NBA

5 Daily Fantasy Basketball Value Plays for 3/1/16

D'Angelo Russell makes for a terrific value tonight in a matchup with the Nets. Who else is underpriced?

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 five 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.

Luol Deng, SF, Miami Heat

FanDuel Price: $6,000

Since the All-Star Break, Luol Deng has taken on a bigger role for the Heat in the absence of Chris Bosh. Deng has averaged 36.7 FanDuel points in 35 minutes per game over his past six contests, along with seeing a big boost in Usage. Per NBAwowy.com Deng has a 24.2 percent Usage Rate since the All-Star Break, up from his 15.8 percent mark prior.

While Deng will likely see fewer minutes going forward due to the recently acquired Joe Johnson, he still remains underpriced for his role.

Deng draws a matchup with the Bulls, who present a pace-up game, as well as a favorable fantasy matchup. Chicago has played at the 11th fastest Pace in the league and allowed the fourth most fantasy points to opposing teams.

This is also a revenge game for Deng, who spent 10 years in Chicago before being traded. In four meetings with Chicago since, Deng has averaged 29 FanDuel points per game, a six point improvement over his average during that span.

Marvin Williams, PF, Charlotte Hornets

FanDuel Price: $6,000

Since the All-Star Break, Marvin Williams has returned to his usual level of production, averaging 32 FanDuel points and 30.4 minutes per game. He's reached 26 FanDuel points in each game and flashed a ceiling of 48 FanDuel points. Williams looks to keep the good times rolling in an exploitable matchup against the Suns tonight.

In addition to possessing the second worst Defensive Efficiency in the league and allowing the fifth most fantasy points to opposing teams, the Suns have defended transition worse than any team in the league. For more on that, check out my article from yesterday, Finding Daily Fantasy Basketball Matchups That Fit: Transition and Pace

Charlotte doesn't push the Pace very often, but they will be forced to tonight against a Suns team ranked fourth in pace. Williams has been one of Charlotte's most effective players in transition on the year, averaging over a point per minute in transition, with a 53.6 percent transition Effective Field Goal Percentage (eFG%).

Williams performed well in his last matchup with Phoenix too, putting up 26.6 FanDuel points. Look for him to exceed that number in this excellent matchup.

Vegas also has Charlotte projected for 109.3 points tonight, the second highest team total on the slate, and a 7.8-point improvement from their season average.

D'Angelo Russell, PG, Los Angeles Lakers

FanDuel Price: $5,300

D'Angelo Russell has made the most out of his move into the starting lineup, averaging 31.5 minutes and 28.8 FanDuel points in four starts. A matchup with the Nets provides him an excellent opportunity to continue his high level of play.

The Nets rank 26th in Defensive Efficiency and have allowed the fourth most fantasy points to opposing point guards. Their defensive struggles against point guards should come as no surprise considering the individual efforts of Donald Sloan (-1.03 DRPM) and Shane Larkin (-1.05 DRPM). Vegas has taken the matchup into account, projecting Los Angeles to outscore their season average by 9.8 points, the largest expected boost for any team.

As an added bonus, Kobe Bryant may sit out this game, which would result in an increase in Usage for Russell. According to NBAwowy.com, Russell's Usage Rate without Bryant on the floor is 26.4 percent, a big increase from the 21.1 percent he has maintained with Bryant on the floor.

Mario Hezonja, SF, Orlando Magic

FanDuel Price: $3,700

Mario Hezonja made the first start of his career against Philadelphia and easily reached value at his bargain-bin price. He's now played 25 plus minutes in back to back games and topped 20 FanDuel points both times. 

It was expected that Hezonja would step into a larger role following the Tobias Harris trade, but with Evan Fournier now dealing with a nagging wrist injury, Hezonja could again find himself with a heavy minute load at his disposal. 

This game also boasts the second highest over/under on the slate, and Orlando is projected to outscore their season average by 3.2 points. If Hezonja draws another start, he is in a great position to reach value for the third straight game.

Markel Brown, SG, Brooklyn Nets

FanDuel Price: $3,600

Markel Brown has been able to take advantage of an expanded role due to the absence of Joe Johnson, averaging 23.3 minutes per game with 15 or more FanDuel points in each game. He may be looking at an even bigger role tonight, as Wayne Ellington left last night's game with a concussion.

Per NBAwowy.com, Brown has averaged 0.80 FanDuel points per minute without Johnson and Ellington, as opposed to his season average of 0.66. He also has maintained a Usage Rate of 21 percent in those instances, which is up from his season average of 17.9 percent.

Brown's potential increase in minutes could not come at a better time, as Brooklyn draws a matchup with the Lakers tonight. Los Angeles is ranked dead last in Defensive Efficiency on the year and have allowed the most fantasy points to opposing teams as well. Vegas has Brooklyn projected to outscore their season average by 8.3 points tonight due to their terrific matchup.

As noted in my transition article, the Lakers also boast the third worst defense in transition, which is good news for Brown. Brown has been one of Brooklyn's most effective players in transition, averaging the third highest points per possession in transition among Nets players, with a 60 percent eFG%, a big improvement from his season eFG% of 43.7 percent.

Brown will be defended by Jordan Clarkson and Louis Williams, who rank 82nd and 90th among 95 shooting guards in Defensive Real Plus-Minus.

Be sure to monitor the news as the day goes on. If Ellington is forced to sit tonight, Brown becomes a very intriguing tournament play.