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NBA Fantasy Basketball Schedule Analysis for Week 5

*Mike Barner*

Point Guard

NBA Fantasy Basketball Schedule Analysis for Week 5

As you prepare your lineup for your head-to-head league for Week 5, remember it’s important to take a look at the schedule to see where you can gain an edge of your opponent. Not only do you want to target picking up players on waivers who play the most games for the week, but you may also need to make a tough choice and bench one of your better players because they play too few games.  Here are the moves you want to consider for your team.

Teams With The Most Games – 4 Games Each
Golden State Warriors, Los Angeles Lakers, Minnesota Timberwolves, Phoenix Suns, Portland Trail Blazers, Sacramento Kings, Toronto Raptors, Utah Jazz, Washington Wizards

Nine teams have the advantage of playing four games each this week. With the Warriors, Trail Blazers and Wizards among those teams, some elite fantasy players will have an even greater impact this week. If you need help though, consider checking the waiver wire for the players below.

 NBA Fantasy Basketball Schedule Analysis for Week 5
Marquese Chriss, Phoenix Suns

Chriss is only averaging 21 minutes per game this season, but he has still been able to average a respectable 7.2 points, 5.0 rebounds, 1.4 assists, 1.3 blocks and 1.1 three-pointers. He has seen a slight increase in playing time lately as he played at least 25 minutes in two of the last three games. In those two games, he averaged 11.0 points, 8.0 rebounds, 3.0 blocks and 3.0 three-pointers. The four games the Suns play this week come against the Rockets, Bulls and twice against the Lakers. None of these teams have elite defenses and tend to play smaller lineups, which could lead to some very valuable numbers from Chriss. He is currently available in 44% of Yahoo! leagues.

Thabo Sefolosha, Utah Jazz

The Jazz have lost one of their best players in Rudy Gobert for at least a month due to injury, paving the way for more minutes for Sefolosha. He actually started at power forward Saturday against the Nets and finished with nine points, nine rebounds, one assist, five steals and one three-pointer in 32 minutes. This week brings excellent matchups against the Timberwolves, Knicks, Nets and Magic. Sefolosha should see increased playing time throughout the week, making him a valuable pickup who is still available in 90% of Yahoo! leagues.

Bogdan Bogdanovic, Sacramento Kings

Bogdanovic’s value comes in his offensive production as he is averaging 9.9 points and 0.9 three-pointers in 24 minutes per game. After starting the season coming off the bench, he has now started each of the last seven games. The Kings play the Wizards, Hawks and two games against the Trail Blazers this week, with the games against the Wizards and Hawks providing really favorable matchups. If you need some offense and three-point shooting, Bogdanovic can provide value. He is currently available in 90% of Yahoo! leagues.


Teams With The Fewest Games – 2 Games Each
Oklahoma City Thunder

The Thunder are the only team playing less than three games this week, dealing a blow to the value of their players. Consider benching the players below as a result.

NBA Fantasy Basketball Schedule Analysis for Week 5
Carmelo Anthony, Oklahoma City Thunder

Anthony sat out Sunday’s game against the Mavericks with a back injury. While it is largely believed that he was sat as a precaution, it’s still worrisome considering he only has two games on the schedule this week. The matchups are not great either as the Thunder play the Bulls and the Spurs. The Bulls are terrible, so if Anthony isn’t rested for that game as well, he at least might play limited minutes once the game gets out of hand. The Spurs are one of the best defensive teams in the league, so scoring might be hard to come by in that game. If there was ever a week to put Anthony on your bench, this is it.

Steven Adams, Oklahoma City Thunder

Like Anthony, Adams is also dealing with an injury and has sat out the last two games. When healthy, he’s been extremely valuable this season as he is averaging 12.3 points, 8.4 rebounds, 1.5 steals and 1.3 blocks per game while shooting 65.2% from the field and 76.0% from the free-throw line. With his status uncertain heading into the weak and the two unfavorable matchups I already outlined, it might be a wise idea to bench him.

NBA Daily Fantasy Basketball Lineup Picks for 10/28/17

NBA Daily Fantasy Basketball Lineup Picks for 10/28/17

Point Guard

Damian Lillard
FD$9,300 DK $8,800

If you’re ever going to play Damian Lillard, this is the spot. I’m not sure there is a single better situation he could be in right now. With Eric Bledsoe out, this fast-paced Suns team is working with Mike James and Tyler Ulis at the point. Both have been pitiful and it’s a big reason why the Suns have allowed the 4th most FP to PG’s on the season. Lillard has played well to start the year, but we haven’t seen the breakout contest we all know is right on the horizon. He’s also at home in the Moda Center, where most of those games happen. Lillard is my favorite guard on the slate and it isn’t very close. He will be in 100% of my cash games and tournaments. While I don’t think he’s THAT big of a must, that’s my personal stand. PG as a whole is pretty weak and Lillard gives you a 45 fantasy point floor with the upside for 65.

