Thursday brings only four games in the NBA, which doesn’t leave us with the busiest of DFS slates. Still, injuries have created several value plays to consider.Read More
*Mike Barner — @rotomikebarner*
The NBA doesn’t bring a ton of action Tuesday with just four games on the schedule. There aren’t as many viable cheap value plays, as a result, but let’s examine some that could be difference makers for the evening. 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.
Trae Young, ATL at CHA
FanDuel = $7,500
DraftKings = $7,300
Young certainly doesn’t come at a discount, but if you’re playing this limited slate on FanDuel, there aren’t a lot of great cheap options at point guard. Young is already getting plenty of scoring chances with his 27.9 percent usage rate, but he could be counted on for even more offense with Taurean Prince (ankle) listed as doubtful. Charlotte has allowed the seventh-most DraftKings points per game and the eighth-most FanDuel points per game to opposing point guards, making Young an excellent option for your entry.
Spencer Dinwiddie, BKN at PHO
FanDuel = $5,300
DraftKings = $4,800
With the Nets battling injuries at point guard last year, it allowed Dinwiddie to have a breakout campaign. Although he’s come off the bench in all 10 games this year with the Nets healthy, he’s still averaging 27 minutes a game. His assists are down at four per game, but his scoring has actually increased with 14.3 points and 2.3 three-pointers per contest. The Suns have struggled defensively yet again this season, leaving Dinwiddie as a viable option Tuesday, even in a reserve role.
Kent Bazemore, ATL at CHA
FanDuel = $6,400
DraftKings = $5,900
Bazemore is another player on the Hawks who should see an increase in usage if Prince isn’t able to play. Bazemore’s 21.3 percent usage rate already ranks fourth-highest on the team, behind only Young, Prince, and Jeremy Lin. Add in his 4.4 rebounds, 2.2 assists, and 1.6 steals per contest and Bazemore makes a lot of sense at this reasonable price.
Malik Monk, CHA vs. ATL
FanDuel = $4,600
DraftKings = $4,600
The Hornets have gone with the combination of Jeremy Lamb and Monk at shooting guard this season. Even though Lamb has started all 10 games, they both receive about the same amount of playing time. The 24 minutes a night for Monk has been a significant increase from last year, helping him average 13.4 points and 2.4 three-pointers per contest. If this game gets out of hand early, Monk could really excel in garbage time since the Hawks play at the fastest pace (108.3 possessions per game) in the league.
DeAndre’ Bembry, ATL at CHA
FanDuel = $4,900
DraftKings = $4,300
Bembry could find his way into the starting five if Prince sits this one out. Even though Bembry is only averaging 25 minutes a game, he’s provided respectable all-around averages of 8.6 points, 5.2 rebounds, 2.7 assists, and 1.6 steals. His upside isn’t off the charts even with added playing time, but he’s still someone to consider at his cheap price on both sites.
Miles Bridges, CHA vs. ATL
FanDuel = $4,000
DraftKings = $3,600
On such a limited slate, sometimes taking a big risk in tournament play can provide a significant return. If this game turns into a blowout, some of the bench players for the Hornets could see a substantial boost in minutes. One of those players could be Bridges, who is averaging 13.7 points, 3.3 rebounds, 1.3 steals, and two three-pointers across the three games in which he has played at least 20 minutes. There is certainly risk here, but taking a chance on the blowout isn’t entirely crazy based on the circumstances.
Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, BKN at PHO
FanDuel = $5,300
DraftKings = $4,800
Hollis-Jefferson missed the start of the season due to injury and hasn’t been able to regain his starting role since his return. He’s only averaging 22 minutes a game off the bench, putting a substantial cap on his upside. With that being said, it seems like it will only be a matter of time before he overtakes Jared Dudley in the starting lineup. After posting 21 points, six rebounds and three assists Sunday against the Sixers in 30 minutes, Hollis-Jefferson could get a few extra minutes again Tuesday.
