The NBA starts off the week with seven games on the schedule Monday. There aren’t many great matchups, although the contest between the Clippers and Lakers has significant playoff implications. Luckily we can add a little juice to the evening by playing some DFS.Read More
The NBA starts off the final week of February with 11 games on the schedule Monday. That leaves us with plenty of cheaper value play options to wade through in DFS. We’ll make that task a little easier for you by highlighting a couple of players at each position with particularly appealing matchups.Read More
*Mike Barner — @rotomikebarner*
We have plenty of action in the NBA on Wednesday with 11 games on the schedule. That also means a lot of cheap value players to wade through. Le’ts highlight a couple at each position who stand out as having favorable matchups. Don’t forget to sign up for our Newsletter and try our NBA Lineup Optimizer to help build a winning entry on FanDuel and DraftKings.
Landry Shamet, LAC vs. PHO
FanDuel = $4,600
DraftKings = $4,000
Shamet hasn’t started in either of his first two games with the Clippers, but he’s certainly made an impact off of the bench by averaging 16 points, 2.5 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 1.5 steals. The key is that he logged 27 and 33 minutes, respectively, in those contests. Considering the Suns allow the third-most points per game (115.8) in the league, Shamet stands out as a tournament play option with upside to target at point guard.
Kadeem Allen, NY vs. PHI
FanDuel = $4,000
DraftKings = $4,100
With Emmanuel Mudiay (shoulder) and Frank Ntilikina (groin) out, there has still been significant playing time available for Allen despite the addition of Dennis Smith Jr. at the trade deadline. Allen has cashed in his minutes by averaging 19.5 points, 3.5 rebounds, six assists and 1.5 steals over his last two games. The Sixers play at the seventh-fastest pace (102.6 possessions per game) in the league, so Allen could provide value once again in this contest based on his increased role.
Dion Waiters, MIA at DAL
FanDuel = $5,200
DraftKings = $4,300
After the Heat traded away Tyler Johnson and Wayne Ellington, Waiters has found his way into the starting five. The role has suited him so far with him averaging 15.7 points, 2.3 rebounds and four assists. He’s not just a token starter, either, since he logged at least 30 minutes in all three contests. He’s never one to shy away from taking shots, so he’s intriguing in DFS as long as he remains a starter.
Jaylen Brown, BOS vs. DET
FanDuel = $5,200
DraftKings = $5,100
The key here will be if Kyrie Irving (knee) plays or not. He sat out Tuesday’s game against the Sixers and with the All-Star break approaching, it wouldn’t be surprising if he sits this one out. If he does, Brown should see an increase in scoring opportunities. Across the previous six games that Irving has missed, Brown has averaged 18.3 points, six rebounds and one steal. Even though his performance against the Sixers was underwhelming Tuesday, his track record indicates he could provide value.
Mikal Bridges, PHO at LAC
FanDuel = $5,500
DraftKings = $4,800
The Suns will remain shorthanded with T.J. Warren (ankle) and De’Anthony Melton (ankle) still sidelined. Tyle Johnson (ankle) is also listed as questionable. Bridges has been thriving with added playing time, averaging 13.9 points, 4.9 rebounds, 2.9 assists and 2.6 steals over his last seven games. The Clippers play at the ninth-fastest pace (102.2), leaving Bridges with the potential for another valuable stat line.
Joe Harris, BKN at CLE
FanDuel = $5,300
DraftKings = $4,600
The Nets remain in the thick of things in the Eastern Conference as they currently occupy the sixth seed. Harris is not a flashy name, but he’s been a key reason for their success. He’s a lethal three-point shooter, which has propelled him to averaging 16.8 points across his last six games. The Cavaliers allow the second-highest three-point shooting percentage (37 percent) in the league, so Harris has the potential to go off in this contest.
Dario Saric, MIN vs. HOU
FanDuel = $5,100
DraftKings = $4,600
Saric has finally overtaken Taj Gibson as the starter at power forward. Gibson was a favorite of former coach Tom Thibodeau’s, but Saric has a higher upside at this stage of his career. In a start Monday against the Clippers, Saric scored 19 points to go along with eight rebounds, two assists and two steals across 33 minutes. The previous game in which he logged at least 30 minutes, Saric scored 22 points and had seven rebounds and five assists. Don’t hesitate to take advantage of his new role by deploying him at this reasonable price.
