Basketball Picks Daily Fantasy Expert Advice

Ben Shushan

Daily Fantasy NBA Basketball Picks for FanDuel and DraftKings - 2/4/16

I’m enjoying tonight’s big slate while I look at options for tomorrow’s short one. Quite a contrast.

Thursday is the first time we'll be working off a glimpse of the post-Hornacek Suns. As anticipated, Markieff Morris joined the starting lineup, with Teletovic going to the bench. Tyson Chandler got into some foul trouble and the Suns played some Small Ball, so we still have some wait-and-see on how Earl Watson’s rotations will shake out. But the bottom line is that the Suns are short-handed with limited options and a pretty narrow agenda (develop the young guys). I think it’s safe to start running them out there, and will recommend doing so given the limited options afforded by just four games.

On a general note, DFSR is now posting game day Injury News and Updates, including analysis and implications for lineup adjustments. I found both the Update itself and the ensuing discussion in the comments section extremely helpful, leading to some lineup tweaks that paid off last night. For subscribers to our lineup tools, also be sure to recheck the full projections, as these are updated right up to tipoff. I can’t encourage you strongly enough to look for these posts, and participate in the discussion!

If you want to grab a free trial of the winning projections that inform each and every one of these picks, check out our lineup builder and Google Chrome extension that auto-populates your lineups into FanDuel and DraftKings. While the seasons overlap, you'll get access to our tools for the NBA, NFL, and NHL! Get started for free by clicking the button below.

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Archie Goodwin - FD 5100 DK 5900
Opponent - HOU
FD Proj. Pts - 26.78 DK Proj. Pts - 27.73
First pick, first Sun. Goodwin saw a ton of minutes on Tuesday, and managed to take advantage of the opportunity after two dreadful outings. There’s no indication that Brandon Knight will be back, so I fully anticipate another extended outing against the Rockets. The matchup is excellent, as the Rockets and Suns are both high-Pace squads, and the guys from H-Town are as bad at defending the PG position as they are just about every position (with the exception of Center). You can roll him out with confidence across the board, and on FD he also presents one of the best value opportunities of the night. Note that he’s an SG on DraftKings.

Norris Cole - FD 5000 DK 5800
Opponent - LAL
FD Proj. Pts - 23.5 DK Proj. Pts - 24.84
Notwithstanding the daily issue of who’s actually going to man the Pels backcourt, Cole’s minutes and production give him a pretty strong 4X floor. Depending on who sees the court, he’s at least a legit option at a reasonable price point, with strong potential to post a difference-making number if he hits the high end of his minutes range. Oh, and they’re playing the Lakers.


Devin Booker - FD 5400 DK 6000
Opponent - HOU
FD Proj. Pts - 24.34 DK Proj. Pts - 27.75
This would be the Sun’s Young Gun with true (and IMHO massive) long-term potential. He’s been playing consistent minutes, consistently well. Since coming to their senses a couple of weeks ago and running him out for big minutes on a nightly basis, he’s had a hard 5X floor and lots of upside. He’ll be in my lineups.

James Harden - FD 11000 DK 10800
Opponent - PHX
FD Proj. Pts - 46.53 DK Proj. Pts - 49.34
I’ve already covered the extremely favorable matchup (insert “Suns” for “Rockets” in the above discussion about bad defense). The high floor you want for big investments is there, and on a night with limited top-tier options and lots of value opportunities elsewhere, The Beard is a pretty obvious play. Deploy him in all formats, and enjoy the extra value from the DK scoring system (bonus for 3PM, less penalty for TOs).

If you’re looking for a little diversity and Tyreke the Freak is out again keep Bryce Dejean-Jones on your radar. He’d make as safe a punt as you’ll stumble upon.

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Corey Brewer - FD 3700 DK 4000
Opponent - PHX
FD Proj. Pts - 20.26 DK Proj. Pts - 21.45
Yet another HOU/PHO selection. Brewer’s become a fixture in the starting lineup lately. In turn, with the exception of the Rockets’ dismantling at the hands of the Spurs, his minutes have been consistent. He can be boom-or-bust, but at these prices he’s an attractive punt play without too much risk and a ton of upside.

P.J. Tucker - FD 4800 DK 5400
Opponent - HOU
FD Proj. Pts - 23.44 DK Proj. Pts - 25.18
Staying with the theme of the night… Now that T.J. Warren is done for the year, Tucker seems pretty well locked into monster court time. He redeemed himself from Sunday’s Dallas flop with a solid outing against the Raptors on Tuesday. I especially like him on FD at the substantially lower price. He’ll be in all my lineups there, and probably on DK as well.

