Thursday only brings us four games in the NBA, but at least it will be highlighted by a great matchup between the Clippers and Rockets. We also have a chance to win some money in DFS, so let’s discuss a couple of players at each position to target.Read More
Tuesday’s eight-game slate in the NBA has plenty of star power with the Bucks, Mavericks and Sixers among the teams in action. Let’s examine the entire price scale and highlight a couple of players to target at each position.Read More
We have our customary busy Friday with 11 games in the NBA, 10 of which will make up the main evening slate in DFS.Read More
With a busy 11-game slate in the NBA on Monday, we have a bevy of options to choose from in DFS.Read More
NBA Daily Fantasy Basketball Lineup Picks for 2/15/18
Thursday brings just two games in the NBA, but there are still great players taking the floor and money to be won in DFS. Sign up for our Newsletter and try our Playerlab tool, where you can filter the stats that matter the most and find the players to hopefully help you win some money like Eric Bledsoe and Kyle Kuzma.
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Eric Bledsoe, MIL vs. DEN
FanDuel = $8,000
DraftKings = $7,100
Bledsoe is in the midst of one of his best stretches since being traded to the Bucks, averaging 20.4 points, 3.8 rebounds, 7.4 assists, 1.6 steals and 2.2 three-pointers in his last five games. He has the second-highest usage rate (27.1%) on the team and should continue to be one of the focal points of their offense moving forward. The Nuggets allow the fifth-most points per game on both FanDuel and DraftKings to opposing point guards, making Bledsoe an excellent option at a reasonable price Thursday.
Jeff Teague, MIN vs. LAL
FanDuel = $6,700
DraftKings = $6,200
Teague’s scoring average is down at just 12.9 points per game this season, but that was to be expected playing for a team that includes Karl-Anthony Towns, Jimmy Butler, and Andrew Wiggins. He’s still managed to provide value though by averaging 7.1 assists, 2.5 steals and 1.1 three-pointers per game. He gets a favorable matchup Friday as the Lakers play at the fastest pace (103 possessions per game) in the league. His ceiling isn’t off the charts, but he can still provide value for your entry.
Will Barton, DEN at MIL
FanDuel = $7,700
DraftKings = $6,800
Barton is getting a ton of playing time for the Nuggets, logging at least 34 minutes in 10 of his last 11 games. He’s taken full advantage of the opportunity, averaging 16.3 points, 5.0 rebounds. 4.6 assists and 2.1 three-pointers in those 10 contests. The Nuggets have moved Barton into the starting lineup as they push towards the playoffs, giving him a significant boost in value. On a night with limited options, Barton stands out as a great choice at shooting guard.
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, LAL at MIN
FanDuel = $5,700
DraftKings = $5,100
The Lakers are still thin at guard with Lonzo Ball (knee) injured, leaving Caldwell-Pope to play at least 31 minutes in three straight games. Even though his usage rate is only 17.2% this season, the pace at which the Lakers play and the added playing time helps give Caldwell-Pope value. The Timberwolves have struggled on defense at times this season, making Caldwell-Pope someone to consider at this price.
Giannis Antetokounmpo, MIL vs. DEN
FanDuel = $11,700
DraftKings = $10,700
On a night with so few games, you want to make sure you get at least one elite player into your lineup. Giannis might be that player Thursday, with his 31.8% usage rate that ranks fifth-highest in the league. He’s much more than just a scorer though, averaging 10.4 rebounds, 4.7 assists, 1.4 steals and 1.3 blocks per game. He will eat up a significant portion of your budget, but he should be worth it Thursday.
Brandon Ingram, LAL at MIN
FanDuel = $6,700
DraftKings = $6,300
Ingram continues to provide an offensive spark for the Lakers, averaging 20 points in his last six games. He’s been asked to help facilitate the offense with Ball out as well, averaging 5.7 assists over that same stretch. Even with Isaiah Thomas now on the Lakers, Ingram should still see an increase in assists until Ball returns. Ball is expected back after the All-Star break, so take advantage of Ingram’s added value Thursday while you can.
Kyle Kuzma, LAL at MIN
FanDuel = $6,900
DraftKings = $6,000
Kuzma has shown he can provide tremendous value when given the opportunity but has seen limited minutes when the Lakers are healthy up front. However, the trade that sent Larry Nance Jr. to the Cavaliers has now freed up playing time for Kuzma. He’s been excellent in the three games since Nance was traded, averaging 17.0 points, 9.7 rebounds and 2.3 three-pointers. Power forward is especially shallow on FanDuel with only two games, leaving Kuzma as one of the better options Thursday.
Trey Lyles, DEN at MIL
FanDuel = $5,000
DraftKings = $4,400
Lyles has been a valuable member of the Nuggets’ bench, averaging 11.7 points, 6.0 rebounds and a block in six games in February. His playing time is down a bit from the previous two months, but his usage in February is a season-high at 23.8%. The Bucks are a tough defensive team, but Lyles significant role and cheap price make him worth considering for your entry.