Al-Farouq Aminu, POR vs. MIL
FanDuel = $5,100
DraftKings = $5,400
Aminu leaves a lot to be desired on the offensive end of the floor, averaging only eight points per game and shooting 38 percent from the field. He’s averaged at least 10 points per game in a season only one time in his career, so don’t expect him to go on a scoring binge anytime soon. Even taking that into consideration, you shouldn’t just avoid him when crafting your lineup. With 8.9 rebounds a contest, he’s at least a threat to approach a double-double on a nightly basis.
Jarrett Allen, BKN at PHO
FanDuel = $6,700
DraftKings = $5,200
Allen showed signs of promise as a rookie last year. The Nets have upped him to 27 minutes a game through their first 10 contests, helping him average 11.7 points and 7.7 rebounds. He’s been extremely efficient from the field with a 61.3 percent shooting percentage and contributes on the defensive end with 1.9 blocks per contest. Suns top pick Deandre Ayton might get all the headlines at center in this game, but Allen is also a worthy candidate in DFS.
Willy Hernangomez, CHA vs. ATL
FanDuel = $4,200
DraftKings = $3,500
If you want to go all-in on the theory that the Hornets blow out the Hawks, Hernangomez is another player with upside. He’s been limited to 15 minutes a game off the bench, but that hasn’t stopped him from recording seven points and 5.4 rebounds per contest. In the one game in which he played at least 20 minutes this year, he finished with 11 points, seven rebounds, and three assists. Again, there is risk planning on a blowout score, but it could be one that pays off with Hernangomez.
NBA Daily Fantasy Basketball Lineup Picks for 1/2/18
BRING in 2018 with code “NEWYEAR40” at checkout for 40% off Seasonal Package
FD $6,500 DK $6,600
Damian Lillard is questionable as we speak, and Napier depends fully on it. If Lillard plays, scratch Napier completely. If Lillard is ruled out, Napier is one of the best plays on the entire slate. Napier has been over 35 minutes in 5 straight games and will be right there again. He’s been over 35 fantasy points in all but 1 game and still got to 30. He’s extremely safe if given the minutes and has a match-up against a Cavs team who’s a bit of a mess. With Isaiah Thomasa returning tonight, you can throw out whatever DVP the Cavs have run against PG’s. It will all change now and is up in the air. Isaiah has been one of the worst defenders in the league for a couple years now and I don’t see him helping at all. Napier is still cheap enough in all formats if starting and would be one of the more popular options on the slate. Once again, if Lillard is ruled in, this is all null and void. Lillard has been ruled out. Shabazz away!
FD $4,700 DK $4,600
The Kings have been running a 3 point guard rotation for most of the year now, but might run into some issues tonight. As we sit, Frank Mason is out and DeAaron Fox is questionable. If Fox ends up being ruled out, George Hill should get to 28 minutes as a minimum. He’d be the only healthy PG on the roster and match-up quite nicely with Kemba Walker. Hill has obviously been very disappointing this year, but has shown some flashes of upside and can still produce in big minutes. His price is extremely low on both sites and he’ll only need you around 20-22 in cash games to hit value. There are a lot of other ways to pay up on this slate and PG probably isn’t the best. You can definitely go Kemba or Schroder in tournaments, but don’t know if it’s at all the optimal play. Save some funds instead with Napier/Hill move onto a position with some more depth.
FD $9,000 DK $8,200
It’s 2017 and Tyreke Evans is just now realizing his full potential. It may actually be the NBA who was a step behind here, but nonetheless, this is a superstar who’s finally getting the opportunity. He’s sitting over 40 fantasy points in every game and has hit 60 a couple times. The ball is in his hands every possession down the stretch and will rarely not be involved in the final play with Conley out, whether it be a shot attempt or assist. It’s how he’s able to convert with such consistency on a team that lacks PACE and possessions. He’s going to shoot close to 20 times at the very least and stuffs the stat sheet like nobody else at the position. The Clippers rank 25th in the NBA against SG’s and especially struggle with size. Evans is one of the bigger guards in the world and will cause problems for anyone who tries to guard him. This game will stay close and Evans will be in there for 30+ minutes. He’s a safe play in all formats, though he’ll cost you a solid penny.
