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NBA Daily Fantasy Basketball Sleepers Lineup Picks for 1/23/18

*Austyn Varney*

NBA Daily Fantasy Basketball Sleepers Lineup Picks for 1/23/18

Tuesday’s 5-game slate leaves slim opportunities. You know who the studs are, but do you know who the cheaper daily fantasy basketball sleepers are that could make your lineup stand out amongst the rest in a GPP? Sign up for our Newsletter and try our Playerlab tool, where you can filter the stats that matter most and find the value players that are low-owned on Draftkings & Fanduel like Joffrey Lauvergne and Josh Hart.


Use the code "NEWYEAR40" at checkout for 40% off Seasonal Package
Use the code “NEWYEAR40” at checkout for 40% off Seasonal Package

Point Guard

NBA Daily Fantasy Basketball Sleepers Lineup Picks for 1/23/18

Isaiah Thomas
FD $6,500 DK $6,000

We’re starting with 2 guys that aren’t all that cheap, but are definitely considered “value”. Isaiah Thomas is a player that should be over $8k on both sites and will be very soon. He’s definitely not at that line of production yet and is still figuring his way into this offense, but we know who this guy is. He’s a 1.5-2 FP per minute player when on the floor and has been over 30 minutes already a few times. He sees a match-up against the Spurs that is not too shabby. Sure, the Spurs are always a solid team defense, but PG is a spot you can get them at. On the season, they rank 15th against the position. Thomas is way too cheap and is going to continue putting up 30+ fantasy points a night, until he figures it out and is at 40-50. This game is going to be close and he’ll be in there against guards who don’t play much offense.

De’Aaron Fox
FD $5,700 DK $5,200

Fox is going to come in a little bit cheaper than IT2 and I don’t see why. Aside from playing 30+ minutes in 4 of the last 5 games, he’s sitting over 30 fantasy points in most decent match-ups. He’s obviously the future for this team and they are now focused on him as the sole point guard. He’s going to be well over $7k very soon and we’ll be looking back at these days as missed opportunities. Fox and the Kings match-up with Orlando tonight, who’s an underwhelming defense by every measure. They rank 27th in the league against PG’s and seem to give up a big game almost every night. Fox is a near-lock for 25 FP (value) and has a phenomenal shot of getting to 35 and being a monster in tournaments. This is a value article, but these are still my 2 favorite PG’s on this slate, regardless of price.

Shooting Guard

NBA Daily Fantasy Basketball Sleepers Lineup Picks for 1/23/18

Alex Caruso and Josh Hart
FD $4,200 – $3,700 DK $4,500

With Lonzo Ball already ruled out, we know minutes and shots are up for grabs. We then have Kentavious Caldwell-pope doubtful, who’s extremely important. If KCP plays, I don’t have any interest in Caruso or Hart. If KCP is out, I think both see over 24 minutes and hit value in a competitive game against the Celtics. Jordan Clarkson is obviously the guy who’s in for the biggest workload increase, but he’s expensive and going to cost you a stud elsewhere. Hart and Caruso are both 1+ FP per minute players that do get involved and will rarely disappoint when given the opportunity. The Celtics aren’t a bad defense, but Vegas think it stays close and high-scoring with a 209 O/U and 4.5 point spread. Caruso is the guy who seems to be safer, but Hart has been over 30 minutes in worse spots. Both are in play for tournaments and I’m ok with either in cash if KCP is ruled out.

Jonathan Simmons
FD $5,300 DK $5,300

If you’re on DraftKings, Simmons is a stellar value option at shooting guard. You’ll have to wait for small forward on FanDuel, but just be patient and deal with it. Simmons is still way too cheap on both sites and in a game with a weak Kings perimeter, he’ll struggle to miss value. He’s getting 30 minutes in every close game and has been the 2nd option since Vucevic went out with an injury. When I said a weak Kings perimeter, I mean. They only rank 20th on the season against SG’s, but dead last over the last 10 games. Hield and Bogdanovic are both pitiful defenders that can be taken advantage of from anywhere on the floor. WCS has also been a disappointment in terms of rim security. Simmons isn’t anything crazy tonight, but he’s just a little too cheap and in a better than usual spot. A cash game beast.

Small Forward

NBA Daily Fantasy Basketball Sleepers Lineup Picks for 1/23/18

Jaylen Brown
FD $5,500 DK $6,200

Let’s be honest, most of the world will be focusing on the high-end at this position. We have Kevin Durant and LeBron James in interesting situations with a cheaper Paul George in an ideal match-up. Those 3 guys deserve most of the ownership at the position and will get it. We will instead focus on some cheaper guys who may not be as highly owned. Jaylen Brown is never the most exciting player to roster, but he’s extremely consistent and always a great cash game option. Just do yourself a favor and take a look at his box scores. He’s over 33 minutes in every close game and is never under 20 fantasy points. His price is extremely fair on both sites for a guy that will put up 30 FP in most cases against the Lakers. Ranking 2nd to last against the SF position, you have nothing to worry about here with a match-up. Brown will do what he wants and it just comes down to how many minutes he’s in the game for.

Allen Crabbe
FD $4,600 DK $4,400

If you really need to pay down at small forward, Allen Crabbe is perfectly fine. In a game that the Nets will need some scoring, you know Crabbe will raise his hand. He loves shooting the ball and will often get into 15-20 shots if given 30 minutes. He’s been over that 30-minute mark in 4 of the last 6 games, but is guaranteed for 26 no matter what. His price is a little bit too low for a guy that’s guaranteed 20 with a ceiling in the 40’s. He’s a legitimately good player and one that often gets hot in fast-paced match-ups like this. On paper, the Thunder rank 16th against the SF, except it doesn’t really matter. Paul George will be on Carroll, leaving Crabbe on either Grant or Roberson. Both are downgrades from George. I’d much rather pay up for Jaylen Brown in cash games, but see the merit in paying down at a spotion everyone else will be paying up for.

Power Forward

NBA Daily Fantasy Basketball Sleepers Lineup Picks for 1/23/18

Marcus Morris
FD $4,700 DK $5,000

There is some pretty solid value here at power forward. Starting with Marcus Morris, the value is safe. Morris has slowly gotten himself back involved in the offense and is sitting around 25-28 minutes at this point. Because of that, he’s not going to ever demolish value, but shouldn’t get under 20 FP either. He’s been over 17 FP in each of the last 5 and got up to 35. The Lakers rank 25th against power forwards on the season with 3 guys who just can’t play defense. Vegas has this game staying close and competitive, so Morris can be counted on for his concrete 25+ minutes. His price is still under $5k on both sites and it allows you to play him in all formats. He’s a lock for 20 with the upside for 35. Safe as can be on a slate like this.

Davis Bertans
FD $3,600 DK $3,700

We’re about to touch on 2 guys that are directly benefiting from Pau Gasol being out. Gasol has been getting over 30 minutes on most nights, so we have a lot to look at. Davis Bertans was already getting 20-25 minutes a night, so this should push him over 30 without much trouble. He is one of the guys Pop is willing to play big minutes and we know he can produce when out there. He matches up well with the Cavs bigs and shouldn’t have much trouble getting open shots. At close to minimum price, he may be one of my highest owned players on the slate. I just don’t see him missing value, with him only needing 20-ish.

 

Center

NBA Daily Fantasy Basketball Sleepers Lineup Picks for 1/23/18

Joffrey Lauvergne
FD $3,500 DK $3,300

With Pau Gasol and his 30-33 minutes out of the lineup, you have to look at Lauvergne. We know the Spurs are comfortable playing him for 25+ minutes and we know he’s one of those guys who produce a ton when given the opportunity. He also is a very good match-up for this game against the Cavs, where speed is extremely important. He likes to shoot a ton and the Spurs don’t have anyone outside of LMA that dictates the ball at this point. Lauvergne is a safe bet for 20 minutes and a lock for value at lose to $3k. Don’t be afraid of the recent box scores.

Enes Kanter
FD $5,800 DK $6,200

This is most certainly risky, but the upside is there. We know bigs can sometimes see diminished minutes against the Warriors and end up with one of their worst games on the season. They can also find a way to fit into the PACE and have one of their best, as the Warriors can struggle against bigs that can run. Kanter can run and has a good chance of staying in the game for 25+ minutes. His price is perfectly fine on both sites and he needs to get you in the low 30’s in cash games. It’s a near lock if he can find a way to fit into the game as the Warriors don’t have a single guy who can handle his offensive skills. I’ll still be Lauvergne-heavy on most of my teams, but Kanter deserves some looks in tournaments.

