Basketball Picks Daily Fantasy Expert Advice

03/18/2016
James Davis

Daily Fantasy NBA Basketball Picks for FanDuel and DraftKings - 3/19/16

It's a late night here in DFSR land. Doug Norrie, my co-founder, is off in San Diego trying to take down the million dollar prize at the fantasy basketball world championship, and I'm here updating minutes and writing the picks. Not bitter! Doug ran the DraftKings optimal line-up tonight, and got creamed by Glass Davis taking yet another early exit. In a 100 person tournament you've got to focus on upside over safety, and Davis proved why he's not priced among the elite stars. Le' Sigh. We had Boogie at .06 points worse, and a swap there would have Doug sitting in 14th place overall - but that's DFS! If I know him, he'll be back to work tonight, ready to put in more lineups and get back to it. Let's see what the Saturday landscape looks like.

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POINT GUARD

Tony ParkerTony Parker - FD 5100 DK 4500
Opponent - GSW
FD Proj. Pts - 26.01 DK Proj. Pts - 26.74
I don't believe I've recommended Tony Parker a single time this season, partially because I always seem to write when the Spurs are guaranteed to win by a million. Well, tonight the one team that can give them a hard time at home - those pesky Golden State Warriors. This can only mean good things for Parker, who should be a favorite to play the upper end of his minutes (low 30s) against the league's 2nd fastest team. Parker is this cheap precisely because his minutes are so erratic, but he's paid 8x+ points per dollar in 2 of his last 4 games, and this should be one of his better ones.

Russell WestbrookRussell Westbrook - FD 10600 DK 10500
Opponent - IND
FD Proj. Pts - 52.32 DK Proj. Pts - 54.22
It's now been 3 games since Russ has had to play his full slate of minutes, so I'd suspect he's all systems go even on the 2nd half of a back to back here. Westbrook systematically dismantled the Sixers in every phase of the game on Friday, putting up a ridiculous 20/15/10 in just 32 minutes. The Pacers are basically a league average match-up for opposing point guards, so I'm going to get on him while his price is still a little bit depressed due to his recent minutes lull.

Patrick BeverleyPatrick Beverley - FD 4900 DK 4700
Opponent - ATL
FD Proj. Pts - 23.85 DK Proj. Pts - 26.39
Beverley was one of our prize calls on Friday. Doug played him as an 8% start in the fantasy basketball world championship, and the 18/5/10 line he put up in the winning overall lineup. So why were we on Beverley? It's simple - his minutes had been down due to a series of bizarre circumstances, and his true minutes with Lawson out of the picture are around the 36 he played against the Wolves. If that's going to be his new rotation, we're simply looking at a price/opportunity mismatch. Beverley is probably underpriced by about 10%, and while I don't think he'll frequently flash the upside he had against Minnesota, he looks like a very safe double-up play tonight.

Also considered: Not sleeping on Steph tonight. He rarely gets the chance to play up to any competition, and our projection system likes him at 37 minutes. If he decides to put his stamp on this one above and beyond, he could wind up being the top big money play.

 

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SHOOTING GUARD

Kentavious Caldwell-PopeKentavious Caldwell-Pope - FD 5300 DK 5700
Opponent - BKN
FD Proj. Pts - 25.01 DK Proj. Pts - 27.59
KCP has gone from "best kept secret" to "worst kept secret" in a short week, much to the chagrin of our lineup optimizer, which had been waiting for this breakout for some time. What's been going on with the Pistons shooting guard? Well, he's the perfect recipe for high floor and high upside. He's playing 8% more minutes than he has throughout the year, and he's shooting more times per minute in spite of playing more minutes. More shots means more points - makes sense, yeah? And tonight, he has a phenomenal match-up. The Nets have allowed the 6th most fantasy points per game to opposing shooting guards this season, and the very most in their last 10 games. KCP is a great play on FanDuel or DraftKings.

James HardenJames Harden - FD 10300 DK 10400
Opponent - ATL
FD Proj. Pts - 48.42 DK Proj. Pts - 51.08
Early returns on running the lineup optimizer have us spending up at point guard for Westbrook and shooting guard for Harden, so it seems prudent to include him in the picks here. Harden has burbled along as one of the very safest big money players all season, which makes sense, considering that not a thing happens within the Houston offense that he doesn't have a hand in. And, like Beverley above, Harden's price has slowly dipped on account of an unusual string of Rockets blowouts. Houston would like to play Harden 38-42 minutes per game, and a close game with the Hawks should give him the opportunity to do just that. It's weird to call a $10,000+ player a value play, but that's what we're looking at, here. Oh, and Kyle Korver should be hopeless to stop him.

