Basketball Picks Daily Fantasy Expert Advice
Daily Fantasy NBA Basketball Picks for FanDuel, DraftKings and Draftster 2/11/15
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Quick note: This is a huge slate. There are a ton of guys to consider. I'll highlight the players who top out on a points/$ basis in our system and then add some considerations as well.
J.J. Barea - FD 4800 DK 4900 DFSTR 3500
Devin Harris - FD 4500 DK 4600 DFSTR 3800
The Mavericks are banged up right now and it looks like Monta Ellis won't play in this one. Leading into the All-Star break I'd be surprised if Monta took the court. These two guys are going to log major minutes for the Mavs tonight with a lot of shots to go around. Ellis accounts for about 16 shots a game and they have to go somewhere. Both Barea and Harris are still coming so cheap that I think there is a scenario in which you can actually start them together and spend up elsewhere. They offer a ton of flexibility especially because you are going to want to pay up for some front court players.
Damian Lillard - FD 8900 DK 8700 DFSTR 7900
He's the one guy I would spend on at this position tonight simply because the Lakers are about as bad as it can get in defending point guards. They are allowing about 21% more scoring than league average to the position this season and scoring is something Lillard can do in bunches. Again, there is a ton of value on this slate at PG so I can see getting away from him. But he is big money with a great matchup. That's a great spot.
Ramon Sessions - FD 3800 DK 4200 DFSTR 3000
This is of course contingent on Collison sitting again. Sessions was gross last night but is still coming close to the minimums for a starting point logging more than thirty minutes a game. That is tough to find and doesn't top the list only because of the two guys above and the uncertainty around Collison. Look, Sessions isn't great and Kings are struggling, but minutes and opportunity win the day here.
Marcus Smart - FD 4800 DK 4700 DFSTR 4100
He's playing insane minutes right now for the Celtics. He's averaging around 37 minutes of run over his last four games. It takes every one of those minutes for the guy to hit value mostly because he struggles to score, but he fills the box score in other ways keeping his floor somewhat stabilized. I don't mind him, but prefer the guys above.
Langston Galloway - FD 5300 DK 5400 DFSTR 4900
Becomes very attractive if Melo is going to sit this one out. Galloway's still been getting it done even when the minutes aren't totally there, but if Anthony is going to sit then the Knicks are going to need to find offense anywhere they can get it.
Note on Chris Paul: I know there is a temptation to play him with Blake out. But even with a usage rate bump and increased minutes I think he's a bit too expensive considering the matchup with Beverly. Paul is a decent, but not great play on this slate.
Tyreke Evans - FD 8400 DK 8200 DFSTR 6900
We saw what happens to Reke when Anthony Davis is out as Evans becomes the primary option in the offense. He dominates the ball and is able to get it done both in scoring and assists. His price is getting close to critical mass though and the matchup against Indiana, while not terrible, certainly won't be a fast-paced game. I'm keen on him but not over the moon. Should have a high floor because with the assists he can weather a bad shooting night, but the price doesn't leave tons of room for growth. Reminder: He's a PG on DraftKings
Giannis Antetokounmpo - FD 6800 DK 7000 DFSTR 5400
Mysteriously sat for a long stretch in the fourth quarter when he had a triple double on his hands, so that spooks me a little bit. It's never an easy thing pinning your fortunes to the Bucks' minutes, but Giannis is firmly in play tonight simply because he's been crushing it of late. He has a fantastic matchup against the Kings who can't defend many positions, especially shooting guard.
Jamal Crawford - FD 5200 DK 5500 DFSTR 5400
J.J. Redick - FD 4300 DK 3300 DFSTR 4200
It's obvious that with Blake out of the lineup these guys will be called upon to do more of the scoring. Crawford especially has been playing substantial minutes and chucking a ton of shots. If this is the night he gets a heat check going he'll crush this price. Even with a rough shooting performance his usage is so high that he makes a safe cash game play. Redick is in the mix as well and I can see possibly even playing them together.
A lot of question marks at this position tonight.
Trevor Ariza - FD 5500 DK 5700 DFSTR 5100
He's back to logging nutso minutes and that's great news for cash games. If you or I ran around on a court for close to 40 minutes we'd have a chance to do something. And Ariza is presumably better than us. The Clippers have been one of the worst teams in the league at defending small forwards this season and are running super thin in anyone who can defend the wings. Ariza has a chance to bury corner threes to his heart's content in this one.