FD $5,800 DK $6,000
Bazemore never sees huge minutes anymore, but it’s worked into his price tag. He still does damage in his 25-30 minutes and has put up 45+ fantasy points plenty of times around just 30 minutes. He’s one of the few consistent pieces the Hawks can actually trust and have built-in minutes for him. The match-up against the fast-paced Suns squad is obviously a great one. While they don’t rank dead last against SG’s like they have for most of the year, 27th isn’t all that much better. They play fast and have nobody to cover the rim, so it doesn’t matter how good the perimeter defense is. Bazemore is a safe better for 25 fantasy points with the realistic upside for 40. He’s viable in all formats at a very friendly price tag.
FD $11,500 DK $11,700
By default, LeBron is close to a must in all formats. While there are some other high-priced options, LBJ is the only real superstar. He could easily outscore the field by 20 and nobody would bat an eye. LeBron is truly match-up proof, so relies a lot more on the PACE and importance of game. The Blazers play slightly faster than league average and are considered a powerhouse, so I personally expect a big LeBron game. It’ll likely be a combo of Aminu and Turner on him, but it obviously doesn’t matter. He’s going to dominate both of them if his shot is falling and will settle for 50 FP if not. He’ll be in 100% of my lineups and while he’s nowhere near a must, I don’t think he’s an optimal fade with the options on the slate.
FD $7,500 DK $6,700
Kawhi played 26 and 27 minutes in his last 2 games, so things are getting a little serious. Let’s say there’s no progression. He sits around 26-28 minutes against a Knicks squad that doesn’t play any defense. As I see it, he has a 25 FP floor with a ceiling in the 40s. If he starts, the ball is in his hands all game and the usage is as concrete as it gets. His price is under $8k on both sites and doesn’t need to get you anywhere near his normal production. He is listed as probable right now, so just make sure nothing weird happened before you plug him in. I think there will be some hesitancy to play an expensive guy on a minutes limit, which will hopefully keep his ownership under 20%.
FD $5,900 DK $4,900
Power forward is ugly. Kristaps Porzingis and LaMarcus Aldridge will face off as the only 2 expensive options and I don’t love either. Instead, let’s move down to the low/mid range to John Collins. Collins is an extremely talented player and a guy that would be putting up 35+ a night if given the minutes. His playing time has been tempered since returning from injury, but he still sees a consistent 25. The Suns play fast and don’t play much defense under the rim, which plays right into the game of Collins. His minutes are always going to be a concern, but find me a better option at the position and I’ll listen. This is a game you want exposure to and Collins gives you an affordable way to do it.
FD $4,200 DK $4,300
We haven’t looked at a punt option since PG with George Hill, so here is a solid one. Even with JaMychal Green back, Jarell Martin is seeing 24+ minutes. He’s been effective when on the floor and the Grizz can’t just stuff him back onto the bench. He’s close to minimum price on both sites and will only need you 20 fantasy points to hit value. He matches up well with the athleticism of Blake Griffin and could end up seeing extended minutes because of it. The Clippers are a bottom 10 defensive team down low and are very easy to score FP against. Martin is a guy who’s very active when on the floor and does a good job of forcing his involvement. He puts up FP with ease and has a very friendly match-up tonight. He’s not a guy who will ever get you 35+ fantasy points, but somewhere between 20 and 30 is very likely and at his price that’s more than enough.
FD $7,900 DK $8,700
Center has a lot of similar options in the same price range. Kevin Love is easily my favorite in a game that should remain close against Portland. He has been superb this season as a whole and will very rarely fall below 35 fantasy points. His upside is always around 60 if he gets hot and this is a top 10 match-up for him. Jusuf Nurkic is a load in the paint, but can’t play any perimeter defense and isn’t a good rebounder. Love can be penciled in for a double/double with the upside for a lot more. His price is fair on both sites and will only need to have a “good” game to get it done.
