Basketball Picks Daily Fantasy Expert Advice

James Davis

Daily Fantasy NBA Basketball Picks for FanDuel, DraftKings and Draftster 3/8/15

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Point Guards

Russell Westbrook - FD 12500 DK 12000 DFSTR 8700
Let's just take the stat straight from Rotoworld: "In his last four games, he's averaged 42.8 points, 12.8 boards, 9.8 assists, 2.3 steals and 1.3 treys. He's a one-man offense." The hell? The same write-up points out that Westbrook posted a 50.5% usage rate in his last game, even if he did break his triple-double streak. Toronto is a fine match-up for opposing point guards as well, allowing 4% more scoring and 2% more assists to opposing PGs this season. But it really doesn't matter for Westbrook at this point - he's doing stuff that NBA players simply don't do, and if you can find the punts to get his salary in, I'd recommend it.

Elfrid Payton - FD 5900 DK 5400 DFSTR 4700
Back to back fantastic games for Payton, but our projection system barely has any knowledge of that. What it's really seeing here is the increased opportunity. Payton's topped 36 minutes in three of his last six games, including a staggering 42 minutes in the last game against Sacramento. Orlando really doesn't have much to play for, so letting the young guns work it out together makes a ton of sense for the Magic during this building process. Boston has allowed 5% more scoring and 3% more rebounding to opposing PGs this season, so it stands to reason that this could be another very solid game for him here.

Kyle Lowry - FD 7200 DK 6800 DFSTR 7900
Lowry came back from injury and jumped in with two feet, getting 38 minutes in Toronto's game with the Hornets. Now, he may not play 38 minutes per game going froward, but our projection system frankly loves him even if he's playing 34 minutes a game. Oklahoma City has been tough on opposing point guards this season, but it's going to be tough for Westbrook to cover Lowry every time down the court and have a 50% usage rate. Lowry's peak prices this season were 30% higher than they are now - this is a serious buying opportunity, and I'll be all over it.

Also considered: Marcus Smart. Good god is he an awful shooter, but our projection system just loves what he's capable of in his current minutes. Also - Jeremy lin has been on quite a run recently if you want to try your luck with him against Rondo.

Shooting Guards

Victor Oladipo - FD 7700 DK 7900 DFSTR 6200
The price is climbing with Oladipo, but it's clearly warranted. The Magic's young two-guard has been absolutely turned loose in his last two games, putting 49 shots and making 29 of them. He's also had 13 assists and 8 steals in that time. Now, I don't know that he's going to keep up this vintage-Jordan performance forever, but he doesn't need to to justify this current price range. Oladipo also had some pretty awful games against Boston earlier this season, but the composition of the Celtics has changed so much in that time (and so has Oladipo's roles) that I wouldn't take too much stock in what you're seeing there. I think his huge usage will continue, and that the production will be more than enough to justify the price you'll pay.

J.J. Redick - FD 4800 DK 5100 DFSTR 5300
With Crawford down, Redick is just playing absurd minutes. The 27 shots he took last game were 13 more than any other game this season. Naturally, prices haven't adjusted to compensate for this yet. It's an early-slate only play, but it's a strong enough play that you might want to play the early slate just to get him in there in what ought to be a close-enough game with the Warriors for Redick to get his 39+ minutes once again.

Monta Ellis - FD 6500 DK 6500 DFSTR
Ellis has been a little bit up and down recently, but tonight's game should be one of those "up" games. The reasons? Well, his usage hasn't been his problem - he's taken 34 shots in his last two games. It's been the luck. He only made 7 of those 34 shots. Now, Monta isn't exactly the beacon of great shot selection, but he does have a 45% shooting percentage for his career. He just isn't going to shoot as badly as he's shot recently. The other reason I think it starts trending back upward now? The opponent. The Lakers have allowed an above average amount of scoring and rebounds this season, and have allowed a dismal 16% more assists than league average. Ellis' minutes and usage are steady, so just wait for the luck to bounce back in this one.

Also considered: Dion Waiters, and Joe Johnson.