Trevor Ariza - FD 5900 DK 6200
Opponent - PHX
FD Proj. Pts - 27.14 DK Proj. Pts - 30.45
If you just can’t get enough HOU/PHO, Ariza is another option at a mid-tier price point. Even with his ever-increasing salary, I think he’s got a pretty firm floor and could spike to 5X or higher on a given night. Possible Tourney play from where I’m sitting.


Markieff Morris - FD 5200 DK 5700
Opponent - HOU
FD Proj. Pts - 34.53 DK Proj. Pts - 35.83
Coming off a 40+ minute start, this is the Lock of the night. The DFSR projections system has him as the single best value, hands down, on both FD and DK. Slot him in and move along.

Anthony Davis - FD 10100 DK 10000
Opponent - LAL
FD Proj. Pts - 49.04 DK Proj. Pts - 49.78
The other true luxury item on the slate, he comes with the usual caveat. Assuming he stays on the court, this is where you park your savings from elsewhere, sit back, and enjoy. And you don’t even have to suffer through the Suns game if you choose to watch.


Andre Drummond - FD 8700 DK 8600
Opponent - NYK
FD Proj. Pts - 42.36 DK Proj. Pts - 43.13
Another positional choice that’s just not close. You’ll have the money, and I couldn’t live with myself if I recommended another Sun (our numbers like Tyson Chandler, but I think that’s a function of not adjusting fully for the volatility of Dwight Howard’s actual presence on the court). The Knicks play at a painfully slow Pace but are dead last defending Centers. Drummond has an extremely high floor to go with the high price point. Plug-and-play.

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10 Visitor Comments

    • I did, then I did. We’ll see…

      GL tonight.

  1. How do i access the optimal line up? i tried to access it yesterday but was not able to figure it out?

  2. if you’re a subscriber you get access to a lineup building tool that’ll help you develop one.

    I think the comment you’re referring to was made by someone who takes the full DFSR projections (also part of the subscription package) and imports them into his own Excel-based optimization tool.

    • am a paid subscriber. Yeah I saw a tweet or something on the right side of the page about the Optimal Line up score 327 or something like that so I thought it was posted for others to see… I’ve been trying to learn how to use excel for that purpose

      Having said that, who are the musts for today? I love this site by the way. Great work!

      • Thanks for the positive feedback. I’m actually pretty new to DFSR myself and thought so much of them that I wanted to get involved. I’m a Contributor (writing articles), not an owner, but am very excited about being associated with them.

        FYI, my primary cash lineup on FD last night (almost exactly what was discussed) posted a 327 and I went 10 for 10 in my Heads Up. DK was a little different but close, and posted 261, going 8-2 in my Heads Up. Can’t promise that every night though!

        With respect to optimization, you may have noticed references in articles or embedded elsewhere in the site to Lineup Labs. I encourage you to go check them out. Of course, you should take the option to use DFSR as the projection source if you decide to try them out. ?

        On today’s picks, you can literally plug in the recommendations above into FD (using Brewer as your 2nd SF) and field your lineup. Barring any major new info that develops before tipoff I’m going to do just that with at least several lineups (especially in cash games). Putting my $$ where my mouth is.?

        On DK you can’t afford Harden, AD and Drummond together so you’ll have to choose two. For now, I think Drummond is a must, and will probably roll with AD over Harden in large part due to the relative options at their respective positions.

        Be on the lookout for an Update (not positive there’ll be one but likely), where you may get James’ or Doug’s thoughts on the subject.


  3. James or Doug (the proprietors) may be able to expound on this a bit more.

  4. I’ve been playing dfs for about a year now and 2 years now and honestly i just cant figure it out. I have had some good games but when i have its been on nights where everyone is going off. anyone out there with any tips or knowledge to what i maybe doing wrong. Next step for me is throwing in the towel…

  5. Dontrell don’t give up just try to alway pick the five that will perform ones that return 5x or more per dollar.
    Don’t fall into a trap like picking high priced players thinking price equals performance you can get burned easily.
    then with your remaining 3 pick try to get the best value from either the bench or a starter that DK pricing hasn’t caught up or find a player that is consistent when they play.

  6. Dontrell – best two tips I got.. (1) make sure you are doing research and getting tips from sites like DFSR that match how you are playing. Like if you are playing cash games make sure the tips are cash game players and vice versa for gpp games (2) Make sure to research the stats and the human side of things. Like the new Suns coach said he wanted to make Markieff Morris a priority and that made him a must play the other night even though if you just looked at the stats it wasn’t an obvious pick.

    I’m newish but have managed to win on one night so far ( 1st place in all my entries) but you lose more than you win. Baseball is the easiest to me followed by NFL and then the NBA. Just takes time to find your own system.

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