Nikola Jokic, DEN at MIL
FanDuel = $10,000
DraftKings = $9,800
Jokic’s ability to contribute across the board leaves him tremendous upside, evident by the fact that he has two triple-doubles in his last six games. Things couldn’t shape up much better for him Thursday as the Bucks allow the fifth-most points per game on FanDuel and the fourth-most points per game on DraftKings to opposing centers. He and Karl-Anthony Towns stand out at the position Thursday, but Jokic could finish with the best numbers, especially if the Timberwolves get a big lead on the lowly Lakers.
Tyler Zeller, MIL vs. DEN
FanDuel = $4,200
DraftKings = $3,900
The Bucks will be without starting center John Henson (hamstring) on Thursday, marking the third straight game that he has missed. Zeller played at least 22 minutes in each of the previous two games without Henson, averaging 9.0 points, 8.0 rebounds, and 1.5 blocks. With Jokic and Towns being by far the best options at center Thursday, it might be wise to pay up to get one of them into your lineup. However, if you need to save money at the position, Zeller is a cheap option to consider.
NBA Daily Fantasy Basketball Lineup Picks 12/23/17
Saturday (12/23/17) features a twelve-game slate with games that may provide great value to your potential winning lineup. Many play opportunities lie beneath the $10,000+ priced players.
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Kyrie Irving ($8,900 FD/$8,800 DK)
Holding about the same price tag on both platforms, Kyrie Irving has some serious upside Saturday night. Uncle Drew is averaging 42 FanDuel PPG over his last three games, as he torched opposing defenses for 30+ points each night. Although the Chicago Bulls have been hot lately, their defense remains weak as they rank top 5 worst in the league in defending point guards. This match is set to be in Boston, where Kyrie Irving is also averaging 44 FanDuel PPG over his last five home games. Kyrie should definitely cross your mind when assembling your lineup.
Tyler Johnson ($6,000 FD/$5,400 DK)
With a very appealing price, Tyler Johnson may be your go-to play to preserve some salary. Johnson has been given the starting nod the last three games to patch up Goran Dragic’s recent absence as he is dealing with elbow issues. Tyler Johnson logged 36+ minutes in each of his starts and has been thriving due to Dragic’s misfortune. Johnson evidently has seen a boost in usage and workload as he faces the New Orleans Pelicans Saturday night who rank 6th in pace of play. Averaging 32.2 FanDuel PPG in his three starts, the Pelicans will force the Heat to push up their tempo with Johnson running the offense. Johnson’s price makes him extremely valuable in this slate and has a good enough resume to take the risk on.
Khris Middleton ($7,700 FD/$7,600 DK)
Middleton and the Bucks play the Hornets Saturday night, the same team they defeated 109-104 the prior night. The Hornets rank poorly against SG’s as Middleton scored 28 points Friday night. Lately, Middleton has not disappointed DFS wise. He has scored at least 32 FanDuel points nine straight games. Ranking top 10 in the league in pace, the Charlotte Hornets will be forcing a top 10 offensive in the Milwaukee Bucks to handle more possessions. This makes Middleton immensely valuable, as the number of opportunities he could have will increase.
Tyreke Evans ($8,000 FD/$7,900 DK)
With Conley still sidelined or Memphis, Tyreke Evans continues to put on a show given the boost in usage and workload. Evans has scored 22+ points in 3 of his last 4 games. His teammate, Marc Gasol is doubtful to play Saturday night as he deals with a sore hip. Evans will be the primary source to score for the struggling Grizzlies. He shouldn’t have too much of a problem considering his opponent, the Los Angeles Clippers, rank 24th in the league in defending the position.
Josh Richardson ($6,000 FD/$6,400 DK)
Alongside teammate Tyler Johnson, Josh Richardson has been doing just fine handling his increased usage percentage due to Dragic’s injury. In the three games Dragic has been sidelined, Richardson posted an average of 41.8 FanDuel PPG. Dion Waiters is also questionable in this one. If he is in fact ruled out, Richardson will see another upward spike in workload and be deemed as one of the Heat’s primary scoring options. Despite his recent value, his salary price hasn’t budged much which is nothing to complain about. I would gladly spend $6,000 on a player with this much upside.
TJ Warren ($7,700 FD/$6,600 DK)
As the days go on TJ Warren continues to be the foundation of the Phoenix offense with Booker sidelined. Since Devon Booker got hurt, Warren is averaging 20.6 PPG. His fantasy numbers have been sub-par in comparison to his expectations, however, it seems he’s getting on the right track as he has provided at least 34 FanDuel points in three straight games. Warren faces the Timberwolves who he faced just a week ago, and although held to 26 FanDuel points, he seems a lot more appealing as the rematch now takes place in Arizona. Warren is an interesting play and most likely won’t be owned very much.
