Basketball Picks Daily Fantasy Expert Advice
Daily Fantasy NBA Basketball Picks for FanDuel and DraftKings - 2/15/17
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Rubio has been absolutely fantastic over the last week or so, even though his price has barely gone up. With 38+ in 3 of his last 4, I expected to see a big price bump here for Rubio. Instead, he is still sitting below all of the high-end and mid-range PG's. Rubio has been relied on to take control of the offense, and Tom Thibedou obviously has a lot of trust in him. He also has improved quite a bit on defense, which could be a huge reason for him seeing a lot more minutes recently. Thibs is a big defense guy and puts effort/defense way before shooting. The Nuggets are a pretty good match-up for any PG, as the have ranked in the bottom 8 in terms of FP allowed and real-life points to PG's. Rubio is a do-it-all guard, which should play into this match-up as the Nuggets give up a lot of peripherals. This game is projected to stay close and be high scoring, so it should be interesting to see how it plays out. Rubio is my favorite PG and I'm hoping he gets overlooked with all of the options up top. Rubio is in a prime spot for both cash games and tournaments.
It seemed to me like Rubio was the guy with the most inaccurate price tag, but then I kept scrolling and saw George Hill. Hill should be just as expensive as Rubio, and I don't think anyone would complain if he was in the low $7k's. He is currently in the upper-$5k's, which is beyond absurd. He faces off with the Trail Blazers tonight, which means he will see the defense of Damian Lillard. Lillard is a guy who has struggled on defense since being drafted and we haven't seen much improvement. He has still been one of the worst on-ball defenders in the league, which has resulted in him giving up some big games. Hill will likely be my highest owned player, as I'm gonna find it extremely hard to get off of him in any format. The Blazers have ranked in the bottom 10 against PG's with 44 FPPG allowed, followed by allowing the 2nd most assists. There is nobody safer for the price and you can feel confident in Hill in all formats. I see him with a floor of 30 and a ceiling over 45 in this match-up.
Conley consistently goes under-owned, mostly due to his "boring" reputation and his "lack of upside". If we're being real, he is kind of flashy and has plenty of upside. He has this weird stigma around his name that he's boring to pick, but not if you like money. He also does make a lot of exciting plays, so not sure where that came from. I'm guessing it has something to do with the fact that he plays in Memphis, which is a boring team as a whole. Conley is one of the more consistent PG's in the league on both sides of the ball, sitting top 10 in terms of offensive and defensive rating. Conley gets a quality match-up with the Pelicans, who have been slightly below league average against PGs. Holiday and Conley should both have success here, but the edge goes to Conley in my book. Holiday has had trouble on defense this season, and Conley has already had a few big games against him in the past. He is more expensive than Hill and Rubio, but offers a fantastic floor and will go under-owned enough in tournaments to play. Conley could be a hidden gem tonight, for the 40th time this season.
Obviously strongly consider Russell Westbrook in the upper tier with a strong matchup against the Knicks.
Giannis Antetokounmpo FD - $10800 DK - $10800
Opponent - BKN
Proj Pts FD - 52.94 DK - 55.1
Giannis against the Nets!!! I assume I'm not the only one who is extremely excited for this one, as I can't wait to see what Giannis is capable of against this team. The Nets play at the fastest pace in the league, resulting in high-scoring, possession-filled games. Giannis is one of the more efficient DFS superstars per possession, which will pay dividends in this one. I assume they will put Rondae Hollis-Jefferson on Giannis to start, but he has no chance. Giannis will bring him inside until they try out somebody else. The Nets will soon realize they have to double-team, which is when Giannis will start racking up his assists. The Nets and Bucks did face off twice earlier this season, where Antetokounmpo had big games. With one double-double and one 5x4, you can be sure he has what it takes against these guys. Antetokounpo comes in as our top superstar, with a miraculous ceiling. With Jabari Parker out for the year, he will absolutely see a usage spike. I'm guessing Giannis will be pretty highly owned, but I could also see a scenario where he is only 15-20% due to the bevy of other superstars available. Either way, I will be contributing to that %. He will be locked into my cash games and tournaments, as I don't see too many paths to failures for Giannis tonight.
Victor Oladipo FD - $6000 DK - $6000
Opponent - NY
Proj Pts FD - 30.5 DK - 32.38
Oladipo has been pretty consistent as of late, outside of a few stinkers. However, even his consistent games haven't been amazing. I expect that to start turning around, as he hasn't shot well at all. The Knicks are a great match-up for Oladipo, as he should have no problem getting into the open court and to the rim. Westbrook has done a great job getting Oladip involved as of late, and the Thunder have also staggered the rotations where Oladipo can run point guard for a few minutes each half. The Knicks have also allowed the 2nd most open 3's, which obviously plays well into Oladipo's game. Oladipo is sitting right at $6k on both sites, which is just about right. There are a lot of different ways to go at SG, so I could see 'Dipo being around 10% owned. I will certainly have a lot more than that, as I see his floor and ceiling much higher than the guys he is priced around. If you want to get super crazy, let's look a couple hundred dollars down.
