Basketball Picks Daily Fantasy Expert Advice

03/15/2017
Austyn Varney
Boston Celtics guard Evan Turner, left, tries to block San Antonio Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard, right, in the fourth quarter of an NBA basketball game Sunday, Nov. 1, 2015, in Boston. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

Daily Fantasy NBA Basketball Picks for FanDuel and DraftKings - 3/15/17

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Lakers @ Rockets - We could fill this write up with picks from this game. The truth is this game is extremely unpredictable and it could go a ton of different ways. With the Rockets being favored by 17, I wouldn't be surprised to see an early blowout. However, if the Lakers keep it close we should see some huge DFS performances. Clarkson and Randle are my favorite two Lakers with Harden and Capela my favorite Rockets. Ivica Zubac has also been great lately and could be in play once again.

Point Guard

Patrick MillsPatrick Mills FD - $4400 DK - $5300
Opponent - POR
Proj Pts FD - 27.32 DK - 29.66

Both Tony Parker and Dejounte Murray are questionable with injuries, which could lead to Mills being close to a must play. Parker and Murray were both out last game, which turned into a fantastic game for Mills, finishing with 15 points, 9 assists, and 35 fantasy points. This pick is contingent on these guys being out, so make sure to keep an eye out for the news article later in the day. If Parker and Murray do sit, Mills becomes one of the better options on the slate. Damian Lillard and the Blazers have been horrible against PG's, allowing over 48 fantasy points per game to the position. Mills is a guy Popovich has full trust in and he won't really have a chance, mostly due to Bryn Forbes just not being good enough to get substantial minutes at point guard against Damian Lillard. Mills is also a pretty good PG defender, so I could see him matching up with Lillard down the stretch. As a wrap, if Parker and Murray are ruled out, Mills is great everywhere. Update: Tony Parker is now questionable which could put Mills out of the value arena

Mike ConleyMike Conley FD - $8000 DK - $7600
Opponent - CHI
Proj Pts FD - 38.02 DK - 40.35

Conley isn't the most exciting PG in the league, but he surely gets it done. Conley has typically sat around 40 FP as of late, with a few games over and a few under. The match-up with the Bulls is a great one for Conley as they just don't have anyone to match up. Rajon Rondo is far too small and I doubt he even sees many minutes here. Jerian grant is likely the best match-up, though he will still struggle with the physicality of Conley. I see him having another very solid night and I have his floor pegged around 35 with a 55 point ceiling. With this game in Chicago, it could easily stay close. Conley has been pushed into huge minutes in close game, which only heightens his upside.

Kemba WalkerKemba Walker FD - $8400 DK - $8600
Opponent - IND
Proj Pts FD - 40.21 DK - 42.84

Kemba has to be one of the most frustrating players around, going through stretches where he looks like a bottom 12 PG and then a spurt like this where he looks top 8. Walker has been a monster lately, topping 40 fantasy points in 6 of his last 8 contests. With that production has definitely come an increase in price, though it's not to the point where he's out of play. Jeff Teague has been a good defender over the course of his career but has struggled lately allowing nearly 44 fantasy points per game to PG's. The Hornets will need a huge game out of Walker if they want to stay in this one, especially with Nicolas Batum expected to be out. The price is high, but that will hopefully keep the ownership down a bit in tournaments.

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Shooting Guard

Jeremy LambJeremy Lamb FD - $4900 DK - $5600
Opponent - IND
Proj Pts FD - 30.01 DK - 31.7

Speaking of Nicolas Batum expecting to miss the game, Jeremy Lamb. Lamb took the spot for Batum last time out and had a very nice game, finishing with 26 points and 35 fantasy points. Lamb was EXTREMELY chalk (70%ish) two nights ago and considering he came through, expect more of the same. Lamb is a very good DFS player as he gets himself involved on offense and makes sure he gets a good amount of shots each game. Kemba Walker also fully trusts him, which is very necessary with Lamb joining the starting lineup. The Pacers haven't been great against SG's, allowing close to 44 FP per game. This is mostly due to Monta Ellis and his inept defense. Lamb can be targeted in all formats and makes for an extremely safe option if Batum is ruled out.

