Basketball Picks Daily Fantasy Expert Advice

Doug Norrie

Daily Fantasy NBA Basketball Picks for FanDuel and DraftKings - 5/4/16 Playoffs


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Atlanta Hawks at Cleveland Cavaliers

The Cavs showed us a lot in game one and it's clear how they want to attack the Hawks in this series. They went primarily small with Thompson getting a lionshare of the minutes at the five and the Cavs working for mismatches all over the court. It worked and expect to see a lot of the same in this one. Cleveland is a big problem for Atlanta's personnel because they are just too athletic and big in their small ball unit if the latter makes sense. I don't see how the Hawks can hang in this series really if the Cavs are going to play this five for most of the game.

Vegas agrees of course with the Cavs opening at -7 for Wednesday's game. It's the only one of the docket for tonight so enjoy.

Top Plays
LeBron JamesLeBron James - FD 10600 DK 11000
Opponent - ATL
FD Proj. Pts - 53.51 DK Proj. Pts - 55.67
Kevin LoveKevin Love - FD 7600 DK 8100
Opponent - ATL
FD Proj. Pts - 39.82 DK Proj. Pts - 42.68
Tristan ThompsonTristan Thompson - FD 4800 DK 4500
Opponent - ATL
FD Proj. Pts - 28.24 DK Proj. Pts - 28.85
J.R. SmithJ.R. Smith - FD 4700 DK 5200
Opponent - ATL
FD Proj. Pts - 24.5 DK Proj. Pts - 27.7
Sure this seems like a massive cop out. I'm just recommending the whole Cavs team right? Well yes, yes I am. But the kind of minutes safety you are looking at with these four guys is really about as good as it gets on a two game slate and they are priced with flexibility all around. On FanDuel I'd probably run all four without hesitation. You just have such a fantastic floor if the Cavs are committed to this being their lineup in the series. And there's no reason to doubt, short of a blowout, that it will happen. The only guy I left off is Kyrie because you can't start all five and he is the one who gets rotated on the odd-man out scheme. There is also other PG value out there so I think he's fine to avoid.

Kent BazemoreKent Bazemore - FD 5800 DK 6300
Opponent - CLE
FD Proj. Pts - 27.69 DK Proj. Pts - 29.14
From an offensive standpoint he has a fantastic game one going 16/12/4/2. He has defensive issues in certain rotations against the Cavs, but the Hawks need him out there for some scoring. He's a little pricey on DraftKings but fine to go with on FanDuel.

Paul MillsapPaul Millsap - FD 8900 DK 8800
Opponent - CLE
FD Proj. Pts - 44.34 DK Proj. Pts - 46.04
I think he's the safest Hawk from the minutes standpoint. He put together a solid first game and is the one guy on their team versatile enough to guard multiple positions on this Cavs squad. He does have a habit of disappearing from view at times which is troubling considering the price, but I do think the floor is there.

Dennis SchroderDennis Schroder - FD 3900 DK 3900
Opponent - CLE
FD Proj. Pts - 28.66 DK Proj. Pts - 29.92
If you this Coach Bud is done with Teague and sees Schroder's skill set as giving Atlanta the best chance to win, then Dennis is a must start at these prices. He crushed in game one with a 27/6 line off the bench, playing more minutes than Teague. Look, this could of course go the other way, but I think Schroder is a fine play at only about 22 minutes for these salaries. The rest is bonus.

DFSR 705x90

Miami Heat at Toronto Raptors

The first game is this series was a total and complete slog and yes, that included the overtime. It was boring to watch and was just the opposite of what makes some other teams in the playoffs exciting. Outside of the last 90 seconds or so of regulation when the Raptors mounted a comeback, the game wasn't much to behold.  Both of these teams make their bones on slowing the game down and working opponents over on defense. That they both employ this strategy only means we are in for more games like the first one. There's really no other way. Miami ranked 25th in PACE and Toronto ranked 29th. That's a lot of long shot clocks, walking the ball up the court and playing for one shot (not always a great one either).