Dennis Smith Jr.
FD $6,500 DK $6,000

Dennis Smith Jr. has been as advertised. It’s always tough trusting preseason numbers, but it looks like they were correct here. Dennis Smith Jr. is a very good point guard and it looks to me like he has quite the future in this league. As for his role on this team, it’s consistent. He is getting the ball in his hands for 28-30 minutes and creating whenever possible. He then gets another 5-10 mins at SG, where he’s averaged just over 1 FP per minute. He’s bounced back quickly from the injury and is looking like a guy we will be targeting all season long. Tonight, he faces off with the 76ers. The 6’ers play a lot faster than the Mavs and the PG is always the one to benefit most in pace-up affairs. Smith is still affordable on both sites and makes an excellent play in all formats. He’s locked into the minutes and at least 30 fantasy points in this cupcake match-up.

Shooting Guard

Devin Booker
FD $7,000 DK $7,400

With shooting guard one of the ugliest spots on the board, we’ll return to the Moda Center and take a look at the Suns side of the ball. With Eric Bledsoe all but ruled out forever, this is Booker’s team to lose. He is going to get the ball in his hands and shoot as much as he possibly can. He’s been over 20 shots in each game without Bledsoe and this pace-up affair with the Blazers should be no different. He’ll match-up with a good defender in C.J. McCollum, but it doesn’t matter. He isn’t a Tony Allen or Pat Bev type, but more of just a hard-nosed defender. Booker has put up 40 real-life points on guys much better. When his shots are falling, it doesn’t matter who is playing defense. This game is currently sitting with the highest over/under of the night and I’ll be looking to get as much ownership as possible to it. Booker gives you the top Suns piece in a way too affordable tag. Look for Booker to be closer to $9k before too long. You can target McCollum on the other side as well, but I like the Lillard side of things more.

Rodney Hood
FD $5,300 DK $5,100

Rodney Hood is quite the stressful DFS asset. Opposed from having some type of injury tag EVERY DAY, he produces. However, for the first time in what seems like years, Rodney Hood has no O or Q next to his name. Crazy, I know. So, that means we can assume a healthy Rodney Hood against the Lakers. We know the Lakers don’t play much defense and they ranked 3rd worst against SG’s in 2016. That could change with KCP there now, but it hasn’t yet. Hood has played well through his nicks, intestinal issues, and whatever else may hinder a guy with no pain tolerance. He’s gone for well over 1 FP per minute, while shooting under his career average. Hood is way too cheap on both sites for this match-up and he should hit value easily and early. Shooting guard isn’t a very attractive spot, so Hood will be my main focus after Booker. At most positions, I spread my exposure to 4 or 5 guys in total. At shooting guard, there’s a good chance it stays at 3 tonight.

Small Forward

LeBron James
FD $11,300 DK $10,700

We haven’t touched on anyone super expensive, so you can fit LeBron if you want him on this slate. I definitely don’t think it’s a must, so keep that in mind. James is playing great basketball and has been over 60 fantasy points in each of the last 2 games. He now sees a favorable match-up against the Pelicans, who have no SF. They also don’t have anyone that is remotely Lebron James body type. I know not many are, but most teams have some 6’8 fighter than can go and duel with LBJ. For the Pelicans, I guess that’s Dante Cunningham or Quincy Pondexter. LOL. Lebron is going to run this floor and do whatever he wants. The Pelicans should also be without Anthony Davis, which widens the floor and the paint. Cousins is fine down low, but he’s not much of a shot contender. As long as this game stays remotely close, you can pencil in James for 50. His upside is always 70+ if the game stays close down to the final buzzer. Pairing James and Cousins is something I’ll look to do a lot of in tournaments. You have the value on this slate to do it with Lillard still in your lineup.

