Basketball Picks Daily Fantasy Expert Advice

Austyn Varney
DeMarcus Cousins - Daily Fantasy NBA

Daily Fantasy NBA Basketball Picks for FanDuel and DraftKings - 2/12/17

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Point Guard

Kyle LowryKyle Lowry FD - $8700 DK - $8000
Opponent - DET
Proj Pts FD - 40.47 DK - 43.54

The NBA has blessed us with a 4 game slate, with games starting 6 hours apart. We also don't have too many terrible defenses, so the match-ups aren't as good as usual. However, there are definitely some great ways to look tonight. Lowry leads us off at point guard, facing off with the Raptors in Toronto. The Pistons have been very lackluster against point guards, giving up 45 FanDuel points per game. Reggie Jackson will have trouble with the size of Lowry and could get into early foul trouble.  Outside of Jackson, Lowry will see Ism Smith, who is one of the worst defending PG's in the league. Lowry has been one of the more consistent players in the NBA this season, and this match-up presents nothing that scares me. He should be in for another solid 38 minutes as long as the game stays close, which it is projected to. Lowry is the top point guard option in both cash games and tournaments, with a safe floor and a ceiling that can lead you to the top of a leaderboard.

Ricky RubioRicky Rubio FD - $6600 DK - $6700
Opponent - CHI
Proj Pts FD - 30.99 DK - 33.2

Rubio comes in as our mid-priced, safe option at PG. Rubio has been playing much better lately, and the loss of Zach LaVine could let some others pick up some minutes and shots. The Bulls are an absolute mess as of now, so we have no clue who will be covering him as of now. It could be MCW, Wade or Butler, yet we have no clue. We won't have to worry about Jimmy Butler, as Andrew Wiggins will be a much larger concern for him. The Bulls rank middle of the field against PG's and see no reason to be scared off tonight. Rubio has had a few rough games as of late, but was in some tough match-ups. Look for Rubio to bounce back here, and in a nice fashion. Rubio has a floor around 25 tonight with a ceiling over 40. He will be in a lot of my cash games and tournaments.

Darren CollisonDarren Collison FD - $5400 DK - $6300
Opponent - NO
Proj Pts FD - 29.53 DK - 31.62

This Kings-Pelicans game is one that draws a ton of interest and will be the game we have most players from. Darren Collison will lead us off, facing off with Jrue Holiday. Collison should be able to score just fine on Holiday, who has given up the 8th most FP to PG's. Collison has also picked up his play with the Kings going through some tough injuries. Collison will continue to see big minutes and should be able to produce in this match-up. This game is expected to be high scoring and competitive, which would suggest all of these guards get enough minutes to produce. The price is also just way too low for Collison. This is a guy who I would play at $6500 tonight on FD, so I like him a lot across the board. Collison is obviously the favorite of the bunch and is a fantastic way to go in both cash games and tournaments. Collison will be a staple of my teams.


Shooting Guard

DeMar DeRozanDeMar DeRozan FD - $8800 DK - $7800
Opponent - DET
Proj Pts FD - 40.79 DK - 42.49

Lowry and Derozan are the clear-cut top options at PG and SG, if we're talking raw point outage. Whiley there are arguments to be made for other guys in terms of FP per $, but obviously lacks the upside these 2 superstar guards have. DeRozan will get a pretty average match-up, facing off with Kentavious Caldwell-Pope. While Pope is one of the better perimeter defenders in the league, he has struggled with DeRozan. However, there have been some games where DeRozan has struggled. I don't think that happens today, and I see Derozan having a big night. Giving up 40 real-life points in the last match-up, Derozan can certainly score just fine. You can definitely play both Lowry and Derozan in your cash games, as we know where the Raptors offense is coming from.

Kentavious Caldwell-PopeKentavious Caldwell-Pope FD - $5100 DK - $5200
Opponent - TOR
Proj Pts FD - 23.54 DK - 25.19

KCP, who will match-up with DeRozan, is a good play in his own right. He comes in sitting around the low $5k's, thus only needing about 25 to hit value. Van Gundy is comfortable playing KCP big minutes, and this certainly seems like a game he will be needed. With DeRozan and Lowry waiting to explode, it is a must to have a guy like KCP that can play quality defense. DeRozan is a fine defender, but is nothing to worry about in the slightest. KCP will still see plenty of open shots and will get his opportunities at the rim. He may not be extremely safe, but SG is ugly, and the pickings are slim in this price range. KCP offers you a pretty solid floor with great upside. If you are looking to pay down even further, we will take a look at a guy who will be very tough to roster, though the results could be prosperous.

Danny GreenDanny Green FD - $3900 DK - $3700
Opponent - NY
Proj Pts FD - 18.98 DK - 20.76

No, I do not want to roster Danny Green. Not at all. However, we have to look at this objectively. The shooting guard position is absolutely atrocious tonight, and the pickings are extremely thin after DeRozan and KCP. Green and the Spurs face off with the Knicks, who give up a ton of 3-pointers. Green is a guy who gets his upside from 3-pointer's and peripherals, which are up for grabs against the Knicks. Green has generally been between 15-20 fantasy points over the last month, and that is fine in cash games at his price. He may not have anywhere near the upside of the guys above, but neither does anyone else. I will have limited exposure to Green, and most of my lineups will have the DeRozan + Caldwell-Pope combo. Green is a GPP-only play with a solid ceiling and very low floor.

