There will be no shortage of action in the NBA on Wednesday with nine games on the schedule.Read More
*Mike Barner — @rotomikebarner*
Friday brings plenty of action in the NBA with 10 games on the schedule. Injuries continue to be a common theme throughout the league, creating even more value plays to consider for your DFS entry. Let’s highlight a couple at each position who could thrive based on their matchups. 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.
J.J. Barea, DAL at NO
FanDuel = $5,100
DraftKings = $5,100
The Mavericks could be extremely thin in their backcourt Friday with Wesley Matthews (foot) already ruled out and Dennis Smith Jr. (wrist) listed as questionable. That should open up added minutes for Barea, who has the highest usage rate (28 percent) on the team. When these two teams squared off Wednesday, Barea shined with 18 points, five rebounds, seven assists, and one steal.
Tyler Johnson, MIA vs. CLE
FanDuel = $4,700
DraftKings = $6,000
Goran Dragic (knee) will be out for at least two months, which has left the Heat with a significant void at point guard. They’ve decided to have Justise Winslow take over for him in the starting five but Johnson is also in line for an expanded role. He’s made the most of his added playing time heading into this contest, averaging 15.8 points, three rebounds, and 2.7 assists across his last six games. His price has jumped up significantly on DraftKings, but he could be a real bargain on FanDuel.
Jordan Clarkson, CLE at MIA
FanDuel = $6,000
DraftKings = $6,000
Clarkson continues to be one of the offensive leaders for the Cavaliers, averaging a career-high 17.1 points per game and posting a 29.4 percent usage rate. He should receive even more scoring opportunities with Rodney Hood (Achilles) out Friday. In the last two games that Hood missed, Clarkson scored 17 and 24 points, respectively. His 24-point showing was especially impressive considering it came against the stout Grizzlies’ defense.
Josh Hart, LAL vs. LAC
FanDuel = $3,700
DraftKings = $4,200
The Lakers depth is currently being tested with LeBron James (groin) and Rajon Rondo (finger) on the shelf. Hart moved into the starting five with both players sidelined Thursday and scored 10 points to go along with four rebounds, two assists, three steals, and one block. The key was that he logged 33 minutes. With a similar role likely in the cards for Friday, Hart could be someone to take a chance on in tournament play since both the Lakers and the Clippers are in the top-nine in the league in pace of play.
Juancho Hernangomez, DEN vs. SA
FanDuel = $5,600
DraftKings = $4,800
The Nuggets have been one of the teams impacted the most by injuries this season. It appears that they might get a couple of players back soon, but they still won’t have much depth Friday. Hernangomez has excelled since being moved into the starting five, averaging 12.6 points and 6.8 rebounds per contest. These two teams just faced off Wednesday and the Spurs couldn’t slow him down in that contest, leaving Hernangomez to score 27 points to go along with 13 rebounds.
Kelly Oubre Jr., PHO vs. OKC
FanDuel = $5,000
DraftKings = $4,600
Oubre had a hard time finding significant playing time with the Wizards, but he’s averaged 30 minutes a game since joining the Suns. The added playing time has paid off, helping Oubre average 14.8 points, 3.8 rebounds, and one block. Even though he will likely continue to come off of the bench, that shouldn’t scare you away from deploying him in DFS at this cheap price.
Jerami Grant, OKC at PHO
FanDuel = $5,700
DraftKings = $4,800
The Thunder are clearly led by the trio of Russell Westbrook, Paul George, and Steven Adams. However, don’t underestimate the value that Grant brings to the team. They don’t have much depth, which has helped Grant average a career-high 31 minutes a game. He’s been productive, overall, but he’s been even better with averages of 15.8 points, 4.7 rebounds, one steal, and 1.6 blocks across his last seven games.