Tony AllenTony Allen - FD 4600 DK 4600
Opponent - LAC
FD Proj. Pts - 24.06 DK Proj. Pts - 24.6
The Grizz seem to have come to their senses and remembered that Tony is their one plus defender Gasol, Z-Bo, and Conley sidelined, and he's played 33-34 minutes in each of the last 2 games. Allen's offensive game leaves a lot to be desired, but his max-effort style should easily be worth the projected total we have for him here. The Clippers have stingy against opposing shooting guards overall this season, but that's why it's so important to break down a position on a stat-based level. Allen gets a lot more of his fantasy points from non-scoring categories than most SGs, making him a fine play here in spite of the Clips' overall DvP ranking.

Also considered: Klay Thompson, for much the same reason we considered Curry. The one potential fly in his ointment is if Leonard chases him around at all, which could cause him serious problems. But he should be a part of any attempted Spurs/Dubs stacks.

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

SMALL FORWARD

Otto PorterOtto Porter - FD 4800 DK 4900
Opponent - NYK
FD Proj. Pts - 24.4 DK Proj. Pts - 25.27
With Beal looking doubtful for this game, it sure looks like we'll get the healthy 33-36 minute dose of Otto Porter Jr. that we're once again becoming accustomed to. Recently, that's meant paying 5x-7x in each of his last 4 games while flashing a great 3 point stroke and solid across-the-board contributions. He cost about $6k in this role earlier this season, so taking him at a 20% discount seems like a fairly easy decision in 50/50s in particular. Throw in a little indifferent defense from Carmelo, and he might have some upside to spare here.

Marcus MorrisMarcus Morris - FD 5200 DK 5100
Opponent - BKN
FD Proj. Pts - 25.72 DK Proj. Pts - 27.91
It looked like Morris was going to be the play of the night on Friday, as he went off for nearly 30 fantasy points in the first half against the Kings. And then he... did nothing at all in the 2nd half. But! He still paid 6x+ points per dollar, and not a whole lot has changed for him from one night to the next. Morris has shown that it really just comes down to the minutes for him. If he plays his normal high 30s minutes, he's a high floor high ceiling guy. If the Pistons are involved in a blowout, he'll hurt but not kill you. This might be a blowout with the Nets, for sure, but it's a good enough match-up that I'm willing to weather the risk.

Michael BeasleyMichael Beasley - FD 4100 DK 4400
Opponent - ATL
FD Proj. Pts - 26.69 DK Proj. Pts - 27.93
Just have to include him here because he's such a sexy punt option. Beasley has been a points per minute animal since joining the Rockets, finally seeming to cash in on the natural talent that made him the 2nd overall pick in the draft so many years ago. His rebounding has been off the charts, and that's led to a lot of easy buckets and a greater involvement in the offense than he may have had otherwise. But, frankly, it all looks sustainable, and it's allowing Houston to give Ariza some much needed rest. I'm not sure he's totally "safe" just yet, but the upside here is undeniable.

Also considered: Kawhi Leonard and Harrison Barnes. So many great plays in that GS/SA game. Hard to imagine them not being a popular stack tonight.

POWER FORWARD

Derrick FavorsDerrick Favors - FD 7400 DK 7300
Opponent - CHI
FD Proj. Pts - 36.21 DK Proj. Pts - 36.67
Taj GibsonTaj Gibson - FD 5100 DK 5100
Opponent - UTA
FD Proj. Pts - 24.64 DK Proj. Pts - 25.06
I've decided I'm going to do groups of players at power forward today, largely just because it's late and I feel like it. And frankly, I'm recommending them for almost totally different reasons. Gibson is a straight value play. He's underpriced with Gasol out of the picture, and his price will certainly rise once the Bulls play a game where he actually plays a full run of minutes. Favors, on the other hand, should benefit greatly from the Bulls present lack of big-man depth (which seems crazy considering where they started the season). The Bulls have allowed the 4th most fantasy points per game to opposing power forwards in their last 10 games, and Favors should be their toughest power forward match-up by far in that stretch. Both of these fine young men have huge upside here.