The Heat stole a game in Toronto and there's also something clearly wrong with Kyle Lowry. Outside of the half court heave to send it to overtime (and even that looked awkward) he couldn't get anything going. It could be an injury, or fatigue. But he's struggled a ton in the playoffs and it isn't' going to get easier in this series.

Top Plays
Dwyane WadeDwyane Wade - FD 7500 DK 8000
Opponent - TOR
FD Proj. Pts - 37.06 DK Proj. Pts - 37.64
Clearly the man for the Heat right now and he put up a solid game one line with a 24/6/4/3/2 that extended into OT. He still only played around 33 minutes in regulation and the Heat have done a very solid job managing his minutes over the course of the regular season and the playoffs. It's that lack of top end run that holds me back on him just a little.

Joe JohnsonJoe Johnson - FD 4700 DK 4800
Opponent - TOR
FD Proj. Pts - 23.97 DK Proj. Pts - 26.03
Still taking a lot of shots for the Heat and getting out there for major minutes. Johnson's price hasn't moved much throughout but he's been a solid value considering the kind of shot volume he could see if it gets into the double digits of looks.

Hassan WhitesideHassan Whiteside - FD 8000 DK 7800
Opponent - TOR
FD Proj. Pts - 35.54 DK Proj. Pts - 36.14
He's such a high upside play but also a major risk if the Heat decide to sit him in crunch time because of the free throw shooting. He dominated the glass in the first game pulling down 17 boards. The scoring never came around as they couldn't work him in the post as much as they might have liked.

Jonas ValanciunasJonas Valanciunas - FD 6200 DK 6600
Opponent - MIA
FD Proj. Pts - 33.98 DK Proj. Pts - 34.56
If the Raptors think they can keep him on the court this much without being a complete and utter defensive liability over the long term then he's a fantastic value at center. Jonas wasn't out there a ton in the first game, running around 36 minutes in regulation and finishing with the line of the game at 24/14. If you think he's going to see minutes in the mid 30's again then he's almost a must play at these prices.

DeMar DeRozanDeMar DeRozan - FD 7400 DK 7100
Opponent - MIA
FD Proj. Pts - 35.83 DK Proj. Pts - 36.76
He doesn't take great shots and he can be a frustrating guy to watch. But he also has upside if he's going to put up 22 shots a game in this series.



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84 Visitor Comments

  1. so glad i did a last minute switch from bogut to JV!! cashed out in 70% of my LU’s!! optimizer was on point last night!!

  2. Would someone please explain Norman Powell to me. “He’s a backup SG, NO, He’s now an ‘All-Star’ SF & the second coming of K. Durant. “No. “He’s a guy who ruins your day with his fake 11 pts every time.” I don’t get it; him. Meanwhile, T. Ross goes for 20 FP after essentially a DNP Sunday…

  3. Starting think nearly impossible winn bigg on tournaments no matter how much effort put into it
    but Then yu see same names winning big tournaments
    Over and over comeing top 5 like wtf –

    • The same big names you see in those tournaments play almost 100-120 different LU’s a night. They do it for a living

  4. PG Schroeder & Irving
    SG Smith & Korver
    SF James & Bazemore
    PF Love & Millsap
    C Valanciunas

    What do you think of this FD lineup?

    • A solid lineup but it will be very COMMON as well.

      • I totally agree!!!!! Last night I was up to $160.00 and play 18 games!! Toward the end of the last quarter I end up with $10!! I WAS ENRAGED!!!! Something is not right!!!!! I had incredible players!!! It is TOTALLY RIGGED!!!

    • Korver could, and should indeed have better night, pretty impossible to play worse, but there is no way in hell that I run that guy out there in my LU.

      He is just another one of those guys, roster him, he disappears, don’t roster him, he blows up, or at least has decent numbers.

      If I’m going down, I’d rather go down without him on my roster, good luck.