Draymond Green ($8,700 FD/$7,200 DK) –
After returning from a four-game frame Friday night, Draymond Green took no time getting right back on track as he posted a near triple-double in 30 minutes of play. He is playing the Denver Nuggets as the tough, gritty Draymond Green has significant upside. Although he can run up your salary, Green has a great match-up against a team whose defense ranks 26th in the league in defending power forwards, allowing nearly 50 fantasy PPG to PF’s this season. The Warriors are still Curry-less and need players to take the weight off of Kevin Durant’s shoulders. Draymond Green’s return may solve this issue very shortly as he will inherit that responsibility with Klay Thompson.
Nikola Mirotic ($6,800 FD/$6,500 DK) –
Mirotic, or MiroFix? Since returning from injury, the what once was 3-20 Chicago Bulls have managed to ride a seven-game winning streak which was snapped Thursday by the Cleveland Cavaliers, who only won by three. Mirotic provides some serious help on the offensive end coming off the bench and has been a pretty good asset in DFS play. He has averaged 35.6 FanDuel PPG over his last five contests. Mirotic plays the #1 ranked defensive efficiency rated team in the NBA in the Boston Celtics. Despite overall rating, the Celtics rank 27th in the league in solely defending big men (PF/C’s). The PF position in this slate seems thin, making Mirotic a great fairly priced play.
Nikola Jokic ($8,300 FD/$7,600 DK)
From one Nikola coming off an injury to another, we now focus on the rising star over in Denver. Jokic has regained his playing time as he has logged 36+ minutes in back-to-back games. Due to his injury and initial minute restriction, Jokic has been priced down as we once saw him in the high $9,000 range on FanDuel and DraftKings. Jokic is coming off a 48.8 FanDuel point performance against the top 5 defense the Portland Trailblazers carry. The idea of this former second-round pick getting his rhythm back is scary for competitors, but a joy for DFS users. He clashes with the Golden State Warriors Saturday night, where he seems to have some upside considering his minutes boost and recent production.
Myles Turner ($8,100 FD/$6,500 DK)
Myles Turner has a fairly big gap in salary between FanDuel and DraftKings, making him especially appealing on DK where his $6,500 salary seems way too cheap. Turner will be doing his thing at the Barclay Center Saturday night as he opposes the Brooklyn Nets for the second time in the past week. The first performance for Turner was average, posting 16 points on 7-for-11 shooting, which soon accumulated to 31 FanDuel points. This second time around may be a breakout game for Turner as the Nets rank third-worst in the league in defending centers. He is also coming off of a 40 FD point performance against the Atlanta Hawks. Regardless, the price for Myles Turner is extremely fair and seems to have a great opportunity for the ones seeking to take advantage of it.
NBA Daily Fantasy Basketball Lineup Picks for 11/30/17
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Eric Bledsoe, MIL at POR
FanDuel = $7,500
DraftKings = $6,800
Bledsoe has played well since being traded to the Bucks as he’s averaging 15.8 points, 4.3 rebounds, 5.1 assists, 2.1 steals and 1.1 three-pointers per game with his new squad. Now the second best offensive weapon on the team, he’s posting a 27.9% usage rate. His numbers are going to continue to get better as he gets accustomed to his new teammates and he’s already showing signs of that as he has averaged 23.0 points, 4.3 rebounds and 6.3 assists over his last three games. On a night with only five games on the schedule, Bledsoe presents an excellent option for your entry.
Jamal Murray, DEN vs. CHI
FanDuel = $5,100
DraftKings = $5,000
Murray doesn’t provide much outside of scoring, but he has managed to average 13.9 points and 1.2 three-pointers in only 27 minutes per game. He still has a significant role in the offense as his 24.4% usage rate is the highest on the team. Thursday’s matchup against the Bulls is favorable for Murray as the Bulls struggle to defend point guards. They have been especially poor of late, allowing an average of 23.6 points per game to opposing starting point guards over their last three contests. At this price, Murray can provide value.
Lou Williams, LAC vs. UTA
FanDuel = $8,000
DraftKings = $7,300
The Clippers are absolutely decimated by injuries and will be without Blake Griffin, Patrick Beverley, Danilo Gallinari and Milos Teodosic on Thursday. When you think about how much offense the Clippers were counting on from Griffin and Gallinari, that’s a lot of scoring to make up for. Enter Williams as he is never afraid to shoot the rock. He is currently averaging a career-high 13.7 shot attempts per game to go along with a 27.8% usage rate. Expect him to lead the Clippers offense Thursday, giving him value even at this expensive price.
Gary Harris, DEN vs. CHI
FanDuel = $6,100
DraftKings = $5,600
One thing you get with Harris is consistent playing time as he has played at least 30 minutes in all but three games this season, one of which he played 29 minutes. He’s not going to give you much in the way of rebounds or assists, but he makes up for it by averaging 1.8 steals to go along with 14.3 points per game. He has actually had at least three steals in three of his last four games. With plenty of minutes and shots on tap for Thursday’s matchup against a bad Bulls defense, consider adding Harris into your lineup.
