NBA Daily Fantasy Helper: Sunday 4/3/16 -- Main Slate
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. These will reflect the "Main" six game slate on FanDuel.
The Best of the Best
Giannis Antetokounmpo (FanDuel Price: $9,400) - Antetokounmpo bounced back from three consecutive weak outings with 53.7 FanDuel points and a triple-double against Orlando. He now gets a matchup against Chicago, who has allowed the fifth most fantasy points to small forwards and the fourth most to point guards -- the two positions the Greek Freak most often occupies. Antetokounmpo has had no problem with this matchup in the past, averaging 43.3 FanDuel points in three games against Chicago this season. I'd prefer to pay down for Gordon Hayward at small forward, but nobody on the slate possesses the upside that Antetokounmpo does. Do your best to fit him in your tournament lineups tonight.
Pau Gasol ($8,300) - Many will be on Jimmy Butler tonight following a huge game last night, but I prefer to pay down at shooting guard and get my exposure to Chicago through Gasol tonight. Per StatMuse.com, Gasol has averaged 40.7 FanDuel points and 33.5 minutes per game on the back end of back to backs this season, while Butler has averaged just 34.1 FanDuel points. Butler has played 39 minutes in consecutive games, and this is Chicago's third game in four nights. I expect Butler to be very fatigued, especially considering the speculation that he is playing through lingering injuries. Gasol has four straight double doubles, and should have no problem making that five in a row tonight against Milwaukee. The Bucks rank 24th in Rebounding Rate, and have allowed the ninth most fantasy points to opposing centers. Gasol has averaged 52 FanDuel points in three games against Milwaukee this season. He makes for a safe play in all formats tonight.
Damian Lillard ($8,000) - Lillard has really struggled recently, with five straight games under 35 FanDuel points. As a result, his price has fallen drastically, and hopefully his ownership follows suit. Lillard has a chance to right his wrongs for daily fantasy owners tonight, as he draws an up-tempo matchup against Golden State. The Warriors have allowed the fifth most fantasy points to opposing point guards this season, and have had no answer for Lillard specifically. In three games against Golden State this season, Lillard has averaged a ridiculous 55.3 FanDuel points. While some may be concerned that he played last night, Lillard actually only saw 29 minutes in the blowout, and he has actually performed better on the back end of back to backs this season. Per StatMuse.com, Lillard has averaged 39.1 FanDuel points and 36 minutes per game on the back end of back to backs this season. I wouldn't pay up for him in cash games based on his recent performance, but he is a terrific GPP target at his discounted price.
Top Mid-Range Values
Klay Thompson ($7,100) - Thompson has struggled recently, but he draws a favorable matchup against the Trail Blazers tonight. Portland has allowed the eleventh most fantasy points to opposing shooting guards this season, fueled by C.J. McCollum's -0.52 Defensive Real Plus-Minus. Thompson has averaged 40.9 FanDuel points in three games against the Trail Blazers this season, behind an absurd 5.7 made three pointers per game on 65.4 percent shooting from behind the arc. While those three point numbers aren't sustainable, they aren't quite as shocking when you consider that Portland has allowed the sixth highest three point percentage against them this season. Thompson makes for a very intriguing tournament play tonight.
Gordon Hayward ($6,900) - Derrick Favors could be held out of tonight's game, in which case Hayward would be in line for a boost in production. Per StatMuse.com, Hayward has averaged 34.9 FanDuel points in 18 games without Favors this season. Per NBAwowy.com, Hayward has averaged 0.94 FanDuel points per minute on a 28.4 Usage Rate without Favors on the floor, as opposed to 0.87 FanDuel points per minute with a Usage Rate of 24.4 with Favors. Even if Favors is active for tonight's game, Hayward would still be worth consideration based on the matchup. Phoenix's defense has shown an inability to defend pick and roll ball handlers and to defend in transition -- ranking in the bottom-10 in both categories. Hayward thrives in both areas, as he is one of the best small forwards in transition and has the fourth-most points as a pick and roll ball handler among small forwards. Hayward has predictably excelled in two matchups with Phoenix this season, averaging 38.2 FanDuel points.
Jabari Parker ($6,500) - Parker continues to be underpriced considering his role and recent performance. Over his past three games, the second-year power forward has averaged 36.6 FanDuel points in 38.3 minutes per game. He draws a matchup tonight against a tired Chicago team, who is on the back end of a back to back. Even better, Parker will likely draw the defense of rookie Bobby Portis, who ranks 93rd among 99 power forwards in Defensive Real Plus-Minus. The Bulls have allowed the fifth most fantasy points to opposing power forwards this season, and that is with the defense of Taj Gibson, who is a much better defender than Portis. Look for Parker to take advantage of this matchup, just as he did in his most recent meeting with Chicago, in which he put up 36.7 FanDuel points. Jared Sullinger will likely be more popular among power forwards, but Parker's more secure minutes make him the preferred cash game option.
Maurice Harkless ($4,100) - Harkless stepped into the starting lineup for Portland five games ago, and hasn't looked back since. Over his past six games, he has averaged 24.6 FanDuel points and 27.2 minutes per game. Harkless is at his best in transition, where he has the most points per possession among Portland players and an insane 71.2 percent field goal percentage. Harkless' effectiveness in up-tempo games is reflected in his recent game log, with 30.1 FanDuel points against Philadelphia and 25.5 against Boston. A potential matchup against Draymond Green is enough to scare me off of Harkless in cash formats, but he is worth a look in this up-tempo game against Golden State.
Langston Galloway ($3,900) - Galloway stepped into an expanded role in his last game, with Jose Calderon out of commission, and delivered with a 36.7 FanDuel point performance. Galloway has flashed upside in five games without Calderon this season, averaging 27.3 FanDuel points. The Pacers have a stingy defense, but it's going to be hard to pass on Galloway at this price.
Tyler Ennis ($3,800) - Ennis has been thrust into a larger role with Michael Carter-Williams, O.J. Mayo, and Jerryd Bayless sidelined, and should continue to see a healthy minute load tonight against Chicago. It's hard to invest much into a player who requires injuries to several average players to get playing time, but at only $3,800, you don't have to. Ennis has actually flashed some upside recently, too. He's averaged 22.2 FanDuel points over his past three games, including a 31.8 point performance. Ennis draws one of the best matchups on the board, as he gets the dreadful point guard defense of the Chicago Bulls. He's far from a cash game consideration, but Ennis makes for a decent salary-saving option in tournaments.