Harrison Barnes
FD $6,400 DK $5,700

There could be a bias here, as Harrison Barnes is a guy I love to roster. I’m not sure why. I despised him on the Warriors and said many times that he was my least favorite player on the planet. THen he moves to Dallas and after watching him play, was a fan. Now, I roster him what seems like every day. It works quite well for the intended purpose. Now, Barnes can be played in tournaments, but it’s not his thing. He’ll have a few random big games this year, but it won’t be often. Barnes is a guy who lives on consistency. He’s been over 25 FP in each game and now sees one against the shot-happy 76ers. This is one of the games with a bunch of points and a close spread, so you’re going to almost need some exposure. Barnes and Covington will be an interesting match-up to watch as they both play solid defense. Barns is the guy who this offense runs through and at this price, he’s as safe as can be against a run and gun 6ers squad. Don’t hesitate on Barnes if you need to pay down to the mid-range.

Power Forward

Kelly Olynyk
FD $5,500 DK $5,400

I could have gone James Johnson here as well, but he’s been priced up like crazy. Instead, with Hassan Whiteside out, we’ll look for revenge in Kelly Olynyk. Olynyk expressed to the media that this isn’t much of a revenge game as all the Celtics are gone. Still, he admitted there will be some extra juice there. It’s undeniable. He could also be lying and have a lot of vengeance towards this organization. They stuck him on the bench over guys like Amir Johnson for 4 seasons. None of it matters if he doesn’t get the minutes. Fortunately, this Celtics match-up fits his style perfectly and we should see no less than 30 minutes out of him. He has been at 2.32 FP/min on the season and is looking like a guy who has a lot of fantasy relevance at the price. The match-up with the Celtics is a speed-up game for the Heat, who play at a league-ranked 28th pace. Olynyk will come off the bench, but should be in there down the stretch. Expect 28-32 solid minutes.

Lauri Markkanen
FD $6,700 DK $6,300

Lauri Markkanen is a bit more expensive than Olynyk, but it makes sense why. Markkanen has been pretty consistent as a rookie, going for 25+ fantasy points in each of his first 4 games. Coming out of Arizona, he was supposed to be ready for the NBA, but this is still a surprise. He now sees his best match-up yet against a fast-paced Thunder team who doesn’t love defense. They have a lot of strong individual defenders (George, Roberson, Adams), but lack as a team because of the pace they play at. It gives teams extra possessions and even if the possessions aren’t super efficient, it’s better than Facing the Miami Heat and having far less of them. Markkanen is getting the ball a ton and we’ll see a solid 40 FP breakout a lot sooner than later. I’m hesitant to call it here, but I love him as a cash gameplay that you don’t have to worry all that much about.


DeMarcus Cousins
FD $12,000 DK $11,900

Let’s assume Anthony Davis is playing. DeMarcus Cousins is interesting, but nowhere near a must. He would get a solid match-up against Kevin Love and Tristan Thompson, but will see a dramatically smaller usage %. Personally, if Anthony Davis plays, I’ll just try to get more LeBron James in hope it stays close. Now if Davis is out, this is once again a spot for Cousins to wild out. Because Kevin Love and Tristan Thompson don’t have much of a chance on a guy like Boogie, I’d bet LeBron covers him on the outside in the 4th quarter. He will still get bullied inside by Boogie, though, so it’ll be tough. It’s never easy when the 340 pound 7-foot behemoth can shoot it like a butterfly and then talk about your mother as he runs down the court. Cousins is a match-up nightmare for any team in this league, but one that sports Kevin Love at the 5 is in greater need than most. If Davis is out, play COusins in cash games and tournaments. You won’t be alone, but neither were the people who jumped on last game. I’m sure they weren’t upset about too many people on the train with them.

Jusuf Nurkic
FD $7,000 DK $6,400

To start the year, it’s been Jusuf Nurkic and Tim Hardaway Jr. that are giving me mini heart attacks. At least for Hardaway, he’s on the floor and able to do damage. For Nurkic, the dude just fouls every single second he’s out there. It’s literally tough for me to write this without any expletives towards the guy. I lost a huge H2H by 4 points with a 10 from him, so forgive me. You’re probably now wondering why the hell I would want to play him against Tyson Chandler and Alex Len. Well, for one, variance. Nurkic hasn’t had these foul issues in the past and they will once again fall by the wayside in the near future. We’re (I) am just getting screwed over in the process. Secondly, there aren’t many fouls to be had against the Suns. With Bledsoe going, the main scorer is a jump shooter. Booker doesn’t enter the lane often and when he does, it’s a floater. This is the fastest game on the board and Nurkic is a lock for 1 FP/min. As long as he can stay out of foul trouble, a 45 FP performance is no big deal at all.