  5. I can almost guarantee you that JV will not score 54 fantasy points again! This is what is going to happen…. Everyone will own Valanciunas tonight and he will throw up a dud, and Horford will blow up for 50! Everyone will ride Millsap tonight, and he will stink and Korner will blow up for 35! I’m starting to feel like this whole game is rigged!!! Those multi-entry gpp’s are a scam! Unless your rich!

  6. I can also guarantee that everyone will ride Schroder tonight and then Teague is going to wake up explode for 45! This whole things is unpredictable and a bunch of crap!

    • I have a feeling he’s going to get the start over Teague by the way he’s been performing.

  7. So what’s the verdict on the perfect Fanduel GPP lineup for tonight/tomorrow? LMAO!!

    We need to get one of those SHARKS that win several G’s every night in here. Same people every damn time.

  8. would i be crazy to fade lebron james???

    • Yes. He needs to be included in tonight/tomorrows lineup assuming you are playing RIGGEDdual.

  9. PG Dennis Schroder
    SG J.R. Smith
    SF LeBron James
    PF Tristan Thompson
    C J. Valanciunas
    G Terrence Ross
    F Paul Millsap
    UTIL DeMar DeRozan
    My DK Lineup for tonight looks good I think

  10. Their is truly no perfect lineup it seems rigged to me as well one night I can smash it in 50/50’s and Multipliers, than I get snubbed the next night. The trend seems to never end.

  11. PG Dennis Schroder
    SG Kyle Korver
    SF Kent Bazemore
    PF Kevin Love
    C Al Horford
    SG Dwyane Wade
    PF Tristan Thompson
    UTIL Jonas Valanciunas

    Fading Lebron James, Thoughts?

  12. The perfect lineup is to make 100-200 lineup variations around a solid chalk player or players. I for one, like most, hope to one day guess the perfect lineup without investing all the money and time lol.

    • I’ve been saying this for the longest, I gave it a shot one day and played about 65 different lineups for about $115 and won $723 that day. It’s all about lineup variations you never know who’s gonna go off.

  13. I would not fade James I did one night and it came back to bite me big time, but it’s Fantasy sports for a reason always go with your gut.

  14. Probably been asked a million times by now…BUT…the option to save lineups has been missing for me for a couple weeks. Anyone else?

  15. @ChrizzValentino

    How did you go about deciding your core players? Did you just go the Stars and Scrubs approach…

    • Pretty much I had a set of 4 players (stars) and then I played around with at least 1 sleeper players and filled it in from there took me a couple hours to finesse it correctly. I know for sure I won’t be doing it again for a long time, I think I had a case of beginners luck.

  16. @dfssleeper

    Can’t speak for Chrizz, but now that the playoffs have begun I have managed to win between 1K and 3K a night in the FD $3 GPP. That requires me dropping between $150 and $300 a night in entry fees. Some nights 1 hits big, other nights 10 or so hit in the middle.

    This is just what works for me… Since I only play FD and can only speak to that, I set a fixed number of lineups with one center and then reverse engineer from there. Which, I’m sure, sounds insane, but on short slates this has worked for me. On the night Mahinmi double doubled, I had him. Last night JV did work, and I had him. So that’s where I start.

    Then I usually pick one or two studs and build around. Tonight I’ll be locking onto LBJ. From there, I play with the $$. There will likely be a couple of lineups where I fade LBJ and maybe even Baze and roll out JJ and Carroll, but I do so with the understanding i’m just being contrarian and who knows…? When you’re playing 50-100 lineups you can do that.

    It’s a silly amount of energy, and obviously verges on this being my job (which it won’t, because I only play basketball and football), but I’ve now cleared a decent 5 figures for the season. I’ve not taken down a tourney on my own… Side note: last night there was one player sitting all alone in the FD $3 GPP, set to win 50K with about a minute to go in dubs/blazers, and then Livingston gets a block and two free throws and good night Irene, gets bump into 50th place, wins $300 instead, and the 49 who leapfrogged over all split it, winning about 2.5K apiece. My heart hurt for him/her. (Probably him, but you never know. My awesome wife has started picking her own lineups for fun, and has had some crazy beginners luck. It happens.) …But I usually finish with at least a few lineups in the top 50-100.

