Basketball Picks Daily Fantasy Expert Advice

James Davis

Daily Fantasy NBA Basketball Picks for FanDuel and DraftKings - 2/28/16

Sunday, Sunday, Someday! A little double-slate today, but I'm going to focus mostly on the late slate since that's what the super-majority of you will be playing. After a truly wild Saturday slate, this one is quite a bit more subdued. I mean, Damian Lillard is the most expensive guy on a 5 game slate. That's... kinda boring. But! Boring can be where our bread gets buttered. So, let's get buttering. Or something.

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Ricky Rubio - FD 6900 DK 6400
Opponent - DAL
FD Proj. Pts - 34.85 DK Proj. Pts - 35.87
The top guy at the position from a points per dollar basis, and it's not even close. On DraftKings in particular. What's going on with Rubio? Well, he's got to be one of the only guys who can average 5 shots per game over a 3 game stretch but also top 35+ fantasy points in each of those games. So what's up? Well, the Wolves are finally trusting Rubio to simply run the offense on every possession. To great effect! He's averaged better than 12.5 assists per game during that stretch. Dallas is a league average match-up under normal circumstances, but they've been playing a ton of overtime games in a short stretch, so I like Rubio to carve up their fatigued defense.

Goran Dragic - FD 6300 DK 6400
Opponent - NYK
FD Proj. Pts - 28.47 DK Proj. Pts - 29.93
Dragic has frankly been great recently, thanks to all of the injury troubles plaguing the Heat. While some of that is unsustainable (Dwyane Wade should play more than he has), Bosh's absence still leaves a lot of room in the offense for everyone. In this game, Jose Calderon will the primary man tasked with chasing Dragic around. Which is to say - this is a nice spot for Dragic. The Knicks play slow, but their defensive disinterest should make it another nice spot to deploy Goran.

Reggie Jackson - FD 6700 DK 6900
Opponent - TOR
FD Proj. Pts - 31.65 DK Proj. Pts - 32.79
A DFSR classic this season for whatever reason. I think Jackson's price remains depressed because he just doesn't play a lot of minutes. But what he does play is consistent minutes, and he has consistent production as well. You see, Jackson is 2nd in the league in drives per minute this season (thanks, SportVU data), which tells us a few things. First of all, the ball has to be in his hands a lot. Second, he's involved in a lot of high impact situations. Drives often end in a shot attempt or assist attempt. Toronto is a bad match-up for point guards, but on a short slate, I think he's a solid 50/50 play if you have this much money to spend.

Early slate special: Kyrie as an against the grain bounce back candidate in a nice match-up with the fast paced Wiz.



Dwyane Wade - FD 7500 DK 7000
Opponent - NYK
FD Proj. Pts - 36.33 DK Proj. Pts - 36.86
I nodded to this in Dragic's write-up, but Wade has been the real beneficiary of Bosh's absence. He's averaged 20 shots a game since Bosh went down, as opposed to the 16 he was averaging to that point. And his price is basically stagnant. This is a tremendous buying opportunity - the rare chance we get to get a bigger money guy with a price/opportunity mismatch. The match-up is sort of neither here nor there, as the Knicks have been league average against the position this season. High floor with lots of upside to boot.

Victor Oladipo - FD 6800 DK 7100
Opponent - PHI
FD Proj. Pts - 34.07 DK Proj. Pts - 35.63
Evan Fournier - FD 5400 DK 6000
Opponent - PHI
FD Proj. Pts - 26.17 DK Proj. Pts - 28.89
I got burned by this combo the last time around, but that makes it a nice buying opportunity from where I'm sitting. Skiles did his classic "sit the starters while I pout" thing, which I guess is now officially a risk we need to keep our eyes out for. But on a short slate, I'm not sure we can be so picky. What we know otherwise is that Dipo and Fournier were playing a lot of minutes and jacking a lot of shots after Tobias Harris left town, and I don't see why that shouldn't continue here. The Magic stink, but it stands to reason that even they would have a tough time getting blown out by Philadelphia. Looks good in any format for me.

If he starts again, Zach LaVine is a great play. But, the Wolves are insane, and it might be Tayshaun Prince again. Wait until you get confirmation there for cash games, but his minutes have been relatively consistent regardless. Eyes peeled, here.