Al-Farouq Aminu, POR vs. GS
FanDuel = $4,800
DraftKings = $4,500
DeMarcus Cousins (rest) will not play in this game, which should make things easier for Aminu and the Blazers’ frontcourt. Aminu hasn’t provided eye-popping stats in three previous meetings against the Warriors this season, but he’s played well with averages of 9.3 points and 8.7 rebounds. It also helps his cause that the Warriors play at the 10th-fastest pace (101.8), so don’t be surprised if he at least approaches a double-double.
Mitchell Robinson, NY vs. PHI
FanDuel = $5,000
DraftKings = $4,100
DeAndre Jordan was averaging 31 minutes a game as a member of the Mavericks. He’s remained a starter for the Knicks, but he’s only averaging 27 minutes a night since joining the team. That’s partly because of the Knicks’ desire to develop Robinson. Robinson has certainly earned the right to stay in the rotation, averaging 9.6 points, 6.9 rebounds and 2.5 blocks across his last eight games. If this game gets out of hand, he could see even more minutes in garbage time.
Ivica Zubac, LAC vs. PHO
FanDuel = $4,200
DraftKings = $4,000
Zubac has had mixed results in his first two games with the Clippers. He stormed out of the gate with 12 points, nine rebounds and three blocks Saturday against the Celtics. He followed that up with a dud against the Timberwolves on Monday in which he scored three points and grabbed just one rebound. The difference was he played 23 minutes against the Celtics and just 15 against the Timberwolves. Considering how cheap he is, it might be worth taking a chance on him receiving more minutes Wednesday, especially since the Suns allow the sixth-most Yahoo points per game (39.3) to opposing centers.
Mike has been covering fantasy sports since 2007, joining Lineup Lab in 2017. An avid player of both season-long fantasy leagues and DFS, Mike’s work has appeared on numerous sites, including RotoWire, SportsLine and Sports Illustrated. He’s also been featured on DraftKings’ nightly show, The Sweat, and was a finalist for the 2018 FSWA Basketball Writer of the Year award.
NBA Daily Fantasy Basketball Lineup Picks for 11/24/17
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Dennis Schroder, ATL vs. NY
FanDuel = $7,400
DraftKings = $6,600
There are only five players in the NBA averaging at least 19 points and seven assists per game. They are James Harden, Russell Westbrook, LeBron James, John Wall and Schroder. That’s some pretty elite company that Schroder is running with. The Hawks have very little talent on their roster, leaving Schroder to produce the 14th best usage rate (29.4%) in the NBA. The Knicks really struggle to defend opposing point guards, so Schroder could be in line for a huge performance Friday.
Antonio Blakeney, CHI at GS
FanDuel = $3,000
DraftKings = $3,000
As I’ve noted many times, you have to take risks if you want to win in tournament play. The Bulls continue to struggle to score, so they have turned to Blakeney to provide some scoring punch off the bench of late. Over the last five games, he is averaging 10.2 points and 1.0 three-pointer in 20 minutes per contest. The Warriors play at the fifth-fastest pace (104.4) in the NBA and could make this one a laugher earlier, leading to a lot of garbage time. He will only cost you the minimum on both sites, so he could provide value.
Tim Hardaway Jr., NY at ATL
FanDuel = $6,600
DraftKings = $6,600
Hardaway has not disappointed in what was expected to be his breakout campaign as he is averaging career-highs pretty much across the board. The Knicks are off to a surprising 10-7 start and a lot of that is because Hardaway and his 18.4 points per game have provided a great compliment to superstar Kristaps Porzingis. The Hawks are not a good defensive team as they are tied for the sixth-most points allowed per game (108.2) this season. This has the potential to be another great scoring night for Hardaway.
Dion Waiters, MIA at MIN
FanDuel = $5,500
DraftKings = $5,600
The Heat don’t have a ton of offensive firepower as they have scored the sixth-fewest points per game (100.5) in the league. Waiters has been one of their few bright spots, averaging 15.9 points per game. His 26.3% usage rate ranks 36th in the NBA, ahead of players including Paul George, C.J. McCollum, and Kevin Love. The Timberwolves have not played well defensively and have several excellent options offensively that the Heat will need to keep pace with, so Waiters could provide value at this price.
