Basketball Picks Daily Fantasy Expert Advice

Doug Norrie

Daily Fantasy NBA Basketball Picks for FanDuel and DraftKings - 4/30/16 Playoffs

Note that this article’s format changed when the playoffs started. Additionally, there won’t be a separate update article. Check back to this article throughout the day Friday and review the discussion in the comments below for updated information.


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Oklahoma City Thunder at San Antonio Spurs

It's the lone game on the Saturday slate and it could be a good one. We have two teams with completely different approaches. On the one hand you have the Spurs who employ a whole team approach, suffocating you on both ends of the court with ball movement and denying you ball movement. On the other hand you have the Thunder who have two players and a bunch of spare parts. Should be fun.

Now the thing with the Thunder is those two players are so good that things do get interesting. But I think they'll struggle to contend with the Spurs over the course of a seven game series. Pop and company are just too good and make too many adjustments. That and they have the league's best defender in Kawhi to lock down Durant and OKC could really be in for it. This is isn't to say the series won't interesting, I think it'll be great to watch. But you could see a lot of frustration from OKC.

Top Value Plays
Russell WestbrookRussell Westbrook - FD 10900 DK 10800
Opponent - SAS
FD Proj. Pts - 54.71 DK Proj. Pts - 56.59
Kevin DurantKevin Durant - FD 10100 DK 9700
Opponent - SAS
FD Proj. Pts - 53.06 DK Proj. Pts - 55.74
40 minutes or above is in the cards for both of these guys every game this series (short of a blowout). OKC will need both and they'll also continue staggering their rotations some in order to exploit the Spurs second unit (unless Pop runs Kawhi the whole time). San Antonio could try to suffocate both forcing OKC to rely on the rest of the cast (good luck) which would dampen both of their respective upsides. But I think the minutes expectation for both is so high that they are moderately safe in cash games even at the elevated tags and the good D coming out of San Antonio.

Kawhi LeonardKawhi Leonard - FD 9200 DK 8800
Opponent - OKC
FD Proj. Pts - 42.36 DK Proj. Pts - 44.1
LaMarcus AldridgeLaMarcus Aldridge - FD 7600 DK 7700
Opponent - OKC
FD Proj. Pts - 35.58 DK Proj. Pts - 36.35
It's difficult to know exactly how the Spurs will deploy run in this series because they strolled through the first round. And even looking for good regular season comps for this series isn't easy because the Thunder and Spurs didn't play each other much at full strength. But the game from March 13th does give a bit of a clue. In that one Kawhi and LMA ran minutes close to 40 each and I think you could see the same again in this one. Why not? Try and put OKC away early. In that game the two combined for 38 shots from the field with Leonard especially deadly putting up a 26/7/3/3 line.

Enes KanterEnes Kanter - FD 4700 DK 5000
Opponent - SAS
FD Proj. Pts - 25.04 DK Proj. Pts - 25.73
Steven AdamsSteven Adams - FD 4600 DK 4300
Opponent - SAS
FD Proj. Pts - 20.19 DK Proj. Pts - 20.56
I see these two as either/or territory.They won't both be in play, but I'm interested to see who Donovan decides gives OKC a better chance to win. They trade each other off offense for defense and Duncan would really give Kanter problems in the low post. But obviously Kanter provides scoring if the Spurs decide to just completely work over Russ and KD.


Indiana Pacers at Toronto Raptors

The Pacers took care of business on Friday night extending this series back to Toronto and forcing a game seven. For what's been a seemingly closely contested series, only one of the games has been decided by less than double digit points. That's a bit surprising considering both of these squads are so damn good on defense. In this deciding game I think you see a concentration of minutes from both teams as they each try to close this thing out.

