NBA DFS Picks for FanDuel and DraftKings – 4/2/17

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:

Goran Dragic (14200/7800/7700) – This is really interesting, as we really haven’t had bigger Sunday slates basically all year. Now, all of a sudden, we have very playable NBA and NHL slates. I’ll gladly take it. Lets kick things off today with Goran Dragic. He’s been awesome as of late, and he gets one of the better matchups on the board against the Denver Nuggets. We know that the Nuggets haven’t exactly been good when it comes to defending point guards, and with how well Dragic has been playing, there is no reason to not look here. He’s one of my favorite options.

T.J. McConnell

T.J. McConnell (11600/5600/5900) – McConnell is seeing a ton of minutes right now, and his price has him at a point where there is still some upside left in it. I’ve made a pretty good chunk of money picking on Cory Jospeh the last few weeks, and I won’t hesitate to go that route again tonight. He doesn’t have wild upside, and he’s very unlikely to hit 40 fantasy points, but he does have upside between 32-35, so he’ll be worth a look in your lineups tonight.

Patrick Beverley (9800/4800/5000) – I really struggled to determine whether or not Beverley deserved to be in this breakdown, and I’m going to settle with yes. As the year winds down, one would assume that Mike D’Antoni would want Harden to do less. I don’t think there is anyway they are going to sit him, but after a pretty poor performance against the Warriors [for Harden, at least], I could see Beverley handling the ball a bit more. The Phoenix Suns are one of the top matchup for point guards, who have just been destroying them as of late. I’m not touching him in cash games, but he could come through with a big game in tournaments.

SHOOTING GUARD:

DeMar DeRozan (16300/9200/8800) – Speaking of guys worth looking at in tournaments, but possibly not in cash games, I think DeMar DeRozan has to come to mind. His price is creeping back up there to a point where it gets harden to make value, but he’s been doing it again and again. The Sixers are hardly a team we would want to avoid using him against, so I am going to have some exposure to him tonight. I love the idea of using this and I think he could flirt with 50 fantasy points tonight.

Devin Booker of the Phoenix Suns

Devin Booker (14300/8000/7800) – Devin Booker is finishing his season pretty well. This is being written prior to the Suns playing the Blazers, so he could end up having a stinker there. However that pans out, though, I think this matchup against the Rockets is built to Booker’s strengths. Defense isn’t one of the Rockets strengths, and even though the Suns aren’t a great team, Booker can still score the basketball. The Suns do seem to play better on their home court, so I do want to get some exposure to them as this game could stay close.

Nik Stauskas (9100/3800/4600) – Stauskas on FanDuel is almost close to a lock for me, and really his price on DraftKings isn’t too much that I won’t consider him there as well. He’s playing big minutes while Sergio Rodriguez is sidelined, which he should be again for this game. He’s shown that he does have 30-point upside, which we are looking for at this price. It’s not highly likely, but it could happen if the Sixers are able to keep this game close.

SMALL FORWARD:

LeBron James (18000/10700/10000) – Scanning through LeBron’s game logs this season, he hasn’t really played overly well against the Pacers. Awesome. In fact, I couldn’t think of a better situation. Why, you might ask? Well, fantasy players look at things like that. That could be enough to pull some players off of him. The big deal about April 2nd LeBron that differs from LeBron in December or January is that it’s crunch time. The Cavs are out of the top seed in the East. The Pacers are a playoff team trying to keep hold of their spot or move up. He’s having to play big minutes to keep the Cavs in things. All of these things add up to a 60-fantasy point night, while he is discounted. I’m going to have a ton of him tonight, and he may be my favorite player on the slate.

Trevor Ariza

Trevor Ariza (11600/5800/5900) – Ariza couldn’t hit a three to save his life on Saturday night, but on Monday, he gets a very sloppy Suns team. Why does that matter? Ariza’s biggest strength to me in DFS is that he can end up with 3-5 steals almost out of nowhere. With a Suns team that can give up the ball, I think, even with this being an unpredictable stat, he puts himself in position to have a safe floor. The price is on him is getting tough, but he sees the minutes, and is in a pretty strong matchup tonight.

Andre Iguodala (10100/5000/5100) – Iguodala isn’t here because of matchup or anything like that, but rather because he is just playing really good basketball right now. The Warriors need him with no Kevin Durant, and he is giving them everything that they need. He’s been showing pretty consistent upside, and he’s even had a few games that have been over 40 fantasy points. That’s great upside for someone priced where he is, and he is cash game playable to boot.

