Basketball Picks Daily Fantasy Expert Advice

03/19/2017
Austyn Varney
Ricky Rubio Daily Fantasy NBA

Daily Fantasy NBA Basketball Picks for FanDuel and DraftKings - 3/19/16

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The last player at each position is the top play in the early slate. 

Point Guard

Tyler UlisTyler Ulis FD - $6000 DK - $6500
Opponent - DET
Proj Pts FD - 33.06 DK - 34.99

The Suns have made the executive decision to sit Eric Bledsoe out for the season, so this is the time for Tyler Ulis. Ulis has the reigns at PG and should continuously play at least 35 minutes. Ulis was extremely productive in the first game with Bledsoe out, playing 40 minutes and finishing with 36.5 fantasy points. Ulis has proven his ability to score over 1 FP per minute on a consistent basis. This match-up with the Pistons is a great one, as Reggie Jackson is nowhere near the defender he was expected to be. Ulis is basically a lock in cash games as I think he has a floor around 30 with a ceiling over 50 FP. His price has risen to over $6k on both sites as he is now the starting PG on one of the faster paced NBA teams in the league. Ulis can be counted on in all formats.

Ricky RubioRicky Rubio FD - $7500 DK - $7500
Opponent - NO
Proj Pts FD - 38.22 DK - 40.51

Ricky Rubio has been on quite a tear lately, finishing with 30+ fantasy points in 12 straight games. He's also been over 40 fantasy points on 5 occasions in that time frame, proving his upside. The Pelicans are a very good match-up for Rubio, as they tend to play up in pace. Jrue Holiday is a fine defender, but he struggles when the pace is increased. This game is expected to be very close and rather high-scoring, sitting with a 208 over/under. While it's not the highest on the day, it's plenty enough points for Rubio to hit value. Thibs and the T-Wolves have a very weak bench, so they are forced to play the starters huge minutes. Rubio is a terrific option in both cash games and tournaments. He has a floor around 25 fantasy points and a ceiling over 50.

Jeremy LinJeremy Lin FD - $6000 DK - $5900
Opponent - DAL
Proj Pts FD - 28 DK - 30.19

We have a pretty interesting 2 game early slate on our hands, with 2 games holding a 208+ over/under. The Nets will host the Mavericks, who have been rather average against PG's over the last month. Yogi Ferrell is a very average individual defender and Jeremy Lin will have no problem getting by him. Lin has been around 30 fantasy points on a nightly basis, which is perfectly fine at this price on such a small slate. With that being said, there are only 2 or 3 viable options at PG, which will likely lead to Lin being close to 100% owned. I would certainly recommend having him in 100% of your early lineups. If you are playing in an all-day slate, I think Lin is definitely a guy to consider, though nowhere near a must. You can safely project a floor around 25 with a ceiling around 35-40. Lin should start to see more minutes as he gets healthier and healthier after returning from his injury.

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Shooting Guard

Josh RichardsonJosh Richardson FD - $4100 DK - $4600
Opponent - POR
Proj Pts FD - 20.6 DK - 22.06

It looks like Richardson is fully healthy and the Heat are looking to play him over 30 minutes on a nightly basis. He is a part of the future and they want to get him some looks down the stretch. This match-up with the Blazers will be a big uptick in pace for the Heat, who are one of the slower teams in the league. Richardson will see Allen Crabbe and C.J. McCollum for most of the game, who are both serviceable defenders. With that being said, they've been exactly league average against SG's since January. Richardson is a very good offensive player and will be able to score fantasy points against either of them. Sitting at just $4.6k on DK and $4.1 on FD, you have to consider Richardson. He's cheap enough to play in cash games and definitely has the upside in tourneys.