 

MLB Fantasy Baseball Trade Analyzer and Off-Season Signings

*Mike Barner – @rotomikebarner*

MLB Fantasy Baseball Trade Analyzer and Off-Season Signings

It might hard to believe it if you live in the NorthEast, but baseball season is just around the corner. With only about a month left before pitchers and catchers report to Spring Training, the time is now to start preparing for your fantasy baseball draft. In the first of our season preview series, we’ll take a look at some familiar players who have joined new teams and discuss the impact it will have on their fantasy value.

Giancarlo Stanton, New York Yankees

MLB Fantasy Baseball Trade Analyzer and Off-Season Signings

The Yankees rebuild certainly didn’t take long. After trading away several veterans in the middle of the 2016 season, the Yankees progressed faster than expected in 2017, losing in the American League Championship Series to the Houston Astros. One of the big reasons for their success was the strength of their offense, which finished second in runs scored and first in home runs in all of baseball.

So how did they improve their team for this year? By bringing in another power hitter of course. The Yankees took advantage of the Marlins need to slash payroll, trading for the reigning NL MVP in Stanton with Starlin Castro being the only player of significance to the major league roster that they gave up.

Entering the 2017 season, Stanton had played 123 games or less in four of the previous five seasons. He managed to stay healthy though, missing only three games all year. He cashed in the added at-bats, setting career-highs in home runs (59), RBI (132) and runs scored (123). Unlike many of the games elite home run hitters, he still managed to hit .281 and finished with a career-low 23.6% strikeout percentage.

Stanton will now team up with Aaron Judge to form one of the elite power-hitting combinations in the league. It will be hard for Stanton to play 159 games again this year, but the good news is that he will get some time at designated hitter, which should help keep him fresh. He’s going to be part of a potent overall lineup and should again finish with excellent counting stats. From a batting average perspective, he might not experience significant regression either as his .288 BABIP was actually the lowest of his career. Expect him to have another valuable campaign and be a borderline first-round pick in fantasy.

Dee Gordon, Seattle Mariners

MLB Fantasy Baseball Trade Analyzer and Off-Season Signings

Another member of the Marlins fire sale was Gordon, who was shipped to the Mariners and will now play center field. Gordon led the majors with 60 stolen bases last year, marking the third time in the last four seasons that he has stolen at least 58 bases. The only time he didn’t was when he was limited to 79 games in 2016 due to a suspension, finishing with 30 steals.

While most known for his ability to steal bases, Gordon’s fantasy value is much more than just that one category. He hit at least .308 in two of the last three seasons and scored 114 runs last year. He only has a 15.1% strikeout percentage for his career, which allows him to leg out some extra hits due to his speed.

Luckily for this season, he will still be eligible at second base and will eventually get you the added value of dual-position eligibility. He will be part of a powerful lineup that features Nelson Cruz, Robinson Cano, and Kyle Seager hitting behind him, so he should have plenty of opportunities to score runs again this year. Even without much power, he should still finish as one of the more valuable second base eligible players in fantasy, especially when you consider the scarcity of stolen bases.

Andrew McCutchen, San Francisco Giants

MLB Fantasy Baseball Trade Analyzer and Off-Season Signings

The Giants desperately needed to find offense this winter, especially in their outfield. They decided to swing a deal with the Pirates for McCutchen, providing a significant boost to their lineup. While his stats don’t jump off the page, McCutchen has hit at least 21 home runs and recorded at least 79 RBI in each of the last seven seasons. He also does an excellent job of getting on base, posting an OBP of at least .363 in all but one season during his career.

While McCutchen can still provide value, it’s important to note that he doesn’t really excel in any one category. He used to provide value on the base paths, stealing at least 20 bases in each of the first five seasons of his career. However, he has stolen 11 bases or less in each of the last three seasons. He batted a respectable .279 last year, but that’s not going to be a difference maker in your league. He’s still someone to consider on draft day, but make sure you are drafting him based on his current production, not his high-profile name. If you are drafting based on the latter, you will likely overpay for him on draft day.

Evan Longoria, San Francisco Giants

MLB Fantasy Baseball Trade Analyzer and Off-Season Signings

The Giants were serious about making major additions to their lineup, also acquiring Longoria from the Rays. Longoria had spent his entire 10-year career with the Rays, becoming the face of the franchise. He’s had some excellent run-producing seasons, hitting at least 30 home runs four times and driving in at least 100 runs five times in his career. He’s also been extremely reliable, playing at least 160 games in each of the last four years.

Longoria is still a fine player, but he’s not nearly as valuable in fantasy as he once was. Besides an outlier season where he hit 36 home runs in 2016, he has hit 22 home runs or less in three of the last four seasons. He doesn’t do a great job of getting on base either, posting an OBP of .328 or lower in each of the last four years. Third base is a deep position in fantasy, which could leave Longoria outside the top-15 at the position.

Wade Davis, Colorado Rockies

MLB Fantasy Baseball Trade Analyzer and Off-Season Signings

The Rockies were the beneficiaries of one of the better surprises at closer last year, getting 41 saves from Greg Holland. The majority of Holland’s success came over the first half of the season when he recorded 28 of his saves and a sparkling 1.62 ERA. The second half was much more of a struggle, finishing with a 6.38 ERA in 24 innings. The Rockies decided not to bring him back for 2018, instead signing Davis to a hefty three-year contract.

Davis had 32 saves for the Cubs last year and a 2.30 ERA, which was actually the first time he finished with an ERA above 2.00 since 2013. He also posted a 12.1 K/9, which was the second highest of his career. When a pitcher moves to Coors Field, there is always a concern that their stats could regress pitching in such a hitter-friendly environment. Davis did give up six home runs last year, which were three more than the previous three seasons combined. However, his ground ball to flyball ratio was 0.70, which is very close to his career ratio of 0.67.

The big increase was in his home run to flyball percentage, which was 9.1%. That’s significantly up from his career mark of 6.5%. While I don’t think he’ll come close to replicating the excellent three-year stretch he had with the Royals prior to last season, he should still finish the season as a top-10 closer.

Carlos Santana, Philadelphia Phillies

MLB Fantasy Baseball Trade Analyzer and Off-Season Signings

The rebuilding Phillies added a significant bat to their lineup, signing Santana to a three-year contract early on in free agency. He’ll take over as their everyday first baseman after spending the first eight years of his career with Cleveland.

Santana had spectacular power season in 2016, hitting 34 home runs and slugging .498. Other than that season, he’s never hit more than 27 home runs or slugged above .457 in any of his full seasons in the majors. He hasn’t been a significant run producer either, recording 87 RBI or less in each season of his career.

The positives for Santana is that he gets on base, posting an OBP of at least .363 in five of the last six years. He’s also done a nice job cutting down on his strikeouts, with his strikeout percentage decreasing in each of the last three seasons. However, based on his low batting average and limited ceiling, he’s a borderline top-20 first baseman.

Marcell Ozuna, St. Louis Cardinals

MLB Fantasy Baseball Trade Analyzer and Off-Season Signings

Ozuna established himself as one of the top outfielders in the league last year, finishing the season batting .312 with 37 home runs, 124 RBI, and 93 runs scored. He showed an improved eye at the plate, setting a career best with a 9.4% walk percentage, which was more than two percent higher than any of his previous four seasons.

Like Stanton and Gordon, he too was a part of the fire sale in Miami and will now roam the outfield for the Cardinals. His power will be a welcomed addition as the Cardinals finished in the bottom half of the league in home runs last season.

The Marlins were certainly a flawed team, but they had a potent lineup with Ozuna, Stanton, Gordon, Christian Yelich, J.T. Realmuto and Justin Bour. The Cardinals have some talented hitters, but their lineup doesn’t project to be as deep as the Marlins was last year. Ozuna will still likely be a top 15-to-20 outfielder, but he could experience some regression in counting stats.

Gerrit Cole, Houston Astros

MLB Fantasy Baseball Trade Analyzer and Off-Season Signings

The defending World Seris champs aren’t resting on their laurels this winter, making a big trade with the Pirates to add Cole to their starting rotation. The Astros already have one of the best lineups in baseball, but now boast a solid starting trio of Dallas Keuchel, Justin Verlander, and Cole.

Cole’s best season with the Pirates came in 2015 when he finished 19-8 with a 2.60 ERA and 202 strikeouts in 208 innings. However, his numbers have declined in the two years since, finishing last year 12-12 with a 4.26 ERA and 196 strikeouts in 203 innings. His main problem in 2017 was a massive increase in home runs allowed. He only allowed 29 home runs from 2014 through 2016 but gave up a whopping 31 in 2017 alone. When you add in the fact that he also issued a career-high 55 walks, you get the big jump in ERA.

