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 Fantasy NBA 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 Saturday's games, Heat SF LeBron James ($10,600) 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 Saturday (April 12th) FanDuel leagues:
PG - Ramon Sessions, Milwaukee Bucks (at WAS), $6,600: While the matchup isn't all that favorable, Sessions has played 40-plus minutes in eight of his past nine games with 38 being the exception. Over that nine-game span, Sessions is averaging 19.0 points, 6.1 assists and 3.8 rebounds per game.
PG - Ray McCallum, Sacramento Kings (at LAC), $5,900: Like Sessions, McCallum's matchup is not favorable — in fact, it's horrible. The Clips have allowed the second-fewest fantasy points to opposing point guards. That said, McCallum has played 40-plus minutes in nine consecutive games and has scored more than 30 fantasy points in five of his past seven games. In his past seven games, McCallum is averaging 15.29 points, 7.86 assists, 3.14 rebounds and 2.00 steals per game.
PG - Trey Burke, PG, Utah Jazz (at DEN), $5,300: Burke has two double-doubles in his past three games and even scored 50.3 fantasy points in one of those games. Over those three games, he has averaged 14.0 points and 10.33 assists per game. The Nuggets have allowed the ninth-most fantasy points to opposing point guards this season.
PG - Luke Ridnour, Charlotte Bobcats (vs. PHI), $3,500: Ridnour's fantasy value hinges on the availability of Kemba Walker (ankle) on Saturday. With Walker sitting out last night's game, Ridnour started at the point and finished with 24.9 fantasy points (nine points, five assists and three steals) against the Celtics. If Walker misses tonight's game, Ridnour will get a start vs. the fantasy-friendly Sixers at a contest-minimum salary.
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SG - Randy Foye, Denver Nuggets (vs. UTA), $6,400: Foye has scored 102.4 fantasy points combined in his past two games. In those two games, he has averaged 25.0 points, 11.0 assists, 6.0 rebounds and 1.5 steals per game. Over his past six games, he has four outings with at least 30 fantasy points.
SG - J.J. Redick, Los Angeles Clippers (vs. SAC), $4,600: Redick has been back for three games and he has yet to score more than 18.6 fantasy points since his return. That could change with a matchup against the Kings, who have allowed the second-most fantasy points to opposing shooting guards this season.
SG - Austin Rivers, New Orleans Pelicans (at HOU), $4,300: Rivers has been extremely productive in his past two outings with 31-plus fantasy points in both games. He has averaged 14.0 points, 7.5 rebounds and 6.5 assists in those two games. The Rockets have allowed the fourth-most fantasy points to opposing shooting guards this season.
SG - Chris Douglas-Roberts, Charlotte Bobcats (vs. PHI), $4,100: For the first time in four games, Douglas-Roberts scored more than 20 fantasy points last night. With a favorable matchup tonight against the Sixers, a repeat performance seems like a reasonable expectation.
SF - Jeff Green, Boston Celtics (at CLE), $5,700: Green has been solid, but not spectacular, with 20-plus fantasy points in seven of his past eight games. With a high of 29.5 fantasy points during that span, Green gets a decent opportunity to crack 30 fantasy points against the Cavs. Cleveland has allowed the third-most fantasy points to opposing small forwards this season.
SF - Khris Middleton, Milwaukee Bucks (at WAS), $5,100: Middleton has scored at least 22.6 fantasy points in three consecutive games.
SF - Jeremy Evans, Utah Jazz (at DEN), $3,700: Evans has played at least 23 minutes in each of his past three games and he has averaged 19.03 fantasy points during that stretch. The Nuggets have allowed the sixth-most fantasy points to opposing small forwards so Evans could be a decent cheap play tonight if he gets 20-something minutes again.
PF - Jared Sullinger, Boston Celtics (at CLE), $6,500: In his past three games, Sullinger has either scored 20 points or posted a double-double (or both). Over his past nine games, he is averaging 16.33 points, 7.89 rebounds and just shy of 30 fantasy points (29.24) per game.
PF - Terrence Jones, Houston Rockets (vs. NO), $6,200: Jones has scored a minimum of 23 fantasy points in each of his past five games, but he has averaged 32.6 fantasy points during that span. Only four teams have allowed more fantasy points to opposing power forwards this season than the Pelicans.
PF - Tristan Thompson, Cleveland Cavaliers (vs. BOS), $5,200: With three double-doubles in his past six games, Thompson is averaging 12.0 points and 9.33 rebounds per game over that stretch. In addition, he has at least 35 fantasy points in three of those games including last night's matchup against the Bucks.
PF - Josh McRoberts, Charlotte Bobcats (vs. PHI), $4,900: Since missing three games, McBob has scored at least 20 fantasy points in both games since his return. The best could come tonight as the Bobcats host the Sixers, who have allowed the second-most fantasy points to opposing power forwards this season.
C - Enes Kanter, Utah Jazz (at DEN), $6,100: This game features a pair of foreign-born fantasy centers that are both excellent values. Kanter has averaged 15.0 points and 16.0 rebounds with 1.5 blocks per game over his past two games. The Nuggets have allowed the fourth-most fantasy points to opposing centers this year.
C - Omer Asik, Houston Rockets (vs. NO), $5,900: Even with just 24 minutes apiece in his past three outings, the good times continue to roll for Asik and his fantasy owners. In the month of April, Asik has had double-digit rebounds in every game including a pair of games with 23 boards and four double-doubles. In his seven April games, Asik has averaged 11.29 points, 16.43 boards, 1.28 blocks and 1.00 steals per game.
C - Timofey Mozgov, Denver Nuggets (vs. UTA), $5,200: Mozgov has made numerous appearances on these posts, but he has really delivered for DFSers lately. In 43 minutes against the Warriors on Thursday, Mozgov scored 23 points with 29 rebounds and added three assists, three blocks and a steal for 68.3 fantasy points. While a repeat performance would be unrealistic, Mozgov has averaged 16.0 points, 9.44 boards and 1.56 blocks per game in his last nine. In addition, the Jazz have allowed the eighth-most fantasy points to opposing centers this season.
There are other excellent options at center, but it's hard to imagine many owners starting someone other than Mozgov unless they go with a stud like DeMarcus Cousins or Al Jefferson.
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