’t have the volume this week to warrant starting.

Dennis Smith Jr., Dallas Mavericks

The Mavericks are lacking depth and young talent, so Smith has been a welcomed addition to their roster. Although he’s only averaging 28 minutes per game, he’s still provided value because of his 28.3% usage rate that ranks inside the top-25 in the league. His percentages have hurt his value though as he’s shooting just 39.4% from the field and 69.3% from the charity stripe. Ironically, the Mavericks also play the Nuggets and Trail Blazers this week, so it might be best to keep Smith on your bench.

Harrison Barnes, Dallas Mavericks

Barnes has been the most productive player on the Mavericks, averaging 18.7 points, 6.7 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 1.4 three-pointers per game. His field goal percentage is down this season at only 45.5%, but he’s been excellent from the charity stripe, shooting 82.8%. He doesn’t provide many steals or blocks, so it’s going to be tough to get enough value from him with such a limited schedule this week. It might be wise to look elsewhere ar forward this week.

NBA Daily Fantasy Basketball Sleepers for 1/12/18

*Mike Barner*

NBA Daily Fantasy Basketball Sleepers for 1/12/18

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There are nine games in the NBA on Friday, leaving plenty of elite options to choose from for your DFS entry. In order to fit them in though, you need to find those cheaper value plays, or “sleepers” if you will, to help you bring home some money. Consider using the players below to hopefully end your night a winner.

POINT GUARDS

NBA Daily Fantasy Basketball Sleepers

Ricky Rubio, UTA at CHA
FanDuel = $5,100
DraftKings = $5,600

Rubio has seen his assists drop off dramatically in his first season with the Jazz, averaging only 4.8 per game. His previous career low was 7.3 in the 2012-13 season and he had averaged a career-high 9.1 per game with the Timberwolves last year. However, he’s showing signs of his all-around game improving lately, averaging 13.4 points, 4.8 rebounds, 5.2 assists, 1.8 steals and 1.6 three-pointers in his last five games. He’s still averaging 29 minutes per game this season, so he’ll likely have the ball in his hands enough to provide value Friday.

Malcolm Delaney, ATL vs. BKN
FanDuel = $4,100
DraftKings = $3,700

The rebuilding Hawks don’t have much depth, which has led to Delaney averaging a career-high 19 minutes per game this season. He’s coming off back-to-back solid performances against the Clippers and Nuggets where he averaged 9.5 points, 5.0 rebounds, 6.0 assists and 1.0 steal per game. This has the makings of a promising matchup against a Nets team that deploys a lot of small lineups and plays at the fifth-fastest pace (102.4 possessions per game) in the league. His upside is limited at best, but he can provide value at this extremely cheap price.

SHOOTING GUARDS

NBA Daily Fantasy Basketball Sleepers

Malcolm Brogdon, MIL vs. GS
FanDuel = $5,600
DraftKings = $5,500

Brogdon has come off the bench for the majority of this season but has now started each of the last three games. He did start the first nine games he played this season but his numbers during that time period have to be taken into context because Eric Bledsoe had not yet joined the team. He has played well in the last three starts though, averaging 12.0 points, 7.7 rebounds and 3.7 assists per contest. The Warriors play at the fourth-fastest-pace (102.7) in the league and use a lot of small lineups, leaving Brogdon with an opportunity to shine in this game.

Caris LeVert, BKN at ATL
FanDuel = $5,600
DraftKings = $5,500

LeVert has done an excellent job helping run the offense with all of the Nets injuries this year, averaging 4.2 assists per game. Before missing two games with a groin injury, LeVert had at least 12 points, five rebounds, and seven assists in four straight games. He hasn’t played as well in two games since returning, but it shows what kind of upside he can provide. In his last game against the Hawks, LeVert scored 17 points to go along with two rebounds, six assists, and two steals. He is someone you should consider for your entry again Friday.

SMALL FORWARDS

NBA Daily Fantasy Basketball Sleepers

Gerald Green, HOU at PHO
FanDuel = $4,800
DraftKings = $5,500

Green has helped pick up the slack offensively with James Harden (hamstring) out, averaging 19.0 points and 4.6 three-pointers in his last seven games. His usage rate is 21.7%, which is fourth-highest on the team behind Harden, Chris Paul, and Eric Gordon. Friday brings an excellent matchup against the Suns who play at the third-fastest pace (102.8) and allow the most points per game (112.1) in the league. Look for Green to score plenty in this game.