Toronto opens as a -6.5 favorite given the home court though the Pacers were able to steal game one there. I still think there is a decent amount of value in this series stemming mostly from the understanding we (I think) have from the way both coaches have run rotations up until this point. Look, this hasn't been the most exciting series to watch considering the pace of play throughout. But this game seven should live up in front of a solid crowd and the fact that it's do or die for both.
Top Value Plays
Paul GeorgePaul George - FD 9500 DK 10100
Opponent - TOR
FD Proj. Pts - 44.52 DK Proj. Pts - 47.25
I'm not saying he's going to play all 48 minutes, but I'm not saying he's NOT going to play all 48 minutes. Got me? While this is a bit tongue-in-cheek, I think you got a sense of how Vogel wants to do things from game six. PG13 played 40 minutes and that didn't include the last three in the fourth when the game was in hand. Indiana needs him desperately on both the offense and defense end (the former especially) and I think his floor is as high as any player on this short slate of games. He's not necessarily a must play because there are a couple of other good small forward options here. But if you think he runs minutes in the mid 40's then it's awfully tough to not roster him.

George HillGeorge Hill - FD 4700 DK 4700
Opponent - TOR
FD Proj. Pts - 23.39 DK Proj. Pts - 24.98
Still represents somewhat of a bargain considering his minutes and playoff pricing. He's averaged a 16/4/3 over the last four games and that's plenty to get it done at his salary levels. The Pacers won't run him crazy minutes (I don't think) but I do believe he has upside with a 34 minute projection. If Indiana gets caught in have to keep pace with scoring then I do think you see Hill out there for longer stretches.

Myles TurnerMyles Turner - FD 5700 DK 5500
Opponent - TOR
FD Proj. Pts - 28.76 DK Proj. Pts - 29.91
Speaking of scoring, Turner was inserted into the starting lineup to provide just that. He's there to ease the burden on PG and provide some offensive game in the low post. He can drift around the perimeter as well which does open things for the Pacers. He's averaged a 15/9 in the last two games and makes for a solid play at an already weak PF position.

Kyle LowryKyle Lowry - FD 7900 DK 7800
Opponent - IND
FD Proj. Pts - 38.73 DK Proj. Pts - 41.12
Ugh, he's playing hurt. That's for certain. Lowry's struggled mightily from the field in this series and it's clear the arm/ hand issues are effecting his game. He's shooting right around 30% over the last five games, way down from his season average. That doesn't typically just happen without an underlying issue. But the Raptors are playing him the same amount of minutes and his shot volume remains intact. I dinged him in the projections to account for the possibility (near certainty) of an injury and he's still coming out as a pts/$ play because of the lack of price movement.

DeMarre CarrollDeMarre Carroll - FD 4500 DK 4200
Opponent - IND
FD Proj. Pts - 23.2 DK Proj. Pts - 25.03
I think you see more minutes from him this game because he'll be needed to cover George. I read a tweet (and I couldn't remember from who so I apologize) that George's scoring numbers were greatly impacted (negatively) when Carroll was on the court last game. I doubt that goes unnoticed by the Toronto staff and you see him running with George at all times.

DFSR 705x90

Charlotte Hornets at Miami Heat

Another game seven here and both teams will likely pull out all of the stops. The Heat took down game six on the road in a must win game with D Wade leading the charge late to put the game away. The series shifts back to Miami for the decider and I suspect it stays close throughout. The last three games in this series have been knock'em down affairs, grind out-style with scoring coming at a premium. I suspect this last one is more of the same.

The Hornets could be playing a man down again with Batum re-aggravating his foot in game six and not returning after only 15 minutes of court time. That could/ should open up a bunch of minutes on the Charlotte side and you could see guys like Walker and Lee run close to the whole game. It wouldn't shock me at all to see that happen.

Top Value Plays
*Note: As of right now we are projecting minutes under the assumption Batum sits this one out. If that's the case then basically the whole Hornet starting five becomes value plays on the minutes alone.

