Basketball Picks Daily Fantasy Expert Advice

James Davis
DeMarcus Cousins - Daily Fantasy NBA

Daily Fantasy NBA Basketball Picks for FanDuel and DraftKings - 2/7/16

Happy Superbowl Sunday! Big Game Sunday? Not sure what we can or can't write in this space. Whatevs! Daily fantasy basketball is good for a lot of things, but if there's something it was positively designed for, it's today. Byebye, Puppy Bowl. Adios, walking the dog extra times while waiting to go out to the Big Game(TM) party. Enter DFS! What could be more fun than sweating a super short slate and going to your party of choice mad because your biggest money guy was a late scratch? Irresistible. I'm all in today!

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A quick note on the updates article today! We won't be doing one. Most of the news for Super Bowl Sunday is going to have come out before hand, so we're just going to talk in the comments of this post as things develop. I'll do my best to lay out what we're keeping an eye on today in this post itself.

Emmanuel Mudiay - FD 5400 DK 5600
Opponent - NYK
FD Proj. Pts - 28.19 DK Proj. Pts - 29.3
Mudiay's been coming across our projection system as something like a must play for nearly a month straight, but the big sites have only slightly ticked his prices upward even as he's provided very solid points per minute production. The big question with Mudiay is frequently whether the Nuggets are going to get blown out or not. Against a hobbled Knicks team, we're hoping that isn't the case, here. If he gets his full run of minutes, it will be a great match-up against Jose Calderon, who has trouble guarding his own mouth when he's going to cough. On a short slate, I'm not overthinking things here.

Isaiah Thomas - FD 7800 DK 7500
Opponent - SAC
FD Proj. Pts - 36.29 DK Proj. Pts - 38.88
While we like Mudiay a little better, I suspect the field is going to be all over Thomas today. His minutes have ticked back upward, and this is a phenomenal match-up with the fast paced Kings, who have allowed the 4th most fantasy points per game to opposing point guards this season. Thomas thrives in chaos and transition, so you shouldn't be surprised if this is one of those games where he seems to be involved in every single possession.

Goran Dragic - FD 5700 DK 5400
Opponent - LAC
FD Proj. Pts - 26.25 DK Proj. Pts - 27.68
Chris Paul - FD 9600 DK 9400
Opponent - MIA
FD Proj. Pts - 43.58 DK Proj. Pts - 45.29
Is it a cop-out to list 4 point guards on a 4 game slate? I say yes. Still, I'm not sure what I'm supposed to do, here. Dragic has quietly re-assumed his 33 minute a game rotation, and nearly triple-doubled against the Hornets in the last Heat game. He's dirt cheap for his couldn't minutes. As for Paul, I include him here mostly because it might wind up being a day where you need to spend up at PG, and I don't mind him as a high floor option given the fact that he's led the league in time of possession per game since Blake went down. Still, he's last on this list for me if I can help it.


Victor Oladipo - FD 6500 DK 6900
Opponent - ATL
FD Proj. Pts - 31.91 DK Proj. Pts - 33.33
Oladipo dropped a semi no-show on us against the Clippers after back to back terrific games, but most of that was a result of a very weird game script in the fourth quarter. I'm more likely to trust the Oladipo from the previous 2 games, who shot 36 total times and added a bunch of rebounds, assists, and steals as well. I like matching his athleticism up against either Korver or Bazemore, and I think he's probably the safest mid-tier shooting guard of the day.

Langston Galloway - FD 4500 DK 5000
Opponent - DEN
FD Proj. Pts - 22.95 DK Proj. Pts - 24.59
Arron Afflalo - FD 5100 DK 5100
Opponent - DEN
FD Proj. Pts - 25.74 DK Proj. Pts - 27.94
Somebody is going to lose minutes if Melo comes back - either Calderon, or one of these two. My bet is on Calderon, so I'm including both of these fellas here. Still, you'll need to pay close attention leading up to lineup lock to see what the starting lineup looks like, as I suspect that will tell us just about everything. Afflalo seems to play 40 minutes a game no matter what recently, so I guess he's the safer of the two. Still, both guys have shown both safety and upside (Galloway's disappearance against Tony Allen notwithstanding) recently, and it's a nice matchup against the Nuggets - they're in the bottom 8 at defending both guard positions.

Avery Bradley - FD 5500 DK 5500
Opponent - SAC
FD Proj. Pts - 25.61 DK Proj. Pts - 27.79
A high floor play in a very fast paced match-up. If we don't know what's going on with the Knicks guys, and Belinelli's situation looks uncertain, Bradley is your guy. He's been playing solidly 36 minutes, and the Kings have allowed the 4th most fantasy points per game to opposing shooting guards this season.

Keep an eye on the Marco Belinelli situation. He's been playing a ton of minutes recently, and it looks like Rudy Gay might miss this game, spreading even more shots around. All I need is the all clear that he's starting, and he'll be in lots and lots of my lineups today.