There is a reason for optimism this year though as his ground ball to flyball ratio was 0.85 last year, which is almost right on pace with his career mark. His home run to flyball percentage jumped all the way up to 11.3%, almost double his previous career high. With some regression to the norm this season, Cole should get his ERA back down under 4.00. He’s a reliable source for strikeouts and should have plenty of chances to rack up wins on a great team, making him a top-25 starting pitcher with upside.

NBA Daily Fantasy Basketball Sleepers for 1/22/18

*Cesar Becerra*

NBA Daily Fantasy Basketball Sleepers for 1/22/18

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Point Guard

NBA Daily Fantasy Basketball Sleepers for 1/22/18

Tj McConnell
Draftkings: $5,000
Fanduel $6,700
Tj McConnell has been on fire over his last four games averaging over 32 DK points in 28 minutes since JJ Redick has been sidelined. Today Redick is expected to miss again, and Jerryd Bayless is questionable so McConnell could continue to pick up the slack for the Sixers guards. When both Bayless and Redick are off the court, McConnell holds a 27.4 assist usage percentage. His price is a little elevated given his recent 45 point performance a week ago, but he’s primed to get close to 30 minutes today.

Donovan Mitchell
Draftkings: $7,800
(SG) Fanduel $8,000
Rodney Hood has already been ruled out for tonight’s game against the Atlanta Hawks. When Hood is off the court, Mitchell has a team-high usage rate of 29.4% and an assist rate of 20.4% second behind only Ricky Rubio. Mitchel is averaging over 33 minutes per game and is currently averaging 1.1 DK points per minute. He faces a Hawks defense that allows opposing point guards to score 4 points above-projected points total.

Shooting Guard

NBA Daily Fantasy Basketball Sleepers for 1/22/18

Malcolm Brogdon
Draftkings: $5,000
Fanduel: $6,300
Brogdon will return tonight after missing Saturday’s contest for personal reasons. He should be well rested and expected to resume his 30-34 minutes. For the year, Brogdon is averaging .78 fantasy points per minute and is going up against the Suns who play at one of the league’s fastest pace. The Bucks are projected to score just under 110 points so that should open the door for Brogdon to chuck up 3’s.

Wayne Ellington
Draftkings: $5,300
Fanduel: $4,800
Goran Dragic, Tyler Johnson, and Hassan Whiteside have all been ruled out for tonight’s contest against the Rockets. In situations when all three of those players are off the court, Ellington has been the primary beneficiary. In 185 minutes played, Ellington has seen the biggest boost in minutes (185) and usage (22.9%). Ellington is averaging .75 fantasy points per minutes and should be in line to start and could see upwards of 30 minutes.

Small Forward

NBA Daily Fantasy Basketball Sleepers for 1/22/18

Andrew Wiggins
Draftkings: $6,100
Fanduel: $6,200
Jimmy Butler and Jamal Crawford have been ruled out for tonight’s game against the Clippers. When both are off the court, Wiggins leads the Timberwolves with a 28.9% usage percentage and is second in offensive rating (112.5). This game has the second highest over-under so there should be plenty of opportunity for Wiggins.

Nemanja Bjelica
Draftkings: $3,000
Fanduel: $3,600
As I mentioned above Butler has already been ruled out, and Bjelica got the spot start for Butler when he didn’t play the last game. Bjelica played 26 minutes on Saturday and scored 8 points with 6 rebounds and 2 assists. He’ll be one of the highest owned players on the slate given the matchup, price, and game flow against the Clippers.

Power Forward

NBA Daily Fantasy Basketball Sleepers for 1/22/18

Kelly Olynyk
Draftkings: $4,800
Fanduel: $4,500
I already talked about the Heat players who have been ruled out, that list included Hassan Whiteside. With Whiteside out, that opens up a spot in the frontcourt for Olynyk to get more minutes. He’s averaging just under 1 fantasy point per minute (.95) and is in an uptempo game against the Rockets.

Trey Lyles
Draftkings: $5,300
Fanduel: $5,400
Trey Lyles has seen upwards of 24 minutes in both of the past two games. Lyles is averaging just over 1 fantasy point per minute (1.01) and faces the Blazers who leave have allowed opposing power forwards to score +2.22 points above salary expectations. The Nuggets are 3 point favorites over the Blazers and Lyles should see 25 minutes tonight.

Center

NBA Daily Fantasy Basketball Sleepers for 1/22/18

Clint Capela
Draftkings: $6,600
Fanduel: $7,700
More of a play on Draftkings than Fanduel because of his extremely affordable price, Capela should benefit from Whiteside being off the court tonight. Capela continues to play right around 30 minutes a night and is averaging over 1 fantasy point per minute (1.31). With no Whiteside protecting the rim, Capela should be in store for a double-double tonight, and it wouldn’t surprise me to see him pass 40 fantasy points.

Marcin Gortat
Draftkings: $5,100
Fanduel: $4,700
Since I gave you a DK play with Capela, I thought I’d give you a Fanduel play at center with Gortat. Gortat has struggled over his last three games failing to reach 20 Fanduel points in each, but tonight he has a good opportunity to bounce back. His salary has dipped below $5,000 on Fanduel, and he faces the Mavericks who allow opposing centers to score 2.19 points above salary expectations.

NBA Fantasy Basketball Schedule Analysis for Week 15

*Mike Barner*


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RING in 2018 with code “NEWYEAR40” at checkout for 40% off Seasonal Package

NBA Fantasy Basketball Schedule Analysis for Week 15

It’s important to know the intricacies of the NBA schedule to gain an advantage over your opponent in a head-to-head fantasy league as starting your best players might not always give you the best chance to win. Here are some moves you might want to consider for your team based on the week ahead.

Teams With The Most Games – 4 Games Each
Atlanta Hawks, Charlotte Hornets, Chicago Bulls, Dallas Mavericks, Houston Rockets, Los Angeles Clippers, Minnesota Timberwolves, New Orleans Pelicans, Oklahoma City Thunder, Philadelphia 76ers, Phoenix Suns, Sacramento Kings, San Antonio Spurs

With 13 teams playing four games each this week, you could already be set at several positions on your team. However, if you need a player or two to help you get over the hump, consider adding the players below who are still available in the majority of leagues.

NBA Fantasy Basketball Schedule Analysis for Week 15

Dewayne Dedmon, Atlanta Hawks

Dedmon began the season as the Hawks starting center and was off to a strong start before missing over a month with a knee injury. He’s healthy now and has played in six straight games, averaging 8.8 points, 8.7 rebounds and 0.7 blocks over that stretch. While his numbers don’t jump off the charts and he’s coming off the bench now, having someone who can at least approach a double-double every night of a four-game week can provide value. He faces the Jazz, Raptors, Hornets and Wizards this week, all four of which are teams with big centers. Dedmon could see some added playing time as a result. He’s still available in 58% of Yahoo! leagues and is someone to target if you need help in the middle.

T.J. McConnell, Philadelphia 76ers

Sixers guard J.J. Redick (leg) has missed the last two games due to injury, opening up added playing time for McConnell. He’s taken full advantage of the opportunity, averaging 13.0 points, 2.5 rebounds, 4.5 assists, 2.5 steals and 1.0 three-pointer in those two contests. The initial diagnosis for Redick suggests that he could be out for part, or all, of Week 15, which would give McConnell a significant boost in value. McConnell has proven he can produce with added minutes, averaging 12.6 points, 4.6 rebounds, 7.4 assists and 2.0 steals in seven games that he has played at least 30 minutes in this season. Still available in 70% of Yahoo! leagues, McConnell could be in store for a big week.

Wesley Johnson, Los Angeles Clippers

The Clippers have been one of the teams hit hardest by injuries this season, which has led to some unexpectedly productive players on their roster. Johnson is one of them, who is averaging 24 minutes per game this year. That’s double his playing time average with the Clippers last season. His overall numbers don’t jump off the page, but he’s been playing much better of late, averaging 13.8 points, 6.4 rebounds, 0.8 steals, 1.2 blocks and 2.6 three-pointers in his last five games. He’s still available in 91% of Yahoo! leagues and is a worthy pickup, especially if you need help in three-pointers.

Teams With The Fewest Games – 2 Games Each
Orlando Magic

The Magic are the only team to play just two games this week, significantly reducing the value of the players on their roster. As a result, consider benching the players below who you may normally start most weeks.

NBA Fantasy Basketball Schedule Analysis for Week 15

Evan Fournier, Orlando Magic

Fournier has been an excellent source of offense for the Magic, averaging 18.0 points and 2.2 three-pointers per game. The problem is, those are the only counting stats where he provides significant value as he is averaging just 3.3 rebounds, 2.9 assists and 0.9 steals per game. With only two games this week, he likely won’t have enough opportunities to accumulate points and three-pointers to warrant starting.