Kemba WalkerKemba Walker - FD 8300 DK 8400
Opponent - MIA
FD Proj. Pts - 41.75 DK Proj. Pts - 43.51
Would you be shocked to see him run something like 44 minutes in this one? Me neither. He's been pushing up to that point already and the Hornets will need all of the scoring they can get. He was amazing in game six putting up a 37/5/3 and single-handedly keeping Charlotte in the game late. I'm not pencilling him in for a similar scoring line, but high 20's shot attempts is on the table for sure.

Courtney LeeCourtney Lee - FD 3600 DK 3800
Opponent - MIA
FD Proj. Pts - 22.29 DK Proj. Pts - 23.91
Marvin WilliamsMarvin Williams - FD 4900 DK 4800
Opponent - MIA
FD Proj. Pts - 28.58 DK Proj. Pts - 30.83
Frank KaminskyFrank Kaminsky - FD 3800 DK 3600
Opponent - MIA
FD Proj. Pts - 26.24 DK Proj. Pts - 27.99
All three ran huge minutes in game six and you could see the same thing if Batum were to sit again. It makes sense for them to shorten their rotations even though Kaminsky is somewhat of a defensive liability in rotations. The problem with Lee and Kaminsky is though the minutes should be there, the shots might not. They combined for seven total looks in 76 minutes on Friday. That's awful and tough to stomach in DFS for sure. Marvin meanwhile went 0-7 from the field, bringing his own level of DFS pain. I get being hesitant on all three, but there is a chance you get value simply because none of likely to repeat such terrible performances and others will be down on them from looking at the game six box score.

Dwyane WadeDwyane Wade - FD 7800 DK 8000
Opponent - CHA
FD Proj. Pts - 37.04 DK Proj. Pts - 37.61
Coach Spo ran him the most minutes he's seen in game six and I think you can expect something similar in another high leverage game. I was hesitant about bumping Wade's minutes going into game six and that proved a mistake. He took 20 shots and finished with a 23/6/4 line while also chucking in some blocks and steals.

Joe JohnsonJoe Johnson - FD 4700 DK 4700
Opponent - CHA
FD Proj. Pts - 24.05 DK Proj. Pts - 26.18
A value mostly on the minutes expectation and the idea that he'll contribute just enough across the stat line while still coming on the cheaper side of things.

Portland Trail Blazers at Golden State Warriors

It says a lot about the Warriors (or at least the public view of them) that they open this game one as -7.5 favorites without the best player in the league. Or maybe it's an indictment on the Trailblazers. I'm not sure, but either way Golden State comes in as the game and series favorite. Portland continues it's improbable season run by getting to the second round of the Western Conference playoffs. If you had that predicted during the pre-season then congrats, you're the only one. Of course they got a massive bit of help with the Clippers playing without their two best players for the last two games of the series. That can't be ignored. And Portland will struggle to keep pace with Golden State.

But it will at least be interesting without Steph on the court. The Warriors can play without him for sure as they change their style rather dramatically. But it still works as evidences with their dismantling of the Rockets at the end of the series.

Top Value Plays
Draymond GreenDraymond Green - FD 9000 DK 10200
Opponent - POR
FD Proj. Pts - 44.74 DK Proj. Pts - 47.2
Klay ThompsonKlay Thompson - FD 7800 DK 8200
Opponent - POR
FD Proj. Pts - 43.99 DK Proj. Pts - 47.77
Both see a roughly 10-15% usage rate bump with Steph off of the court this season and become bigger parts of the offense without the latter. We gotten a decent look at Steph-less Warrior basketball and it's involved Klay averaging about 26 points per game. He'll log heavy minutes as long as the game is close and should see shot attempts in the high teens at the minimum. Draymond meanwhile comes in as a good points/$ play at a PF position screaming for someone to play.

Shaun LivingstonShaun Livingston - FD 4500 DK 5100
Opponent - POR
FD Proj. Pts - 26.29 DK Proj. Pts - 26.47
Definitely the biggest fantasy beneficiary of the Steph injury though I really don't need to tell you that. He changes the Warrior style of play as he's a completely different player than Curry (duh) but provides matchup issues of his own as he can actually move down low against smaller defensive matchups. Not a must play, but damn close.

