Daily Fantasy Basketball Strategy: February 6th
Today’s NBA daily fix features a couple players at each position that I highly recommend for today’s 12-game NBA slate. In addition to the two player breakdowns per position I’ll add a few cheap risk options. At the end I will list the top-7(ish) players I’ll be using at each position in cash games tonight. Remember that this is written up in advance of most starting lineup and inactive news updates. Be sure to keep your eyes on Twitter and/or Rotoworld for updates that could change things in a big way. Good luck to you all and let’s get money tonight!
I was of course planning to start with Russell Westbrook here but with Kevin Durant active I hesitate to drop $10,900 on Westy. I still think he has a nice night but he’s far from a must use at that price.
Ty Lawson ($7900) – Lawson really has no backup with Jameer Nelson out and that should equal 40+ minutes for Ty tonight against the Pistons who despite D.J. Augustin‘s excelling offensive play, can’t stop aggressive point guards like Lawson. Lawson went through a scoring slump prior to his 23-point performance Monday against the Celtics where he had scored 10 or less in four straight. With all of these minutes and a 204.5 spread, Lawson should compile the points and assists.
Michael Carter-Williams ($7900) – MCW has been really hit-or-miss over the last ten games where he’s posted 40+ DK points five times and below 26 DK points four times. So, it’s always a gamble with him but I like tonight’s matchup even against a physical defender like Marcus Smart. MCW does it all for the Sixers and is a nightly triple-double threat the way he can score, board and dish it. I think the second-year-pro has one of his 40+ nights in this one.
Cheap risk options: I like the value of George Hill ($4700) tonight as his minutes take a bump up every game and he played 26 very productive minutes in the Pacers last game scoring 20 points and delivering 35 DK points. He should see around 28-30 minutes tonight and the way he’s played in limited minutes recently, that’s plenty of time to outdo his price. I usually try to stick to under-$5k players in this section but had to mention my guy Elfrid Payton ($5500) who faces the Lakers who are putrid against opposing PGs. Players tend to really step up the game after losing their head coach and I think Elfrid makes a nice bet to have another full stat sheet like his last game where he lit up the Spurs for 36 DK points. The earlier mentioned Marcus Smart ($4600) has hit value five of the last six games and is seeing big minutes right now as a starter. He shouldn’t have any issues putting up 25+ DK points in this one against the Sixers. If you need a minimum punt-play, Shabazz Napier ($3000) should get around 20 minutes again and has had 16 and 22 DK point games in two of his last three.
James Harden ($10,300) – If I had to choose one elite-level player to roll out tonight, it’s the beard. This game should have a pretty fast pace to it and Harden should get plenty of good looks with the likes of Jared Dudley and O.J. Mayo trying to stick him. The Bucks will need Giannis’ size to stick on Ariza or Josh Smith so he couldn’t take on Harden. The beard should work his magic to rack up close to 15 points from the free throw line alone but he’ll fill the stat sheet as usual.
Eric Gordon ($6200) – I know he had a rough shooting night just two nights ago at home against this same Thunder team, but shooters simply have off nights and that’s all I think it was. Also, for an “off” night he still managed to rally up 23 DK points despite his 3/12 shooting (1/5 from 3). The real sell here is not just his scoring though, it’s his run of passing performances dishing out five or more assists in ten straight games and seven assists in each of his last three games. 5 assists = 7.5 DK points, add that to his 15 PPG average, a couple treys, a few boards and hopefully a steal and you have right about a 30 DK point night. The Pelicans let the last game against the Thunder get away from them late and with both battling to get that 8th seed in the West, they will be coming hard to get that game back this go round.
Cheap risk options: You already know where I’m going here, O.J. Mayo ($4500). Mayo has put up over 25 DK points in 7-of-8 and while he won’t be able to stop Harden, he should be able to score on him on the other end. Avery Bradley ($4500) has gone for 28-36-25 DK points in his last three and as long as he keeps playing 33 minutes a night he should hit in that same range and has upside tonight against Philly. A couple of punt options are Nick Young ($3000) who played 34 minutes last game although playing time in LA seems to shift nightly, but he can definitely score it when he’s hot. Also, Quincy Pondexter ($3100) who has averaged 19 DK points over his last three.
Gordon Hayward ($7,800) – Hayward has really went as his matchup has set up recently, having rough nights against difficult wings and balling out against the rest. Tonight he’ll face the Suns who are 27th against opposing small forwards, and the last time these two teams met Hayward put up 45 DK points on them. If you shy away from Bron and KD but still have a solid chunk of money for a SF, Gordon’s my guy tonight.
Tobias Harris ($5800) – Harris has been returning to his early season form since rejoining the starting lineup. Tonight he takes on Ryan Kelly. Ryan Kelly. In the last Magic game Tobias had to battle Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green and still prevailed for 47 DK points. I think Harris is a safe play (at least 25) with very nice upside in this one.
