Basketball Picks Daily Fantasy Expert Advice

Ben Shushan

Daily Fantasy NBA Basketball Picks for FanDuel and DraftKings - 2/18/16

Welcome back for the first Post-ASB installment of the DFSR daily picks column. Thursday presents a short slate with just three games. All three matchups figure to be relatively low-possession affairs with at least one very-low Pace team in each game (and two of the three featuring a medium-Pace team as well). There are still some hidden value plays, with a couple of low-end punt/tourney play as well. Let’s have at it.

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Kyrie Irving - FD 7900 DK 8000
Opponent - CHI
FD Proj. Pts - 35.51 DK Proj. Pts - 37.7

Uncle Drew represents the best value at the PG position on a night with limited options. He’s high-end, but not elite from a price-point perspective. The DFSR projections show a high floor and quite a bit of upside. The matchup is also good – the Bulls are near the bottom of the league (26th) in terms of allowing PG fantasy scoring (Defense vs. Position or “DvP”). I’ll roll him out in all formats.

Chris Paul - FD 9900 DK 9000
Opponent - SAS
FD Proj. Pts - 43.61 DK Proj. Pts - 45.32

On many nights, I’d consider CP3 a luxury pick. Tonight the high price is justifiable, even with a tough matchup against the Spurs (4th in DvP vs PGs). His projected multiple is a 3rd-ranked 4.4x on FD (more on 2nd in bit). On DK, he’s by far the best value play due to his lower price. Hard to pass him up, and you should be able to make the numbers work with bargains a few other places.

If your stomach for risk needs feeding, our projection system likes Derrick Rose a lot on FD (he’s the previously-mentioned 2nd-ranked PG). I absolutely refuse to recommend him for cash games though, and I’d stay away entirely on DK where his price is a bit steeper.


Jamal Crawford - FD 5100 DK 5100
Opponent - SAS
FD Proj. Pts - 26.1 DK Proj. Pts - 28.29

Mr. Crawford is the top-rated SG on both FD and DK, and on the former it’s not even close. The matchup sucks, but he runs mostly against the opponent’s 2nd unit, and we like his ridiculous 5x floor over the last 7 games. He’s also spiked over 7x even as his price has ticked up. This is an across-the-board plug-and-play.

Danny Green - FD 4500 DK 4700
Opponent - LAC
FD Proj. Pts - 22.25 DK Proj. Pts - 25.22

Playing for the Spurs is generally easier than playing against them, and Thursday is no exception. Where the Clippers SGs are facing the top-rated DvP, the Clips themselves are dead- average. At these prices we see D. Green (the Texas version) near or above a 5x on both sites, with plenty of upside. He’s been playing a lot better lately, with just one dud in the last six, and we see a high floor here as well.

The DFSR projections also like J.J. Redick on both FD and DK, but I’m hesitant to stack the two against such a tough opponent, especially in cash games.

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Kawhi Leonard - FD 7700 DK 7500
Opponent - LAC
FD Proj. Pts - 37.68 DK Proj. Pts - 39.26

Mr. Two-Way went off last week (that may not sound quite right taken out of context) even as his price down-ticked on DK. He’s the best SF value on both sites, and again, it’s not even close. The Clips are statistically decent defending SFs, but I can’t get the thought of Paul Pierce trying to stop Kawhi out of my head (and concentrating well enough to write). Good floor with lots of upside. Roll with him in all formats.

Gordon Hayward - FD 7800 DK 7100
Opponent - WAS
FD Proj. Pts - 34.65 DK Proj. Pts - 36.88

The truly baby-faced Hayward (did he actually try growing facial hair at one point?) is another slightly-above-average investment that I feel compelled to recommend. He’s not as much of a value play on FD as a very safe place to invest some dollars. On DK at the lower price he’s an absolute must. Why is the system so high on him? Look no further than the Wizards’ league-worst DvP on SFs. He might well go off for a 6x, which at this price point is huge.

After just mocking him, I am going to point out that Paul Pierce is a possible punt play given his cost on both DK and FD.


Bobby Portis - FD 3900 DK 4400
Opponent - CLE
FD Proj. Pts - 19.33 DK Proj. Pts - 19.86

Perhaps my favorite play of the night on FD, the Bulls’ first big off the bench is going to get enough minutes to earn his keep, even on DK. The floor is rock-solid, with the potential for a massive multiple. The matchup is not great, but don’t let that keep you from getting this low-cost option into all your lineups.

Derrick Favors - FD 7400 DK 7000
Opponent - WAS
FD Proj. Pts - 35.51 DK Proj. Pts - 35.98

Mt. Gobert’s running mate is far-and-away the top PF value on DK, and not far behind Portis on FD. Favors has been an absolute beast over the last five, spiking twice for 6x, with just one dud. At the same time, his price hasn’t moved. The Jazz/Wiz interior matchup is gonna’ be a slugfest, and it’ll be interesting to see how up-and-down the game is, with Washington sporting the 4th highest Pace in the league and the Jazz the absolute lowest. Still, this is just too much value to pass up

I’d be remiss if I didn’t at least mention Tristan Thompson. The system likes him as a safe low-investment play on DK and a major value on FD.