C.J. Miles - FD 4700 DK 4300 DFSTR 4200
Gulp. Remember the part where I said this position had a bunch of question marks? This is kind of what I was talking about. Miles is a feast or famine (GPP) type of play. He can catch fire and just destroy this price. Or he can totally disappear/get hurt/ crush your soul. I don't make this pick with any sort of confidence about his safety, but if you think he plays upwards of 30 minutes again then he is a fine play.
Nicolas Batum - FD 5600 DK 5400 DFSTR 5100
The good news is he plays the Lakers who've been shredded by just about everyone this season, small forwards included. The bad news is that Batum's shot looks way, way off right now. The wrist injury appears to have lingered and it's causing a major disruption in him finding any kind of rhythm. He's productive enough in other areas to deserve consideration, but the scoring is a problem.
Matt Barnes - FD 4900 DK 4300 DFSTR 4200
He's seen a major uptick in shots with Blake out, averaging 12 looks over the last two games. His price on FanDuel has come up a bit, but he's a real bargain on DraftKings still. At a shaky position I like the relative safety he provides as the Clippers are forced to play him a bunch of minutes and have had to cover for Blake's absence.
Chris Bosh - FD 7900 DK 7500 DFSTR 7500
With Wade out Bosh is option 1 for the Heat. His usage rate goes from about 25 with Wade on the court to over 33 with D-Wade out. The other night the Heat could have run the pick and pop to infinity against the Knicks. Bosh shredded them from the outside as he creates matchup issues with opposing bigs. Won't be the exact same story against Love tonight, but I still love Bosh considering the price and that opposing teams now need to respect Whiteside down low, allowing Bosh to roam a bit on the outside.
Dirk Nowitzki - FD 6300 DK 6400 DFSTR 7000
It didn't play out perfectly last game, but with both Ellis and Chandler likely out in this one, Dirk will be relied on to carry a bit more of the offense. Not a ton of course, as guys like Barea, Harris and Parsons will take over more of the offense. And the Mavs have been cautious with Dirk's minutes this season. But if there was any game for him to see an uptick it would be this one. I like his price and if he pushes to 32 minutes or more you have an insane deal on your hands.
LaMarcus Aldridge - FD 9600 DK 9600 DFSTR 8900
Because the Lakers are so bad and have some serious frontcourt issues right now, Aldridge is one of the better big money plays you can consider on this slate. Aldridge is of course a preloaded double-double and should be able to take advantage against an undermanned Laker squad. Worried about the blowout of course, but Aldridge is at a huge advantage tonight.
Jared Sullinger - FD 6700 DK 6700 DFSTR 6500
Look, I think they'll get waxed by the Hawks in this one, but if the Celts can keep it even a little close then Sullinger is a fantastic play at these prices. His minutes are there now that he's showing up to s@#$ on time and Millsap isn't a great defender.
Consider Zach Randolph
Alexis Ajinca - FD 4200 DK 3800 DFSTR 3000
Couple of things here. This is assuming Davis is out again. Also, Ajinca is a foul waiting to happen. And that's a real thing. Foul trouble follows this guy and you need to take this into mind when rostering him. But even with the early hack job, Ajinca still played 27 minutes last game. I suspect he goes more in this one and if he pushes 30 minutes then you aren't going to bet a much better deal. Ajinca can contribute in a number of ways and I'm not swayed by recent performance.
Spencer Hawes - FD 3800 DK 3700 DFSTR 3800
Speaking of recent performance, Hawes has been a moderate disaster in his first two games filling in for Blake. Take advantage. I'd say there is almost no way he repeats the disaster against the Mavericks. The price is such that you can weather a subpar performance, but I really think you are getting a great deal in a spot where many will be scared off. Not me.
Hassan Whiteside - FD 7700 DK 7600 DFSTR 3800
The greatest per minutes player since Jimmy Chitwood though admittedly they have much different games. Whiteside needs to do only one thing: stay on the court. That's literally it. Everything else is gravy. He is can pile up points as quick as any player in the NBA and is still a deal at these prices (a must play on Draftster). I prefer the guys above on a points/$ basis, but Whiteside, if he's playing, still has room to move at these current salaries which is insane.
DeMarcus Cousins - FD 10800 DK 10500 DFSTR 9200
The top big money play at this position. One has to think he's going to come to play after what happened to him last night against the Bulls. A mad Boogie isn't necessarily an effective Boogie, but he should be able to beast on the Bucks' bigs. Like Sessions above, I love buying on guys coming off bad games because others will irrationally panic. Not me. I just panic in the moment and then move past it.