Cheap risk options: Luol Deng ($5100) may not be killing it by any means but he’s still a really good player and this price is way too low with Dwyane Wade out even against a tough defense. Much like Tobias, Deng has a safe 25 point floor when playing 30+ minutes as he is and easily could accumulate the stats to reach 35ish if he’s on. C.J. Miles ($4000) will continue to be on this list if his price remains this low with his nice role in the Pacers offense, 27 DK points in each of the last two games.
There are a lot of good top options at PF today but there’s so many good values in the mid-tier that it’s a spot I’m going the cheap route tonight but that doesn’t mean paying up here is wrong.
Jared Sullinger ($6500) – Can you make it to the team’s walkthrough on time today Sulli, is that too much to ask? As long as he doesn’t F-up again like two of the last three, he should start and be a sure bet to dominate on the inside against the Sixers. He’s been on the past two games against subpar defenses (Denver/New York) and put up 41 and 30 (in 21 minutes) DK points in those games. Look for Sulli to keep his hot streak going tonight at a more than fair price.
Robert Covington ($5700) – Covington is sizzling hot again right now and this is a really good price for him. He’s got a premium matchup here taking on Boston who he shot poorly against last month and still managed 30 DK points. Shooting efficiency isn’t Bob’s strong suit but he finds ways to get solid points in the end and really racks up the steals and threes. He’s averaged 34 DK points over the last five games and this should hold that average up. I like Nerlens Noel ($5400) in this game as well especially as a GPP play.
Cheap risk options: Brandan Wright ($3000) will play extended minutes with Alex Len out tonight. He’s a very efficient player and if he can get close to 30 minutes he could definitely put up 25 or so DK points. It’s about as good as you can ever feel about a minimum priced player. Lou Amundson ($4200) is a below average NBA player but the Knicks have no options but to play him frequently right now. Lou has played 32+ minutes in 3-of-4 and has surprisingly posted 26-30-24-29-17 DK points over the last five games. Jae Crowder ($3500) has played better the past few games and has averaged 21 DK points over their last four, but he’s far from safe hence the low price tag, just a punt option if you decide to roll out a lineup with two elite priced players.
With the news that Hassan Whiteside is out, it makes me not have to sweat him out so much tonight. I didn’t love him as the second highest priced center of the night, and had him fourth on my center cash-game ranks.
Andre Drummond ($7800) – May be my favorite play of the night. Drummond is so athletic and such a monster in the paint and his opponent is the Nuggets who are soft as it gets inside. This will be my center in likely every lineup tonight which I rarely like to put all my eggs in one basket but I feel daring on this one.
Chris Bosh ($7400) – No Whiteside or Wade, the Heat are going to have no choice but to play offense through Bosh and Deng tonight. This one will likely get ugly by the 4th quarter but Bosh is very capable of a 35+ DK point night in even 30 minutes. Plus, Whiteside won’t be around to suffocate all of the rebounds so Bosh may actually have a shot at a double-double tonight against the Spurs who give up good lines to big men.
Cheap risk option: Mason Plumlee ($5000) and Rudy Gobert ($5000) both have good matchups tonight and while they haven’t been incredible lately they’ve been solid and have upside in these games. Jusuf Nurkic ($4500) is in a truly frustrating situation as he’s played well but even when he’s having a great game and no foul trouble Brian Shaw pulls him late for no apparent reason limiting his upside. He still should return around 25-30 DK points tonight if he can avoid foul trouble against Drummond.
Cash game rankings: (Not who I think will score the most, it’s who I feel the best plays are based on price and production)
1) Ty Lawson
2) Michael Carter-Williams
3) D.J. Augustin
4) George Hill
5) Stephen Curry
6) Russell Westbrook
7) Elfrid Payton
8) Brandon Knight
9) Marcus Smart
10) Jarrett Jack
1) James Harden
2) Eric Gordon
3) O.J. Mayo
4) Joe Johnson
5) Klay Thompson
6) Tyreke Evans
7) DeMar DeRozan
8) Kevin Martin
1) Tobias Harris
2) Gordon Hayward
3) Luol Deng
4) Kevin Durant
5) C.J. Miles
6) Kawhi Leonard
7) Carmelo Anthony
1) Jared Sullinger
2) Brandan Wright
3) Robert Covington
4) Carlos Boozer
5) Zach Randolph
6) Paul Millsap
7) Greg Monroe
8) Nerlens Noel
1) Andre Drummond
2) Chris Bosh
3) Rudy Gobert
4) DeAndre Jordan
5) Nikola Vucevic
6) Mason Plumlee
7) Jusuf Nurkic
For more fantasy hoops analysis and to have any questions you may have answered, follow Zack on Twitter @BigZack44