3 Daily Fantasy Basketball Value Plays for 2/18/16
One of the keys to finding success in daily fantasy basketball is uncovering potential value plays. If you're looking to roster a stud player or two, you'll need to find one of these lower-priced options to squeeze everyone into your lineup.
Let's take a look at three guys who can help fill the gaps in your lineup tonight. Of course, remember to check our projections closer to tip because so much can change in the NBA throughout the day.
Rodney Hood, SG, Utah Jazz
FanDuel Price: $6,000
Rodney Hood was really turning it on, averaging 29.13 FanDuel points per game in the nine games leading up to the All-Star Break. He regularly flashed his upside during that stretch too, topping 29 FanDuel points in six of his nine games. While anyone can have a hot streak, there are two factors that make Hood's play appear sustainable -- his increase in minutes and his usage.
During that nine-game stretch, Hood averaged 35.9 minutes per game and took 16.8 shots per game -- both of which are significantly higher than his season averages. Per NBAwowy.com, Hood actually led the Jazz in field goal attempts and Usage Rate in their past nine games. During that span, Hood sustained a Usage Rate of 26.7%, which is a big jump from his season mark of 22.4%.
Hood's matchup tonight is good on paper -- Washington has allowed the fifth most fantasy points to opposing shooting guards and the third most to small forwards, and Bradley Beal ranks 80th among 92 shooting guards in Defensive Real Plus-Minus. A deeper look shows that this is close to a perfect matchup for Hood's skill-set.
Per NBA.com, the Wizards are the second worst team at defending spot up shooters, allowing the second most points per possession and the highest field goal percentage against spot-up shooters. That bodes well for Hood, who has scored 227 points as a spot-up shooter this season, which accounts for 31% of his total points, and is the ninth most in the league.
Washington also has allowed opposing teams to make 9.3 threes per game (third most in the NBA) and shoot 38.7% from behind the arc, the highest mark in the NBA. Hood has hit multiple threes in eight of his past nine games, while shooting 40.3% from deep during that stretch.
This is also a huge pace up game for Hood and the Jazz. While Utah has easily played at the slowest pace this year, they'll be forced to push the tempo some tonight against a Wizards team that plays at the fourth fastest pace in the NBA. As a result, Vegas has Utah projected to outscore their season average tonight, which should directly correlate with the production of Hood, who has been their number one offensive weapon recently.
Tim Duncan, C, San Antonio Spurs
FanDuel Price: $5,800
Tim Duncan was able to play 18 minutes and be his ridiculously efficient self in his one game return from injury, putting up 25.9 FanDuel points. After an additional week of rest, you should be fairly safe in assuming Duncan will get a full allotment of minutes tonight in what is expected to be a competitive game.
While attacking the Clippers with centers is always a good strategy in daily fantasy, that's especially the case with Duncan. In five games against DeAndre Jordan over the past two seasons, Duncan has averaged 30.78 FanDuel points per game, along with 32.8 minutes, both of which are marked improvements from his numbers in all other games during that span.
Los Angeles has allowed the eighth most fantasy points to opposing centers this season, which is no surprise considering they're ranked 28th in Rebounding Rate. They also have struggled to defend the post-up this season, allowing the second highest field goal percentage in the post, as well as the third most points per possession down low.
There is also an interesting narrative for this game, as Coach Popovich has been known to employ the "Hack-a-Jordan" strategy in the past. He has done so in two of the three most recent matchups with the Clippers, which resulted in a combined 48 free throws for Jordan in those two games. He missed 30 of them. If Pops decides to go "Hack-a-Jordan" tonight, it will result in more offensive possessions for the Spurs, as well as more rebounding opportunities for Duncan.
Our projections like Duncan tonight, too, ranking him as the best value play among center eligible players on FanDuel.
Tristan Thompson, PF, Cleveland Cavaliers
FanDuel Price: $4,800
Tristan Thompson has filled a steady role for Cleveland over their past 10 games, topping 30 minutes in all but two of those contests. While his production has been sporadic during that span, he flashed big upside for a a player under $5,000, with totals of 38.6, 36.4, and 28.8 FanDuel points.
He draws a matchup against a Chicago team tonight that has allowed the fourth most fantasy points to opposing centers on the year, and is currently thin in the frontcourt. While Chicago has rebounded well on the season, they have a Rebounding Rate of 48% with Jimmy Butler, Joakim Noah, Nikola Mirotic off the court since January 1st, according to NBAwowy.com. That would rank 26th in the NBA.
This slate includes the three worst matchups for daily fantasy purposes, and four teams who rank in the top seven in fantasy points allowed to opposing teams (San Antonio, Utah, Cleveland). Chicago, on the other hand, has allowed the fifth most fantasy points to opposing teams this season and is clearly the best team to attack tonight, especially with two of their best defenders out. Cleveland has the highest team total on the slate, and is projected to outscore their season average by 6.8 points.