Kentavious Caldwell-PopeKentavious Caldwell-Pope FD - $4600 DK - $5100
Opponent - PHO
Proj Pts FD - 24.56 DK - 26.22

Like I said, shooting guard is definitely one of the weaker positions on the slate. KCP has been seeing consistent minutes for the Pistons and is facing off with a very fast-paced Suns team. Devin Booker is a pretty average defender and he can be taken advantage of on the 3-point line. While KCP has definitely struggled as of late, he should be able to start turning it around with the consistent minutes and quality match-up. His price is extremely depressed at $5.1k on DK and $4.6k, which is about $1k lower than usual. While he's a bit risky for cash games, you can definitely give him a look in tournaments.

Marcus SmartMarcus Smart FD - $6300 DK - $6100
Opponent - PHI
Proj Pts FD - 32.15 DK - 34.74
Avery BradleyAvery Bradley FD - $6500 DK - $6300
Opponent - PHI
Proj Pts FD - 31.09 DK - 33.41

Isaiah Thomas has been ruled out for this game, which means Marcus Smart and Avery Bradley are both locked into huge minutes against a bad defensive team. Smart is probably a bit safer as the Celtics don't really have any other option for at least 35 minutes. Both of these guys have a floor around 25 in this match-up with a ceiling over 40. The 76ers are not very good at all against guards and can be taken advantage of on the perimeter. Both of these guys are extremely efficient defenders and Brad Stevens loves having them on the floor. Both of these guys are obviously elite plays on the early slate and make for tremendous options on the all-day slate. You can take a look at these guys in both cash games and tournaments.

Small Forward

LeBron JamesLeBron James FD - $11500 DK - $11400
Opponent - LAL
Proj Pts FD - 52.79 DK - 56.17

LeBron James did us a favor and announced he was sitting out 7 minutes after lock last night. Thanks a lot Cavs. That should lock him into 34 minutes here against the Lakers as he should be good to go. The lakers obviously have nobody to cover LeBron and he can score as many points as he wants. There is definitely a blowout risk here and I will hope the Lakers find a way to keep it close. Clarkson and Randle have been playing well and I would be surprised to see them get completely blown out. With that being said, LeBron James controls that. If he decides to go off and have a huge game, he will. Even if he just coasts for 35 minutes against a bad Lakers team he should end up around 50 fantasy points. He is a stat-stuffing machine on both sides of the plays and plays exceptionally well into this match-up. James is the top option at SF in both cash and GPP's.

Andrew WigginsAndrew Wiggins FD - $7100 DK - $6700
Opponent - NO
Proj Pts FD - 33.71 DK - 35.4

Wiggins finally got back to 30 fantasy points in each of his last 2 games after struggling for the last week or so. Wiggins has been extremely inconsistent all season long, so he's a fantastic option in tournaments at all times. In a match-up against the Pelicans, I like him in cash as well. They don't offer any good perimeter defenders, with Solomon Hill being the only guy with a neutral DefRtg. Wiggins will be able to get open with ease and it looks like he's getting his shot back. If he get's hot, the upside is unlimited here. This game has the opportunity to turn into a shootout and Wiggins will be a huge part of it. He is willing to shoot 20 times in a game and will sometimes be pretty efficient. the Pelicans are also a god match-ups for peripherals, allowing the 4th most rebounds and 7th most assists to SF's in the league. Wiggins is definitely a little bit risky, but makes for a solid play at such a shaky position.

Harrison BarnesHarrison Barnes FD - $5800 DK - $6200
Opponent - BKN
Proj Pts FD - 32.96 DK - 34.61

Harrison Barnes is probably one of the guys I have played most this season. He is extremely consistent in terms of both production and minutes. The Nets are the absolute best possible match-ups for Barnes, as they rank dead last against SF's, allowing nearly 48 FP per game. Caris LeVert has bn playing a lot of minutes at SF and he is still a very unpolished defender. Barnes will be able to score on him with ease and get plenty of peripherals. The Nets offer up one of the fastest paces in the league, so you can expect a few of these guys on the Mavs to exceed value. Barnes is one of my favorite plays on the whole day and is a must play for the early slate. With that being said, I could see some people going to Crowder and Covington, which could lower his ownership somewhat.

