5 Daily Fantasy Basketball Value Plays for 3/8/16
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.
Jonas Valanciunas, C, Toronto Raptors
FanDuel Price: $6,200
Jonas Valanciunas is a better value on DraftKings, but he definitely possesses the potential to reach value at his FanDuel price, too.
The Nets rank 28th in Defensive Efficiency and 19th in Rebounding Rate and, as a result, have allowed the sixth-most fantasy points to opposing centers. A deeper look will show that they struggle to defend centers with skill-sets similar to Valanciunas, who is an effective low-post scorer and one of the most efficient finishers out of the pick and roll.
The Nets rank in the bottom half of the league in points allowed in the post and opponents' post-up field goal percentage, and Brook Lopez has given up the ninth-most points in the post among centers. Brooklyn has been even worse against the pick and roll, allowing the fourth-most points to opposing roll-men.
Valanciunas has averaged a double-double in six games against Brooklyn over the past two seasons -- including an average of 14 points, 11.5 rebounds, and 32.3 FanDuel points in their two previous games this season.
Toronto also has the highest projected team total on the slate, according to Vegas, and is expected to outscore their season average by 6.8 points.
Aaron Gordon, PF, Orlando Magic
FanDuel Price: $6,000
Aaron Gordon is always susceptible to getting benched randomly by Scott Skiles, but he has reached 30 FanDuel points in each of the last 11 games he has seen at least 20 minutes. In those 11 games, Gordon averaged 34.9 FanDuel points. So, Gordon has been a lock to reach value at this price in games he received his normal allotment of minutes.
He should have no trouble crushing value again tonight against the worst defense in the league. The Lakers rank dead last in Defensive Efficiency and have given up the most fantasy points to opposing teams. Los Angeles has also really struggled to defend in transition -- an area in which Gordon thrives.
Vegas expects Orlando to take advantage of this matchup, projecting them to outscore their season average by 7.7 points tonight. Give a boost to all Orlando players in this terrific matchup.
Will Barton, SG, Denver Nuggets
FanDuel Price: $5,800
I have been very bullish on Will Barton through his recent struggles, and I was finally repaid -- somewhat at least -- with a 20-point performance against Dallas on Sunday. Barton will look to build off that in a matchup that fits his skill-set well tonight against New York.
As noted in my article "Finding Daily Fantasy Basketball Matchups That Fit: Pick and Roll" yesterday, the Knicks have been one of the worst teams at defending opposing ball handlers in the pick and roll. Barton was featured in that article as one of the most effective pick and roll ball handlers among shooting guards.
The Knicks also have allowed the fifth-most points per possession in transition. Barton has the most transition points among Denver players and is third among all shooting guards in transition scoring.
Barton was able to take advantage of these weaknesses in his last meeting with the Knicks, putting up 43.7 FanDuel points.
Elfrid Payton, PG, Orlando Magic
FanDuel Price: $5,400
I want to place a caveat on this pick by saying D'Angelo Russell remains a terrific value at just $5,900 -- but the entire daily fantasy community has been on him for some time now. Let's, instead, focus on the other point guard in this game: Elfrid Payton, who has also stepped up his game recently, averaging 29.3 FanDuel points per game over his past five.
As mentioned previously, all Magic players deserve a bump in their projections against a porous Lakers defense. Perhaps none more so than Payton, who draws what is quite possibly the best matchup in daily fantasy basketball: point guards against the Lakers.
The Magic may be without Nikola Vucevic in this one, too, which has resulted in a slight boost in production for Payton this season. Per NBAwowy.com, Payton has averaged 0.91 FanDuel points per minute without Vucevic on the court, as opposed to 0.82 with him.
Ultimately, I prefer Russell to Payton in cash formats. Payton makes for an interesting GPP pivot, though.
Otto Porter, SF, Washington Wizards
FanDuel Price: $4,400
Otto Porter should be in line for a boost in Usage Rate and minutes with Bradley Beal on the shelf tonight. Per statmuse.com, Porter has averaged 29 FanDuel points per game without Beal this season, as opposed to 20.2 with Beal healthy. Porter also averaged 32.2 minutes per game in the 17 games without Beal. NBAwowy.com offers an explanation for that, as Porter has averaged 0.84 FanDuel points per minute without Beal on the floor but just 0.70 with him.
While Al-Farouq Aminu is a solid defender, it's going to be hard to keep Porter from reaching value at such a discounted price. Our Floor/Ceiling tool loves Porter for tournaments tonight -- projecting him to have the highest ceiling per dollar among all players. Our projections love Porter today, too, listing him as the best value at any position. Porter's price is simply too low for the role he is likely going to fill.