Best NBA DFS FantasyDraft, FanDuel and DraftKings Picks & Tips – 3/1/17

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:

John Wall (18300/10400/10200) – This sets up to be a really interesting night, with 11 games on tap. You’d think with that many games, there would be more options that I feel confident in, but it really isn’t like that, at least at the point guard position. Wall is on the second half of a back to back, and will be hitting the road to take on the Raptors. As we all know, the Raptors are now without Kyle Lowry for most likely the rest of the regular season, so the quality of point guards goes down a bit. I think Cory Joseph is a good all around player, but not the type of player who is going to shut down John Wall. I’d expect him to come pretty close to that 50 point mark tonight, and should be someone you consider in your lineups.

Jrue Holiday

Jrue Holiday (13000/7700/6900) – DeMarcus Cousins will be suspended for one game, and the Pelicans will be taking on a Pistons team that is just absolute trash. They have no rhythm at all, and if the ownership group is smart, they will show Stan Van Gundy the door, because things have only gotten worse under his watch. I suspect that Holiday will spend much of the game up against Ish Smith [we’ll talk about that in a minute], and I would expect for him to see around 40 minutes, despite New Orleans increasing their guard presence through free agent signings. He’s going to be the unquestioned #2 on this team tonight, so I expect to see that fire that he had been missing over the past few games.

Cory Joseph (10600/5300/5400) – Here’s my hot take: Reggie Jackson is a trash basketball player. Seriously, dude is the worst. SVG wants to try to run plays through him, but he’s incapable of actually doing it properly at this point. The team runs better with Ish at the point, and even though SVG doesn’t want to change his starting five [why would you change something that is working so well?] Anyway, I mention that because for a brief second, I thought I was going to mention him here. Thank goodness I had a change of heart. Cory Joseph has also been an incredibly disappointment since entering the starting lineup, but I think he’s going to find his way to change things up. Even though he’s been disappointing, his price has gone up, but I still think there is potential for him to hit value in this matchup. He’s good in either format.

SHOOTING GUARD:

Bradley Beal (13700/7400/7300) – Bradley Beal is just on fire right now, and even though he’s more expensive than I’d like [who isn’t?], he should still be able to make value for you tonight. Beal has developed amazingly this year, and if he keeps going into next season like this, he’ll be a surefire All-Star. DeMar DeRozan has to pay too much attention to chipping in on offense to play defense, so I think Beal should be in a position to have another big game here tonight. His upside is crazy, so I want to have some exposure to him, and I’d do it in all formats.

Seth Curry

Seth Curry (11600/6100/5900) – You know who else is hot? Seth Curry. With Deron Williams out of the picture, Seth Curry is playing like Stephen Curry. Well, no, that’s not fair. Steph really isn’t looking that hot right now. It’s a crazy set of circumstances that has us feeling more confident with Seth Curry at his price than Stephen Curry where he is at. That’s basketball though! The Hawks aren’t a tough defensive team if we are being honest, but the pace this game is going to be played at does concern me. I think that we’ve seen Curry come through in circumstances similar to this, though, so I am not sure why tonight will be any different. Despite his rising price, I think he’s worth the play.

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (11600/5400/5900) – KCP is all over the place anymore. He used to be such an easy lock and load cash game play, but he’s found himself moving into tournament territory as this Pistons team just continues to look all kinds of bad. When he is on, though, he is a guy that can rack up points so quickly. New Orleans is a great team to target because they don’t have very good players outside of Holiday and Davis [with Cousins suspended]. I want to say that he should be able to come through with a nice game here, as I think he should be able to get into that 30 point mark that we were accustomed to seeing him at earlier in the year.

SMALL FORWARD:

LeBron James (19500/10600/10900) – LeBron James is one of those players that I really don’t look to all that much in tournaments, because he has the tendency to turn in a bunch of 40-50 point performances, when his price dictates that he needs to be at 55 or so. I think the matchup against Boston is one of those games that James is going to have no choice but to get up for because Boston is one of those few teams that can actually hang in with them. I would expect that LeBron should be on triple double alert tonight, and will also be relied upon more to score. The Cavs lineups behind James and Irving is just a carousel of one hit wonders in terms of scoring, so it’s going to be on LeBron’s shoulders, as usual.

Rondae Hollis-Jefferson

Rondae Hollis-Jefferson (9800/4800/5000) – It’s crazy to think at this point that RHJ is finally settling into becoming a better basketball player. The talent is there, but you can just tell that mentally, it still isn’t fully together for him. I think he should be fine in a matchup like this against a Sacramento Kings team that is going to be an easy team to pick on for the rest of the season. The price is right around what I feel comfortable paying for him, and I think I have enough confidence in him right now to even consider using him in cash games.

Terrence Ross (10200/4500/5200) – Ross has been very good since coming over to the Magic, but we haven’t seen his price jump all that much as a result, at least on FanDuel. He put up 40 fantasy points last time he took the court, which was on the 25th of February, so this team has been off for awhile and should be well rest for tonight’s action. The Knicks are a great team to target because you can bet that they will not be playing one ounce of defense. I can see Ross going over the 30 point mark tonight, and makes an excellent target for both your cash games and tournaments tonight.