JaMychal GreenJaMychal Green - FD 6000 DK 5700
Opponent - LAC
FD Proj. Pts - 29.42 DK Proj. Pts - 29.87
Tobias HarrisTobias Harris - FD 6000 DK 6400
Opponent - BKN
FD Proj. Pts - 29.59 DK Proj. Pts - 31.18 
And I pair these two together because they're pretty much the same price and have similar projections. Harris is clearly the safer of the two, if only because Memphis will have blowout risk in basically every game they play as currently constructed. But JaMychal Green has shown true stat-stuffing upside when things break right, and the Clippers have big-man depth problems of their own. Still, Harris' better match-up and more attractive DraftKings price swings the pendulum in his favor for me, making JaMychal more of a tournament play than anything else.

CENTER

Robin LopezRobin Lopez - FD 5600 DK 5400
Opponent - WAS
FD Proj. Pts - 28.47 DK Proj. Pts - 28.97
Robin Lopez has quietly turned into a cult hero in both New York City and in daily fantasy hoops circles. And the beautiful thing is, we can keep paying him on account of his price staying affordable for us. There's good reason for that, of course - he completely disappeared against the Warriors - but he also paid off 5+ points per dollar in 5 of his previous 6 games before that, including a monster 45 fantasy point outburst in a tough match-up with DeAndre Jordan. Marcin Gortat is no slouch, but Lopez is a solid enough value play that the fast pace of the game should make up for Gortat's strong interior presence.

Andre DrummondAndre Drummond - FD 7900 DK 8000
Opponent - BKN
FD Proj. Pts - 40.9 DK Proj. Pts - 41.66
Another guy who just hasn't been able to get his full run of minutes due to weird situations, Drummond tops our center projections today on the back of a top 5 match-up with the Nets and a depressed price the result of him not playing a normal game script in the last week and a half. If the things are going as planned, Drummond will normally play about 34 minutes. That's what we have him projected for here. He should be able to abuse the softish Lopez down low, and I'd be satisfied to have him in any format.

Keep an eye on the Ian Mahinmi/Jordan Hill situation. If Mahinmi sits again, Jordan Hill is a terrific play.

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57 Visitor Comments

  1. You should have a way to pick players by ” Ceiilng”.

    • We are testing that data now. We have some floor and ceiling multipliers loosely based on sDevs, but aren’t totally confident putting it in as a metric.

  2. Didn’t even read the picks. Not one. The AD PTSD is still ringing in my ears. Gunshots and a flashing rotoworld screen saying AD is doubtful (will not) return.

    • Oh believe me, that injury will sit with me for a long time. It was the difference of many thousands of dollars.

  3. How do you guys feel about shelving Mack tonight? I see his price has jumped some but he’s scored over thirty in 4 of his last six contest.

    • I like him more if Hayward is still out. You are right, the price hike has him close the value borderline.

  4. I like the picks tonight. No high priced guys. My theory for tonight is to focus on OKC, Warriors, and SA. A lot of high priced guys mixed with some low valued players. Thanks team.

    • Thanks Brian! I think Westbrook is a must play tonight.

  5. Any Thoughts On Stephenson Today I Think He’ll Go Off Today By It Being A Sort Of Revenge Game And All What Are Your Thoughts

    • Yeah. He was too low in the system at the time of writing the picks. The usage numbers were a little off. I’ve since adjusted and he’s way up there now.

  6. Thoughts on milsap? Also what about gobert? Especially if heyward is out.

  7. Thoughts on this lineup

    Westbrook PG
    Curry PG
    KCP SG
    Tony Allen SG
    Leonard SF
    Barnes SF
    Gibson PF
    Tobias Harris PF
    Kanter C

    • Very similar to mine. Except I’m not big on Tony Allen. Trying to debate if I like Kanter or Adams better, but I think Kanter is the better pick. Also like Duncan against GS with their center out.

      • Duncan is gonna rest along with Parker and manu on the 2nd night of back to back

        • You think they are resting tonight against the Warriors?

