In case you've never played daily fantasy basketball, every player has a salary and your roster cannot exceed the game's 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 Saturday's games, Knicks PF Carmelo Anthony ($10,300) 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.
OK, with the preliminary stuff out of the way, here are some value plays to consider for Saturday (March 15th) FanDuel leagues:
PG - Mike Conley, Memphis Grizzlies (at PHI), $6,600: With the Sixers allowing the most points this season to opposing point guards, Conley is a must-start tonight. Even Nick Calathes ($4,300), who has scored 20-plus fantasy points in three consecutive games, is worth consideration. Even though Calathes has played only 15-19 minutes per game in his past five, it's possible this turns into a blowout giving him even more minutes. Over his past five games, Conley has averaged 15.0 points, 4.4 assists, 4.2 rebounds and 1.6 steals per game.
PG - D.J. Augustin, Chicago Bulls (vs. SAC), $5,800: Augustin has 23.6-plus fantasy points in six of his past seven games and in each of his past three. During that seven-game stretch, Augustin has averaged 19.71 points and 3.86 assists per game.
PG - George Hill, Indiana Pacers (at DET), $4,800: Hill scored 35.7 fantasy points against the Sixers last night with 14 points, nine assists, six boards and two steals. He now has 24.6 or more fantasy points in three consecutive games and he gets another favorable matchup on Saturday. The Pistons have allowed the sixth-most fantasy points to opposing point guards this season.
PG - Shaun Livingston, Brooklyn Nets (at WAS), $4,300: Despite a tough matchup, Livingston posted 31.4 fantasy points in 38 minutes against the Heat on Wednesday. He now has three consecutive games with at least 21 fantasy points. Doing a bit of everything, Livingston has averaged 10.25 points, 3.25 rebounds, 3.13 assists and 2.25 steals per game over his past eight.
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SG - Jimmy Butler, Chicago Bulls (vs. SAC), $6,600: With only Lance Stephenson more expensive on Saturday, perhaps Butler can't be classified as "cheap," but he's certainly worth starting today. Butler is averging 16.67 points, 6.33 rebounds, 2.33 assists and 2.0 steals per game over his past three and he gets a top-three matchup against the Kings on Saturday.
SG - Kyle Korver, Atlanta Hawks (vs. DEN), $5,000: Korver has scored 30-plus fantasy points in two of his past three games and he gets favorable matchup on Saturday. The Nuggets have allowed the eighth-most fantasy points to opposing shooting guards this season.
SG - Tim Hardaway, Jr., New York Knicks (vs. MIL), $3,900: While he doesn't do much other than score and he does that inconsistently, Hardaway has scored 28 and 22 points in his past two games, respectively. With an average of 27.5 fantasy points over his past two games, he's a bargain at $3,900 if he can deliver roughly that many points again on Saturday.
SF - J.R. Smith, New York Knicks (vs. MIL), $5,800: Smith has scored more than 20 fantasy points in six consecutive games and he has averaged 27.55 per contest during that stretch. Over those seven games, he has averaged 16.5 points, 3.17 assists and 3.17 rebounds per game. The Bucks have allowed the sixth-most fantasy points to opposing small forwards this season.
SF - DeMarre Carroll, Atlanta Hawks (vs. DEN), $5,800: Carroll has scored 20-plus fantasy points in four consecutive games and in eight of his past nine. Over that nine-game span, he has averaged 14.89 points, 5.33 boards and 1.11 steals per game. The Nuggets have allowed the seventh-most fantasy points to opposing small forwards.
SF - Mike Dunleavy, Chicago Bulls (vs. SAC), $5,000: Ending a four-game rough patch, Dunleavy scored 21 points and added seven rebounds, two assists and a steal in 37 minutes on Thursday. The Kings have allowed the fifth-most fantasy points to opposing small forwards.
PF - Kenneth Faried, Denver Nuggets (at ATL), $7,000: Not necessarily cheap as the fifth-most expensive power forward, Faried really produced this month, though. In eight games in March, he has scored 29.6 fantasy points in all but one game and averaged 37.53 fantasy points per game. Not only is he averaging 21.5 points, 10.13 boards and 1.13 steals per game, but he has a top-10 matchup against the Hawks as well.
PF - Zach Randolph, Memphis Grizzlies (at PHI), $6,900: On March 1st, Randolph had 23 points and 14 rebounds against the Cavs, but he has not had any 20/10 games since then. (He does have three other double-doubles this month, though.) In the City of Brotherly Love, however, there is an excellent chance that his 20/10 drought ends.
C - Marc Gasol, Memphis Grizzlies (at PHI), $7,300: Over his past 10 games, Gasol has a minimum of 28.1 fantasy points, which he scored last night against the Raptors. During that 10-game stretch, however, Gasol is averaging 34.64 fantasy points, which exceeds his season average (30.2 FPPG). Of course, you know the drill by now: start your centers against the Sixers. Only the Lakers, who are off tonight, allow more fantasy points to opposing centers.
C - Pero Antic, Atlanta Hawks (vs. DEN), $4,200: After back-to-back games with at least 22 fantasy points, Antic had a quiet outing (eight points, seven rebounds) despite a favorable matchup against the Bucks on Thursday. Fortunately for Antic, he gets an excellent opportunity to bounce back as the Nuggets have allowed the fourth-most fantasy points to opposing centers.
C - Cole Aldrich, New York Knicks (vs. MIL), $3,900: If Tyson Chandler (personal reasons) does not return from his two-game absence, Aldrich could possibly replicate his outstanding performance (12 points, 10 rebounds, three blocks) from Wednesday. This season, the Bucks have allowed the third-most fantasy points to opposing centers. The good news is this is the only game before 7 p.m. so you will know beforehand whether or not Chandler will return.
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