5 Under-the-Radar Daily Fantasy Basketball Plays for 2/5/16

John Wall is an awesome play in an uptempo game, but don't forget about the point guard on the other side of the ball -- Ish Smith.

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.

LeBron James, SF, Cleveland Cavaliers

FanDuel Price: $10,200

Why He Will Go Overlooked:

LeBron James seems to go overlooked often in daily fantasy, and that won't change tonight with elite options DeMarcus Cousins and John Wall in terrific spots. James hasn't topped 10% ownership in three straight games, and there's no reason to believe that trend will change in a neutral matchup.

Why You Should Use Him:

Since Tyronn Lue has taken over as head coach, James has averaged 24 points, 7.4 rebounds, 7.7 assists, and 47.2 FanDuel points per game. Even more impressive is the fact that three of those seven games were against San Antonio, Detroit, and Indiana, who have been the three best teams against small forwards this season.

A big reason for James' recent improvement is Lue increasing Cleveland's Pace. Vegas has taken that into account tonight, projecting Cleveland for 108.5 points, which is the third highest total on the slate, and a 6.2-point improvement from Cleveland's season average.

While Jae Crowder is a solid defender, he is very banged-up right now, dealing with shin and ankle injuries. Considering James has put up 50-plus FanDuel points against Kawhi Leonard, Paul George, and Jimmy Butler in the last two weeks, I am not overly concerned about a matchup against a hobbled Jae Crowder.

Nikola Vucevic, C, Orlando Magic

FanDuel Price: $7,900

Why He Will Go Overlooked:

The attention at center will either go to the top with DeMarcus Cousins and Brook Lopez, or the bottom with Nikola Jokic, Robin Lopez, and Jordan Hill. This will leave mid-range options such as Nikola Vucevic underowned tonight.

Victor Oladipo will likely see a healthy ownership after his 55.4 FanDuel point game, which will deflect some potential ownership Vucevic would have had.

Why You Should Use Him:

Vucevic comes into this game averaging 37.5 FanDuel points per game over his past seven games and draws a terrific matchup against the Clippers, who have given up the seventh most fantasy points to opposing centers and rank 28th in Rebounding Rate.

11 of the past 12 teams that the Clippers have faced have had their starting center or power forward post a double-double. During that stretch, Los Angeles has had a game with a Rebounding Rate of above 50% only once. They also gave up some huge performances during those 12 games, such as a 36-point and 26-rebound game to Dwight Howard, a 23-point and 14-rebound game to Julius Randle, and an 18-point and 16-rebound game to Kevin Love.

Ish Smith, PG, Philadelphia 76ers

FanDuel Price: $6,700

Why He Will Go Overlooked:

John Wall will be a very popular option following his huge performance against the Warriors. Isaiah Thomas should be fairly popular in a favorable matchup with Kyrie Irving. Derrick Rose may end up being very popular depending on how the chips fall with the Bulls' injured players. Emmanuel Mudiay has a good matchup and will get more minutes with Jameer Nelson out, so he may end up being a popular value play too.

All in all, Ish Smith will go under-the-radar tonight with three games under 21 FanDuel points in his past five.

Why You Should Use Him:

The past six point guards to face Wall have averaged 25.8 points, 5.8 assists, 5.8 rebounds, 1.8 steals, and 41.75 FanDuel points per game. Every point guard reached at least 30 FanDuel points, which is impressive considering two of the point guards were Emmanuel Mudiay and Patrick Beverley.

This game will be played at a very fast pace, as Washington is fourth in Pace and Philadelphia is sixth. Washington is also ranked 22nd in Defensive Efficiency and has given up the 11th most fantasy points to opposing teams this season.

This game has the highest over/under on the slate, and Philadelphia is expected to outscore their season average by 8.2 points. Smith thrives in uptempo games and could very easily put up a huge game if Philadelphia can keep it competitive.

Kenneth Faried, PF, Denver Nuggets

FanDuel Price: $6,100

Why He Will Go Overlooked:

Kevin Love has played much better since Tyronn Lue has taken over as the head coach for the Cavs and should be a popular option tonight against a weak Boston frontcourt. Derrick Favors has been a popular target for daily fantasy players since he has returned and will continue to be so tonight in a matchup with the Bucks. Myles Turner continues to be criminally underpriced and has an exploitable matchup against the Hawks. Expect Kenneth Faried to be very low owned tonight.

Why You Should Use Him:

The Bulls' frontcourt is on life support. They have lost Joakim Noah and Nikola Mirotic and may be without Pau Gasol for this game. The Bulls have been a frontcourt to attack for two years now, and with their lack of depth, Faried should be able to dominate the glass tonight.

Faried is always a risky play in daily fantasy sports due to his fluctuating minutes, but he's shown he can put up big numbers when given big minutes, with eight games of over 35 FanDuel points this season. Darrell Arthur will miss this game, which should solidify Faried's minutes.

This game is also being played in Denver, where Faried averages 1.5 more points and 1.8 more rebounds per game in his career.

The Nuggets like to go small-ball when they can, and if Gasol is forced to sit tonight, this may be the perfect opportunity to do so. Per, the most frequently utilized lineup for Denver, other than their starting lineup, features Faried as a small-ball center. That bodes well for Faried, as Chicago has given up the fifth most fantasy points to opposing centers this season.

Otto Porter, SF, Washington Wizards

FanDuel Price: $5,300

Why He Will Go Overlooked:

Otto Porter has dealt with limited minutes recently and has topped 25 FanDuel points only once in his past six games.

He's also in the same price range as DFS darling Michael Kidd-Gilchrist. John Wall will keep Porter's ownership down too, as most prefer not to roster multiple players on the same team on large slates like this.

Why You Should Use Him:

While Porter didn't put up big fantasy numbers in his most recent game, I'm encouraged by the fact that he finally saw 30-plus minutes again. If Porter is back to being able to regularly handle heavy minutes, he is underpriced. Before injuring his hip, Porter's FanDuel salary was $6,100.

In the 11 games prior to his injury, Porter averaged 29.54 FanDuel points and 32.36 minutes per game.

The Wizards have the highest implied team total of the night at 112 points, which is 9.4 points above their season average. Porter has the path of least resistance of any Wizard, as Philadelphia has given up the most fantasy points to small forwards of any team in the NBA.

Porter has flashed rare potential for a player at his price point, with 12 games of 30-plus FanDuel points and three with over 40 FanDuel points. If any matchup would help him realize that potential, it is this dream matchup against the Sixers.