Joe Ingles, UTA at CHA
FanDuel = $4,800
DraftKings = $4,800

While Green’s value comes from his ability to score, Ingles’ comes from his ability to contribute across the board. It’s not sexy, but his averages of 8.8 points, 4.8 rebounds, 5.2 assists, 1.2 steals and 1.6 three-pointers provide value at this price. He’s averaging 31 minutes per game this season, which has led to career-highs almost across the board. The Hornets allow the second-most DraftKings points per game and the third-most FanDuel points per game to opposing small forwards, making Ingles someone to consider for this game.

POWER FORWARDS

NBA Daily Fantasy Basketball Sleepers

JaMychal Green, MEM at DEN
FanDuel = $5,100
DraftKings = $4,700

Green is coming off his best performance on the season when he scored 20 points to go along with 14 rebounds, two steals, and one block Wednesday against the Pelicans. One of the keys to his performance was that he played 34 minutes. He has played at least 30 minutes in a game 10 times this season, averaging 12.7 points and 7.6 rebounds in those contests. He could be in store for added minutes again Friday with the Nuggets going big with both Nikola Jokic and Mason Plumlee in their starting five. The Nuggets allow the fifth-most DraftKings points per game and the sixth-most FanDuel points per game to opposing power forwards, leaving Green as a nice option.

Dragan Bender, PHO vs. HOU
FanDuel = $3,500
DraftKings = $4,300

Bender will move into the starting lineup Friday with Marquese Chriss (hip) already ruled out. Chriss also left early in the Suns last game Monday against the Thunder due to the same injury. As a result, Bender ended up playing 39 minutes. He did not let the added minutes go to waste, scoring 20 points to go along with six rebounds, four assists, one steal, three blocks and a staggering six three-pointers. This has the makings of a great matchup as both the Suns and the Rockets are in the top-eight in the league in terms of pace of play. At this price, Bender could be the best value play of the night.

CENTERS

NBA Daily Fantasy Basketball Sleepers

Mason Plumlee, DEN vs. MEM
FanDuel = $5,000
DraftKings = $4,500

Plumlee has now started 19 of the last 20 games for the Nuggets, averaging 8.4 points, 7.5 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 1.4 blocks in his new role. He only averaged 17 minutes per game coming off the bench this season but has averaged 24 minutes as a starter. Finding cheap center options can be difficult, especially on FanDuel where there is no position flexibility. That being said, Plumlee should be able to average enough across the board to present a viable option.

Marcin Gortat, WAS vs. ORL
FanDuel = $4,500
DraftKings = $4,900

Gortat had averaged at least 30 minutes per game in each of the last six seasons but has seen his role change this year. He enters Friday averaging just 27 minutes per game, playing at least 30 minutes in a game only three times in his last 20 contests. His numbers have declined as you would have expected, but he’s still averaged a respectable 9.1 points and 8.1 rebounds. Friday brings a favorable matchup against a Magic team that struggles to defend the center position, so Gortat could be productive even in limited minutes.

Daily Fantasy Football Lineup Recommendations – Divisional Round

*Mike Barner*

Daily Fantasy Football Lineup Recommendations – Divisional Round

 

 

The NFL season is nearing a close as this will be the last weekend with at least four games on the schedule. There aren’t a lot of options to choose from for DFS, but there are several elite players still available. Put your favorite recommendations from the article below in our lineup optimizer and hit calculate. You can let it fill in the rest of the spots for you or choose your personal favorites from the NFL Player Lab.

**QUARTERBACKS**

Daily Fantasy Football Lineup Recommendations - Divisional Round

Tom Brady vs. Tennessee Titans
Stadium – Gillette Stadium
DraftKings = $7,000
FanDuel = $8,800

Not only is Brady one of the best quarterbacks in the league, but he looks to have the best matchup at the position this week. The Titans managed to pull off the upset on Wild Card Weekend by beating the Chiefs, who lost yet another home playoff game. During the regular season, the Titans allowed the most passing touchdowns (27) of any team still alive this weekend. Brady has been excellent over 13 games in the Divisional Round in his career, throwing for 3,700 yards and 26 touchdowns. Look for him to have another big performance Saturday.

Matt Ryan vs. Philadelphia Eagles
Stadium – Lincoln Financial Field
DraftKings = $5,700
FanDuel = $7,700

Ryan threw 38 touchdowns and only seven interceptions in 2016, but took a step backward this year with only 20 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. He again put forth a lackluster performance Wild Card Weekend against the Rams, throwing for just 218 yards and one touchdown. He never threw more than two touchdown passes in a game this season and had 11 games with one or no touchdowns. The Eagles were in the middle-of-the-pack this season in terms of passing defense, allowing 24 passing touchdowns and an average of 227 net passing yards per game. Ryan doesn’t have a high ceiling, but with many of the quarterbacks facing tough defenses this week, he’s still someone to consider.

