Basketball Lineups Daily Fantasy Expert Advice
Daily Fantasy NBA Basketball Picks for FanDuel and DraftKings - 2/6/17
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Kyle Lowry FD - $9000 DK - $8900
Opponent - LAC
Proj Pts FD - 45.29 DK - 48.64
With DeRozan likely sitting again on Monday, Lowry looks to rise to the top of the PG class once again. The Raptors don't generally seem to worry about Lowry on the 2nd half of a back to back, and neither do I. He's averaging better than 5x points per dollar on DeRozan's absence thanks to a dramatic uptick in usage. He took a slight step back against the Nets usage wise, but prior to that he had averaged 20+ shots per game over a 7 game stretch. When you figure that his prices are based largely on his 15 shots per game average, you've got a serious value on your hands. As for the Clippers, they don't appear to be the best match-up if you go strictly by defense vs. position stats, but they've been dramatically worse with Chris Paul on the shelf, allowing the most fantasy points per game to opposing point guards over the last 5 games. Lowry is an easy cash game include if DeRozan sits, even if he doesn't appear to have huge upside.
D'Angelo Russell FD - $6500 DK - $7000
Opponent - NY
Proj Pts FD - 31.72 DK - 34.36
The Lakers have been one of the most infuriating teams this season when it comes to projecting minutes, but they seem to have at least decided that they'd like to see what they have with D'Angelo Russell. He seems locked into a 32-34 minute rotation at the moment, and has been excellent on these prices since returning from injury. He's brought his usual package of scoring and above average rebounding, but been distributing the ball well also - averaging 9 assists per game as opposed to his season average of 4.8 per game. Perhaps more telling is what tracking data can share with us. On the season Russell has averaged 5 minutes of time of possession per game, but in the last three games he's up to a walloping 6.5. This is a HUGE increase, and almost certainly points to an organizational decision to have the ball in his hands more. He's still cheap, and a roughly league average match-up with the Knicks has me feeling like a buyer here.
Jrue Holiday FD - $8000 DK - $7900
Opponent - PHO
Proj Pts FD - 38.49 DK - 41.42Z
Just a rock solid midrange value play. The Pelicans have been running Holiday out there for high 30s minutes per game (finally), and he's been routinely delivering, putting up 40+ fantasy points per game in 4 of his last 5 games, and that doesn't even count his 62 points monster against the Cavaliers. This was a logical progression for Holiday, who has been a classic points per minute all star all season long but hasn't been given a huge amount of run until recently. And the match-up? It's a dream. The Suns are playing the league's 3rd fastest PACE and have the 2nd worst defensive efficiency, which has led to them allowing the league's 4th most fantasy points to opposing point guards. Just a great spot all around.
A note on Russell Westbrook - I can't blame anyone for playing him, but he's awfully expensive, and we have a lot of good options on this slate.
Keep an eye on the Bulls news surrounding Michael Carter-Williams. If he happens to start again he's a great value on his current prices.
Seth Curry FD - $6000 DK - $5900
Opponent - DEN
Proj Pts FD - 31.57 DK - 34.12
Seth "don't call me Steph" Curry has taken on a huge role in the Dallas offense, and while his climbing price reflects that, our lineup optimizer still seems to believe there's some value baked in here. With Deron Williams on the sidelines Curry has absolutely crushed his price in 2 of the last 4 games, and been good in the others on a points per minute basis. He lost value against Portland thanks to foul trouble, but in a phenomenal match-up with the Nuggets that should be pretty unlikely. There is the risk that D-Will comes back here, though, so don't just go jamming Curry until you know what their roster looks like. He's obviously not the first guy on the chopping block if Williams returns, but even losing 10% of his playing time would move him from great play to fringe-playable on such a big slate.
Victor Oladipo FD - $5700 DK - $5600
Opponent - IND
Proj Pts FD - 29.01 DK - 31.2
Some people are calling Oladipo's huge performance against Portland a break-out, but I think that ignores the pretty impressive body of work he'd put together before that game. Sure, he was pretty bad in a terrible match-up against Memphis and in a blowout against Chicago, but he had put up 5x+ points per dollar on these prices in 6 straight games before that one. The Thunder seem happy to run him for a 36+ minute rotation when things are breaking right, and I expect that to be the norm going forward. The Pacers have basically been a league average match-up for opposing two guards this season, so we're seeing Oladipo as a straight up opponent-neutral value play.
Wesley Matthews FD - $5600 DK - $5800
Opponent - DEN
Proj Pts FD - 27.95 DK - 30.4
I'm not winning friends (or likely influencing people - if you get the reference say hi) by putting Matthews in this list, but I'm here to help you win, hombre, and not be your friend. Although, hey, I wouldn't mind being you friend either. Where was I? Matthews. Matthews has been a swingy DFS player since I've been playing, but that doesn't stop me from deploying him when the situation calls for it. The big things to keep an eye out for when Matthews becomes a good value are his minutes and his shots. He's topped 37 minutes and 16 shots in 2 of his last 3 games (and performed reasonably in each of those), and he's got the second best match-up for shooting guards in the league here. It's hard to ever call Wes-Matt safe, but we're bordering on it here.