Also considered for the early slate: JR Smith.


Paul George - FD 9000 DK 8700
Opponent - POR
FD Proj. Pts - 39.89 DK Proj. Pts - 42.4
You're going to have to spend up somewhere today, and my gut's telling me that it's likely going to be at the small forward position. In fact, if you just want to go by recent game log, George looks like the best play at the position, and possibly the slate. He's been shooting a TON since the all-star break, averaging 24.5 shots per game in his last 3 contests. Normally I'd consider this as potentially statistical noise, but teams often do intentionally re-calibrate during their mid-season week off. So, what you're seeing here is a combination of steady minutes and increased usage on those minutes. Great value at a good price tag.

Tobias Harris - FD 5900 DK 6400
Opponent - TOR
FD Proj. Pts - 28.59 DK Proj. Pts - 30.09
Harris is playing vintage 35 minutes a game Tobias Harris right now, only his price is left in his recent Orlando-minutes limbo. He's averaged nearly 5x points per dollar on these prices since joining the Pistons, and I believe he's something like 10% under-priced at these numbers. Keep in mind that his minutes haven't had a chance to normalize in Detriot just yet, and his 'normal' game script looks like a 35 minute rotation rather than the 32.5 he's played so far. Price/opportunity mismatch, even in a tough spot with the Raptors.

Carmelo Anthony - FD 9000 DK 8400
Opponent - MIA
FD Proj. Pts - 40.74 DK Proj. Pts - 42.75
Another potential spot you could spend up happily today. Melo's another guy who's playing a more active role in a change of scenery, even if his change in scenery is just a different ex-Phil Jackson player ineptly calling the shots from the bench. Still, he's playing high 30s minutes per game and shooting 20+ times per game, and the performance has followed. And he's even been running bad from the field! I love how he's rebounding, too - he's averaged double digit rebounds in his last 6 contests. I think Melo is one of the safest plays going in a league average match-up with the Heat.


Gorgui Dieng - FD 6500 DK 6800
Opponent - DAL
FD Proj. Pts - 32.72 DK Proj. Pts - 33.23
Of all the things I love in this world, Gorgui's continuing under-priced status might be first. Okay, maybe after my kids. And buffalo-chicken pizza. Where was I? Ah yes, Dieng. He remains absurdly priced largely for 1 reason - a bad game against the Knicks. This did two things - it burned his owners that night (and signaled to the sites that he was an unstable play), and then dramatically decreased his ownership the following night (thus signaling to the sites that he didn't need a price increase). Meanwhile, he's paid 6x+ points per dollar in 4 of his last 7 games, and 5x+ points per dollar in 2 of those. And one bad game. He plays huge minutes, and is a feature part of their team right now. The Mavs are a slightly above average match-up, but this one really comes down to his depressed price.

Kristaps Porzingis - FD 6400 DK 6600
Opponent - MIA
FD Proj. Pts - 33.44 DK Proj. Pts - 34.52
Meanwhile, Porzingis looks like the heir apparent to Dieng's under-owned status. It's funny - his ownership is likewise depressed by a few outlier stinkers (though more than Dieng - he is definitely not as safe), but I think it's also depressed by something very strange. The regulatory environment and how it's effected DFS in New York. I digress. Rambis clearly either loves Porzingis or has been instructed to play him 33+ minutes wherever possible, and that should definitely be a possibility against the under-sized Heat. He's a fantasy point per minute guy for his short career, and that continues tonight. Super safe, with upside.

Patrick Patterson - FD 3500 DK 3800
Opponent - DET
FD Proj. Pts - 17.61 DK Proj. Pts - 19.53
Exactly the type of cheap guy that frees up a lot of money elsewhere if no traditional punt plays are available tonight. Patterson has been playing a wealth of minutes recently, and hasn't been really doing much with them. Not that inspiring, right? Except for the fact that he's so damned cheap, and the big minutes on a base salary make him necessarily a high-floor guy. Probably not a guy that will win you a big tournament, but I can't blame you for slotting him in if you love the guys you have at every other spot.



