5 Daily Fantasy Basketball Value Plays for 3/17/16
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 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.
Lance Stephenson, SG, Memphis Grizzlies
FanDuel Price: $5,600
It took a litany of injuries to the Grizzlies, but Lance Stephenson has come alive! Stephenson has looked similar to the player we remember for putting up 13.8 points, 7.2 rebounds, and 4.6 assists per game in 2014 -- oh, and for this.
Stephenson is again contributing in all areas, averaging 25 points, 8.7 rebounds, and 5.7 assists over the past three games while running the offense for this undermanned Memphis team. Those numbers have added up to an impressive 44.9 FanDuel points in 34.7 minutes per game.
Not much is expected to change for tonight's game, but be sure to check in on the status of Zach Randolph and Vince Carter -- the only injured players not ruled out at the time this was written. Stephenson would still be in play if one or both returned, but may be worth fading in that scenario in tournaments for Gary Harris, who will likely be lower owned.
Shelvin Mack, PG, Utah Jazz
FanDuel Price: $5,500
Shelvin Mack has really found his groove as the starting point guard for the Jazz -- to the tune of 34.7 FanDuel points in 33.7 minutes per game over his past three contests.
Mack benefited in his last game from the absence of Gordon Hayward, posting his first double-digit assist game of the season. Hayward is currently listed as questionable for tonight's game against Phoenix. Be sure to monitor his status because his absence would result in a larger role for Mack and would make this game much less likely to be a blowout.
The Suns have posted the second worst Defensive Efficiency in the league and have allowed the second-most fantasy points to opposing point guards according to our Matchup/Game Composite tool.
Phoenix has also really struggled to contain opposing teams in transition, which I hit on in my article "Finding Daily Fantasy Matchups That Fit: Transition and Pace". Phoenix's transition defense has been even worse since the publication of that article, now ranking dead last in transition points allowed, points per possession allowed, and Effective Field Goal Percentage (eFG%) allowed.
The Jazz don't get out and run much, but when they do, Mack has been very effective. Mack has posted 1.05 points per possession in transition and has a ridiculous 76.9 percent eFG% in transition.
Gary Harris, SG, Denver Nuggets
FanDuel Price: $5,400
Harris is never a flashy option, but he continues to be the most reliable fantasy asset from game to game for Denver.
His recent play has been no exception, as he has averaged 28.3 FanDuel points and 35.9 minutes over his past seven games.
While most expected Will Barton to be the primary beneficiary of the absence of Danilo Gallinari, it has instead been Harris. Per statmuse.com, Harris has averaged 25 FanDuel points in 15 games without Gallinari this season, as opposed to 18.6 with him. The boost in fantasy production can be tied directly to Harris' increase in minutes and shot attempts. Without Gallinari, Harris has averaged 35.7 minutes and 12.6 shot attempts per game, as opposed to 31.1 minutes and 9.1 shots with him.
Harris draws a matchup with the Hawks, who have ranked in the bottom half of the league against shooting guards in fantasy points allowed all season. In their one previous meeting, Harris put up 23.5 FanDuel points in a game in which Gallinari played.
Harris is a safe bet for 30-plus minutes and 25-plus FanDuel points tonight, making him a terrific cash game option.
Bismack Biyombo, C, Toronto Raptors
FanDuel Price: $4,200
Bismack Biyombo will likely be filling in at center for the injured Jonas Valanciunas again tonight. Just two nights ago, he was featured in this article and put up 33.1 FanDuel points. If you didn't get a chance to roster him then, FanDuel felt generous and left his price low enough for you to get him at a terrific value tonight!
In 18 games without Valanciunas this season, Biyombo has averaged 24.8 FanDuel points in 28.1 minutes per game. While 24.8 isn't necessarily a GPP-winning score, the salary saved by rostering Biyombo at this price may just make up for it. Biyombo has shown big upside as a starter this season too -- posting six games of 30-plus FanDuel points, including totals of 45.6, 38.0, and 37.9.
The Pacers have been average against opposing centers this season from a fantasy perspective, but they have been worse than any team at defending opposing roll-men in the pick and roll.
Biyombo wasn't featured in that article due to lack of playing time, but he has actually been more effective than Valanciunas in the pick and roll, averaging 1.19 points per possession and shooting 64 percent as the roll man. To put that in perspective, the leading scorer out of the pick and roll, Brook Lopez, has scored 1.01 points per possession and shot 50.4 percent out of the pick and roll.
If Valanciunas doesn't give it a go tonight, Biyombo is close to a must play.
Bobby Portis, PF, Chicago Bulls
FanDuel Price: $3,800
How the Bulls have handled Bobby Portis' minutes this season has been incredibly frustrating at times, but it appears they will be all but forced to #FreeBobbyPortis tonight. Pau Gasol has already been ruled out and Taj Gibson is doubtful, meaning the healthy Bulls frontcourt options will include Cristiano Felicio, Nikola Mirotic, and Bobby Portis.
Per NBAwowy.com, Portis has averaged 1.03 FanDuel points per minute without Gasol and Gibson on the floor, up from his season mark of 0.87.
Chicago's frontcourt injuries couldn't have come at a more opportune time for Portis, as the Bulls draw a matchup with Brooklyn tonight. In addition to posting the league's third-worst Defensive Efficiency, the Nets are in the bottom 10 in Rebounding Rate and fantasy points allowed to power forwards.
If Gibson is ruled out, Portis will likely be called upon to shoulder 30-plus minutes. It is hard to envision a scenario in which he doesn't reach value with that many minutes in this matchup.