Best NBA DFS FantasyDraft, FanDuel and DraftKings Picks & Tips – 3/4/17

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:

Damian Lillard (17700/9200/6900) – Lillard has been playing some really top tier basketball as of late, and I attribute it totally and completely to the addition of Jusuf Nurkic. This offense is now wide open with guys who can spread the floor and then a guy like Nurk who is there to clean the glass, giving the offense the best ability to operate. Yes, his price is at a position where it is more and more difficult seeing him hit that 5x value mark, but he’s definitely got the potential. Add to it the fact that he is on his home court and the opposition is the Brooklyn Nets, and you have the recipe for what could be a 50 burger. Lillard is my favorite play at the position and should be considered in all formats tonight.

Kemba Walker of the Charlotte Hornets

Kemba Walker (15700/8500/8500) – Next up at the point guard position is Kemba Walker. Typically, we are looking to use Kemba when he is on his home court, but I think tonight is a prime opportunity to check in with him. First, Frank Kaminsky is out, and even though Cody Zeller is good, is hard to see him getting 36 minutes, and he just isn’t the scorer that Kaminsky is. Second, Nicolas Batum is playing some horrible basketball right now, so the scoring emphasis is squarely on Walker’s shoulders. Next, the Nuggets have been a great target for point guards in the past, and I don’t see things changing tonight. His price too has risen, but I think he can come through for us tonight with another strong game.

Malcolm Brogdon (11200/5200/5600) – It’s tough to recommend what has been the best rookie thus far from this years rookie class, because he hasn’t done a ton to inspire confidence. Seriously, into the second quarter against the Clippers, he’s got three points and one assist – not exactly the output we are looking for from someone we are putting in our lineups. The matchup gets friendlier on Saturday night, as the Bucks host a traveling Toronto Raptors team. Cory Joseph isn’t an intimidating defender, and with Khris Middleton likely out tonight as well, I could see Brogdon getting more chances and putting together a better fantasy score.

SHOOTING GUARD:

Dion Waiters (12600/6900/6400) – This is a tough one for me for a few reasons. First, Waiters has no exactly looked sharp over the last two games, and that isn’t something you want to say as you are taking on the best team in the East. Second, Erik Spolstra isn’t going to hesitate to sit him down if he isn’t doing well, as he ran a pretty big rotation on Friday night when the team was struggling. The upside here is that Cleveland has been pretty awful against the shooting guard position this year, and if Waiter is clicking, this could be a great situation to use him. I wouldn’t trust him in cash games, but I could certainly see him putting together a good game against his former team.

Gary Harris (10800/5400/5500) – Shooting guard is a position that I am most likely to spend down at except if there is a special situation, so you’ll see me playing far more Gary Harris than Dion Waiters. Harris has been pretty solid over the past few weeks since returning from injury, and his price is right where it will likely stay for the remainder of the season. The Nuggets team has a ton of scoring option, which does concern me a bit because if one guy gets hot, it could spell a bad outing for the rest of them. I think he should be safe in what should be a close, high scoring game against the Hornets tonight.

Caris LeVert (7800/4200/4000) – I really wanted to use LeVert last night because of his price, but I really didn’t want to mess with the Utah matchup. Tonight, however, I see no reason to stay away as this game should be close and high scoring. The Blazers aren’t exactly the best defensive team in the league. LeVert is very active when he is on the court, and Kenny Atkinson seems to really have a thing for this young player. His minutes are not going to be any higher than the mid-20’s, because Kenny Atkinson is horrible when it comes to this type of thing. I think even at that time he could put together a nice stat line.

SMALL FORWARD:

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (10200/5400/5200) – I like that LeBron James and the rest of the top dollar players will be worth a look, but I’d prefer to not go there tonight. I think with Kaminsky off the floor, more can be expected from MKG in the rebounding department. I think this is the perfect type of game for him to have a 30+ point outing. The Nuggets are like Houston lite – if you can keep up with their scoring, you’ll have a chance to win. If not; game over. I think he is a great option in all formats tonight and this price is fantastic. This is a great game to target.

Maurice Harkless
Maurice Harkless (10200/4800/5200) – Harkless hasn’t really seen his price move, despite being in the starting lineup and getting minutes in the mid to upper-30’s night in and night out. This is another great chance for him to come through with a big game, because he can rack up steals and blocks against a team that is pretty sloppy when it comes down to it. He’s a great cash game play due to his price, and I think he’s be able to cross the 25-point marker again tonight. He’s one of my core plays because I don’t see his floor being very low relative to his price.

