Basketball Picks Daily Fantasy Expert Advice

James Davis

Daily Fantasy NBA Basketball Picks for FanDuel, DraftKings and Draftster 2/1/15

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A general note

So, it's the shortest slate ever. Thankfully, we have the Lakers in a match-up where they're relatively unlikely to get blown out. It's obviously going to be a shorter set of picks than usual, but let's get started!


Point Guard

Langston Galloway - FD 5300 DK 5500 DFSTR 5100
Blessed, blessed Lakers. Galloway's coming off an incredibly disappointing game, but the minutes are still secure, and this will be his best match-up in some time. The bad game has the price still somewhat depressed, and I'd say he's the most likely guy by some margin to go off in this one.

Jordan Clarkson - FD 4700 DK 5000 DFSTR 3200
A huge price jump for Clarkson, but it's deserved. If he's going to play high 30s minutes in what should be a somewhat close contest, he seems like a lock to put up 20+ fantasy points. He's put up dynamite games against two very tough defenses - the Bulls and Wizards - so going up against Jose Calderon should be a breath of fresh air.

Mario Chalmers - FD 5400 DK 5800 DFSTR 4900
PG is actually pretty darned deep tonight, and I know it's kind of a cop-out to recommend all three of these guys - but I really think you'll have a tough time going wrong. I listed them in this order so you can get a sense of how I'll prioritize them. Boston's a fine match-up, but I'm more concerned that Smart will contain Chalmers than either of the above guys getting bottled up.


Shooting Guard

Wayne Ellington - FD 5200 DK 5700 DFSTR 3500
Minutes, price, and production. Ellington's really the perfect tri-fecta, and one of the true must-plays on the slate today. He's looking like a solid bet for 36 minutes, and has put up 40 and 33 FanDuel points in his last two contests. The Knicks have allowed 11% more fantasy points than league average to opposing shooting guards and have seriously struggled to defend opposing wings since Shumpert left - so this is a prime spot for a great bargain player.

Avery Bradley - FD 4900 DK 4200 DFSTR 4600
Who else are you going to play? None of the other guys you can play at this position really play. You might consider whoever else (Granger, for instance) - but don't. Just play the guys who are going to play.

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Small Forward

Carmelo Anthony - FD 9400 DK 9400 DFSTR 7500
On a short slate you'll have to spend up somewhere. I think Melo is probably the safest bet. The Lakers have allowed 5% more scoring than league average to opposing small forwards, and Melo was crushing on this price before a reduced minutes game against the Pacers. The Knicks should be able to hang in this game, so Melo should get his full run on a big stage.

Wesley Johnson - FD 4100 DK 3600 DFSTR 4100
Nobody can pile up minutes without doing anything like Wesley Johnson - but he's probably the safest guy at the position in a nice match-up with the Knicks. Melo will be too focused on scoring and showing off on a big stage on Super Bowl Big Game Sunday, and it's hard to imagine Wes not at least paying 4x on this price on 30ish minutes in a close game.

Punt: James Ennis! He played 32 minutes in his last game with Deng out. If it looks like Deng is going to be out, you pretty much have to play him. He's a much better bet than Wesley Johnson on a similar price.

Great freerolls for miles over at Scorestreak, by the way. Get involved today by clicking the banner below! And they have a great offer: refer a friend, have them play $25 worth of games and get a $25 Amazon gift card.

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Power Forward

Jason Smith - FD 4700 DK 4900 DFSTR 3600
The sites refuse to price Smith properly, so he remains the play of the day on a daily basis at the power forward position. Even with the modest price increase, he remains the play of the day in a nice match-up with a generally lousy Lakers front court.

Chris Bosh - FD 8100 DK 8300 DFSTR 7600
Our projection system would have you believe that Bosh is the best big money guy in the short slate today. With Dwyane Wade out, Bosh will see an uptick in usage, and while that didn't realize translate to a better fantasy performance against Dallas or Milwaukee, Boston has gotten shredded by opposing Power Forwards this season. The Heat will likely run the offense through him as much as they can with Chalmers drawing a tougher defensive match-up on the perimeter, and it should be a huge game.

Punt: Louis Amundson. He's been paying his way on these prices over and over again. It's tough to go double cheap at PF with the lack of the ability to spend up elsewhere, and he's not a bad play if you can't quite afford Smith but want to play Bosh.


Hassan Whiteside - FD 6200 DK 8100 DFSTR 4000
Hassan, if you're reading this - I love you. I love the way you soar through the air blocking shots and grabbing boards. I love that you grabbed 16 rebounds in a quarter, and blocked 12 shots in a game. In 1 week. I really do love the Whiteside story because basketball is sometimes too damned predictable - guys tend to do the same thing from year to year, and lottery picks tend to become the stars, not random 2nd round draft picks from Marshall. I mean, you probably know to play the guy on such a short slate, though you can get plenty of separation by playing someone else today in a GPP... but mostly, I want to encourage you to enjoy this - it's not something we get to experience in sports very often, and chances are good he'll just be a max guy/household name sometime soon when the novelty wears off. But man, sports are fun sometimes.

Enjoy the "Big Game" today, y'all.

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