Devin BookerDevin Booker FD - $6600 DK - $6700
Opponent - SAC
Proj Pts FD - 32.8 DK - 35.54

Shooting guard against the Kings? Yes. One of the best shooters in the league facing the Kings in the middle of a hot streak? Yes, please. Booker has been shooting the ball well lately and that is something you love to see out of a guy who is known as one of the streakiest shooters in basketball. The match-up with the Kings is pristine as they have given up the 2nd most fantasy points per minute to SGs behind just the Nets. A mixture of Aaron Afflalo, Ben McLemore, and Garrett Temple will cover Booker and none of them have much of a chance. He will get open shots at will and I wouldn't be surprised to see a monster game if it's falling. Even if he somehow goes cold here, I think he has the safety in cash games due to his ability to rack up peripherals lately. Booker is a top option at SG and makes sense in all formats.

Avery BradleyAvery Bradley FD - $5600 DK - $5800
Opponent - MIN
Proj Pts FD - 29.19 DK - 31.25

Lamb and Booker are far and away the top 2 guys at the start of today, with a few other SG's coming in pretty close for 3rd. Bradley is one of those guys and a guy I think gets relied on huge tonight. With the Timberwolves packing a mighty punch in Andrew Wiggins, Avery Bradley will likely be tasked in shutting him down. Wiggins has been known to play around 36-40 minute sin big games, so I wouldn't be surprised to see Bradley match him and over him at all times. We have seen the Celtics do this in the past and Bradley is a good enough defender to get away with this. He should be able to transition that over to offense, where he's been great this season. The Celtics announced they removed his minutes limit last game but still only gave him 26. I see him getting huge minutes here and crushing value. Bradley is a player that should be around $7.2k or so as he is a 35-40 fantasy point scorer when seeing full minutes.

Small Forward

Kawhi LeonardKawhi Leonard FD - $9400 DK - $9800
Opponent - POR
Proj Pts FD - 44.03 DK - 46.35

Kawhi Leonard surprised the DFS world and ended up playing last game. He had a pretty average game with 40 fantasy points against the Hawks on 31 points, 5 rebounds, and 4 assists. Portland is one of the better possible match-ups for Leonard, as they have struggled mightily to cover athletic perimeter players. Leonard has been an absolute monster as of late, finishing with 50 fantasy points in 4 of the last 6 games. Small forward is actually pretty weak on this slate, with only a few reliable options at the position. The Blazers are a fast-paced team and huge a bump up for the Spurs, ranking 7th in the league in PACE. Leonard is an extremely safe cash game option and has a ton of tournament upside. He also gets a bump up if Tony Parker and Murray are out as he could see the backup PG minutes as well. Update: Lamarcus Aldridge is now cleared to play which cuts into Kawhi's usage bump. 

Paul GeorgePaul George FD - $8100 DK - $8300
Opponent - CHA
Proj Pts FD - 38.1 DK - 41.34

Paul George has been pretty awesome lately, leading his team in scoring on a nightly basis. While the fantasy performances haven't been huge, we have seen the "leader" trait out of George for the first time this season. It looks like he's gearing up for the playoffs and looking to get focused. He should be able to have his way in this match-up with the Hornets. While some may assume MKG will be able to stop him, he doesn't match up well at all with George. George is far too quick in the open court and has dominated MKG before. He may not have the type of safety like Kawhi, but he's pretty reliable and the upside is unquestioned. He has shown 60 fantasy points multiple times already this season.

