Baseball Picks Daily Fantasy Expert Advice

James Davis

Daily Fantasy NBA Basketball Picks for FanDuel, DraftKings and Draftster 3/29/15

Hello, fans of the National Basketball Association! We have a relatively large Sunday slate cooking today, and I'm going to go ahead and offer what precious guidance I can to navigate through all of your various daily fantasy hoops options. Enjoy!

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Point Guards

Goran Dragic - FD 6700 DK 6800 DFSTR 6300
Calling Dragic's last game "forgettable" would be beyond kind. He sucked against the Hawks. But that's going to happen against awesome teams, especially when you're doing more than you're typically asked to do. One thing we write about a lot here is opportunity - which is to say, prices in daily fantasy basketball tend to be least efficient when players have a different amount of opportunity than usual. Well, for Dragic - we're hitting that both ways. He's playing more minutes (last game's blow-out notwithstanding) and he's handling the ball more with his team's litany of injuries. That's what driving this recommendation, here. The Pistons have actually slightly depressed fantasy output to opposing PGs this season, but I still expect Dragic to be one of the top points per dollar earners in Sunday's slate.

Russell Westbrook - FD 12800 DK 12900 DFSTR 9700
Westbrook came crashing down to Earth in his game against the Spurs, but our projection system isn't spooked. And it doesn't even know that Westbrook put up a ridiculous 39/11/14 against Phoenix in their last meeting. The bottom line remains this: Russell Westbrook is a one man offense in a way we've basically never seen in the modern basketball era, and the Suns have demonstrated quite clearly that they have no one who can even consider defending him. On a large slate where you'll likely be able to find a few cheap options, I don't mind paying up for Westbrook one bit.

Mike Conley - FD 5800 DK 6100 DFSTR 6300
Conley's price has dipped to these low points because of his injury, but have stayed low because of uncommon game scripts in his first few games back. In close games, Conley is likely to play his 32-33 minute rotation, which warrants a significantly higher price than we're seeing here in this Spurs game. What our projection system is seeing here is that the Spurs are a league average point guard defense and that Conley's priced to too few minutes in what should be a close contest. High floor, pretty decent ceiling here on a points per dollar basis.

Early Slate Must-Play:
Zach LaVine - FD 5200 DK 5600 DFSTR
Minnesota's super fun rookie point guard is playing insane minutes at present, and for some reason, the sites haven't adjusted their prices to reflect this. We saw his floor against Houston, where he hardly killed you if you played him. And in the two games before that, he was fantastic, posting better than 5x points per dollar in each game. In this game, LaVine will draw the Pelicans, who have allowed 4% more scoring than league average to opposing point guards this season. But this isn't a match-up based recommendation necessarily, it's just the wrong price for a guy with great opportunity.

Intriguing punt: Devin Harris! Lots of minutes to pass around if Monta sits. Could be a monster performance on no salary, considering what Harris had done in the starting lineup earlier this season.


Shooting Guards

Dion Waiters - FD 4800 DK 5000 DFSTR 3900
This late in the season, it's honestly become tiring to write the same sorts of analysis for the same sorts of players. So what's up with Waiters? His price is a joke based on his current expected playing time given his role in the starting lineup. Making matters more absurd is Phoenix's terrible two-guard defense - they've allowed 8% more scoring and 10% more rebounding than league average to opposing shooting guards this season. Waiters is a must play in all formats.

Henry Walker - FD 4200 DK 3800 DFSTR
Henry "don't call me Bill" Walker was phenomenal in extended minutes as the Heat got blown out against Atlanta, and now it looks like he'll start again with Wade ailing on Sunday. Shooting guard is pretty darn lousy on Sunday (especially in the late slate), and in Walker you're pretty well guaranteed to get solid minutes and a fair amount of looks for a very cheap salary. DFS tip of the day - when a position sucks, escape it cheaply. And Walker does have some nice games on this price in his game log - a few 5x points per dollar games, and last game's breakout. I actually love his floor in this match-up as well because of one semi-absurd stat: Detroit has allowed 20% more rebounds than league average to opposing shooting guards, and Walker's big old body tends to benefit him in those ways. Very intriguing play.

Early Slate play
Eric Gordon - FD 5200 DK 5500 DFSTR 4700
Part of playing daily fantasy basketball is understanding when to try and catch a falling knife. Gordon's been super up and down recently, but Minnesota has defended shooting guards horribly all season, allowing %8 more scoring than league average to them. I'd honestly play him in cash games and big tourneys alike at these prices.

I'm tempted to roll with Anthony Morrow again. Two awful games in a row, but there's wild upside here if he plays the 30 minutes he had been playing before the blow out against the Spurs. Don't be shocked if he's part of a winning big tourney lineup today.