Bismack Biyombo, Orlando Magic

Biyombo has done an excellent job filling in for Nikola Vucevic (hand), averaging 9.1 points, 10.3 rebounds and 2.3 blocks in 12 games. He does get two juicy matchups against the Kings and Pacers, two of the worst teams in the league at defending the center position. However, with so many other teams playing four games each, it’s tough to roll out Biyombo based on his limited offensive upside. He will continue to be valuable for as long as Vucevic is out, but this might be the week to place him on your bench.

NBA Daily Fantasy Basketball Lineup Picks 1/20/18

NBA Daily Fantasy Basketball Lineup Picks 1/20/18


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POINT GUARDS:

Stephen Curry ($9,500 FD/$10,300 DK) –

Steph is a much more appealing play on FanDuel as he sits below the 10k range. He may be worth paying up for Saturday night as he takes on the Houston Rockets, who rank 22nd in defending point guards and the same team Curry scored 47 FanDuel points against a couple weeks ago. Curry has scored 40+ FanDuel points in 11 straight games, showing serious consistency value wise. The projected total of this game is a massive 234, implying a high scoring contest as well as fast paced with both teams ranking top 10 in the league in pace of play.

Eric Bledsoe ($7,000 FD/$7,600) – 

Bledsoe is one of the best point guard plays of the night, and will most likely be a very popular option. The Bucks will be without primary scorer Giannis as he has been ruled out. This lays a much heavier workload for Bledsoe against the Sixers who rank 21st in defending point guards. He’s very affordable and is projected 42.9 FanDuel points, giving him a healthy value of 6.13x.

SHOOTING GUARDS:

Khris Middleton ($7,400 FD/$7,900 DK) –

Alongside Bledsoe, Middleton will also be picking up much more offensive responsibility Saturday night with the Greak Freak sidelined. At a very affordable price it’s safe to say he will be high owned as well. He has a mediocre matchup with the Sixers. Luckily, they play at the fastest pace in the NBA so expect to tempo of the game to be pushed a little faster. This could benefit Middleton greatly.

Wayne Ellington ($4,400 FD/$4,900 DK) –

Ellington is dirt cheap and in a great matchup Saturday with the Charlotte Hornets, who defend shooting guards the worst in the league. He has been seeing great minutes, logging 30 or more in 9 of his last 10 games. He has also provided 20+ FanDuel points in three straight, showing a bit of consistency recently for such a low price tag. If Tyler Johnson remains out Ellington should see a slight increase in workload and opportunity. He seems worth the small risk.

SMALL FORWARDS:

Josh Richardson ($6,000 FD/ $6,000 DK) – 

Richardson has been a great offensive presence for the Heat lately, especially with Tyler Johnson out, who may be sitting out Saturday night as well. Richardson has averaged 33.6 FanDuel points in the two matchups Tyler Johnson recently missed. His price tag hasn’t changed much, which is a good thing. The Hornets may make things a bit more hectic as they run at the 10th rank pace in the league while the Heat rank a mere 28th.

PJ Tucker ($4,100 FD/$3,700 DK) – 

With Gerald Green and Trevor Ariza suspended last game, that left Tucker as a primary SF. Although he did not perform as expected, collecting 17.8 FDP, he was able to log 33 minutes. He should see this playing time once again Saturday night as Green and Ariza serve their final game of their suspensions. Tucker’s matchup with the Warriors is above average, so if he can get the appropriate minutes he will have plenty of opportunity to exceed value. He’s a bit risky, but also very cheap.

POWER FORWARDS:

Dario Saric ($5,500 FD/$6,200 DK) –

If you need a safe and cheap play, Saric is your guy. He has scored 20+ FanDuel points in eight straight contests, with three of those reaching the 40 point mark or more. He has been a great weapon for this developing Sixers offense. He matches up fair with the Milwaukee Bucks, who will be without Giannis. Saric is currently projected at 27 FanDuel points which would give him a value of nearly 5x. His consistency lately allows him to be a safer bet for your lineup as he also brings some upside.

Montrezl Harrell ($6,200 FD/$4,800 DK) – 

Harrell is another cheap option with upside in this slate. His price is much more appealing on DraftKings as his price on FanDuel may be a bit intimidating. Harrell has been very beneficial off the bench for this Clippers squad, especially with DeAndre Jordan sidelined. In the last three games without Jordan, Harrell has averaged 31.8 FanDuel PPG along with 27.6 minutes per game. Jordan has already been officially ruled out Saturday night, giving Harrell the chance to keep this type of play up.

CENTERS:

Joel Embiid ($10,500 FD/$10,400 DK) – 

The “process” might have to be trusted in this slate. Embiid is matched up great with the Bucks tonight as he has been on a tear lately. Embiid has three straight games with a double-double and is averaging nearly 2 blocks per game over his last five contests, helping his fantasy scores increase. He’s coming off a monstrous 26-16-6 performance against the Celtics, accumulating to 59.2 FanDuel points. He’s now rested for tonight’s game and appears to be a player to pay up for in this slate.

Hassan Whiteside ($8,700 FD/$7,600 DK) – 

Whiteside’s numbers his past two games are impossible to ignore, as the center posted back to back 20 point double-double games. He also combined both games for a total of 10 blocks, making him average 5 each game. In this span, he averaged 55.7 FanDuel points. He has a bit of a tough matchup against the Hornets but at his price and recent production, it’s a little difficult to fade him just for his matchup. Although he is due for major regression, that due date might just not be yet.

Draftkings NFL Championship Round: Jacksonville Jaguars at New England Patriots

Draftkings NFL Championship Round: Jacksonville Jaguars at New England Patriots


 

We’ve arrived at the Conference Championships and are down to four teams fighting for a chance to hoist the Lombardi trophy. For Brady, it’s just another ordinary January, but for the rest, this is a chance to put their stamp on a franchise that took a chance on them when no other team in the NFL would.

Unfortunately Championship weekend also signals the end of the DFS football season until late August. I’m assuming Draftkings will continue to run out single-game slates, but I haven’t played those, so I’m not sure if I’ll be playing. Because there are only two games this week, I’m going to run through my write up a little differently. Opposed to going position by position, I’ll break down both championship games and write off my favorite plays for the games. But before I do that, I wanted to go over some strategies I like to employ when playing only two game slates.

I’ve had some pretty good success over the past two season with the two-game prime time slates. They’re entertaining because you’re able to keep a close eye on each game and every play matters. Ownership is easier to predict, and the focus should be more on getting the best players into your lineup opposed to finding players with low ownership. Sure if you want to fire away multi-entries in the $4 Final Four with $400K + entries you can get crazy with playing a less than 10% owned player, but that’s not the ideal strategy for two-game slates.

The key to playing two-game slates is trying to figure out what the game flow of each game is going to be. We usually use Vegas lines to give us an idea of how the experts think the game will play out, but for two games slates, we need to combine that with our opinions of how the game script is going to go. You should always take a stance on whether you think a game total is too high or too low, but it’s important to set your lineup up with positive correlation to ensure you get the most out of your lineup.

You’ll see a lot of lineups this weekend with game stacks and even team stacks. We’ll likely see several lineups with people rostering all of the offensive Patriots and bringing it back with some Jaguars in hopes of accumulating all of the points in that game. The best way to do that is by running through the game script scenarios:

I.e., If the Patriots score 28 points, I think Brady will account for 3 touchdowns and their running back [Lewis, Burkhead, White] will account for the 4th touchdown. If the Pats score early, that opens up the passing defense to play Prevent Defense, which creates throwing lanes over the middle for Bortles. That’s a general idea of how I generate game stacks; the tricky part is finding which players have the highest touchdown equity and playing them in your lineups. I’ll do my best to break down how I see these two games playing out, but you should come up with your theory of the games this week and play lineups accordingly.

Jaguars (19.5) at Patriots (27) | NE [-9] | Over/Under 46.5

New England Patriots (27)

Draftkings NFL Championship Round: Jacksonville Jaguars at New England Patriots

* News *

T. Brady – limited on Thursday (hand) – expected to play
R. Burkhead – limited on Thursday (knee) – expected to play

For the second consecutive week, the Patriots have the best Vegas numbers of all the teams on the slate. They are the largest favorites (-7), have the highest implied total (27), and have the highest game total (46.6). The difference from last week is that the Pats are not going up against the mediocre Titans defense again. They are going up against the Jags who ranked fourth DVOA in total defense, and first in passing defense, per Football Outsiders.

The Jags are coming off of a week where they allowed the Steelers to put up 42 points and 545 total yards (462 pass, 83 rush). That is only the second time the Jags defense has allowed more than 40 points this season (44 to 49ers and 42 to Steelers). While this defense is far from one that offense would like to face, they are far from unbeatable.