LeBron James, CLE vs. CHA
FanDuel = $11,900
DraftKings = $11,200
James continues to get plenty of opportunities to produce as he is tied for the second-most minutes (37.7) per game this season. This has the potential to be an up-tempo contest as both the Cavaliers and the Hornets are in the top-12 in the NBA in terms of pace of play. It’s going to cost a pretty penny to get him into your entry, but his workload and rare skillset should make him worth it.
Courtney Lee, NY at ATL
FanDuel = $5,200
DraftKings = $4,600
Lee continues to see significant playing time as he is averaging 32 minutes per game in his second consecutive season with the Knicks. Not known as a potent offensive weapon, he is averaging 11.2 points per game, which is the fourth best on the team. He is also averaging career-highs in rebounds (4.1), assists (3.1), steals (1.5), and three-pointers (1.6) per game. With the Hawks defensive struggles already outlined earlier, Lee has the potential to outproduce his pricepoint Friday.
Anthony Davis, NO at PHO
FanDuel = $11,300
DraftKings = $10,700
Davis and DeMarcus Cousins have thrived together in New Orleans as they are the only teammates in the league to average at least 25 points and 11 rebounds per game this season. Despite playing a bigger lineup than most teams, the Pelicans actually play at the seventh-fastest pace (102.3) in the NBA. The only concern you should really ever have with playing Davis in DFS is his injury history as you can’t afford to lose a player early in a game at this price. With how horrible the Suns are on defense, get Davis in your lineup and just cross your fingers that he stays healthy.
Bobby Portis, CHI at GS
FanDuel = $4,200
DraftKings = $5,200
Portis came back from suspension and was hot to start the season, averaging 19.3 points, 10.0 rebounds and 2.0 three-pointers over his first three games. He has cooled off considerably since, averaging 9.8 points, 6.4 rebounds, and 0.8 three-pointers in his last five games. Even with his recent slump, I like him Friday as the Warriors play a lot of small lineups. I wouldn’t be surprised if Portis plays close to, if not more, minutes than Robin Lopez. At the pace the Warriors play, Portis could be in for a big performance considering his reasonable price.
Hassan Whiteside, MIA at MIN
FanDuel = $8,800
DraftKings = $8,500
Let’s take a look at the last three performances by centers against the Timberwolves. Andre Drummond had 20 points, 16 rebounds, and two blocks Sunday, Dwight Howard had 25 points, 20 rebounds, and four blocks Monday, and Nikola Vucevic had 11 points, 14 rebounds, and one block Wednesday. While Karl-Anthony Towns is one of the best offensive centers in the game, he clearly still has a lot of improving to do on the defensive end of the floor. Expect Whiteside to demolish the Timberwolves in this game.
Steven Adams, OKC vs. DET
FanDuel = $6,200
DraftKings = $5,200
The Thunder have one of the weakest benches in the league as their starting five is averaging 79.9 points per game while their second unit is only averaging 23.6 points per game. They are especially thin at center, which has forced Adams to average a career-high 31 minutes per contest. With Friday bringing a matchup against Andre Drummond, Adams is going to be needed to log heavy minutes again in this game. If you want to save money at center, look no further.
NBA Daily Fantasy Basketball Lineup Picks for 10/23/17
FD $10,300 DK $10,100
John Wall is a quality play in 90% of the games he plays. Because the ball is in his hands so much, he is very safe, regardless of matchup. However, when he runs into a team like the Nuggets, who play at a top 6 pace, things can get interesting. Vegas currently has this game with a 223 over/under and 3 spread. That’s ideal. Jamal Murray and Emmanuel Mudiay will split time at PG and try to figure out how to slow Wall. They shouldn’t have much success, as long as the game stays close and Wall gets the minutes. They won’t be able to switch either, because Bradley Beal has no problem dipping 40 with a small PG on him. I don’t see a way around 50 fantasy points and the upside in tournaments is close to 80. Wall is one of the top NBA orchestrators and you will very rarely see him against a fast-paced, Western Conference team. This should be a game you pay a lot of attention to, and John Wall is by far the best player in it. Don’t get cute with some of the expected PG value.