Small Forwards

P.J. Tucker - FD 5200 DK 5500 DFSTR 4300
We've been all over Tucker recently, and it was working out just fine until last game's mess. Tucker was clearly gunshy against Portland after an abomination of a shooting performance (in which he still scored 24 fantasy points) against Sacramento, and never really got it going. Tucker was underwhelming in the Suns' last game against OKC, but that was a different team. Knight was playing, Markieff Morris took 26 shots - it was a weird night. I'm far more inclined to look to Tucker's recent usage, and assume that he'll play big minutes and pay off ~25 fantasy points once again.

C.J. Miles - FD 4300 DK 5000 DFSTR 4300
Our projection system has been nudging us to take him for some time, but we resisted based on our eye tests. But looking at the game log in the last 9 - he's actually been fairly solid. 2 total duds, but 4 games around 5x points per dollar, and last game's 7.5x points per dollar monster than could have helped you win a large tournament. The problem with Miles is no secret - if his shot's not falling, it could be an ugly night. But if he catches fire? No one else at this position has the same points per dollar upside. Dallas has allowed an above average amount of fantasy points to opposing small forwards, but they've actually depressed proper scoring, so I'd consider them a basically neutral match-up for Miles.

Early slate easiest call ever:
Andrew Wiggins - FD 6800 DK 6800 DFSTR
He's a man possessed. Playing a zillion minutes. And he'll be covered by Quincy Pondexter.

Keep an eye on Tony Allen. If he sits, Jeff Green becomes an interesting cheap option.


Power Forwards

Blake Griffin - FD 8700 DK 8600 DFSTR 8200
It's rare that our projection system proffers a number like it has for Blake's projection on salaries this large, but here we are. What's it seeing? Well, Blake's price has dipped slightly after decreased performance against the dregs of the NBA (Philly and the Knicks), and he's likely to creep back up to his high 30s minutes against a frisky Boston team in their building. In addition to that, though, this really is a great match-up for him. While Boston's done more with less down low than any team going, they just don't have the athleticism to keep up with Blake's above the rim game. He's easily my favorite mid-high tier play of the night, and I think this will be his best game by far since returning from injury.

Udonis Haslem - FD 4200 DK 3500 DFSTR 3000
We live in a world where you can play Udonis Haslem in your fantasy leagues. It's a simple price/performance calculation, once again. If Bird Man and Whiteside are out again, it looks like Haslem will get high 30s minutes. Against Boston, his general hustle and heart spread out over 38 minutes generated a 12 and 12 with 3 steals - and he was a part of optimal lineups. We've been beating this drum all season - but the Pistons' front court defense has been incredibly generous to opposing big men this season, including allowing 9% more scoring and 7% more rebounding than league average to opposing power forwards. If he's starting again, I'll play him everywhere.

Marcus Morris - FD 5800 DK 6000 DFSTR 4100
Marcus Morris month barrels on, ladies and gentleman! The Suns have blessedly announced that Brandon Knight will miss Sunday's game, and even with Morris' price increasing by nearly 50% during this incredible run, I'm not dissuaded at all. The Suns have decided that Morris is going to be a major component of the offense, and he's coming off his second highest shot total of the season. The Thunder have been horrendous at guarding wings like Morris this season, and I think he's all systems go for cash games. Some people will also play Markieff Morris because he crushed the Thunder when they last met, but I prefer other options.

Punt possibilities: Early slate - Ryan Kelly. Lots of minutes recently, and two huge games on these prices. Late? Mitch McGary is a very interesting upside grab



Enes Kanter - FD 7100 DK 7500 DFSTR 5900
Steven Adams - FD 5400 DK 5800 DFSTR 4300
Like a lot of the Thunder, Kanter had a pretty lousy game against the Spurs. But only in an absolute sense. He was crushing before the game got out of hand - and still managed better than a fantasy point per minute. Before that? He scored 35 or more fantasy points in 7 of his previous 8 games. With the way Kanter and Westbrook have been clicking, I think he'll see a ton of opportunity down low, and consider him the safest play at the position by a mile. As for Adams, he's been playing along Kanter and putting up great fantasy output based on his price as well. I'm fine with either of these if the money works better for one or the other.

Marc Gasol - FD 7500 DK 7200 DFSTR 7800
Gasol's matched up with the Spurs very well this season (not even counting the triple over time game). The game that comes to mind immediately is the December game where the Spurs stopped Memphis' home winning streak. Gasol put up 28 and 12 with 4 blocks in a losing effort. Now, he hasn't done anything close to that recently, but he's been quite solid (if unspectacular) in March, and the Grizz always seem to play the Spurs close. I suspect the Grizzlies will game plan to go to Gasol once again, and believe he's a great play in double-up formats.

Early slate play: Gorgui Dieng. We wrote him up before last game, and he delivered everything we could have hoped for, putting up 42+ fantasy points against the Rockets. I think he'll have another very nice game against the Pelicans.

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