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Power Forward

Serge IbakaSerge Ibaka FD - $5800 DK - $5700
Opponent - IND
Proj Pts FD - 29.67 DK - 31.23

Power forward is pretty weak on this slate, with Anthony Davis the only expensive guy to pay for. He's an extremely expensive option and it can definitely be argued to fade him. I will personally have some exposure, but see the point. Serge Ibaka is the safest option for his price on the board, sitting under $6k on both sites. Casey and the Raptors have played Ibaka solid minutes, usually ending up around 32-34.  This match-up with the Pacer is a pretty good one, as Thad Young will have a tough time matching up with Ibaka. He should be able to dominate Young down low and have plenty of success in the paint. Ibaka has also showed his ability to spread the floor recently, hitting a few mid-rangers just last game. With his price this absurdly low, I will continue to target Ibaka on a daily basis.  He is a great option on this slate in both cash games and tournaments.

Julius RandleJulius Randle FD - $6700 DK - $7000
Opponent - CLE
Proj Pts FD - 32.79 DK - 34.4

Julius Randle finished with just 4 points last game against the Bucks and still found a way to end p with almost 30 fantasy points. Randle can score fantasy points in many different ways and does a good job in transition. The Cavs are a team who tend to run a lot, so I could see Randle and Clarkson having a ton of success together. Kevin Love rested last night, which means he should be able to play plenty of so-called "defense" on Julius Randle. Love is a horrible defender and Randle has far too much speed for Love to stay close. Randle should be able to hit 30 fantasy points with ease and has the upside for much more. The Lakers will need him to have a huge night if they want to stay close and you will need him to have a huge night to stay up top in tournaments.

Dirk NowitzkiDirk Nowitzki FD - $6000 DK - $6300
Opponent - BKN
Proj Pts FD - 31.33 DK - 33.08

Dirk is definitely not an exciting guy to roster, rarely exceeding 35 fantasy points. However, he rarely dips below 25 when given the minutes, so it goes both ways. On a 2 game slate, you almost have to play him. While Richaun Holmes is an interesting value option, he isn't necessary.  At all. With nobody priced over $7,800, you don't need to fish for value that isn't really there. Dirk has a tremendous match-up against the Nets who tend to give up a ton of open 3-pointers. Dirk has no problem heaving up a bunch of shots and will always make a few. On the all-day slate, I think he's a great option in cash games. You can lock him in for 30 here.

Center

Karl-Anthony TownsKarl-Anthony Towns FD - $10500 DK - $10300
Opponent - NO
Proj Pts FD - 48.04 DK - 50.29

Towns has been one of the most consistent players in the league this season, constantly sitting around 45-50 fantasy points. He has taken a step back in the last 2, but I'm willing to trust the 50 game sample size instead. Towns has been forced to play around 38-40 minutes on most nights and should certainly see at least that with AD and Cousins both expected to play. Neither AD or Cousins will be able to cover Towns, who is fast and savvy enough to score on both. While some may be worried about foul trouble, it's not something Towns typically has trouble with. Nemanja Bjelica is also out for the year, so the Wolves are very thin down low.  Towns is one of the safer options on the slate and has as much upside as anyone. He can be played in both cash games and tournaments. Ther are a few options at center and Towns is expensive, so hopefully his ownership will be a tad bit lower than expected.

Alan WilliamsAlan Williams FD - $5700 DK - $6100
Opponent - DET
Proj Pts FD - 32.01 DK - 33.26

Alan Williams got into foul trouble against the Suns and only ended up playing 22 minutes. Still, he finished with 23 fantasy points and almost reached value. He has been getting over 30 minutes each night and will be needed to contest Andre Drummond down low. Drummond is definitely a good rebounder, but he lacks the speed and footwork to play much low post defense. Williams is a great rebounder in his own right and should be able to do just fine against Drummond. Williams is still under-priced on both DK and FD and makes sense in both cash games and tournaments. He has a floor around 25 with a ceiling over 40.

