It’s been a fairly quiet start to the week for the NBA and things don’t really pick up Wednesday with just six games on the schedule. We still have another opportunity to win some cash in DFS, though, so let’s highlight a couple of cheaper value plays at each position that could provide value.Read More
*Mike Barner — @rotomikebarner*
After an eventful summer that saw stars like LeBron James and Kawhi Leonard change teams, the NBA season tips off with a two-game slate Tuesday. Normally we highlight cheaper sleeper plays that could help you cash in DFS. However, since there are only two games to select from, we’ll take a look at some of the better options available across the entire price scale. Don’t forget to sign up for our Newsletter and try our Playerlab tool, where you can filter the stats that matter the most and help build a winning entry on FanDuel and DraftKings.
Stephen Curry, GS vs. OKC
FanDuel = $9,600
DraftKings = $8,600
The Warriors made a big splash in free agency by signing DeMarcus Cousins. Cousins has traditionally been among the league leaders in usage rate, but he’s obviously never been surrounded by such elite scoring talent. It will be interesting to see how his addition impacts the rest of the All-Stars on the team, but that’s of no concern Tuesday as Cousins continues to work his way back from a torn Achilles. Curry’s 30.6% usage rate was 10th-highest in the league last season and the Warriors played a the fifth-fastest pace (100.4 possessions per game), so expect him to have plenty of opportunities to contribute in their opener.
Markelle Fultz, PHI at BOS
FanDuel = $5,700
DraftKings = $5,000
Fultz’s rookie campaign was nothing short of a disaster. The top pick in the draft played only 14 games due to injury and worked extensively to try and correct his shooting woes. In something you don’t really see in the NBA, the Sixers used Fultz in the starting lineup to begin games during the preseason but brought him off the bench in the second half. They have confirmed they will also deploy this strategy Tuesday, so expect Fultz to play somewhere around the 23 minutes per game that he averaged across the preseason. His upside isn’t very high, but if you want to go cheap at point guard, he’s at least someone to consider based on his new role.
Dennis Schroder, OKC at GS
FanDuel = $6,100
DraftKings = $6,300
The addition of Schroder could prove to be significant for the Thunder. He was stellar for the Hawks last year, averaging 19.4 points, 3.1 rebounds, 6.2 assists, 1.1 steals and 1.1 three-pointers per game. Expect those numbers to decline playing alongside Russell Westbrook and Paul George, but Westbrook might not play in this contest as he recovers from knee surgery. If he indeed sits, George is going to need all the help he can get to keep up with the Warriors high-scoring offense, so expect Schroder to be productive.
Andre Iguodala, GS vs. OKC
FanDuel = $4,300
DraftKings = $4,000
The Warriors could be forced to play a lot of small lineups Tuesday. Not only is Cousins out, but Draymond Green is likely going to be on a minutes limit as he battles a knee injury. The Warriors don’t have much size behind Green, so expect Iguodala to be heavily involved. Although Iguodala likely won’t be counted on to provide much scoring, that doesn’t mean he can’t provide value at this price in tournament play.
Paul George, OKC at GS
FanDuel = $9,000
DraftKings = $8,000
The star trio of George, Westbrook and Carmelo Anthony didn’t work for the Thunder last year. With Anthony now a member of the Rockets, George and Westbrook will have to shoulder even more of the scoring load. George was already extremely productive last year by averaging 21.9 points per game, but his 25.7% usage rate was his lowest mark since the 2012-13 season. He’s going to get all the shots he can handle if Westbrook is sidelined, but he’s a great option even if Westbrook manages to take the floor.
Robert Covington, PHI at BOS
FanDuel = $6,500
DraftKings = $4,700
Covington sometimes gets lost behind Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid, but his ability to shoot three’s and play defense are critical for the Sixers. His offensive ceiling is capped playing with those two stars, but he did average 12.6 points and 2.5 three-pointers per game last season. The Sixers are going to be somewhat thin at small forward with Wilson Chandler out due to a hamstring injury, which opens up the door for Covington to provide added value.
