3 Daily Fantasy Basketball Value Plays for 2/23/16
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.
Ryan Anderson, PF, New Orleans Pelicans
FanDuel Price: $5,200
Omer Asik is listed as doubtful tonight, and his absence has resulted in a boost in production for Ryan Anderson this season, according to statmuse.com. In the seven games Asik has missed, Anderson has averaged 30.5 FanDuel points in 33.8 minutes per game. Washington has fared well against power forwards this season, but there is a reason to believe Anderson possesses a skill-set capable of exploiting the weaknesses of Washington's defense.
Anderson's two primary ways of scoring are as a spot-up shooter and the roll man in the pick and roll. Per NBA.com, those type of plays have accounted for 38% of Anderson's points this season and 36.6% of his shot attempts. He has a 53.4% Effective Field Goal percentage (eFG%) as a spot-up shooter and a 52.7% eFG% as the roll man, both of which are improvements from his season eFG% of 50.3%.
According to NBA.com, the Wizards rank as the fourth-worst team when it comes to defending the roll man in the pick and roll. They rank as the second least efficient defense against spot-up shooters. The Wizards also boast the worst Rebounding Rate in the NBA and are ranked 20th in Defensive Efficiency.
This game has the second highest over/under on the slate and is a big pace up game for New Orleans, as Washington ranks fifth in the NBA in Pace. Vegas has the Pelicans outscoring their season average by 1.7 points tonight.
Our projections love Anderson tonight too, listing him as the best value play on the slate.
Gary Harris, SG, Denver Nuggets
FanDuel Price: $4,700
It's very rare that you find a player with such secure minutes so cheap. Gary Harris has seen at least 40 minutes in four of his past seven games while averaging 38.7 minutes per game during that span. Harris has put those minutes to good use recently, averaging 24.5 FanDuel points per game over his past four.
Harris draws a perfect matchup tonight against the Kings, who have allowed the most fantasy points to opposing shooting guards on the season. A big reason for Sacramento's struggles against the position is the fact that they play at the fastest pace in the NBA and have the 25th ranked Defensive Efficiency. They have also allowed the most made three-pointers in the NBA.
Taking a look at the individual defense of Sacramento's shooting guards sheds some light on the problem too. Ben McLemore's Defensive Real Plus-Minus of -1.19 ranks 47th among shooting guards, while Marco Belinelli's mark of -4.31 ranks dead last among shooting guards and 438th among 441 qualified NBA players.
While Sacramento's defensive struggles are pretty much all-encompassing, let's examine how they have fared at defending Harris's areas of strength: scoring in transition, and as a spot-up shooter. 49.8% of Harris's points have come via one of those two categories.
According to NBA.com, Sacramento ranks out as the fourth-worst defense against spot-up shooters and the fourth least effective team at defending in transition. Opponents have an eFG% of 63.6 in transition against Sacramento, third highest in the NBA, and a 52.2% eFG% as spot-up shooters, the fifth highest mark.
The Denver-Sacramento game has the highest over/under on the slate, and the Nuggets are projected to outscore their season average by 9.1, which is more than any other team's projected plus-minus. As a result, all players in this game should get a slight boost tonight.
Harris played against this porous Sacramento defense just four days ago and put up 27.3 FanDuel points. He could be in line for similar production tonight and comes at quite a discount.
Brandon Jennings, PG, Orlando Magic
FanDuel Price: $3,900
Brandon Jennings is simply way too cheap on FanDuel considering his role with his new team.
Not only has Jennings seen more minutes than he did in his time with the Pistons, but he has also seen a huge boost in Usage Rate in his new role. Jennings has seen 25 minutes in both games with Orlando and had a Usage Rate of 27.7% in those games, up from the 19.2% he sustained in Detroit. The result has been back-to-back games of over 25 FanDuel points.
Jennings' new role puts him in play every night while he remains near-minimum salary, but it's his matchup that makes him an elite play tonight. The 76ers have allowed the third most fantasy points to opposing teams this season and rank 21st in Defensive Efficiency. Consequently, Vegas has Orlando projected to outscore their season average by 7.8 points tonight.
More specifically, the Sixers have allowed the sixth-most fantasy points to opposing point guards on the year. That is largely due to Ishmael Smith and Isaiah Canaan, who rank 40th and 60th, respectively, among point guards in Defensive Real Plus-Minus.
While Jennings looks great on paper, there is some risk attached to this pick. Scott Skiles has employed maddeningly inconsistent rotations all season, and Jennings is still adjusting to his new team. At this price, the reward outweighs the risk. Just don't go into lineup construction assuming he's risk-free.