  8. Will be interested what James says about Lance. His value sure has shot up in 2 weeks. Probably still plenty of value there even at that price considering Memphis has to play him and they have no real options on offense.
    I’m trying to fit mil sap in tonight myself. Like the matchup. Towns and Dieng had pretty good nights against them.

  9. And where exactly did you mention Beverly yesterday!

  10. We didn’t write him up though when we started running optimal lineups on DK he was showing up more and more. When Tim Frazier didn’t get the start, Beverley’s salary is where the system pivoted. He was in top overall lineup.

  11. Can you on get the an optimizer to generate an optimal lineup in only the “Pro” edition? I can only figure out how to view players.

  12. ??how do I generate the optimal lineup? New to site

    • Get Pro subscription and optimizer is built into lineup creation tool. I think Doug and James are referring to the results if you use the first lineup generated no more than five minutes before lineup lock. My experience is it rarely changes w/in last five minutes. You can pre-enter on FD and DK and then just adjust and export on both ites. Also, see other response below.

  13. optimal lineup keeps spitting out Mirotic in the top lineups sorry but i just dont see him having a good game anytime soon as long as rose and butler is playing i cant see Mirotic even being a factor he’s to reliant on scoring he does not rebound or dish the ball well at all and he’s a bottom scoring option as long as Rose & Butler is running

    • He got a little bit of a minutes bump down. If I knew he was going to run 30 I’d definitely play him at these prices without hesitation even with the 20% or so usage downgrade with Rose and Butler on court.

  14. 1st day of $30/month Optimal lineup hurt lol. Hopefully it gets better.

    • Put up a 330 three nights ago and won 100% of my cash games, placed high in several tourneys. this is a long-term pursuit. One night is just a data point. Play 100, and I think you’ll like the results.

      Also, for the other person asking about how to get the optimal lineup, I think James and Doug are talking about running the Optimizer (only available w/ Pro subscription) very close to tipoff and adjusting lineups accordingly. Strongly suggest you enter well in advance and be ready to adjust multi-lineups (esp for cash games) at last minute. If you can’t be around last-minute, skip that day (at least for cash). That’s the beauty of DFS!

      HTH

  15. I agree with you as well Alonzo, i hate Mirotic. I tried filtering everyway to get him out of there along with Hill.

  16. yeah Allen his usage is little to none i actually don’t know why thier optimal lineup is so bullish on him i could see if he was a good rebounder but he’s not at all i’ve seen him retreat from rebounds before literally LBVS

    • He has a 20 usage with Rose and Butler on the court. So I disagree that he’s invisible while they run together. It’s more the run I’m worried about.

  17. i love Westbrook today i Actually Think i’m gonna stay far away from the Chef Steph Curry Today i think the Spurs put a whipping on GSW today i think they have to. In the first match-up GSW killed the spurs in Golden State so i think the Spurs Will return the favor Now they got them in San Antonio i think this will be the first time i’ll pick the other squad against the warriors i like Kawhi & Aldridge A lot for today tho

    • Yep n Duncan Parker and manu will rest cuz of the b2b. I wouldn’t just fade curry tho…it’s gonna b plenty of fantasy points to go around in a fast paced game n Spurs will play hard at home

  18. Yeah Aldridge always scares me, hes been a monster since break so idk why i still shy away, probably all the times he got me earlier this year. Yeah im debating Westbrook and curry may just spend down a tad n go Wall Honestly. Steph did destroy them Though 50+ FP In 28 minutes. Dudes a Nut!!!

  19. That would be a good idea Doug. Add a Filter for specific players.

    • What do you mean? Filter by what exactly? Always looking to add features.

    • Allen, in Pro tool you can go to positional lists and look to the right. You can “lock” or “block” a player, making the optimizer include or exclude that player, respectively. If you hate Mirotic, block him, and the optimizer will simply not include him in the iterations in runs through.

      HTH

  20. I’m not feeling Mirotic tonight at all. I’m not feeling Tony Allen either, but he’s a better play than Mirotic. I’m thinking Porter tonight over Mirotic especially playing a stifling Utah defense. Thoughts?