Dario Saric, PHI at BOS
FanDuel = $6,400
DraftKings = $5,500
Saric made significant improvements offensively last season. After shooting 41.1% from the field and 31.1% from behind the arc during his rookie season, he shot 45.3% from the field and 39.3% on three-pointers last year. His ability to create spacing is key, especially with Simmons’ limited range. He averaged 30 minutes a night and should have a similar role this season, leaving him one of the better options at possibly the thinnest position of the night.
Jerami Grant, OKC at GS
FanDuel = $4,700
DraftKings = $4,300
The loss of Anthony has created a hole at power forward for the Thunder that will be filled by the combination of Grant and Patrick Patterson. Neither played heavy minutes consistently last year, but Grant possessed the better per-36 minutes averages of 14.9 points, seven rebounds, and 1.7 blocks. He may be better suited in this game to play against the lengthy, athletic wings for the Warriors and won’t cost much more than the minimum on both sites, so he might be worth taking a flier on.
Joel Embiid, PHI at BOS
FanDuel = $10,400
DraftKings = $8,800
Embiid only played in 63 games during the regular season last year, but he was a monster when he was on the court. His 33.5% usage rate was not only the highest on the team, but it was the third-highest in the league behind only James Harden and Westbrook. He wasn’t just about scoring, though, averaging 11 rebounds, 3.2 assists and 1.8 blocks per contest. The Celtics are a tough defensive team, but Embiid averaged 23 points, 14 rebounds and 3.6 assists per game against them in the playoffs last year.
Steven Adams, OKC at GS
FanDuel = $6,900
DraftKings = $5,800
The Thunder had very little size outside of Adams last year, leading to him averaging a career-high 33 minutes per contest. He cashed in his opportunity, averaging 13.9 points, nine rebounds, 1.2 steals and one block. His 55.9% free-throw percentage left a lot to be desired if you played in a season-long league, but that’s of no concern in DFS. This could be a matchup to exploit against the Warriors with Green potentially limited and few quality options behind him at center, although you will need to monitor Adams’ status since he is listed as questionable with a stiff lower back. If he doesn’t play, pivot to Nerlens Noel.
NBA Daily Fantasy Basketball Sleepers Lineup Picks for 3/14/18
Wednesday is a quiet night in the NBA with only four games on the schedule. On a night with so few options, it’s key to find the right cheap daily fantasy basketball sleepers to hopefully help create a winning entry. Sign up for our Newsletter and try our Playerlab tool, where you can filter the stats that matter the most and find the value players that are low-owned on FanDuel and DraftKings like Kelly Olynyk and Andre Iguodala.
Tomas Satoransky, WAS at BOS
FanDuel = $5,700
DraftKings = $5,700
The Wizards couldn’t have asked for more from Satoransky since John Wall (knee) went down. In 20 starts this season. Satoransky is averaging 11.3 points, four rebounds, 5.8 assists, 1.2 steals and 1.2 three-pointers. He’ll get to face a depleted Celtics backcourt Wednesday that will be without Kyrie Irving (knee), Marcus Smart (thumb) and Jaylen Brown (concussion). Terry Rozier is a fine player and will have a big role with all of them out, but they don’t have many quality players behind him. Look for Satoransky to thrive in this matchup against the Celtics backups.
Brandon Jennings, MIL at ORL
FanDuel = Not Available
DraftKings = $4,400
Talk about a triumphant return. The Bucks signed Jennings to a 10-day contract and he made his season debut Monday, scoring 16 points to go along with eight rebounds, 12 assists, and three three-pointers. He played 24 minutes against a bad Grizzlies team, which has to be taken into consideration when you look at his numbers. Don’t expect him to be able to match that production again Wednesday, but he could approach 20 minutes again if the Bucks get up big against the lowly Magic. Of note, Jennings is not part of the player pool on FanDuel for some reason, so you’ll only have the opportunity to take advantage of his cheap price if you are playing on DraftKings.