T.J. Warren FD - $4200 DK - $4300
Opponent - NO
Proj Pts FD - 25.62 DK - 26.87
Small forward is absolutely brutal tonight unless we get some news, so TJ Warren is the best we can do at the top of this list. Hey! Before you click the "back" button, let me make my case. Warren has played 36 and 37 minutes in the last two games, and averaged 28 fantasy points per game in that time. And did I mention he ran disgustingly bad from the field in his last game, shooting 5/18? Now, maybe those minutes aren't sustainable, but do they need to be on these bargain basement prices? I think not. It's a reassuring sign he played his minutes even in a blowout against Milwaukee. I'd expect to see him get big run against the Pelicans, who have been a slightly above average match-up for opposing small forwards this year.
Harrison Barnes FD - $6500 DK - $6300
Opponent - DEN
Proj Pts FD - 30.99 DK - 32.56
So, it looks like we're going to be picking on Denver a bit tonight. But to be fair, they've earned it. When you combine the fifth fastest PACE in the league with the league's worst defensive efficiency (as in, dead last), you're going to generate a lot of plus fantasy basketball match-ups. Now the Nuggets have actually defended the position fairly well compared to some other positions, but the fast pace more than makes up the difference here. As for Barnes, he isn't quite as consistent as you'd like on these prices, but small forward is so terrible today that I suspect he'll be something of a chalk play regardless.
Some names to consider: Let's start with Carmelo. I'm going to break it to you softly here and let you know that Melo has a distinct chance of showing up in our optimal line-ups tonight. The Lakers have allowed the third most fantasy points per game to opposing small forwards, and are simply a sieve defensively. And Melo has been terrible recently. Digging beneath the surface, though, can help explain that quite a bit. First of all, he's shot 12/44 from the field in his last two games. The shots have been there, but they haven't happened to fall in the basket. Before that, he lost minutes in a blowout against the Wizards... and he was basically good on these prices prior to that. It may not be easy, but this might just be a great buying opportunity for Anthony here.
Opportunity plays to keep an eye on: The Toronto situation, for one. We played Demarre Carroll and Terrence Ross on Sunday, and it paid off handsomely. If Patrick Patterson is sidelined again, both of these are great play. Hell, Carroll might just be a great play anyway. Same story with Matt Barnes - if the situation stays the same for the Kings, he could very well pay big time value once again.
Anthony Davis FD - $11300 DK - $10300
Opponent - PHO
Proj Pts FD - 54.01 DK - 56.27
Terrence Jones FD - $5500 DK - $5500
Opponent - PHO
Proj Pts FD - 28.68 DK - 30.1
Two power forwards from the same team? Possibly. Davis basically counts as a center in real life, but that doesn't stop the fine people at FanDuel from listing him as solely a PF in perpetuity. Well, the Pelicans are back to their old ones, playing Davis 40+ minutes per night. And I know I'll regret this, but he's looking pretty stable right now? When he's playing minutes like this he's a $12,000 player in a league average match-up, so I'm drooling at playing him at just over $11k against the Suns, who have allowed an aggregate 5th total fantasy points per game to opposing 4s and 5s this season. Jones is a little bit closer, here. It seems like they intend to play him 30 minutes per game, but his performance has varied from unplayable to GPP winning recently. He's a big tournament play only, but an interesting one at that.
Lavoy Allen FD - $3500 DK - $3700
Opponent - OKC
Proj Pts FD - 17.68 DK - 18.51
With Thad Young likely sidelined, Allen looks like a punt of the highest order. He played 32 minutes in a blowout against Detroit, and went ahead and put up 40 fantasy points. In case math ain't your thing, that'd be an excellent performance on twice his current salaries. Now you can't count on Allen to put up numbers like that with any regularity, but again, a performance half as good would be more than fine here. The match-up doesn't matter - this is a price and opportunity mismatch assuming Young doesn't play.
Kevin Love FD - $7600 DK - $8200
Opponent - WAS
Proj Pts FD - 38.05 DK - 40.79
Love returned from a 3 game absence with a vengeance, and with Kyrie's status somewhat in doubt in this game, I'm certainly feeling a bit intrigued. And frankly, it might not matter much. He's been shooting more, sure, but the key metric to look at with Love here has been the boards. He seems to have recovered his nose for the ball around the hoop, pulling down 16 rebounds in each of his last 3 non-blowout non-injury games. He'll bring that to bear against Markieff Morris, who isn't the most aggressive rebounder under the rim. This game should be relatively fast paced, and I think Love has a very reasonable floor.
DeMarcus Cousins FD - $11000 DK - $10900
Opponent - CHI
Proj Pts FD - 52.07 DK - 55.29
Another great big money option if we get the amount of value that we often do on big slates like these. Cousins is the highest usage player in the league that requires someone else to pass him the ball, and this just means excellent safety at a position where that's a rarity. He's been incredible in 4 of his last 5 games, averaging better than 5x points per dollar on these admittedly lofty prices. The Bulls, meanwhile, are doing little to disavow themselves of their "hot mess" status. It kinda just feels like they won't be interested in dealing with Boogie's big ol' body down low.
Some other options. There are a number of other guys I'd consider here, but none feels like a clear cut guy to throw out there with 2nd billing. I love the upside of both Andre Drummond and Myles Turner, but both have their own minutes concerns. Turner has been losing minutes in weird game scripts recently, but it really feels like the Pacers intend to play him 35 minutes when things are breaking normally. Drummond has put up some of the biggest games of the season in his price range, but is prone to checking out mentally or losing minutes in crunch time. Then there are cheaper options like Steven Adams, who is playing more minutes but hasn't exactly scaled up his performance on a per-minute basis. All in all center offers a lot more options than usual, and I can't say for sure who I'll be playing just yet.
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- Joey Dorsey, DeMarcus Cousins: (AP Photo/Pat Sullivan)