Sunday, March 2, 2014

Daily Fantasy Basketball (March 2nd): DraftKings Bargains

If you play daily fantasy sports (and who isn'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, you select your team based on a player's salary and your team's salary cannot exceed the game salary-cap maximum.

For DraftKings leagues, rosters consist of eight players and the salary cap is $50,000, which averages to roughly $6,250 per player. To give you an idea of the range for Sunday's games, Thunder SF/PF Kevin Durant ($11,300) has the contest's highest salary while many are tied for the lowest at the game-minimum salary ($3,000).

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) DraftKings leagues:

PG/SG - Victor Oladipo, Orlando Magic (vs. PHI), $6,900: With eligibility at either guard spot in DraftKings leagues, Oladipo is only the 10th-highest priced point guard-eligible player. Despite an off game against the Heat last night, Oladipo racked up 40.25 fantasy points against the Sixers on Wednesday with 17 points, 11 rebounds, three assists, two steals and a block.

PG - Jose Calderon, Dallas Mavericks (at SAS), $5,600: Over his past five games, Calderon has averaged 12.2 points, 5.4 assists, 3.0 rebounds and 1.0 steal per game. Although Tony Parker is expected back today, the Spurs have allowed the sixth-most fantasy points to opposing point guards this season.

PG - Tony Wroten, Philadelphia 76ers (at ORL), $4,700: Wroten has gone to the free-throw line at least nine times in three of his past four games. During that four-game stretch, Wroten has scored 18.5 points and averaged 28.0 fantasy points per game in DraftKings formats.

PG/SG - Reggie Jackson, Oklahoma City Thunder (vs. CHA), $5,100: With Thabo Sefalosha (calf) out on Sunday, Jackson should see an uptick in minutes. Sefalosha left Friday's game early and Jackson played 34 minutes. Especially so in FanDuel leagues, where his salary ($7,400) is $900 less than what it is in DraftKings' contests ($8,300), I really like Russell Westbrook today. That said, I could see the potential of Westbrook playing less than his normal amount of minutes in what could turn out to be a blowout against the Bobcats as well. Based on odds from, the Thunder are nearly double-digit favorites over the Bobcats.

SG/SF - Mike Dunleavy, Chicago Bulls (vs. NYK), $5,300: Over his past three games, Dunleavy has averaged 35.8 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.

SG/SF - Kawhi Leonard, San Antonio Spurs (vs. DAL), $5,200: Especially due to his defensive stats, Leonard has had two productive outings in a row since missing 14 straight games. With 36.0 and 33.0 fantasy points against the Pistons and Bobcats, respectively, Leonard had a total of five steals and four blocks in those two games in addition to 27 points, 14 rebounds and five assists.

SG/SF - 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 at least 25 fantasy points in two of his past three games.

SF - Maurice Harkless, Orlando Magic (vs. PHI), $3,600: With 30-something minutes per night over his past three outings, Harkless has been relatively productive with a minimum of 23.75 fantasy points during that stretch. With the 76ers coming to town today, Harkless may improve upon those numbers (although that low of 23.75 fantasy points was against Philly on Wednesday).

SF/PF - DeMarre Carroll, Atlanta Hawks (at PHO), $5,100: In his past three games, Carroll has played 34-plus minutes per game and has knocked down nine of 18 three-point attempts. Carroll has 37-plus fantasy points in two of those three games.

PF/C - Nikola Vucevic, Orlando Magic (vs. PHI), $7,800: 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 43.08 fantasy points per game that included 49.75 against the Sixers on Wednesday. Vucevic has now scored at least 33 fantasy points in eight of his past nine games.

PF/C - Elton Brand, Atlanta Hawks (at PHO), $5,200: With Paul Millsap out again on Sunday, the good times may continue to roll for Brand. Brand has at least 34.25 fantasy points in back-to-back games and he has averaged 8.5 points, 10.0 rebounds, 4.0 assists, 3.5 blocks and 1.5 steals in those two games.

PF/C - Kyle O'Quinn, Orlando Magic (vs. PHI), $4,100: 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.

* Sign up with DraftKings and double your money: Get a 100-percent bonus (up to $600) on your initial deposit with DraftKings.

For those interested in FanDuel leagues, I posted some FanDuel values earlier this morning here.

If you play in full-season leagues, check out my rest-of-season Fantasy NBA rankings.

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