Uncategorized Daily Fantasy Expert Advice
Daily Fantasy NBA Basketball Picks for FanDuel and DraftKings 5/21/15
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Houston Rockets at Golden State Warriors
Note: Because of the short, two-day slates, this is the same analysis that appeared in yesterday's write up.
Man that was an exciting game one. Somewhere around the middle of the second quarter I started thinking, "Golden State might be in trouble here." They were down double digits and struggling on both ends of the court. Flash forward about three and a half minutes and all of that was forgotten. The Warriors can score at such a rapid-fire pace that almost no opposing lead is safe. When they start raining threes, pushing the tempo and clamping down on defense it is very tough for other teams to come up for air. The Rockets showed as much. They sagged for a bit in the second quarter, allowed Golden State signs of life and that's what the Warriors needed to up the tempo.
This isn't to say it was all bad for the Rockets. They hung close for sure and could make a series out of it. Losing Dwight Howard definitely hurt their interior presence and allowed Golden State to attack with small ball for much longer stretches than if dude had been on the court. He should be back in game two. The Rockets will have to play near perfect to keep this a series, but they showed in game one that they can at least keep pace with the scoring.
James Harden - FD 9900 DK 9500
He was just a beast in game one, coming very close to a triple double. With Howard out a lot of the game, Harden carried even more of the burden than usual and was up to the task. He played nearly the entire game which should happen again in game two. The Rockets will need every minute and bucket out of him to keep up with the Warrior scoring. Harden didn't get to the line as much as he usually does, so look for him to penetrate more in game two. But he was efficient from the mid range and did give Klay Thompson fits. He's the top dollar for dollar big money player if he's getting this kind of run.
Stephen Curry - FD 10100 DK 10400
Threw a couple of daggers towards the Rockets during this game. The halftime buzzer beater was a thing of wizardry as he was locked down by Capella, found the tiniest sliver of breathing room and buried the three. This is the story with Steph. You can't allow him an inch because he'll fire up a three and destroy your soul. For the big money it's still Steph and Harden for me.
Shaun Livingston - FD 2000 DK 2600
The Warriors went small for a long time in this game and Livingston reaped the most fantasy rewards from this shift. He played almost thirty minutes and finished with an 18/7/3 line that made him the value play of the day by a mile. I don't know if the Warriors will be able to play this lineup as much if Howard is fully back in game two. But it was for sure interesting. Even if Livingston's minutes are in the low to mid twenties he's a solid play at the minimums.
Josh Smith - FD 5800 DK 5400
Started and saw minutes in the high twenties. I really like his midrange salaries on this slate because that can often be the hardest dollar range to fit effectively. He played well in game one, but the big stat for me was the sixteen shot attempts. If he's going to see anywhere near that kind of volume then he's a super solid play at these tags.
Andrew Bogut - FD 5200 DK 4800
Had him as a value leading into game one because I thought he'd see more run in trying to defend Dwight. When Howard went down, Bogut's minutes did as well. With Dwight coming back for game two, I'm willing to roll Bogut again on the minutes upside.
Cleveland Cavaliers at Atlanta Hawks
It wasn't a pretty game to watch. There was a lot of hobbling around, shoes falling off, arguing with refs, wild shots, and some other pieces that contributed to it being less than a fantastic viewing experience. At times it seemed like every player was getting hurt at once. I don't mean this as a way to make light of injuries. They suck, and have been an underlying story throughout most of these playoffs. It's just that the product is somewhat compromised by the injuries. That's all.
The other big story of game one was Mr. J.R. Smith. He of the unflagging moral compass and astute values, Smith was really the story of the game. He went nuts from the field and especially from three where he shot 8/12. Taking over that scoring burden from a clearly-not-himself Kyrie Irving saved the Cav's bacon. It won't be a consistent thing, but to steal a game in Atlanta with Irving hobbled was a big thing.
LeBron James - FD 11700 DK 11400
He's the do-everything piece for the Cavs and that really isn't a surprise. He was already a mismatch for the Hawks and will be even more of one with Demarre Carroll most likely out for next game. Lebron is going to cause major problems for Paul Millsap or whoever they really stick on him at this point. If it's Millsap then James will work him around the perimeter. If it's anyone else, he'll post them up to oblivion. The injury to Carroll really boosts James's expectation. But stay tuned and see about Carroll.
Jeff Teague - FD 7200 DK 7300
Our system has him as one of the best plays on the slate and dude delivered in game one with a 27/4/3 line thanks to a high volume of shots. Kyrie and the Cavs aren't good at defending opposing point guards to begin with. And with Irving banged up it opens up even more opportunity for the one. Teague took advantage and put up 24 shots. Don't doubt something similar happens in game two.
Tristan Thompson - FD 5400 DK 6000
Like I said yesterday, minutes, minutes, minutes. Rebounds, rebounds, rebounds. Got it done in game one with a 14/10 line that enough to pay for his prices. He is going to play basically the whole game because part of their big and small lineups. The Cavs need him out there in totality now.
Kent Bazemore - FD 2000 DK 2300
If he gets the start for Carroll in game two then he should be 100% start and anyone not doing it is going in as dead money as far as I'm concerned. He'd be a min-priced player getting full-ish run because of an injury. See what you can find out about Carroll leading into the game and then roll accordingly.
J.R. Smith - FD 4800 DK 4900
Understand that this pick has very little do with his other-worldly shooting performance in game two. Rather, it is more made from the minutes he played. Smith, if he's getting run in the mid 30's, is a solid play at these prices. Don't expect him to shoot 8/12 from three ever again in his life. That won't happen. But he's productive even without the epic scoring run. Stands to reason he sees similar minutes in game two because of the matchups.
Iman Shumpert - FD 4800 DK 5200
Shot bad from the field in game one but the minutes were there. I won't pivot off of him just because he struggled from the field. Shumpert is getting quality minutes and that's the name of the game at these prices and his position.
Paul Millsap - FD 8800 DK 8200
I'm adding him to the value plays and not the elite plays for a reason. I don't love his points/$ expectation, but you might be in a spot with saving at other positions that playing him is the prudent move. That's because the power forward position is a little thin on this slate and there will be some money to spend. Millsap rarely hits the stratosphere, but I do expect bigger minutes out of him.
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- Stephen Curry: (AP Photo/Ben Margot)