A very detailed article by Warren Sharp of Sharp Football Analysis broke down the secret to beating the Jaguars pass defense and essentially blueprinted the Patriots game plan. This is a must-read for anyone trying to figure out how the Patriots will attack this Jaguars defense. Check out the article here. Onto DFS.

You are surely going to want to get your exposure to the Patriots offense. But the question is where? As a team with an implied total near four touchdowns, that generally bodes well for Tom Brady ($7,700). But as a big home favorite and in a matchup against a defense that funnels offensive production to running backs, which also bodes well for the New England running backs. So which way should you go?

After reading Sharps article is crystal clear the best way to attack the Jags is over the middle with at most two wide receiver sets. They have a strong defensive line and secondary but are average at linebacker. That opens things up for Gronk and the running backs. So I’m looking to build Brady stacks with Gronk ($7,900) and one, possibly two of the New England running backs. Brady and Gronk are the top plays on the board and I will have them on 70% of my lineups.

Unfortunately, the New England running back situation is far from a clear picture. Dion Lewis ($8,100) is the slates highest price running back and has done exceptionally well over the past four weeks, scoring five touchdowns during that span. But with the news that Rex Burkhead ($5,400) will likely return for the first time in three weeks, it could eat away from Lewis’ production. On top of Burkhead’s return, we saw last week James White ($4,900) eat into Lewis’ production by scoring two touchdowns against the Titans.

I don’t have a problem with playing any one of these running backs with Brady because they are all capable of catching the ball. I still think Lewis will get the majority of the workload even with all three backs active. Even though Burkhead may return I strongly think White will have more opportunity over him because he was productive with his touches last week and the Pats are likely to ease Burkhead back into action. I really like White for the savings he brings, and I’m leaning toward a hard fade on Burkhead simply because on two-game slates you have to take a stand on questionable players.

I’d rank them Lewis, White, Burkhead.

I don’t mind pairing one or two of these running backs with Brady because I am likely not to stack Brady with any one of his wide receivers. As Sharp’s article pointed out, the best way to target the Jags is over the middle and with the running backs. I don’t like picking on Ramsey or Bouye on the corners. If I had to rank the Pats receivers

I’d go Chris Hogan ($5,000), Brandin Cooks ($6,100), Danny Amendola ($5,500). But none of these come close to Gronk.

Last week, the Jags allowed Steelers tight end Vance McDonald to a team-high 10 catches. Imagine what Gronk will do if he’s funneled with 16 targets that McDonald saw last week. Gronk is might be the best play of the entire slate.

PATRIOTS PLAYS:
T. Brady, R. Gronkowski, D. Lewis, J. White, C. Hogan, B. Cooks

Jacksonville Jaguars (19.5)

Draftkings NFL Championship Round: Jacksonville Jaguars at New England Patriots

* News *

L. Fournette – limited on Thursday (ankle) – expected to play
T. Gipson (FS) – missed practice on Thursday (foot) – expected to play

On the Jags side of the ball, we have a few intriguing options, starting with the quarterback. Don’t throw up, but Blake Bortles ($5,000) is a popular punt play that is worthy of your consideration. NFL coverage on every station has bashed Bortles’ inconsistent play, but somehow he has gotten the Jags to the AFC championship game. In his two playoff games, Bortles has completed only 53% of his passes and has thrown for a combined 301 yards with 2 touchdowns. Those numbers are a far cry from what you’d like to see from a quarterback in a championship game, but Bortles has added some production with his legs to make up for his lack of production through the air. In the past two games, Bortles has 123 rushing yards on 15 attempts (8.2 YPC). The added rushing production has made him rosterable considering his minimum priced salary.

Now Bortles faces the Patriots defense that ranked 21st DVOA during the regular season but isn’t as bad as their ranking suggest. The Patriots haven’t allowed a quarterback to throw for 300 yards since week 6. However, even though the Patriots are much improved, if the game script goes as Vegas and several other analysts suggest, Bortles could be looking at plenty of garbage time opportunities to reach his value at only $5k. Even if the Jags manage an early lead, it bodes well for Bortles because he owns a passer rating of 103 when playing with a lead.

If I’m playing Bortles or trying to find a Jaguar receiver to create a game stack with I’m rostering Dede Westbrook ($3,900) or Marquise Lee ($4,400). Despite only seeing 9 targets combined last week, Westbrook and Lee still played over 65% of the snaps last week. Since the Jags got their full receiving corp healthy, Lee and Westbrook have led the way in snaps and targets, while Keelan Cole ($3,500) and Allen Hurns ($3,300) have split time in the slot. Although the best way to attack the Patriots secondary is receivers in the slot, I still prefer Westbrook and Lee over Cole and Hurns because they are more likely to be on the field.

My rankings for the Jags receivers are Westbrook, Lee, Cole, and Hurns.

The real focal point of the Jags offense is their running game. Leonard Fournette ($7,200) is the lone back on the slate that doesn’t have to worry about touches. Fournette is the only running back that is guaranteed to touch the ball over 20 times. He’s also the lone back that doesn’t have to share touches with anyone. The issue with Fournette is that he could suffer from a negative game script. If the game goes the way Vegas projects, that could limit Fournette’s rushes, and he has only averaged 3 receptions over the past four games. On top of that, Belichick gameplans to take away the opposing offenses’ best player and that means Fournette will likely see 7 to 8 men in the box. The positive side of rostering Fournette is that you get nice touchdown equity. Despite averaging a modest 4.4 YPC last week, he accounted for 3 of the 5 offensive touchdowns. It’s worth noting that the Patriots have only given up 5 rushing touchdowns on the year and last week held Derrick Henry 2.3 YPC. The matchup and negative game script make me cautious in rostering Fournette this week despite his $1,500 drop off from last week.

JAGUARS:
B. Bortles, D. Westbrook, M. Lee, L. Fournette *only if you are fading Brady and stacking with Jags DST*

Draftkings NFL Championship Round: Minnesota Vikings at Philadelphia Eagles

Draftkings NFL Championship Round: Minnesota Vikings at Philadelphia Eagles

 

 

Vegas.

Vikings (20.75) at Eagles (17.75) | MIN [-3] | Over/Under 38.5

Draftkings NFL Championship Round: Minnesota Vikings at Philadelphia Eagles

Unlike the AFC game, the NFC game isn’t your traditional top offense meets a top defense. These two teams were the top seeds in the NFC, but the Eagles aren’t the team that earned them the number 1 seed. This game features two unlikely quarterbacks and two teams that rank in the bottom 10 in pace of play and the rank as the top 2 defenses DVOA per Football Outsiders.With two relatively unproven quarterbacks and two very good defenses, it explains why the game total sits at 38.5. Both teams are expected to play really conservative and focus on protecting the ball long enough for their defense to make a play to win the game.

Philadelphia Eagles (17.5)

Draftkings NFL Championship Round: Minnesota Vikings at Philadelphia Eagles

* News

D. Ellerbe (LB) – returned to practice on Thursday (hamstring) – questionable

For the second consecutive week, the Eagles come in as home underdogs. They did just enough to win the game last week but have their hands full with the number 1 defense in the league. The Vikings’ defense ranks 1st overall, 4th against the pass, and 5th against the run. Going up against such a dominant defense, it’s no secret why they have the lowest implied total on the slate. So how will the Eagles attack this dominant Vikings defense?

There’s no double they will miss Carson Wentz. Nick Foles ($4,800) is the lowest priced quarterback on the slate. He’s had four starts as the Eagles starting quarterback but has really only played three full games. If we remove week 17 where he was rested, Foles is completing 62% of his passes and has thrown for a combined 626 yards (215 YPG), while throwing 4 touchdowns to 1 interceptions. At first glance, those numbers don’t seem half bad when considering his price tag. But those numbers are inflated from his start against the Giants. If we remove the Giants game, Foles numbers drop to a 61% completion percentage with 409 yards (204 YPG) and 1 touchdown and 1 interception. In 4 starts, Foles has yet to surpass 250 yards in any game. Even last week when he did a good job managing the game, Foles did not find the end zone. In all but one start this year Foles has yet to top 10 DK points and now going up against this stingy Minnesota defense that held Drew Brees to 62% completion percentage and picked him off twice. It’s not a good spot at all for Foles.

As you’d expect the matchup is just as bad for the Eagles receivers. Last week Alshon Jeffery ($4,600) led the receivers in targets with 5, followed by Torrey Smith ($3,000) with 4, and Nelson Agholor ($4,800) with 3. The three receivers combined for 10 catches and 124 yards (12.4 YPC) on 12 targets. If those were numbers from one receiver, we might be able to justify playing this combo receiver, but it’s not. This week they go up against Xavier Rhodes, Trae Waynes, and Terrence Newman, all of which have a PFF grade higher than 78. Like Nick Foles, I’m not touching these Eagles wide receivers. If there is any receiver I have a slight interest in, it’s Torrey Smith. Smith offers some value because he is $3,000, plays more than 60% of the snaps, and doesn’t have to face Rhodes. On top of that, Smith still has the potential to catch a deep ball for a 60-yard touchdown. Agholor could become an essential part of the passing game with Jeffery presumably being locked up by Rhodes, but at $4,600 I rather take a shot at one of the Jags receivers given that their role is a little more stable.