FD $4,500 DK $4,400
If you want to pay down at Center, Tyson Chandler is a very strong pivot. At $4500, he’s been at 30 minutes and 20 fantasy points in 2 straight games. If he once again gets the start, it’s safe to assume he runs for 25+ minutes against one of the league’s weakest interiors. With Dedmon out, it’s John Collins and Miles Plumlee at the 5. Chandler is no maestro at the 5 anymore, but he can get a double/double if given the opportunity. Especially against a team who can’t rebound and allows the 3rd most offensive rebounds. I prefer Love if you have the funds, but Chandler makes for a safe play under $5k and will let you pay up elsewhere. Center has a lot of options, but none of them are musts and Chandler shouldn’t be more than 15% owned. Either of these guys can be played in all formats, but know that Chandler has a ceiling around 35.
NBA Daily Fantasy Basketball Lineup Picks 12/16/17
Saturday Night’s NBA Main slate presents us an eight game mosh-pit with some interesting match-ups. Some of which provide some value plays given the injury epidemic going on recently.
Russell Westbrook ($11,100 FD/$11,500 DK) –
If you’re going to pay up for somebody on FanDuel Westbrook may be the foundation to your lineup. He is cheaper on FD than The Greak Freak, LeBron and Harden. He is still very worth it on DK as the triple-double machine is coming off of a triple-overtime game where he stuffed the stat sheet of 27-18-15. He now plays the next night at Madison Square Garden, where he may just put on a show. Westbrooks opponents, the Knicks, rank 25th in defending the position. He logged 52 minutes during last night’s win, however, he should be more than fine. It’s time for the Russ show for my lineup.
Jeff Teague ($6,400 FD/$6,500/DK) –
Jeff Teague has a great match-up Saturday against struggling Phoenix Suns, who rank 28th in defending point guards this season as they allow on average 50.52 FPTS per game. Teague has not been so valuable on DFS lately, but he hasn’t had too big of a workload either with the way teammates Jimmy Butler and Karl Anthony-Towns have been playing lately. Regardless, this matchup offers Teague an ideal game to breakout to his old form.
Donovan Mitchell ($7,800 FD/$6,900 DK) –
Donovan Mitchell is one of the most underrated rookies that has emerged in the league this year. Mitchell is slowly and steadily raising eyebrows and sparking a ROTY conversation. A bit pricey on FanDuel, Mitchell has pretty good upside in this contest, as he opposes the defense-weak Cavaliers. He has also been incredibly consistent in fantasy value. With blows to Derrick Favors and Rudy Gobert in Friday night’s game, Mitchell would be reintroduced to a heavier workload if one, or both of those are sidelined.
CJ McCollum ($7,100 FD/$6,800 DK) –
McCollum has some serious upside in this slate. McCollum has scored 20+ points in four straight games averaging 33 FanDuel PPG in those contests. He appears likely to make it five in a row as he matches up with the Phoenix Suns, the 30th ranked team in defending shooting guards. His price is very fair and adds value to his projections, given his consistency as of lately. McCollum is a little more flexible on DraftKings as he is also eligible for point guard.
Jimmy Butler ($9,700 FD/$9,000 DK) –
Not many people have been hotter than Jimmy Butler lately. Holding one of the best SF match-ups of the night, Butler enters Saturday with a stretch in which out of the last 7 games, he has logged an average of 41 minutes and has scored an average of 27 points per game. One beneficial factor about Butler’s match-up against the Suns is that Timberwolves head coach Tom Thibodeau hasn’t had much trust in his second unit lately, as his starters have been seeing serious minutes regardless of score. This helps the case for obtaining Butler as a potential blowout won’t damage his minutes too much. Butler is listed as SF on FanDuel, but SG on DraftKings.
Harrison Barnes ($6,700 FD/$6,500 DK) –
It seems as if regardless of how consistent Barnes is for the DFS community, he will never have the respect he deserves.
Use Code “CYBER30” at checkout for 30% off Seasonal Package
NBA Fantasy Basketball Schedule Analysis for Week 7
With Thanksgiving in the rearview mirror, the NBA gets back on track with a heavy schedule for Week 7. 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
Cleveland Cavaliers, Detroit Pistons, Golden State Warriors, Los Angeles Clippers, Los Angeles Lakers, Miami Heat, Minnesota Timberwolves, Orlando Magic, Philadelphia 76ers, Sacramento Kings, San Antonio Spurs
There are 11 teams that all play four games each this week, giving their players added value. Fantasy studs like LeBron James, Stephen Curry, and Blake Griffin will be even more valuable with this advantage. If you aren’t lucky enough to have several players from these teams on your fantasy squad, consider adding the players below.