    Anyway… This is a WAY more comprehensive (and possibly unhelpful) answer than you asked for, but I’m not doing anything else besides making my lineups, so this is a nice distraction…

    Best of luck!

    • @JM

      Thank you for that. Unfortunately, I don’t have kind of $$ to handle a 100 lineups. I am doing 5 – 10 lineups hoping to get lucky. Last night I cashed on FD with 315.70 for $11. Only, if I would of went Wade instead of Klay.(Big $$) I would of had that with your approach. I guess, back to the drawing board or finding more $$ to sink into DFS.

      • I hear you. Have you thought about playing 50/50s and going with a classic bankroll management strategy? It’s a slow and steady approach, but over time, if you’re more or less doubling up your $$ everyday, you’ll eventually accrue the cash to go with heavier investments.

        My rule to myself when I started this a couple of years ago is that I would set a hard and fast limit on my spending and stay within that no matter what. I started off very small and have incrementally grown that amount. I can afford to play higher stakes/more tourneys, 50/50s, etc., but I still have a set max amount ($300) that I’m willing to lose on a given night in the event I somehow managed to go belly-up.

        I would suggest going for safety plays and then over time, rolling deeper. That is with hoops. I have no idea about Baseball. Tried it twice and realized that there’s a reason I don’t watch baseball. 🙂

        Good luck!

  17. What do you guys feel about fading Kevin Love? He has a banged up shoulder and a bad ankle. I have a bad feeling about him tonight.

  18. Hey guys, need your help! Milsap and joe Johnson or lebron and thabo?

    • Thabo will get you minimal points. Combined mills and jj should get you about 10-20 more pts than lbj and Thabo

  19. Long time reader here…first time poster…i’ve won a pool on fanduel. 1000 dollars. 1st outta 5000 something. With five variations on a 5 dollars buy in during march.

    Luis Scola put me over the top as a sleeper in anew otherwise stacked roster.

    Don’t lose faith.

    For me…I hit small payouts. Consistently. Then a big one everyone now and then.


    -gut instincts…that’s the biggest X factor.

    -research historical match ups over time.

    -read team blogs.

    -look for repeat mentions of bench guys on the Internet and in the press…to lock on sleepers coming in to play.

    -read player’should twitter posts, too. Shows they’re headspace and attitude towards the match up.

    -look for coaches interviews. Again. Shows mentality.

    -and read this blog. And listen to eachother. I cull great insight from this thread and the write-ups.

    -it’s not rigged. It’s very doable. It just takes detective work and obvious luck of alignment. But you can control it for the most part.

  20. Anybody on Terrence Ross this series?

  21. It seems to me that so far on game 1 of each round one team demolishes the other. Then on game 2 the opponent comes back with a vengeance. Im going with Atlanta’s center, Hortford and of course Bazemore. LBJ and Tristan. Good luck everyone.

  22. Anybody with a good suggestion for a lock fanduel lineup?

  23. Here’s who I like..and reasons why…

    Kyle korver…basically in post game show…Shaq was like: “I love kyle korver. But the guy can’t hit the ground running and he has no game other than a perimeter guy sniping shots which makes him useless.” I’m hoping korver saw that. And unleashes hellfire. And pulls a page outta a healthy jj Redick book. And shoots a little more on the move.

    Dwayne wade…he’s like a jedi master. Especially to dragic. Who I feel blew up bc wade was telling him what to do. Wade’s a field general. And he talks to dragic quite a bit in play and on sidelines. He’s a great communicator. And very sure of who’s who..and when to hold. And when to fold. I think he’s hungry. And healthy and the team likes him. All confidence. Total upswing.

    Dragic: see above. Wade’s Padawan. Graduating to series jedi.

    Dennis schroder: finally a chance to play big minutes bc his quick low skill set slices people up like a ninja. And finally he can show it. I feel Schroder is more naturally athletic than Teague as well. Schroder in there makes sense to me. Bc he’s like gold lighting. They need that. Plus he’s healthy. Teague is hurting.