Giannis Antetokounmpo, MIL at POR
FanDuel = $11,800
DraftKings = $11,100
Not much needs to be said to make a case to start Giannis on Thursday. His 33.5% usage rate is fifth-best in the NBA, which is even better when you take into consideration he leads the league with 37 minutes per game. He also crushed the Trail Blazers earlier this season when he scored 44 points to go along with eight rebounds, four assists, two steals and one block. He and LeBron James are the two best options at small forward for the evening, but I’d lean towards Giannis as this game should be more competitive than the Cavaliers taking on a bad Atlanta Hawks team.
Juan Hernangomez, DEN vs. CHI
FanDuel = $4,000
DraftKings = $3,700
While the Nuggets aren’t as injury-riddled as the Clippers, they are dealing with problems of their own with Paul Millsap out for three months and Wilson Chandler already ruled out for this game with a back injury. Chandler missed the Nuggets last game Tuesday, leading to a start for Hernangomez. He came through with seven points, 10 rebounds and one block in 28 minutes, marking his best game of the season. With the expectation that he will see increased minutes again Thursday, he could provide significant value at this cheap price.
Derrick Favors, UTA at LAC
FanDuel = $7,400
DraftKings = $6,600
Favors is in the midst of his best stretch this season as he is averaging 19.4 points, 8.0 rebounds and 1.8 blocks over his last five games. With so little depth behind him up front due to Rudy Gobert’s injury, he is going to continue to see extended playing time. This should be a fun matchup against DeAndre Jordan, one of the few quality big men still healthy on the Clippers. With Jordan likely to get heavy minutes, the Jazz will need Favors to come through again. Without a lot of great options at power forward for your entry, Favors provides one of the safer bets to produce.
Marcus Morris, BOS vs. PHI
FanDuel = $4,600
DraftKings = $4,700
Morris has taken a big step backward in terms of playing time as his 24 minutes per game is his lowest average since the 2013-14 season. With the talent Boston has up front, that shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. The good news is that he has done more with less as his 23.9% usage rate is the highest of his career. With Joel Embiid resting for the Sixers Thursday, they could use some smaller-than-usual lineup combinations. The Sixers play at the fourth-fastest pace (104.8) in the NBA already, so this could be one of the more uptempo games you see the Celtics play. Take a chance on Morris to have a big game based on his opponent and his reasonable price.
Nikola Jokic, DEN vs. CHI
FanDuel = $9,500
DraftKings = $9,100
With Embiid resting Thursday, Jokic becomes the center with the highest upside. While his scoring is slightly down, his overall numbers are even better than last year as he’s averaging 15.9 points, 11.0 rebounds, 4.6 assists, 1.5 steals and 1.4 three-pointers per game. One of the best passing centers in the league, his ability to contribute in multiple categories gives him the potential to provide massive production any given night. With a matchup against the Bulls on the slate, this could be one of those evenings when Jokic leads you to some money in DFS.
DeAndre Jordan, LAC vs. UTA
FanDuel = $7,400
DraftKings = $7,100
With Jordan approaching last-man-standing status in the Clippers frontcourt, he could put up some big numbers going forward. His scoring is down at 10.0 points per game, but he may get a few extra shot attempts with Griffin now on the sidelines. Always a valuable contributor on the glass, he should get all the minutes he can handle Thursday. If you can’t pay up for Jokic, Jordan can provide value at a more budget-friendly price.
NBA Daily Fantasy Basketball Lineup Picks for 11/22/17
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Kyle Lowry, TOR at NY
FanDuel = $8,000
DraftKings = $8,200
Lowry’s scoring is down significantly this season at only 14.6 points per game, However, most of that is due to a poor start as he has scored at least 17 points in six of his last seven games. Wednesday brings a rematch against the Knicks, a team that posted 22 points, eight rebounds, 10 assists and five-three pointers against last week. That should come as no surprise as the Knicks struggle to defend opposing point guards, so roll with Lowry again in this game.
Mario Chalmers, MEM vs. DAL
FanDuel = $5,600
DraftKings = $5,000
Chalmers has played well as a member of the starting five for the Grizzlies, averaging 10.5 points, 4.3 rebounds, 6.3 assists and 2.3 steals in four starts this season. While his usage rate is about the same whether he starts or comes off the bench, he’s averaging seven more minutes per game as a starter, leading to the added value. The Mavericks are in the top-10 in terms of most fantasy points allowed to opposing point guards this season, making Chalmers an excellent value play.
Bradley Beal, WAS at CHA
FanDuel = $7,700
DraftKings = $7,800
Beal has been an offensive force again this season, averaging 24.2 points and 2.2 three-pointers per game. Throw in averages of 4.9 rebounds, 3.4 assists and 1.2 steals per game and you get an excellent all-around option. His 28.8% usage rate is the highest on the team and puts him inside the top-20 in the NBA. The Hornets are allowing the fifth-most points per game (24.6) to opposing shooting guards this season, making Beal a strong option for your entry.
