Basketball Picks Daily Fantasy Expert Advice

Doug Norrie

Daily Fantasy NBA Basketball Picks for FanDuel and DraftKings - 3/11/16

Just another Friday in the NBA with a huge slate and a ton of injury considerations that will throw these picks and ultimately, the lineups, into flux. I'll do my best to wade through the bigger pieces going into this slate. And of course you'll want to check back in tomorrow afternoon for updates.

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Rajon RondoRajon Rondo - FD 8200 DK 7800
Opponent - ORL
FD Proj. Pts - 38.66 DK Proj. Pts - 39.35
Darren CollisonDarren Collison - FD 5300 DK 4800
Opponent - ORL
FD Proj. Pts - 27.41 DK Proj. Pts - 28.86
Well there's ones piece of news we already know well in advance of Friday's 7PM lineup lock and it's that Demarcus Cousins has been suspended for this game. That opens up a lot of shots, rebounds and minutes for the rest of the Kings. Both Rondo and Collison get significant usage bumps when Cousins isn't on the court and expect both to see increased shots and on-the-ball time. Orlando, while a decent defensive squad, isn't that good of a team overall. There's no early line on the game, but it's in Sacramento and I don't think it gets out of hand even sans Boogie. The Kings are priced like Cousins is on the court so this is the perfect time to take advantage. Even on a big slate I can see playing both of these guys at the point guard position.

Ish SmithIsh Smith - FD 6700 DK 6800
Opponent - BKN
FD Proj. Pts - 33.47 DK Proj. Pts - 34.45
He's seen the minutes trend upward of late, getting steadily into that mid 30's range. That's really all you need from Ish at these prices. In his last six games Ish is averaging a 20/6/4 thanks to some increase in his shot volume. Smith is incredibly efficient from the floor because he gets into the lane so much and does have some pick and roll chops nailed down with Nerlens Noel. Brooklyn is a bottom third team on defense and I like Ish in the mid range for both sites.

Jrue HolidayJrue Holiday - FD 8200 DK 8300
Opponent - MEM
FD Proj. Pts - 40.17 DK Proj. Pts - 41.94
Holiday is more on my radar if Norris Cole sits again. But even if Cole plays I think Jrue is in the mix because Alvin Gentry could finally be committed to playing the guy big minutes. He's played 36 minutes of more in each of the last three games and last game topped it off with a 38/6/4 line. Memphis is a middle of the pack team on defense for the season, but they are a much different team right now with no Gasol or Conley. Jrue's price is climbing but it hasn't topped out if he's going to get close to 40 minutes.

Strongly consider Russell Westbrook because, well, he's Russell Westbrook



Victor OladipoVictor Oladipo - FD 7000 DK 7200
Opponent - SAC
FD Proj. Pts - 34.08 DK Proj. Pts - 35.71
He's easily a top play at shooting guard tomorrow. The Kings are the 24th ranked defense in basketball this season and have been shredded by shooting guards this season. They are allowing more than average production in just about every area of the stat sheet to the position and Dipo should benefit especially if the Kings push the pace. He's back to playing major minutes and has put 16 and 17 shots respectively in the last two games with Vucevic off the court. This one's a pretty easy call.

Tony AllenTony Allen - FD 4500 DK 4800
Opponent - NOP
FD Proj. Pts - 23.43 DK Proj. Pts - 24
It gets a little murkier at shooting guard after Dipo. The Grizzlies are in a weird way right now with Conley doubtful and Chalmers waived after tearing his achilles. That leaves the Grizz with almost no backcourt at all and they've called up Briante Weber who isn't available anywhere today. It could spell major minutes for Allen even though he's not a ballhandler. The Grizz just don't have anyone right now.

Zach LaVineZach LaVine - FD 5600 DK 5900
Opponent - OKC
FD Proj. Pts - 28.16 DK Proj. Pts - 29.51
Our system really likes him at a high minutes expectation though I'm a little spooked by OKC running Minnesota out of the gym. Though one upside to Lavine is he does seem to get run even in the blowouts, playing 36 minutes last game while getting waxed by the Spurs. Lavine, even for all his run, doesn't have oodles of upside mostly his only real value add is in scoring. But I do think he's on the safer side if he's locked into the minutes.