Small Forward

Kawhi LeonardKawhi Leonard FD - $9600 DK - $9000
Opponent - NY
Proj Pts FD - 43.25 DK - 45.44

Leonard is definitely expensive here, so it could be tough to pay up. However, Leonard has been absolutely dominant recently. He has been by far the focal point of the offense recently, and expect him to battle with Carmelo tonight. Melo is nowhere near as good of a defender as Leonard is, and you can chalk him in for 40 fantasy points. This game between the Knicks and Spurs is going to be an interesting one, as it currently has the highest listed projected total. The line is also only -8.5, so Vegas expects the Knicks to keep it relatively close. Leonard will play his normal allotment of minutes tonight, and you can play him in all formats. you have to consider the opportunity cost, but I i will have him in a lot of spots. Leonard could also see some extended minutes if Carmelo gets hot, as he is the best chance of locking him down.

Matt BarnesMatt Barnes FD - $5100 DK - $5300
Opponent - NO
Proj Pts FD - 22.82 DK - 24.83

Matt Barnes has been one of the more popular value plays over the last week or so and has not disappointed a single time. He faces off with the Pelicans tonight, who bring a fast paced, low defensive efficiency team to the table. The Pelicans fit into Barnes' game very well, and he should be able to succeed in transition. With all of the injuries on the Kings, you ca be sure that Barnes is locked in for 30. He also has the upside to play 36 and fill the stat sheet. He might not have upside in most games, but could rack up the stats today and fill it up. Barnes will go head to head with Solomon Hill, who is a very lackluster player overall. Barnes has been a big part of this offense lately, and they will continue to get him involved. Barnes makes sense in both cash games and tournaments.

Dante CunninghamDante Cunningham FD - $3600 DK - $3300
Opponent - SAC
Proj Pts FD - 19.78 DK - 20.95
Solomon HillSolomon Hill FD - $4200 DK - $3800
Opponent - SAC
Proj Pts FD - 19.33 DK - 20.8

Terrence Jones is currently listed as questionable, so mak sure you keep an eye on news as the day progresses. If Jones is confirmed out, both of these guys are terrific ways to look. Hill has som interest even with Jones, though only in tournaments. I like these guys in cash games if jones is out, as it will lock in a solid amount of minutes. Cunningham is a guy who plays well when he gets the minutes, and it's just the question of whether he will be on the court or not. Both of these guys are basically minimum price, and only need about 18 to hit value. This is a game I will look to target an absolute ton, so these are guys that I would love to play. I do expect Terrence Jones to miss, which would put both of these guys in play in both cash games and tournaments. Cunningham is the guy with a little more upside, though his floor is also a bit lower.

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Power Forward

Kristaps PorzingisKristaps Porzingis FD - $6400 DK - $6100
Opponent - SA
Proj Pts FD - 31.45 DK - 33.4

Porzingis has started playing much better recently and finally had a game over 40 fantasy points. These Spurs are not a team I'm scared of at all down low, as both Aldridge and Dedmon are below average defenders. Both of these guys will have trouble staying with Porzingis and he should be able to get open consistently with 3-pointers. Porzingis is also way too cheap, sitting in the low $6k's. He only needs about 32 to hit value here, and I really think he gets there by the 3rd quarter. With that being said, the Spurs could focus on him, and he would be completely shut down. I don't expect that to happen, as Pop will be much more focused on slowing down Carmelo Anthony. Porzingis can be played in both cash games and tournaments, and I will have him everywhere.

Jon LeuerJon Leuer FD - $4800 DK - $4300
Opponent - TOR
Proj Pts FD - 26.65 DK - 28.19

Leuer is just too cheap here, on a slate with very few quality value options and a lot of ways to pay up. Leuer gives you a 20 point floor in this match-up, with a built in 35 ceiling. The Raptors have given up the 5th most fantasy points to PF's, and Leuer fits the stereotypical mold of these days. He can spread it out and shoot from the perimeter, as well as bang down low with a few solid post moves. Patrick Patterson is a guy who is known for his porous defense and has been taken advantage of on a regular basis. While we haven't seen a starting lineup just yet for the Raptors, Leuer does get a downgrade if Nogueira is starting. If not, you can play Leuer in both cash games and tournaments. He offers a solid floor and ceiling at a horrible position in PF.

Anthony DavisAnthony Davis FD - $11100 DK - $10800
Opponent - SAC
Proj Pts FD - 49.94 DK - 52.07

We definitely prefer DeMarcus Cousins tonight, but that isn't a knock on Anthony Davis. Davis still has crazy upside and can put up an 80 point fantasy game at any time. Davis had a tough game with Karl-Anthony Towns on Friday, so it could be tough for him to turn around so quickly and take on DeMarcus Cousins. Cousins is one of the best bigs in the game and will work Davis extremely hard. The same can obviously be said both ways, but I don't think they will put Cousins on Davis. Kosta Koufos and Willie Cauley-Stein will cover Davis for most of the game, and Cauley-Stein is the guy with the best chance.  Davis is still a guy who you can play wherever you want, and there is no reason to fade. We do prefer Cousins, but definitely still see the appeal in Brow.