Troy Daniels, PHO vs. MIL
FanDuel = $3,400
DraftKings = $3,300
With so many elite players in action Wednesday, you want to try and find a couple of really cheap tournament plays to help with your budget. Daniels has surprisingly been a big part of the Suns’ offense of late, averaging 15.7 points and 4.3 three-pointers over his last three games. The Suns play at the second-fastest pace (106.6) in the NBA, so Daniels has opportunities to produce even in limited minutes. He won’t cost you much, so take a chance on him in tournament play if you need to save some money.
Paul George, OKC vs. GS
FanDuel = $8,500
DraftKings = $8,500
This will be a fun game to see how the Thunder’s new “big 3” hold up against the loaded Warriors. While the Thunder are only 7-9 to start the season, George is still averaging 21.9 points, 5.9 rebounds, 2.8 assists, 2.6 steals and 3.4 three-pointers per game. The Thunder have so little depth that even with two other superstars on the team, George can still put up lofty numbers. This has the potential to be a high-scoring contest Wednesday, resulting in George having significant value.
Denzel Valentine, CHI at UTA
FanDuel = $5,100
DraftKings = $4,800
The rebuilding Bulls brought Valentine off the bench to start this season, but have finally moved him to the starting small forward in place of Paul Zipser. Valentine appears to have grabbed hold of the position, averaging 14.7 points, 7.0 rebounds, 4.3 assists and 4.0 three-pointers in his last three games. Without the injured Rudy Gobert anchoring their defense, the Jazz aren’t the same team defensively. Valentine has the potential to be one of the best value plays for the evening.
Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, BKN at CLE
FanDuel = $7,200
DraftKings = $6,400
Hollis-Jefferson is coming off one of his best games of the season when he scored 16 points to go along with 12 rebounds, five assists and one steal Sunday against the Warriors. The Cavaliers present a similar opponent in style of play as they too tend to use a lot of small lineups, which is ideal for Hollis-Jefferson. The Nets play at the fastest pace (107) in the NBA, leaving Hollis-Jefferson with plenty of opportunities to provide production. Get him in your lineup at this reasonable price.
Lauri Markkanen, CHI at UTA
FanDuel = $6,200
DraftKings = $6,600
The Bulls continue to struggle this season, but Markkanen has been one of the bright spots on their depleted roster. The rookie is averaging 15.4 points, 8.4 rebounds, and 2.5 three-pointers in 31 minutes per game. The fight between Bobby Portis and Nikola Mirotic opened up a starting spot for Markkanen and it appears he is now going to hold onto it for the rest of the season. As one of the few quality scoring options on the team, he should continue to see heavy minutes again Wednesday. Based on his production and role on the team, this is a very reasonable price for Markkanen on both sites.
Nikola Jokic, DEN at HOU
FanDuel = $9,000
DraftKings = $8,900
The Nuggets were dealt a significant blow Wednesday when it was announced Paul Millsap needs surgery on his injured wrist and will be out indefinitely. Millsap had the second-highest usage rate (23.7%) on the team, leaving a lot of opportunities for others to produce now that he is out. Jokic was already one of the focal points of the team as he had a 21.1% usage rate himself, but he could see increased production going forward. Both the Nuggets and Rockets and are in the top-12 in the NBA in terms of pace, so this could be a huge night for Jokic.
Thon Maker, MIL at PHO
FanDuel = $3,400
DraftKings = $3,300
The Bucks are going to be thin up front Wednesday as John Henson has already been ruled out for this game with an eye injury. That’s not good news because even though the Suns are horrible, they have a lot of size up front in Tyson Chandler, Alex Len, and Greg Monroe. Maker is only averaging 18 minutes per game this season but could see significantly more playing time in this contest. If you want to take a chance on a cheap center in tournament play, Maker could be in line for a decent performance.
NBA Daily Fantasy Basketball Lineup Picks for 10/27/17
John Wall and the Wizards will head to Golden State to face off with the Warriors tonight. With a 230 over/under, Vegas expects points to be scored. We haven’t seen much of classic John Wall yet this season, but we all know it’s coming and coming very soon. This match-up with the Warriors will give him the opportunity to run as much as he wants and do it against a subpar defender in Stephen Curry. If the Wizards are able to keep this relatively close, it’ll probably end up as the most productive game stack on the board. The Warriors and Wizards both play very fast and small, so it’ll be exciting to see how rotation and minute-distribution goes. We know Wall will see 35 minutes if it stays close and give you at least 45 FP with upside for 70.
With D’Angelo Russell looking all but out, Spencer Dinwiddie will slide in there once again and give the Nets 30 minutes at a minimum. He saw 31 against the Cavs last time out and put up 38 fantasy points, even though the match-up was horrible. This one against the Knicks is far better as Dinwiddie matches up well with Sessions and the Knicks’ backup PG’s. Dinwiddie isn’t some horrible stand in the corner guy either. He will control the ball when in the game and do a great job at it. He’s an easy cash game and tournament play for me once we learn Russell is confirmed out. Point Guard is likely the deepest position on the slate. Make sure you get it right.