I always love me some Zach Ertz ($5,300), but he disappointed last week with only 3 catches on 5 targets, and the Vikings rank 2nd in DVOA against tight ends. This season the Vikings have only allowed two tight ends to pass 50 yards and score more than 9 DK points. If I’m playing the Vegas narrative that the Eagles will be trailing in this game, Ertz is the only pass catcher that I would trust from Philadelphia’s offense.

Perhaps the most trusted Eagle this week is Jay Ajayi ($5,200). It’s only a matter of time before Doug Pederson realizes that Ajayi is the most talented back on their roster. Last week Ajayi led the team in touches with 15 carries and 3 receptions for 99 yards. Unfortunately, like the Patriots situation, Ajayi is splitting time with two other running backs. LeGarrette Blount ($3,700) is their goal-line back, and Corey Clement ($3,000) is their third-down back that gets work out of the passing game. Ajayi got 54% of the running back touches last week and is also explosive enough to break one, but after watching the Vikings front seven slow down Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram to 3.2 YPC last week, you can’t help but be hesitant about the entire Eagles offense. Kamara was able to get behind the secondary and score a 14-yard touchdown, so maybe Clement can get some of that same luck. It’s not a matchup-proof situation for these running backs, but it’s a two-game slate, you need to get risky sometime.

EAGLES PLAYS:

J. Ajayi, Eagles Defense, Z. Ertz

Minnesota Vikings (20.75)

Draftkings NFL Championship Round: Minnesota Vikings at Philadelphia Eagles

* News

A. Sendejo (FS) – limited practice on Thursday (concussion) – expected to play

A. Thielen – missed practice on Thursday (back) – Probable

The Vikings have the second highest implied total on the slate at 20.75. It’s not pretty, but that’s what you get when you have 3 top 5 defenses in the league in the final 4. The Eagles also have good defensive metrics DVOA (2nd total, 7th pass, 3rd rush). The biggest concern is how the Vikings will stop the Eagles defensive line. The Eagles relentless defensive line has 5 of PFF top 30 pass rushers with Brandon Graham (91.6), Fletcher Cox (90.7), Vinny Curry, (84.7) Tim Jernigan (82.7)and Chris Long (91.8). Their defensive line is among the best in the league and matches up well against the offensive line of the Vikings (offensive line average grade via PFF is 57.28). The Eagles are also allowing 10 fewer points per game at home opposed to on the road this season. Despite this line and home-field advantage for Philadelphia, I still like some Vikings again this week.

Case Keenum ($6,600) was able to salvage a poor fantasy day with a miracle catch by Stefon Diggs. Fortunately for Keenum, he has the best wide receiving corps left in the playoffs with Adam Thielen ($7,400) and Stefon Diggs ($6,900). Fortunately for Minnesota, the most exploitable hole in the Eagles defense is their secondary as they ranked 21st in aFPA to wide receivers, per 4for4. So the recipe for success for Keenum is to get the ball into their playmaking receivers quickly. Keenum is not a safe bet by any means because of the Eagles defensive line tendency to put pressure on the quarterback, but he has some upside with the talent he has surrounding him. I just can’t justify not spending the extra $1,100 to get Brady.

The Vikings receivers are where I would like to get exposure to this game. The Eagles secondary gave up 100 yards to Julio last week and also allowed for Sanu to go for 50 yards on 3 catches. According to PFF, the cornerback worth exploiting is Jalen Mills who has given up a league-high 9 touchdowns. Mills is not a pushover by any means, but he ranks the lowest (75) of their other two cornerbacks Patrick Robinson (89.7) and Ronald Darby (83.2). It’s difficult to say who will see Mills the most either Thielen or Diggs, especially after last week when Thielen spent the most time outside of the slot than he had all season. Part of that was due to a season-high in snap count by Jarius Wright ($3,000) who played a season-high in snaps and caught 3 of his 6 targets. I’m growing more and more confident about each of these receivers matchup this week, especially Diggs who I think should see the majority of Mills. My rankings for the Vikings receivers are Diggs, Thielen, Wright.

The Vikings running backs have done better at home than on the road, averaging 13.21 DK points at home opposed to 9.51 DK points on the road. Jerick McKinnon ($5,100) was slightly better on the road averaging 10.71 points while Latavius Murray ($5,700) averaged 8.47. In the 4 road game where the Vikings were favored, McKinnon also outscored Murray 11.65 to 8.3. In a backfield that is an actual 50-50 split, I’m torn 50-50. I feel like the game script should favor McKinnon with the Vikings moving the ball with dump-offs and screens to the running backs in hopes of slowing down the pass rush. But I’m hesitant in going all-in McKinnon over Murray because Murray has a higher floor and higher touchdown equity. Over the past two games, Murray has out-touched McKinnon 42 to 23 and has outscored McKinnon 3 to 1. Murray is the goal-line back and gets almost all of the work in the early downs. In a game that should be slow paced and slugged out, Murray could touch the ball 25 times.

VIKINGS PLAYS:

S. Diggs, J. McKinnon, A. Thielen, L. Murray, Vikings Defense

NBA Daily Fantasy Basketball Sleepers for 1/19/18

*Mike Barner*

NBA Daily Fantasy Basketball Sleepers for 1/19/18

SALE: 40% off entire NBA Seasonal Package - Coupon Code "NEWYEAR40" (including playoffs)
Use Code “NEWYEAR40” at checkout for 40% off Seasonal Package
 

POINT GUARDS

NBA Daily Fantasy Basketball Sleepers

Darren Collison, IND at LAL
FanDuel = $5,300
DraftKings = $5,600

Collison’s overall scoring average is down at 12.8 points per game, but he sure is efficient, shooting a career-high 50.7% from the field to go along with 88.8% from the free-throw line. Although he’s not a volume scorer, he still provides a steady floor with averages of 2.7 rebounds, 5.3 assists, 1.2 steals and 1.3 three-pointers per game. He gets a favorable match Friday against a Lakers team that plays at the fastest pace (103.6 possessions per game) in the league, which should give him added opportunities to provide value at this reasonable price.

Tyler Ennis, LAL vs. IND
FanDuel = $3,800
DraftKings = $3,900

The Lakers are going to be short-handed at guard Friday with both Lonzo Ball (knee) and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (Achilles) ruled out, so expect Ennis to be in the starting lineup. He’s played well in his previous five starts this season, averaging 9.2 points, 3.4 rebounds, 5.4 assists and 0.8 steals per game. His upside isn’t extremely high, but it doesn’t have to be to warrant consideration for your entry at this very cheap price.

SHOOTING GUARDS

NBA Daily Fantasy Basketball Sleepers

Tim Hardaway Jr., NY at UTA
FanDuel = $5,600
DraftKings = $6,100

Hardaway has played well in three games since returning from a leg injury, averaging 19.0 points, 4.0 rebounds, 1.7 steals and 2.7 three-pointers per game. He played 26 minutes or less in two of those games, so his ceiling could be much higher if he can return to his normal amount of playing time Friday. With a career-high 24% usage rate this year, Hardaway is one of the better value plays of the night at shooting guard.

Josh Hart, LAL vs. IND
FanDuel = $4,500
DraftKings = $4,600

Hart is another player who will likely see increased playing time with both Ball and Caldwell-Pope injured. Hart has played at least 30 minutes in a game five times this season, averaging 15.2 points, 7.0 rebounds, 1.0 steal and 2.0 three-pointers per contest. Jordan Clarkson is in a shooting slump right now, hitting only 37.6% of his shots so far this month. While Clarkson might have the higher upside when his shot is falling, I feel more comfortable going with Hart’s consistency Friday.

SMALL FORWARDS

NBA Daily Fantasy Basketball Sleepers

Wilson Chandler, DEN vs. PHO
FanDuel = $5,000
DraftKings = $4,300

Chandler’s scoring is way down this season at 9.4 points per game, his lowest since the 2011-12 season where he only played eight total games. His playing time hasn’t decreased, but his usage rate is a career-low 14.8%. The good news is the minutes are still there and he is averaging 6.7 rebounds over his last seven games. He played very well in his first meeting with the Suns this season, finishing with 17 points, seven rebounds, four assists, and three three-pointers. The Suns play at the fourth-fastest pace (102.4) and allow the most points per game (112.4) in the league, so Chandler does have some upside in this contest.

