Basketball Lineups Daily Fantasy Expert Advice

Joseph Rasero

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

It's a not-so-full Friday in the NBA but that shouldn't get us down. What it might lack in overall games it more than makes up for in high totals, bad defenses and some possibly exciting matchups.

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Point Guards

Tyler UlisTyler Ulis FD - $5400 DK - $5700
Opponent - ORL
Proj Pts FD - 28.05 DK - 29.67
What a joke the Suns organization is by letting Bledsoe warm up last game and then last minute pulling him for the season. Tyler Ulis, or should I say "Steve Nash-lite", crushed in his first start going 8X by logging 41 minutes and putting up 13 points on 18 FGA and with 13 rebounds. He was the first Sun’s rookie to do 12 points and 12 assists in a game since Nash did it in 1996. With this said I think Ulis can smash again but I think 34 minutes and mid teens in terms of FGA is more appropriate. Tyler is no longer a sub $5k guy but even at these slightly elevated prices I think Tyler will be a fantastic yet chalky cash and GPP play. Shed a small tear for Bledsoe, move on and play Ulis!

Marcus SmartMarcus Smart FD - $6300 DK - $4900
Opponent - BKN
Proj Pts FD - 31.52 DK - 33.57
NBA players are dropping like flies. Lucky for us that means great value. Usually Brad Stevens is not one to sit his players when healthy but with the Celtics playing Brooklyn tonight and the 76ers on Sunday I think the Celtics will survive without their MVP. This brings us to Marcus Smart who presumably will start and face the horrific Brooklyn squad. With one of the highest totals of the night targeting this game would be smart and as bad as the Nets are I think they can keep it close with only a 9 point o/u. I think mid thirties for minutes for Smart should be in the cards, but Smart at $6,300 on FD is definitely more of a GPP play compared to his $4,900 salary on DK which makes him both cash and GPP.

Rajon RondoRajon Rondo FD - $5800 DK - $6500
Opponent - WAS
Proj Pts FD - 29.42 DK - 31.84
With death comes life and with Dwayne Wade dying as a fantasy option, Rajon Rondo has rising from the ashes like a phoenix. In Rondo’s last two he has played mid thirties minutes and has gone almost 8X in both contests and he didn’t even turnover the ball against Memphis! With the starter tag and increased usage Rondo seems to be on the path to deliver against the WAS especially since John Wall is considered “50/50” for playing. If Wall is able to go Rondo faces a tough matchup since in the three times Rondo started against the Wizards this year he has only averaged 23.41 FD points.


Shooting Guards

James HardenJames Harden FD - $11800 DK - $11800
Opponent - NO
Proj Pts FD - 53.92 DK - 58.58
James Harden AKA “The Terminator” has a history of roasting the Pelicans. Last year in March when the two teams met Harden registered 65.9 FD pts and 72.5 DK pts, but now Harden is coming off a game against the Lakers where the Rockets blew out the Lakers and he only played 31 minutes. With the addition of Lou Williams and Eric Gordon as a 6th man plus, Harden has not been required to take 20+ FGA every night, which was evident when Harden only played 29 minutes and took a meager 9 FGA in a steam rolling of the Pelicans this February. With this said, today’s game has the highest total projected points for the night so let’s hope Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins can keep it close and allow the Beard to go off.

Giannis AntetokounmpoGiannis Antetokounmpo FD - $10500 DK - $9900
Opponent - LAL
Proj Pts FD - 49.97 DK - 52.17
There are some interesting big money guys tonight and you’ll likely be sweating out the decisions in this upper tier more than anywhere else tonight. Giannis has a fantastic matchup against the Lakers who’ve A: thrown the towel in on this season and B: spent the better part of the year just allowing opponents to put up as many fantasy points as possible. I do see ABC as more of a GPP play tonight considering just how erratic he’s been since Middleton came back from injury and Jabari Parker went down for the season. His fantasy performance has been all over the place and the last two games he’s played only 28 minutes in each. That’s tough to swallow at his price point, but he has huge upside in the matchup.

