NBA Daily Fantasy Helper: Saturday 4/23/16
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
Chris Paul ($9,800) - Paul has averaged 53.6 FanDuel points in the 10 games he has played at least 30 minutes against the Blazers over the past three seasons. He was right on par with those performances in Game 1, putting up 53.7 FanDuel points. He followed that up with 41.7 FanDuel points in Game 2, although he only played 30 minutes due to the blowout nature of the game. Vegas has Portland keeping this game much more competitive at home, listing Los Angeles as just 1.5 point favorites. In a close game, Paul should should have no problem again putting up big numbers against Portland, who gave up the eighth-most fantasy points to opposing point guards this season.
Paul George ($9,000) - George was at it again in Game 3, posting 46 FanDuel points, and is now averaging 45 FanDuel points per game in the series. He will continue to be the focal point of the offense again tonight. The matchup against Toronto is far from ideal, but George is the best player in this game and is easily the safest bet for production at small forward with Kevin Durant dealing with blowout risks. Durant has averaged significantly less FanDuel points to start the playoffs, and is $1,200 more expensive. George stands out as the clear premier play at small forward on today's slate.
Hassan Whiteside ($8,600) - Charlotte has nobody who can match Whiteside's length and athleticism, and it has shown, as Whiteside has averaged 19 points, 12 rebounds, 2.5 blocks, and 41.2 FanDuel points through the first two games. Charlotte has also been an average team on the glass this season, ranking 16th in Rebounding Rate. What is most exciting for Whiteside's prospects is that Charlotte has struggled to defend the pick and roll this season, allowing the seventh-most points to opposing roll-men. Whiteside has the second-most points as the roll-man among any player in the playoffs and shot a ridiculous 70 percent out of the pick and roll. He's been able to average 40-plus FanDuel points in just 28 minutes per game, as Miami has an average margin of victory of 22 points in the first two games. Assuming this game stays closer, Whiteside could play 30-plus minutes and display his 50-plus FanDuel point upside.
Top Mid-Range Values
Jonas Valanciunas ($6,400) - Counting two regular season games, Valanciunas has scored 160.4 FanDuel points in just 132 minutes against Indiana this season -- good for 1.22 FanDuel points per minute. He should be able to get near 30 minutes tonight, which would assure that he reaches value at this price. He showed the upside for more in Game 2, when he posted 46 FanDuel points in just 31 minutes. Assuming he can stay out of foul trouble in Game 4, he should be set to crush value against a small Indiana frontcourt that simply can't handle his physicality.
Serge Ibaka ($6,000) - Ibaka has been one of the few Thunder starters to actually exceed expectations, averaging 31.9 FanDuel points and 32.7 minutes per game so far. It should come as no surprise that he's excelled in this matchup, as Dirk Nowitzki and the Mavs allowed the sixth-most fantasy points to opposing power forwards this season. The Thunder are projected for the highest team total of the day, and Ibaka is an inexpensive way to get exposure to that total.
Raymond Felton ($5,600) - Felton has come on strong for Dallas with the litany of injuries they have had to deal with, averaging 36.0 minutes, 13.7 field goal attempts, and 27.6 FanDuel points per game. He's averaged 34.2 over his past two, and should have no problem again crushing value with the amount of volume he is locked into against Oklahoma City, who has struggled to defend guards all season.
Al-Farouq Aminu ($5,500) - Aminu has been surprisingly effective through the first two games of this series, averaging 28.2 FanDuel points and 30.5 minutes per game. If Portland can keep this game competitive, he'd likely see 35-plus minutes, as he is one of Portland's best shots at slowing Blake Griffin down. With most of the other Portland starter's struggling, expect Aminu to continue to be productive at a bargain price.
DeMarre Carroll ($4,800) - If you really want to spend down at small forward, Carroll finally saw big minutes in Game 3, posting 25 FanDuel points in 35 minutes. He'll likely be locked into a large minute load again tonight in an attempt to slow down Paul George, and he's proven he can be a productive fantasy producer in the past. Target him now, while he is still cheap.
Jeremy Lin ($4,200) - With Nicolas Batum out for the rest of the series, Lin will step into a larger role for Charlotte. In 12 regular season games without Batum, Lin averaged 34.9 minutes and 27.3 FanDuel points per game. He flashed big upside during that time, with five FanDuel point totals of 35-plus, including 41.9 and 48-point performances. He likely will have a tough time replicating that tonight against Miami, but is still a very tough fade at this price.