Basketball Picks Daily Fantasy Expert Advice
Daily Fantasy NBA Basketball Picks for FanDuel, DraftKings and Draftster 3/01/15
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Mo Williams - FD 5900 DK 6400 DFSTR 5100
Well, the Mo Williams free-money train is slowly pulling out of the station, so hopefully you've enjoyed it as much as we have here at DFSR. A nightly recommendation for us, Williams has just killed it in his last 4 games as the Hornets' starting PG, including a 44.4 fantasy point eruption against the Celtics on Friday. While the price is starting to catch up a little bit, our projection system still likes him as the top overall point guard option against a Magic team that's allowed 3% more points and 11% more assists to opposing point guards this season.
D.J. Augustin - FD 6700 DK 4100 DFSTR 4300
It's pretty tough to predict exactly how many minutes Augustin is going to get, but the combination of an increase in minutes, the Thunder losing a guy who had just shot 70 times in 2 games, and a fantastic match-up with the Lakers makes Augustin a simply phenomenal play tonight. The Thunder really can't afford to lose too many more of these games if they want to make the playoffs, so expect the recently acquired Augustin to do exactly what he did when he filled in for Brandon Jennings earlier this season.
Tyreke Evans - FD 8400 DK 7700 DFSTR 6800
It was close between Evans and Lillard for my "big money point guard" pick, but I ultimately gave the edge to Evans, simply because I'm not totally sure his new role and usage is priced in at this point. Sore foot or not, Evans has been playing solidly 36+ minutes per game (except for fouling out the last time around), and has been seeing the floor fantastically well, notching double digit assists in 5 of his last 7 games. At some point, he's going to pair those assists with a big scoring game, and pay his owners off handsomely. Methinks it could be in this one against Denver's fast paced offense.
Also considered: Our projection system loves George Hill if you can count on him for 30+ minutes against Philly. I say go for it, but it's more of a GPP play for me given the options of Augustin and Mo. Like him better than Tyreke on a points per dollar basis, though.
Dion Waiters - FD 4400 DK 3900 DFSTR 3900
Like Augustin listed above, Waiters is going to inherit some of the 35 shots per game Westbrook took in the last two contests, and should be emboldened to run the second unit for even longer stretches here. He's been somewhat underwhelming recently, but this plays to our advantage. I think his shot total could double, and believe this price should be 20% higher until Westbrook returns. Also, it doesn't hurt to come back and get your feet under you against what currently passes as the LA Lakers of Los Angeles.
Eric Gordon - FD 6300 DK 6000 DFSTR 4700
Gordon has shot a terrible 20 for 58 in the last four games with Davis out, and has still posted a 5x and 6x points per dollar effort in that stretch. If the shots start falling at more his career norms, Gordon could put up a huge game against a Denver team that has allowed a staggering 22% more rebounds than league average to opposing SGs, to say nothing of the extra 3% scoring and 6% assists they've given up. Even more so than Tyreke, Gordon's price is primed to move upward when everything finally comes together in a given game.
Victor Oladipo - FD 6900 DK 6600 DFSTR 6300
Oladipo's track-record has been somewhat uninspiring recently, but his shooting percentages have been a lot of the cause of that - just like Gordon. I don't think he's a great GPP play, but even with the rough shooting stretch, he's been at or above paying 4x on this FanDuel price in 7 of his last 10 games. This should make him a solid cash game option if that's how the money happens to shake up. Charlotte's not a terrible match-up for opposing shooting guards, but I'd almost certainly play the above guys before I'd play Oladipo, and wouldn't consider playing him in the early slate leagues with Harden and JR Smith available.
Early slate special: Our system loves JR Smith, who has gotten it done to 5x-6x on these prices recently with some of the high usage guys on the Cavs ailing. It also loves James Harden, even on those super-high prices.
Danilo Gallinari - FD 5100 DK 5300 DFSTR 3800
Gallo has suffered from back to back super-hard shooting nights, but this has only kept his price artificially low. Even after losing playing time in a blowout against Utah, he still managed nearly 4x on this price, and he put up 5x+ in the two games prior to that. And in this one? He'll draw Quincy Pondexter, who should have a tough time containing him on the perimeter. The Pels have allowed 9% more scoring to opposing SFs than league average this season, and that happens to be the one thing Gallinari can do pretty well. I think he's a safe play with great upside in all formats.