Al HorfordAl Horford FD - $6900 DK - $6800
Opponent - PHI
Proj Pts FD - 36.52 DK - 38.35

There are actually quite a few solid options at center in the early slate and that's really the only position you can say that for. Horford is definitely out favorite option on the slate, as he has a tremendous floor and solid upside. The 6'ers lack any interior defense with Embiid out for the season. Jahlil Okafor and Dario Saric are pretty awesome on offense but are completely horrible on the defensive end. Brad Stevens has been running Horford out for about 30-32 minutes very consistently and I would expect the same today. He has been a huge offensive spark and will be needed with Isaiah Thomas off the floor. Horford has been extremely consistent over the last 5 games and should be able to have another solid 35 fantasy point game. You can play Horford in both cash games and tournaments.

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10 Visitor Comments

  1. Has anybody else noticed LBJ decided to* sorry coach Lou decided to rest LBJ February 25th, March 4th and March 18th? All Saturday night marquee games. With the playoff race for the 1 seed so tight to rest against the Clippers and go full roster on the Lakers seems backwards. I think the bench has a better chance of winning vs Lakers. Feels like LBJ is sticking to league owners, networks and in some way road fans of his. I have come to assume from the outside that LBJ is a well thought out person with basketball, his legacy overall, business and life decisions in general. With all that being said I have to kind of believe that it was known to some degree that the timing of the starting line ups would effect fantasy line ups (18-22% of DK line ups) betting lines and overall intrest. Not saying that knowledge affected any decision or timing of the release in any way, just saying the next time the Cavs play a Saturday night marquee game might be a good decision to get in in early line. Now that I got that out, thank you guys for the daily articles find them as a good research tool. For today, with price, match ups owner % and everything taking into consideration who is the better play in DK gpp today. Anthony Davis, Demarcus Cousins, KAT? Again ty for everything guys.

  2. You got anything for us today joe?

  3. Calling Mr Raseroooooo lol

  4. I think LBJ or as I like to call him, the whiney pussy, sat because Irving was going to sit due to his injury. They decided to sit the starters because thry dont want the league to see how bad they are without the big 3. They got by without Love but lost a lot of ground. They cant do it without their PG though. LBJ(WP) is supposed to be the face of the NBA yet all he does is complain the owner needs to buy better players. Meanwhile he is collecting 30+ million RESTING on the bench. Its a disgrace to the NBA. The HOF players of the past didnt need to REST during an 82 game season. I could go on and on about little boy Lebron(yes, his name strikes a nerve) Keep chasing your MJ ghost…..that ghost NEVER lost in the finals…….you will never catch him.

  5. It only makes sense to allow lineup changes for NBA up until tip off on Fanduel. I get it that some of you don’t like to check “alerts” later to see if you need to make a lineup change, but allowing changes will not affect you anyways. You can set your lineup and let it ride.

    But allowing lineup changes does take CHANCE out of ruining your entry before the game even begins because a coach decides to sit a player.

    Fanduel claims that they are not like Vegas in that Fanduel’s games are skill related rather than chance related but not allowing lineup changes lets chance deside a big percentage of their contests.

    I would rather lose by my not picking a good enough lineup than a coach deciding to sit a player.

  6. Little late today, my wife ran the NYC half marathon so I had to wakeup at the butt crack of dawn and drive her down there. Enough about me…

    Only focusing on the main slate:

    Patty Mills $4,500 even with Tony Parker back I still like Mills today. Not full on balls to the wall, but still with no Murray and with Ginobili being announced out today he might be in play. The game is against SAC which could turn into a blowout so Mills in theory could see some extra time. As a GPP play 6X+ isn’t outrageous just don’t bet on this guy for cash since at the moment he is not starting.

    Goran Dragic $7,800. DFSR wrote up Rubio today who has been great lately, Thanks for joining the party finally DFSR. Anyway on this short slate I like Dragic who has had two solid games (43 & 45 FD pts) since having his faced smashed in. He get’s Lillard who isn’t by any means some defensive savant and the game has the 2nd highest total for the main slate. Cash and GPP for me.