Andre Drummond - FD 8500 DK 8200
Opponent - TOR
FD Proj. Pts - 41.28 DK Proj. Pts - 42.03
The big man has been a little bit under-owned recently, and has quietly returned to DFS reliability. Here's a fun stat for you - Andre Drummond has had 13 or more rebounds in every game in the month of February (as of this writing). There is only one player in the league (besides Drummond) who has averaged better than 13 rebounds per game this season. That's pretty damned awesome. I just love this match-up against Jonas Valancunias as well. JV is an offense-first center who doesn't like to contest shots or rebounds, giving this one all the makings of one of those monster Drummond games.

Ian Mahinmi - FD 5000 DK 5000
Opponent - POR
FD Proj. Pts - 23.93 DK Proj. Pts - 24.36
Quietly been super safe on these prices recently. He came back into his full starters minutes (after returning from injury) 5 games ago, and since then he's been 5x+ points per dollar in 4 of those, including one 8x monster in a tough match-up with the Thunder. Portland has allowed the 8th most fantasy points per game to opposing centers this season, which is one of the rare actual good match-ups on the slate today. Love Mahinmi in any format. Love him!

Also considered: A lot of cool upside plays today - Whiteside, Vucevic, etc. Neither has been reliable from a minutes perspective, though, so I'll probably just stick with the guys above.

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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49 Visitor Comments

  1. You guys have been money the last few weeks, but you have seriously missed on suggesting players like deron williams and Shelvin Mack. Add these dudes to the list of guys not to start

    • Deron Williams was recommended with caution, given his dislocated finger situation. I stand by the Mack recommendation.

  2. I am all aboard the Mason Plumlee train lately if you are looking for another cheap option at C today

  3. Ya Mack is crap even at that price but these guys were right to recommend him because of the minutes and the value. He just just nothing on the court at the moment.

  4. No Ryan, they were dead wrong and have been dead wrong the last 2 weeks. David Sloan was a better value

    • I agree completely , I just canceled my subscription these guys are terrible . I’m not trolling for another site . Here’s my 2 cents // the algorithm they keep bragging about you know the one that apparently is way out front of all others is absolutely BS . My fix for this ( install kodi on Android or PC , install sports devil add-on , it’s free and you profit . just watch multiple games check out box scores you’ll out pick these dummy’s 6 out of 7 days , the broken clock is right twice a day . good luck all .

  5. Don’t get me wrong, I love this site and have had a ton of success but there are no-named players that this site seems to fall in love with that fizzle more than not. No-named guys that have not usually not started don’t usually do well.

  6. Oh yeah, you may want to close off the in the Drummond article, it’s affected the rest of the site.

    • Ugh, yeah. Left off the /. Thanks!

  7. Site has been a great help to me picking lineups and the.optimizer tool is a great asset so keep up the great work guys!

  8. Hope everyone got in on the a.m. games. Looks like LeBron is 30% ownership and he’s not playing. Should be easy money for those who caught he was sitting. Good luck to everyone.

  9. Just an FYI every time deing goes for heavy minutes he usually has a dud the next game; he helped me cash the game after his last dud which is when he normally bounces back with a great game. Also zinger had one great game against the Heat back in November but the last two have been under 20 fantasy points. Also Aaron Gordon has been fantastic the last few weeks and has helped me cash every time he has played. Also even though Drummond could have a great game he hasn’t had more than 35 / 40 against Toronto this year which is still great, but towns destroyed Dallas the last time out for 60+ points and vucevic just scored 52 against Philly so I see them as two better options in the same range, thoughts on my comments?

    • Nice , common sense approach to creating your line up ,,,I love it . why pay for advice that’s no where near as good as your own ?

  10. Oh and also when it comes to Paterson I had the same thoughts the last time out had a great line up and used him because he’s been getting 30 plus minutes then only got me seven fantasy points and lost me a lot of money because of it so I don’t think I will ever use him again unless it becomes a consistent producer even with the minutes

  11. Agree with everything Delaney says. Really like the bounce back spot for Dieng. I’m also looking at DeRozan and McCollum who both put up duds last time out, both with just six actual points. Gordon against Philly is definitely somewhere I’m looking as well. How could you not?! And I also agree about Drummond. Towns is too damn expensive but I think he’s in a better spot. Vucevic too. Hard to go both PF and C from same team though. Mahimi looks like the value play. And I also agree about Paterson. I like too many other PFs to consider him.

