Best NBA DFS FantasyDraft, FanDuel and DraftKings Picks & Tips – 2/11/17

Welcome to another edition of ResearchFantasy’s NBA Breakdown. These picks are what I consider to be the best play of the day, relative to their price. One of the most important things we must consider in daily fantasy is how many points a player gets per dollar. It helps us identify value plays to pair with studs that we know will produce in order to maximize our potential points in lineups. I also try to identify plays that can be used in either cash games or tournaments. Typically, when I build my cash games, I am looking for players that have the best floor combined with good upside. If you have any questions, comments or suggestions, please let us know!

Pricing is FantasyDraft/FanDuel/DraftKings

POINT GUARD:

Jeff Teague (13700/7700/7300) – First things first: a big apology to our readers for yesterday. I wrote up a brand new version of our breakdown, featuring longer player descriptions and a couple of new sections. It was up until about noon on Friday – until the transfer of our website to new hosting was complete, and then it deleted the previous four days of our work. That should be well into the rearview mirror, and we will be coming out of the gates hot tonight with Jeff Teague. The Bucks haven’t been specifically bad at guarding the position, but Teague can be a monster when he wants to be, and I could certainly see that being the situation here. The Bucks are going to be in a tough situation with no Jabari Parker for the remainder of the season, and I think it will effect them all around. I could certainly see Teague eclipsing the 40 point mark again.

Patrick Beverley

Patrick Beverley (11200/5400/5600) – Patrick Beverley is one of the top cash game plays at the position night in and night out. He doesn’t rely on just one specific facet of the game to generate output; he is a well balanced player that can get it done in all categories. The Suns play at a fast pace and this seems like the perfect type of matchup for Beverley. The Suns are a middle of the road team against the position, but I think that is the perfect type of game for Beverley. I think he’s going to finish somewhere between 25-30 on the night, which should provide excellent return on value. He also gives you some flexibility in terms of how you can build your teams around him.

Jamal Murray (7400/4000/3800) – Kyrie Irving is one of the league’s best ball handlers, in fact, he probably is the best ball handler, but he is not a good defender. He routinely gets beat, and it isn’t just by the upper echelon of point guards; it’s by pretty much everyone. The Cavs Big 3 were questionable going into the last game because Tyron Lue wants to rest them, so I would just pay a little bit of attention to the newswires, because there is a chance that one or more could be given a days rest. Whether Kyrie is in or out, I really like the Denver guards tonight. Murray is the cheaper of them, and has been coming in right about 5x value over the last several games. This should be another chance for him to do that, and I think he makes a good tournament play. If the game gets out of hand, he could see even more time, so he should be a safe option with pretty good upside.

SHOOTING GUARD:

Victor Oladipo (12600/6400/6300) – Oladipo is finally starting to look the guy we thought he was going to be when he came to this team on draft night. The Warriors are a tough team, but I think that the Thunder stands at least a decent chance of keeping in the game. The spread of this game is under 10 points, and it has a high total of 226 points to be scored. I think that is a totally realistic possibility, and I like Oladipo to come through with at least 30 points here. I think his upside is in the late 30’s, but I am not that highly optimistic that he’ll be able to get there. I still think that he is a great play in either format, but I think it’s possible that we will be able to get a better point per dollar result.

Will Barton

Will Barton (12600/6200/6300) – I would be lying if I said that Barton isn’t one of my favorite players in the NBA. Vega sees this game approaching 230 with the Cavs being favored at home by 12.5 points. That’s a pretty hefty spread, but I think that the Nuggets should be able to do enough to rack up points. They are still shorthanded in spots, which means that we should be able to get higher end production out of guys like Barton. He is good at getting in position for rebounds, as well as drawing fouls, and if he can get the long ball to drop, he’s a real threat to drop 40 fantasy points in your lap. This price is moving up, and quick, so it is tough to want to lock him in like we did when he was under $5k, but I think he should still be a usable option in this game.

