Daily Fantasy NBA Basketball Picks for FanDuel and DraftKings - 4/10/17
The second to last day of the NBA has as many questions and concerns as you can possibly imagine. Which coaches can be believed when they say they are resting their starters (F YOU, HOUSTON!)? Can we keep riding out the Boban dream for the rest of the season? Which big money guys can we trust, and what teams are still playing for something? It's a pretty complex slate - so make sure you do your homework!
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The other day on our podcast I famously (famous around the DFSR offices at least) said Lin had no real upside considering he was a dog to ever play more than 31 minutes. Then that night against Orlando he went 32/5/3 in exactly 31 minutes. The reality is more like what we saw against the Bulls on Saturday with a 12/7/6 performance that is solid for cash games. He’ll draw a Celtics’ squad who’ve underperformed against PGs this season thanks to Isaiah Thomas being on the court so much and Lin is still cash game viable at these prices.
This late in the season we need to grab on to any little piece of minutes security we can get. So many teams are shutting it down, looking at younger players (AKA-tanking) and just playing wily-nilly with their rotations. McConnell though, has seen steady minutes in the mid-30’s since Sergio Rodriguez went down and lucky for us the Sixers don’t have many other players who can dribble the ball up the court. TJ’s averaged 34 minutes per over his last four and the game script hasn’t mattered a damn thing. He’s playing in blowouts too and putting up a 9/9/4 line. That isn’t a ton to write home about but it’s fine enough on his prices considering the uncertainty around most other players on this slate.
Speaking of IT3, the Celtics still have quite a bit to play for. They’re tied with the Cavs in the loss column for home court advantage in the East and I believe they own the tiebreaker. They also happen to draw the matador “defense” of the Nets who rank dead last in almost every relevant category on that end of the court. It’s a big slate and we’re going to see some weirdness in who rests or plays limited minutes tonight. It’s best to targets teams that care to win (check) and are playing horrible opponents (double check). Thomas needs to score to hit value but this is jus the opponent to make that happen.
Giannis Antetokounmpo FD - $10000 DK - $10000
Opponent - CHA
Proj Pts FD - 49.98 DK - 52.03
If recent Bucks’ games are any indication, they very much care about their seeding in the playoffs. There’s no rest for the weary and ABC’s been, when then game stays close, heading back to his early season 40 minutes a game ceiling. I like his chances for it again tonight against Charlotte. His game logs are a standard deviation nightmare, but he as as much upside as anyone in the game at these prices especially if he’s scoring. Remove the OKC blowout fiasco two games ago and he’s averaged a 26/12/8 in his last four. Charlotte is a slower squad, but they aren’t much on the defensive end. I see him as a fantastic value at his price points for a weird slate.
Avery Bradley FD - $6400 DK - $6100
Opponent - BKN
Proj Pts FD - 32.17 DK - 34.31
The line of thinking for Bradley basically mirrors everything I said about Thomas. The former is locked into around about 34 minutes per game down this stretch run and we are only concerned with the Nets keeping the game close. Brooklyn’s been feisty at times though and I think stacking the Celts in cash games and praying for a nail biter is an acceptable strategy. Bradley’s been solid (if unspectacular) in his last two averaging a 16/5/3 line though it should be stated that the games against Charlotte and Atlanta were considerably worse matchups than the Nets. He won’t kill you at his price point and make for that perfect mid-tier guy you typically need to round out salary concerns.
C.J. McCollum FD - $6700 DK - $6900
Opponent - SA
Proj Pts FD - 34.79 DK - 37.44
It looks like Portland has all but locked up the eighth seed in the east and a win against the Spurs tonight would seal the deal. It’s hard to know San Antonio’s full intentions here. They played Kawhi and LMA regular minutes against the Clippers on Friday, but I can’t imagine they continue that trend over the next two games with really nothing to play for. The reason that’s important for CJ is it could change the nature of the team he gets to face. Either way I like his price point in a game the Blazers will want badly to win so they can put a lock on the playoffs before Wednesday. He ceded all of the scoring duties to BabyDame on Friday night but before that you could pencil him in for 35 minutes with just about 20 shots per game.
Terrence Ross FD - $4600 DK - $5000
Opponent - CHI
Proj Pts FD - 23.73 DK - 25.47
The Magic are cruel mistresses, of that we can be sure. Just when it looked like Terrence Ross was falling out of favor, he comes storming back with 29 points in 36 minutes against the Pacers, and pays 8x+ on these prices. You have to think that Jimmy Butler will be guarding Evan Fournier here, leaving Ross to do battle with someone either less skilled or less interested in playing D than the Bulls' best defender. But really, the match-up here is sort of besides the point. If Ross gets the starting nod and we don't hear anything concerning about his minutes, this is a simple case of a price and opportunity mismatch.