James Johnson, MIA vs. CLE
FanDuel = $5,100
DraftKings = $4,400
Johnson might not be a flashy player, but he entered this year having averaged at least 10.8 points, 4.9 rebounds and 3.6 assists in back-to-back seasons. Injuries derailed the start of his current campaign, but he’s come on lately by averaging 10.8 points, five rebounds, 3.3 assists and 1.5 steals across his last four games. He might continue to be asked to help facilitate the offense more with Dragic out, so don’t sleep on him at this price.
Dewayne Dedmon, ATL at MIN
FanDuel = $6,400
DraftKings = $5,500
Get ready to see a heavy dose of Dedmon on Friday with Alex Len (back) and Miles Plumlee (knee) set to sit this one out. Dedmon logged 37 minutes with both players out Wednesday against the Pacers, finishing with 18 points, 15 rebounds, three assists, two steals, and one block. The added playing time is an even greater benefit to his upside when you consider that the Hawks play at the fastest pace (106.3 possessions per game) in the league.
Willy Hernangomez, CHA vs. BKN
FanDuel = $4,500
DraftKings = $4,000
Cody Zeller continues to start for the Hornets, but he’s logged 22 minutes or fewer in four of their last five games. Hernangomez has seen an expanded role in all four of those contests, which led him to average 12 points and 8.3 rebounds. The Nets are one of the worst teams in the league at defending opposing centers, so it’s not all that surprising that Hernangomez recorded seven points and 11 rebounds across just 14 minutes against them Wednesday. If you want to deploy a really cheap center in tournament play, Hernangomez is an intriguing option.
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 ESPN Radio and DraftKings’ nightly show, The Sweat.
NBA Daily Fantasy Basketball Sleepers Lineup Picks for 3/16/18
Friday brings a fairly limited slate with only six games in the NBA. Injuries to key players continue to crop up across the league, so 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 Corey Brewer and Wayne Ellington.
Tyler Johnson, MIA at LAL
FanDuel = $5,000
DraftKings = $5,300
The Heat are going to be shorthanded in their backcourt again Friday with Dwyane Wade (hamstring) out and Josh Richardson (foot) listed as doubtful. Both players didn’t play in the Heat’s last game Wednesday against the Kings, a contest where Johnson scored 14 points to go along with five rebounds, two assists, one steal and four-three-pointers in 28 minutes. He has actually scored at least 12 points in nine of his last 10 games, making him a viable option for your entry.
Shane Larkin, BOS at ORL
FanDuel = $3,900
DraftKings – $3,800
The Celtics are going to have limited depth Friday with Marcus Smart (thumb), Jaylen Brown (concussion) and Kyrie Irving (knee) all out. Larkin played 24 minutes with them sidelined Wednesday, finishing with 11 points, one rebound, four assists, two steals and one three-pointer. Celtics coach Brad Stevens said he was on a minutes restriction in that game, which does limit his value. However, the Magic allow the second-most points per game on both FanDuel and DraftKings to opposing point guards, so Larkin is someone to still consider.
Nick Young, GS vs. SAC
FanDuel = $4,700
DraftKings = $4,000
The Warriors are also dealing with injuries at guard and will be without Stephen Curry (ankle) and Klay Thompson (thumb) on Friday. Both players sat Wednesday against the Lakers as well, leaving Young to play 31 minutes. He didn’t disappoint, scoring 18 points to go along with three rebounds, two assists, one steal and three three-pointers. He’s never one to shy away from taking shots and with the Warriors playing at the fourth-fastest pace (102.5 possessions per game) in the league, he could be in for another valuable scoring night against the Kings.
Wayne Ellington, MIA at LAL
FanDuel = $4,200
DraftKings = $4,400
Ellington also saw an expanded role with Wade and Richardson sidelined Wednesday, logging 36 minutes. He took a whopping 17 three-pointers, hitting six of them on his way to 22 points. The Lakers play at the fastest pace (103.2) and are tied for the third-most points allowed per game (110.2) in the league, so Ellington could be jacking up, and hitting, a lot of shots from behind the arc again Friday. Don’t expect much from him in other categories, but he’s still worth considering for your entry.