Pau Gasol - FD 9000 DK 8700
Opponent - CLE
FD Proj. Pts - 39.04 DK Proj. Pts - 39.66

The clear choice at the position for the night on FD, Pau’s also a safe investment on DK. CLE is decent against Centers, ranking 10th at DvP. Unfortunately there are limited options tonight, and no terrific matchups. The floor’s high here, with the potential for a nice spike, even at this salary level.

Have to mention that the system loves Tim Duncan on DK at his low price – but he’s in the same can’t-recommend-in-good-conscience category as D-Rose for cash games.

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54 Visitor Comments

  1. Irving, Burke, Hood, Crawford, James, Hayward, Gibson, Dudley, Gortat
    Any thoughts?

    • Notwithstanding developments today, I already endorsed Irving, Crawford, and Hayward. I like Hood – decent floor. I’m actually looking at playing LeBron in some lineups to make the cash work – he’s pretty reliable, which is key for elite salaries.

      As for the others, Burke’s in play in the trade deadline, so I’d plan to steer away. Gibson has done less with more, I’ve been disappointed with him since his minutes went up. Expected more, and really like Portis who’s significantly cheaper.

      If you have the $$, I’d avoid Gortat since he’s going against the Jazz. Of the big guys in that gane, Favors is the best option. Try and pay up for Gasol if the ##s allow.


      • LOL Gortat had 49 and Favors was the biggest bust of the night until Leonard did not play. Tough one.

        • I am now officially fallible. Prior to that, other than my wife, you couldn’t prove it!

          If it helps, I had Favors _and_ Kawhi in at least one lineup.

          Sadly, these are projections (I can tell you know it since you’re keeping your sense of humor about it). If you ever get the specific numbers in advance, LMK, we can make lots of money together. 🙂

  2. Allen…. tough to lock into anything until after the trade deadline at 3pm tomorrow imo. Guys might get moved and sit and often guys get moved and it messes with the clubhouse/chemistry in short term. Could have guys from the Cavs, Clippers, Bulls and Wizards on the move before tip tomorrow.

  3. PS and Trey Burke has been mentioned as well in deals.

  4. Thanks Thomas. As always, picks are subject to new info. Tomorrow most of all!
    Be sure and check out the Daily Update posted early PM ET and ensuing discussion via comments.
    Picks are based on info at time of posting.

  5. I’ve literally been waiting for days to see this article. Love what you are doing. Best info out there!

    • Thanks! It went out a little later than we like, but that happens. Appreciate the positive feedback.

      I’m just doing a couple days a week, so be sure to check in on James’ and Doug’s picks (they’re also the proprietors and the developers of the DFSR projection system) as well as the afternoon updates.

      And of course, if you’re not already a subscriber, I encourage you to strongly consider it. And look out for imminent changed on that front.

  6. Might want to avoid cash game plays today as a lot of people are going to have similar picks w the lack of options. Myself I usually never pick a cash game unless we have at least 5 games (possibly 4 depending on the games)

    • Mike, I understand where you’re coming from, but for me it’s a question of level of comfort. I like the cash game lineups I’m generating tonight, in part because I’m pretty comfortable with some options really well suited to cash tonight (high floor, lower risk).

      That said, short slates do always present fewer options so you’re going to have more overlap with others’ lineups. That means it’s just a couple of slots that’ll make you stand out, which “feels” like tourney play when you’re counting on a couple of lesser-owned guys to go off to really cash. Tonight you’ll be looking for those three guys that differentiate your lineup, but they won’t be lower-end high risk guys. Like I said, it ultimately comes down to your level of comfort.

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts and contributing to the discussion. We’re really happy to see an active DFSR community developing.

    • Tend to disagree here. With our system, small slates tend to help get the money in good. Mistakes cascade much worse with less options.

    • We are very close. Basically now we are having some issues converting to mobile. Devs feverishly working on it.

  7. When is the optimizer tool going to be available for the subscribers to use?

  8. Please post this letter to all your social media sites.

    Dear Mr Attorney General Hood, I am writing in concern of the questions regarding the legality of daily fantasy sports or DFS. I disagree with your option that it is considered gambling and not a game of skill. I urge you l to engage yourself in the contest and you will see that the research it requires dictates the outcome of the winning pools. I am extremely disappointed that you choose to fall in with your constituents options and not stand up for us Mississippians rights. Those of us who voted for you expect that you will hear us out and review your decision. DFS is exciting and offers us residents in Ms something to look forward to every night. In a state with no major sports options DFS brings its players in Ms. entertainment in which the state cannot or will not provide. While we continue to invite senior citizens to spend their life savings in our many Casions, I urge you to reevaluate your decision and let us play DFS. Thank you for your time.
    Concerned citizen, Mr. Josh Hazlewood

  9. Can’t speak to the optimizer – above my pay grade. But I think it’s fair to say have a little more patience, and you’ll be glad for it.