Marcus Mariota vs. New England Patriots
Stadium – Gillette Stadium
DraftKings = $5,900
FanDuel = $7,500

Mariota had an extremely disappointing regular season, throwing only 13 touchdown passes to along with a career-high 15 interceptions. He did have five rushing touchdowns, but that still wasn’t enough to make him a viable fantasy option. He benefited from a bizarre play against the Chiefs last week where he caught his own deflected pass for a touchdown, leaving him with two touchdown passes in the game. That marked only the fourth time this season he has thrown for more than one score in a game. The Patriots could get up big early in this game, which would likely lead to extra passing opportunities for Mariota. If you are looking for a cheap option at quarterback, that kind of volume puts Mariota into the discussion.

**RUNNING BACKS**

Daily Fantasy Football Lineup Recommendations - Divisional Round

Le’Veon Bell vs. Jacksonville Jaguars
Stadium – Heinz Field
DraftKings = $9,600
FanDuel = $9,400

Bell had another stellar regular season for the Steelers, surpassing 1,800 total yards for the third time in the last four seasons. He also set career-highs in rushing attempts (321), receptions (85) and rushing touchdowns (9). The Jaguars allowed an average of 116.3 rushing yards per game in the regular season, which is the most of any of the teams still in the playoffs. The Jaguars defense, in general, is no walk in the park, but Bell’s elite talent still makes him worth paying up for this week.

Dion Lewis vs. Tennessee Titans
Stadium- Gillette Stadium
DraftKings = $6,600
FanDuel = $7,600

Patriots running backs have been a source of frustration for fantasy owners in recent years, but Lewis stepped up to be a valuable option over the second half of this season. Over the last six games, he rushed for 510 yards and three touchdowns. He also received some work in the passing game, hauling in 18 receptions for 128 yards and two touchdowns over that same stretch. Rex Burkhead (knee) still doesn’t appear to be fully healthy, so he could be limited if he is able to suit up for Saturday. Even if he does play, Lewis can still provide value for your entry.

Derrick Henry vs. New England Patriots
Stadium – Gillette Stadium
DraftKings = $7,300
FanDuel = $6,700

Henry shined filling in for DeMarco Murray (knee) last weekend, rushing for 156 yards and one touchdown while also catching two passes for 35 yards. He carried the ball 23 times, marking only the second time he received at least 20 carries in a game this season. Murray has already been ruled out for the Divisional Round, leaving Henry as the main back for another week. There is the risk that this could turn into a game of catchup for the Titans offense, which would force them to pass more than normal in the second half. However, they will likely run a lot early to try and keep the ball out of Brady’s hands. Henry might not be able to duplicate his excellent performance from last week, but volume alone makes him someone to target at this price.

**WIDE RECEIVERS**

Daily Fantasy Football Lineup Recommendations - Divisional Round

Julio Jones vs. Philadelphia Eagles
Stadium – Lincoln Financial Field
DraftKings = $7,900
FanDuel = $8,800

Jones had a great season in terms of receiving yards but again struggled to reach the end zone, scoring only three touchdowns this season. Two of the three came in one game against the Buccaneers, making his total look even worse. He wasted no time in the playoffs though, hauling in nine catches for 94 yards and one touchdown last week against a tough Rams defense. Jones has stepped up his game when it matters the most, scoring six touchdowns in seven playoff games for his career. With Antonio Brown forced to play against cornerback Jalen Ramsey of the Jaguars, Jones might be the better option to pay up for this week.

JuJu Smith-Schuster vs. Jacksonville Jaguars
Stadium – Heinz Field
DraftKings = $6,000
FanDuel = $7,000

Smith-Schuster finished the season strong, recording 21 catches for 332 yards and two touchdowns in the last three games. Two of those came with Brown injured, so Smith-Schuster may receive fewer targets with him expected to return this week. Even so, Brown has a tough matchup against Ramsey, so Smith-Schuster could still play a very big role in this game. The Steelers offense is much better at home as well, making Smith-Schuster someone to consider at this reasonable price.

