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.
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 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.
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.
Josh 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-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.
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.
LeBron 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 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 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.
Serge 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 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 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.
Karl-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 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 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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- Ricky Rubio: (AP Photo/Jim Mone)