Best NBA DFS FantasyDraft, FanDuel and DraftKings Picks & Tips – 2/23/17

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:

Jrue Holiday (13800/8100/7500) – I am so relieved that basketball is back. It felt like the longest week I’ve had in a long time without it, and I can’t be happier than I am now – well, until lineups lock tonight. I wrote up the top position tonight for three different players – Chris Paul, Damian Lillard and now Holiday. At first, I did a once over of my projections, which I will make available to everyone who signs up for our mailing list below. When I adjusted his minutes to account for the fact that it’s just he, Tim Frazier and E-Twaun Moore to handle the guard spots tonight, I figured it made sense to adjust his minutes projection upward. I think this game should stay close, and I think Holiday is a good bet to cross the 3x mark on FantasyDraft, as well as the 5x mark on FanDuel and DraftKings. He has monster upside, with the ability to cross over the 50 point mark, even with DeMarcus Cousins now joining the team.

Patrick Beverley

Patrick Beverley (10500/5300/5300) – Again, I think there were quite a few different options I could have tossed in here. I think that Jameer Nelson and Darren Collison will both carry high ownership tonight, and Elfrid Payton is an outlier in tournaments due to his ability to put up some big games. Beverley got pulled out of the last game due to a groin injury, but a week’s time will see him all healed up and ready to go. I want to be full go with him, but I am a little concerned that Lou Williams will take some of the steam off of him. I would most likely suggest using him in tournaments tonight to see how things progress now that Williams will be joining the show. I think he’s a good bet to hit 25 points still, and has 40 point upside depending on how much time he sees on the court.

Tim Frazier (6400/3500/3300) – I am pretty sold on Frazier tonight. One would have to think he should see minutes in the mid-20’s at the least, with New Orleans determining it should send all of it’s guards to Sacramento. He’s been a good player when given the opportunity, and especially since I see much of his time coming on the second unit, I think he should be a good bet to hit value. You have to figure he needs less than 20 on all the fantasy sites to hit 3-5x value depending on the site, and I think he should be able to do that with relative ease. There is definitely an ability for him to cross the 25 point mark, and at that point, he will be giving you an extreme value.

SHOOTING GUARD:

Evan Fournier (11900/5400/6000) – I really like Fourniers price on FanDuel, but I can give or take it on FantasyDraft and DraftKings. That doesn’t mean I won’t have any ownership of him there tonight, but it means that I will be focusing on using him mostly on FanDuel. Portland can give up some pretty big games because of their style of play. They aren’t the fastest team in the league by any stretch of the imagination, but they still manage to play poor enough defense that give up big games. Fournier can be a hit or miss prospect, but on a slate this size, I really don’t mind using him at all. He’ll be worth a look in tournaments for me, but I understand him in cash as well. With Serge Ibaka gone, the shots will be spread out, and I think that Fournier can grab some of them.

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (9700/4900/4900) – Let’s cut to the chase: KCP sucked going into the All-Star break. I don’t think I’ve ever seen him play such bad ball, and he was turning the ball over at an unusual rate. The matchup against Charlotte is good, as they don’t play defense like you would think they would too, and KCP has shown himself to be a guy that can score in bunches, and he’s good at getting other stats like steals and assists. At his new bottom barrel price, I think there is certainly merit to using him, and I think I’m willing to look past the way he played going into the break and I expect him to crack 25 points tonight.

Tyreke Evans (8400/4500/4200) – Sacramento is going to be an interesting situation to say the least. There are two big benefits here for Evans. First, with DeMarcus Cousins gone, the Kings will be in dire need of a playmaker, and I think that is something Evans should be able to accommodate them with. Second, the Rudy Gay injury leaves the team without a small forward, and that is a position that Evans has been able to play throughout his career. The price is what attracts me to him here. The matchup is excellent as well. We know that he will have a 27 minute cap tonight, and unless this game turns into a blowout, which is could, I would expect Evans to be able to exceed value on all fantasy sites tonight. I would only use him in tournaments though.

SMALL FORWARD:

Maurice Harkless (8800/4600/4500) – Let’s just start off by saying that this position sucks tonight. If I was going to gamble on any of the top dollar plays, I would probably side with Kevin Durant, especially if Chris Paul plays. I can see the Knicks/Cavs game being a blowout, so I’m not interested in any piece of LeBron or Carmelo. Denver seems like it is coming back to full strength, so that means Chandler and Gallinari could cannibalize one another. Maurice Harkless is cheap, and he should see around 30 minutes with Al-Farouq Aminu already ruled out for the night. He’s not especially flashy, but he can definitely put up enough points to pay off his salary, and probably exceed it.

Solomon Hill

Solomon Hill (7700/4200/3900) – Hill’s minutes have been pretty steady over the last several weeks, and I can see them getting even slightly better tonight, except if Dante Cunningham were to return. The price is attractive everywhere, but he doesn’t have a ton of consistency behind him. He’s coming off a huge game for himself prior to the All-Star break, and I think we could see him come close to similar production tonight. He’s a risky option, but I think he could definitely pay dividends in tournaments. It won’t hurt to pair him with a top dollar player and benefit from the extra points they can score.