Devin BookerDevin Booker FD - $6900 DK - $7200
Opponent - ORL
Proj Pts FD - 31.56 DK - 34.22
With Eric Bledsoe finally out of the picture the Suns are officially trying to chase ping-pong balls by catching up to the Lakers, who have the 2nd worst record in the league (20-48). Bledsoe is arguably the Sun’s best scorer and distributor thus in his absence we will get to see if Devin Booker can elevate his game. In the last two games Booker has played almost 40 minutes so I don’t think Earl can run him anymore than he is but I do think Booker can get 15 to even 20 shots a game making Booker pure lethal. I think Booker is a cash play on FD and a very good GPP play on DK due to his elevated price, but he should be seen as a bargain compared to player like Bradley Beal who is $8,500 on FD and $8,200 on DK.

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Small Forwards

Jimmy ButlerJimmy Butler FD - $8700 DK - $8800
Opponent - WAS
Proj Pts FD - 44.6 DK - 46.73
With Dwayne Wade out for the rest of the regular season the lion’s share of the usage now lands in Jimmy Buckets/ Minutes’ hands. Butler’s regular usage sits at 28 and spikes up to 33 with Wade off the court (per NBAWowy). The price hasn’t moved much with the news on Wade and I suspect we see Butler as a popular play tonight with a decent (though not spectacular) matchup against the Wiz. Washington plays at the 11th slowest pace in the league and are ranked at 18th in defensive efficiency. But with the Bulls still hanging on to a shred of hope to make the playoffs in the East (a game back in the loss column for the final spot) you can expect to see Butler play major minutes down the stretch run. Without Wade he’ll handle the offense and should put up a ton of shots.

Brandon IngramBrandon Ingram FD - $4400 DK - $5000
Opponent - MIL
Proj Pts FD - 23.56 DK - 25.89
The Lakers are in full on tank mode which has meant crazy variability in their minutes across the board. Except for Ingram. He’s the one guy Luke Walton has no real issue running a ton and dude’s averaged 36 minutes a game over his last five. At his FanDuel price we can get all over that kind of minutes safety and he comes in as one of the better cheap plays on the board. He’s also shooting more, getting up double digit shot attempts in three of his last four capped by an 18/6/3 performance last time out against the Rockets. Small forward isn’t all that deep tonight and considering how much value there is in the upper price tier, Ingram fits a perfect need of minutes+sub $5K price tag on FanDuel.

Khris MiddletonKhris Middleton FD - $6600 DK - $6500
Opponent - LAL
Proj Pts FD - 31.89 DK - 34.23
Khris Middleton has consistently been starting since the start of March and initially registered double-digit points in all of those games. What has been lacking is the consistent shot attempts, since in his L3 games Middleton has not reached doubled digit attempts. When Khris gets at least 10+ FGA a game he has done 5X+ five out of his six games for his abbreviated season. What really boosts Middleton is the matchup against the tanking Lakers where he gets to face off against Nick Young or the recently neutered D’Angelo Russell. With the second highest O/U for the night let’s hope Khris gets his.

Power Forwards

Anthony DavisAnthony Davis FD - $11200 DK - $10200
Opponent - HOU
Proj Pts FD - 48.85 DK - 51.24
I’m much more inclined to play him on DraftKings where the price has come down sharply since the Cousins’ trade. But unlike Demarcus, Brow hasn’t seen a total dusting of his fantasy performance. His per minute rebounding numbers are actually up in the short term and he’s even seen a slight increase in his per minute shot attempts which feels kind of amazing all things considered. I’m still interested in buying considering the matchup and just how points could go on the board in this game. Expect minutes close to 40 if the game stays close. Again, more interested in Davis on DraftKings and I think he’s one of the more popular plays of the night over there.