Evan Fournier (12300/5500/6200) – Fournier made you regret it on Thursday if you didn’t play him against Philadelphia, and will be back at it again on Saturday traveling to Dallas. The Mavericks don’t exactly play at a fast pace, and neither do the Magic, but I think at Fournier’s price, he should have all the chances he will need to crack the 28 point mark again. We’ve seen Dallas give up some pretty big games to guards this year, and I don’t see why Fournier won’t be able to get it done against them tonight. He’s definitely not the most consistent option, but I do think he has all the chances he needs to have a good night.

SMALL FORWARD:

Kevin Durant (17900/10700/9700) – The place I’m going to be starting today at the position is with Kevin Durant. Right now, he’s not priced up as high as he could be, but this is a game he is going to get up for throughout the remainder of his career. I suspect that we’ll be on full triple-double alert tonight as he goes at it with his former team and former partner in crime, Russell Westbrook. These teams provided the best game of the year in 2015-16 [that game also took place on a Saturday night for what it’s worth], so I think it’s something that I am going to look to take advantage of. Everything considered, I think you can look at him as a high end option in all formats.

Gordon Hayward of the Utah Jazz

Gordon Hayward (14400/8100/7800) – Hayward is on fire right now, and I don’t think there is going to be anything that cools him off. The Celtics are a good team, and yes, the way to get through them is through the point guard position, but I think that he is above the matchup. He should be able to put up another 40 point game here, and if the game stays very close, he could be even more than that. I think he will actually get somewhat lower owned than he should be, considering that there are some big names above him on the slate. He’s not my favorite on the slate, even at the position, but you cannot argue with his consistency as of late.

Jaylen Brown (6300/3800/3500) – We suggested using Jaylen Brown on Thursday night on a pretty short slate, and even though he wasn’t on a tournament winning lineup, at least I don’t think he was, he still game through with a 7x value game, which is certainly what we are hoping for when you are paying that price for a player. I think there is little question that he could get lost in the shuffle, and there is even some argument that Brown’s production was a direct result of Jae Crowder not playing. I think that is certainly a scenario that has truth to it, but he’s still done well in games with Crowder playing. I think with the Celtics playing the way they are that we will continue to see Brown, and it wouldn’t shock me to see his minutes rise as his confidence does. He’s a tournament option only, but I could see him coming through with 20 points here.

POWER FORWARD:

Kevin Love (15100/8200/8200) – Love is having a great year, and really has pushed himself to become a better player. Denver is going to most likely through Darrell Arthur at him tonight, which is a matchup he should win all of the time. When it’s not Arthur, it will be either Wilson Chandler or Juancho Hernangomez. It’s pretty clear that I’m trying to say that he’ll be matched up with someone who is well below his quality of talent, which means he should be able to dominate the boards, as well as in the paint. I know that Thompson does some of that, but Love is no slouch in that area as well. The upside of his three point shooting is evident as well, and Denver doesn’t do great at defending the three ball. I like the upside for him here, even at these prices.

Dirk Nowitzki

Dirk Nowitzki (10500/5700/5300) – I know that no one really likes to go this route at this point in his career, but I think Dirk makes an excellent option at this price tonight against the Magic. He’s smarter than anyone that they have on the floor, and that goes a long way, as he will be able to create situations for himself to score that they won’t be able to stop. At the end of the day, that is such a highly valuable asset to have in a player. He’s broken 30 points in the previous two games, and while I think he probably only has one or two 40 fantasy point games in him at his age and the amount of time he is seeing, I think this should be another excellent situation for him.

Dario Saric (9100/4800/4600) – Saric is a risky option as of right now, but you’d have to assume with Philadelphia having less and less to play for, the more likely it will become that they will start to rely on some of their younger players to try to develop them. I’ve said it probably a dozen times when I write Saric up: if Joel Embiid wasn’t playing for this team, you would hear a lot more buzz about Dario Saric. Right now, Embiid is not in the lineup, and we’ve seen what Saric has been able to do. I like his upside, and will continue to use him quite a bit in my tournament lineups, but am still a little shy on using him in my cash games. The time is coming, though, and it’s coming quick.