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Small Forwards

Tobias Harris - FD 6400 DK 6500 DFSTR 5900
There have been questions swirling around Harris since his return from injury, but after posting 30+ fantasy points in 2 of his last three games on an average of 36 minutes, those questions are out of my mind, at least. Boston's basically been league average against opposing small forwards this season, so I think this is a nice buying opportunity until Harris' price climbs back to where it had been prior to injury.

Wesley Johnson - FD 4000 DK 3600 DFSTR 4100
Make no mistake, small forward is a total mess tonight. It's not with any great enthusiasm that I present Johnson to you, but I think there's a solid case to be made. He's put up better than 5x on these FanDuel prices in two of his last three games, and this game might be the best match-up he's had during that stretch. He'll either be squaring off against a gimpy returning Chandler Parsons, or resident mummy Richard Jefferson. And at this low price, at such a bad position, I'm happy to escape cheap and with some upside by picking Johnson.

Gerald Henderson - FD 5500 DK 5000 DFSTR 4600
Now, I think I like both Johnson and Harris quite a bit more than Henderson, but you could certainly make the argument that Henderson has the highest floor on a points per dollar basis of any of the guys listed here. He's only dipped below 20 fantasy points in one of his last ten games, and has topped 30 points in four of those. I like him quite a bit squaring off against Tayshaun Prince and the rotation cast of small forwards that Detroit trots out, and actually think he could tap into his 30+ point upside in this one as well.

Power Forwards

Nikola Mirotic - FD 5500 DK 6200 DFSTR 4200
Early slate special and all, but Mirotic has been a lock for 30+ minutes per game, and has been positively a monster in those minutes. If you're playing the early slate, he should really be a lock in all early slate lineups, even in a tough spot against the Spurs.

Derrick Favors - FD 7500 DK 7300 DFSTR 7200
It's been an unfavorable couple of games for Favors owners, but I'd caution you against getting nervous. With 14 shots in 2 of his last 3 games, Favors' usage is trending upward compared to his year to date totals (12 shots per game). Favors, a 54.4% shooter this season, shot just 5 of 14 in a nice match-up with Philadelphia, and still put up 30 fantasy points. Now, Brooklyn has been fairly tough against opposing power forwards this season, but a lot of that happened with KG patrolling the paint, not the less defensively inclined Thad Young.

Greg Monroe - FD 8100 DK 7700 DFSTR 7300Monroe was a monster in his last game against Houston, putting up 19 and 8 with 4 steals to go with it. And he did that in a game where he hit his minutes floor - just 30 minutes. When things are going better for Detroit, Monroe can stay in there for high 30s minutes, and if he does, he could easily tap into his 45-50 point fantasy upside in a nice match-up against an undersized Marvin Williams or an under-athletic [sic] Cody Zeller.

Also considered: Brandon Bass - when he's running good and Brad Stevens leaves him in there for extra minutes, he is capable of a monster game. Just a GPP play, though.

Potential punts: If Vucevic sits again, both Kyle O'Quinn and Andrew Nicholson make intriguing options.


Al Jefferson - FD 8400 DK 7700 DFSTR 6800
The center position sorts of starts and stops with Al Jefferson tonight, for me. The Hornets' big man has put up 50+ fantasy points in two of his last three games, and he now draws his most favorable match-up in a while in the Pistons. Detroit has allowed 10% more scoring, 2% more rebounds, and 12% more blocks to opposing big men this season. Some will point to the bad game he had against Detroit in their last match-up, but most of that was due to a ridiculously bad shooting night for Charlotte (they shot just 35%) from the field. If he gets his full slate of minutes, this could definitely fall in line with some of his other recent monster games.

Rudy Gobert - FD 7500 DK 7500 DFSTR 5300
As I look over Gobert's recent game log, I wonder if I may have overstated how much I'll play Jefferson tomorrow. Gobert has seen a recent (though subtle) uptick in his playing time recently - moving from the 31 range to 35-36 minutes per game. In 4 games where he's played 35 minutes or more, Gobert has scored 40+ fantasy points in 3 of them. That's a great result on prices like these. Brooklyn has allowed 4% more points and 5% more rebounds to opposing centers this season, making this a fantastic spot to plug Gobert in.
Early slate punt option: Spencer Hawes. He's had some fantastic games on a points per dollar basis on this salary, and our projection system likes him as the best points per dollar option at the position overall.

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