Justise Winslow, MIA at LAL
FanDuel = $5,600
DraftKings = $5,700
Winslow is off to a great start in March, averaging 12.6 points, 7.6 rebounds, 2.8 assists, 1.4 steals and 1.6 three-pointers in eight games. He’s averaging just 24 minutes per game this season but is averaging 31 minutes this month. With all of the Heat’s injury issues, expect him to continue to play heavy minutes Friday. The Lakers allow the second-most FanDuel points per game and the third-most DraftKings points per game to opposing small forwards, so don’t hesitate to add Winslow to your lineup.
Corey Brewer, OKC vs. LAC
FanDuel = $4,900
DraftKings = $4,400
The Thunder have been searching for depth all season and made an important move by signing Brewer after he was bought out by the Lakers. He’s played at least 28 minutes in four straight games, averaging 15.5 points, 3,8 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 1.8 steals and 1.5 three-pointers. The increased playing time brings added value Friday as the Clippers play at the sixth-fastest pace (101.2) in the league. At this cheap price, it’s hard to pass him up considering his upside.
Kelly Olynyk, MIA at LAL
FanDuel = $5,500
DraftKings = $6,000
The Heat will be without another key contributor Friday with Hassan Whiteside (hip) set to miss his four straight games. In the first three games that he missed, Olynyk averaged 11.7 points, eight rebounds, 4.7 assists, one block and one three-pointer. He played 31 minutes Wednesday against the Kings and it wouldn’t be surprising to see him play a similar total Friday against the uptempo Lakers. His price is climbing, but it’s still low enough where he can provide value.
James Johnson, MIA at LAL
FanDuel = $4,700
DraftKings = $5,200
Johnson had one of his best games of the season Wednesday, scoring 18 points to go along with 10 rebounds, seven assists, two steals and one block in 34 minutes. He has played at least 30 minutes in a game 15 times this season, averaging 13.9 points, 6.4 rebounds, 4.3 assists, 1.3 steals, 0.9 blocks and 0.9 three-pointers in those contests. The Lakers may be going with smaller lineups if Kyle Kuzma (ankle) is unable to play, which would benefit Johnson’s skill set. Even if Kuzma does take the floor, Johnson should have enough opportunities to provide value.
Greg Monroe, BOS at ORL
FanDuel = $4,800
DraftKings = $5,100
Monroe excelled in Wednesday’s double-overtime loss, posting 16 points, 10 rebounds, one steal and two blocks. He only played 25 minutes, but with the team’s second-highest usage rate of 22.6%, he doesn’t necessarily have to play a lot in order to put up numbers. Al Horford (illness) is expected to return Friday, so that will likely hamper Monroe’s value to an extent. With the Magic playing at the ninth-fastest pace (100.4) and allowing the sixth-most points per game (109.6) in the league though, Monroe is still a viable cheap option at center.
Zaza Pachulia, GS vs. SAC
FanDuel = $3,900
DraftKings = $4,600
Don’t look now, but Pachulia has recorded a double-double in two straight contests. He returned to the starting lineup Wednesday against the Lakers, scoring 10 points to go along with 12 rebounds and five assists in 23 minutes. The Kings have size and depth up front, so it wouldn’t be surprising for Pachulia to see similar playing time Friday. The Kings allow the second-most FanDuel points per game and the fourth-most DraftKings points per game to opposing centers, making Pachulia an intriguing option.
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NBA Fantasy Basketball Schedule Analysis for Week 8
The NBA starts off the first full week of December with three days with at least 10 games. With 52 total games this week, it’s important to know the intricacies of the schedule to gain an advantage over your opponent in a head-to-head league as starting your best players might not always give you the best chance to win. Here are the moves you want to consider for your team based on the week ahead.