  12. I agree with Patterson he’s a gpp only if that.

  13. Honestly, I’m having a hard time nailing down this slate. Any thoughts on Wes Matthews? Never roster him but he fits in with the rest of the guys I’m trying to roster.

  14. Good call on the Aaron Gordon. Looks like a near must today along with Paul George I’m building my lineup around those two and Fournier or olapdio

  15. What about d wade in cash games?

  16. The system doesnt really like Gordon though

  17. also can’t decide between dieng or Arron Gordon

  18. Thoughts on Miles Turner? Looks like nice matchup against Ed Davis .. What about Parsons??
    Whiteside porzingis is the top value tonight.. Drummond is not just getting chased around by Valun.. They also have Big Al. Also Aaron Gordon won’t win you a tourney

  19. The system never likes Gordon but yet I win every time I use him

    • Gordon’s a good player – but it’s not discriminating against him for any particular reason. It’s just point out that he’s on an unusual run-good streak that might taper off. Still, young players can be the toughest to get a handle on as they tend to progress the most rapidly. Don’t blame you for playing him.

  20. Vucevic or Drummond for cash? I’m leaning towards Vucevic but the system seems to like Drummond. Thanks!

  21. Wowzers Lowry out and Fournier out What’s this mean for raptors value. Olapdio is a must start now IMO

  22. Wow yeah im sure cory joseph is now a top play and derozan gets a huge bump

  23. Wow ya and I thought derozan would sit.

  24. I’ve slotted Olidipo, Derozan and Joseph into all my lineups across all sites. Will probably bite me in the butt!

    • nope all 3 should be in all lineups you are spot on

  25. the real trick is co jo and henzonja freed up so much money I might have to deploy lillard instead of dragic. Paul George scares the hell out of me. Aminu is no slouch.

  26. Oladipo sees basically the same usage with Fournier out – so a bet on him is a bet on minutes, not necessarily a bit on increased opportunity per minute.

  27. Locking Joseph/Hezonja/DeRozan/Oladipo actually spits out some good looking lineups, which is kinda rare when you force it to take more than one punt.

  28. Did a deeper dive on Aaron Gordon – it seems like he is not just playing more, but playing a more prominent role in the offense than our system was detecting. He’s got a little bump, going to see now if that impacts lineups.

  29. Good stuff James ya 2 punt plays. Today. Cool. U guys playing Drummond?

    • im personally rolling KAT. JV is an offensive center that could get drummond in foul trouble. its just a question of dieng or zinger for me

  30. I don’t have optimizer but am getting it very soon. I’m stuck at pg. is Rubio a pod play? Drajic?

  31. I feel zinger is safe at home, because fans want to see him so he usually gets his full run. Away games are where he usually underperforms

  32. Good play lol not pod darn only 4 mins left

  33. Putting Galloway in GPPs. No cash.

  34. I was hoping people snoozed on c jo but no. 83% owned in my 10$ 100 50/50 on FD. De ro 69% olapdio 83%
    George 57%. Gordon 84% but here is where I either screwed up or other people hopefully did . Rubio 6% hezonji 19%
    Porzingis 8% and Drummond 6%. Wow. Or maybe I should have played more games. I have two 2$ H2 H also but I can’t believe how low owned those guys are.

  35. How come people don’t like Rubio James?

    • As a Timberwolves fan I can answer that. Rubio can’t shoot. Period. Dude averages less than 10 pts a game scoring and is only still around because of his masterful passing. He’s like a really poor dying man’s Chris Paul way too risky for cash games

  36. Lol I guess I got depend on the secondary stats

  37. Thx Peter by the way for your advice. I’m new to the NBA dfs and I love it. I played Drummond and he just paid value. I’m sweating out my cash games. I have porzingas left. About 30% have gory at and a few have dieng. It varies from game to game but usually fairly close per site. Thx for helping me. Greatly appreciated. I didn’t get your comment in time so I played Drummond and good thing he got like 20+ rebounds

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