Harrison BarnesHarrison Barnes FD - $6000 DK - $6400
Opponent - WAS
Proj Pts FD - 31.32 DK - 33.16'

The case for Barnes is pretty cut & dry. He's one of the only real scorers on a slow Mavericks team that is facing off with one of the faster teams in the league in the Wizards. This should result in an uptick in PACE for the Mavs, who could use it. Barnes has been sitting around 25-30 FP per game with Dirk hot and shooting a ton. He will likely regain the leading scorer role sometime soon and go back to his 30-40 fantasy point games. Otto Porter Jr. is a pretty solid defender but so is everybody else on this team and they still give up a ton. You can only be such a good defender when John Wall takes off, turns it over and leaves ur guy 60 feet away from you wide open. The Wizards have given up the 3rd most transition 3's in basketball, which speaks to the possibility of Barnes having a big night.

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Power Forward

Willie Cauley-SteinWillie Cauley-Stein FD - $5500 DK - $5600
Opponent - PHO
Proj Pts FD - 31.09 DK - 32.35

Willie Cauley-Stein has been excellent since Cousins left, often sitting around 30 fantasy points and crushing value. He has had a few duds, but one was a blowout and one was foul trouble. You can safely lock WCS in for 32 minutes if he stays out of foul trouble, as the Kings just don't have any other option. Anthony Tolliver has finally started getting his minutes taken away as they realize he has no place in future plans. WCS is a big part of what the Kings plan to do in the future and they will make sure he continues to get work. He will match-up with Alan Williams and Marquese Chriss for most of the game and they are both pretty easy match-ups. Williams is a big body but lacks the footwork and agility to stay with an athletic monster like Cauley-Stein. He is a very solid cash game option and has plenty of upside at his price of tournaments.

Blake GriffinBlake Griffin FD - $8800 DK - $7900
Opponent - MIL
Proj Pts FD - 42.01 DK - 43.83

This is a big slate with only a few good options to pay up for, with Blake Griffin certainly being one of them. With so many value options available at PF, I could easily see his ownership falling below 20%. That is a huge mistake against the Bucks, who are absolutely atrocious against big men. Griffin has shown h is upside recently as well, hitting 65 fantasy points just 2 weeks ago. The Bucks are also one of the better teams in the league against PG's, so some of the action could be funneled towards Griffin, who is the only other starter that can create his own shot. Griffin will match-up with the likes of Giannis Antetokounmpo and Thon Maker, who are both far too skinny to contain Griffin on offense. He can be played everywhere though you may be able to spend up in tournaments for better upside elsewhere, especially considering the opportunity cost of fading 2 cheap PF's.

David LeeDavid Lee FD - $4800 DK - $5500
Opponent - POR
Proj Pts FD - 31.88 DK - 33.25

With LaMarcus Aldridge out indefinitely, you can count on David Lee to see some solid minutes until he returns. He saw 30 minutes last time out against the Hawks and turned in a very nice 27-fantasy point performance. This match-up with the Blazers is one of the best in the league for Lee as they give up the 3rd most FP per game to PF's. Lee is a very good scorer and offensive rebounder that has a ton of upside when given the minutes. His floor is also pretty locked in here around 20 if the game turns into a blowout. His price is also still very fair, sitting near the likes of Thad Young and Ryan Anderson. That should lower his ownership quite a bit and I'm willing to keep him plugged into my cash games. He's a very consistent FPPM producer and can be locked in for solid minutes.  Update: Lamarcus Aldridge is now cleared to play which takes David Lee out of the discussion for tonight. 

Center

Alan WilliamsAlan Williams FD - $5600 DK - $6300
Opponent - SAC
Proj Pts FD - 35.08 DK - 36.56

If you want to talk about consistency, take a look at this guys box scores. With over 25 fantasy points in 8 of his last 9 contests, he hits value on a consistent basis. he gets one of his better match-ups yet, facing off with Kosta Koufos and the Kings. Williams will see most of his minutes against Koufos and Willie Cauley-Stein who aren' nearly strong enough to stick with Williams in the paint. WCS will definitely bully him around on offense with his speed, but Williams will make sure to return the favor with his shoulder. You can lock him in for a double-double here and the upside for 50 fantasy points is going to be there every time he takes the floor. If the Suns decide to stretch him out for a game due to necessity, he could go absolutely crazy. All in all, Williams is one of the safer options on the board and you can play him anywhere and everywhere.