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, LAL at GS
FanDuel = $6,300
DraftKings = $6,000
Although the Lakers added Isaiah Thomas and have Lonzo Ball back healthy, the injury to Josh Hart (hand) has still left plenty of minutes to go around for their backcourt. Caldwell-Pope is actually having his best month of the season so far in March, averaging 15.6 points, 7.3 rebounds. 2.1 assists, 1.4 steals, and 2.9 three-pointers in seven games. Both the Lakers and the Warriors are in the top four in the league in pace of play, so expect Caldwell-Pope to get plenty of opportunities to keep his hot streak alive Wednesday.
Wayne Ellington, MIA at SAC
FanDuel = $4,000
DraftKings = $3,900
Dwyane Wade (hamstring) will be out again Wednesday, which should free up some playing time for Ellington. With Wade sidelined Monday against the Portland Trail Blazers, Ellington logged 30 minutes. Although he only scored 11 points, he was just 4-for-12 from the field, including 3-for-10 on three-pointers. If his shot is falling Wednesday, he could provide significant upside at this cheap price.
Justise Winslow, MIA at SAC
FanDuel = $5,800
DraftKings = $5,900
Winslow is having his best prolonged stretch of the season, averaging 13 points, 7.7 rebounds, 2.6 assists, 1.4 steals and 1.6 three-pointers in seven games in March. The key is he is averaging 31 minutes per game this month after averaging no more than 25 minutes in any previous month this season. Expect that to be a trend that continues with Wade out Wednesday, making Winslow a viable option against the lowly Kings.
Andre Iguodala, GS vs. LAL
FanDuel = $4,500
DraftKings = $4,200
Iguodala (wrist) has missed the last three games for the Warriors but is listed as probable Wednesday against the Lakers. His return couldn’t come at a better time as the Warriors will be without both Stephen Curry (ankle) and Draymond Green (shoulder) in this contest. Iguodala could have a significant role helping to facilitate the Warriors offense, which is great news considering the Lakers allow the fourth-most points per game (110.1) in the league. As long as he plays, he should be able to outproduce his price point Wednesday.
Kelly Olynyk, MIA at SAC
FanDuel = $5,500
DraftKings = $5,800
Injuries continue to be the theme Wednesday as the Heat will also be without Hassan Whiteside (hip). The Heat won’t have much depth up front as a result, leaving Olynyk with an expanded role. In the last two games that Whiteside missed, Olynyk averaged 11 points, eight rebounds, 4.5 assists, one steal and one block. His offensive upside isn’t very high, but his ability to provide production in multiple categories makes him someone to consider for your entry.
Bam Adebayo, MIA at SAC
FanDuel = $4,300
DraftKings = $4,300
Olynyk has played well with Whiteside out, but Adebayo has actually started both of the last two games. While he didn’t fare as well, he did average five points, 8.5 rebounds, and two assists. He played 25 minutes Monday against the Trail Blazers, so he should see significant minutes against Wednesday. The Kings allow the second-most FanDuel points per game (55.5) and the third-most DraftKings points per game (54.2) to opposing centers, giving Adebayo upside in this game.
Greg Monroe, BOS vs. WAS
FanDuel = $5,000
DraftKings = $4,600
The Celtics don’t have a lot of great offensive players, to begin with, and will be without their best one in Irving on Wednesday. Monroe’s usage rate of 22.5% since joining the Celtics is actually the second highest on the team. Although he’s not a big name, the loss of Daniel Theis (knee) is also a big blow to the Celtics frontcourt. Monroe could be in for a monster role if Al Horford also doesn’t play Wednesday due to his illness, but he can still provide value even if Horford takes the floor.