NBA Daily Fantasy Basketball Lineup Picks for 10/25/17

NBA Daily Fantasy Basketball Lineup Picks for 10/25/17

NBA Daily Fantasy Basketball Lineup Picks - Click here to Subscribe

Point Guard

NBA Daily Fantasy Basketball Lineup Picks - Russell Westbrook - Oklahoma City Thunder - Lineuplab -

Russell Westbrook
FD $10,800 DK $11,400

If you’re looking at Westbrook and trying to decide if he’s in the same spot as last year, you’re in the same boat as the rest of us. Personally, I don’t think his stats will be AS crazy, but I do think he’s still underpriced at this number. I look for Westbrook to put up around 60 FP on most nights. Tonight, he draws an elite match-up with the fast-paced Pacers. They have Darren Collison at point guard, who’s all but a great defender. Westbrook will blow by him with ease and look at an interior full of guys like Domantas Sabonis, T.J. Leaf, and Al Jefferson. He should have his way in every facet of the game tonight and when you consider that the Pacers prefer to run, it’s gravy. Westbrook is an elite play in all formats, but be cognizant that he is expensive and you’ll be sacrificing later in spots you may not want to. My other favorite top PG is John Wall, who’s just a bit cheaper and facing a similar Lakers squad. Don’t be afraid of these high-end PG’s tonight. At least one of them is going to go nuts.

Tyler Johnson
FD $4,200 DK $4,300

We enter the day with Hassan Whiteside out while Dion Waiters and Goran Dragic remain questionable. Tyler Johnson has been seeing big minutes with these guys in, so he’d be forced to get close to 40 if they both miss. This is a guy who just signed a $50 million dollar deal with the Heat a year ago, so he’s going to get worked into the game plan as much as anyone. This isn’t a punt play where you have to worry about the guy seeing the court. Anyway these injuries end up, Johnson will see between 30-40 minutes. The Spurs are still a good defensive team, but not nearly to the same degree as when Kawhi is on the floor. Johnson is a pure minutes and price play. The match-up isn’t great, but it’s doable.

Shooting Guard

NBA Daily Fantasy Basketball Lineup Picks - Avery Bradley - Detroit Pistons - Lineuplab.com

Avery Bradley
FD $5,300 DK $5,000

Stan Van Gundy has “taken fault” for the Pistons early struggles. Uh ya, I think so, Stan. When you pick up one of the best perimeter defenders in the league that can also shoot the 3 and rebound, you don’t play him 20 minutes for no reason. Avery Bradley should NEVER see less than 34 minutes if the Pistons goal is to win. But no, he will let Stanley Johnson accumulate 0 fantasy points in 40 minutes for who knows what reason. Sorry for the rant, but let’s hope it works. Bradley finally saw normal minutes last game and stunk. Sweet. Now his price is low and people will be off of him. The best of both worlds. If you think Bradley is just bad now, pick up my h2h’s. He sees a match-up with the T-Wolves where his defense will be very necessary. If Van Gundy finds a way to leave Bradley off the court against Wiggins and Butler, I give up on Stan the man for good. If Bradley sees the floor like normal, pencil in 6x value at $5k with the upside for much more.

Bradley Beal
FD $8,000 DK $7,300

Bradley Beal is one of the guys in the NBA that is truly fun to watch. He doesn’t flop. He doesn’t exaggerate or whimper over screens and throw his hands in 84 directions. He plays solid basketball on both sides of the floor. He was a top 4 3-point shooter in 2016 to combo with the Wizards effectiveness against opposing SG’s. Beal is one of the best SG’s in the game and sees a phenomenal match-up with the fast-pace Lake show. Beal has been over 40 in 2 of his first 3 contests and sees his best match-up yet. With a 231 over/under, Beal will demolish value as long as he sees 4 quarters of action. Vegas doesn’t expect it to be much of a blowout, so you can’t fade for that reason when these guys are projected so high. Shooting guard has some options, but Beal won’t be popular and has a great shot at putting up 45 in the late night hammer. 

Small Forward

NBA Daily Fantasy Basketball Lineup Picks - Los Angeles Lakers - Brandon Ingram - Lineuplab

Brandon Ingram
FD $5,100 DK $5,200

Brandon Ingram joins Bradley Beal as one of the guys in the NBA that’s fun to watch. The only problem is you never know if he’s going to be in the game. The Lakers rotations are always weird, but it looks like Walton is focused on getting Ingram over 28, at least. He is an FP per minute monster when on the floor and gives you some solid savings from similar guys a bit higher. The Wizards play just as fast as the Lakers, if not faster, and Kelly Oubre Jr. is no shutdown defender. This is also the same game we just touched on with the 231 over/under, so there’s never anything wrong with stacking that total. Ingram gives you a good amount of safety with an unknown ceiling. Expect this guy to have a couple games this year that blow people away. From the looks of my teams right now, let’s hope that’s tonight.

