Sunday, March 2, 2014

Daily Fantasy Basketball (March 2nd): 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, 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 Sunday's games, Thunder SF Kevin Durant ($12,000) 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 Sunday (March 2nd) FanDuel leagues:

PG - Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City Thunder (vs. CHA), $7,400: In his past two games, Westbrook has seen his minutes increase to roughly 30 per game. In those two outings, he has scored at least 37.4 fantasy points and today he has an extremely favorable matchup. Only the Trail Blazers have allowed more fantasy points to opposing point guards than the Bobcats over the past 15 days.

PG - Jeff Teague, Atlanta Hawks (at PHO), $6,000: With Paul Millsap (knee) out for at least one more game, Teague should continue to be aggressive on the offensive end. In his past three games, he has scored at least 26 points (and 33.6 fantasy points) in each game.

PG - Jameer Nelson, Orlando Magic (vs. PHI), $5,900: Against the Sixers on Feb. 26th, Nelson, who played his college ball in Philly, had 43.2 fantasy points as he posted a double-double (16 points and 12 assists) and added six rebounds. Will it be deja vu all over again?

SG - Manu Ginobili, San Antonio Spurs (vs. DAL), $4,500: In his past two games, Ginobili has averaged 15.5 points, 7.0 assists, 1.5 blocks and 1.5 steals. Even though the Mavs have been second-best in limiting fantasy points to opposing shooting guards over the past 15 days, Ginobili is a virtual lock for 25'ish points at the relatively modest cost of $4,500.

SG - James Anderson, Philadelphia 76ers (at ORL), $4,400: Only five teams have allowed more fantasy points to opposing shooting guards this season than the Magic. Anderson has more than 20 fantasy points in two of his past three games.

SF - Mike Dunleavy, Chicago Bulls (vs. NYK), $5,300: Over his past three games, Dunleavy has averaged 32.8 fantasy points per game. During that stretch, he has averaged 17.67 points, 6.67 boards, 3.67 assists and 1.0 steal per game.

SF - Maurice Harkless, Orlando Magic (vs. PHI), $4,400: With 30-something minutes per night over his past three outings, Harkless has been relatively productive with a minimum of 22.1 fantasy points during that stretch. With the 76ers coming to town today, Harkless may improve upon those numbers (although that low of 22.1 fantasy points was against Philly on Wednesday).

PF - Markieff Morris, Phoenix Suns (vs. ATL), $5,700: With the exception of a 23-minute night against the Jazz on Wednesday, Morris has scored 31.6 or more fantasy points in four of his past five games. During that five-game span, Morris has averaged 19.0 points, 4.6 rebounds, 2.6 assists, 1.0 block and 1.2 steals. Not only have the Hawks allowed the eighth-most fantasy points to opposing four's over the past 15 days, but Millsap will miss at least one more game as noted earlier.

PF - Amir Johnson, Toronto Raptors (vs. GS), $5,100: Since missing two games before the All-Star break, Johnson has scored at 22 fantasy points in all six games after the break.

C - Nikola Vucevic, Orlando Magic (vs. PHI), $7,300: Vucevic played only 23 minutes last night, but he finished with his third consecutive double-double (18 points, 10 rebounds). During that span, he has averaged 40.47 fantasy points per game that included 47.6 against the Sixers on Wednesday. Vucevic has now scored at least 30 fantasy points in eight of his past nine games.

C - Kyle O'Quinn, Orlando Magic (vs. PHI), $4,500: Despite playing only 22 minutes last night, O'Quinn also had a double-double (14 points, 15 rebounds) against the Heat. In fact, he hasn't played more than 24 minutes in any of his past four games, but he has scored 24-plus fantasy points in three of those games. In his past four games, he is averaging 9.0 points, 8.25 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 1.25 blocks and 1.0 steals per game.

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