Basketball Picks Daily Fantasy Expert Advice

02/24/2018
James Davis

Daily Fantasy NBA Basketball Picks for FanDuel and DraftKings - 2/25/18

We've got two 2 game slates going this Sunday, and a surprising amount of options for credible DFS lineups. We'll be ignoring blowout risk and throwing caution to the winds, my friends, so buckle up for a potentially bumpy ride!

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Point guard

Early Slate
Eric BledsoeEric Bledsoe FD - $7900 DK - $6900
Opponent - NO
Proj Pts FD - 38.6 DK - 38.89
George HillGeorge Hill FD - $4400 DK - $4500
Opponent - SA
Proj Pts FD - 22.85 DK - 23.49
I started writing out these plays in depth and then it occurred to me - only two teams on the early slate are fielding point guards with anything resembling reliable minutes here. With Danny Green likely to play for the Spurs, Patty Mills and company and Dejounte Murray are out of the picture. Rondo is fresh off a 25 minute disappearing act, so that leaves you with Bledsoe and Hill. Bledsoe needs no explanation in a terrific match-up with the Pelicans, and Hill just played 34 minutes for the Cavs. Like both of these plays a ton, and we're lucky to have them on such a small slate!

Late Slate
Chris PaulChris Paul FD - $8900 DK - $8700
Opponent - DEN
Proj Pts FD - 46.05 DK - 46.41
Another tight slate. In this case, 3 of the 4 teams present actual point guards. You can make arguments for Satoransky and Murray both as the best plays at the position on this slate, and I think it will ultimately come down to a money decision quite frankly. I pick Paul because his game has the highest total and I think he's less of a minutes risk than Murray. Vegas sees this as a 4.5 game, but with two streaky teams I'm a little more worried about outlier outcomes here. In games that get out of hand I'd prefer to not be on the potential losing side of things, so I'm leaning Paul.

Still, Murray and Satoransky are very reasonable options given that you can't just spend the maximum on every player, and you'll very likely want to play Harden today.

Shooting Guard

Early Slate
Jrue HolidayJrue Holiday FD - $8500 DK - $7800
Opponent - MIL
Proj Pts FD - 37.59 DK - 37.95
Khris MiddletonKhris Middleton FD - $7500 DK - $6700
Opponent - NO
Proj Pts FD - 32.08 DK - 32.59
Too many bodies to pick from in Cleveland, and the Spurs' situation is sketchy at best with Danny Green's belly ache. So, we're once again left with a few (excellent!) options. Nothing bad to say about either of these plays, but again it's so straightforward that I don't see any reason to go super deep on why you should play them over guys who have been sick and/or might play 20 minutes.

Late Slate
James HardenJames Harden FD - $11400 DK - $11000
Opponent - DEN
Proj Pts FD - 56.25 DK - 58.24
Gary HarrisGary Harris FD - $6000 DK - $5600
Opponent - HOU
Proj Pts FD - 30.06 DK - 30.3
There's actually a little nuance at the shooting guard position on the late slate for me. Each team fields a credible option(and Denver fields two) so you're going to have to make some hard decisions here. I think Harden is straightforwardly the best big money payoff by far on the slate, so I'm going to lean toward him in a fast match-up with the Nuggets. As for the last spot, I ultimately landed on Harris. I'll explain why.

Beal has fluctuated between fine, great, and totally forgettable with Wall out, but he's still priced like a near superstar. The Sixers have been bad against opposing two guards, but I am not sure you can go double expensive at the position, and I prefer Harden.

Then we're deciding between Harris, Redick, and Will Barton. Barton looks like a great option if you think he comes out from under the illness-based minutes restriction. Redick is somewhat reliable on these prices and is a fine high-floor option, but Beal has crushed opposing shooting guards this season (the Wiz have allowed the 4th fewest fantasy points per game to opposing SGs). That leaves us with Harris. He's been producing 5x points per dollar on these prices, he's inexpensive, and the Nuggets should need his shooting to stay in this one. I like him in all formats.

Small forward

Early Slate
Giannis AntetokounmpoGiannis Antetokounmpo FD - $10800 DK - $10700
Opponent - NO
Proj Pts FD - 58.13 DK - 58.6
Welp, it's another low/no option position, with SA not fielding the position. You're basically deciding between Lebron in a horrible match-up with the Spurs and the Greek Freak in a great match-up with the Pelicans. Giannis is cheaper, and he's averaged just .6 fewer fantasy points per game than Lebron this season. Just seems like an easy one.

You certainly can't play both today, so maybe you have to grin and bear it with E'Twaun Moore? The plan appears to be to play him 30 minutes a game right now when things break right, and given your other options, I'm guessing you'll sort of have to run him out there.

Late Slate
Trevor ArizaTrevor Ariza FD - $4400 DK - $4700
Opponent - DEN
Proj Pts FD - 22.31 DK - 22.39
A position that actually sports a credible option from every team! I like Ariza here simply because you're getting a price and opportunity mismatch. He's drastically cheaper than he was when he was playing full time minutes, and while I don't suspect he'll jump back up to 39 minutes per game I think you can count on him for 30-35, which makes him criminally underpriced.

In the second slot I suspect you'll be picking based on price, but I love Wilson Chandler, like Porter, and would prefer not to play Covington.

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Power forward

Early Slate
Okay, so nobody gets there picture for this one.

I think I like John Henson best simply because I'm excited about him playing 34 minutes in his first game back. I suspect the Bucks will want his size out there against Davis, and while foul trouble is consequently a concern, it's a risk that's worth taking.

After him you've got two back-ups (Nance and Mirotic) and LaMarcus Aldridge at a high price tag. It all comes down to how you project the minutes here. Aldridge has by far the safest minutes profile, but it'll feel rough if you have to play him at the expense of one of the excellent big payoffs elsewhere. I don't trust Nance's minutes just yet, and while Mirotic's role looks secure, back-up roles always look secure until the game that they aren't. Okafor does certainly look like a starter in name only, though, and I'd pay up for Mirotic if possible.

Late Slate
Nobody? If you thought some of these other positions were terrifying, here are your options at PF.

Dario Saric, who has very unreliable minutes and usage.
Ben Simmons, who is probably overpriced and risky if it means moving away from spending up elsewhere.
Markieff Morris, who is priced like he's playing 7 more minutes per game.

The Houston and Denver guys, who play seemingly random minutes.

Center

Early Slate
Anthony DavisAnthony Davis FD - $11700 DK - $11500
Opponent - MIL
Proj Pts FD - 61.67 DK - 61.68
Only two teams field consistent minutes guys at this position, so you're basically deciding between Pau Gasol and Anthony Davis. Pau's minutes are utterly uncertain here, and while you can't just pay up at every position, I really do think Davis will be where you want to land. The man has been on an absolute tear recently, and again, John Henson shouldn't be enough to contain him. Pau has a fine match-up with Cleveland as well, but you need to be awfully sure of the minutes to feel confident here.

Late Slate
Clint CapelaClint Capela FD - $7700 DK - $7100
Opponent - DEN
Proj Pts FD - 39.82 DK - 40.23
The center position for the late slate is surprisingly deep with Joel Embiid, Clint Capela, and Nikola Jokic all presenting themselves as fine options here. Embiid and Jokic are both solid options, but once again I'm not sure you're going to be able to pay up for them. For all of the Rockets' minutes juggling recently, Clint Capela appears to be on a steady 30-32 minute rotation, and he's been paying 5x on these prices handily in games that stay close. With Denver fielding a fearsome offensive center in Jokic it's hard to imagine Capela not getting his full run here, and he looks like a great midrange option if it plays out that way.

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