Daily Fantasy NBA Basketball Picks for FanDuel and DraftKings - 3/8/17
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Wall is coming off a thriller against the Suns last night where he almost hit 60 fantasy points. While the back-to-back may scare a lot of people away from Wall, he is no average player. Wall has played huge minutes in B2B's, averaging 37.5 on the season. He's also had a better game in the second half of each B2B so far, so it doesn't look like he's getting too fatigued. This match-up with the Nuggets is a fantastic one in terms pace and DFS appeal. Wall should obliterate the likes of Jameer Nelson and Jamal Murray on defense, considering they both have negative defensive ratings. The Nuggets don't have any shutdown perimeter defender and will be forced to let Nelson and Murray do the best they can. The Nuggets also lack the presence of a rim protector, which is vital in slowing down John Wall. While Wall is expensive on both sites. he's well worth it in cash games. You know he'll get you 45 as a floor and has an unquestioned ceiling of 75. He may also go a bit under-owned, as it seems like a lot of people are on Isaiah and Curry, who are both similarly priced. John wall under-owned against the Nuggets? Yes, please.
Both James and Tyler Johnson were forced to sit out against the Cavs with minor injuries. There's a possibility they will both remain out tonight, which would leave a ton of usage and minutes for the rest of the team. Dragic is the leaders of this club and makes the heart beat. This match-up with the Hornets may not be ideal, but it's pretty close. Kemba Walker is one of the absolute worst defenders in the league and is far too small to deal with Dragic. The Hornets have ranked in the bottom 10 against PG's for the past 2 seasons and we have seen guards continually torch Kemba. They do have Batum who's a solid defender, but will be far more concerned with his responsibilities in Dion Waiters and Josh Richardson. Dragic has seen over 30 minutes in 8 of his last 10, topping 30 fantasy points in all 8. Dragic is an extremely safe option no matter what in this match-up and has the upside to destroy a tournament. Dragic is better fit for in cash games, but is definitely still in play for tourneys. Either way, it's hard to go wrong with one of the more consistent PG's in the league against one of the worst individual defenders at the position.
It looks like CoJo is finally readjusting to his new role. After a rough week or two in the starting lineup, Joseph has shown some signs of life. With over 20 points in 2 straight games and 30 minutes in 4 of the last 5. He should see at least 30 again against a team that can't do much against point guards. Jrue Holiday is a decent defender on the perimeter and paint. However, he's the only one who can stop anything on the perimeter. I could see him switching over DeMar DeRozan, who will surely draw more attention than Joseph. That will leave either E'Twaun Moore or Hollis Thompson for Joseph, which should be a bloodbath. They are both extremely inept defenders and struggle to stop anyone, let alone a fast guard that can shoot 3's. Joseph is guaranteed to have the ball in his hands a lot, even though DeRozan will draw a lot of shots. Joseph is a guy who would go crazy when given the opportunity in the past, so I'm not really sure if the upside is there or not. He is definitely safe in cash games. If you think he still has what it takes to get hot and play big minutes in tourneys, give it a shot. We have seen it many times before.
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope FD - $5100 DK - $5500
Opponent - IND
Proj Pts FD - 26.53 DK - 28.35
It may not seem this way, but Caldwell-Pope has been pretty consistent. with 20+ FP in 8 of his last 10 and 30+ in 6 those, he has paid off value far more often than most. He now gets a match-up with the Pacers, who are atrocious against shooting guards. Giving up over 36 FP per game, the Pacers sit just 3 points behind the league-worst Nets at 39.4 points allowed. Monta Ellis has been seeing a lot of minutes at the 2, which is a good reason for the dip in defensive production. Ellis is one of the worst on-ball defenders to ever scratch an NBA floor and can be taken advantage of every single player. If you have a chance, tune into the Pacers broadcast and just watch Monta Ellis play defense. It's very entertaining, especially if he's frustrated due to his shot not falling. Back to KCP, who should get to value in the 3rd quarter at just over $5k. Caldwell-Pope is also one of those weird guys who is relied on heavily by his coach. KCP has seen 47, 42, 41 and 40 minutes in just 4 of the last 10 games. KCP has a floor around 25 here with a ceiling over 40 if it stays close. I don't see going wrong at this price when you consider how many minutes he plays every single game.
Klay Thompson FD - $6700 DK - $7000
Opponent - BOS
Proj Pts FD - 34.83 DK - 37.82
When initially looking at Thompson, I assumed the now healthy Avery Bradley would see most minutes on him. However, digging a little bit deeper, it might not be the case. The Celtic put Bradley on Curry a few times last year, forcing either Isiah or Smart to stay with Thompson. While Thomas would be a complete mismatch, it won't last more than a few minutes. As for Smart, he's a bit more physical but lacks the speed and defensive prowess to work around the Warriors off-ball screens. Thompson scored 30 real-life points against the Celtics just last year in a game Avery Bradley was fully healthy. When Thompson is shooting well, he is 100% match-up proof. His shot is unblockable and the way he gets open is nearly impossible to stop as well. With Durant out of the lineup, Thompson is going to have a few huge nights. This could certainly be one of them if the game stays close and the match-ups work out correctly. I am tempted to say Thompson is better in GPP's, but I do think there is still merit in cash games with Durant out.
