Daily Fantasy NBA Basketball Picks for FanDuel and DraftKings - 2/26/17
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We start with the slate's highest priced player, Russell Westbrook. Westbrook looks to be himself after demolishing the Lakers in route to an easy victory, finishing with 17 points, 18 rebounds, and 17 assists. He gets a match-up with the Pelicans tonight, who have just shaken up the entire roster. Jrue Holiday will cover Westbrook 90% of the time and will struggle. Holiday lacks the speed to stay with Westbrook, so foul trouble could be in his early future. We all know the drill here. Westbrook is the top play on the slate and we have to weigh the pros and cons of fitting him in. On this slate, I will likely be paying up for Westbrook. There are solid ways to pay down and Westbrook is far more safe than anyone on the board. I could sit here and name more stats as to why Westbrook is good, but we all know just how good he is. Victor Oladipo is also currently questionable, which could give Westbrook a bump in usage and shots. This is a game we will target a lot with high priced options, as this could easily be a shootout in the 220's. Westbrook is a prime option in both cash games and tournaments.
Chris Paul returned from his long absence by playing 33 productive minutes against the Spurs. The Spurs play very slow and are a tough match-up for point guards this season. As for the Hornets, the same can't be said. Kemba Walker is a notoriously bad defender and will struggle big-time with Paul. Remember, this is still a guy who is arguably a top 3 PG in the league. He has the upside to go crazy and the safety to keep you afloat even in the worst scenario. It looks like Paul is fully healthy as well, as his rotations weren't cut short in the 2nd half. He should play at least another 33 minutes in this one, with the possibility of more. This price is way too cheap for Paul, who has generally sat around $10k when healthy. Vegas predicts this game to stay close and be pretty high-scoring, which is rather important as Paul could easily be sat down if a big lead is taken early. Paul is my favorite cash game PG and makes for a tremendous option in tournaments as well.
George Hill is one of those guys ho tends to get overlooked, as he is the opposite of flashy and exciting. Luckily, you don't have to be either of those to score fantasy points. The Jazz get a great match-up with the Wizards, who play extremely fast and give it up to point guards. While John Wall is a fine individual defender, the uptick in pace will cause more transition possessions in which Hill will have the ball in his hands. Hill is also far too cheap on both sites, needing 30 to hit value. He does that more times than not in this match-up and hits a huge upside game once in a while too. There are a lot of ways to go at PG and there could be even more if Lowry is ruled out. This will cause the ownership of guys like Hill to come way down, which drives up the appeal in GPP's. Hill will be in most of my lineups and in most of my cash games. The price and match-up are way too good to ignore.
DeMar DeRozan FD - $8600 DK - $8800
Opponent - POR
Proj Pts FD - 44.56 DK - 46.31
Lowry has been ruled out "indefinitely" with a wrist issue. While that's pretty unclear of how long he will be out, I don't he's coming back a day after they use the word indefinitely. This isn't Grayson Allen. DeRozan has constantly stepped up to the occasion with Lowry out and put up huge games. H can put up 40 real-life points any night he wants and will push that tonight. C.J. McCollum is a fine defender, but lacks the speed and strength to stay with DeRozan. DeRozan has been shooting the ball extremely well lately and I see no reason for that to change. With Lowry out, his usage will rise and the ball will be in his hands more often. ake sure you jump on him before his price skyrockets. Norman Powell and Cory Joseph could also be interesting here, depending on the news that comes out during the day. As for solely DeRozan, he is a great option across the board. While he typically lacks the safety in cash games, you can throw that away with Lowry out.
Gary Harris FD - $5000 DK - $5600
Opponent - MEM
Proj Pts FD - 24.9 DK - 26.55
Some may look at the Grizzlies and immediately turn their head, but not us. The Grizzlies have been fine against shooting guards, with Tony Allen usually covering whoever the main scorer is, which will be either Gallinari or Chandler. That will leave either Parsons or Conly for Harris, which is doable. Harris can get things done against both of those guys, as they are not the type to shut down anyone. Harris has been extremely consistent for the nuggets lately, finishing with 30 or more in 3 straight and 25 or more in 5 of the last 6. Harris has been relied upon as an outside shooter with the recent injuries and has come through. This is a guy who is very good when on the court and should be a tad bit more expensive. I would recommend taking advantage of this cheap price for a guy who will be less than10% owned. I'm a fan of Harris in all formats, though I do prefer him in tournaments. DeRozan and Redick are a little preferred in cash games. This game may not be the highest scoring on the night, but it will stay competitive and get over 200 total points.