Consider E'Twaun Moore if Jimmy Butler sits again.

Also, with enough savings on a big slate you can roll James Harden who's not the highest pts/$ but the raw points might fit.

Baseball season is almost here. Check back soon for our MLB ebook on setting daily fantasy baseball lineups as well as our MLB DFS strategy articles coming in the next couple weeks.


Rudy GayRudy Gay - FD 6700 DK 6000
Opponent - ORL
FD Proj. Pts - 37.06 DK Proj. Pts - 38.53
As of right now Gay is the top overall pts/$ guy in our system which is saying something considering his price point on this larger slate. But that's what happens when he's on the court without Boogie. This season he gets something to the tune of a 60%+ usage bumps when Boogie is off the court. Applying even part of that to his overall projection has him sitting at about a must play against Orlando. He'll be a "every lineup" guy tomorrow unless some other news comes down. But I don't suspect that happens. He's priced like a second fiddle but he'll be the main guy on offense tonight for the Kings.

Evan FournierEvan Fournier - FD 5500 DK 5900
Opponent - SAC
FD Proj. Pts - 27.82 DK Proj. Pts - 30.78
He and Oladipo do seem back to playing big minutes at the two and three for the Magic and Sacramento is even worse against small forwards than they are against shooting guards. The Kings are basically purple turnstiles on defense and you can stack the Magic against them tonight. And if you think Fournier is penciled into run near 40 minutes then he's close to a must start. Last game with those minutes he went 24/4/3 against the Lakers. The Kings aren't much better on the defensive side of the ball.

Andrew WigginsAndrew Wiggins - FD 6200 DK 5800
Opponent - OKC
FD Proj. Pts - 32.07 DK Proj. Pts - 32.94
He's much of the same case as Lavine. Wiggins is a score-only kind of guy who doesn't do much else except put up shots and then run back on defense. It's dicey rolling this kind of profile in a cash game because if he's running bad from the field then you are totally sunk. The hope here is Minnesota can stick in the game with OKC even as heavy -13 dogs going into the game.

Strongly consider Matt Barnes


Anthony DavisAnthony Davis - FD 10300 DK 9800
Opponent - MEM
FD Proj. Pts - 51.74 DK Proj. Pts - 52.52
Davis is the top big money play on the slate for me as long as you can stomach that it's been more than one game since he left with a game-ending injury. If you forget about the fragility of his composition the you are getting a fantastic deal on the dude against a depleted Grizzlies' squad. His last three games have seen him average 33/11/3 with some defensive stats to boot. There's a case for Harden of course, and Westbrook as well. But I think you can find solid values at those positions while power forward isn't exceptionally deep. Brow is my guy and I don't see even an iota of risk to his personal being. Right?

Tobias HarrisTobias Harris - FD 6000 DK 6200
Opponent - CHA
FD Proj. Pts - 31.79 DK Proj. Pts - 33.56
Stan Van Gundy is a pretty consistent guy when it comes to his rotations and when he sees something he likes, or a minutes allotment that makes sense, then you can sort of count on him sticking with it. Some guys he jerks around, but Tobias isn't one of them. He's going in the high 30's lately and expect that to continue tonight. His price is a little low considering some of this newfound opportunity and he does enough across the stat line to keep the floor higher.

Thaddeus YoungThaddeus Young - FD 6800 DK 6600
Opponent - PHI
FD Proj. Pts - 34.08 DK Proj. Pts - 35.46
He's rolling against Philly today which is about as good as it gets for opposing power forwards. The Sixers are allowing about 14% more scoring and 4% more rebounding than league average to the position. And they've been running small lineups lately with Okafor out (who's no great shakes on defense to begin with). Thad just needs those minutes in the high thirties, but even without them I see him as a solid cash game play considering the matchup.