Tim Hardaway Jr.
9-for-37. Hardaway Jr. is a very good scorer that is going through a really bad cold streak. We’ll see it snap any night now and when it does, expect a big night. Hardaway is a guy who put up 30 fantasy points almost every night last year for about a month. He now faces off with the Nets, which is the best possible match-up for an SG. They allowed 61 FP to them per game in 2016 and have started this campaign on a not so good note. The Nets love to play fast and it forces the other team to match, resulting in an excess of possessions and peripherals to go around. Hardaway Jr. is too cheap on both sites and I’ll have 100% exposure. I don’t see many ways around him missing value against the Nets. Even if he has a bad shooting night, he should get there with peripherals. If he has a good shooting night, it’s gravy.
Shooting guard isn’t the greatest, but these 2 guys I’m touching on are fairly priced and give you some real safety at a position that lacks it. With Michael Kidd-Gilchrist back, Lamb has still played productive minutes. He now faces off with James Harden and the Rockets. Lamb should be out there at least 32-35 minutes as I suppose he will draw the initial Harden match-up. Fortunately, Harden isn’t nearly as good at defense as he is on offense. Lamb should be able to get in the paint with ease and make things happen. He’s a guy who can rebound extremely well (16 career-high) when he puts his mind towards it, so you never really know what Jeremy Lamb you’ll see. We do know he’ll be out there for 32+ minutes against a fast-paced team that likes to give up points.
Durant is the first superstar we’ll touch on and I prefer him over KD/Harden because of the discount and similar projection. Durant has been dominant this season and has clearly surpassed Stephen Curry as the number 1 option on offense. This is kind of KD’s team, or at least on offense. He touches the ball nearly every possession and it’s worked, sitting over 50 FP in each. He now gets a very friendly match-up with the Wizards, who he’s always dominated. Kelly Oubre and Otto Porter and solid defenders on most nights, but don’t have the length or skill to stick with Durant. He averaged 61 FP against them last year and will look to put up another masterpiece. I have a lot of exposure to this game as I think it stays pretty close all the way throughout, giving all the starters 4 quarters of full playing time.
After Kevin Durant, small forward is ugly. Not as ugly as PF, but you don’t get too many solid choices. You do have Wilson Chandler, who’s been absolutely pitiful to start the year. Like Tim Hardaway Jr., Wilson Chander is a solidified scorer that is simply going on a cold streak. We all know he’ll be putting up 20 real-life points on mist night and should be around $6.5 to $7K. The match-up with the Hawks isn’t anything special, as they’ve allowed the 9th most FP to SF since the start of 2016. Chandler is still going to see 30 minutes in this offense and he will not stop shooting. He never has. He knows more than anyone that this is variance and his shots will start going through in no time. Don’t be afraid to jump on a guy early in the season because of a couple bad games. It happens.
At the weakest position of the night, you have 1 very easy choice. With the Nets being fantasy gold mines, Kristaps Porzingis is a guy I want all of. He was pitiful last time out against the Celtics, but that game got away early and he didn’t ever get into a groove. He was over 45 FP in each of the other 2 games and it looks like he’s turned a corner without Melo. The offense runs squarely through him and I’m not sure who plans on stopping him here. The Nets have Trevor Booker and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson. Booker can battle inside, but he’ll have a lot of trouble with the length. RHJ just isn’t a PF and will have trouble with every face of POrzingis’ game. That’s what happens when you’re a 2017 PF taking on a real one. Porzingis is my favorite player on the slate and I will do everything I can to get as much ownership as possible. This is a guy who should put up 50 fantasy points without much problem if the game stays close. He’s also much cheaper than the studs and lets you pay up in an extra spot or two.
Cody Zeller has already been ruled out for this game, so you can lock into Frank the Tank Kaminsky for another 28-35. I personally never though Kaminsky would be good in the NBA, but I was plain wrong. He has done a good job of transition his game slowly. He probably would have flopped if thrown into the fire like a lot of guys are initially. Instead, he let himself develop and slowly grow into the solidified power forward that he is today. He has a scoring presence from any spot on the floor and is noticeable smart when out there. He does a great job of spacing the floor and communicating with guards as to PNR and GNG’s. He sees a solid match-up against a Rockets team without a real PF. Ryan Anderson does his best, but he’s a shooter. He isn’t going to do very well banging with Kaminsky back to the basket. They also have Luc Mbah a Moute, who’s a great defender, but also an SF playing big. Kaminsky is cheap enough on both sites for all contests and with PF weak, I’ll have a ton.
If Jonas Valunciunas is out, we now know who to target. After years of atrocious Raptors backup bigs, we may have found someone. Jakon Poeltl came out of college as a stud. He’s the best player to play for the Utah Utes in a long time and turned that team into a contender. With that being said, his style of play was always very nice for the NBA. Now that he has been given the opportunity with Jonas Valunciunas out, he’s taken advantage. In the last 3 games, he’s seen 16, 25, and 26 minutes. He’s been over 30 fantasy points in every single one of those. We now see Jonas Valunciunas and Nogueira out, which should let Poeltl get over that 30-minute mark. If he does against the Lakers, it’s not crazy to expect 35 fantasy points. The price is too cheap and POeltl will be a big help for paying up elsewhere.