  24. I also have serious doubts anything is actually wrong with Wade’s knee. Or love’s ankle and shoulder. They’re just play off style bruised. And they both cowboy-up.

  25. OK this is why I’m cancelling my membership, why in the world would Korver be in the optimal lineup. Did you guys watch the first game? They made an effort to face guard him the whole game, and they tried to screen for him and the next guy up face guarded him. I’d be surprised if the guy gets more than 2 shots this game, nothing is going to change

    • He probably won’t blow up, but I bet he has a decent game, somewhere in the 24-32 FP range. Know why? Because I won’t have him in my LU, that’s why, and I’m not kidding.

      I play him……dud, I don’t…..good or better game, there is no way around it unless I am playing multiple LU’s, which I cannot afford to do.

      More logically, I just don’t see how he can possibly be as bad as game 1, surely he will be able to shake free for some shots the next time out, that and some rebounds as well. I just can’t pull the trigger on him, but that’s just me.

    • I think this is going to be the majority of opinions on Korver, which is exactly why I’m rostering him in quite a few lineups

  26. So let’s see who has a money fanduel lineup for tonight

  27. So who’s everybody taking tonight?

  28. I actually do have Richardson in 1 lineup, just encase Wade is hurt.. And korver in another.. He can’t shoot 2 duds in a row

  29. Why only 25 lineups available in the optimizer? It also looks like the ability to save the lineups has disappeared.

  30. Everyone whining about Korver should stop. If you did your homework, you would know that Cleveland knows to stymie Korver as he is integral to Hawks offense. Only reason he did well vs Boston was because Avery got hurt. After that Bostons D wasn’t the same. Clevelands scouting report said to take out Korver and it disrupts Altlantas offense. Use this as an opportunity to use other Hawks that will get those offensive opportunities.

  31. Why is Lowry still getting so much love?? Has been pretty pedestrian the last 2 weeks. Like that elbow is really affecting his shot.

    • He still has enough talent to go off on a rare night but man at some point people need to realize there are dudes that elevate their game during the playoffs and there are dudes who vanish. 32 playoff games now and he averaged 11 points per game during his career. It’s been fatigue or elbow or whatever for his whole career. Maybe it’s as simple as the competition gets better he get exposed. He’s not even the best PG in his series and there’s not another team currently in the playoffs that would trade PGs with Toronto.

  32. Also understand players that play the same team b2b usually never duplicate their blowout they had before. Teams game plan to take someone out if they are doing well. Only lock matchup proof guys like Lebron and Draymond in these playoffs.

  33. What’s the thoughts on C.Joseph?! Low end to spend elsewhere…

  34. I think I’m using my low end on Richardson honestly
    J Val.. Any thoughts on this lineup? Anything I could change to make better?

    • Have a similar line but i have love for millsap and irving for dragic as i feel this combo has a higher ceiling and millsap has the tendency to disappear some games.

  35. 2 day 2 game slate, Premier FantasyAces lineup. Good luck everyone!

    G D.DeRozan 34.40 5,750.00
    G J.Smith 20.89 4,300.00
    G D.Schroder 18.81 3,900.00
    F L.James 46.97 7,600.00
    F L.Deng 29.59 4,750.00
    F J.Johnson 23.04 4,550.00
    C T.Thompson 21.18 4,500.00
    Util J.Valanciunas 29.53 4,950.00
    Util K.Bazemore 24.01 4,600.00

    If you’re new to FantasyAces please sign up using this link and support those that support you!


  36. My lineup for tonight
    Had a 326 last night on gpp if only went with wade over thompson i would of had a piece of the 2.5k

  37. FD CASH


    Feedback please

  38. The sharks lock in on 3-4 guys qnd use generated lineup variations for the rest…create 250 lineups click import lineup and either win a good amount or lose 500$ average guy maybe plays 15-20$ each night while most of the sharks play max entries in main gpps and which is around 250 entries each sport every night lol many are poker players….in other words this isnt their hobby its their jobs.