    Delon Wright $3,800, who the heck is this guy!? Without Lowry still TOR has been relying on Cory Joseph who in his own right is a decent GPP, but at $3,800 FD Mr. Wright has been pretty good in his L4 as long as you disregard his last game where he only played 6 minutes. In the three games before last games dud he played an average of 21 minutes per game, scored double digits, and averaged 22.1 FD pts in all three games. Defiantly a deep dive but at $3,800 on a short slate this is how you win a GPP if this guy hits.

    Cory Joseph $4,900. In the 12 games since Lowry has gone down and Joseph has taken over he has averaged 23 FD pts per game. Not bad, almost 5X but what I like about Joseph is that he has a 30+ pt ceiling. The match up and and projected pts are not great, but this leads me to believe not many people will target him again making a nice GPP play and borderline cash.

    Tyler Johnson $5,400. DFSR wrote up Richardson today who I like at a much more affordable price but Johnson has his own merits too even at $5,400. First there is no Waiters and this game against Portland is the second highest total. I agree with the writeup with the idea that the POR guards are league average at best and combine that with the fact that Johnson in his L2 put out 31 and 29.9 FD Pts for 5.6X and 5.9X value I think Johnson has a nice 5X-6X range.

    Jrue Holiday $7,300 has defiantly taken a hit with the arrival of DeMarcus Cousins, but if Cousins sits I like Holiday as a GPP play. Last game Boogie sat Holiday had a 28% usage rating but also took 17 FGA and hit 5X on FD. He gets MIN tonight and while Ricky Rubio has been rolling lately by no means is he a defensive ace. Holday has had success against MIN before registering a 50 pt FD games this season and last season.

    Allen Crabbe $3,700 has been solid in his L7 averaging 20.17 FD pts per game. Now Crabbe is a shooter so he did go cold with a 3 game stretch but again overall at $3,700 he is pretty safe since in the L2 weeks he has averaged 29 minutes & 13 PPG. At near min salary a nice semi punt play since Crabbe has 30 pt upside.

    Wayne Ellington $4,400. Price is way too high especially since Crabbe is on the board for $700 less on FD, but no Waiters tonight so I am speculating that Wayne gets some more run and that his last game where he only registered 17 minutes and did 2X was an outlier. Hate saying this but consider him…

    CJ McCollum $7,100. SG is gross tonight and by no means am I paying up for DeRozan who hasn’t been great without Lowry. In his L5 on FD CJ has done 6X, 5X, 2X, 5X, 6X. It should be noted the 2X game was the NOR game where oddly enough the Pelicans stomped on the Trail Blazers even without Cousins, so I am thinking Malcolm Gladwell style and calling that game an outlier. I like CJ for cash and GPP tonight.

    Iman Shumpert $3,600 is a nice value play. Who knows exactly who will play tonight for CLE but either way Shump should deliver since in the L2 weeks he has been starting and averaging 29 minutes per game and has done 6.2X, 5.4X, 6.6X, 3.4X, 5.7X in his L5 on FD. Near min against LAL get some but for the record not a ton.

    Jordan Crawford $3,500. I admit I am one of JC’s biggest fan boys and sadly he has been hit or miss but at minimum price it’s hard not to love his 30 pt upside. I writing him up out of respect for our Lord and savior, but by no means is this guy safe, more of a dart throw .

    Kawhi Leonard $9,900 yesterday I declared Leonard as my pick over LeBron and while I was right it probably was because LeBron was sat 10 minutes after lock. Now LeBron gets a prime matchup against LAL where he can smash but this season and last he has not done more than 55 FD pts and at a massive 12K which is the salary a star like AD or Harden is priced at I doubt LeBron makes 5X let alone 6X. On the flip side Leonard gets a juicy matchup in SAC and has been killing it as of late. At $9,900 I feel there is some screwed up pricing here at SF, unless dare I say Leonard gets Popped and sits tonight? Nasty thoughts go away!

