5 Under-the-Radar Daily Fantasy Basketball Plays for 1/29/16

Kyrie Irving hasn't had a big game in a while, but there's reason to believe he can have one tonight.

If you have played daily fantasy sports for a while, you realize by now the importance of being contrarian, especially in large-field tournaments. Being able to recognize which players are going to be owned by the majority of the field and find players that you think have a similar point projection but will come at much lower ownership can really separate yourself from your opponents.

It’s a lot easier in NFL to identify the players who will be low-owned due to Thursday Night slates, but NBA can be much more difficult if you aren’t an experienced player.

The purpose of this article will be to bring you my favorite high-upside players at each position that will likely go overlooked and give you an edge.

Keep in mind when constructing rosters that these are contrarian picks. There is a reason that they will be overlooked by many; they are risky plays. If possible, I’d try to relegate these players to GPP-only use, where their high risk-reward styles make more sense.

Kyrie Irving, PG, Cleveland Cavaliers

FanDuel Price: $6,600
DraftKings Price: $6,400

Why He Will Go Overlooked:

There are too many reasons to list, honestly. Tonight's slate is full of solid to great point guard options, which tends to be the case with slates of at least modest size. Plus, Kyrie Irving hasn't topped 31 FanDuel points since January 13th, more than two weeks ago. His upside seems capped as a result of his minutes, which have maxed out at 32 in his past seven games -- or last two weeks.

Why You Should Use Him:

Since January 14th (so excluding his last "big" game), Irving has commanded a 28.9 percent Usage Rate when on the floor, per, highest among teammates. LeBron James' mark is 22.9 percent, and Kevin Love's is 21.0 percent in that stretch. He's averaged 0.90 FanDuel points per minute, and that includes some blowout games either way. Against Reggie Jackson and his Defensive Real Plus-Minus that ranks 58th among point guards, Irving offers a usable floor with elite upside (though he hasn't been realizing it lately). No game comes close to the 220-point over/under in the Thunder/Rockets game, but the Cavs and Pistons' 206.5 is second highest on the slate, and the 4.5-point spread is close enough to limit blowout risk one way or another.

Enes Kanter, C, Oklahoma City Thunder

FanDuel Price: $4,800
DraftKings Price: $5,000

Why He Will Go Overlooked:

While Enes Kanter threw a monkey wrench into things by scoring 23 points in 22 minutes last time out for the Thunder, he was coming off an 0-for-6 game and a 4-for-12 game. Still, that aforementioned Thunder/Rockets game with the 220-point over/under, fourth-highest in the NBA the past two seasons, features Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook

Why You Should Use Him:

With their elevated price tags, it's hard to imagine Kanter to be super popular in addition, but I have a feeling he'll be less under-the-radar than we'd like. Still, other centers have solid matchups tonight, and most lineups are going to feature either Durant or Westbrook. In 43 games in the past two seasons with an over/under of at least 216 and his team favored by 5.5 to 9.5 points (Oklahoma City is a 7.5-point favorite right now), Kanter has averaged 1.05 FanDuel points per minute. Out of that split, he scored 0.94 per minute. Houston is the fifth-most generous team against centers tonight, in terms of fantasy points allowed over the last three weeks.

Also take note of whether Clint Capela starts or comes off the bench. He started his past 21 games before coming off the bench on Wednesday. Capela, who would likely match up with Kanter when the second units are on the floor, owns the third best Defensive Real Plus-Minus among power forwards. If that's the case, consider Dion Waiters to get exposure to this game at a different position.

Arron Afflalo, SG, New York Knicks

FanDuel Price: $5,000
DraftKings Price: $

Why He Will Go Overlooked:

Arron Afflalo has played big minutes recently (more than 30 in his last 13 games), but his game log is pretty erratic, as he's dependent on his scoring. Carmelo Anthony and Kristaps Porzingis could be back tonight, which would all but eliminate his role. His Usage Rate in the past two weeks while sharing the court with both is a paltry 13.2 percent, per NBAWowy. 

Why You Should Use Him:

With Porzingis on and Anthony off, it's been 22.0 percent, and with Anthony but without Porzingis, it's been 20.1 percent. Both are questionable to play tonight, so if one misses, there's still a chance Afflalo sees a Usage Rate above 20 percent while the other player gets back on track -- Porzingis missed Thursday night's game with a respiratory illness, and Anthony missed the team's past two games with a knee problem. The Knicks are in a pace-up game -- the Suns' 98.3 possessions per 48 minutes is slightly second only to Boston's 98.4 on the slate -- and their 53.2 percent Effective Field Goal Percentage allowed is the worst of all teams playing tonight. His likely counterpart, Devin Booker, ranks 86th among 90 qualified shooting guards in Defensive Real Plus-Minus this year. If one or both miss, Afflalo's ownership could be high, but it's a prime night for him to realize his scoring potential at a reasonable price and at a tough-to-fill shooting guard position. Especially with James Harden on the docket.

Jared Sullinger, PF, Boston Celtics

FanDuel Price: $5,600
DraftKings Price: $5,400

Why He Will Go Overlooked:

He's a Boston Celtics frontcourt player. That pretty much says it all.

Why You Should Use Him:

Jared Sullinger can be a fantasy point per minute guy in the right matchup. The Celtics are favored by 8 points, and the over/under is a usable 204.5. In the past two years, when Sullinger's team was favored by 6 to 10 points in a game with an over/under of 202.5 to 206.5 (which gives us 33 games), he averaged 1.03 FanDuel points per minute. He played fewer than 20 minutes in consecutive contests, so he won't be popular. Sullinger notched 46.9 FanDuel points four games ago, upside hard to find at this type of price. Additionally, Aaron Gordon ranks 80th in Defensive Real Plus-Minus among 95 qualified power forwards.

Justise Winslow, SF, Miami Heat

FanDuel Price: $4,200
DraftKings Price: $4,500

Why He Will Go Overlooked:

There are a lot of small forward options tonight, namely Durant and LeBron at the top. But even the tiers below them feature guys in solid spots: Tobias Harris, Gordon Hayward, Trevor Ariza, and more. Also, Winslow's upside is pretty limited, given that he isn't a dominant scorer.

Why You Should Use Him:

He has played at least 35 minutes in four straight games, topping 20 FanDuel points in each and 24 in three of them. He scored double-digit points in just one of them, so he can provide points without scoring, provided he's on the floor. With the wing play in Milwaukee behind Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton, Winslow could see extended run again. With a lot of studs in good spots, particularly in the Rockets/Thunder game, you'll need to save salary somewhere, and Winslow helps do just that without risking a total meltdown unless his minutes get cut drastically all of a sudden.