Evan Fournier FD - $5400 DK - $5500
Opponent - CHI
Proj Pts FD - 26.56 DK - 28.88
Fournier is still just too cheap across the entire industry and we'll keep playing him until it goes up past $6k. With Serge Ibaka traded to the Raptors, Fournier is arguably the team's best scorer outside of Vucevic. He is a guy who's capable of scoring 20 points on a regular basis and w can see him get hot on any night. This game between the Bulls and Magic is one we will be targeting a lot, with value everywhere. It starts with Fournier, who is $1k too cheap and in a great match-up. Fournier figures to be covered by whoever replaces Wade, which will likely be either MCW or Payne. Neither are too good at defense and will struggle against a Fournier type of scorer. McDermott is far too big and slow while Payne is too small and not strong enough. This game should also stay very close as Vegas has it listed at just -1.5 in favor of the Bulls. Fournier is a solid option in all formats and will be one of my highest owned SG's across the board. Fournier is extremely safe for his price and I think we do see a few monster games out of him before the year is said and done.
Jimmy Butler FD - $9200 DK - $9200
Opponent - ORL
Proj Pts FD - 49.11 DK - 51.17
With Dwyane Wade ruled doubtful to play, Butler becomes a clear elite play. This Magic team is a phenomenal match-up for Butler, who provides a severe mismatch for anyone on the team. With Ross being too small and Gordon too small, I don't know if anyone will have much success. Butler also came out less than a week ago and said he needs to start shooting more. Since, he faced the Pistons and put up 27 points against one of the slower defenses around. Butler should be able to torch this Magic team for at least 30 point and 50 fantasy points. You can lock in 35 minutes with Wade out, as the Bulls simply don't have anyone else to trust. You can expect Butler to shoot 20 times and get at least 12 combined peripherals, which gives him a floor of 40. This is also a game I would give serious consideration to games-stacking. With Wade out, these teams are very similar and I could see a very high-scoring, competitive game. This is the type of game you stack in a large-field tourney and hope for an OT or two. As for Butler, he's an elite play everywhere. The Magic won't be able to guard him and he'll be forced to have the ball in his hands a ton with Wade out.
Khris Middleton FD - $5700 DK - $6600
Opponent - NY
Proj Pts FD - 32.17 DK - 34.3
Personally, Middleton will be in 100% of my lineups. if Middleton burns me in 30 minutes at $5.7k, I am more than happy to lose. Middleton is an $8k player when fully healthy and is still a guy to consider when he's that price, let alone now. This match-up with the Knicks couldn't be better, as they've sported the league-worst defensive rating of 114.3 in the last 90 days. Courtney Lee is the only guy who plays much defense at all, but will likely be on Giannis. That will leave either Carmelo Lance Thomas for Middleton, who is a far better scorer than either of them are stoppers. Middleton has done what was expect in the last 4 games, finishing with 35, 43, 29, and 27 fantasy points. While all of those are perfectly fine at his price, I would expect a game close to the first two. As a note, make sure he's playing. You never know what could happen when a guy is coming off of an in injury.
Terrence Ross FD - $4500 DK - $5300
Opponent - CHI
Proj Pts FD - 29.11 DK - 30.97
Terrence Ross has been incredible for the Magic since being traded, topping 25 fantasy points on a consistent basis. The Magic have relied on him for his 3 point shot and Ross has no problem being told to shoot. He's also a pretty good player, so it'll be interesting to see what he can turn into given the opportunity. With all of that being said, he might see Jimmy Butler on defense. Butler is undoubtedly one of the better defenders around and can shut down Ross if he wants. However, that would entail following Ross around off-ball screens and sweeping 3 screens. With Dwyane Wade unlikely to play, I highly doubt it. Butler will be forced to exert a ton of energy on defense and will have no interest in chasing Terence Ross for 35 minutes. I'm tempted to play Ross in just GPP's, but the price is just too good. On FanDuel, he only needs you about 23-25 to lock in value.
Draymond Green FD - $8200 DK - $8200
Opponent - BOS
Proj Pts FD - 41.31 DK - 43.87
Power forward is a weird position tonight, with a lot of guys in good match-ups that are just a little bit too expensive. There are also a couple of guys who are underpriced, but I expect to bust. Draymond rarely does that, finishing with over 30 points in every game he saw more than 23 minutes in. This match-up with the Celtics should be a very interesting one, as I have a feeling Draymond might control the entire paint. With such intimidating forces down low like Amir Johnson and Kelly Olynyk, Green might just be too scared to go down there. Not. He is going to obliterate whatever "big man" is in his way and I see a double-double as a lock with rebounds. Green has also seen a boost with Durant out, in terms of both minutes and usage. Green is the safest option at the position with price considered and makes for a great play in all formats.