Marcin Gortat, WAS at BOS
FanDuel = $4,000
DraftKings = $4,500
Gortat is slumping right now, averaging just 6.8 points and 5.7 rebounds in six games this month. However, he’s played well against the Celtics this season, averaging 10.5 points, 10 rebounds, three assists and 1.5 blocks in their previous two meetings. With the Celtics shorthanded up front Wednesday, Gortat could have his way on the boards once again. He won’t cost much, making him a viable option in tournament play.
NBA Daily Fantasy Basketball Lineup Picks 1/8/18
Chris Paul ($10,200 FD/$10,000 DK) –
Chris Paul remains an essential fantasy asset with James Harden sidelined. He’s a good play just about any night with the bearded dragon off the floor, however, Monday night he seems to be even more appealing. Paul will be opposing the worst point guard defending team in the Chicago Bulls and will have plenty of a workload to build himself a healthy score for DFS. The total is projected at 221.5 with a Houston -5 spread, indicating a high scoring game and that hopefully pans out to be a somewhat close game. He is now averaging 42.9 FanDuel PPG since Harden’s recent injury occurred.
Delon Wright ($4,800 FD/$4,500 DK) –
Delon Wright has been a pleasant surprise lately for the Raptor’s second unit. He is averaging 36.4 FanDuel PPG over his last three contests including a dominant 61.1 point performance against the Chicago Bulls. He will be playing the Nets on Monday, who along with the Raptors rank top 10 in pace of play, so this match-up is locked in for an above average tempo. He may be a little bit of a risk as he isn’t guaranteed to uphold his recent performance, but should definitely catch the eye of many in the DFS world at a great price. The Raptors are currently favored by 7.5 points and if the game leads towards a blowout victory, Wright will also pick up a few extra minutes.
Victor Oladipo ($9,400 FD/$8,600 DK) –
After a four game absence, Oladipo took no time getting back into rhythm in his first contest returning exploding for 57.7 FanDuel points in a blowout win against the Bulls which included a roughly 30 FPT first quarter. Due to the blowout victory, Oladipo was cut to 23 minutes and still exceeded value and projections by a landslide. He has a great match-up with the Milwaukee Bucks Monday night, who rank 22nd in defending the position. Oladipo is well rested and should easily exceed value in this bout as he’s still the primary source of offense for this Indian team.
Malcolm Brogdon ($5,200 FD/$4,800 DK) –
Malcom Brogdon has been fairly consistent for his price of late, scoring 20 or more FanDuel points in seven straight games. He’s been rewarded a starting role recently, and for good reason. He’s currently projected at 25 FanDuel points, giving him great value if that is the legitimate case. At an inexpensive cost, with a track record implying he will exceed value, Brogdon might be the plug-in play you need in this slate.
Jimmy Butler ($9,700 FD/$8,400 DK) –
Butler simply doesn’t get enough respect in the DFS world, making him a potential play on most nights. After a shaky start to the season he has found his usual form and has been more than the Timberwolves could have asked for when acquiring him. The Cavaliers defense is always a target this season in DFS, who he will be clashing with in this slate which is a major plus. He joins the company of LeBron and The Greek Freak as the only three small forwards on today’s slate projected for 40 or more FanDuel points and is also the cheapest. He may deserve to be paid up for in this one.
Andre Iguodala ($4,300 FD/ $4,200 DK) –
This play will only work out to it’s full potential if a couple things go right as Iggy as well as Kevin Durant are questionable for this contest. Durant has missed the past two games, opening a starting role for Iguodala to fill his void. He’s performed well for his salary, averaging 26.4 FanDuel PPG in those starts. One of them only nailed him for 22 minutes as the Warriors were up big against the Clippers, making that average a little more impressive. If Iggy was to be cleared for this contest and Durant was to be sidelined for a third straight game, expect Iguodala to keep up the recent play and exceed value for his practically dirt cheap price tag.