Jason SmithJason Smith - FD 3500 DK 3500
Opponent - SAC
FD Proj. Pts - 18.93 DK Proj. Pts - 19.45
Smith is a great punt play if Vuceciv sits again. The big minutes aren't crushing but he's basically free on both sites and has been running with the starters.

Also strongly consider Willie Cauley-Stein if you think he plays bigger minutes with Cousins out.



Kosta KoufosKosta Koufos - FD 3500 DK 3000
Opponent - ORL
FD Proj. Pts - 16.61 DK Proj. Pts - 16.9
Center is, by far, the worst position on this slate. There's very little in the way of value and I don't feel great about running any of these guys. When that's the case though it's sometimes best to just go cheap. The last time Boogie sat Koufos played 30 minutes with a 7/11 line. That's plenty at these prices. I only have him in there for 25 minutes right now and he's still coming up way at the top of the system. Hopefully we get early news on this situation, but if Koufos is drawing the start then I'd play him almost solely in my cash games.

Karl-Anthony TownsKarl-Anthony Towns - FD 8900 DK 7900
Opponent - OKC
FD Proj. Pts - 42.97 DK Proj. Pts - 43.71
These next two guys are speculative at best though for slightly different reasons and at much different price points. Towns has extreme upside when he really gets rolling down hill with the scoring. But OKC is a tough matchup on the interior and there is some blowout risk. I'm putting KAT here because our system doesn't mind his multiplier. But it's iffy.

Robin LopezRobin Lopez - FD 5600 DK 5700
Opponent - LAC
FD Proj. Pts - 26.35 DK Proj. Pts - 26.77
If you knew he'd play 30-32 minutes then Lopez would be up there with Koufos in terms of points/$ value. But you just can't count on him being out on the court that long. He's almost just as likely to run 17 minutes and crush your sole.


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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11 Visitor Comments

  1. Will Cauley-Stein get more minutes over Koufus? The picks last night were great except for the punt on Thompson.

    • I wouldn’t rule it out, but that hasn’t been the trend in the past. You could never call Cauley-Stein safe.

  2. I have $7,100 left for my Utility slot on DK, if anyone would like to give me their pick, it would be appreciated. This is a GPP lineup

    Wade, McCollum (kind of like him as contrarian play for a high scoring GSW/PDX game), Nic Batum, Klay Thompson (same thoughts as McCollum)

    I like all of them for different reasons and can’t choose…

    Rest of lineup is

    PG Isaiah Thomas $7,300
    SG Victor Oladipo $7,200
    SF Lance Stephenson $4,400
    PF Quincy Acy $3,400
    C Andre Drummond $7,900
    G Reggie Jackson $6,600
    F Rudy Gay $6,000

  3. Is everyone completely off of JaM Green at this price point? Thing is, he could still have a large game basically playing against the Pelicans’ C defense if Z-Bo is out. I can’t decide whether or not to take the risk.

    • Just an upside play for me – I won’t touch him in cash for those prices until he does this for a week.

  4. Can you guys add a simple @ character to indicate whether if the player is playing at home or away in the optimal line-up tool. It would help out a lot in creating a line-up since some players tend to play better at home! Other then that, the tool works great!

    • Hey LJ! I’ll see how easy it is to incorporate this. Thank you!

  5. What about Lillard tonight? He’s been on fire lately and PGs normally put up pts on the Warriors

  6. How about this?
    Ish Smith Jrue Holiday
    Etwuan Moore Victor Oladipo
    Rudy Gay Evan Fournier
    Anthony Davis Cody Zeller
    Rudy Gobert
    Fanduel line-up

  7. What do you think of this line up
    PG Isaiah Thomas 38.11 $7,300
    SG Andrew Wiggins 32.93 $5,800
    SF Rudy Gay 38.54 $6,000
    PF Anthony Davis 52.52 $9,800
    C Pau Gasol 43.32 $8,200
    PG Darren Collison 28.87 $4,800
    PF Taj Gibson 27.43 $4,400
    PG Toney Douglas 23.98 $3,700
    Totals 285.70 $50,000

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