Rondae Hollis-Jefferson (9400/4700/4800) – The last guy I’ll write up at the small forward position is Rondae Hollis-Jefferson. He’s another guy that Kenny Atkinson likes. What that means is that he’ll get minutes in the mid-20’s. If he doesn’t like you, you’ll only get minutes in the low-20’s. He’s only a guy I would consider for cash games, because even though there are going to be games where he doesn’t do well, like last time out, for the most part, I think he’ll fluctuate between that 20-25 point area. The result of his not being able to get minutes will affect what he is capable of doing in terms of accruing points, and as a result, has a negative impact on his fantasy scoring abilities.

POWER FORWARD:

Nikola Jokic (17600/9900/9500) – I love using Jokic tonight, because he’ll be playing against either Cody Zeller or Marvin Williams, or God-forbid for Charlotte, Christian Wood. Does any of that sound like they will be able to stop Jokic? Of course not. He should have the ability to rack up a huge fantasy outing here for no other reason that it will be very tough to out rebound him. If he’s grabbing all the boards and by the rim, he’s got such a crazy upside because put backs come with that territory. I know he hasn’t been consistent at all when it comes to his fantasy production as of late, but this is a perfect situation for him to post a great game.

Blake Griffin of the Los Angeles Clippers

Blake Griffin (16600/9700/9000) – I also really like Blake Griffin tonight. I think the biggest thing Chicago is going to be struggling with is finding someone who can defend him. Bobby Portis can do a lot of things pretty well, but I would hesitate to throw “guard Blake Griffin” out there as one of them. His price is at a point where I think the crowd will still continue to buy in on him, which will result in sustained high ownership. The reality is, though, one of these times that everyone in the DFS community says he’s primed for a good game, he’ll actually have one. This could be that time. This was written before the Friday game started, so it’s possible he had a big game last night.

Bobby Portis (9500/4400/4800) – This one is one that I really want to believe will work out. I really want to believe that things will work out if using Bobby Portis tonight, because he’s got a ton of upside. He also has the ability to completely and totally disappear. The price is friendly enough, though, that I could see him having a big game here, in relation to price. One thing that we can say about the Clippers is that they are awful defensively right now, so there should be plenty of scoring chances tonight for Portis. I love the upside enough that I’ll use him a lot in tournaments.

CENTER:

Marc Gasol (14600/8400/7900) – I love this matchup for Marc Gasol tonight. Nene has been playing very well, but I don’t see either he or Clint Capela doing anything to stop this monster. Yes, the Grizzlies are going to be on the second half of a back to back and traveling, but I think they should still have a good chance at staying in the game with the Rockets. This is a big time pace up game for the Grizzlies, which means that they should see more chances to score and everything that comes along with it. I would expect that Gasol won’t be very highly owned because of the next center we will discuss, but I will have a fair share of him.

Jusuf Nurkic

Jusuf Nurkic (12600/6400/6700) – At this price, I don’t see how Jusuf Nurkic won’t end up with huge ownership tonight. He’s been amazing since coming over from Denver, and gets a Brooklyn team that is as bad as it gets against everything. It’s quiet possible that he could end up with a huge game tonight at his price, and that is honestly the only analysis needed. He’s too low, he’s too good, and the matchup is perfect. Lock and load.

Greg Monroe (11200/6300/5600) – I really don’t like a lot of other options at the center position, so let’s ride things out tonight with Greg Monroe going up against the Raptors. Again, the Raptors aren’t playing Jonas Valancunias for more than like 20 minutes a game, so there will be no one capable of stopping Monroe on the court. I highly doubt that Jason Kidd is going to alter his strategy in an effort to combat the Raptors, as they are going to be the ones at the disadvantage. This is a great chance to use him in tournaments, because I could see the upside being near 40.

Slate Strategy

For me, I think a lot of this will be a bunch of Jokic/Nurkic lineups. Who would have though, huh? I have little doubt that Nurkic should be able to far exceed value again tonight, and Jokic always has a 60 point game in his coat pocket. The biggest thing with Jokic on sites like DraftKings and FantasyDraft is that you could end up coming up with a triple double from him.

Frome there, I’ll see how many times I can fit Blake Griffin in. I think he’s going to roll against a Chicago team that is going to have a ton of difficulty guarding him. I think an interesting strategy to use would be to pair him with Portis where and how you can, as I could see the offense being run [to an extent with Portis] through them.

After that, it will be trying to fill out my lineups, most likely with guys like Gary Harris, who should have a safe floor, but still have a price point where they could provide some tournament upside.

Situations to Monitor

Charlotte – Frank Kaminsky has already been ruled out. It looks like that means a few more minutes for Cody Zeller, but with him coming off an injury, how many? Marvin Williams and Christian Wood will also see more.

Other Options

PG – Mike Conley, Goran Dragic

SG – DeMar DeRozan, Dwyane Wade, Norman Powell

SF – LeBron James, Jimmy Butler, Wilson Chandler

PF – Serge Ibaka, Zach Randolph, James Johnson, Marvin Williams

C – DeAndre Jordan, Nene Hillario

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