Kyle Anderson, San Antonio Spurs
Anderson has started all 19 games for the Spurs this season in place of the injured Kawhi Leonard. He’s averaging 28 minutes per game, resulting in career-high averages in points (9.1), rebounds (6.1), assists (3.1), steals (1.0) and blocks (0.9) per game. He can help you with percentages as well as he’s shooting 51.5% from the field and 78.6% from the charity stripe. There is still no timetable for Leonard’s return, leaving Anderson with a prominent role again this week. The Spurs play struggling teams this week in the Mavericks, Thunder, and the Grizzlies twice. Anderson’s still available in 62% of Yahoo! leagues and can provide value based on his all-around production.
Wesley Johnson, Los Angeles Clippers
Johnson has started at small forward each of the last nine games with Danilo Gallinari out due to injury. He’s stepped in to provide valuable production as he’s averaging 10.3 points, 4.3 rebounds, 1.3 assists, 1.3 steals, 1.1 blocks and 2.1 three-pointers per game. Gallinari’s recovery has been slow and he could be out this entire week as well considering he hasn’t even returned to full practice yet. If you need three’s and defensive stats, Johnson is a great option for you who is still available in 81% of Yahoo! leagues.
Ish Smith, Detroit Pistons
Smith isn’t starting for the Pistons and he’s only averaging 20 minutes per game, so he doesn’t exactly jump off the page as a must-add this week. However, he normally produces even in limited minutes as he’s averaging 9.6 points, 2.3 rebounds and 4.1 assists per game. He has the third-highest usage rate on the team (22.5%) behind Avery Bradley and Reggie Jackson, which has helped to give him value. Two of the Pistons four games this week come against teams in the top-four in the NBA in terms of pace of play in the Suns and Sixers, providing added opportunities for Smith to produce. He’s not going to get you many three’s or help much with defensive stats, but he’s a viable option if you need assists. He’s still available in 92% of Yahoo! leagues.
Teams With The Fewest Games – 2 Games Each
Atlanta Hawks, Charlotte Hornets, Toronto Raptors
Only three teams play two games this week, dealing a major blow to the fantasy value of their players. Consider benching the below players who would normally be in your starting lineup otherwise.
Serge Ibaka, Toronto Raptors
I’ll start off by saying I’m not a big fan of Ibaka in general. Once an elite shot blocker, his 1.3 blocks per game this season are the fewest since his rookie season. He’s also averaging only 11.9 points and 5.4 rebounds per game, both well below the prime of his career. While he helps you from behind the arc with his 1.5 three-pointers per game, that’s not as valuable as it once was with so many big men shooting three’s in today’s game. With only two games this week, it would be best to put Ibaka on your bench.
Nicolas Batum, Charlotte Hornets
Batum hasn’t played most of this season due to an elbow injury and has already missed one game since he returned with problems to the same elbow. He looked very rusty in his last game against the Spurs as he scored only five points while shooting 1-for-7 from the field. The Hornets two games this week come against the Heat and Raptors, two teams that are in the top-10 in the NBA in terms of fewest points allowed. With Batum struggling to find his groove again, I’d much rather start Anderson or Johnson over him this week.
Kent Bazemore, Atlanta Hawks
Bazemore is averaging a career-high 28 minutes per game on a rebuilding Hawks team that lacks depth. He has cashed in his extra minutes as he’s averaging 12.7 points, 4.4 rebounds, 3.5 assists, 1.8 steals and 1.4 three-pointers per game. His 22.8% usage rate is second-highest on the team behind Dennis Schroder, so he clearly has a major role. The problem with using him this week is that outside of steals, he doesn’t really excel in any one category. Although he gets to play two bad defensive teams in the Cavaliers and Nets this week, he just can’t produce enough in two games to warrant starting him.