CENTER:

Hassan Whiteside (15700/9100/8500) – Same old story, same old song and dance my friend. As the Heat are playing the Nets right now, Whiteside is getting pushed around by Brook Lopez, something I mentioned was likely to happen in yesterday’s now deleted breakdown. Whiteside will not be pushed around by the Jahlil Okafor or Nerlens Noel, and despite having an awful game so far on Friday, I expect him to come back with a monster game on Saturday night. We just saw him drop almost 60 points on this team, so I don’t know why you wouldn’t at least take a shot on him in tournaments. I can totally understand the apprehension about using him in cash games, though.

Tristan Thompson

Tristan Thompson (9700/5400/4900) – Tristan is actually a really interesting option for me. On FanDuel, it’s really tight between he and Capela, and I am much more likely to side with Capela, especially in cash games. On FantasyDraft and DraftKings, though, I think this is where you need to run with Thompson, especially in tournaments. He’s got 40 point upside in a game like this, where he could end up pushing around guys like Jokic, who can rebound well, circumstantially, but he is not exactly the strongest guy in the league. I could see this being a game where Double T ends up in the mid-30’s, providing a great return on your investment.

Clint Capela (11600/5300/5900) – Last up tonight is Clint Capela. I’ve pretty thoroughly made the case for using him in the paragraph above dealing with Tristan. He has just been a really good, and mostly consistent, option at the position, and he’s priced at the point where you still have a little bit of built in upside, allowing you a few extra points soaked into the position that allow you to build up with higher upside players at other positions. There is nothing special about the Suns on the defensive end of things, and this game has the highest over/under on the slate, giving him a ton of upside.

Slate Strategy

I think the starting point for my lineups tonight will be with Kevin Durant. I think he’s bound to come through with a 60-65 point game, and at his salary that is actually a huge return on your investment. I think the floor is probably around 45, so while his floor leaves you with a bit to be desired, the raw points could very well be what we are concerned most about here. I think there is enough value in this game with upside, so he should be able to come through.

From there, I am going to be using Evan Fournier and Dirk Nowitzki as my staple plays. Both of these options offer both a nice floor and a good enough upside that we could, and hopefully will, see them crack 6x upside tonight. If you run with those three as your core plays, you’re looking at the following amounts left on each site:

  1. FantasyDraft – $11,860 per player [5 spots remaining]
  2. FanDuel – $6,350 per player [6 spots remaining]
  3. DraftKings – $5,760 per play [5 spots remaining]

That gives you enough to work with to build some good tournament lineups with some pretty considerable upside. I think using a guy like Dario Saric and Tristan Thompson will go a long way, especially on FantasyDraft, to put together some high upside lineups.

Situations to Monitor

Denver – It looks like Emmanuel Mudiay will miss another game. This is beneficial to Jameer Nelson, Gary Harris, Jamal Murray and Will Barton. I think Barton is the most desirable of the bunch.

Miami – As long as Dion Waiters is out, James Johnson makes a top option, even at a slightly higher price than we’ve gotten him lately.

Orlando – Aaron Gordon is a game time decision. Mario Hezonja hasn’t really been an asset with him out, but Even Fournier sees a little time at the small forward position. Gordon returning could shave a few minutes off his total.

Houston – Eric Gordon is currently listed as questionable. I think this probably helps Trevor Ariza and Patrick Beverley the most. Yes, someone other than those two will see the minutes, but those two see some increased opportunity for production.

Utah – George Hill missed the game on Thursday night, but it looks like he’s on track to return on Saturday. He’s a good tournament option, as Boston has struggled to contain point guards, and Hill has put together some pretty strong games this year.

Other Options

PG – Russell Westbrook, Eric Bledsoe, Kyrie Irving, Jameer Nelson

SG – James Harden, Klay Thompson, Kyle Korver

SF – LeBron James, Trevor Ariza, T.J. Warren

PF – Draymond Green, Serge Ibaka, Darrell Arthur

C – Steven Adams, Greg Monroe, Jahlil Okafor

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