  10. M.Morris from Suns finally to the Wiz. How much would you say that effect Otto Porter’s value?

    • For tonight? Not at all. Going forward I think they play Markieff exclusively at the four (something they’ve struggled to fit this season).

  11. I like the picks.
    Who do I get rid of? They don’t fit in FD!

  12. Ronnie:

    Tonight? Not so much. Next few games, gotta treat it like an injury (do not touch) until role and rotations are clear. Although roiling the dice on a certain outcome (e.g. If you think Moriss is going to get more minutes than other people, and he’s relatively underpriced) might make for an interesting tourney play.

  13. Jeff Green for Born Ready is a head scratcher. Tanking for Grizz?

  14. Any word if any of the guys being dealt are going to play for their new teams tonight? Morris shakes up Wiz and Green shakes up Clippers same for Frye in Cleveland.

  15. Thomas:

    I’d assume that anyone traded is not going to play tonight unless you hear explicitly they’re playing. I assume there’ll be physicals etc. (see Jrue Holiday for why).

  16. Ben. Thanks. What I figured but a lot of those guys moved today really hurt the good punt plays tonight so wanted to be sure 🙂

  17. If you could fit only one in your lineup, would you take Pau Gasol or Chris Paul? Thanks

  18. Who are you considering as alternatives?

    I know you can’t just take the picks and directly create a lineup with them (I tried just to double-check), but that’s not the point of the picks (although we don’t try to_not_ present a playable lineup either). You have to slash some salary somewhere on both FD and DK, but there’s a number of ways to go about it (including playing both and making other changes). I don’t wa t to beat a drum, but if you’re not a subscriber, you might consider it as the lineup tools are really good for figuring this stuff out.

    Still, give me a little more info and I’ll try and provide feedback.

  19. What are your thoughts on this

    Wall, Paul, Danny Green, Temple, Leonard, Porter, Tristan Thompson, Portis and Pau Gasol? FanDuel $1K NBA Quintuple Up tourney.

    Thanks Ben, James, Dan and whoever.

    • I like this for that kind of format. It’s risky with Temple’s minutes. But I like the other pieces.

  20. Why is there no projection for tony Parker?

  21. Bill and this probably goes for anyone else seeking advice myself included. But REALLY important to say if you are building a Cash or a GPP lineup. Makes a lot of difference in player selection.

    GPP there’s lots of hard data that says if you want to win almost NEVER take value at PG.

  22. above comment was for FanDuel (dont play DK so not sure if it holds true over there). If you track GPP winners and perfect lineups on FanDuel very rarely do you see guys win with value plays at PG.

  23. What about this for DK? Cash

    T. Parker
    J. Crawford
    K. Leonard
    Tristan Thompson
    Pau Gasol
    Chris Paul
    Taj Gibson

    • Fair enough. 🙂

      Don’t like Gibson personally, and I wouldn’t be comfortable with Parker in a cash game, but that’s a little personal bias I think. Assuming you roll with Parker, Gibson won’t kill you but better Pts/$ options are there. Are you stuck on Gasol? If you slide in DeAndre instead you can bump up from Gibson to Hood at U.

  24. Yup. I like this. Parker wasn’t pulling correctly in data earlier, but is looking like a strong play.

  25. Thanks for the quick response, Doug. One question. Is Pau a better play than DeAndre? I like them both, but would prefer Jordan so I could upgrade from Taj.

    • Go with Doug on Parker. 🙂

      Curious to see if he agrees on Jordan/Gasol. I posted my comment before seeing his.

  26. Just the answer I was hoping for, haha. Thanks Ben! I’m going to make those changes unless Doug disagrees.

  27. Typically don’t like playing dudes vs Utah or Spurs so made tonight tough. Don’t love starting Duncan but just had a hard time rostering other bigs with power forwards I like. Thompson and Moz didn’t like, Like Gasol but then that left me with Portis and Portis usually gets run when the Bulls are losing so didn’t like the one guy does better when the other guy is sitting with that combo. Like Jordan but again couldn’t find a PF I trusted on the cheap. So ended up with this on FD.

    Irving, Rose, Moore, Green, Hayward, Leonard, Aldridge, Favors and Duncan

    Best of luck to everyone tonight.

  28. What is your relationship with rotoql? They want to charge me another 19.99 to use your projections. I already have a subscription with you. No reason to pay twice. I guess I can upload to their site. Will your optimizer be similar?

  29. F*** the Spurs and f*** Popovich. The only chance I had at winning top 3 spot between 500 and $1,000 and Leonard doesn’t play today

    • My lineups were locked with the main so image my dismay.

  30. Yeah, I replaced Crawford and Kawhi with Aldridge and Anderson. Don’t like having $2700 remaining, but what can one do? Easy win just got a lot harder.

  31. This is why I don’t Fanduel. I did very well on DK. I’d be pretty depressed and pissed off otherwise.

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