Pau GasolPau Gasol FD - $5900 DK - $5600
Opponent - POR
Proj Pts FD - 31.72 DK - 33.12

The case for David Lee is basically the same here. Pau Gasol is a bit more expensive than Lee, but should also see a few more shots and a tad bit higher of a usage. With Aldridge out of the lineup, Kawhi ran a lot of plays through Pau Gasol screens last game, which is something Nurkic and the Blazers have struggled defending. With that being said, you have to limit hit upside due to the insanely low minutes he has been playing as of late. Gasol is still a very talented offensive player but doesn't see much opportunity with Popovich keeping a strict hold on his health. While Alan Williams is preferred in both cash and tournaments, Pau Gasol is a very nice secondary play that has a solid floor and should come in pretty low owned.

Hassan WhitesideHassan Whiteside FD - $8700 DK - $8100
Opponent - NO
Proj Pts FD - 41.26 DK - 43.09

On DraftKings, Whiteside is a tremendous play. His price is down and pricing is much tougher on DK. This match-up with the interior of Cousins and Davis may not seem optimal at fist, but I don't think it's actually too bad. As long as Whiteside stays out of foul trouble, he should be able to get plenty of rebounds and easy buckets to pay off his salary. Cousins isn't a great defender, often allowing his defender to get easy offensive rebounds and putbacks. This isn't to say you can't play him on FanDuel. He just isn't someone  you have to love due to an exceptional price. I expect the Heat to have Whiteside out there for almost the whole game as there is just nobody else on the team that will be able to rebound over Cousins and Davis.

Strongly consider Ivica Zubac who is now the starter for the Lakers. But I am worried about the blowout here.

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14 Visitor Comments

  1. Cant wait for our new best friend Joe R to post his opinions for tonight. Were counting on you Joe!!! Mad props brother

    • @ Leo v I just want to say thank you but also mention that DFSR does a great job and can’t possible write up everybody especially the day before. I am just looking to provide some possible picks that the optimizer doesn’t pickup or just are for GPP oriented.

      My PG picks today are mostly speculative making them GPP plays. Tyler Ulis at $4,400 is someone who I keep coming back to. Tyler’s minutes thus performance have been all over the place lately but for the most part he has been making value six out of his last eight games. With this being said let’s hope Earl finally realizes the Suns are chasing ping pong balls and need to play the guy 20+ minutes. 6X-7X not out of the question. Oh did I mention they play Sac?

      The Lakers are another team that should be chasing ping pong balls. We have already kind of see this with their last game starting Clarkson over Russell. Either way Clarkson at $5,400 has played 4 straight games of 33+ minutes. Tonight they get Houston in the highest projected total game.

      SG is always a bit hit or miss for me but today there are a bunch of great cheap options that could go 6X-8X. Here is the thing Rodney Hood disappointed me last time out but he is at $4,500, the guy used to be $5,700 at the beginning of the year. Speaking of this year he has a 38 FD PT game against DET, now his minutes are wonky but Hood has shown he can still have those 30+ pt games even after coming back from injury.

      JC (Jordan Crawford) Price has risen to $4,000 but I still believe he has big upside. He has smashed value in two out of his four games at 7X and the other two he has his hit 4X. Even though his last game he only hit 4X he did have a massive 25% usage rating. Minutes seem stable in the 20s. One more 7X game I could see FD putting him just shy of $5K, so get some JC.

      At $3,900 Manu Ginobili is a great punt if Parker and Murray sit. With the minutes Manu is getting and with the current injuries 4X is given but with room for 6X+. I am not mortgaging anything in favor of Manu since his game against GSW there was no Leonard and his usage rating was at 22% and he followed up his next game against ATL with a 15% rating but in that ATL game he got 22 minutes yet had 4 TO. I think tonight’s results are somewhere in between those two games, either way he has been doing a little of everything in his L2 games averaging 4.5 pts, 4.5 reb, 6 ast, and 2.5 stl per game.