POWER FORWARD:

Anthony Davis (18500/11600/10400) – The equation reads right now: Anthony Davis – DeMarcus Cousins – Terrence Jones= $$$$$. When the Pelicans brought over Cousins, they saw no need for Jones, because in this league, it’s 100% fact that you don’t need talent on your bench to win ball games. As a result, the front court will be AD and the man I lovingly refer to as Donuts, Donatas Montiejunas. Typically, we’d be raving about the opportunity to play a backup that’s minimum price, but he’s been awful and Alvin Gentry [speaking of awful] will just run Anthony out there like 42 minutes tonight. As a result, he’s got a high probability of cracking 55 points, and really has unspeakable upside against a Pistons team that has the talent but can’t pull it together.

Dario Saric (14300/7600/7700) – At this point, I don’t know what to say about Dario Saric. The triple-double is coming, and until then, he’s just going to continue to be an absolute monster. His price is creeping up at a quick pace, but he’s just so good. With Joel Embiid likely sidelined for the rest of the season, we could be looking at the Rookie of the Year here. The Heat are a tough matchup, but he’s been dicing through everyone that’s been in front of him, so I don’t think there is a much of a reason here to move off of him tonight. I think it makes sense to ride him while he’s hot.

Willie-Cauley Stein (10900/5400/5500) – Speaking of guys that are making the best of their opportunities, let’s talk about Willie Cauley-Stein for a bit. His results have been pretty interesting – one good game, one middle of the road game and one bad game. That lets you know that if you play him, you have no idea what you are going to get. This is a favorable matchup, though, against the Brooklyn Nets, so I would have to assume that you’ll see a game that is more toward the high end of what we’ve seen than the low end. He should end up being a pretty popular play tonight.

CENTER:

Hassan Whiteside (15300/8800/8300) – Hassan Whiteside has been one of the most frustrating players to put in your lineups over the last few weeks. His upside is always awesome, and in a game like this, we are definitely talking about 60 point upside. In fact, he’s already had a game like that this year against the Sixers. He also had a game that wasn’t very good, so that speaks to my point about being frustrated with him. I’m going to lean the direction that it’s going to be another big game for him tonight, and we are getting him at a bit of a discount when compared to what we have paid for him in this past in this matchup.

Brook Lopez

Brook Lopez (12300/7600/6500) – I’m specifically using centers against the Kings moving forward because they’ve been getting railed by them pretty good since Boogie left town. Brook Lopez is the latest to check in against them, and the price for him is absolutely silly considering what he could end up amassing. I would think that we are looking at 40 point upside here, and depending how things go, it could be significantly higher. He’s the best player the Nets have by a long shot, and I expect them to rely on him a lot tonight.

Kyle O’Quinn (10200/4700/5200) – Wrapping things up for the night will be Kyle O’Quinn. This pick would have been a lot sweeter if Kristaps Porzingis was missing another game, but alas, that does not seem to be the case. What is likely to happen though is that Willy Hernangomez is unlikely to take the floor. That means we should see around 30 minutes of O’Quinn tonight, which should be more than enough for him to come close to the 30 point mark. That is great production for his price point, and I will have a high level of ownership on him tonight.

Slate Strategy

There are a lot of ways you can go tonight with so many games on the schedule. I really like the last two games on the slate [HOU/LAC and BKN/SAC] for the fact that they are likely to be very high scoring games. This is a game where I do think it is worth rolling out James Harden, which is saying something because he mostly hasn’t been worth it as of late. I think that the SAC/BKN is full of value, with Willie Cauley-Stein being one of the more attractive plays as a result of tempo increase and the opponent being the Nets.

For the most part, I’m not looking at the following games too much: DAL/ATL, IND/SA and MIN/UTA. There might be some plays in there that I will consider, but for the most part, I think those are easy fades for me. With so many games on the slate, I think we can just pick our spots, and there is no need to go that route.

As for my core plays, I’m thinking that I’ll have a lot of: LeBron, Willie-Cauley Stein, Hassan Whiteside, Kyle O’Quinn and Brook Lopez. There’s tons of value elsewhere on sites that allow multiple centers to make that happen.

Situations to Monitor

Orlando – Aaron Gordon is questionable with a right quad contusion. If he were to miss, that could make things interesting. They have no other power forwards on the roster.

New York – Willy Hernagomez is looking to be doubtful. That would give Kyle O’Quinn increased run, making him a great value play.

San Antonio – Tony Parker is questionable with a quad strain. If he were to miss, both Dejounte Murray and Patty Mills get a boost.

Other Options

PG – Chris Paul, George Hill, Patrick Beverley

SG – James Harden, Giannis Antetekuonmpo, Lou Williams, Gary Harris

SF – Robert Covington, Khris Middleton, Thabo Sefolosha

PF – Blake Griffin, Nikola Jokic, Richaun Holmes

C – Rudy Gobert, Nikola Vucevic

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