    • @Greg

      Guaranteed Prize Pools. AKA tournaments.

  39. Use projections and vegas odds to help your decisions along with gut feeling..and the main thing honestly is to just throw some lineups contrarian to the popular picks amongst the public.last night JV was the play just because he’d be lower owned bc people were burned by him after his great performances in 1st rd to not Trust him…think how avg joe thinks and out think him….with that said horford def the contrarian play tonight but i cant do it lol

  40. Playing a lot of 50/50s tonight. My gut has me stuck on a lineup of guys who will hit their mark, but leaves me with about 500$ extra. Should I be worried, or are playoff 50:50 usually this way?

    • @Sara

      I never worry about leaving “money” on the table if I like the lineup. The DFS sites are setting their prices based on their own algorithms. In basketball, at least, there are many other variables that come into play beyond historical statstics. And especially once you get to short slates in the playoffs, the pricing disparity makes it somewhate less crucial. My biggest lineup last night hit with $1800 left on the table. I just liked JV better than Whiteside at $6200 vs. $8000, and I was right.

      Just like not letting hurt feelings over having a guy tank on you one night prevent playing him another night, don’t let the fictional fantasy dollars be a final determining factor in your lineups. My OCD hates seeing those numbers left hanging out there too. But my real-life bank account is sometimes happy that I followed my gut.

    • With the 2 game slate you have to spend down somewhere just because of the limited options and middle tier value plays in almost all positions.

      Korver’s minutes are safe and minutes mean opportunity. His minutes are much safer than either Teague or Schroder or any other low SG on the slate and he offers a higher upside than any other punt on the slate. While he has a pretty low floor he also has a 7x or 8x ceiling. For his price he is considered a punt, but what other punt will give you 30 possibly 30+ minutes? You cant score if you’re not on the court … and Korver will be on the court.

    • Not sure why my response didn’t show, so I’ll give it a go again.

      While JR Smith has more safe production Korver is cheaper. Not only that but if you are going with the more ‘safe’ options at point guard on the slate in Kryie and Dragic … and I use the term safe loosely and you also want to roll out Love, Thompson, and LBJ then you can’t throw JR Smith in you’re lineup and need an alternative. The minutes are there for Korver, will he produce who knows but he will be on the floor more than any other punt in any position.

  41. I rolled out love James Irving and jr and there so much better than that combination jr is on fire

    • Sure, JR is having a good game. That’s besides the point. JR is not the question, Korver is. If you’re rolling out those 4 then your either running with Horford or Val at Center .. doubtful Whiteside at his price point.

      That means you either have Shroder or Joseph in you’re lineup at PG or another low vale SG in Ross, Richardson or Powell … and less likely 2Pat at PF. None of those options are a better option than Korver simply based on minutes.

  42. So everyone was on Schroder after one decemt game?? Let’s not forget he was subpar all year. Hell, his coach isn’t even playing him minutes in a 35 point blow out!!

    • I suspect he’s not playing in the blowout for much the same reason the starters aren’t playing either. I think you see his minutes tick back up in the next one.

  43. howd our good old boy korver do tonight?…………………………………..seriously……..can someone tell me how many FD points he had?

    • More than Bazemore and Schroder put up at this point. Lol. I don’t think any Hawk hit value without looking with the blowout which affected both teams.

      You act like I was saying he was the chalk of the day or something, which I wasnt. I was simply pointing out his minutes are there and he was better play than other punt options based on minutes alone. Minutes equal opportunity. I’ll take a guy who plays 30+ a game and is a teams top perimeter shooter over a 20 minute if that bench player that is the 3rd or 4th option when on the court.

  44. I know for a fact imma cash in 2mar with the lineup I got..
    My DK lineup on this slate:

  45. I am so glad I made Miami stacks with JR/Love and some with Irving and Millsap

  46. Ive been noticing people using the comments section more and more to promote their own website. While all fantasy news is appreciated… just seems like abusing the comments to get hits on your site.

  47. Might be different but they all say the same damn thing

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