Kristaps Porzingis FD - $6400 DK - $7100
Opponent - MIL
Proj Pts FD - 36.72 DK - 38.77
Kristaps is still a bit too cheap, especially on FD at just $6.4k. This match-up with the Bucks is a great on for Porzingis, as they struggle against bigs and have nobody that comes close to his length and skill combo. John Henson may have what it takes down low, but will be embarrassed once POrzingis steps out of the paint. Greg Monroe and Terrence Jones could also see some run at POrzingis, but those guys should definitely not be scaring you away. Monroe and Jones are both guys who are known to be putrid defenders, or in Jones case, lazy.I expect Porzingis to dominate all game long in the scoring column and hopefully pick up a few boards and blocks along the way to help out the bottom line. At a position with plenty of uncertainty, Porzingis is a safe option that makes sense across the board, though his price is obviously a little bit better on FD.
Aaron Gordon FD - $5700 DK - $6000
Opponent - CHI
Proj Pts FD - 28.8 DK - 30.22
Gordon is the 3rd of 4 Magic players and the one who might be the most popular (if Vuc plays). The Bulls struggle against athletic forwards, as they don't have nay themselves. Bobby Portis will give it a shot, but I don't see him being athletic or fast enough to stay with Gordon. Jimmy Butler might actually have the best shot, but Gordon will still post him up and be effective simply due to size. As such a match-up problem for the Bulls, Gordon should take advantage. While he is one of the more infuriating players to roster at times, he's been more consistent lately. With 30 fantasy points in 4 of his last 5, Gordon may have finally found his groove. He also sees a bump with Vucevic out as his minutes get locked in and his usage sees a bump. Gordon is a guy I'm willing to play in all formats, though it will be a tough decision on what Magic guys to play.
DeMarcus Cousins FD - $9500 DK - $9900
Opponent - TOR
Proj Pts FD - 48.74 DK - 51.42
Cousins has transitioned well to the Pelicans, putting up 45 points on a consistent basis with 2 upside games. He also scored 27 fantasy points against the Jazz, which speaks more to Rudy Gobert and his ridiculous defense than it does on Cousins. He gets a much better match-up tonight Jonas Valunciunas, who will be a big difference from Gobert. Cousins has dominated Valunciunas while in Sacramento, finishing with 2 games over 30 real-life points. He has seen a slight usage dip since being in New Orleans, but that was obviously expected. It seems to me like both Davis and COUsins are getting along and playing good basketball, which is what we need from a guy who see his 3rd suspension of the season the next time he acts up.Center is also a pretty interesting spot as a whole on this slate, as there could be some very nice value options that open up along the way. With so many ways to spend up, don't feel forced to use C0usins. If you think someone cheaper will be a better pt. per $ play, which is certainly possible. However, it's also possible he goes for 70 and blows away the entire position. In that case, make sure you have some exposure.
Dwight Howard FD - $7100 DK - $7400
Opponent - BKN
Proj Pts FD - 36.3 DK - 38.34
In between Cousins and Biyombo, we have Dwight Howard. Howard has been playing well for the Hawks lately, topping 30 fantasy points regularly. He hasn't flashed the upside as much as we would like, but we know it;\'s there. This match-up with the Nets is obviously a stellar one, as they rank dead last against 4 of the 5 positions, center included. Brook Lopez is a talented scorer, but lacks the will and/or skill to play defense. Howard is far more athletic and fast than Lopez and I expect him to take full advantage in transition. Howard is a bit risky, as I think Lopez has the chance to get him in foul trouble early. If Howards avoids foul trouble, I would expect a very productive outing. Howard will be restricted to just tournaments for me, as I will either pay up or down in cash.
Bismack Biyombo FD - $4600 DK - $5500
Opponent - CHI
Proj Pts FD - 27.64 DK - 29.07
To be clear, this pick is contingent on Nikola Vucevic being ruled out. If Vuc plays, Biyombo is completely off the board and a guy that doesn't have much appeal. If Vucevic misses, this whole slate changes. Bismack Biymobo will become the most popular play at C, which will drive down the ownership of the more expensive guys at C. In turn, the more expensive guys at other positions will also be higher owned, as the common man has more money to spend elsewhere. That's not to say I won't be part of that crowd, though, as Biyombo is just an elite play if he's gonna see 35 or more minutes. The Bulls are a very weak team down low, especially after losing Taj Gibson, who had a little bit of muscle and power. Robin Lopez will just get bullied by Biyombo on the glass ll game long. If Vuc plays, ignore this. If Vuc is out, play Biyombo in cash.
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- Joey Dorsey, DeMarcus Cousins: (AP Photo/Pat Sullivan)