NBA Daily Fantasy Helper: Saturday 4/9/16

Karl-Anthony Towns is one of the best plays on the board in a terrific matchup against a weak Portland interior defense.

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

LeBron James (FanDuel Price: $10,500) - James comes into tonight's game in excellent form, averaging 53 FanDuel points over his past five games. He also is well rested, after sitting Cleveland's last game. James will face-off against a Chicago team who has allowed the sixth most fantasy points to opposing small forwards. In three games against Chicago this season, James has averaged 51.6 FanDuel points.

Karl-Anthony Towns ($8,800) - That's now 14 straight double doubles for the rookie, who is averaging 41.9 FanDuel points over his past 11 games. Towns draws a matchup against the Trail Blazers tonight, who have struggled to defend centers all season, allowing the fourth most fantasy points to the position. Outside of a game on November 2, when Sam Mitchell was still restricting Towns' minutes for some unknown reason, the rookie phenom has averaged 24 points, 12.5 rebounds, 2.5 blocks, and 46 FanDuel points against Portland this season.

C.J. McCollum ($7,000) - McCollum comes into tonight's game averaging 34 FanDuel points over his past seven games. He has had to pick up some extra scoring load with Damian Lillard struggling to find his shot, and he hasn't disappointed, averaging 24.5 points on 54 percent shooting in his past four games. He's been especially hot from three during that stretch, knocking down 4.25 threes per game and shooting 57 percent. Against the Timberwolves' 27th ranked Defensive Efficiency, he should be able to keep the hot streak going.

Top Mid-Range Values

Al Horford ($6,900) - Horford has been a model of consistency recently, topping 30 FanDuel points in six of his past seven games, while averaging 31.8 over his past ten. He draws a matchup against Boston, who has allowed the fifth most fantasy points to opposing centers this season. Horford has averaged 33.7 FanDuel points against Boston this season, after putting up 34.6 per game against them last season. Outside of a game in which Atlanta beat Boston by 24 points and Horford only played 26 minutes, the big man has averaged 39.6 FanDuel points against Boston this season. He is a safe bet to reach value tonight, and is an interesting contrarian play, as he will likely see lower ownership than Towns or DeMarcus Cousins.

Tim Frazier ($6,600) - I never imagined a day would come in which we would be paying nearly $7,000 for Tim Frazier, but he has earned it with his recent play. Over his past five games, the Pelicans' point guard has averaged 14.6 points, 9.6 assists, 1.8 steals, and 36.1 FanDuel points. He draws a matchup against the Suns tonight, who rank 28th in Defensive Efficiency and have allowed the second most fantasy points to point guards this season.

Tyson Chandler ($5,600) - Similar to Mac Miller, Chandler has been takin' sips from the fountain of youth, as he has averaged 35.5 FanDuel points and 36 minutes over his past five games. It seems like the bottom is about to fall out, but until it does, Chandler will continue to be a terrific value at this price. Chandler is playing the Pelicans tonight, who rank 26th in Defensive Efficiency, 23rd in Rebounding Rate, and have allowed the second most fantasy points to opposing centers.

Basement Ballers

Maurice Harkless ($5,400) - Harkless continues to be an excellent source of value, averaging 31.4 FanDuel points and 29 minutes over his past five games. He looks to keep the good times rolling tonight against the Timberwolves, who rank 27th in Defensive Efficiency. Minnesota has also really struggled to defend in transition, an area in which Harkless thrives. Don't be scared off by the price increase -- he remains a terrific value play tonight.

Alexis Ajinca ($4,500) - Over his past four games, Ajinca has averaged 31.5 FanDuel points, including a 28 point, 15 rebound, 53 FanDuel point outburst last night against the Lakers. He now draws a matchup against the Pelicans, who are one of two teams that have allowed more fantasy points to centers than the Lakers. Before you lock him into your cash lineups, though, realize that this is the back end of a back to back and the big fella played 37 minutes last night. Since seeing an expanded role, Ajinca has played on the back end of a back to back twice. In those two games, he has averaged 20.3 FanDuel points and just 18.6 minutes. It's impossible to ignore him at this price and in this matchup, just realize there is some risk.