J.J. Redick FD - $4300 DK - $4500
Opponent - CHA
Proj Pts FD - 22.48 DK - 24.7
Redick is another guy who lacks the flash, though he is a bit more exciting to watch when CP3 is delivering the passes. He gets a huge bump in my book with Paul back, as Redick is not a guy who can create his own shot. With PPaul out, teams can focus on Redick and make sure he gets no open 3's. Now that Paul is back, the defense has absolutely no idea what to do. This should give Redick the opportunity to have some more monster 3-point games. This match-up with the Hornets is a fine one, as they have nobody that worries me as a defender. Nic Batum is a goo on-ball defense, but will not be chasing Redick around the entire floor all night. I could see the Hornets putting Batum on Paul and Walker on Redick, which could be a good idea, though not one that would really do too much. Redick is extremely safe in cash games and has the upside for tournaments.
Kawhi Leonard FD - $9600 DK - $9200
Opponent - LAL
Proj Pts FD - 48.09 DK - 50.7
Small forward is an interesting spot tonight, as there are rarely this many SF's to choose from. Leonard is the cream of the crop, facing off with the Lakers in what should be a fantastic fantasy day. Brandon Ingram will likely cover Leonard, or at least do his best. Leonard will score and rebound at will here, with the only resistance coming from a potential blowout. With that being said, I don't expect the Spurs to just run them out of the building. It should stay close for at least two or 3 quarters and we have seen the Lakers play good team really tough. Either way it goes, I look for Leonard to have a big night. He's been the most consistent guy in this tea by far and is being tasked with the responsibility of leading this team to a championship. As for tonight, he's a guy who holds a 45 fantasy point floor with the upside for much, much more if the game stays close. He will 32 minutes as a floor and 38 as a ceiling, though unlikely.
Both of these guys are terrific options. while the reasoning is rather clear. let's take a look. Over the last 10 games or so, Beasley has strat picking up big minutes. With those minutes has come extremely nice production and a whole lot of fantasy points. His price has jumped, but he gets a great match-up against a fast-paced Suns game in what should be a very high scoring game. As for Middleton, he has gradually been picking up minutes since returning from injury. Middleton is the 2nd best player on this team and will be back to starting and scoring 30 fantasy points every night very soon. As for now, he is a guy who is a lock for 20 and has a ceiling of 40. He is going to get a big run one of these games and you will want to be on him. If I had to only pick 1 of these guys, I would go with Middleton in cash games and Beasley in tournaments. While both of these guys will be very high owned, I would recommend eating the chalk on the early slate.
Anthony Davis FD - $9900 DK - $9500
Opponent - OKC
Proj Pts FD - 46.33 DK - 48.88
Davis certainly impressed last night, finishing with 39 points, 14 rebounds, and 60 fantasy points. Even with DeMarcus Cousins joining the forces, they will still both have huge games. Davis is a top 5 talent in this league and will continue to put up torrid numbers, no matter his teammates. He gets a match-up with the Thunder that should play very well into his game. While Steven Adams is a pretty good defender, he will be occupied by Boogie Cousins. That leaves Enes Kanter and Taj Gibson to cover AD. Yikes. While Gibson isn't known as a bad defender, he is far too slow and unathletic to stay anywhere near Anthony Davis. AD will absolutely obliterate him in all facets, on both offense and defense. His price is also lower than it has been all season, needing only 50 in cash games and 60 in tournaments. He could easily do that against this Thunder team who plays fast and wild.
