Basketball Picks Daily Fantasy Expert Advice
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.
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
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 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.
Jeremy 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 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 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.
Kawhi 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 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 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.
Willie 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 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 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.
Alan 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 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 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.