Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Daily Fantasy Basketball (Feb. 25th): Some FanDuel Bargains

If you play daily fantasy sports (and who doesn't these days?!), you know that one of the keys to success is uncovering undervalued players to allow you to load up on studs elsewhere.

In case you've never played daily fantasy basketball, you select your team based on a player's salary and your team's salary cannot exceed the game salary-cap maximum.

For FanDuel leagues, rosters consist of nine players and the salary cap is $60,000, which averages to roughly $6,667 per player. To give you an idea of the range for Tuesday's games, Timberwolves PF Kevin Love ($11,600) has the contest's highest salary while many are tied for the lowest at the game-minimum salary ($3,500).

There are a number of benefits compared to traditional full-season re-draft leagues, such as:
  • you don't have to worry about being saddled by players sidelined by injury;
  • having a late pick doesn't rule out owning studs like Kevin Durant or LeBron James;
  • you get the instant gratification of winning your league(s) that night.
And you know that enthusiasm you have after drafting your fantasy team(s)? Well, you get to experience that feeling on a nightly basis with daily fantasy basketball.

OK, with the preliminary stuff out of the way, here are some value plays to consider for Tuesday (Feb. 25th) FanDuel leagues:

PG - Aaron Brooks, Denver Nuggets (vs. POR), $3,600: If Ty Lawson (ribs) misses another game (although it's possible that he returns tonight), the recently-acquired Brooks is a quality low-priced option at the point in FanDuel leagues. Starting in only his second game with the Nuggets on Sunday, Brooks finished with nine points, eight assists, two rebounds and two steals in 32 minutes.

PG - Jarrett Jack, PG, Cleveland Cavaliers (vs. TOR), $3,800: Big minutes does not necessarily mean big production as we've seen with Jack in his past two games. Despite averaging nearly 40 minutes per game over his past two, Jack has barely averaged 15 fantasy points. That said, he should get plenty of minutes with Dion Waiters and C.J. Miles out again tonight. Feeling lucky?

PG - Damian Lillard, Portland Trail Blazers (at DEN), $7,900 Five point guards have a higher salary than Lillard so he's not a bargain in absolute terms, but Lillard has scored 40-plus fantasy points in three consecutive games. Only the 76ers (111.0) and Lakers (105.9) allow more points per game than the Nuggets (104.7). [The Blazers allow the fourth-most points (103.6) in the NBA.]

SG - Evan Fournier, Denver Nuggets (vs. POR), $4,400: Like with Brooks above, Fournier could see expanded minutes especially if Lawson misses another game. Fournier has scored 40-plus fantasy points in two of his past four games. On Sunday, Fournier had 27 points, four rebounds, five assists, a steal and a block in 36 minutes off the bench.

SG - Kent Bazemore, Los Angeles Lakers (at IND), $3,600: In two games with the Lakers, Bazemore has scored 15-plus points and added two steals in at least 29 minutes in each game. Despite the tough matchup against the Pacers, Bazemore is a cheap option that should get roughly 30 minutes and 20 fantasy points.

SG - Ben McLemore, Sacramento Kings (vs. HOU), $3,600: With Marcus Thornton now in Brooklyn, McLemore moved into the starting lineup and played 36 minutes on Sunday. Even though he only scored six points, he added four boards and three steals. Going forward, I would expect better shooting performances from McLemore.

SF - Nicolas Batum, Portland Trail Blazers (at DEN), $6,200: While he isn't necessarily cheap as only four small forwards have a higher salary, Batum is coming off a monster game and could very well follow that up with another strong performance tonight. On Sunday, Batum had 22 points, 10 rebounds, four assists, three blocks and a steal. Especially if LaMarcus Aldridge misses a fourth consecutive game tonight, the Blazers will need more production from Batum.

PF - Mike Scott, Atlanta Hawks (vs. CHI), $4,500: With Paul Millsap out tonight and tomorrow, Scott has an opportunity to continue his hot streak even though the Hawks have a tough matchup. In his past two games, Scott has scored a total of 50 points including a career-high 30 on Saturday against the Knicks.

PF - Thomas Robinson, Portland Trail Blazers (at DEN), $4,300: As noted with Batum, it's possible that Aldridge misses another game and if he does, Robinson will be a quality low-priced option at power forward. On Sunday, he posted a double-double (14 points, 18 rebounds) in 33 minutes while adding a couple of assists and blocks as well.

In the majority of my FanDuel leagues for tonight, I'll be starting Chicago's Joakim Noah at center. Although he's not cheap at $9,100, Noah has averaged 13.54 points, 13.08 rebounds, 5.96 assists, 1.92 blocks and 0.88 steals per game since January. In his past seven games, he has double-digit assists in three of them and even had a triple-double earlier this month.

C - Timofey Mozgov, Denver Nuggets (vs. POR), $3,900: If I were looking for an option (much) less expensive than Noah, Mozgov could be the guy. With Mozgov moving into the starting lineup on Tuesday, that hopefully means that he also gets starter's minutes as well. In the five games in which Mozgov has 30-plus minutes this season, he has averaged 12.0 points, 11.0 rebounds, 2.0 blocks and 0.8 steals per game.

FanDuel leagues: Fantasy Basketball Games - Win Cash In Just 1 Day!

If you play in full-season leagues, check out my rest-of-season Fantasy NBA rankings or my waiver-wire post from yesterday.

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