Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Daily Fantasy Basketball: FanDuel Values for March 4th

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, 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 Tuesday's games, Thunder SF Kevin Durant ($11,900) 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 (March 4th) FanDuel leagues:

PG - Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City Thunder (vs. PHI), $7,400: While there is the potential that Westbrook, Durant, etc. sit in the fourth quarter of a potential blowout (as Sean noted in his DraftStreet post), Westbrook's salary ($7,400) as a stud point guard is still more than $2,000 less than that of Chris Paul ($9,600). Even in 25 minutes (like against the Bobcats on Sunday), Westbrook can still score 35 fantasy points. Against the league's worst defense, three quarters of Westbrook may be more than enough.

PG - Ishmael Smith, Phoenix Suns (vs. LAC), $4,600: In his past four games, Smith has averaged 27.68 fantasy points per game. During that stretch, Smith has averaged 9.5 points, 4.0 rebounds, 6.25 assists and 2.5 steals per game.

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SG - Tyreke Evans, New Orleans Pelicans (at LAL), $5,400: Evans appeared on my FanDuel list yesterday and he delivered for DFS owners that started him by dropping 50 fantasy points. Against the Kings, his former team, Evans was only two assists shy of a triple-double with 27 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists. Evans is a must-start against the Lakers, who have allowed the most fantasy points to opposing shooting guards this season.

SG - Manu Ginobili, San Antonio Spurs (at CLE), $4,700: Despite playing less than 30 minutes in each game, Ginobili has averaged 29.5 fantasy points per game over his last three games. During that stretch, Ginobili has averaged 15.3 points, 7.0 assists, 1.3 steals and 1.0 block per game.

SG - Kent Bazemore, Los Angeles Lakers (vs. NOP), $4,400: Although Bazemore has played in only 28 and 27 minutes in his past two games, his two lowest since joining the Lakers, he has scored 20-plus fantasy points in four consecutive games and in five of his six as a Laker.

SG - Ray Allen, Miami Heat (at HOU), $3,500: Provided that Dwyane Wade sits out another game, Allen is a solid option at the contest-minimum salary. The Rockets have allowed the ninth-most fantasy points to opposing shooting guards.

SF - Wesley Johnson, Los Angeles Lakers (vs. NOP), $4,900: Against the Blazers yesterday, Johnson extended his streak of games with 36-plus minutes and 33-plus fantasy points to three games. During that stretch, he has averaged 14.67 points, 8.0 boards, 3.0 assists, 3.0 blocks and 1.0 steal per game.

SF - Caron Butler, Oklahoma City Thunder (vs. PHI), $4,700: Butler will make his Thunder debut on Tuesday and he gets an extremely favorable matchup against the Sixers. With Thabo Sefolosha (calf) out for the next month or so, Butler could start. Either way, he should get plenty of minutes in his debut.

PF - Markieff Morris, Phoenix Suns (vs. LAC), $6,000: Morris has scored more than 30 fantasy points in back-to-back games and in five of his past six. Only six teams have allowed more fantasy points to opposing power forwards this season than the Clips.

PF - Tristan Thompson, Cleveland Cavaliers (vs. SAS), $5,900: Thompson has seven double-doubles in his past 10 games and he missed a double-double in two of those games by only one rebound. Thompson is averaging 15.3 points, 11.5 rebounds and 31.1 fantasy points in his past 10 games.

C - Alexis Ajinca, New Orleans Pelicans (at LAL), $4,200: Ajinca had a dud against the Kings in his last outing, but he has scored 29-plus fantasy points in three of his past five games and has a pair of double-doubles during that span. No team has allowed more fantasy points to opposing centers so Ajinca may bounce back nicely at a very modest cost.

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