      Buddy Hield AKA Stephen Curry. L3 pretty much hit 6X and tonight get Phoenix at $4,200. Oh BTW against PHO this year his L2 he put up 20 FD in each of the contests at $3,600. His L3 he has been getting 30+ minutes and has been averaging mid twenties in terms of usage rating.

      Eric Gordon at $4,900 get the LAL. Enough said… Okay well there is some pause and that really is that fact that the Rockets don’t rely on his as much since Lou Williams (25% Usage) joining the team while Gordon has averaged a 19.2% usage. Obviously volatility of shooting is real so on any given night either on of these guy could be on or off but I think against the Lakers at $4,900 30 FD pts for 6X is never out of the question just for of a GPP, oh BTW sweet Lou at $5,400 even with the better usage has kind of stunk averaging 17.86 FD pts over his L5.

      I feel ill saying this but Dante Cunningham at near min is a decent punt. L3 he has hit 5X, 7X, 5X. Not hard to do at $3,600 but with him getting minutes in the mid twenties his biggest strength has been rebounding. Averaging 7 rebounds in his last three games and if he manages to get 6 buckets and a few side stats this guy has a path to 5X-6X tonight. Not sexy no cool but sometimes you just need numbers guys.

      6.7X, 6X, 7.4X, 5.7X, and 4.8X, now which Laker am I describing? That would be the $4,300 Brandon Ingram. Maybe he can’t shoot, maybe he makes rookie mistakes and needs to keep his paws to himself more often (too many fouls) but good lord do I love his minutes averaging 35 minutes over his L5. he get’s Houston in the highest projected game, even if it is a blowout he obviously is getting his minutes.

      Tony Snell another $4,300 phenom. Now I trust Jason Kidd’s minutes allocation as far as I can throw him. But for some reason Tony has seemed to defy Kidd’s logic by averaging 14 buckets 6.2 reb, 1.6 ast, and shockingly 1.8 stls over his L5 while averaging 25 minutes per game. That’s making value four out of the last 6 games.

      Vince Carter, ha no!

      TJ Warren more of a cash game play with 5X floor but the occasional 40 pt ceiling when he gets double digits boards. He get SAC and really the only this gives me pause is his $5,900 salary which is very fair but if you are a degenerate like me it’s hard not taking Ingram at $4,300 who could put up a similar 30 pt night. Was this an endorsement or just me living the hedge life?

      Moe Harkless good Lord what have you become. His L2 Harkless has bee horrible. Last game it was his nasty paws picking up 3 quick fouls and POR getting blown out but Harkless was a guy for weeks that we raved about. At $4,500 I suspect no one will be on him due to his L2 and because he gets SAS which is fine but it also make him a very good GPP flyer.

      One of SVG’s favorites is back in Stanley Johnson is back and I suspect this guy will be less than 3% owned at the very best. With this said you have a lot of reasons to fade SJ with him facing Utah and his ability to not hit a shot. Which makes SJ a grea t dart throw. In his L5 on FD he has put up 4X, 8X, 4.7X. 5X, and 2.4X. This pick easily could go down in flames and is only for people that love burning money.

      Yes Frank is back and yes Marvin Williams is at $6,500 (sweet baby Jesus!) but even with Frank back last game MW got 38 minutes and really that has been his thing over the L6 games. I don’t think Frank is 100% so I still think we keep seeing low twenties for him and there isn’t a ton of back court depth anyways for CHA. $6,500 is GPP kind of money but hell Marvin has down it before.

