Basketball Picks Daily Fantasy Expert Advice

04/16/2017
James Davis
Memphis Grizzlies center Marc Gasol (33) gestures during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Brooklyn Nets Saturday, Oct. 31, 2015, in Memphis, Tenn. The Grizzlies defeated the Nets 101-91. (AP Photo/Brandon Dill)

Daily Fantasy NBA Basketball Picks for FanDuel and DraftKings - 4/17/17

Greetings all! Monday means we get a repeat of two of Saturday's contests, and while a lot of what played out was fairly predictable, we still have some pretty serious adjustments to make as we walk into Monday. This article with focus on what we've learned about the minutes and opportunity situations from game one of the Spurs/Grizzlies and Pacers/Cavs series. Let's dive in!

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Indiana Pacers at Cleveland Cavaliers

So game one was a nail-biter - a 109-108 that saw the Cavs almost giving away the game in heartbreaking fashion. But what about the daily fantasy implications?

Let's start with Indiana. We were nearly spot on in projecting their minutes, but oddly, only Paul George (and Lance Stephenson, more on him in a minute) turned in a performance worth getting excited about. He did play 41 minutes and scored 43.5 fantasy points, but there are some red flags here that make me a little less than excited to prioritize him for Monday. First of all, he ran hot from 3, going 6-8 on many contested jumpers. This is obviously above expectation, and he resorted to 3s primarily because the rest of his offensive game was so stymied. And the worst part? The price has gone up. I'm not sure I want to go back to the well there.

After him, Turner was decent, and everyone else was pretty disappointing. Except for Lance Stephenson. In a throwback to the old Pacer days, Stephenson cut through the Cavs' second unit on 8/13 shooting, posting 16 points, 7 boards, and 3 assists. This high-energy Stephenson is a great sign not only for the Pacers' chances, but for our fantasy purposes. He's not super cheap, but the upside there seems to be real.

As for the Cavs, it was the full on LeBron and Kyrie show. Each shot more than their season averages in terms of shots, and both paid their respective prices. Well the prices have gone up for game 2, but on a small slate, both look like very reasonable options.

But what about the rest of the gang? Love was obviously the odd man out in game 1, which was somewhat surprising given the presumably soft match-up with Thaddeus Young. Still, the plan was obviously to attack the Pacers from other angles, leaving me pretty bearish for Love going forward. Smith and Thompson were out there for a while, but had very little daily fantasy impact. Thompson might still be a reasonable option here given the price.

Here's Doug's write-up from game 1. It all still applies, and I'll post it below to give you the general overview.

Cleveland’s late season stumbling and bumbling is well documented as they were able to lose the first seed in the East and with it home court advantage to the Celtics. That’s not a concern here, but could be if both teams reach the Conference Finals. The Cavs rested Lebron over the last two games after playing him arguably insane minutes during the course of the regular season. The big story for the Cavs (for DFS purposes) is the big three of Lebron James, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love. Lebron stands to see the most minutes of any player on this slate and probably has the highest floor. Barring a blowout (which hasn’t come easy for the Cavs this season) Lebron likely pushes up to 40 minutes and is able to contribute in all facets. Irving has been more of a tournament play on his prices this year though will draw well below average D in Jeff Teague throughout the series. Love also finds himself in a plus matchup considering Thad Young’s value add for the Pacers isn’t on the defensive end.

On the Indy side of the ball, Paul George has played major minutes down the stretch run, logging close to 40 minutes on average over the short term. In their final regular season meeting, an OT game, George chucked up 33 shots and finished with an insane 43/9/9 line. That’s somewhat of an outlier, but it’s clear the Pacers will run him as much as needed in this series. Myles Turner is also in a good spot against a Cavs team who doesn’t defend the center position all that well. Jeff Teague gets Kyrie’s matador D, making him a value play as well.

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Memphis Grizzlies at San Antonio Spurs

Is there anything worse than a playoff shutout in game 1 when we're trying to learn about what's going to happen in the series? I say no.

Let's start with the easier side - the Spurs just completely bulldozed the Grizzlies, putting on a Spurs-esque clinic of despair and destruction. Kawhi was great on his prices even on reduced minutes, and everyone else was fairly disappointing (again because of reduced minutes). The only thing I've really adjusted my guidance on here is Tony Parker, who shot 8/13 on just 21 minutes, attacking Memphis from the perimeter with Tony Allen on the shelf.

And that leads us to Memphis. Le Sigh. It's so hard to say what Memphis' plan beyond their big guys was, but we can try and infer a little bit here. We can say with great certainty that the Grizz feel like they have the better Gasol. Marc played 34 minutes even in the blowout, putting up a very efficient 32 points from 18 shots from the field. And that's about all that worked. It's very hard to imagine the Grizzlies not trying to press their center advantage even further, and Gasol looks like a great play in any format.

As for the rest? Oy. I need another game to figure out what's going on at SG and SF, and it was encouraging to see Conley put a bunch of shots in the air, but not so encouraging to watch him miss so many of them. I still think he has a favorable match-up, though, and wouldn't mind going back to the well for game 2.

As for the rest of the match-up, check out Doug's write-up from game 1:

From a DFS perspective, I think we are getting fantastic value on Kawhi Leonard even in the matchup against the Grizzlies. The Spurs are all coming in underpriced thanks to a volatile month of performances from them where they played in a lot of blowouts and sat players. Kawhi won’t have to deal with Tony Allen’ s defense and looks to have a dramatic minutes increase over his baseline considering it’s the playoffs. I see him as the premiere value on the slate which sounds nuts considering he’s facing the Grizzlies. But his mid tier prices and scoring upside (combined with the defensive contributions) make him a very safe cash play. The same can be said about the other Spurs like LaMarcus Aldridge and Pau Gasol who should see a lot of court time matchup up against the Memphis bigs in Marc Gasol and Z-Bo.

It’s a little unclear how the Grizzlies will go without Tony Allen. We likely see more minutes from James Ennis and Vince Carter at the two and three, though they have played a lot of different rotations this season. Carter is obviously more of an offensive threat and would make a solid punt play if he plays upwards of 30 minutes. From a mid tier perspective, this team is clearly in the hands of Mike Conley and Marc Gasol who even against the Spurs are values on this slate. Memphis will have to play both a ton.

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