Julius RandleJulius Randle FD - $6800 DK - $7400
Opponent - MIL
Proj Pts FD - 33.61 DK - 35.52
He’s coming off is best game of the season on Wednesday against the Rockets in which he went nuts with a 32/8 line in only 29 minutes. It’s the latter piece that has me the most worried about Randle. Like I said with Ingram, the Lakers are fully tanking and not really incentivized to play guys like Randle meaningful minutes. He’d been running consistently in the mid 30’s but two blowouts in a row have seen a sharp drop in court time. There’s some possibility the blowouts were the reason for the minutes reduction but again, I’m not completely trusting the Lakers. If you think he goes 33-34 against the Bucks who lack much front court defense then he’s very much a play at under $7K.

Jon LeuerJon Leuer FD - $4200 DK - $4000
Opponent - TOR
Proj Pts FD - 24.83 DK - 26.2
He’s on here because of price and the hope that he starts again. Those are the only two reasons and even then it doesn’t feel all that great. But power forward is a weak position across the board and after the two guys above I’m not interested in investing any meaningful dollars at the position. Leuer started last game and struggled about a very tough Jazz team. Things get a little easier (though not a ton) against the Raptors who will probably front him with Ibaka. But Leuer should see around 30 minutes if he starts and you can do worse at these nearly punt prices.


DeMarcus CousinsDeMarcus Cousins FD - $9400 DK - $9800
Opponent - HOU
Proj Pts FD - 50.32 DK - 53.55
Let’s do this thing. Boogie’s price has done nothing but drop since he came to New Orleans thanks to some variable performance, a suspension, a random benching and some blowouts. But tonight I think you can load up. He’s simply getting too cheap for the upside and this is a great matchup against the Rockets. The game has the highest total on the night by nearly seven points over the next closest game and Houston’s been well below average at keeping opposing centers from scoring and rebounding. Pairing Cousins/ Davis or Cousins/ Harden feels like such a high floor in cash and considering the pricing discrepancies I think you can run the former on FanDuel and the latter on DraftKings. It feels like there’s been a lot of noise in Cousins’ lines since becoming a Pelican and that’s been apparent in the last five games or so. I think he puts it together in this matchup that Vegas has as being high scoring and close.

Alan WilliamsAlan Williams FD - $5800 DK - $6300
Opponent - ORL
Proj Pts FD - 30.15 DK - 31.31
Williams has been a per minute beast this and the minutes might be on the rise. He played 31 last game good for a 14/11 line and which has been his exact average over his last 8 games. Orlando’s been below average defending the opposing front court and only got worse when they shipped Serge Ibaka out of town. Williams is still playing as a sixth man off the bench, but again it hasn’t effected his playing time all that much. Plus it’s not a huge sample size, but Williams has seen something of a usage bump with Eric Bledsoe off the court this season. The Suns are also in full tank mode which should leave plenty of minutes for Williams over Len going forward. I like Boogie more even from a points/$ standpoint, but Williams is where I’ll go at center if I fade Cousins.



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16 Visitor Comments

  1. Marcus Smart isn’t a PG, he’s a shooting guard. With this known, can you make a third PG recommendation? Thanks

    • Smart and most of the Celtics are much better DK plays tonight compared to FD’s elevated prices. But for FD Dragic, Payton, Rubio, and Jennings if Wall sits are in good spots for me for PG

    • hes starting a PG…

  2. Marcus Smart does have PG eligibility on DK.

  3. I just want to thank DFSR for letting me be part of today’s article, thanks again everyone!

    Smallish slate today but tons of value. I don’t know if you have to get cute with a ton of GPP plays due to the current value, but tonight screams stars and scrubs lineup construction. If your looking to differentiate yourself in a GPP here are some deep dive picks.

    JJ Barea $4,300 finally got 20 minutes and produced last game, now this was due to the fact that Yogi have 5 fouls, but if Rick Carlisle decides to finally bump Barea’s minutes up (maybe w/ Matthews possibly out) the freaking Rican could do some damage in a hurry.

    Isaiah Whitehead $3,500. With Kilpatrick questionable again and on a back to back It wouldn’t surprise me if Jeremy Lin sat especially against the Celtics (even without Thomas). If you are reading this Kenny Atkinson start waiving the white flag. At min salary Whitehead has shown he can do 6X and if worth a GPP flier if all the for mentioned scenarios play out even if it against Smart/Bradley.

