Basketball Picks Daily Fantasy Expert Advice

Doug Norrie

Daily Fantasy Basketball Picks for FanDuel, DraftStreet and DraftKings 2/9/14

After a night where I contracted an STD from the Timberwolves Iron-Curtain like misinformation campaign, I'm looking forward to getting back on the horse tonight. Early games, late games, all games, please. It's a relatively short slate, but as usual, this gives us the opportunity to pick some low hanging fruit while our opponents make bad mistakes. On to the picks.

Quick reminder about these picks. At DFSR we employ a system that seeks to gain the most points-per-dollar. When we give a recommendation, it’s because we believe that player has the best chance to meet or exceed his price. On any given the night the highest dollar player can be expected to score the most points, but that doesn’t always make him the best play for the money. In addition to our ebook on setting NBA lineups, keep an eye out for upcoming premium offerings that will provide real time tools for setting optimal lineups each night.


Point Guards

George Hill FD $4,800 DK $5,700 DS $11,310
A quick note on George Hill before we get started. I’m not buying the 60 point thing for a second. Not even really buying him as having 40 point upside. He’ll be a huge start today off of last game’s wild overtime performance – but there is nothing to suggest that’s who he is. I’m sort of on the fade George Hill bandwagon, but with a lack of enticing options elsewhere, it’d be silly not to mention him. Still, though, I’m turning my eyes down the list a bit.

John Wall FD $9,400 DK $9,900 DS $19,614
Wall has continued to explode all over the face of every team that attempts to play against him, and this will not change against the recently fiery Kings. Isaiah Thomas has no hope of containing Wall, who has been justifying his #1 overall pick over and over. He’s a star, and a great way to lock a good portion of salary up with some very nice numbers.

Isaiah Thomas FD $7,500 DK $7,500 DS $13,631
I’m loving Thomas, even if he’s up against the John Wall’s defensive reputation. Recent numbers would suggest that Wall is focusing a little bit more on his defense, with opposing point guards going for 13% more FPs than league average in Washington’s last 15 games. Thomas seems to get a spark when Boogie is around, and those free assists don’t hurt either. Quintessential safe play for me, today.

Steve Nash FD $4,800 DK $4,100 DS $9,078
Nash makes an intriguing, if risky play. He obviously got a nice bump from playing against Philly, but matchup non-withstanding, $4,800 is just a great price for any starting PG, especially on a fast paced team. Not a cash game play by any stretch, but for GPPs? Sure. Sure.

FanDuel and DraftKings Value

Chris Paul FD $8,400 DK $8,400
He should be back. Who knows what minutes will be like or what kind of state he'll be in. But he's CP3 and these prices are about 15% less that when he went down.


Shooting Guards

Jamal Crawford FD $6,900 DK $6,700 DS $13,129
Crawford has been left out on the court for essentially the entire games that Redick has missed, and with Redick doubtful for tonight’s games, there isn’t much to say, other than get Captain Heat Check in there and build your lineup around him. He’s been paying this number against reasonable defenses, and now he gets the Sixers. Blowout or no, Jamal is getting his. He’ll be on every squad of mine today.

Eric Gordon FD $5,600 DK $5,800 DS $11,419
Eric Gordon has been rather up and down, but his price hasn’t caught up to his potential production. The minutes have been steady, and he’s likely to be covered by someone who can’t match his speed and strength. Feeling him for both DUs and GPPs.

Steve Blake FD $6,400 DK $5,200 DS $14,140
The concerns around Blake’s leg were apparently unwarranted, as he continued his “play the point from the SG” position against the Sixers. Price is ticking upward, but he is safe and has upside if the Lakers’ shooters can keep his assists up.

Jimmy Butler FD $6,500 DK $6,000 DS $11,716
Jimmy Butler is one of the most consistent minutes guys in the game, and the automatic bump from the fast paced and defenseless Lakers makes him a rather automatic cash game play today. He’s not normally an upside play, but I think he’ll pay an easy 6x on Fanduel if you want to take safety at that spot and build in bigger upside possibilities elsewhere.

James Anderson FD $4,600 DK $4,300 DS $8,948
James Anderson is the forgotten man among shooting guards, but he is the perfect play if the money works out leaving you less than $5,000 for a shooting guard slot. He’s fairly consistent, and if Crawford sits out there for the entire game again, expect the high energy Anderson to do a little bit of everything for a 5x pay on FD.

Danny Granger FD $3,600 DK $3,900 DS $8,256
If Stephenson sits again, Granger makes a hot punt option. Not much else to say here – he’s a non-entity if Stephenson is back, and arguably the strongest SG play if he isn’t. You’re just going to have to keep an eye on things and see what happens with Lance.

DraftKings Value

Courtney Lee DK $4,100
Price refuses to move.


Small Forward

SF is wide open today – with a lot of injury dependent guys topping the list:

The injury guys:
Rudy Gay FD $8,100 DK $7,900 DS $17,213 and Gerald Wallace FD $3,900 DK $3,700 DS $7,998
You’re going to have to monitor Gay’s situation and Avery Bradley/Rajon Rondo’s situation closely. If Gay is playing, he will probably get plenty of run. He’s coming back from an illness, not an injury, so if he plays, expect him to get his full slate. Wallace is still underpriced for what he can do in a starting role, but I’m ignoring him if Bradley comes back. Monitor the situation as things get closer to tip off.