Dillon Brooks, MEM vs. SAC
FanDuel = $3,900
DraftKings = $4,200

Brooks enters Friday on a small hot streak, averaging 18.0 points, 4.5 rebounds, and 3.5 three-pointers in his last two games. He played at least 27 minutes in both of those games and could be in line for added playing time again Friday with James Ennis III (calf) already ruled out. The Kings have struggled to defend opposing small forwards this season, so Brooks might be worth the risk if you are playing in a tournament Friday.

POWER FORWARDS

NBA Daily Fantasy Basketball Sleepers

Domantas Sabonis, IND at LAL
FanDuel = $6,000
DraftKings = $6,400

Sabonis continues to fill in as the starting center for the Pacers with Myles Turner (elbow) sidelined. He’s done a nice job so far, averaging 12.4 points, 11.0 rebounds, and 2.8 assists through 13 starts. Not only will the Lakers uptempo pace likely afford Sabonis a few extra opportunities to produce, but they also allow the sixth-most FanDuel points per game and the eighth-most DraftKings points per game to opposing centers. Expect Sabonis to at least approach another double-double in this game.

JaMychal Green, MEM vs. SAC
FanDuel = $5,200
DraftKings = $5,300

Green is in the midst of one of his most productive stretches this season, averaging 12.8 points, 9.0 rebounds and 1.0 steal in his last six games. The Grizzlies are struggling this season and don’t have great depth up front, so Green is likely going to see heavy playing time if he keeps this up. The Kings have a lot of size up front but have struggled to defend power forwards throughout this season. Don’t be surprised if he and Sabonis have very similar stat lines when the night is all said and done.

CENTERS

NBA Daily Fantasy Basketball Sleepers

Julius Randle, LAL vs. IND
FanDuel = $6,600
DraftKings = $6,600

Randle has been one of the most productive players for the Lakers, posting the third-highest usage rate (24.8%) on the team. His overall numbers have been a bit inconsistent of late but he has still managed to score at least 15 points in five of his last seven games. With the Lakers thin at guard, they could look to their frontcourt for added production. The Pacers allow the most points per game on both FanDuel and DraftKings to opposing centers, making Randle someone to strongly consider for your entry.

Jonas Valanciunas, TOR vs. SA
FanDuel = $5,500
DraftKings = $5,400

Valanciunasis playing well right now, scoring at least 15 points and grabbing at least 13 rebounds in four of his last seven games. He’s only averaging 21 minutes per game this season but has played at least 26 minutes in three of his last six contests. The Spurs have a lot of size up front, so Valanciunas could be in line for added playing time again Friday. At this price, don’t be afraid to take a chance on him in tournament play based on his minutes potential.

Daily Fantasy Football Lineup Recommendations – Conference Championships

*Mike Barner*

Daily Fantasy Football Lineup Recommendations – Conference Championships

The NFL DFS season comes to a close with the Conference Championships on Sunday. Thank you for reading all of our articles throughout this season. We hope we were able to help you craft a winning entry more often than not. Let’s ride off into the sunset with one more big payday. Put your favorite recommendations from the article below in our lineup optimizer and hit calculate. You can let it fill in the rest of the spots for you or choose your personal favorites from the NFL Player Lab.

**QUARTERBACKS**

Daily Fantasy Football Lineup Recommendations - Conference Championships

Tom Brady vs. Jacksonville Jaguars
Stadium – Gillette Stadium
DraftKings = $7,700
FanDuel = $9,000

Brady is well known for his success in the playoffs and started out true to form last weekend, throwing for 337 yards and three touchdowns against the Titans. He has by far the most playoff experience of any of the quarterbacks still playing, appearing in 11 career Conference Championship games. He threw for 2,756 yards and 15 touchdowns in those games. The Jaguars have an elite defense, but most teams still left standing at this point are going to be tough to score against. The Jaguars did allow 42 points to the Steelers last week, so they aren’t impenetrable. Brady is the most expensive quarterback, but he also has the highest upside.

Case Keenum vs. Philadelphia Eagles
Stadium – Lincoln Financial Field
DraftKings = $6,600
FanDuel = $8,000

Keenum carried his excellent play during the regular season into the playoffs, throwing for 318 yards and one touchdown last week against the Saints. The fact that he played so well and helped lead an improbable comeback was especially impressive when you consider it was his first career start in the playoffs. The Eagles defense is no pushover, but they did allow 24 passing touchdowns this season, tied with the Patriots for the most among the four teams still playing. If you don’t want to pay up for Brady, Keenum should be the next best option.

**RUNNING BACKS**

Daily Fantasy Football Lineup Recommendations - Conference Championships

Leonard Fournette vs. New England Patriots
Stadium – Gillette Stadium
DraftKings = $7,200
FanDuel = $8,500

Fournette is the one clear workhorse left at running back in the playoffs. He rushed 25 times for 109 yards and three touchdowns in the Divisional Round, marking his ninth game with at least 20 carries this season. He’s been fairly involved in the passing game as well, receiving at least four targets in five of his last six games. Although the Patriots allowed only six rushing touchdowns all season, they did allow an average of 114.8 rushing yards per game, placing them in the bottom half of the league.  With plenty of carries likely on tap this week, Fournette is an excellent option for your entry.

Dion Lewis vs. Jacksonville Jaguars
Stadium – Gillette Stadium
DraftKings = $8,100
FanDuel = $7,700

Lewis racked up yardage against the Titans last week, rushing 15 times for 62 yards and hauling in nine of ten targets for 79 yards. It marked his third-straight game with at least 100 total yards, all of which came with Rex Burkhead (knee) injured. Burkhead is expected to be available to return this week, but he might not be able to resume his normal workload right away. Lewis has done nothing to lose any touches either. The Jaguars allowed 116.3 rushing yards per game during the regular season, the most of any of the four remaining teams. Look for Lewis to provide enough value again in this game.

Latavius Murray vs. Philadelphia Eagles
Stadium – Lincoln Financial Field
DraftKings = $5,700
FanDuel = $6,900

Murray has been splitting time with Jerick McKinnon in the Vikings backfield but had 20 rushing attempts last week compared to only eight for McKinnon. He rushed for just 50 yards, but he did manage to score a touchdown. He’s had a knack for reaching the end zone lately, scoring at least one touchdown in three of his last four games. The Eagles are tough against the run, but Murray can still provide value at this price based on his touchdown potential.

**WIDE RECEIVERS**

Daily Fantasy Football Lineup Recommendations - Conference Championships

Adam Thielen vs. Philadelphia Eagles
Stadium – Lincoln Financial Field
DraftKings = $7,400
FanDuel = $7,400

Thielen set career-highs across the board this season, finishing in the top-10 in the league in targets (142), receptions (91) and receiving yards (1,276). He only had four touchdowns, but still provided tremendous value in DFS most weeks. He showed no signs of slowing down last week against the Saints, hauling in six of nine targets for 74 yards. The Eagles allowed Julio Jones to record nine catches and 101 receiving yards for the Falcons in the Divisional Round, so they can give up some big performances. Volume alone makes Thielen worth consideration.

Stefon Diggs vs. Philadelphia Eagles
Stadium – Lincoln Financial Field
DraftKings = $6,900
FanDuel = $6,700

Diggs had 20 fewer receptions this regular season than he did in the previous year, but a lot of that was because his catch percentage dropped by almost nine percent. He still received 95 targets and finished with a career-high eight touchdowns. He made the most of his catches as well, averaging 13.3 yards per reception this season compared to only 10.8 yards per reception last year. Last week against the Saints, he caught six of 10 targets, finishing with 136 yards and, of course, the game-winning touchdown. Playing both he and Thielen in your lineup is not a bad idea when you consider the other options available during a limited week.

Marqise Lee vs. New England Patriots
Stadium – Gillette Stadium
DraftKings = $4,400
FanDuel = $6,100

Simply put, Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles has struggled to throw the ball in two games during the playoffs, combining to complete 26-of-49 passes for 301 yards and two touchdowns. He’s provided value with rushing yards, but that doesn’t help his receivers. The Jaguars might need to throw the ball more Sunday to keep up with the Patriots offense, which could mean added production for Lee. Lee received six targets last week against the Steelers and had 95 targets during the regular season as one of Bortles’ go-to options. Of all the receivers on the Jaguars, Lee might have the highest ceiling.

Chris Hogan vs. Jacksonville Jaguars
Stadium – Gillette Stadium
DraftKings = $5,000
FanDuel = $6,100

Hogan only caught one of his four targets last week but salvaged the day by cashing in that one catch for a touchdown. Although he only played nine games during the regular season, he finished with a career-high five touchdown receptions. He averaged 6.6 targets per game, so he’s played a significant role in the Patriots offense when healthy. There aren’t a lot of great cheap options with so many excellent defenses taking the field Sunday, but Hogan’s touchdown potential gives him upside.