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Omri Casspi - FD 5100 DK 5200
Opponent - BOS
FD Proj. Pts - 23.44 DK Proj. Pts - 24.6
By a mile, if Rudy Gay misses this one. Boston plays fast, and looser than you might think. Especially against the small forward position. Casspi will be a mismatch when Evan Turner is out there, and he should be able to hold his own against Crowder as well. Mostly, this is just a price/opportunity mismatch. If Gay is out, Casspi will likely play 35 minutes - making him one of the safest plays on the day overall.

Tobias Harris - FD 5500 DK 5600
Opponent - ATL
FD Proj. Pts - 26.82 DK Proj. Pts - 28.32
The minutes on the Magic have been all over the place recently, so all we can really do is turn to their close games for an indication of what they'd like to do. Yes, the Magic are involved in too many blowouts for them to feel safe. But the thing is - most NBA games don't end up in blowouts, and this one isn't especially likely to, either. In the last two non-blowout games for the Magic, Harris played 35+ minutes and averaged 15.5 and 6.5 with some other stats to go with it, or about 5x points per dollar. It's a league average match-up, here, and I actually think Harris has quite a bit more upside than he's shown recently. I'd be fine with him in any format.

Kent Bazemore - FD 5100 DK 5200
Opponent - ORL
FD Proj. Pts - 22.74 DK Proj. Pts - 24.02
I'm typically one to Baze less, but there are some promising trends our projection system is picking up on here. Bazemore had the ball in his hands a ton in the Hawks' last game, and notched 8 assists to go with his usual smattering of points, boards, and steals. It's basically a league average match-up for Bazemore, here, and at the very least he should be a nice high floor option.

The situations to watch:

1) Carmelo Anthony. If he plays, you can make a case that he's a decent play. If he sits, Kristaps Porzingis looks great again, as do Calderon, Galloway, and Afflalo. That's a lot of shots and minutes to leave on the bench.

2) Rudy Gay, as mentioned. His absence frees up a lot of shots and minutes in Sac-town, as well.


Aaron Gordon - FD 4900 DK 5500
Opponent - ATL
FD Proj. Pts - 23.43 DK Proj. Pts - 24.4
Gordon took a couple of games off from our optimal lineups (luckily for us), but he's back at the top of the mountain in this contest against the Hawks. It's no disrespect to the Hawks and Millsap, by the way- they've been quite good against power forwards this season. It's mostly that it's just a pretty dry day for the position. When things are looking dry? That's when we want to escape cheaply. Chances are good Gordon will wind up being in most of my lineups today, especially since his minutes are looking consistent.

Kristaps Porzingis - FD 6400 DK 7000
Opponent - DEN
FD Proj. Pts - 31.09 DK Proj. Pts - 32.16
A must play if Melo plays, and you can make a strong argument for him either way. A quick primer on interior defense. As a general rule, when you see a stat stuffer like Faried struggle to get on the floor, you can usually blame his defense. Faried has allowed an abysmal 53% field goal percentage near the rim this season, and can't hope to defend a guy with Porzingis' size and speed. Porzingis has been up and down this season, yes, but that's what makes him the perfect big tourney play. He's an upside play if Melo plays, and an everywhere guy if Melo sits.

Paul Millsap - FD 7800 DK 7900
Opponent - ORL
FD Proj. Pts - 36.8 DK Proj. Pts - 38.35
Your safe and boring option if you don't trust Porzingis today. Really, this position is awful today. So what do you get in Millsap? The opportunity to spend a bunch of money on a dude who's been pretty erratic. The weirdest thing about it (by far) has been Millsap's disappearance from the boards - he's had just 1 double digit rebounding game in his last 5. I wouldn't normally advocate playing him here, but again - who are you supposed to play? The big point in his favor here is the match-up. The power forward position has plagued the Magic all season - they've allowed the 5th most fantasy points per game to opposing power forwards this season. I don't love it, but I can see it shaking out where I have to play Millsap here.



DeMarcus Cousins - FD 11100 DK 11200
Opponent - BOS
FD Proj. Pts - 51.4 DK Proj. Pts - 52.03
Yup. This is the spot you're supposed to pay up tonight. After a brief brush with mortality, Cousins has back to back 50+ point fantasy games, and we might be looking at a game without Rudy Gay using up a ton of Kings' possessions. It's not totally clear who will cover Cousins in this one, but the Celtics have been about league average against centers and have allowed the 5th most fantasy points per game to opposing power forwards this season, making this a plus match-up overall (likely due to the fat that the Celtics just play fast). Either way, Cousins likely needs to be a cash game staple here.

The upside guys:
Robin Lopez - FD 5600 DK 5300
Opponent - DEN
FD Proj. Pts - 26.93 DK Proj. Pts - 27.35
Nikola Jokic - FD 6400 DK 6500
Opponent - NYK
FD Proj. Pts - 28.86 DK Proj. Pts - 29.68
Facing up against one another! Jokic's erratic minutes have him still trailing quite where his price could get to, and Lopez is crashing the boards with a fervor we haven't seen from him in ages. I could see scenarios where both of these guys wind up playing big minutes and far exceeding these projections. But I'm not touching them in cash games.