Quincy Pondexter - FD 4100 DK 3600 DFSTR 3000
Speaking of Quincy! Pondexter has been a surprising beneficiary of Davis' absence - playing 40 and then 33 minutes while posting 27.5 fantasy points per game in his last two. The increased usage and the corresponding 65% shooting are altogether unsustainable, but he could score 70% as many points and still be doing fine on these prices. I think he's a fine play against a Nuggets team that has allowed 5% more scoring and 7% more rebounding than league average to opposing small forwards this year.
Tobias Harris - FD 6100 DK 6300 DFSTR 5700
Harris was on fire before going down with his knee injury, and while you always have to be cautious with guys coming back from injury, Harris playing his full assortment of minutes is really all that matters here. Really telling for me are the steals and blocks - his ability to get those hustle stats shows me that the knee is not going to be a huge deal going forward. Charlotte's a pretty neutral match-up, and while there's some risk of trying to catch a falling knife here, I think it's safe to plug Harris in on a relatively tough night for small forwards.
Also considered: Rudy Gay. Should see increased usage with Cousins out, even if it didn't translate to a terrific fantasy performance the first time around.
Early slate play: Trevor Ariza.
Jason Thompson - FD 4400 DK 4000 DFSTR 3600
With the Boogie-man out of commission, Thompson has thrown up back to back double doubles and 5 total blocks across two games. He's paid 7x on this price in both of those, and his max-energy game is translating to terrific performances for his daily fantasy hoops owners. Make no mistake - Portland is not a fantastic match-up for opposing big men - but this is another case of a guy simply being at the wrong price.
Serge Ibaka - FD 7300 DK 7600 DFSTR 6300
Ibaka had 4 straight games paying 5x-7x on these prices before two less inspiring games against Phoenix and Portland. With Westbrook down, he's just going to have to shoulder more of the offensive load. A lot of those less than inspiring games was a lack of opportunity, and increased looks against a dismal Lakers front court could mean another explosive game. I honestly think anything is possible for Ibaka here, and believe he's about as safe as any player on the planet for Sunday's slate.
LaMarcus Aldridge - FD 9500 DK 8900 DFSTR 8600
On another day where it's tough to spend up, Aldridge seems to stand head and shoulders above the other expensive options. He abused Serge Ibaka for a 29/16 in his last game against OKC, and will be squaring off against the true poo-poo platter that has been the Kings' power forward rotation this season. There's blowout risk here for sure, but there's also risk that Aldridge scores every single time down the court. I'm not sweating the thumb at all at this point, and chances are good I'll run him in a good handful of lineups, assuming the prices work out.
Early slate special: Nikola Mirotic, if Taj is out again. The price is just too low for what Mirotic can do if he gets those minutes. Also, Terrence Jones continues to be the man, and I think he'll soul-crush one Kevin Love.
Also considered: David West, though it's pretty damned annoying how the Pacers just went and played 17 different guys 20 minutes in the last game against the 76ers. Nice upside here though.
Nikola Vucevic - FD 8600 DK 8600 DFSTR 8200
Center is sort of a morass tonight, and Vucevic stands out like a lighthouse in the distance. Or something. That analogy sucked. Moving on. Vuc has been playing 38 minutes every night, and the 21 year old is really catching his stride. In his last five games he's put up an average of 25 and 13, and his bruising presence down low will be a lot for Al Jeff to stomach. I think he's the best play at center by a mile - a lock in my cash games, and a likely presence in most of my GPPs as well.
Tyler Zeller - FD 4900 DK 4700 DFSTR 7300Zeller undershot the 26 minutes we had him projected for against the Hornets, and still managed to tally 27 fantasy points. He'll probably lose playing time in this game against Golden State as well, but it's just going to be tough for him to not be in the 4.5x range even when he plays his floor of minutes. It's a really tough night to pin down a palatable center, and I really do think Zeller is about as safe as they come with these prices and this opportunity. He'll be a phenomenal play against the next poor opponent they play, and a decent play against the Warriors tonight.
Early slate special: Joakim Noah is looking awfully safe. It's been 3 weeks since he had fewer than 28 fantasy points in a game, and he should have a nice game against the combination of DeAndre Jordan and Spences Hawes. On that note, Spencer Hawes is also a fine looking option if you want to get away from the position cheaply.
If he's back: Enes Kanter.