Paul George
FD $8,700 DK $8,000

I’d be careful to call this a “grudge match” or anything of the sort, but put yourself in his situation. For Paul George, this is one of the most important games of the season. For everyone else, it’s a game against a crappy Eastern Conference team in October. For that reason, look for George to get it working early and often. The Pacers don’t really have an SF, so they’ll toss a combo of Bogan Bogdanovich and Lance Stephenson at him.  Good luck. Paul George is also still in his prime, so let’s not look at him as such a clear cut 2nd option. He’s definitely a cut behind Russ, but most 2nd options aren’t putting up 50 FP a night. Play George if you have the salary and get the 40-60 safe fantasy points. 

Power Forward

NBA Daily Fantasy Basketball Lineup Picks - Draymond Green - Golden State Warriors - Lineuplab

Draymond Green
FD $7,800 DK $7,200

Draymond has yet to have a big game, which I love. Unless the narrative is that he’s now a bad basketball player, there is no argument as to why he’s a bad play. He’s facing a Raptors interior that will likely be without Jonas Valunciunas. That leaves a bunch of young PF’s and C’s with no experience to face off against Draymond Green, who is lethal from any spot on the court. He has the ability to go for 60 FP by stuffing the stat sheet, as long as the game stays close. He can also have an average Draymond game with 20 points, 8 board, 8 assists and a solid 50 fantasy points. This match-up with the Raptors won’t stand out to the public with more eye-catching games like Hou-Phi and Was-Lal. I’m not sure who they plan to put on Green, but they will definitely struggle. He’s a match-up problem for every team, but they should struggle to a much different degree. I guess Serge Ibaka will do his best as he has a pretty good defensive reputation, but it’s not for facing guys like Draymond. He is good against back to the basket PF’s. Not guys who do everything from everywhere. I hate Draymond Green as much as the next guy, but have to admit when the guy is in a good spot. I’ll have exposure to him over Simmons in a lot of tournaments. The % owned difference will be hilarious.

James Johnson and Kelly Olynyk
FD $6,500 – $5,500 DK $6,100 – $5,600

This, like Tyler Johnson, is a pure opportunity play. With Hassan Whiteside already ruled out, the Heat will be forced into some size against the Spurs. This will give both Kelly Olynyk and James Johnson around 30-35 minutes. They are both well over 1 FP/minute so far this year and it’s pretty consistent with 2016. Olynyk is a bit risky by nature(3-point shooter), but the opportunity will be there against guys like Pau Gasol and LMA. As for me, I’ll have exposure to both. I’m not a big fan of the 195 over/under, but as long as it keeps the crowds away, it’s fine. The Spurs play slow and so do the Heat, but these guys are just too cheap and seeing extended minutes at good positions. LMA and Gasol are also bad defenders, so it’s not like old Spurs team. The only real worry is the snail pace without Kawhi. Both Johnson and Olynyk are in play across the board. Keep out for news on who I’ll start against a bigger Spurs squad.


NBA Daily Fantasy Basketball Lineup Picks - Rudy Gobert - Utah Jazz - Lineuplab

Rudy Gobert
FD $8,500 DK $7,500

The Suns play fast, and while that doesn’t help most centers this size, Gobert is amazing in it. He loves running the floor as it results in an abundance of blocks, putbacks, and transition dunks. The Jazz don’t typically run very much, so they see a huge uptick in production and projection when they do. He’ll individually face off with Tyson Chandler and Alex Len, who are both pretty good defenders. The thing is it doesn’t really matter. Gobert doesn’t score 1-on-1. He gets his numbers from everyone else screwing up. He’s a bit too cheap on both sites and it could cause him to gain some ownership, but there are a lot of good options at center, so maybe not.

Steven Adams
FD $6,900 DK $5,800

It looks like Myles Turner will be out once again and it opens the door up for Steven Adams. Adams has 40 fantasy points in 2 of his last 3 games and sees his best match-up yet. The Pacers, who play very fast, are also missing the only big guy that can guard anyone. Domantas Sabonis will have no chance at banging with Adams and you can pencil in the double-double right now. We’ve touched on a few of these Thunder guys and it has a lot to do with pace. The Pacers are extremely fast and have no problem shooting with 16 on the shot clock. They also give up a ton of FP to everyone besides the SG position. Take advantage of the high total and opportunity here.