Tobias Harris ($6,800 FD/$6,500 DK) –
With Anthony Davis in an unfavorable match-up with the Pistons as well as Draymond Green & Blake Griffin listed as GTD’s Monday night, we are going to focus on two smaller plays at PF, starting with Tobias Harris. His match-up isn’t much better, but Harris has been providing effectively for the Detroit Pistons. He’s coming off a 41.1 FanDuel point bout and has tagged double digit scoring in nine straight games, giving him a little bit of safety in this play. At a mediocre price tag Harris could be a great fit to your lineup to save a little salary without taking too much of a gamble on a low salary play.
Serge Ibaka ($5,900 FD/$5,700 DK) –
That leaves the second smaller play: Serge Ibaka. Ibaka has been hot of late, averaging 33.8 FanDuel PPG over his last three games while remaining sub-$6,000 on both platforms. He has a decent match-up with the high paced Brooklyn Nets, who he scored nearly the same as that average against just a couple weeks ago. His is pinned to score 29.4 FanDuel points in this contest, giving him a projected value of nearly 5. (4.99 to be exact.) Plugging in Ibaka will not stop you from obtaining those high salary plays, and has the upside to tack on to your superstar’s performances with a good amount of points of his own. Keep an eye out for this guy tonight.
Karl-Anthony Towns ($9,600 FD/$9,200 DK) –
Towns always seems to linger in the $9,000 range no matter what, always making him a decent option. The big man has came up with a double-double in nine of his last ten games. He has also gone for 20 or more points in back-to-back contests in hopes of a third Monday night against the defensively weak Cleveland Cavaliers. With the total projected at 222.5 and only a spread of -1 in favor of Minnesota, expect a high scoring intense game (hopefully) for KAT to stuff the stat sheet.
Willie Cauley-Stein ($6,900 FD/$6,200 DK) –
Remaining at an affordable price, Cauley-Stein continues to be consistent for the Sacramento Kings. He has scored 30 or more FanDuel points in six of his last seven games. Although opposing a top defensive team in the Spurs, Cauley-Stein has a decent math-up considering the Spurs defend the Center position averagely, allowing 50.02 FPPG per 48 minutes to the position. He is a great play at Center if you’d prefer to spend a majority of your salary elsewhere, which a lot of users are likely to do in this slate. He is currently projected at 30.8 FanDuel points in this game, meaning he would stay consistent with his recent play.
NBA Daily Fantasy Basketball Lineup Picks for 12/14/17
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Spencer Dinwiddie, BKN vs. NY
FanDuel = $7,700
DraftKings = $6,700
Dinwiddie has continued to get plenty of playing time in the Nets’ injury-riddled backcourt, logging at least 30 minutes in eight of his last nine games. He’s been solid in 15 starts this season, averaging 14.5 points, 3.7 rebounds, 7.6 assists and 2.4 three-pointers per game. The Knicks struggle to defend point guards, allowing the third-most FanDuel points per game and fourth-most DraftKings points per game to the position. With no elite options available at point guard Thursday, Dinwiddie may have one of the best performances of the night.
J.J. Barea, DAL at GS
FanDuel = $5,500
DraftKings = $5,600
Barea hasn’t moved into the starting lineup with Dennis Smith Jr. (hip) out the last three games, but he’s provided scoring punch off the bench with at least 16 points in each of the last two games. He doesn’t need to be scoring to provide value either as he has dished out at least six assists in nine of his last 10 games. His 26.3% usage rate puts him ahead of players like Kemba Walker, Goran Dragic, and Kyle Lowry, so he’s heavily involved when he’s on the floor. Considering the Warriors play at the fifth-fastest pace (103.3) in the league, Barea has upside at this price.
Caris LeVert, BKN vs. NY
FanDuel = $6,100
DraftKings = $5,400
LeVert has established himself as an important member of the Nets bench, averaging 16.5 points, 2.5 rebounds, 7.3 assists, 1.5 steals and 1.3 three-pointers over his last four games. With all their injuries at point guard, he’s done a nice job of helping run the offense as a member of the second unit. The Nets play at the second-fastest pace (104.4) in the league, which helps create more opportunities for LeVert to contribute. With the Knicks struggles on defense, LeVert is a viable option for your entry.