      Nemanja Bjelica, the name can’t spell nor pronounce in his L3 has put up 6.8X, 4.8X, and 7.8X all while averaging 31 minutes per game. His 6.8X and 7.8X games came off the dude getting double doubles but against Boston’s meager rebounding team anything can happen: GPP

      Julius Randle a guy at $6,500 is an up and down guy. He can put up 20 FD pts or he could throw down 60. He gets the Rockets in the highest total, blowout a factor since unlike Ingram he isn’t a lock for 30+ minutes, but he has averaged 33 FD pts against HOU this year.

      WCW GPP and Koufous Cash. Koufous who has been putting up 20 or more FD pts in L5 yet and doubled doubled three out of those five. WCW since Boogie has left down has been like a roller coaster at $5,200 up down and sometimes puke. Against PHO tonight I see this as a possible high moment where 30-40pts are possible.

      Ivica Zubac went from $3,600 to $4,900 after his 40 FD pt outing. While the jump is huge in salary i still think there is room for value. He isn’t a lock anymore but his last game of 30 minutes is the most telling, let’s hope Walton keeps listening to Magic upstairs.

      Jusuf Nurkic $6,600 is defiantly a swerve. I think everyone will see he raised price (even though down from $7.2K) and see the SAS match up and fade. I think this guy has huge upside and is worth a GPP look especially since Nurkic is another guy with a paw problem and averages like 5 fouls a game.

      Noel has shown flashes in DAL being a rim runner or Tyson Chandler lite. Injury has really stopped him, but tonight he is probable. At $5,900 you probably will not get a ton of people pining to play this dude but again that makes him GPP.

      Clint Capela $5,300 against the Lakers is defiantly in play for me. Not crazy play at $5,300 so more cash but a guy who has made value three out of his L5. Averaging 29.8 FD pts this year against the Lakers. Cash

      • Joe, I used most of your suggestions from yesterday and finished in the $ in 5 out of 6 pools. Looking forward to your suggestions for tonight. Thanks.

      • Thanks joe and to dfsr. Joe your indo helps fill in the blanks which we all know is very valuable. Do you have a site to follow or doing this more for fun? Either way good luck to all!!

    • @Leo DFS is a passion of mine but I work full time as a buyer. At the moment I am just trying to get some experience writing for a website. Maybe a site and podcast down the line but for now I will leave that to the pros (DFSR). Thank you for your support and good luck to everyone.

  2. Hahaha, too true Leo. Great comment. My $20 in winnings is now just a memory. Need some more of that pro insight here again. The author of this article is awesome too. I’m amazed how dedicated he is. Thanks again, DFSR. As soon as I have a decent win I will buy all your optimizers too. Good luck tonight everybody!

    • Appreciate that Justin! Good luck tonight!

  3. Thank DFSR , got first the other day, of course alongside a bunch of other players in a big tourney but good for converting $3 into $567.00 thanks to the projections , this column and some if my own picks .

  4. Good picks mike…I’m a poor guy living check to check wasting all my extra cash on draftkings and I never win big just small or nothing at all. I feel as if it’s an addiction I don’t know what to do so depressing any help?

  5. Good Good picks mike… I’m just a poor guy I live check to check wasting all my extra cash on draftkings and I never win big only small or nothing at all so depressing I feel like it’s an addiction any help anyone? Also I debt because of it 🙁

  6. Nikola Mirotic Morris and Al Horford

  7. booker
    bradley
    williams
    across the board

  8. I had a few good plays, but Buddy Hield is going to cost me a better night. Everything trending up and then he just doesn’t play the last 18 minutes.

    My line up could have been so much better. Took Kawhi out for PG13 (not terrible, but I could have had both), played Blake (ew), could have gone up to Lou Will in a revenge game. If I had just had another line up in, I probably would have pivoted to those guys.

    At least it looks like WCS, PG13 and Mike Conley will get me into the money.

  9. I just can’t take the Devin Booker hype. I said it before and I’ll say it again he SUCKS. Great matchup on paper tonight and he drops 26 DK points lol. I avoid this guy in DFS like the plague. If I miss a big night from him I’m not mad, cause I know the next few games will be around 26 fantasy points. He sucks.

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