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DraftKings Preview: Best Value Plays 12/30

Cody Taylor gives his top value plays on DraftKings for tonight’s slate of games.

Cody Taylor

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Each Wednesday, we’re helping you set your DraftKings lineups. The idea behind these articles is to highlight some cheap players that figure to perform well given their upcoming matchup. With 10 games set to tip off tonight, you’ll have plenty of options when building your rosters.

Having these lower-priced players on your squad will help you go after the top guys like Stephen Curry, Paul George, John Wall and others. These players listed below will all cost you less than $6,000.

If you haven’t done so already, be sure to enter our DraftKings league before 7 p.m. ET tonight. It is $3.65 to play and it has a $25,000 first-place prize. Here are six cheap players to keep an eye on tonight:

PG: Ish Smith, Philadelphia 76ers – $5,600

After having a very successful opening month of the season for New Orleans, Smith was moved to the bench once the Pelicans’ started getting players back from injury. After averaging 12.4 points, 8.4 assists and 4.5 rebounds in November, Smith’s production fell to just 6.1 points, 2.7 assists and 2.2 rebounds per game in December. He eventually fell out of the rotation, and was subsequently dealt to Philadelphia.

Since arriving to the 76ers, Smith has already earned two starts and is averaging 18 points, eight assists, 2.5 rebounds and 1.5 steals. He’s coming off of a 22-point, 11-assist, three-rebound and two-steal performance on Monday against the Utah Jazz, which was good for 45.3 fantasy points. It’s highly likely that Smith’s value will continue to rise as he plays more for Philadelphia, so jump on him while he’s still relatively cheap.

Honorable Mention: Tony Parker – $5,000

SG: Monta Ellis, Indiana Pacers – $5,700

Ellis has been extremely hot over the past week or so. He’s turned in three-straight outings with at least 33 fantasy points and is averaging 23 points over that stretch. He’s shooting 54 percent from the field in those three games and 42 percent from three-point range.

Ellis has always been a player known to shoot at will, which is always good news for fantasy owners. In this case, it’s great that he’s averaging 16 attempts in the past week and that he’s knocking down a good percentage of those shots. It’s highly recommended to ride with Ellis until he cools off.

Honorable Mention: J.J. Redick – $5,200

SF: Evan Fournier, Orlando Magic – $5,500

Fournier should be back on your DraftKings radar after going through a slump earlier this month. During a seven-game stretch at the beginning of December, Fournier averaged just seven points per game on 31 percent shooting from the field. Since that stretch, he’s turned in five consecutive outings with at least 26.8 fantasy points.

Fournier is playing with the same confidence we saw from him earlier this season when he was averaging around 17 points per game. He’s shooting much better, and has become extremely clutch for the Magic in big-time moments this season. Orlando is squaring off against a Brooklyn Nets team that ranks 25th in defense, so look for Fournier to continue his hot streak.

Honorable Mention: DeMarre Carroll – $5,100

PF: Nerlens Noel, Philadelphia 76ers – $5,900

Noel has been extremely productive over the past two games for the Sixers with Jahlil Okafor out of the lineup with a sore knee. With Okafor out of the lineup, Noel put up 39 and 37.3 fantasy points, respectively.

Noel had shown signs of inconsistent play over the course of the first month of the season, but seems to have figured things out a little bit. He’s turned in only one performance below 20 fantasy points and has averaged 28 fantasy points per game during the rest of December’s games. Okafor is being listed as questionable for tonight’s game, but Noel should still be worth a spot in your lineup even if Okafor does play.

Honorable Mention: Taj Gibson – $5,500

C: Zaza Pachulia, Dallas Mavericks – $5,600

Pachulia has been perhaps one of our favorite players to go with. He’s a guy that will contribute a solid 28 points or so to your lineup, and he’s shown that he’s capable of putting together a couple of 30+ point performances as well.

He’s playing pretty well as of late, as he’s turned in back-to-back 34 fantasy point outings. Pachulia is tied for fifth in the league in double-doubles, and is a prime candidate to earn those bonus points DraftKings hands out for double-doubles. There are only a few top options available tonight at center, so Pachulia could be a guy to target if you don’t want to overpay for a player like Pau Gasol or DeAndre Jordan.