Nelson Agholor vs. Atlanta Falcons
Stadium – Lincoln Financial Field
DraftKings = $4,800
FanDuel = $6,400

Agholor had a breakout campaign this year, setting career-highs across the board. Much of that can be attributed to the stellar play of quarterback Carson Wentz (knee), who unfortunately is out for the rest of the season. Nick Foles is a competent backup, but his upside is limited at best. The good news is Agholor may have a favorable matchup as most of his receptions come in the middle of the field. Last week, the Falcons allowed Cooper Kupp, who also works over the middle of the field, to record eight receptions for 69 yards and one touchdown. If you want to take a chance on any of the Eagles wide receivers, Agholor might be the one to consider.

Eric Decker vs. New England Patriots
Stadium – Gillette Stadium
DraftKings = $3,800
FanDuel = $4,800

Decker only caught two of his five targets last week for 21 yards but salvaged his performance with a touchdown. The good news is that he received at least five targets for the sixth straight game. The Patriots did allow the third-most net passing yards per game (251) during the regular season, but a lot of that was due to teams trying to play catchup with the Patriots offense. It still counts the same for fantasy purposes, making Decker worth taking a chance on in tournament play considering how little he will cost you.

**TIGHT ENDS**

Daily Fantasy Football Lineup Recommendations - Divisional Round

Rob Gronkowski vs. Tennessee Titans
Stadium – Gillette Stadium
DraftKings = $7,100
FanDuel = $8,500

The Titans struggled to defend tight ends during the regular season, allowing 853 receiving yards and five touchdowns to the position. They looked to be well on their way to getting lit up by Travis Kelce last week, who had 66 yards and one touchdown before leaving in the second quarter with a concussion. Gronkowski is the most expensive tight end by far this week, but he could feast in this game.

Delanie Walker vs. New England Patriots
Stadium – Gillette Stadium
DraftKings = $5,000
FanDuel = $6,200

Walker played well against the Chiefs in the first round, catching six of eight targets for 74 yards. He had another excellent season for the Titans as one of Mariota’s favorite targets, totaling at least 800 receiving yards for the fourth straight year. Like Decker, he could benefit from extra volume if the Titans get down big early and have to turn things over to their passing attack. If you don’t want to pay up for Gronkowski, Walker also has upside.

**DEFENSES/SPECIAL TEAMS**

Daily Fantasy Football Lineup Recommendations - Divisional Round

Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Jacksonville Jaguars
Stadium – Heinz Field
DraftKings = $3,800
FanDuel = $5,300

Blake Bortles did not play well against the Bills last week and actually had more rushing yards (88) than passing yards (87) in the game. He completed only 52.2% of his passes in the first playoff game of his career. He gets a much tougher opponent in the Steelers this week, who tied for the fourth-fewest net passing yards allowed per game (201) during the regular season. They not only held teams to 20 passing touchdowns but were also able to generate 16 interceptions. This could be an ugly performance from Bortles, making the Steelers defense an excellent option for your entry.

Minnesota Vikings vs. New Orleans Saints
Stadium – U.S. Bank Stadium
DraftKings = $2,900
FanDuel = $4,600

The Vikings defense was excellent this season, allowing the second-fewest net passing yards per game (192) and the second-fewest rushing yards per game (83.6) in the league. It’s not easy picking against quarterback Drew Brees in the playoffs, but the Vikings limited him and the Saints offense to 19 points in Week 1 this season. The Steelers defense is certainly the safer bet this week, but the Vikings are also worth considering if you need to save a little money at defense.

NBA Daily Fantasy Basketball Lineup Picks for 1/11/18

*Mike Barner*

NBA Daily Fantasy Basketball Lineup Picks for 1/11/18

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POINT GUARDS

NBA Daily Fantasy Basketball Lineup Picks

Delon Wright, TOR vs. CLE
FanDuel = $5,700
DraftKings = $5,100

Kyle Lowry (back) is considered unlikely to play Thursday, leaving Wright with another opportunity to start. He started for Lowry on Tuesday against the Heat, scoring 13 points to go along with seven rebounds, four assists, one steal, one block and one three-pointer in 29 minutes. Wright has played at least 29 minutes in four of his last six games, averaging 14.5 points, 8.0 rebounds and 2.8 assists in those four contests. With an expanded role in the cards again Thursday, Wright could provide excellent value.

Patty Mills, SA at LAL
FanDuel = $4,000
DraftKings = $4,500

The Spurs are going to be short-handed Thursday with Kawhi Leonard (shoulder) and Rudy Gay (heel) out, Tony Parker (ankle) doubtful and Danny Green (groin) questionable. If all four players are indeed out, that’s a lot of minutes left on the table. Mills has played at least 30 minutes in a game three times this season, averaging 10.0 points, 4.0 rebounds, 4.3 assists and 2.7 three-pointers in those contests. The Lakers play at the fastest pace (103.9 possessions per game) and allow the second-most points per game (111.1) in the league, leaving Mills as a viable option for your entry.