**TIGHT ENDS**

Daily Fantasy Football Lineup Recommendations - Conference Championships

Rob Gronkowski vs. Jacksonville Jaguars
Stadium – Gillette Stadium
DraftKings = $7,900
FanDuel = $8,400

Gronkowski had another dominant playoff performance against the Titans last week, catching six passes for 81 yards and one touchdown. In 11 career playoff games, Gronkowski has 835 receiving yards and 10 touchdowns. The Jaguars limited opposing tight ends to just five touchdowns during the regular season, but facing Gronkowski is an entirely different animal. He’s clearly the tight end with the highest ceiling in the Conference Championships.

Kyle Rudolph vs. Philadelphia Eagles
Stadium – Lincoln Financial Field
DraftKings = $4,500
FanDuel = $6,100

Rudolph finished with 83 receptions and 840 yards in 2016 but had only 57 receptions for 532 yards this year. He saw a drastic decrease in targets, but still managed to score eight touchdowns, which was actually one more than last year. The Vikings look for him when they get in close as he received 18 targets inside the red zone this season. If you don’t want to pay up for Gronkowski, take a chance on Rudolph possibly scoring a touchdown in this game.

**DEFENSES/SPECIAL TEAMS**

Daily Fantasy Football Lineup Recommendations - Conference Championships

Minnesota Vikings vs. Philadelphia Eagles
Stadium – Lincoln Financial Field
DraftKings = $3,800
FanDuel = $4,900

Eagles quarterback Nick Foles wasn’t overly impressive against the Falcons last week, throwing for 246 yards and no touchdowns. He gets a tough matchup Sunday against a Vikings defense that allowed the second-fewest net passing yards per game (192) and the fewest touchdown passes (13) in the league during the regular season. With six interceptions in their last four games, the Vikings defense has excellent value Sunday.

New England Patriots vs. Jacksonville Jaguars
Stadium – Gillette Stadium
DraftKings = $3,500
FanDuel = $5,200

With Bortles struggling, the Patriots defense could be in line for a big performance. They don’t create a ton of turnovers, but they do have 18 sacks in their last three games. Bortles really struggled on the road during the regular season, throwing only six touchdown passes to go along with eight interceptions away from EverBank Field. That’s not a recipe for success against the Patriots, who are dominant at home.

NBA Daily Fantasy Basketball Lineup Picks for 1/18/18

*Mike Barner*

NBA Daily Fantasy Basketball Lineup Picks for 1/18/18

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POINT GUARDS

NBA Daily Fantasy Basketball Lineup Picks

Damian Lillard, POR vs. IND
FanDuel = $9,400
DraftKings = $8,700

Lillard has played well since returning from a calf injury, averaging 26.0 points, 4.5 rebounds, 7.8 assists, 1.8 steals and 2.3 three-pointers in four games. He continues to be the main offensive weapon for the Trail Blazers, posting a 30% usage rate that ranks 15th-highest in the league. He has a usage rate of at least 30% in each of the last three seasons, so don’t expect him to slow down anytime soon. With 18 points to go along with seven rebounds, seven assists, one steal and one block in his first meeting with the Pacers this year, Lillard is shaping up to provide big numbers again Thursday.

T.J. McConnell, PHI at BOS
FanDuel = $5,100
DraftKings = $4,400

Sixers guard J.J. Redick (leg) will not play Thursday, which is a significant loss for their backcourt. Jerryd Bayless is expected to replace him in the starting lineup, but McConnell should see added playing time as well. McConnell has played at least 30 minutes in a game six times this season, averaging 12.8 points, 4.8 rebounds, 7.5 assists and 2.0 steals in those contests. Even though Bayless may be listed as the starter, McConnell could very well outproduce him in this game.

SHOOTING GUARDS

NBA Daily Fantasy Basketball Lineup Picks

Victor Oladipo, IND at POR
FanDuel = $9,300
DraftKings = $8,500

This should be a fun matchup between Oladipo and C.J. McCollum on Thursday. Oladipo has had the season of his career, posting a 30.2% usage rate that ranks inside the top-15 in the league. He’s not just a scorer though, also averaging 5.2 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 2.0 steals per game He’s had a few subpar stat lines lately,  but that was mostly due to lopsided scores limiting his playing time. Expect him to see plenty of minutes and provide excellent value at this price Thursday.

Dwyane Wade, CLE vs. ORL
FanDuel = $5,200
DraftKings = $4,800

Wade has transitioned to a bench role for the Cavaliers and is averaging a career-low 24 minutes per game as a result. While his scoring is down significantly, he’s still provided value by averaging 3.9 rebounds, 3.8 assists and 1.0 steal per game. He’s already played the Magic twice this season, averaging 10.5 points, 5.5 rebounds and 3.5 assists per contest. His limited playing time doesn’t give him a high ceiling, but he can still provide enough production across the board to warrant consideration at this price.

SMALL FORWARDS

NBA Daily Fantasy Basketball Lineup Picks

Jimmy Butler, MIN at HOU
FanDuel = $10,000
DraftKings = $8,800

Butler got off to a slow start with his new team but looks like the player we saw on the Bulls last season now. His usage rate is creeping up and he’s averaging 24.6 points over his last 14 games. He’s been the perfect fit for a young Timberwolves team that needed veteran leadership and someone who can make the big shots when it matters the most. Don’t forget that he’s an excellent defender as well, averaging 2.9 steals in his last 10 games. This should be a high scoring game Thursday, leaving Butler with significant upside. Of note, Butler is only small forward eligible on FanDuel as he is listed as a shooting guard on DraftKings.

P.J. Tucker, HOU vs. MIN
FanDuel = $3,700
DraftKings = $3,500

The fallout from some of the Rockets players making their way into the Clippers locker room after Monday’s game is that both Trevor Ariza and Gerald Green have been suspended for the next two games. While Green is the more flashy offensive player, the loss of Ariza is significant because he is averaging 36 minutes per game. His absence should open up some extra minutes for Tucker, who averaged 6.6 points, 8.5 rebounds, 1.3 steals and 1.5 three-pointers in the 11 games that he played at least 30 minutes in this season. Factoring in his dirt cheap price, he warrants consideration in tournament play.

POWER FORWARDS

NBA Daily Fantasy Basketball Lineup Picks

Domantas Sabonis, IND at POR
FanDuel = $6,000
DraftKings = $6,000

Sabonis continues to fill in for Myles Turner (elbow), who will miss at least the next three games. The Pacers have to be thrilled with the progress Sabonis has made during his second season in the league, especially when given added playing time. He’s started 12 games this season, averaging 12.7 points, 11.1 rebounds, and 2.8 assists per contest.  He won’t provide many defensive stats or three-pointers, but he doesn’t need to in order to be valuable at this price.

Taj Gibson, MIN at HOU
FanDuel = $5,600
DraftKings – $5,400

On the surface, this might not look like an ideal matchup for Gibson against a Rockets team that likes to deploy a lot of small lineups. However, Gibson is a versatile defender who is not out of his element on the perimeter. Timberwolves coach Tom Thibodeau is also known for riding his starters heavy minutes, so don’t expect Gibson to see a decline in playing time Thursday. The Rockets play at the eighth-fastest pace (101.5 possessions per game) in the league, so Gibson should be able to compile enough stats to warrant consideration for your entry on a night with only four games.

CENTERS

NBA Daily Fantasy Basketball Lineup Picks

Kevin Love, CLE vs. ORL
FanDuel = $7,500
DraftKings = $7,400

The Cavaliers are really struggling right now, losing five of their last six games. They’ve been blown out a couple of times, resulting in some ugly performances by Love. They were able to keep their last two games close, resulting in Love averaging 19.0 points, 8.5 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 2.0 three-pointers per contest. In his first meeting with the Magic earlier this month, Love finished with 27 points, five rebounds, and six three-pointers. The Magic allow the fifth-most points per game on FanDuel and the sixth-most points per game on DraftKings to opposing centers, making Love an excellent option Thursday.

Jusuf Nurkic, POR vs. IND
FanDuel = $6,500
DraftKings = $6,400

Nurkic has struggled in his last four games, averaging just 11.0 points and 6.3 rebounds. The good news is, he was able to salvage some of his value by averaging 2.0 blocks over that same stretch. His inconsistent performances on the season overall have been frustrating, making him a difficult player to count on in DFS. However, he has a favorable matchup Thursday as the Pacers allow the most points per game on both FanDuel and DraftKings to opposing centers. There aren’t a lot of great cheap center options due to the limited slate of games, but Nurkic is someone to consider in tournament play if you need to save some money at the position.