If you feel the need to pay up at center, Nikola Jokic is a great way to go. He’s still too cheap on both sites and I’ll keep playing him until he’s priced appropriately. Tonight, he sees a nice match-up with the Hawks pitiful interior. Dewayne Dedmon has absolutely no chance of slowing down Jokic, and they don’t have anyone else big enough. I guess that just means Jokic will have a huge advantage in the paint at all times tonight. He will also be able to get as many wide open looks from the outside as he could want. The Hawks simply can’t match-up with the size and savvy of the Joker. You can pencil him in for 40 fantasy points and look for 75 point upside, as he showed plenty in 2016. The Hawks have no shot at stopping him, so if this game stays close, I’ll probably wish I had more exposure here.
NBA Daily Fantasy Basketball Lineup Picks for 10/21/17
Yogi Ferrell and J.J. Barea
FD $4,100 – $3,900 DK $4,200 – $4,200
Dennis Smith Jr. missed the game last night and has already been ruled out for tonight’s game against the Rockets. J.J. Barea and Yogi Ferrell will benefit most, deserving plenty of attention in both cash games and tournaments. Chris Paul has already been ruled out on the other side, so the match-up here won’t be an issue. J.J. Barea got the start last night, but both him and Ferrell got 30 minutes. You can expect at least that many tonight in a fast-paced matchup with Houston. With CP3 gone, Eric Gordon shifted over to covering the PG and split time there with James Harden. Both Harden and Gordon are lackluster defenders would much rather run the floor than grind it out. I really don’t prefer either over the other, but if you forced me, I’ll go with Ferrell as he was controlling the ball when the game mattered down the stretch. He’s also just a tad bit cheaper on both sites, so there’s that.
FD $7,600 DK $7,000
I don’t love PG tonight, so I’m fine punting with all of the value available. I think Westbrook may be popular, and he’s great in cash games, but the match-up with the Jazz is pace-down and he will need to be almost perfect to hit value. Looking a bit cheaper, Ricky Rubio stands out. He’s played over 30 minutes in each of the first 2 games and has held on to a 1.56 FP/minute. It’s obviously an insanely small sample size, but it’s nice to see a guy like him starting off hit. Thibs will keep him on the court a lot when playing like this and the match-up is perfect tonight. Russell Westbrook has the athleticism to be a great defender, but he doesn’t have the lungs. He has enough to do on the other side and it’s why the Thunder ranked 22nd against PG’s in 2016. Rubio isn’t going to put up a bunch of real-life points, but he’ll stuff the sheet in a fast-paced game where he’ll be needed a ton on both sides.
FD $11,000 DK $10,600
I’m writing this on Thursday night, so forgive me if my assumptions are off a bit. I assume Russell Westbrook is going to be a lot more popular than James Harden and I like Harden more. For one, Chris Paul is out. He’s going to eat into Harden’s numbers this year, as he holds the ball a ton. Two, Westbrook has more opportunity cost. There are some nice options at PG, compared to the mess that is value SG’s. Harden was the primary ballhandler last game and that shouldn’t change here after playing well. The match-up with the Mavs is great, especially with Seth Curry and Dennis Smith being ruled out. That leaves Barea, Ferrell, and Wes Matthews at the 1 and 2. Matthews will cover him most of the time, but the other guys will eventually have to take a shot. It won’t end well for any of them. Harden is going to dominate this defense and their non-existent interior. I’m not saying it’s the safest option, but I’ll be going Harden over Westbrook tonight.
FD $5,000 DK $5,400
Shooting Guard is currently my least favorite position, so I’m pretty happy we have James Harden to lean on at the top. With that being said, there are still some guys you can lean on for 25+ FP. Buddy Hield is the easy choice for me. He is going to be a big part of the Kings offense this year and he’s already shown it, going for 32 over the first 2 games. He’s shot the 3rd most on the team and will continue to get around 30 minutes. He’ll see a pairing of Will Barton and Gary Harris on defense, who are both pretty average. The game is sitting at a 216 over/under, so getting some exposure is probably a good idea. Hield lets you do that at a friendly price, while maintaining the upside to give you a huge boost. Hield went over 40 FP 8 times in 2016 and he’s still 4 years from his prime, so it’s possible. It really just depends if he’s hot or not. You’ll know early.