    Goran Dragic $7,700. The Dragon came back strong last game even with just one eye. $7,700 on Fanduel seems a tad high for cash but Dragic gets MIN tonight where he has put up 46.9 FD pts this year. I have Dragic with the third highest projected usage for the night making 6X a real possibility.

    Elfrid Payton $7,200 the guy w/ the weird hair only played 22 minutes last game against the GSW in a blowout yet still had 13 pts and 8 reb. Tonight I think Payton sees his full minutes and gets to face off against Steve Nash Lite (Tyler Ulis) and with Payton’s size I am not sure Ulis can contain him. Payton’s 40 to even 60 pt upside makes him an interesting gpp play.

    Ricky Rubio $7,600. The Spanish magician has been cooking lately averaging 42.33 FD pts in his L5. At this production Rubio really could be a cash play but my own internal bias has never allowed me to trust Rubio since he tends to throw as many TO into the stands to his imaginary teammates as he does register real assists. Biases aside Rubio’s 50 pt upside makes him a nice play all around.

    Norman Powell $4,100 is interesting in DeMarre Carroll sits on a B2B. Powell’s price oddly got ticked up $200 from yesterday when Carroll played, but if like I mentioned yesterday Powell at his apex was a $5k player and 30+ pts is not out of the question especially with Lowry sidelined.

    Wayne Ellington $4,100 even with Dragic back had basically 25 FD pts yesterday and over his L5 has averaged 20.94 FD pts. He has had double digit FGA in 4 out of his last 5 games. Now I trust Ellington as much as I trust myself not eating the Girl Scout cookies my wife said not to eat, but for a GPP flyer you could do worse.

    Caris LeVert $4,400. The price tag seems a tad high at $4,400 but this is a guy who has put up 20+ FD in his L3, so not someone who will kill you. On the other hand Kilpatrick questionable again and on a B2B I think Lin could sit and if he does I think LeVert can hit his ceiling of 7X.

    Jordan Crawford $3,500. He was chalk two games ago against MIA and put up a measly 14.5 FD pts, but at min salary on FD tonight against Houston… I am loving JC. L3 usage in the 20’s and averaging double digit FGA. Now that he has signed his two year deal I think Pelicans know what they have in JC and hopefully let him loose in the highest projected total of the night. Like I said before defiantly a stars and scrubs night, but I would deploy JC in GPP only

    Denzel Valentine $3,700. My man! Denzel has been averaging double digit pts in his L3 games and 27 minutes in both of his L2 games. The no Wade trickle effect is seen here for sure since I think Denzel could see minutes in the upper twenties.

    WASHINGTON. If Wall sits it’s the Brandon Jennings $4,400 show at PG and I suspect he will challenge Ulis and Rondo as major chalk value plays. This also leaves us with Beal who is totally overpriced but does have 50 pt upside, but again his price makes him GPP only IF Wall sits. Markieff Morris $6,100 has really played like poop lately but if Wall does sit Morris he a nice usage bump making him a GPP look.

    Lou Williams $5,800 & Eric Gordon $4,900. Sweet Lou’s first game as a Rocket was against the Pelicans where he got 25 minutes and scored 27 pts. Obviously this is a guy who can get hot quick and gets a nice DVP match up against NOR but with Eric Gordon on hand it’s hard to gauge which one of these guys will go off. Gordon has been a bit more consistent and is cheaper on FD but since Lou has come over he has not gone over 5X. Sweet Lou GPP and Gordon Cash.

    My rookie of the year pick Dario Saric $7,900 has been balling with a depleted 76ers lineup. Dallas is never an easy match up but over Saric’s L5 he has averaged 37 FD pts and has two 46 FD pt games for 6X. Now the price has gone up slightly which makes me look at Saric as a GPP.