SHOOTING GUARDS

NBA Daily Fantasy Basketball Lineup Picks

Lou Williams, LAC at SAC
FanDuel = $8,900
DraftKings = $8,300

Williams is putting the Clippers on his back right now, averaging 31.8 points over his last 10 games. He scored a whopping 50 points Wednesday against the Warriors, but still managed to chip in seven assists in the game. The Clippers continue to be hit hard by injuries, which has led Williams to post a career-high 30% usage rate. The Clippers backcourt will be thin again Thursday, so look for more elite production from Williams against the Kings.

Bogdan Bogdanovic, SAC vs. LAC
FanDuel = $5,500
DraftKings = $5,000

The Kings inconsistent rotations make it hard to rely on their players in DFS but Bogdanovic has been one of the few you can count on lately. He’s played at least 30 minutes in five of his last seven games, which is a significant threshold for his value. He’s played at least 30 minutes in a game nine times this season, averaging 14.1 points, 3.4 rebounds, 4.2 assists and 1.6 steals. At this reasonable price, he might be one of the more safer cheaper guard options Thursday.

SMALL FORWARDS

NBA Daily Fantasy Basketball Lineup Picks

LeBron James, CLE at TOR
FanDuel = $11,500
DraftKings = $11,300

James is coming off one of his worst games of the season on Monday, but he only played 27 minutes in a blowout loss to the Timberwolves. Games like that are few and far between based on his 30.8% usage rate, which is ninth-highest in the league. He is the only player priced over $10,000 on both FanDuel and DraftKings on Thursday, but his upside is so high, it’s going to be hard to keep him out of your lineup.

Kyle Anderson, SA at LAL
FanDuel = $5,600
DraftKings = $5,400

With the Spurs dealing with injuries to several key players, look for Anderson to make another start Thursday. He’s started each of the last four games, averaging 7.3 points, 6.3 rebounds, 2.8 assists, 2.5 steals and 0.8 blocks per game. While the offensive numbers aren’t anything to write home about, his defensive contributions help him to provide value. Considering how fast the Lakers play and how poorly they are on the defensive end, Anderson could have one of his better offensive games of the season. On a night with limited options, he is definitely someone to consider.

POWER FORWARDS

NBA Daily Fantasy Basketball Lineup Picks

LaMarcus Aldridge, SA at LAL
FanDuel = $9,900
DraftKings = $8,500

Aldridge is off to a great start in January, averaging 28.5 points and 11.5 rebounds through four games. With Leonard back on the shelf, he should continue to be the main contributor on offense for the Spurs. The Lakers struggle to defend opposing power forwards, allowing the fifth-most FanDuel points per game and third-most DraftKings points per game to the position. Aldridge is one of the best options available at any position Thursday, so don’t hesitate to add him to your lineup.

Davis Bertans, SA at LAL
FanDuel = $4,500
DraftKings =4,500

Bertans is another player that has seen increased action due to all of the Spurs injuries, logging at least 27 minutes in four straight games. He’s shown he can provide an offensive jolt, averaging 15.3 points and 3.3 three-pointers in those contests. He’s provided more than just scoring though, also averaging 4.0 rebounds and 1.0 block in those same games. With added playing time likely on tap again Thursday, he could be worth the risk in tournament play at this cheap price.

CENTERS

NBA Daily Fantasy Basketball Lineup Picks

DeAndre Jordan, LAC at SAC
FanDuel = $8,800
DraftKings = $8,400

The Clippers have dealt with a ton of injuries, but Jordan has been one of the mainstays on their roster. He’s always been a dominant rebounder, but he’s averaging a career-high 15.1 rebounds per game this season. He’s also been forced to take on a bigger role in the offense, averaging 17.6 points in his last five games. If Griffin can’t go again Thursday, it will leave Jordan to be a one-man gang on the glass against a deep Kings frontcourt. Even if Griffin does play, Jordan still has considerable value.

Julius Randle, LAL vs. SA
FanDuel = $6,700
DraftKings = $6,500

The Lakers have finally unleashed Randle. He’s started each of the last seven games, even with the return of Brook Lopez. He’s taken full advantage of the opportunity, averaging 17.6 points, 10.3 rebounds and 3.1 assists in those starts. While the Spurs are dealing with a lot of injuries, they still have Aldridge and Pau Gasol up front, which should lead to a big role for Randle again in this game. If you can’t afford to squeeze Jordan into your lineup, Randle is someone to strongly consider.