Evan Fournier FD - $5500 DK - $5900
Opponent - SA
Proj Pts FD - 29.49 DK - 32.19
We don't often target the Spurs, though there are times where we need to. This is one of them, due to Evan Fournier being way too cheap. Fournier has been seeing huge minutes for the Magic and we have to give him a long hard look if he's gonna see 37 minutes. The Spurs are good against SG's, though they have been league average over the last month or so. Danny Green and Manu Ginobili will cover Fournier for mot of the game and I don't see either of them shutting him down. Fournier will also pick up a few more shots with Ibaka gone, as he was the guy who took the 2nd most shots on the team. All in all, Fournier is a guy I'm more likely to have exposure to him tournaments. With that being said, I don't hate him for cash games either, as you can argue his floor is high enough due to his minutes alone. His price is way too low and his upside is way too high, simple as that.
Kevin Durant FD - $10100 DK - $9700
Opponent - SAC
Proj Pts FD - 49.2 DK - 52.39
There are a lot of different ways to pay up on this late, which likely means no 1 guy who will be too popular. I expect Durant to be one of the lowest owned superstars, as I think most go with Cousins, Westbrook, James, and Giannis. Durant should be the forgotten man amongst superstars, which I love to see considering his upside. This game is in Sacramento, which gives me hope that this one stays close. The Kings have struggled mightily against SF's since Rudy Gay went down, giving up the 2nd most FP per game over the last 2 months. Durant will match up with Matt Barnes and Aaron Afflalo, who are going to get bullied. I'm sure Barnes will do his best to get under Durant's skin, but won't have much success. He will have his way on the perimeter and down low, scoring at will. The peripherals should be there as well, as the Kings are notoriously bad at giving up rebounds and assists to everybody on the floor. If this game stays remotely close, Durant has 65 fantasy point upside. His price is also pretty generous, sitting below the rest of the stars. Durant is a guy I will target in all formats, though I don't think that's the popular thought.
Aaron Gordon FD - $4500 DK - $4600
Opponent - SA
Proj Pts FD - 24.72 DK - 26.09
I'm sure this is one of the only times where 2 guys have been recommended against the Spurs. It's due to the magic and this spot they have no put themselves in. By trading Ibaka, I expect a lot more Aaron Gordon at the 4 and Jeff Green at the 3. Gordon has averaged 18.3 PPG as PF over his career, compared to the 11.8 as SF. Here is to hoping the Magic coaching staff are finally smart enough to put the guy where he is supposed to be playing. There is nobody on this Spurs team who can stay with Gordon athletically and he should be able to just out hustle everybody Aldridge is far too slow and immobile to stay with Gordon, and the same can be said for David lee. Kawhi Leonard could certainly guard him, but that would leave David Lee or LMA on Jeff Green, which just can't happen. Gordon is also way too cheap, coming in under $5k on both sites. Gordon is a guy I like in all formats, though he would get a huge bump if starting at the 4. I don't have much interest if they start 2 big men and keep Gordon at the 3. That would just force him to see Kawhi Leonard defense for 4 quarters.
Michael Beasley FD - $4900 DK - $5500
Opponent - BKN
Proj Pts FD - 31.43 DK - 33.09
Michael Beasley had himself a game against the Pistons, leading the team with 23 points and 40 fantasy points. While there is an argument to be made here that this is point chasing, I think it might there might be a real trend starting. With Jabari Parker out, the Bucks need a guy who can come in and score the ball with Giannis on the bench. Beasley quite obviously showed his ability to do just that, and don't see a reason they take his minutes away until he starts struggling, which we all know he probably will sooner or later. I expect another 25-30 minutes from Beasley tonight, where he will likely be right around that 30 FP mark. His price has definitely risen on both sites, but it had to. This is a guy who has consistently been a great fantasy producer over his career, but just never got the minutes after he left Miami. This could be a big chance for him to prove himself and I don't see him having much of a problem against the Nets. Beasley is a scrapper who gets his upside from peripherals, which leads me to think he will excel in this style of game. This is a game I will certainly be tuning in for.
Channing Frye FD - $5000 DK - $5000
Opponent - IND
Proj Pts FD - 26.85 DK - 29.27
I expect the sites to fix this very quick, as Frye should be in the $6k's with Love out. He is phenomenal with LeBron on the floor, as he is a guy who spaces incredibly well. Thi sis another good match-up for Frye, as the Pacers play pretty fast and give up a lot of open 3's. Thaddeus Young is currently questionable, so it will be either him or Kevin Seraphin that draws the start. I'm not too concerned about either, but would prefer Seraphin. Frye will be able to get open against either just fine and we know LeBron will deliver it. He will likely be extremely highly owned, but I'm willing to eat the chalk. Don't get me wrong, Frye will have some bad games over the next 6 weeks. However, they will be games where the Cavs give him some rest and let someone else take some minutes. He will continue to produce when given the minutes, as he is a legitimately good shooter and a serviceable rebounder. Frye is an extremely strong option at PF, and you won;t find a lineup of mine without him.