    Shabazz Muhammad $3,700 I believe is MIN’s off the bench go to scorer since Nemanja Bjelica was giving them 30 minutes a game but now is out. Last game I played Shabazz (yes I play my picks) and he played 28 minutes and did almost 5X on FD. I like Shabazz if you think Thibs keeps giving him 28+ minutes which as a Bulls fan I think he does since Tibs runs a fairy short rotation where he runs his players to the ground playing them 40 minutes each. I hate you Tom…

    Paul George $8,400. George has been averaging 40 FD pts for the month of Mach and 27 PPG compared to his season average 22 PPG. But before we just roster George it’s important to note that he has been hit or miss against TOR the past 2 seasons, plus he only averages 18 PPG when rested 3 games. I think George has 6X upside but these little loose ends have me thinking pay up for LBJ or go with Leonard, which means George is a nice swerve and GPP play.

    The off chance Leonard does sit Jonathan Simmons $3,700 and Kyle Anderson $3,500 depending who starts becomes a fantastic play. I don’t have any hard new of Leonard sitting but at this time of the year sometimes you can get a huge leg up via speculating.

    Solomon Hill $3,500. IF Boogie sits again Hill should be considered at min price punt but GPP only. His massive near 50 FD pt outing last game was a surprise and probably something that will NEVER be duplicated by him again and even as I write this I am thinking this is chasing points please stop but my fingers will not stop typing. Boogie please just play…

    Willie Cauley-Stein $6,200 Skal Labissiere $4,200 are both GPP plays for me tonight. WCS is a bit for cash worthy for me since he will start but Skal broke out 2 games ago putting up 40 FD pts. They get the Spurs which is never fun but ti should be noted the last game they faced the Spurs WCS didn’t start and got 27 minutes when in the L2 weeks he has been averaging 32 minutes per game as a starter. Also, Skal last time out against the Spurs had some success with 22.7 pts. I think the point chasers will be off Skal tonight and WCS against the Spurs is not juicy by any means so ownership should be fairly low making them both nice GPP plays.

    Larry Nance $4,200 is not sexy but with LAL shutting down their starters (besides Randle) Nance has done well in his L5. He did have an off game against HOU but really that was due to a total blowout of a game. Even if you count his 7 pt FD dud Nance still has averaged 21 FD pts over his L5. 5X-6X defiantly realistic.

    Ivica Zubac $4,300 I am defiantly on team Zubac. Yeah he burned us in HOU which again was a total blowout but besides that he has been great at a sub $5K. FD never seems to get center pricing right so let’s take advantage of this since over his L5 Zubac has averaged 24.5 FD pts and thats even with the 5.9 FD pt dud against HOU factored in.

    Kosta Koufos $4,500. A little more expensive than Zubac but this guy has been rock solid. He will never blow you away since SAC refuses to play him decent minutes but Koufous has scored at least 20+ FD pts in 7 straight games. So established floor with the occasional 30 pt game makes him nice but what reassures me is that even against SAS last time out he drew the start of got 23 FD pts for 4.9X.

    Georgios Papagiannis $3,500 who is this guy? Another SAC GPP guy. GP slithered his way into rotation last game for 21 minutes, 10 FGA, and had a 23.6 usage rating. This could be because all the guards were hurt, who know this is SAC we are talking about but either way the guy doubled doubled and as fast as this guy has risen I could see him pooping his big boy pants tonight. Unless SAC gets blown out and GP gets some run and he magical becomes a GPP underdog we never knew we needed nor wanted.

  7. Also I love Irving as a GPP play a course if he plays* shots fired

  8. It’s not just the Cavs. A bunch of teams are resting guys. It’s a clear message to the league. If you want to play big games on ABC at night don’t schedule it as a freaking back to back. And why on earth are you scheduling a prime-time game opposite the NCAA tournament? Lots of players/coaches and owners are going to bring this up during the offseason.

  9. Who do you like at PF tonight? I’m having trouble deciding

    • Kellie I like AD, Randle for GPP, WCS GPP, Nance cash, Noah Vonleh as deep punt play made 5X 4 out of last 5 games.

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