    Aaron Gordon $5,600 has had a real up and down season due to the fact that ORL believed he was a SF. Now that he is solidified as a PF he has found some consistency. Asking 33 pts from Gordon isn’t much but my own bias has him as a GPP

    Larry Nance $4,100, Marquese Chriss $4,500, Richaun Holmes $4,600, Nikola Mirotic $4,300. These four guys that have 6X potential. Nancy has been averaging 19 FD pts over his L5 but can be very hit or miss, but the good news is last game against MIL scored 23 FD pts. Chriss hit a career high 39 FD points last game with no Bledsoe in 32 minutes. I don’t have Chriss above 30 minutes tonight but with all the value on the slate for guards I can see how Chriss would be overlooked as a value play making him a good GPP play. Richaun Holmes has been discreetly good over his L3 averaging 28.8 FD pts. He does get DAL which I am not over the moon about making him a nice GPP play for me. Nkiola has been unleashed? 27 minutes in his L2 he has hit 9X and 6X in those two games. Nikola is pretty streaky so I am not holding my breath but again a nice GPP play.

    Quincy Acy $3,500 an min salary Acy could benefit if Lopez and/or Booker gets sat. Acy is a good punt play those scenarios play out since he has been averaging 4.92X over his L5 games.

    Ivica Zubac $4,100. After bombing in Houston due to foul trouble and the game being a blowout we see a $800 price drop for Zubac and I am all over it since Zubac’s last game against MIL he dialed in 25 FD pts in 20 minutes. Let’s hope Walton plays Zubac 25+ minutes. Simply a great minute beast that will probably be overlooked tonight

    Nikola Vucevic at $7,700 I like against PHO since A Williams can easily grab some pine after 3 quick fouls leaving Vucevic playing 4 on 5. His elevated $7,700 price tag is really what makes him GPP but hey it’s the Suns we are talking about here.

    Nerlens Noel $6,000 revenge game! Let’s hope Noel gets 27+ minutes against the pitiful 76ers. He has shown 40+ pt upside as a Maverick but injury and lack of playing time have cut into his production. GPP for sure but I wouldn’t be surprised if the flattop went back to Philly and crushed it.

  4. Shabazz Muhammad & Jaylen Brown at SF at $3,700 on FD look like decent punt plays due to team injuries as well. I like RHJ as an alternative to Ingram at $4,400.

  5. Any thoughts on Marquese Chriss or Richaun Holmes @ PF (FD) for spin-off of from Luer?

    • I like both as GPP plays, but I like Chriss more due to Holmes’s tougher match up against DAL

      • Thank you Joseph. I agree. Appreciate the feed back!! Good luck tonight!!

  6. Joseph, whats a good core for all my gpp line ups tonight. I was thinking


    I appreciate your feedback

    • Ulis, yes
      Bradley, yes
      Warren, yes
      Capela be aware that he is most successful in the pick in roll and with the twin towers on the court tonight that might be hard to do, but what is more concerning is that he has racked up 21 fouls in his last 70 minutes of game time against AD and Boogie. Also I believe Ryan Anderson has trouble guarding these guys and has foul trouble.

      As per the twin towers both historically kind have been hit or miss but I think DFSR is dead on with noting Cousin’s FD price at $9,000 is worth the gamble since AD’s is $11,200.

      As per your PF’s I like Randle and Saric as top priced GPP not named Davis. Randle has not been great against MIL and is really a GPP play every game due to his volatility. Saric has a tough match up in DAL and his price is really high and would need close to a career high to meet GPP value.

      Larry Nance $4,100, Marquese Chriss $4,500, Richaun Holmes $4,600, Nikola Mirotic $4,300, and Quincy Acy $3,500 are my GPP plays. Keyword GPP

  7. Ingram is definitely a stay away lol. Bet he is under 15fpts today. Giannis will give him foul troubl

  8. Anyone feeling the Ryan Anderson revenge game? I have Harden and Ariza and am considering it. I need a guy in that range (currently have Chriss)

  9. Please everyone, don’t play Marcus Smart. He will burn you as he does me every time I’ve been dumb enough to play him in situations like this. He’s terrible. Play Bradley or Crowder (or both) as I am.

  10. DeMarcus Cousins Out. Anthony Davis Elite play tonight

  11. Jeff green back to back 21 fantasy points or Larry nance???

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