FD $5,600 DK $5,100
This affair between the Kings and Nuggets isn’t expected to be as high scoring as the Wizards game, but a 211 total isn’t far off. It’s a difference of 5 points for each team. Here we have George Hill at just way too cheap. He was rested in the 2nd half of a B2B 2 nights ago, so should be fully rested and ready to go another 35. He’ll match up with Eric Bledsoe and Devin Booker, who are both quality defenders, but have given up the 24th most fantasy points to guards. How? Pace. The Suns play super fast and no matter how good of a 1-on-1 defender you are, you can’t stop a fast break or transition bucket very often when you’re shooting with 15-20 seconds left on the shot clock and forcing the big men to labor back into the play. George Hill is a very good PG and one that should certainly be more expensive. The match-up is absolutely perfect and I see no reason to go elsewhere in this price range.
FD $6,400 DK $5,600
It’s fair to say that Dion Waiters is a matured player. It’s not fair to say, however, that he’s completely different. He still chucks the ball as much as you possibly can and we saw It just 2 nights ago with 16 shots against the Pacers. He finished the night with 32 FP on 50% shooting. Waiters can and will get hot, and when he does, there will be some 40 FP performances. Hassan Whiteside is expected to miss his 2nd straight game as well, so there are some shots to be taken that aren’t usually there. Waiters always comes with a great amount of risk, but I’m not sure he can get any safer than tonight. Waiters will be one of the guys I’m way overboard on, but it’s Dion Waiters and I know all too well what can happen.
FD $5,500 DK $5,700
After a worrisome 28 minutes out of Lamb in the opener, he backed it up with 38 in his last contest. That’s what we expected out of a guy who routinely filled in with those types of minutes in 2016. With Batum and Kidd-Gilchrist still out, they’ll need Alan to step up on the wing once again. This Bucks team is pretty bad on defense and as long as Lamb doesn’t somehow end up on Giannis, he will blister value. This is a guy who was at 1.3 FP/ min last season, so don’t let 2 games of mediocrity worry you. He’s primarily a scorer, but averaged close to 5 boards a game over the last 3 months of 2016. Shooting guard is ugly and Lamb gives you an option with some real safety and upside. It’s tough to find both under his price.
FD $6,100 DK $5,600
Getting back to a bit of safety, we’ll set our sights on Harrison Barnes. Barnes and the Mavs will face the Warriors, who come in after a loss as look to prove themselves. If the Warriors want any chance of keeping the contest close, they’ll need Harrison Barnes to have a career night. Either way, the ball will run through him on most possessions. Even if the Warriors do blowout the Mavs, I think you can expect 32 minutes and 30 fantasy points out of Barnes. The Warriors play at a top 5 pace compared to the Mavs’ bottom 5, so they’ll be playing way quicker than usual. With that, comes more possessions and more opportunities to gather fantasy points. Barnes is going to get you 1 FP/minute as long as he’s on the court. He’s cheap enough on both sites where I’m comfortable in even cash games. If the Warriors obliterate the Mavs, he should still keep you afloat. That can’t be said for most of the SF in this price range. Let’s touch on a guy who’s a bit more risky with some upside.
FD $5,600 DK $5,300
T.J. Warren had a typical game against the Lakers. He then garnered almost 40% ownership against a Clippers team that stepped on the Suns throat. He’s a guy who needs the game to stay close, as he will just sit in the corner if not. When getting involved, Warren looks like an all-star. He can shoot, penetrate, and has the brains to break a defense down and hit an open shooter. He’s also a big reason that the Suns play so fast. Behind LeBron and Durant, Warren moved the most of any SF in 2016, showing his urge to space the floor and create. The Kings don’t really have a real solid SF, so Warren will have an advantage over whatever small or big they throw at him. This game is very nice from a fantasy perspective and it’ll be very intriguing to see how things turn out. Warren, in particular, is an excellent option in all formats where his price is still low.