  21. i’m locked in at point Westbrook & Jackson i think is the best combo for tourney play

  22. What about Porzingis at 5700 on DK?

  23. Thing to remember about optimal lineups is this time of year need to do more then hit a button and load that lineup to fanduel/draftkings. Lineups are about math and a lot of the math comes from the entire season so when we are near the end of the season for lots of different reasons the math “lies”. Injuries, rest, playing time and other reasons that have to be added to the straight math. Personally I always start by checking the little x by guys I’m not rostering. Never playing Davis or Wes Matthews or Zinger and dozens and dozens other guys. I check the boxes then hit optimal and look at everything fresh from there with that as my starting point. Break down that list and maybe for different reasons there is a guy or two I don’t like or news that hasn’t hit yet and I x a player or two out and go from there. Fullproof system? no, but none of them are and I’d rather lose with my system then be punching my screen when Davis no shows AGAIN.

  24. My rule of thumb is if your gonna be a optimal lineup/lineup generator copier than u need to swap out at least two of those players. I don’t care what anyone says I have never seen a generated lineup win a gpp from any site. Take the most commonly advertised guys from all the info u get and don’t sleep on ur sleeper pick that u like and let ur brain talk u out of it bc ur scared. That’s what will win u a tournament and real deal cash! I have 3 top 10 finishes in the last month in gpp tourneys with over 100k players and every time I have cashed in I have traded out at least 2 players from a generated lineup. Remember. They are computers. Did computers say (3) 12 seeds and a 15 seed would win in the college tourney yesterday. Lol. Always go with your gut. Good luck

  25. The optimizer was not kind to me yesterday. Hopefully today will be better.

  26. Fade mack? No way!! 30 +Mins 0.87 pts per minute and Chicago is 28th vs pg..lock and load for me

  27. Mack vs suns (I understand the suns are BAD) 29 mins 15 pts 7-13fg 8 rebounds 10 assists ..only 2 turnovers…he’s solid across the board with all states categories and he’s playing against an equally terrible defense vs pg

  28. the one thing i really need to try and figure out is who should i roster in the last game of the night usually but not all the time the winners of the tourneys/GPP’s have that last guy in that last game that pushes them to that #1 Spot

  29. There’s no way anyone on the spurs are resting tonight it’s televised and these are the best teams in the league

  30. Hey Doug i was referring to maybe a filter system that could weed out certain players on any given night. Like say tonight im not feeling Mirotic. So with this filter i could go check him off and the system would run with him only instead of having to filter out an entire game. And thx everyone for the thoughts on optimal. Ive been making my own lineups since ive started and ive done ok hit a couple hundred here and there. I just wanted to get lazy and not have to look through every player every night and there minutes, previous games, career history against certain teams etc…. I suppose it can help me be lazy just not aa lazy as i want lol.

    • All doable in Pro iineup tool. And, no, I don’t get a commission. I just write picks and articles for them occasionally, but I am a User and trust the optimizer to stay positive-EV over time. The Pro has the bells and whistles you’re talking about. If you want you can eliminate a single player from consideration, a single team, a single game, multiple games – great for contests with slates only including games starting later in the evening – or any combination thereof.

    • Allen,

      all you have to do is hit the x next to the player you don’t want included in the optimal lu. that’ll exclude that player.

  31. Aldridge or Thaddeus Young? Having a really hard time choosing between the two.

  32. Sweet, thank you Kwasi and Ben i was too busy checking everything else out yesterday to even notice that. Too bad you can’t delete comments, because i feel pretty stupid now haha.

  33. Is the DSFR Pro worth $30 a month? Just dont want to waste the money if its not worth it. Thanks and good luck!

  34. Freddy i suppose it depends on your budget and how well you do on your own. I went into a major slump after hitting l, and tying with like 400 people lol for first on the short slate before All Star Break. So i decided to give it a shot.

  35. Horford should have a solid game tonight.. Houston is beyond horrible defending the 5,Horford posted a 53 this year at houston and Horford is also playing at home

  36. What do you guys think of Marreese Speights tonight? Bogut is out so i feel like Speights will get more minutes and he already posts 20+ fantasy points on draftkings only playing an average of 17 minutes per game.

  37. Hey Doug- If you spend $300+ a night should I be playing more then one lineup a night? I know you talk about cash game lineups and tournament lineups. I have just been trying to find the best lineup and play across the board. Sometimes go on stretches doing very well and then can just miss sometimes for awhile. How many lineups should you invest in each night?
    Thanks Shane

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