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 Friday'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.
OK, with the preliminary stuff out of the way, here are some value plays to consider for Friday (March 7th) FanDuel leagues:
PG - Brandon Jennings, Detroit Pistons (at MIN), $6,600: Jennings has been inconsistent and it's hard to trust him, but he has scored 21-plus fantasy points in three consecutive games and has a favorable matchup tonight. The T'Wolves have allowed the fifth-most fantasy points to opposing point guards this season. In fact, Nuggets point guard Ty Lawson, who returned from a long absence to drop 56.3 fantasy points on the T'Wolves on Monday, will be in all of my lineups as he faces the Lakers, who lost by 48 points to the Clippers last night.
PG - Jose Calderon, Dallas Mavericks (vs. POR), $5,100: More likely than not, I'll pair Calderon or another stud point guard with Lawson instead of Jennings. Calderon ended a four-game streak of 20-plus fantasy points, but he should bounce back with a favorable matchup tonight against Portland. The Blazers have allowed the second-most fantasy points to opposing point guards this season.
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SG - Randy Foye, Denver Nuggets (vs. LAL), $6,600: In the Lakers 48-point loss, they gave up 142 points to the Clippers. No team has allowed more fantasy points to opposing shooting guards this season than the Lakers. In his past nine games, Foye has scored at least 21 fantasy points every game and has averaged 26.84 during that span.
SG - Gordon Hayward, Utah Jazz (at NYK), $6,600: In his past five games, Hayward has scored at least 26.3 fantasy points every night, 30-plus in four games and 40-plus in two games. During that five-game stretch, Hayward has averaged an excellent all-around line of 17.6 points, 6.0 rebounds, 5.6 assists and 1.6 steals per game. Only three teams have allowed more fantasy points to shooting guards this season than the Knicks.
SF - Wilson Chandler, Denver Nuggets (vs. LAL), $5,600: In his three games back since a one-game absence, Chandler has scored 21.1, 39.0 and 30.5 fantasy points, respectively. In his past two games, he is averaging 23.0 points, 7.5 rebounds and 1.5 steals per game. As you probably know or imagined, the Lakers are not good at defending small forwards as only the Sixers are worse.
SF - Kyle Singler, Detroit Pistons (at MIN), $4,600: While he lacks the upside of a monster night, Singler is a low-priced option that provides a steady source of solid production. In his past 10 games, he has scored at least 20 fantasy points in eight games. During that stretch, he is averaging 21.82 fantasy points per game. The T'Wolves have allowed the fifth-most fantasy points to opposing small forwards this season.
PF - Kenneth Faried, Denver Nuggets (vs. LAL), $5,900: The Lakers are dead last at limiting fantasy points to three different positions and power forward is one of those three. Over his past three games, The Manimal has averaged 17.67 points, 8.67 boards and 1.0 steals to average 33.07 fantasy points per contest.
PF - Amir Johnson, Toronto Raptors (vs. SAC), $5,300: Since returning from a two-game absence, Johnson has scored a minimum of 22 fantasy points in seven consecutive games. During that span, he has averaged 10.43 points, 6.71 rebounds, 3.00 assists, 1.14 blocks and 0.86 steals per game. The Kings have allowed the eighth-most fantasy points to opposing power forwards this season.
C - J.J. Hickson, Denver Nuggets (vs. LAL), $5,600: Considering there is only one roster spot for centers in FanDuel games and guys like Al Jefferson, Joakim Noah, Andre Drummond, etc. have been so dominant lately, it may be hard to pass up one of the studs at the position. Against the Mavs on March 5th, Hickson had 16 points, five rebounds, five blocks and three assists for 36.5 fantasy points. No team has allowed more fantasy points to opposing centers this season than the Lakers.
C - Kelly Olynyk, Boston Celtics (vs. BKN), $4,200: An even cheaper option is Olynyk although his matchup against the Nets isn't great. Olynyk has been scored 29.5 and 38.6 fantasy points in his past two games played. In those two games, he has averaged 20.0 points, 6.5 rebounds and 3.5 assists.
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