Honorable Mention: Mason Plumlee – $5,400

UTIL: Chandler Parsons, Dallas Mavericks – $5,600

After undergoing surgery over the offseason, it seems as though Parsons is as healthy as he’s been in quite some time. His minutes were fairly limited over the course of the first month or so, but it seems like he’s getting the green light to play more as he’s averaging 35 minutes over his last three games. It’s no coincidence that he’s averaging 33 fantasy points over that stretch.

Head coach Rick Carlisle recently moved Parsons back to the starting lineup, so that should be another great sign for fantasy owners. He’s another player whose price tag will likely rise the more he plays, so take advantage while you can.

If you are taking our advice tonight, let me know how your team did by reaching out to me on Twitter, @CodyTaylorNBA.

*****

We encourage you to give these players a look as you build your starting lineups for tonight. Here are three contests you can enter now:

$500K Year End Special: This is a HUGE contest with $500,000 in prizes up for grabs, including $100,000 to the top team. The top 300 teams will win enormous cash prizes, so it costs $365 to enter.

$400K Mini Year End Special: This is a contest with $400,000 in total prizes, including a $25,000 first-place prize. It costs $3.65 to enter and the top 28,500 teams win a cash prize.

$300K Medium Year End Special: This is a contest with $300,000 in total prizes, including a $30,000 first-place prize. It costs $36.50 to enter and the prizes are larger than most DraftKings contests.

Cody Taylor is an NBA writer in his fourth season with Basketball Insiders, covering the NBA and NCAA out of Orlando and Miami.

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Draft Kings

DraftKings Sunday – FREE $1,000 Contest

Basketball Insiders’ Tommy Beer gives you his lineup for tonight’s FREE $1000 Draft Kings contest.

Tommy Beer

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Are you one of the millions of Americans exceedingly frustrated by your failing fantasy football team?

If so, switch it up this Sunday and give fantasy hoops a shot.

DraftKings provides the perfect opportunity today via their FREE $1,000 contest

Here are the best values available today, and the lynchpins around which I’ll build my Sunday squad.

PG – De’Aaron Fox – Sacramento Kings – $5,800:
Once the Kings announced on Saturday that they would be resting starting point guard George Hill, Fox became a no-brainer in all DFS formats. Fox has been splitting time with Hill at the point but has still managed to average 14.8 points, 4.4 rebounds and 5.0 assists in 26.8 minutes per contest. Extrapolated out, that equates to 19.9 points, 6.7 dimes and 5.9 boards per-36 minutes. In his first career start, Fox will likely set a career-high in minutes played. He should be very heavily owned in cash games and tournaments.

PG – Jarrett Jack – New York Knicks: $4,100:
Jack was a DNP-CD in each of the Knicks first two games, but with New York struggling, coach Jeff Hornacek decided to shake things up and inserted Jack into the starting lineup Friday night vs. the Nets. Jack responded with eight points, seven rebounds, five assists and a steal in 26 minutes, helping to propel New York to its first victory of the season. Ramon Sessions, who had started each of New York’s first three games, never got off the bench. Jack likely won’t match the 26.3 fantasy points he produced in his first start, but at just $4,100, he’s worth the minimal investment.

SG – Tim Hardaway Jr. – New York Knicks – $4,900:
Make no mistake, Hardaway Jr. has been absolutely ice cold to start the season. He is shooting a putrid 26.5 percent from the floor, including 22.2 percent from downtown. As a result, his DraftKings price has plummeted. THJ started the season at $5,800 and has now dipped below $5k. As a result, this is a prime buy-low opportunity. The encouraging news is that Hardaway remains a focal point of the Knicks offense. He’s averaging 12.3 field goal attempts in 32 minutes a night. Kristaps Porzingis is the only Knick averaging more shots and more minutes. Hardaway is bound to break out and start knocking down shots; he’s a career 42.4 percent shooter. Cleveland presents an excellent opportunity, as the Cavs have been sieve-like defensively over the first two weeks of the season, ranking 26th in the NBA in Defensive Efficiency.

PF/C – Aaron Gordon – Orlando Magic – $7,100:
Air Gordon has been a beast in his first few outings this season, averaging 23.7 points (on 59.5 percent shooting), 9.7 rebounds, 2.3 assists, 1.0 blocks and just 1.0 turnover over his first three games. Gordon’s DFS cost will start to climb, so it makes sense to nab him at this affordable price point.