Trevor Ariza FD $6,900 DK $6,400 DS $12,923
Trevor Ariza has been slow and steady recently – a fine double up play, but not much else. I expect that to change against the Kings on Sunday, whether it’s against the defense-allergic and semi-sick Gay, or against Derrick Williams, who isn’t quite fast enough to cover him. He’s still not a huge upside play for me, but I’m looking for 35 pts on FD – plenty from a rather uninspiring SF slate.

Ryan Kelly FD $4,800 DK $4,400 DS $9,511 and Wesley Johnson FD $5,100 DK $5,400 DS $11,980
The price still hasn’t quite caught up to what these 2 are capable of. Chicago has been much better against SFs since Deng left, but these guys are true-talent $6k guys when they are playing these kind of minutes. I like them for upside and safety on a day where SF leaves little of either.

Paul George FD $8,100 DK $8,600 DS $14,121
A nod here to George as a double-up play today. Orlando has been weak against SFs all year, and particularly lately as they try to figure out what to do with their tweener guys. It always seems like George has more upside than he does – but I’m not touching him in GPPs. In cash games, where you just need to escape the SF position with as little damage as possible? George makes a fine play, even with the modest blowout potential.


Power Forward

Jared Sullinger FD $6,000 DK $7,400 DS $15,358
Selecting Sullinger here is kind of like being the annoying guy in your college history class who is super psyched to raise his hand and answer the most obvious, rhetorical question ever. This is pretty much like making a case to put George Washington on Mount Rushmore. If you play a double up today and don’t have Sullinger in there, you are likely dead. He’ll be a huge play in GPPs as well, and rightfully so… but he is capable of off games, so if you’re looking for some separation from the field, this would be a place to take a calculated risk. Me? I’m going to have Sullinger.

Blake Griffin FD $9,800 DK $10,000 DS $20,361
Blake against the Sixers is much like Sullinger against the Mavs. Who is going to try and stand in front of him. Thaddeus Young? Spences Hawes????? Lavoy Allen??????? I am running out of question marks. Look for Sullinger and Blake to be started everywhere. You have been warned.

Taj Gibson FD $6,200 DK $6,000 DS $12,804 or Carlos Boozer FD $6,400 DK $6,000 DS $11,036
Whichever of these dudes gets the start is going to be embarrassing DFSR favorite Ryan Kelly. I love Ryan Kelly. He is who I hoped to be when I was in 8th grade and I was 6 feet tall. But then I stopped growing. And instead I was a 6 feet tall Ryan Kelly – slow, white, able to bomb from 3, and not a whole lot else. But this isn’t about me. It’s about Boozer or Gibson positively putting it on a guy who isn’t fit to hand either of these guys water defensively.

David West FD $6,600 DK $6,900 DS $13,995
Every time I talk with normal DFSR writer Hoopdreams about West I’ll inevitably say something like, “Sure, d00d, but West has no upside.” And then West goes off. It happens every time, so I’m going to say it here – I don’t like West’s upside, but this Orlando game makes a fine risk anyway. I’m wrong about West every time I ever think about him, so you’d probably be wise to do a little George Costanza opposite-day work with me and West. Final word – I like West against Orlando.

Dirk Nowitzki FD $8,000 DK $8,200 DS $17,701
One reason I’m not playing Blake everywhere is that I LOVE Dirk’s game against Boston. None of their PFs are suited to Dirk’s face-up game, and Dirk is going to have looks whenever he wants them. Dirk is a sneaky upside guy, and his usage rate gives him plenty of safety as well. I’m pumped to get Dirk in whenever I can, and I’d even consider fading Sullinger and taking him there, too.

Anthony Davis FD $9,800 DK $9,600 DS $21,683
Davis remains underpriced when compared with the other big name PFs on FanDuel, and it’s sort of a joke. He will be sitting on the face of whatever potpourri of B-listers the Nets throw at him.

DraftStreet Value

Jason Thompson DS $7,267
The luster is off Jason Thompson a little bit, but the DS price is wildly overcompensating. A great spot to spend money elsewhere.



DeAndre Jordan FD $7,800 DK $7,600 DS $17,304
Sometimes an athletic mismatch comes along so drastic that it makes my neck hairs stand up on end. DeAndre Jordan vs. Spencer Hawes in one such mismatch. It won’t matter much for scoring purposes, other than a few me vs. local elementary school kids on a short rim put back dunks, but the rebounds and blocks are going to be ridic. The Sixers get blocked a ton in general, and DeAndre blocks cats like it’s his job (it actually is his job). Love him for safety and upside, with only blow out risk being a concern at all.

DeMarcus Cousins FD $9,500 DK $9,200 DS $20,920
The Boogie man draws a merely okay matchup, but the price is still in GMAFB territory. The guy is just ridiculous – consistent in scoring, boards, steals, you name it. I don’t believe in “match-up proof,” but the matchup isn’t enough to scare me away here.

Joakim Noah FD $8,400 DK $7,700 DS $15,216
At the risk of going expensive at C across the board, it would be a little silly to not include Noah in your C rotations tomorrow. The Lakers essentially don’t have anyone who plays this position at an NBA level, and Robert Suck-re (you know you chuckled) isn’t scaring me a bit.

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