FanDuel DFS NBA Strategy Advice: Thursday (2/18)
Last night gave us an exciting overtime battle between the Heat and Warriors, and Miami will return to the court tonight. They’re the only team on the second part of a back-to-back, but two other squads, Toronto and Milwaukee, are on the front part of back-to-backs.
Each week, I’ll be here to profile some strong value plays, studs, and duds for Wednesday’s FanDuel slate. I’ll do my best to point you in the right direction, and if you have any questions, you can hit me up on Twitter at @is_sirois. All matchup data is pulled from our defense versus position tool.
Most Value Per Dollar
Below is a list of the top-10 players of the day expected to generate the most value relative to their salary. These are ranked in order.
With just three games on tonight’s slate, finding value won’t be as easy as on other slates. Of the three games, TOR/MIL has the highest projected point total (235.5), but BKN/LAL (232) and MIA/SAC (226.5) aren’t far behind. All three games have relatively close spreads, too, so players shouldn’t lose minutes due to blowouts.
To dig a bit below the totals and look at each team’s possessions per game, TOR/MIL should have the night’s highest pace (106.4 possessions). Pace-wise, the gap between BKN/LAL (103.5) and MIA/SAC (103.8) is much smaller — and it even favors the Heat and Kings.
I’m targeting quite a few players in the MIA/SAC matchup because I believe they’re undervalued, especially with the banged-up nature of both rosters. The Kings have already ruled out Richaun Holmes and Harrison Barnes, and the Heat almost certainly won’t have Goran Dragic, who didn’t travel out west with them for their game against the Warriors.
Fred VanVleet (TOR) $8,000
The Bucks and Raptors met on Tuesday night, and FVV double-doubled with 23 points and 13 rebounds. He scored 50.3 FD points (6.3x value against this price). He has a shot to hit value again tonight, and since he’ll also play in the slate’s highest-scoring, fastest-paced game, he’s hard to exclude from FanDuel lineups.
Montrezl Harrell (LAC) $6,200
The Nets have been absolutely terrible against opposing centers this season. They give up the fourth-most FDPPG to the position — the second-highest on the slate. Harrell also is coming in hot after a 31.7 FD point performance (5.1x value) against the T’Wolves.
Tyler Herro (MIA) $6,100
I absolutely love Herro here. The Miami Heat are on the wrong end of a back-to-back, and Herro double-doubled in that game. He scored 11 points, nabbed 15 rebounds, and posted 42 FD points (6.9x value). Look for him to keep building momentum here — especially as one of Miami’s fresher players following the overtime loss. Oh, and the Kings give up the second-most FDPPG to shooting guards.
Kyle Kuzma (LAC) $5,800
With Anthony Davis now out for the foreseeable future, Kuzma remains a bit underpriced at FanDuel. The Nets give up the fourth-most FDPPG to power forwards, too, which should only help Kuzma hit value against this relatively low price point.
Tyrese Haliburton (SAC) $5,500
The Heat are the slate’s third-worst team against shooting guards, as they give up the eighth-most FDPPG to the position. Haliburton should get a few extra minutes tonight with two starters out for the Kings, and it won’t be hard for him to hit value, especially if this turns into a high-scoring contest.
Marvin Bagley III (SAC) $5,200
Bagley will get a lot of extra usage with fellow bigs Barnes and Holmes sidelined. He’s considerably cheaper than Hassan Whiteside ($6,000) on this slate, too. Bagley dropped 30.4 FD points (5.8x value) against the Nets on Monday, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see him hit value again. The Heat even give up the 10th-most FDPPG to power forwards.
Nemanja Bjelica (SAC) $4,600
Another bargain-bin big, Bjelica had a huge showing against the Magic last week with Bagley sidelined, but he hasn’t done much since. That could change with both Barnes and Holmes out, and another 33.8 FD point (7.3x value) showing could be in the cards.
Kelly Olynyk (MIA) $4,500
The Heat aren’t pushing Olynyk very hard right now. He played just 23 minutes last night despite several of his teammates logging 40-plus, so his usage does cap his upside. That said, the Heat will be tired heading into this game, and the Kings won’t have two of their starting bigs — and they were giving up the second-most FDPPG to centers with them around! Olynyk was scoring between 25 and 27 FDPPG just last week, and anything in that range would clear 5x value at this price.
Pat Connaughton (MIL) $4,200
The Bucks didn’t have Jrue Holiday in their previous game against the Raptors, and his status remains uncertain for this game. Connaughton played 31 minutes without him on Tuesday, and he scored the second-most points for Milwaukee (20). He scored 35.5 FD points (8.5x value) in the process. He may not hit that ceiling again, but he’s not a bad flier if Holiday sits again.
Andre Iguodala (MIA) $3,500
The 37-year-old veteran played only 20 minutes last night, and that makes him one of Miami’s freshest players on this side of their back-to-back. The Kings give up the second-most FDPPG to shooting guards, and with Iguodala priced at the absolute minimum, he isn’t a bad punt play tonight.
Studs Worth Their Salary
- Giannis Antetokounmpo (MIL) $11,300: Giannis posted 74 FD points (6.5x value) against the Raptors on Tuesday. He posted 34 points, 10 rebounds, and eight assists in the victory, and Milwaukee will have to lean on him again tonight.
- Bam Adebayo (MIA) $8,800: I love Adebayo against a depleted Sacramento frontcourt. He posted 43.6 FD points (4.95x value) against the Kings with Barnes and Holmes still in the lineup, so he should easily go over that mark for 5x value here.
- De’Aaron Fox (SAC) $8,300: Fox scored 44.2 FD points (5.3x value) against the Heat the last time these teams met. He could easily do more damage than that tonight with both rosters missing key players.
Notable Players to Fade
- James Harden (BKN) $11,000: The Lakers play some excellent defense, and I think that the projected total overestimates the offensive potential in this one, especially since it has the slowest projected pace of the three games. That means Harden may struggle to pay off his high-end salary tonight — especially if Kyrie Irving returns.
- Jrue Holiday (MIL) $8,200: You should avoid Holiday even if he’s active tonight. It’ll be his first game back after removing from COVID-19, and we’ve seen its effects linger as players work their way back into regular minutes.
- Hassan Whiteside (SAC) $6,000: This is a controversial take, but I can’t get excited about Whiteside tonight. The Heat give up the fifth-fewest FDPPG to opposing centers, and Whiteside will cost you way more than Bagley or Bjelica. You’d be better off with Harrell, DeAndre Jordan, or Brook Lopez at center — all of whom fall relatively close to Whiteside’s price point.
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