FD $5,800 DK $5,600
Elfrid Payton hurt his hamstring last night and he left the game for good. I could be wrong, but I don’t see him coming back tonight. If he does, you can lower my love for Even Fournier here. You also have Aaron Gordon questionable, who missed last night entirely. Fournier and the Magic will have to travel to Cleveland and face off with the same Cavs that just laid the smacking on a skilled Bucks team last night. The Magic don’t have much of a chance at winning here, but they will have to score. Fournier is going to see a lot of ball-handling opportunities and I expect the Magic to run a lot of Fournier/Vucevic PnR. Vuc played a lot last night, however, so I think Fournier steps up and takes on the scoring responsibility. We also shouldn’t have to worry about LeBron covering him (unless he gets hot_, as he won’t be playing the 3 at all with Elfrid out. Small forward isn’t pretty today and Fournier gives you a 30 floor and 60 ceiling at 5.5K.
FD $4,900 DK $4,600
This is one of my favorite plays of the night. Josh Richardson played 34 minutes last game and stunk. I love to see it. With just 1 game on the board, people will look at that and draw conclusions. Josh Richardson is a damn good basketball player and one that can fill it up for fantasy. If he continues seeing 30+ minutes at this price, you play him. Every game. The match-up with the Pacers is exquisite, considering they played at the 3rd fastest pace in 2016 and lead thus far in ’17. Richardson is a guy who thrives in the open court, but is perfectly fine in the halfcourt set as well. The Pacers, like the Heat, don’t have a real SF, so Lance Stephenson should be on him a lot. With Hassan Whiteside ruled out, the Heat are going to need a few guys to step up. I expect Josh Richardson to be one of them and for him to be about 5% owned. If he had a good game last time out, he would be close to 40%. Sample size. use it to your advantage.
FD $9,800 DK $9,800
I highlighted why I like Griffin so much this season in his first game and everything turned out perfectly. Like I was hoping, Doc Rivers has handed Blake Griffin the offense. It is run around him and what he wants to do. Against Phoenix, that should be a very, very glorious thing to watch. Well, only if you click on his name. I’m of the opinion that Griffin is a top 5 fantasy player this season, so it’s going to be tough for me to not recommend him in any match-up, let alone against the Suns. He’s getting the ball whenever he wants and has a diverse post-game, while also keeping the pace and possesions up. It’s great news if you’re a fan of Blake Griffin. He put up 50 fantasy points in just 33 minutes in game 1 and will look to turn that into 60+ tonight. As long as the game stays close, I don’t see anyone stopping that from happening. I like Harden a bit more, but I’ve been able to fit both on FD without much quarrel. On DK, we all know how tight it can get.
James Johnson and Kelly Olynyk
FD $$5,300 – $4,400 DK $5,200 – $4,800
With Hassan Whiteside out, these are the 2 guys who will fill the hole. Or at least try there best. As for a minutes projection, I’m looking for 32 out of Johnson and 28 from Olynyk, give or take 5. It’s a perfect match-up with the Pacers and they’ll both be able to play down if Myles Turned remains out with a concussion. James Johnson is one of my favorite cash game value plays on the slate and I think he may be the safest of all. Against the Pacers, there is no chance he sees less than 30 minutes. It’s the perfect game for his style of play (aggressive). The Pacers run as much as anyone and it’s shown when a team like the Heat in is a game with a 212 over/under. They like to play slow and aren’t very good at scoring. As for Olynyk, I’ve learned my lesson enough times in cash games. He does have 40 fantasy point upside, however, so it’d be wise to get some GPP exposure. The only worry is if both teams agree to play small and Johnson ends up at the 5. If Myles Turner plays, I may have to try my hand again at Olynyk in cash games. His size will be needed.
FD $9,000 DK $9,300
Jokic faced Rudy Gobert in game 1, so go ahead and throw it out the window. He still played pretty well, but I’m glad people are going to see a 37 when considering to play him or not. He was one of the best fantasy assets in 2016 and the Nuggets have only tailored the offense more in his favor. He is the focal point of the team and is leaned on to not only score but to distribute as well. He’s one of the more gifted passers in basketball and will see double-digit assists plenty of times in the campaign. This game is sitting at a 216 over/under with the Nuggets -11. The Kings will toss Willie Cauley-Stein and Zach Randolph at Jokic, but neither will stick. WCS has a better shot, but he’s not gifted enough on defense and is also a bit skinny. Jokic is a top 2 center in my book and against the Kings, I’ll have exposure every time. I do like him less than Blake Griffin, but BARELY.
FD $5,800 DK $5,400
Ya, I know. It seems kind of early to be recommending Robin Lopez. Trust me, I don’t want to play him either. I just have to be objective. With Nikola Mirotic and Bobby Portis out for an extended period of time, RoLo will be forced to play AT LEAST 30 minutes. He should see close to 40 on certain occasionas. He faces off with the Spurs tonight, who on the surface dont look like a great match-up. However, pace-adjusted, they ranked 21st against centers in 2016. Neither Pau Gasol nor LaMarcus Aldridge is any good at defense, so it makes sense. This is also a different Robin Lopen than you’re used to. Nobody is left on this team, so he’s almost the leader. He’s going to shoot the ball close to 15 times a game and should be close to a lock for a double-double on most nights. Good luck out there tonight! Here’s to avoiding the traps!