NBA Daily Fantasy Helper: Thursday 4/9/15

Look for Dwyane Wade to step up tonight as the Heat continue their push for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

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As for today's lineups -- those can be found here. The information below is to help you understand why particular players are being picked, because we don't want you going into the night completely blind. We want to help you. Keep in mind, however, that things often change up until tip-off, so make sure you're refreshing the optimal lineups as close to the start of games as possible.

To get a general idea of who we're picking in tonight's slate, check out the video below, courtesy of Periscope. And be sure to follow us on there, @numberFire!

Note: Players mentioned here may not be part of some of our daily lineups because of particular sites' cost analysis. Always look at our optimized lineups to see what our algorithms say.

The Best of the Best

LaMarcus Aldridge - Although he has been somewhat banged up for the past few weeks, Aldridge has been playing very well as of late. The Blazers' star is averaging 22 points, 9.8 rebounds and 1.3 assists over his last four games and is coming off of an impressive 24-point, 13-rebound performance in just 29 minutes against the Timberwolves last night. Aldridge draws a plus matchup against a Warriors squad who has allowed the 11th-most fantasy points per game to opposing power forwards and will likely see a heavy workload as Portland continues to battle for position in the Western Conference standings. LMA is our highest projected player on the board tonight.

Dwyane Wade - Despite drawing a tough matchup against Jimmy Butler and the Bulls, Wade is my favorite shooting guard on the board. Tonight's matchup with Chicago is a virtual must win for the Heat as they fight for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, and they should lean heavily on their veteran guard considering how banged up they are. Although he has been dealing with some knee soreness over the past few weeks, the Heat star has averaged 23.3 points, 3.6 assists, 2 rebounds and 1.3 assists in 34.6 minutes per game over his last three outings and should be in attack mode tonight. At just $7,200 on both FanDuel and DraftKings, Wade makes an excellent play in all formats tonight.

Top Mid-Range Values

Nicolas Batum - Batum has been somewhat hit or miss since Wesley Matthews went down with his Achilles injury, but given the lack of options due to the two-game slate tonight, he is one of the strongest plays on the board at small forward. The Blazers' swing man gets a decent matchup against a Dubs squad who has allowed the 13th most fantasy points to opposing small forwards over the past three weeks and should be very involved in Portland's game plan in an important game with playoff implications. Look for Batum to log heavy minutes and fill up the stat sheet in a critical matchup against Golden State.

Goran Dragic - After getting off to a slow start with his new team, Tragic finally seems to have found his place in the Heat offense. The Dragon is averaging 18.8 points, 6 assists and 3 rebounds in 34.4 minutes per game in the month of April and draws an spectacular matchup against Damian Lillard and a Blazers team who has allowed the third most fantasy points to opposing point guards this season. The Heat point guard is coming off of a huge outing against the Hornets in which he poured in 28 points with 5 assists, 4 rebounds and 2 steals and should be in for another big night tonight. Dragic is dollar for dollar my favorite play on the board for tonight's small slate.

Basement Ballers

Mike Dunleavy - Dunleavy spent much of the past two months banged up, but is finally back in the Bulls' lineup and looking healthy. Over his last four games, the Bulls' veteran is averaging 12.5 points, 3.3 assists and 3 rebounds in just 27 minutes per game and should see minutes in the 30s tonight. Although he is somewhat of a boom or bust play, Dunleavy makes a strong value play on a night where there simply aren't many inexpensive options to choose from.

C.J. McCollum - If you haven't watched much of McCollum it's time to start paying a bit more attention to him. The former Lehigh standout has played great when given the opportunity this season. McCollum is averaging 15.4 points, 3.2 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.6 steals on a per-36 minute basis this season, but has really stepped up his game as of late. Over his last five outings, the Blazers' guard has posted 15.6 points, 3.2 rebounds and 1.8 assists in 25.2 minutes per game and should be in store for a similar workload tonight. McCollum can score in a hurry so he doesn't need that much playing time to hit value -- especially at just $3,600 on DraftKings -- and should make a solid value play in all formats tonight.