Teams With The Most Games – 4 Games Each
Atlanta Hawks, Boston Celtics, Charlotte Hornets, Chicago Bulls, Cleveland Cavaliers, Dallas Mavericks, Denver Nuggets, Detroit Pistons, Indiana Pacers, Memphis Grizzlies, Milwaukee Bucks, New Orleans Pelicans, New York Knicks, Orlando Magic, Philadelphia 76ers, Phoenix Suns, San Antonio Spurs, Utah Jazz, Washington Wizards
There are a staggering 19 teams with four games each this week, meaning you might not need as much help as you have in previous weeks this season. If you aren’t fortunate enough to have most of your players on these teams this week, consider adding the below to gain back that edge.
Jonathon Simmons, Orlando Magic
After beginning the season as a member of the second unit, Simmons has started each of his last four games. With Terrence Ross (knee) out indefinitely, Simmons should continue to start and get big minutes. One of his four starts was a dud against the Oklahoma City Thunder, but he averaged 18.3 points, 4.3 rebounds, 1.0 steal and 1.7 three-pointers over the other three. The Magic have four favorable matchups this week as they play the Hornets, Nuggets and the Hawks twice, all three of which are in the top half of the NBA in terms of pace of play. If you need offense, Simmons can give you a boost and is still available in 57% of Yahoo! leagues.
Ersan Ilyasova, Atlanta Hawks
The Hawks are decimated up front as they are expected to be without Dewayne Dedmon (leg) and John Collins (shoulder) for this entire week. Mike Muscala (ankle) is also without a timetable for his return, so Ilyasova should have a big role until the Hawks start to get healthy. He showed what he can do with more minutes last season as he averaged 10.4 points, 5.8 rebounds, 1.7 assists and 1.2 three-pointers in 24 minutes per game. He could get even more playing time than that, giving him excellent value. Still available in 64% of Yahoo! leagues, you shouldn’t hesitate to pick him up if you can.
Tomas Satoransky, Washington Wizards
Tim Frazier has been starting in place of John Wall (knee), but he’s not the player you want to pick up this week. Satoransky has outplayed him to this point, averaging 12.0 points, 3.6 rebounds, 6.0 assists and 1.0 three-pointers over his last three games. His scoring has increased in all three of those games as he continues to get comfortable playing extended minutes. If he continues to play this well, he’s only going to get more opportunities to produce. If you need point guard help, go get Satoransky as he’s still available in 88% of Yahoo! leagues.
Teams With The Fewest Games – 2 Games Each
Houston Rockets, Los Angeles Clippers, Los Angeles Lakers, Miami Heat, Portland Trail Blazers
With so many teams playing four games this week, the five teams that only play two each will see their players value decrease significantly. Consider benching the below players who would normally be in your starting lineup otherwise.
Lonzo Ball, Los Angeles Lakers
Ball has been a killer for fantasy owners in terms of percentages as he is shooting only 31.3% from the field and 50.0% from the charity stripe. The main value he provides owners is his ability to provide all-around counting stats, but even that is hurt by his 8.7 points per game average. The Lakers have shown a tendency to bench him late in games if he’s struggling and he has now played 26 minutes or less in two of his last four games. With only two games on the schedule this week, Ball likely won’t be able to provide enough value to warrant being in your lineup.
Brandon Ingram, Los Angeles Lakers
Ingram has really improved offensively this season as not only is he averaging 16.0 points per game, but he’s shooting 46.3% from the field after shooting only 40.2% last year. He has already scored at least 20 points in a game five times this season, something he only did twice all last season. The problem for this week is that he doesn’t excel in any other area and provides little in terms of steals, blocks, and three-pointers. With only two games on the schedule, there just isn’t enough meat on the bone here to warrant starting him.
James Johnson, Miami Heat
Johnson is the opposite of Ingram as his value comes in terms of his all-around value. His scoring is down this season, but he’s averaging career-highs in rebounds (5.2) and assists (4.1) per game. He’s hit a rough patch lately, averaging 7.3 points, 5.0 rebounds and 1.7 assists over his last three games. With Hassan Whiteside (knee) out of action for that stretch, it’s no surprise that Johnson saw a decrease in assists without one of the team’s best scoring options. With very little upside, make sure Johnson is firmly on your bench this week.
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.