NBA Daily Fantasy Helper: Sunday 5/8/16
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.
Our projections can be found here. The information below is to help you understand why particular players are in good spots, 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, and this two-day slate could make injury news even more difficult to handle.
Oh, and if you're interested, check out our daily fantasy basketball heat chart for this slate. It's full of information like Vegas lines, team offensive and defensive efficiency ratings, pace, fantasy points against and so much more.
As for the picks for today's slate -- let's get to it.
The Best of the Best
LeBron James (FanDuel Price: $10,800) - LeBron continued his dominance over Atlanta in Game 3, putting up 50.6 FanDuel points in a near triple double. He was the most highly owned player last time these teams played on the same day, and he will likely be the chalk again today. The Hawks have shown an inability to stop him over the past two years and it's unlikely they've figured it out in the last two days. Get him in your lineups!
Kawhi Leonard ($9,400) - The Thunder prioritized stopping LaMarcus Aldridge in Game 3, often throwing double teams his way. They were much more effective at containing him, but Leonard was given many more open opportunities as a result. He took advantage of them, putting up 31 points and 49.7 FanDuel points in 39 minutes. He's now averaging 40 FanDuel points in the series and 39.7 in the playoffs. He's averaged 48 FanDuel points in the games he has seen over 30 minutes, though. He should see at least 30 minutes tonight in a game that San Antonio is projected to win by just one point. With the way Kent Bazemore has struggled recently, Leonard is a lot harder to fade.
LaMarcus Aldridge ($8,900) - Aldridge averaged 39.5 points and shot over 70 percent in the first two games of the series, which was clearly unsustainable. Oklahoma City made a concentrated effort to limit him in Game 3, and Steven Adams' length gave Aldridge some problems. He finished the game with 36.6 FanDuel points in 44 minutes. The good news is that was his third straight game with at least 20 shot attempts and a usage rate of over 25 percent. He has also played at least 43 minutes in consecutive games now. He's unlikely to return to the level of production he was at early on in the series, but he will continue to be the centerpiece of San Antonio's offense. He has an elevated floor due to his volume, and we've already seen his upside. His price and ownership are high, but he is hard to fade with the way he's played in this series.
Top Mid-Range Values
Jeff Teague ($6,500) - Hopefully you rolled Teague out in tournaments on the last slate, because he bounced back in a big way -- putting up 19 points, 14 assists, and 40.2 FanDuel points in 36 minutes. He has shown the ability to put up guady stats against Cleveland in the past when given minutes. After his Game 3 performance, he should see as much opportunity as he can handle in a must-win Game 4 for Atlanta. He's close to a must-play at this price.
Serge Ibaka ($5,600) - Our nERD metric lists Ibaka as the Thunder's Playoff MVP thus far, and it is hard to argue with his efficiency. He hasn't posted huge numbers yet in this series, but he has scored at least 23 FanDuel points in each game, while playing 32.7 minutes per game. The matchup against San Antonio is far from ideal, but he is locked into a secure role, which is much more than you can say for the other value options at power forward. If you just can't fit in Paul Millsap or Kevin Love, Ibaka is a safe fall-back option.
J.R. Smith ($5,100) - Smith struggled in his most recent game, but he is still averaging 22.9 FanDuel points and 34.7 minutes through seven playoff games. With the lack of depth at shooting guard, Smith's bankable minute load and potential to get hot make him a worthwhile investment once again.
Tony Parker ($5,000) - If spending down at point guard, Parker is your man. He is coming off of a 35.1 FanDuel point performance and is now averaging 26 FanDuel points in this series. Considering the Thunder's struggles against point guards this season, it should come as no surprise that Parker is returning to fantasy relevance after seeing limited minutes in round one against Memphis. He's not a safe play, but he's worth a look due to his upside at this price.
Tristan Thompson ($4,800) - It's very difficult to fit Al Horford in at center with the way he has played recently, and with Enes Kanter and Tim Duncan both struggling, you're left choosing between Thompson and Steven Adams. Adams is the safer play, as he will be locked into big minutes in an attempt to slow down LaMarcus Aldridge, but Thompson is slightly cheaper, in a better matchup, and is playing for the team with the highest implied team total on the slate, rather than the lowest. Thompson has done very well in this matchup over the past two seasons, and is the best center play on paper.
Danny Green ($4,200) - While he is the second most expensive shooting guard on the slate, Green is far from an exciting play. He is, however, a safe bet for 30-plus minutes. He has averaged 32 minutes per game in this series, while every shooting guard priced under him has question marks surrounding their playing time. Green has averaged 23.4 FanDuel points through the first three games of the series, which is decent value for someone so cheap. He is unlikely to win you any tournaments, but he also is unlikely to drop a dud and sink your lineup.