NBA Daily Fantasy Helper: Saturday 4/2/16
If you've never played daily fantasy basketball before, it's time to start. Unlike traditional leagues, you're able to select the players you want on that specific day only, giving you a different squad to root for each and every NBA night.
Today's lineups can be found here. The information below is to help you understand why particular players are being picked, because we don't want you going into the night completely blind. We want to help you. Keep in mind, however, that things often change up until tip-off, so make sure you're refreshing the optimal lineups as close to the start of games as possible.
Oh, and if you're interested, check out our daily fantasy basketball heat chart for today's slate. It's full of information like tonight's Vegas lines, team offensive and defensive efficiency ratings, pace, fantasy points against and so much more.
As for today's picks -- let's get to it.
The Best of the Best
Paul George (FanDuel Price: $9,200) - George has played well recently, topping 40 FanDuel points in three straight games. He now draws a matchup against the 76ers, who rank 25th in Defensive Efficiency. Philadelphia struggles specifically against small forward, as they have allowed the second most fantasy points to the position this season. George has taken full advantage of this matchup already this year, averaging 43.4 FanDuel points against Philadelphia in two meetings. This is a must-win game for the Pacers, who Vegas has projected to outscore their season average by 5.4 points. This game carries some blowout risk, but George should be incredibly productive while he is on the court.
Hassan Whiteside ($8,700) - Whiteside comes into tonight's matchup with Portland averaging 42.6 FanDuel points over his past four games. His matchup against the Blazers offers optimism that he can continue his success. In addition to allowing the sixth most fantasy points to opposing centers, Portland has really struggled to defend opposing roll-men in the pick and roll this season. Whiteside has been flat-out dominant as the roll-man this season, with the highest points per possession among players with over 125 shot attempts as the roll-man out of the pick and roll. He has also shot an obscene 73.9 percent out of the pick and roll. Whiteside took full advantage of this matchup in his last meeting with Portland, posting 22 points, 11 boards, and 5 blocks on his way to 48.7 FanDuel points. He is worthy of consideration in any format tonight.
Andre Drummond ($8,100) - Drummond has averaged 40.9 FanDuel points over his past five contests, and looks to keep the good times rolling tonight in an advantageous matchup against Chicago's weak interior defense. The Bulls have been abused by centers all season, which is reflected in their 24th rank against the position according to our Matchup/Game Composite Score. Chicago's struggles have been augmented in their matchups with Detroit, as Drummond has had his way with their frontcourt. In three matchups against Chicago this season, Drummond has averaged 22 points, 19 rebounds, and 52.3 FanDuel points. He makes for an excellent play in all formats tonight, and comes at a slight discount to Whiteside.
Top Mid-Range Values
Jimmy Butler ($7,800) - Butler has struggled since his return, leading many to believe he isn't healthy. He's offered some reason for optimism recently, though, topping 35 minutes in three straight games and dropping 42.6 FanDuel points in his last game. The Bulls will likely be without Derrick Rose tonight, as they head to take on the Pistons. Per NBAwowy.com, Butler's Usage Rate goes from 24.4 percent to 30.4 percent without Rose on the floor, while his FanDuel points per minute rises from 0.95 to 1.09. While Detroit has a tough defense, Butler has had no problem with this matchup this season, averaging 44.6 FanDuel points in three games against them. Butler makes for a nice contrarian option tonight, as most will be scared off by his recent struggles and Detroit's defense.
Reggie Jackson ($5,900) - Jackson has really struggled recently, averaging just 26.4 FanDuel points over his last nine contests. A matchup against Chicago may be just what he needs to get things turned around, though. In addition to allowing the fourth most fantasy points to opposing point guards, Chicago has allowed the eighth most points to opposing ball handlers in the pick and roll. Jackson leads the league in points as the ball handler in the pick and roll, and has been able to take advantage of this matchup in the past. Over his past five matchups against Chicago, Jackson has averaged a robust 23.2 points, 9.2 assists, and 41.4 FanDuel points. His recent struggles leave him better suited as a GPP-only play, but he carries enough upside to be of serious consideration in that format.
Darren Collison ($5,800) - Collison is the main beneficiary of the Sacramento injury news, as he will be thrust into a prominent role in the offense against a weak Nuggets defense. Per statmuse.com, Collison has averaged 32.4 FanDuel points and 37 minutes in five starts for Rajon Rondo this season. Per NBAwowy.com, Collison has seen his Usage Rate rise from 19.4 percent to 25.9 percent without Rondo, DeMarcus Cousins, and Omri Casspi, while his FanDuel points per minute have ballooned from 0.80 to 1.11. He's a must-play in cash games, and fade at your own risk in GPPs.
Will Barton ($5,400) - Barton has flashed his upside recently, topping 30 FanDuel points in three of his past seven games. While his volatile production relegates him to GPP-only status, he is certainly worth a look in that format tonight in a superb matchup against the Kings. Not only has Sacramento allowed the second most fantasy points to opposing shooting guards, but they also rank as one of the worst teams at defending in transition and defending spot-up shooters. Barton thrives in both areas, and has put his skill-set to good use in both matchups against Sacramento this season, averaging 31.3 FanDuel points. He makes for a nice tournament option tonight.
Kosta Koufos ($3,900) - The Kings chose not to start Koufos last night in an attempt to match Hassan Whiteside's energy off the bench. He was still productive, putting up 27.8 FanDuel points. With DeMarcus Cousins out again tonight, Koufos will presumably be reinserted into the starting lineup and handle a healthy minute allotment. Per statmuse.com, Koufos has averaged 26.1 FanDuel points and 28.1 minutes in 13 games without Cousins this season. He's a safe bet for 20-plus FanDuel points tonight, which easily reaches value at this price.
Seth Curry ($3,700) - Curry has started at shooting guard for the past five games, and should be in line for plenty of minutes again tonight. He's been regularly hitting value at his bargain-bin price, averaging 20.9 FanDuel points in 26.4 minutes over his past five games. He has shown some upside, too, topping 30 minutes and 28 FanDuel points in two of his past three games. Similar to Collison, NBAwowy.com shows that Curry sees a big boost without Rondo, Cousins, and Casspi, averaging 0.78 FanDuel points per minute without them, as opposed to his season average of 0.66. Curry may seem like a must-play at his price, just realize that an alarmingly high 70.1 percent of his FanDuel points over his past five games have come from actual points. A player who is so scoring dependent is much more prone to a dud. Get some exposure, just don't think that he is fool-proof.