Damian LillardDamian Lillard - FD 8300 DK 8600
Opponent - GSW
FD Proj. Pts - 44.37 DK Proj. Pts - 47.89
Man there is so much point guard value on this slate and it's by far the deepest position. That's the only reason Dame isn't a must play. Point guard is where you'll make or break your lineups as each game has a guy or two you should strongly consider. He's the cog of their offense and should be staring down the barrel at 40 minutes at least. The Blazers probably won't have to play as frenetically to keep pace as if Curry were playing, but Golden State can still ball and the Blazers need Lillard as much as any team needs any player.

Mason PlumleeMason Plumlee - FD 6300 DK 6900
Opponent - GSW
FD Proj. Pts - 33.39 DK Proj. Pts - 33.88
Predicting the Blazer minutes outside of the guard position is a disaster. They play matchup ball a ton and go with what's working in the moment. That makes guys like Plumlee risky because he could just as easily see minutes in the mid 20's as mid 30's. But center is a weaker position and I do think they use his size a little more here considering they might not need to play as much catchup.



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16 Visitor Comments

  1. Getting closer! If it weren’t for lower than expected production from Green and Johnson (never shows up for me) last night, I would have been in the BIG $$$, as it was I still managed to grab a small handful to add to my balance.

    Still, when it’s so hard to get to the top of the competition, you kind of want to come away with a much bigger take. 330.4 points should get somebody more than $13.16, but at least I multiplied it 5 times.

    Anyway, it’s always a combo of help from DFSR, the comment board, and some intuition that keeps me competitive………THANKS.

    • dude i feel ur pain!!! when ur hitting over 300fpts and making 5 bucks……….WTF!!!!!!!!!! lol

  2. Why no love for Yahoo NBA DFS?
    Your tips are awesome – Thanks!

  3. Harley, they can only talk about so many sites. If they included Yahoo, someone would be complaining they didn’t include some other site. DraftKings and FanDuel are the 2 biggest places people use, so that’s what this site focuses on

    • Not for nothing but I been begging for yahoo write ups myself…I wanna get the optimizer but I’m not sure if it’s gonna help me much seeing that these guys work on draft kings and fanduel so much. I also try to incorporate some of their picks into a yahoo format (which is hard because of how they work the budget) but I still do well most nights nearly missing big payouts! I don’t even think there is another site that does yahoo write ups for dfs basketball I’ve looked

  4. Only site that I know of that does yahoo! write-ups for you guys is rotowire. I do the best I can to help the New Yorker’s on the site with FantasyAces.

    Cheers and I hope this helps!

    • Thanks walrus guess I’m lucky I live in Connecticut lol don’t have to worry about not being able to play ?

  5. Walrus does a great job with his picks

  6. Hill/Jefferson or Livingston/Plumlee. Which pair has the best chance to go completely bananas? Logic says the latter, but my gut says the former. This is for gpp btw

  7. Would you guys go Joe Johnson or Caroll in a Gpp?

    • I think Kemba has the better upside but also the lower floor. He’ll shoot a lot so if he gets hot, he’ll be a good play. Lillard may have trouble with Livingston’s height, but I like them both.

  8. HILL/Jefferson I think would be more of a cash play. Their ceiling isn’t that high but their floor isn’t too low either. Livingston/Plumlee I would use for GPP’s. Livingston will get you about 20-25 while Plumlee could get you 40+ or could get you hardly much of anything. His depends on what the Blazers do with the matchup.

  9. @Greg, I was 2pts from taking the gpp down. Jeff Green hurt my feelings.

  10. Ashley, use them both! They both have about the same chance to give you alot of points, as well as either one could also underperform

    I’m running neither of them in a few lineups just in case…

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