NBA Daily Fantasy Helper: Friday 2/19/16
If you've never played daily fantasy basketball before, it's time to start. Unlike traditional leagues, you're able to select the players you want on that specific day only, giving you a different squad to root for each and every NBA night.
Today's lineups 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.
Oh, and if you're interested, check out our daily fantasy basketball heat chart for today's slate. It's full of information like tonight's Vegas lines, team offensive and defensive efficiency ratings, pace, fantasy points against and so much more.
As for today's picks -- let's get to it.
The Best of the Best
Russell Westbrook (FD: 10,800, DK: $11,100) - Westbrook came into the All-Star break as hot as any player in the league, averaging 25.2 points, 11.2 assists and 9.8 rebounds per game over his last nine outings. He now sits fourth in our player power rankings with a 16.7 nERD, and should have little trouble producing big numbers in what should be a very fast-paced, high-scoring affair against the Pacers. Westbrook is our top overall projected player for tonight's 14-game slate.
James Harden (FD: 10,800, DK: $10,600) - In five games during the month of February, Harden has posted 29.4 points, 7.8 assists and 7 rebounds with a 33.7% Usage Rate in 37.6 minutes per game. He draws one of the best matchups on the board against a Suns' defense that ranks 27th in Defensive Efficiency according to our metrics and has given up the second most fantasy points per game to opposing shooting guards on the year, and has as much upside as any player available tonight.
DeMarcus Cousins (FD: 10,600, DK: $11,000) - The Nuggets have struggled to slow down opposing big men all season long, allowing the seventh most fantasy points per game to opposing power forwards and the tenth most to opposing centers this season. This bodes extremely well for Cousins who leads the league in Usage Rate at 35.5% and should see a huge workload tonight for a Kings' squad looking to make a playoff push.
Top Mid-Range Values
Nikola Vucevic (FD: $8,300, DK: $7,300) - Although his minutes have been somewhat inconsistent this season, Vucevic has been spectacular when on the floor, averaging 19.2 points, 10.1 rebounds, 3.4 assists and 1.3 blocks on a per-36 minute basis. Minutes should not be an issue for Vucevic tonight with Tobias Harris traded to Detroit and Ersan Ilyasova expected to be eased into the Magic rotation, and he should see a boost in both playing time and usage rate tonight against a below-average Mavericks' defense.
Danilo Gallinari (FD: $7,200, DK: $6,900) - Finally healthy, Gallinari has put together a career-year, amassing career-bests in points (19.7 per game), rebounds (5.4 per game), minutes (34.8 per game) and Usage Rate (23.1%). He has seen at least 35 minutes in each of his last five games, and should see all the minutes he can handle in a dream matchup against a Kings' squad that has given up the most points per game in the league (109.1) and plays at the fastest pace in all of basketball.
Mike Conley (FD: $6,700, DK: $6,500) - With Marc Gasol out for the remainder of the season and Jeff Green now in Los Angeles, Memphis will be forced to lean heavily on Conley on the offensive end tonight. He gets a great matchup against the Timberwolves who rank 28th in the NBA in Defensive Efficiency, having allowed the seventh most fantasy points per game to opposing point guards on the year and should see a massive boost in Usage Rate for the short-handed Grizzlies tonight.
Gary Harris (FD: $4,600, DK: $4,300) - Harris saw a significant increase in playing time before the All-Star break, averaging 38.6 minutes per game in his last five outings prior to the break. He should continue to see minutes in the upper-30s until Jameer Nelson returns to action, and he should reach value easily tonight against the porous Kings' defense considering his minuscule price tag.
Amar'e Stoudemire (FD: $4,300, DK: $4,200) - Chris Bosh and Hassan Whiteside are both unavailable tonight, which means the veteran Stoudemire will slide into the Heat starting lineup. He has posted 13.7 points, 11.5 rebounds, 1.9 blocks and 1.7 assists on a per-36 minute basis and could push for close to 30 minutes tonight considering how thin the Miami frontline is. Stoudemire should provide tremendous value against a Hawks' interior defense that has allowed the sixth most fantasy points per game to opposing centers this season.
Jon Leuer (FD: $3,700, DK: $4,000) - Markieff Morris was shipped to Washington at the trade deadline and Leuer will more than likely soak up the majority of his minutes. He played very well earlier in the season when seeing significant playing time -- he has averaged 15.3 points, 9.9 rebounds and 2.2 assists per-36 minutes this year -- and gets an outstanding matchup against the Rockets who rank dead last in terms of points per game to opposing power forwards this season.