So yeah, basketball season! And we've got some goodies you can take with you. At the end of the post, we have our NBA eBook that you really ought to check out before setting even a single daily fantasy NBA lineup. It's free, below.



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32 Visitor Comments

  1. I.Thomas.
    A. Bradley
    T. Harris
    A. Gordon

    Good or bad?

  2. Cousins will be 60+% ownership today. Good luck Super Bowl Sunday.

  3. I’m having a hard time trusting Casspi. Every time I’ve used him he’s provided a dud.

    So the Melo watch begins I guess….

  4. Tobias Harris out. Just announced.

  5. Tobias Harris is OUT, Fournier starting in his place. Carmelo Anthony is playing.

  6. So who should I play with Tobias Harris being out? Bazeless and Gallanari?

  7. System doesn’t mind Gallo.

    Updating Fournier’s minutes, and this also makes Belinelli a must play.

  8. Hmmmmm. I think I’m rolling with Fournier, Belinelli, Melo and Gallo in all lineups

  9. System spitting out a lot of stuff I like. I don’t think I’m going to play Porzingis in cash – too volatile.

    I’ve got this right now, which looks pretty nice:

    PG Isaiah Thomas Recent news
    Emmanuel Mudiay
    PG Emmanuel Mudiay Recent news
    Victor Oladipo
    SG Victor Oladipo Recent news
    Marco Belinelli
    SG Marco Belinelli Recent news
    Omri Casspi
    SF Omri Casspi
    Danilo Gallinari
    SF Danilo Gallinari Recent news
    Paul Millsap
    PF Paul Millsap Recent news
    Aaron Gordon
    PF Aaron Gordon Recent news
    DeMarcus Cousins
    C DeMarcus Cousins Breaking news

  10. You think boogie will be high owned in cash today?

    I Feel like going Jokic

    • Very tough to spend up efficiently elsewhere without Boogie. Paul against the Heat, Melo coming back from injury, etc. I bet he’ll be a huge play.

  11. Tons of weird revenge game stuff today. Melo and Gallo face off, Rondo goes back to Boston…

  12. Melo only played 30 mins in his first game back from injury the last two times, but Knicks got blown out in both of those. Not sure what to make of their plans for him today. Semi-nervous he gets shut down early today.

    • I am nervous about Melo as well to be honest. I trust your judgement because you’ve never intentionally steered me wrong before.

  13. Ok James I’m rolling with that in a $2 quintuple up. Wish me luck! I’m going to need a win today!

  14. Lol finished making my lineup and it’s exactly what james posted In the comments

    • It’s a good lineup! I’m 3/4 on that lineup, and 1/4 on a Melo lineup. See you at the top 😉

      For real, though – Dipo just has to be safer than Fournier given how the Magic have treated him in the past… but I wouldn’t be surprised if he puts up big numbers as well. Weird spot.

  15. Makes it hard to change these lineups with them waiting till the last second to let us know about Cousins. I feel like pulling him out of every lineup. I feel like they are manipulating us.

  16. The Cousins GTD has me seriously spooked. I don’t see how they have a shot without em. that said, Im rolling jokic in my cash just in case.

  17. I read that the Kings most likely won’t update his status until after tipoff. Kinda lame.

  18. Yeah the boogie news scares me too. I rolled the dice on a few Cody Zeller LUs. Allowed me to work Bosh and CP3 into the LUs mentioned above. We shall see. GL.

  19. Games locked. I used James lineup in the comments in three of my five quintuple up FanDuel gms.

  20. I hate the sacramento GTD’s – I paid up at the point. Narrative with Rondo and pace of Boston. Downside is Avery Bradley guarding em. I am pre-loading Twitter Updates whereby I shake my fist at the Kings. Anyways here is my cash: Rondo, Thomas, Dipo, Belineli, Melo, Baze, Millsap, Gordon, Jok. I feel Naked without Boogie anchoring lol.

  21. Cousins and Rondo Play today – now we get the news

  22. I think I forgot to factor in the “we’re trying to get our coach fired” gameplan. SAC laying an egg and I have four kings.

  23. Terrible Front Office in SacTown. Not saying I think George Karl’s the best coach ever, but he is Way up there on the list of wins. As much as I like Boogie, I think he has a clash with Karl. On a side note the Clipper – Heat Game is like watching grass grow. 6 points after 11 minutes played for the Clips. Miami pace and D. I stay away from em!

  24. I hate taking anyone the heat plays except maybe the Warriors. Their pace is way too slow.

  25. Everything got home for me, plus a few 8x and 10x gpp lineups! Hope it was a happy Sunday for y’all too! Be back tomorrow!

  26. Real solid day. Thanks everyone.

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