Chandler Parsons is definitely an insane flier, but I like the idea of it. He’s dirt cheap, making 24 million dollars this year, and should start to see closer to 20 minutes per game. He’s facing his former team and should want to shoot when in there. He’s a VERY good player, so if he sees those minutes, he’ll bash value. I don’t know if I’ll pull the trigger, but it’s interesting.
James Johnson and Kelly Olynyk
FD $5,900 – $5,200 DK $6,300 – $5,800
Power Forward is one of my favorite positions of the night and these 2 guys have to do with it. With Hassan Whiteside presumably out 1 more game (keep an eye out), Johnson and Olynyk will see big minutes. The Heat played small last game and were allowed to, which won’t happen against the Hawks. They don’t have great big guys, but they are 7 foot and if you have James Johnson on them, it won’t end well. Olynyk should get close to 30 minutes at the C and another 10 or 20 at PF. Johnson will see most of his at PF with a few point forward minutes when Dragic/Waiters is out. He’s a do it all player who has no problem getting on the floor for a loose ball. He always makes sure he gets involved 1 way or another, which is comforting from a DFS perspective. There is nothing worse than rostering a guy who loves sitting in the corner. It’s a big reason why I’ll have a tough time playing Kyle Anderson. He’s a strong value, but the guy stinks. He’s not very good at basketball, compared to his compadres. Johnson and Olynyk should both demolish value if given the expected minutes. Don’t get cute here.
FD $8,800 DK $8,500
If paying up at PF, I think most will go Giannis Antetokounmpo. He’s undoubtedly a great play that could go for 75 FP on any night. However, with his recent boost in production has come with a price rise. Now, Giannis will need to get you at least 60. That’s tough and not going to happen. He will still have his usual 45 FP games where he spreads it around and struggles from the field. I’m willing to bet it happens against the pace-down Hornets on the road. Don’t let me take you off of Giannis, because I’ll have exposure in tournaments, but he’s simply not safe at this crazy price tag. If he had 5 fewer shots fall in last game, the entire narrative would have been different here. Instead, I look towards LaMarcus Aldridge. The Spurs have been running the offense through LMA with Kawhi Leonard on the pine with an injury. It’s resulted in 46 and 52 fantasy points. When LMA is touching the ball like this, he’s as an elite of a big man as you’ll find. If you’re an NBA fan, you know this. He can put up 40 real-life points and the 10 rebounds is a lock against the Raptors weak interior. He’s going to cost you a pretty penny, but not nearly as much as Giannis and you can still get 40 FP rather easily.
FD $8,500 DK $8,200
It looks like the 76ers are getting a bit more liberal with Embiid and his minutes and instead just allowing him to sit out when sore. I like the idea a lot more than throwing a superstar on the court for 16 minutes and then leaving the team to dry when the playmaker suddenly disappears for 70% of the game. It’s tough to get in a groove that way. Instead, he’s getting close to 30 minutes when he plays and backing it up with production, as everyone expected. He faces a Pistons team that has no shot at staying with him. I don’t know if Van Gundy will try to stick with Drummond, but he shouldn’t. Joel Embiid is just going to take him to the perimeter and demolish/break both of his ankles. Drummond can pave his way in the paint, but there’s no shot he contests a single jumper. If Embiid is feeling it, he will have a huge game. The Pistons have ranked in the bottom 1/3 against Centers for 4 years now and unless Drummond dramatically improved in the offseason, I see no changes.
FD $5,000 DK $5,200
Being clear, this is a GPP only play. DO NOT play Nerlens Noel in a cash game unless just about every single Maverick is injured. He could see 8 minutes tonight and I wouldn’t be all that surprised. However, if the Mavs want to match-up with the Warriors, Noel is a way they can do it. He’s a big man that can run the floor and won’t get tired from the Warriors tireless attack. He’s a fantastic fantasy player as well, averaging well over 1.4 FP per minute when on the floor. It’s not too tough to figure out with him. Except it is. When the minutes are there, so is the production. We have just to get in the mind of a coach who doesn’t have much of an idea of what’s going on. On the off chance that Noel sees the floor for an extended period of time, he could win you a tournament. He has legitimate 50 fantasy point upside every time he sees 30 minutes.