Khris Middleton FD - $5900 DK - $6000
Opponent - CHA
Proj Pts FD - 30.76 DK - 33.04
It's the same story with Middleton as Giannis - if the Bucks see this game as meaningful, he's going to be a heavily involved plan B. It's a little disconcerting to see his usage fall off recently, but with all the uncertainty tonight, who are we really trusting? You can go up and down the list, and I promise, it doesn't look much better. Now we might get some news that someone unusual is starting - in that case, I'm happy to pivot off Middleton. But in a slightly above average match-up with Charlotte, I'm happy to take him as a high floor option and just move on with my life.
Jimmy Butler FD - $10400 DK - $10500
Opponent - ORL
Proj Pts FD - 46.82 DK - 48.88
LeBron James FD - $10900 DK - $10600
Opponent - MIA
Proj Pts FD - 48.94 DK - 52.2
So I paired these two together because they are in such similar situations, here. Both are a little overpriced as compared to their season averages, and both are playing for something meaningful for their teams. The Bulls are fighting for their playoff lives, and if the Cavs' behavior against the Hawks on Sunday is any indication, the #1 seed means something to them. So which do you choose? With a gun to my head I'd have to say Butler. He hasn't been doing it as much recently, but the Bulls have WAY more on the line than the Cavs do (meaning we're immune to any minute shenanigans), and he has a much better match-up with the faster paced Magic. Then again, I've also seen what LeBron has been doing recently, and it's decidedly more impressive than Butler's resume. It's your money and all, but as of now I think I'm siding on the side of Butler's safety.
Keep an eye on the Rockets situation - if Troy Williams starts again, he's still a great value on the minimum salary.
James Johnson FD - $6500 DK - $6800
Opponent - CLE
Proj Pts FD - 35.28 DK - 37.09
You know how much I like guys with something on the line, and among power forwards, James Johnson jumps to the front of the group. Johnson's played 2 of his 3 highest minutes totals of the season in his last 2 games, and it's obvious that the Heat have realized (much later than everyone else, of course) that their versatile wing man is the perfect stretch 4 in the modern NBA. He's put up stat stuffing double-doubles in each of his last 2 games, and has paid nearly 6x+ in each of his last 3 games. He'll draw a tougher defensive assignment in this game than he's used to, but he does enough of everything that he's relatively insulated from any one of his given stats being depressed. He looks like a near must play for double-ups for me.
Richaun Holmes FD - $6100 DK - $5800
Opponent - IND
Proj Pts FD - 35.63 DK - 37.18
While Holmes hasn't had the same recent track record that Johnson has had, he's still been plenty good on these prices. And more importantly, he's got a much better match-up. The Pacers are another one of those teams that are playing for something, but they've been a better than league average match-up for opposing 4s all season thanks to Thad Young's offense-only approach to the game. You've got to love Holmes playing 36 minutes in Philly's last contest, and if he plays anything over 30 he's a favorite to pay off handily on these prices.
A bunch of other good options:
As shallow as small forward was, power forward seems to be 4x as deep. You can happily play Aaron Gordon, for instance, and many will choose him over Holmes I'd imagine. You also have some reasonable upper-midrange options like Kevin Love and Lamarcus Aldridge, but both come with enough question marks (mostly in the minutes department) that I'd prefer to take the above guys. Thaddeus Young still has a pile of upside, particularly in a good match-up, but the price has climbed enough that he's a tournament-only play for me. All in all, it'll be tough to go too wrong (and thus tough to get a huge edge) at PF tonight.
Boban Marjanovic FD - $3600 DK - $5000
Opponent - WAS
Proj Pts FD - 30.97 DK - 31.87
Mo Boban, No Problems. Boban shaved 17 points off his prior performance, and still paid 8x on these prices. The guy is just completely absurd on a per-minute basis, and unless we receive word otherwise, playing a different center on FanDuel looks like financial suicide. Maybe even in big tournaments. The match-up is neither here nor there - if you're not enjoying riding Boban as this insane season comes to a close, then we have pretty much nothing important in common.
Kelly Olynyk FD - $4500 DK - $4600
Opponent - BKN
Proj Pts FD - 25.67 DK - 27.81
I really want to play Boban tonight, but if he gets ruled out or you want to go in a different direction in a big tournament, Olynyk is pretty darned interesting here. He was great in 28 minutes as a starter against Charlotte, and he'll get a much juicier match-up here with Brooklyn's revolving door of a big man situation. Bro-lo will have his less than competent hands full with Horford, leaving Olynyk to feast on whatever scraps are left over. You'll need to get word that he's starting again, of course, but with Boston playing for top billing, I love his chances to put up a huge total.
If you really want to go off board for big tournaments, you could do worse than Hassan Whiteside, who is a random Spoelstra impulse away from playing high 30s minutes in any given game. Given the Heat's desire to make the playoffs, I'm not ruling out any minutes total for him. I'm mildly intrigued by Al Horford' upside against Brooklyn, though it kind of feels like an overpay. It's hard to imagine anyone outside of this group (barring some as yet unknown punt) sees a ton of run tonight.
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- Celtics Suns Basketball: (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)