Kristaps Porzingis FD - $6800 DK - $6500
Opponent - OKC
Proj Pts FD - 36.42 DK - 38.67
Power Forward is a pot where most will be paying up, which is when I love to pay up to be contrarian. Porzingis could cause a huge problem for the Thunder, as they have nobody with the height that can stay with him on the perimeter. POrzingis has also been playing a lot better, after that rough patch in the middle of the 1st half of the season. He has been over 25 fantasy points in 9 straight, with 5 of those topping 35. Look for the Knicks to feed Porzingis, as he could certainly get some bigs into foul trouble. The floor is also pretty nice tonight, as the Thunder like to play fast and shoot a ton. Porzingis will be relied on upon for rebounding, which shouldn't be much of a problem considering he's 7'2. With everyone looking to pay up at other positions, this is one where I expect most to pay down. While that's not a horrible strategy, it's certainly one you can zag off of in tournaments. By playing Porzingis, you immediately shake up your roster construction, which is exactly what you want in tournaments.
Nerlens Noel FD - $5600 DK - $6100
Opponent - BOS
Proj Pts FD - 31.54 DK - 32.69
Noel has been over 30 fantasy points in 2 straight, while Okafor and Embiid have sat on the bench. Jahlil Okafor did travel with the team, though it's unclear whether he will play or not. That does give a slight bump down to Noel, but not much. He is still one of the better plays on the day, as both the match-up and minutes set up extremely well. The price has risen, but you have to expect that when a guy is seeing consistent minutes and production. The Celtics have struggled against big men this year, giving up the most rebounds and the 3rd most FP per minute to PF's. Noel will likely see at least 28 minutes tonight in which he should flip for at least 25 fantasy points. The upside is there for a lot more, as we have already seen multiple times this season. Make sure you keep an eye on the status of Okafor and Embiid, as they are somewhat uncertain as of now. If they are both confirmed out, Nerlans Noel is an elite play.Update - Jahlil Okafor is expected to play off the bench. We still have interest in Noel, though this is news you will want to keep an eye on.
Al Horford FD - $6800 DK - $6800
Opponent - PHI
Proj Pts FD - 38.17 DK - 40
Al Horford isn't a guy I tend to roster a ton, though he has been good this season. This is a spot I have a ton of interest in, mostly due to the match-up and price. The 76ers are absolutely putrid against big men, especially with Joel Embiid out. Nerlens Noel, Ersan Ilyasova, and Dario Saric are not shutdown defenders by any means, as they have contributed to the pitiful defensive efficiency this frontcourt has. Horford should be able to lock in 25 fantasy points before this one starts, with the upside for much much more. The Celtics should win this game pretty handily, though I don't expect it to be a blowout. The 76ers have done a good job of hanging with good teams, though that will be a bit tougher without Embiid. If the Celtics do happen to blow these guys out, you can be sure that Al Horford will have something to do with it. Isaiah has been getting him more involved lately, which has turned into production. Horford can be trusted in both cash games and tournaments in this match-up.
Steven Adams FD - $6100 DK - $5900
Opponent - NY
Proj Pts FD - 32.44 DK - 34.1
Steven Adams is a guy I like to target with Westbrook, though he's also a perfectly fine target by himself. Ever since Kanter went out with his broken wrist, Adams has been playing big minutes. Outside of last game where all the starters rested, he has been over 35 consistently. Westbrook does rely on Adams, for quality on-ball screens and proper offensive spacing. Adams does a good job with both, which is why you will see him out there at the same times as Westbrook. The Knicks have been bad against centers all season and we have had some very nice success targeting them. I expect nothing different here, as Adams is the perfect guy to destroy the Knicks. He is way stronger and more physical than anyone in that interior, as well as smarter and savvier. Joakim Noah, Kyle O'Quinn, and Willy Hernangomez will see minutes on Adams, where they will all struggle trying to figure out the pick n' roll. Adams is a safe bet in cash games and has the upside necessary for tournaments. With that being said, Horford and Capela probably have higher upsides at there respective prices.
Clint Capela FD - $5200 DK - $5700
Opponent - MIA
Proj Pts FD - 31.72 DK - 33.16
It may be a bit scary to click on Clint Capela, and rightfully so. He has burned a lot of people in the past and it always seems like he's hurt. However, he is a very good PNR center which is why he is on this team. Harden sees a big boost with Capela on the floor, as he is a pick n' roll specialist. He is guaranteed to see the ball as well, due to Harden using him as a shield on most plays and dumping it off to him constantly. While Hassan Whiteside is a pretty intimidating big man, he's not the most defensive skilled guy around. He lacks the footwork to stay with Capela from the perimeter and could get lost in the sauce. I could see him going for blocks and steals on Harden, which could leave Capela wide open. He may not be the safest option on the board, but has plenty of upside and should be just fine for his price.
Wily Hernangomez is a solid DraftKings play tonight drawing the start for Noah.
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- Ricky Rubio: (AP Photo/Jim Mone)