PF/C – Skal Labissiere – Sacramento Kings – $4,400:
Much like the aforementioned De’Aaron Fox, Labissiere benefits from Sacramento resting one of their veterans on Sunday. Zach Randolph, the Kings starting power forward, will get the day off. As a result, Labissiere should be poised to step in and step up. Skal started on opening night when Z-Bo was sidelined, and posted a double-double, scoring 12 points and grabbing ten boards. In addition, Labissiere has scored in double-figures in each of his last three games.

PF/C – Jarrett Allen – Brooklyn Nets – $3,300:
Quincy Acy, who is averaging 14.8 minutes per game this season, has been ruled out of Sunday’s matchup against the Nuggets due to a left groin strain. Allen should be the primary beneficiary from Acy’s absence and see an uptick in playing time. Allen is an admittedly risky roll of the dice, as he will likely log fewer than 20 minutes, but saving money at center allows you to invest funds at other positions. The hope is that Allen will supply steals and blocks (the rookie is averaging nearly blocks and three steals per-36 minutes) when on the floor.

Draft Kings and Basketball Insiders will bring you several games each week, where you have a chance to play against some of our writers and experts. Make sure you join using one of our links so that we get credit for your play and we can build better games and prizes for you.

Today’s game is a FREE PLAY and you could win $1,000.

 

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Draft Kings

DraftKings Friday Contest – Win $50,000

Sign up for your chance to win big money tonight on DraftKings, and see if you can beat my lineup.

Dennis Chambers

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There aren’t many better ways to spend a Friday night than watching basketball games and getting rich off of them.

At DraftKings, that’s exactly the opportunity you have with their daily fantasy prizes. Today, NBA fans can enter the $575 thousand Friday Fall Festival game. Just be sure to enter before 7 p.m. ET to make sure your lineup is eligible.

Just to get you up to speed, here are the stipulations for tonight’s contest.

– $575,000 in total prizes

– Only $5 to enter

– $50,000 to first place

– Over 35,000 entries win money guaranteed

– Simply select a team of 8 players to join

– Limited spots

– Must enter by tonight at 7 PM EST

Like I said, what’s better than sitting down watching basketball while also getting rich.

In the spirit of competition, I’ve decided to field a lineup (minus a few players, because I can’t give away all of my secrets) and I’m challenging you to enter to see if you can beat me.

Considering this is a slam dunk lineup, I’ll let you in on my thought process for a pick-by-pick breakdown:

Lonzo Ball, point guard, Los Angeles Lakers — $7,100

You have to have a Big Baller Mentality to get money, right?

Lonzo is off to a scorching hot start to his NBA career, averaging a near triple-double. That’s points galore on the DraftKings system.

Despite struggling with his shot so far to start the year, Lonzo continues to make plays and put up gaudy assist and rebound numbers. Regardless of who is checking Lonzo tonight for the Toronto Raptors, expect him to orchestrate another impressive performing Lakers offense on their home court.

Klay Thompson, shooting guard, Golden State Warriors — $6,800

To start this 2017-18 season, Klay Thompson has been on absolute fire.

Averaging 21.2 points per game to go along with 4.8 rebounds and 1.2 blocks, Thompson is clearly feeling himself so far this year. Not to mention he’s currently connecting on 47.6 percent of his shots from downtown. At the moment, the rim looks 10 feet wide to this Splash Bro.

But what makes Thompson such an intriguing play tonight is that amid this current three-game homestand, the shooting guard is donating $1,000 for every point he scores to California wildfire relief. That alone makes Thompson that much more willing to let it fly.

Considering the one-for-all all-for-one nature the Warriors display at all times, I don’t think his teammates will mind feeding the rock to Thompson knowing his buckets are going to a cause even more than their win total.

Paul George, small forward, Oklahoma City Thunder — $7,700

Four games into the new Big Three experiment in Oklahoma City, Paul George has yet to really find his way.

His averages are down across the board, and his shooting percentages don’t resemble that of a four-time All-Star.

But tonight, that changes for George. Going up against the Minnesota Timberwolves for the second in three games, George gets another chance going at the likes of Andrew Wiggins and Jimmy Butler.

George will get his shots; he took 20 in the last meeting between these two teams, and I wouldn’t expect a player of his caliber to continue his slump much longer.

Nikola Jokic, power forward, Denver Nuggets — $8,400

The Joker is one of the NBA’s true unicorns and he can fill up a box score (and your fantasy point total) in the blink of an eye.