POWER FORWARD:

Anthony Davis (18200/11200/9900) – This game could be very fun. There are a number of ways you can attack the Chicago Bulls, and the frontcourt is one of them. It doesn’t hurt that Davis is laughably priced on DraftKings. We’ve seen this for Cousins, but now we get Davis too. He’s got a 50-point floor, at least in my opinion, so it just doesn’t make sense to look past him on DraftKings tonight. The price is a little tougher on FanDuel, where he accrues less fantasy points to begin with, so I won’t have nearly as much there.

T.J. Warren (13300/6600/7100) – I’ve got my fingers crossed that this game can stay close, because really, the Suns’ production is pretty static and we know who the guys who will get us to the fantasy promised land are. T.J. Warren is one of them. He’s turned the engines way up as the season has gone on, and I don’t think things will stop tonight. With Ryan Anderson out, the Rockets are typically running Ariza at the four, but he is mostly guarding the teams top perimeter shooter, as he was doing with Steph and Klay Saturday. That should give Warren all the time to drive to the rim against a team that doesn’t have the great or most consistent rim protection.

Kenneth Faried (9800/5100/5000) – Faried is easily the most inconsistent of the bunch here, but I just don’t see who Miami has that will be able to slow him down. I could see Whiteside or Faried giving the other foul trouble, so while Faried might be risky, I think he clearly has a ton of upside. I typically won’t use guys against the Heat because they don’t tend to give up a lot of fantasy points across the board, but I’ll likely make an exception tonight.

CENTER:

DeMarcus Cousins (18300/9600/10200) – Boogie puts up a 70 fantasy point game, and his salary doesn’t move on FanDuel, and only goes up a very small amount on DraftKings? Can’t wait to see him in like 35% of lineups again tonight. Do you cringe at the thought of Robin Lopez trying to guard Cousins, because you should. With a price that is far too cheap, and the fact that he and Davis could both exceed value at these jokes of prices tonight, get ready for high ownership.

Jonas Valancunias of the Toronto Raptors

Jonas Valancunias (11600/5500/5900) – Valancunias was only 5% owned in most of the tournaments I was in on Saturday. Not only that, but you could effectively have two true centers on DraftKings, and he was still that low. He was in potentially the best matchup on the slate. Well, despite the low ownership, his price has come up to a point where I don’t exactly love it. Then I see that the opponent is the Sixers, and I remember how bad they are against centers. I’ll have a lot of him tonight.

Tristan Thompson (9100/5000/4600) – I mentioned Valancunias at low ownership, and the team he did it against was the Pacers. The Cavs play the Pacers tonight. The price on Thompson on DraftKings is far too cheap, and really, there isn’t a ton of difference between what you get in Big Val and Tristan. I’ll have no issues using him in a lot of my lineups tonight, to free up cash, grab the low ownership and get the extra points per dollar.

Slate Strategy

With the Cavs trying to get the number one seed back, and LeBron needing to put the team on his back like usual, it’s hard to look past LeBron James as your starting point tonight. Everything sets up for him to have a big night, and while the last time I remember saying that [re:Denver] and he got made a fool of, I don’t see lightning striking twice. Safe floor and a big ceiling come with this play, so get him in there where you can.

One value play I didn’t get to mention is Jamal Murray. Jameer Nelson left the game last time, and Murray finished things out. The Heat are an awful matchup for point guards and all around, but with 30 minutes at his salary, he could be worth a look. He and Tristan on a team could go a long way to making sure your LeBron lineups have other bigger names around him.

I think this is a night where you can also go to the middle of the pack at all positions and completely fade guys like LeBron, Davis and Cousins. There are enough options out there that it wouldn’t shock me that none of those guys are the top point per dollar plays.

Situations to Monitor

Atlanta – Despite being in one of the best matchups on the board, I neglected to include any Hawks. Paul Millsap is questionable for this game, and if he plays, it could change things too much. If he doesn’t play, though, you’ll find some good options for the Hawks.

Denver – Both Jameer Nelson and Will Barton are questionable, which opens up more minutes for Jamal Murray, Gary Harris, Wilson Chandler and Danilo Gallinari.

 

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