Serge Ibaka FD - $5900 DK - $6000
Opponent - POR
Proj Pts FD - 29.81 DK - 31.33
Ibaka played his first game for the Raptors 2 days ago vs the Celtics, finishing with 25 fantasy points and a very mediocre day. However, he did look god running the pick n roll with DeRozan. Ibaka will continue to acclimate himself into this offense and the production will follow. This match-up with the Blazer is a great one, as they have ranked in bottom 5 against PF's for 3 years in a row. While the players are much different now, they still can't play defense. Ed Davis, Meyers Leonard and Jusuf Nurkic will be the guys tasked with Ibaka, who is far faster and more athletic than any of them. Ibaka is fairly priced around the industry and will see a bump with Lowry out. While we haven't seen him with Lowry in, there will be more usage to go around than normal and he certainly should get some being the 2nd best player on the floor. Ibaka is a concrete solid option in tournaments and still a good ay to go in cash.
Jon Leuer FD - $4900 DK - $4800
Opponent - BOS
Proj Pts FD - 25.43 DK - 26.92
Leuer has been playing huge minutes for the Pistons, who have relied on him as a low post presence Leer does a good job of playing defense and offensive rebounding, which is huge in the book fo Stan Van Gundy. If he sees anywhere near the amount of minutes has been seeing tonight, you can lock him into every lineup. This is a perfect match-up for Leuer, as the Celtics are putrid at rebounding and struggle mightily against big 4's and especially ones that can shoot. While most attention will be on stopping Andre Drummond, I think Leuer causes a huge problem. Sitting below $5k on both FanDuel and DraftKings, he is absolutely in play for cash games. He's obviously in play for tournaments too and will be on most of mine. While Ibaka is solid, I do prefer Jon Leuer. Make sure you get some exposure here in all formats.
Jusuf Nurkic FD - $5500 DK - $5600
Opponent - TOR
Proj Pts FD - 32.34 DK - 34.24
The Blazers traded for Nurkic with these intentions, so don't be surprised. He has played 2 extremely solid games in a row, against 1 decent defense and 1 Stallworth. We saw Nurkic do this multiple times last year in Denver, but was never given the reigns to the offense. Nurkic is a big, stocky center, but also has the ability to pass like most foreign players. That works out well for the Blazers, who rely on the outside shot. The reason Mason Plumlee had so much success was due to the shooting of Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum. Nurkic will hopefully keep benefiting in what should be a very productive 2nd half of the season. This match-up with the Raptors is pretty average, as Jonas Valunciunas is a very average defensive center. Ibaka is solid, but will be worried about stopping Meyers Leonard or Ed Davis. Nurkic is a fine guy to watch, so give him a roster and tune in to see some exciting basketball.
Frank Kaminsky FD - $5900 DK - $6500
Opponent - LAC
Proj Pts FD - 30.25 DK - 32.03
Frank the tank! This is a guy who was heavily mocked entering this season, as a lot of people questioned his toughness and ability to bang down low with the string guys. He has done far more than exceed expectation, turning into a very important player on this Hornets team. Kaminsky will definitely be forced to be on the court a ton, as they will need his size to match DeAndre Jordan and Blake Griffin. Neither of those guys are good on-ball defenders, and Kaminsky will score with ease if Jordan is on him. Kaminsky has seen an uptick with Zeller out as well, which looks to be the case today. Kemba has done a great job os getting him heavily involved as he's really the only guy Walker is comfortable running the pick n roll with now. He has been hitting 3's lately as well, which adds a whole bunch of upside on sites that offer a bonus. Kaminsky is a very solid way to go in all formats. I would not fault you in the slightest for having him as your number 1 center on the day.
DeMarcus Cousins FD - $10000 DK - $10500
Opponent - OKC
Proj Pts FD - 47.27 DK - 50.55
Cousins comes in below Kaminsky and Nurkic, as he just doesn't provide the same likelihood of paying his salary. Don't get me wrong, this is still DeMarcus Cousins and he could easily for 80 tonight. However, he will only be in our tournament lineups. Steven Adams is one of the more solid defenders in the league and I would rather go with AD in cash, who has a much easier interior match-up. However, most people will be thinking that way. That could cause Cousins to come in severely under-owned, which gives him a ton of appeal in GPP's. Cousins has played well in both games so far, looking relatively comfortable for a guy who is used to the ball in his hands all game long. Cousins makes for a tremendous tournament play and a so-so cash game option. With other very solid option at center, I don't recommend reaching. There are better spots to pay up in cash.
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- Russell Westbrook: (AP Photo/Jeff Haynes)