4 Daily Fantasy Basketball Punt Plays for 3/29/16
Identifying value is a key aspect of playing daily fantasy sports, one that sets the experienced player apart from a beginner.
Sometimes, though, just finding good value plays for the night isn't enough. If that's the case, may you need to dig even deeper and punt a position, which means scraping the bottom of the salary barrel and looking for a player who can pay off his price tag even if the upside isn't massive.
That's not to say that punt plays shouldn't have a high ceiling, but these four players can round out a star-studded roster without too much risk of bottoming out and blowing up your roster.
As always, remember to check our projections closer to tip because the NBA landscape changes drastically each day before tip-off.
Shane Larkin, PG, Brooklyn Nets
FanDuel Price: $3,700
When Jarrett Jack went down for the season, Shane Larkin was placed into the starting role for the Nets. He was quickly overtaken by Donald Sloan and has come off the bench since. However, Larkin has now been placed back into the starting five and has started three games in a row for Brooklyn. In those three games, he is averaging 29 minutes and 26.1 fantasy points per game, which is good enough for an average of 7.2 times his salary (7.2 points per $1,000 salary). If Larkin starts again, which he most likely will, he has another great opportunity to be a great value for the daily fantasy community.
Ian Mahinmi, C, Indiana Pacers
FanDuel Price: $5,100
Ian Mahinmi has now put together two fantastic games in a row. He scored 33 fantasy points on Saturday and then followed that up with 38 fantasy points on Sunday. Mahinmi and the Pacers will take on the Bulls tonight. The Bulls let up the third-most fantasy points to opposing centers in the league.
While Mahinmi is somewhat of a wildcard -- he scored just 14 fantasy points three games ago -- his price is low enough to save money for more expensive stars like Russell Westbrook and James Harden. Plus, he has a pretty good match up with Chicago and has produced very well lately.
Courtney Lee, SG, Charlotte Hornets
FanDuel Price: $4,100
Courtney Lee will most likely not score you 40 fantasy points tonight. However, he has actually been pretty good lately and seems relatively safe for someone this inexpensive. In his last 11 games, Lee has dipped below a value of 4.3 just two times. Over that span, he is averaging 5.5 times his salary, which is extremely good and can help avoid sinking your lineup. He may not be the most attractive option because his ceiling is fairly low, but his floor is higher than almost anyone around his price range.
J.R. Smith, SG, Cleveland Cavaliers
FanDuel Price: $4,300
J.R. Smith and the Cavaliers take on the Rockets tonight. The Rockets are a fast team, and they aren't really known for their defense. The quicker-than-usual game should obviously create more opportunities for the Cavs' offense. To go along with the pretty good matchup, LeBron James has already been ruled out so that he can rest up before the playoffs. Smith's Usage Rate increases by 25% with James off the floor. Smith should see his normal amount of minutes (if not a few extra), and he will have plenty of opportunities to get his shot up.
Smith is a similar price to Courtney Lee and has a similar high-floor. Both of these shooting guards are great options to save money while maintaining a little peace of mind with their security. Don't get me wrong -- there is nothing extremely safe about players priced around $4,000 -- but with their current situations and recent games, they are as safe as you can get with these prices.