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 Thursday's games, Thunder PF Kevin Durant ($12,100) 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 Thursday (March 6th) FanDuel leagues:
PG - Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City Thunder (at PHO), $7,700: In only 20 minutes against the Sixers, Westbrook recorded a triple-double (13 points, 10 rebounds, 14 assists) and added three steals for a total of 46 fantasy points. In a game that should be more competitive, Westbrook shouldn't sit out the fourth quarter tonight like on Tuesday.
PG - Darren Collison, Los Angeles Clippers (at LAL), $5,600: While I have a Chris Paul-Westbrook PG combo in most of my FanDuel leagues for tonight, Collison is a (much) cheaper option. With Jamal Crawford considered to be "doubtful" for tonight's "road" game, Collison will once again get a ton of minutes. In 40 minutes on Tuesday, Collison finished with 18 points, five assists and three steals.
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SG - Kent Bazemore, Los Angeles Lakers (vs. LAC), $4,800: In 35 minutes on Tuesday, Bazemore tied his Lakers high with 23 points and added four rebounds, three assists, a block and a steal. Coincidentally, he tied his highest total of fantasy points (35.3) as a Laker and he now has 20-plus fantasy points in five consecutive games.
SG - Manu Ginobili, San Antonio Spurs (vs. MIA), $4,700: Even though Ginobili will likely see only 20-something minutes, he has now scored more than 20 fantasy points in four consecutive games. During that four-game stretch, he has averaged 14.25 points, 6.75 assists and 1.25 steals per game.
SF - Kawhi Leonard, San Antonio Spurs (vs. MIA), $6,200: In his four games since returning from injury, Leonard has scored a minimum of 27.9 fantasy points each game and has more than 30 fantasy points in three of those outings. He is averaging 15.25 points, 6.5 rebounds, 2.5 steals and 2.0 blocks per game during that span.
SF - Matt Barnes, Los Angeles Clippers (at LAL), $5,300: Like Collison, Barnes played 40 minutes on Tuesday and will benefit from Crawford's likely absence tonight as well. Barnes scored 28 points and added six boards, two assists, a steal and a block for 41.2 fantasy points on Tuesday. Even when he played only 24 minutes against the Pelicans on March 1st, Barnes still scored 31.2 fantasy points.
SF - Perry Jones, Oklahoma City Thunder (at PHO), $3,700: Jones got the start against the Sixers and had a productive outing: 12 points, six rebounds, three assists and two blocks in 29 minutes. Even with the addition of Caron Butler, Jones should continue to see around 25 minutes per game while Thabo Sefolosha is out and is a solid value with a cost barely above the game minimum.
PF - Markieff Morris, Phoenix Suns (vs. OKC), $5,700: Morris is coming off a disappointing performance of nine points, four rebounds and four turnovers against the Clips on Tuesday. That said, he had scored 30-plus fantasy points in his previous two games and in his previous five of six games.
PF - Boris Diaw, San Antonio Spurs (vs. MIA), $4,900: With back-to-back games of 31 fantasy points, Diaw has scored 21-plus fantasy points in nine of 10 games. In his past four games, Diaw has averaged 11.5 points, 5.75 rebounds, 4.0 assists, 1.25 blocks and 0.75 steals per game.
PF - Marcus Morris, Phoenix Suns (vs. OKC), $4,000: The other Morris twin has been productive recently. Like his brother, he had a down game on Tuesday, but he had scored 29-plus fantasy points in his previous two outings. At only $4,000 and with only three games on Thursday, Morris is a solid option at PF.
C - Tiago Splitter, San Antonio Spurs (vs. MIA), $4,500: Based on his current pattern of alternating between 25-plus fantasy points and less than 15 fantasy points, he is due for a 25-plus night. Of course, that pattern is purely a coincidence, but the Heat have allowed the 10th-most fantasy points to opposing centers this season, which could bode well for the Brazilian.
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