Terrence Ross (7400/3500/3800) – Ross is another interesting case. He was actually one of my favorite players on the Raptors, but this is a much better situation for his fantasy value because the Magic need to rebuild. He’s got the ability to contribute with points and three pointers, and will inevitably come through with some other stats along the way as well. He has to be used only in tournaments, because it is very difficult to imagine how he will settle into things. We could see him start, or we could see him come off the bench. It’s tough to say. The morale of the story is that he’s minimum price or close to it and is highly likely to see expanded opportunity.

POWER FORWARD:

Blake Griffin (16900/9700/9100) – It’s a tough decision at the top at the power forward position. I don’t love Nikola Jokic with the Nuggets getting back to full strength and his price rather inflated. I do like Anthony Davis, but we’ve already had a lot of Pelicans on this list, so I am hesitant to adding one more. Blake Griffin has been playing really good basketball as of late, and I have a feeling that Chris Paul is going to play, and that this game against the Warriors is going to stay close. Blake has fifty point upside here, which is what he’ll need anyway for the most part to make value. I like that he does so much and I think he’ll pay off tonight.

Frank Kaminsky

Frank Kaminsky (12500/6000/6300) – Kaminsky is a monster, and I don’t think his price has caught up with his upside yet. Cody Zeller has already been ruled out of this game, so as long as he isn’t in foul trouble and this game stays close, he should see minutes in the mid-30’s. It won’t be long before he is priced out of playability, so we might as well take advantage of the last few games where he is priced at a good value. Andre Drummond isn’t used to guarding centers like this, and I think that Kaminsky will actually be able to take advantage of him tonight.

Channing Frye (10800/5400/5500) – I mentioned above that I think this game is going to be a blowout. Even with that, I still think that Frye will be able to get the job done at his price. He’s likely to see around 30 minutes in this game, and his ability to hit the three point shot is going to help increase his floor on both FantasyDraft and DraftKings. He’s another one who is going to see his price continue to climb, and I don’t think there is a lot of room left for it to grow before it has eliminated any upside from him. The Knicks are a joke defensively, at just about every position there is, so I don’t think it will be tough for the Cavs to get it done.

CENTER:

Andre Drummond (13900/8300/7600) – My starting point at the center position will be with Andre Drummond. Two things here with Drummond. First, he has two awful games against the Hornets this year, and one monster game against them. Second, he’s now being linked to being traded at the deadline so we’ll see if he’s still a Piston after the trade deadline passes. I think he will remain a Piston, as it is far more likely in my opinion to see Reggie Jackson moved out of the Motor City. Drummond could have a big night tonight, and I think he’s a good bet to hit 5x value, despite the two awful games against them this year.

Nikola Vucevic

Nikola Vucevic (13300/7200/7100) – Vucevic is another guy in a good position tonight. I suspect he’ll have to see a few more minutes on the floor now that Serge Ibaka has been moved, though it most likely won’t be that many. He’s done well on a point per minute basis, and I think he’s a good bet to hit around 32 tonight, which by my calculations puts him around the 37 fantasy point mark. He’s a good option to use that I just don’t see falling short tonight. There is always the potential that happens with any player, so nothing is certain, but I like the upside for Vucevic tonight.

Jusuf Nurkic (8500/3700/4300) – Nurk is a high risk option tonight, there’s no question about it. He was extremely effective in the time he saw the floor in his first game with the Blazers, and you’d have to imagine he would see a few more minutes now that he’s got more than a week with the team. At this price, he needs anywhere between 18-25 points to hit value, and I think that is very likely. If he is able to approach the 30 minute mark, he could end up turning in one of the top point per dollar plays of the day.

Slate Strategy

This is going to be one of the toughest slates of the year, because not only have teams been on a weeks break, but they’ve also been trading, and more could be done by the time lineups lock.

In full disclosure, I am going to play in exclusively tournaments tonight, just because I want to see how some of these situations shake out first.

My starting point is going to be with the New Orleans guys – and I am going to try to fit as many of them in as I can. I certainly favor the guards tonight, as I do want to see how things work with Boogie and AD. I really like the spot for Kaminsky tonight, so I think he’ll be another guy that we can toss in there. I really think you’re safe tossing Harden in there in either format, as he’s likely to produce tonight with some time off. I know he wasn’t mentioned here [yet], but he’s kind of an obvious play on this slate.

Situations to Monitor

New York – If Brandon Jennings is out tonight, and Derrick Rose is still a Knick, I think there is value to him, as his minutes should approach the late 30’s. Courtney Lee also has a tummy ache, but he’s expected to play.

New Orleans – Both Terrence Jones and Omri Casspi have issues that could hold them out of the game tonight, and that would mean more minutes likely for both Boogie and AD.

Los Angeles Clippers – Chris Paul is probably the biggest injury situation to consider tonight. If he plays, the spread of this game will probably close a bit. If not, it’s tough for me to believe that it will be worth rolling Griffin out.

Denver – Everyone who was injured prior to the All-Star break is likely to return tonight, with the exception of Kenneth Faried. This robs so much of the value from just about everyone.

Other Options

PG – Stephen Curry, Derrick Rose, Elfrid Payton

SG – James Harden, C.J. McCollum, Kyle Korver

SF – Kevin Durant, Trevor Ariza

PF – Anthony Davis, Willie Cauley-Stein

C – Kosta Koufus, Bismack Biyombo

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