Wesley Matthews, DAL at GS
FanDuel = $5,100
DraftKings = $4,600
The Mavericks have really struggled offensively as they are one of only four teams in the league averaging less than 100 points per game. While Matthews will never be confused as being an elite scorer, his 12.4 points per game are third-most on the team. One of the two players who scorers more than Matthews is Smith, so the Mavericks will really need Matthews to step up if they have any chance of keeping this game close. With the added opportunities to produce, Matthews is someone to consider at this discounted price.
LeBron James, CLE vs. LAL
FanDuel = $12,600
DraftKings = $11,900
James continues to dominate the league, posting two triple-doubles and seven double-doubles in his last 10 games. He’s as close to automatic as they come with his production as his 30.4% usage rate is tenth-best in the league. You can go on for days with stats about how excellent James has been, giving him a very high floor in DFS. He’s going to cost a ton, but he can still provide value against a weak defensive team in the Lakers on Thursday.
Andre Iguodala, GS vs. DAL
FanDuel = $4,700
DraftKings = $4,200
Iguodala could be in for an expanded role Thursday with Stephen Curry (ankle) out and Draymond Green (shoulder) listed as doubtful. Both Curry and Green play significant roles in running the Warriors offense, so expect Iguodala to potentially provide extra assists with both likely out. The Mavericks also like to play small, which could lead to some extra run for Iguodala. On a night with limited cheap options with value, Iguodala might be your best bet to save some money at small forward.
Kristaps Porzingis, NY at BKN
FanDuel = $10,200
DraftKings = $9,600
Porzingis is showing no ill effects from a recent ankle injury, playing at least 36 minutes in three straight games. He took advantage of two bad defenses in the Lakers and Hawks his last two games, scoring at least 30 points in both contests. Not only was he great offensively, but he combined for eight blocks and three steals as well. Even with the addition of Jahlil Okafor, the Nets are still lacking depth up front. Porzingis already torched them for 30 points, nine rebounds, three blocks and one steal earlier this season, so get ready for the encore.
Taj Gibson, MIN vs. SAC
FanDuel = $5,800
DraftKings = $5,900
Gibson has been somewhat of a security blanket for coach Tom Thibodeau this season as he is averaging 34 minutes per game compared to only 17 minutes per game for Gorgui Dieng. He coached Gibson in Chicago and clearly plans to play him a ton, which is no surprise considering Thibodeau’s history of giving his starters big minutes. The volume has made Gibson fantasy relevant as he’s averaging 11.0 points and 8.5 rebounds per game. Expect big minutes and solid numbers from him again Thursday.
Karl-Anthony Towns, MIN vs. SAC
FanDuel = $10,100
DraftKings = $9,100
Believe it or not, Towns has actually had his playing time decrease in the second year of the Thibodeau era. Don’t be alarmed though, he’s still averaging a whopping 35 minutes per game. His scoring is understandably down with Jimmy Butler now in the fold, but he’s still been fantastic by averaging 20.1 points and 11.8 rebounds per game. The Kings struggle to defend opposing centers, allowing the second-most points on both FanDuel and DraftKings to the position. Look for a big performance in this game from Towns.
Willie Cauley-Stein, SAC at MIN
FanDuel = $6,000
DraftKings = $5,100
Cauley-Stein recently missed three games with a back injury but returned to play 29 minutes Tuesday against the Phoenix Suns. It’s encouraging he played so many minutes right off the bat, especially considering the Kings crazy frontcourt rotations. Cauley-Stein has played much better off the bench this season, posting a 24.5% usage rate with the second unit compared to 17.8% as a starter. He should be needed for heavy minutes against the Timberwolves big frontcourt, making him someone to definitely consider.