DeMarcus CousinsDeMarcus Cousins FD - $11000 DK - $11100
Opponent - NO
Proj Pts FD - 53.35 DK - 56.46

Cousins comes in as our top superstar play of the night, facing off with Anthony Davis and the Pelicans. Cousins has been absolutely dominant recently and see nothing changing here at all. Anthony Davis will likely cover Cousins and don't think he has much of a chance.  AD is definitely one of the better defenders in the league, but Cousins is just a different animal. H is way too strong for Davis and can run just as fast. I could also see Omer Asik getting some minutes on him, which could get quite ugly. Cousins could easily hit 80 fantasy points here, though he could also get into foul trouble and bust. I will lean on Cousins here and am willing to go down with the ship. This is the game I will have the most exposure to and don't think there will be too many lineups without Cousins.

Dewayne DedmonDewayne Dedmon FD - $4800 DK - $4600
Opponent - NY
Proj Pts FD - 26.31 DK - 27.44

Dewayne Dedmon has been playing great over the last couple games and should continue to see minutes. The Knicks are horrible against centers, allowing the 4th most fantasy points in the league. Dedmon has a good shot of a double-double and finished last contest with 17 points and 17 rebounds. Dedmon is the only guy I will consider playing over Cousins in a few contests. Dedmon is extremely cheap and only needs about 25 to hit value. I certainly don't think we can look for another 40 point performance, but should easily hit 25. Dedmon is a terrific way to go in both cash games and tournaments.

Robin LopezRobin Lopez FD - $4900 DK - $4500
Opponent - MIN
Proj Pts FD - 24.62 DK - 25.69

If you want to pivot off of Dedmon for whatever reason, RoLo is an option. HEs been playing well lately and gets a prime match-up with the Timberwolves. Towns has been quite horrible against opposing centers this season, allowing the 9th most fantasy points and 5th most real-life points. Lopez has been playing well lately, topping 25 fantasy points in 4 of the last 6 games. With all of that being said, this is Robin Lopez. Cousins and Dedmon are both much preferred to Lopez in both cash games and tournaments. However, Lopez is going to go very under-owned and has shown that ceiling relatively recently.  Lopez is a guy who is pretty safe, but my only exposure will come in tournaments, as I would much rather play Dedmon at the same price.



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17 Visitor Comments

  1. QQuestion to anyone: How do you best decide on what is a good line for cash games vs a GPP game lineup. Thx for the help.

  2. I only play GPPs, but generally you want to go more risk-reward..Like say playing someone like Brandon Knight when he is starting against a questionable defense…

  3. Thanks Vince…Good to know on the key differences.

  4. Why do you keep telling people players that cost 5,200 are hitting value at 25 points???…where is the value..show me a tournament on a full slate where less than 250 points is value

    • Rick– I think that’s because this is a “cash game” site. 5x$60K on FanDuel gets you to 300fp which should cash most nights. For gpp obviously target is 6x and above.

  5. I am new to the fantasy nba this year. I play the Fanduel. I do not understand when the article says “the player is good for your tournament or cash game”. I generally play the 50/50. Any advice. Thank you in advance.

  6. Brandon Knight was Unstoppable last night

    • I like your sense of humor. At-least he did stop one thing last night. He stopped everybody’s tickets from moving up in the standings. Lol

    • I had 287 on FD with his 1 point. So disgusting (especially on a low scoring night).

    • Yeah Ryan you got anything for us today?

  7. I just say put your best possible lineup out. Main objection is to score the most possible points so you can cash. I get some players have more chance of upside and getting more points in a giving night, but reality of it is anyone can lay an egg, and mess your chances up no matter if it’s gpp, or cash. I say just put your best out there to cover what ever you’re playing. Comment if I’m wrong or missing anything.

    • I try to score as many points as possibly every night. I will rarely play guys with no ceiling. Occasionally, I’ll play a guy real cheap if I had to get a star. Example: I played terrible Brandon Ingram because he was consistently between 20-30 points for 4K. Then he scores 4 points. Same thing happened with Alec Burks. He had 20+ for 3 straight and I needed the money. His minutes were going up and all too. He plays like 12 mins and has 13 points. This game is so frustrating.

  8. Anybody have any good plays or must plays?

  9. My God Jon Leuer is killing me.

    I would say the way this year is going, you can throw out 300 points (or 5X) being good enough. You aren’t cashing anymore at 300 about 80 percent of the time.

  10. I feel everyone’s pain I thought it’s just me.Late coaches scratch some Web sites that take our money and they get paid but not me. NBA is so hard to play DFS but like an idiot I keep playing. GOOD LUCK everyone

    • I have the worst luck with that stuff too. Like tonight. Buddy Hield, who I’ve never seen say a word to a ref or anything gives Cousins a low blow and gets tossed. I’m going to end up with nine total points between Leuer and Hield. Unreal.

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