His impact on every level of the court is no secret, and with the Atlanta Hawks and their putrid lineup acting as his opponents for the night, his high price tag is warranted.

No Hawks big will be able to keep up with Jokic on the block or follow him out to the perimeter. After starting the season slow by not reaching double-figures in the scoring column for his first two games, Jokic registered 29 and 18 points in his last two contests, respectively.

With a porous defense to prey on, The Joker will have your DraftKings lineup getting the last laugh.

LaMarcus Aldridge, center, San Antonio Spurs — $8,200

While Kawhi Leonard has been on the bench to start the season for the Spurs, the LaMarcus Aldridge Renaissance has been in full swing.

Posting numbers that resemble his days in Portland, Aldridge has been on an absolute tear and currently holds a 46.1 fantasy point per game average.

Already possessing two double-doubles, a 30-point game, and reaching the 20-point plateau four times, Aldridge will assuredly continue his hot-streak tonight against an Orlando Magic team despite their 3-1 record, is giving up 112.1 points per game to their opponents.

Aldridge looks the part tonight as your DraftKings lineup anchor.

Gary Harris, shooting guard, Denver Nuggets — $4,900

Using the same logic as with the Jokic selection, Gary Harris looks to be in the position tonight to take advantage of a weak opponent.

In the early goings of this season, Harris hasn’t quite taken that leap some were projecting. But the year is early, and Harris is still hitting his shots at a more than efficient clip.

With Harris’ shooting ability from beyond the arc (currently 47.6 percent) and the lack of elite wing defenders Atlanta possesses, the 23-year-old two-guard is a smart play tonight.

Not to mention, with the double play of Harris and Jokic, you can be rooting a little extra for the Hawks’ defense to collapse on the big man right before he makes a sweet dish to his shooting guard on the perimeter.

Now, like I said, I can’t give away all of my secrets so you’ll have to piece together your NBA knowledge to fill out the remaining two spots on your roster with some bargain players.

Since this is all in good fun, I want to know if you beat me. Tweet me your lineups @DennisChambers_ and we’ll see who is the true DraftKings champion.

If you are a DraftKings beginner, try the Beginner Contest:
– FREE with your first deposit of at least $5
– $300 in prizes
– Top 25 places win money guaranteed
– Only beginners are allowed to play in this contest
– Must sign up by 7 PM EST tonight

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Draft Kings

DraftKings Preview: Best Value Plays 4/13

Cody Taylor shares his list of top bargain players (under $6,000) on DraftKings tonight.

Cody Taylor

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Each Wednesday, we help you build your DraftKings lineups for the upcoming night of action. The point of these articles is to highlight relatively cheap players who are poised to do well given their recent success and upcoming matchup.

Tonight features 14 games on the schedule as most teams wrap up their regular season. With nearly every team in action tonight, you will have plenty of options when building your DraftKings rosters. Everyone wants superstar players in their lineup, but in order to afford those players, you’ll need some of these value plays on your squad as well.

If you haven’t done so already, be sure to enter our DraftKings league before 7 p.m. ET tonight. It’s FREE for new users! Here are six bargain players to keep an eye on tonight – all of whom will cost you less than $6,000:

PG: Seth Curry, Sacramento Kings – $5,000

With the Kings shutting down five of their top scorers for the rest of the season, look for Curry to continue to see plenty of playing time. Curry is coming off of his best game in the NBA in which he recorded 20 points, 15 assists, three rebounds and three steals on Monday night against the Phoenix Suns.

Curry’s career night was good for 54.3 fantasy points. Since March 25, Curry has seen a much bigger role with the Kings as he’s averaging 28.7 minutes per game after playing sparingly before that. He’s averaging 15.7 points, 3.7 assists and 2.4 rebounds per game while shooting 54 percent from three-point range during that time frame.

Honorable Mention: Tim Frazier – $5,900

SG: Kobe Bryant, Los Angeles Lakers – $5,000

Before you laugh at this selection, consider what we know going into Bryant’s last game. It’s been reported that Lakers head coach Byron Scott plans on letting Bryant play as much as he wants and Scott stated on the record that he’s instructing other players to “get KB the ball.” Knowing the type of player that Bryant is, he’ll want to play big minutes and go out with an impressive performance. Field goal percentage isn’t factored in for DraftKings’ scoring system, so Bryant can shoot it as much as he wants without negatively impacting your team.

He has flashed some vintage Kobe performances a couple of times already this month, as he dropped 35 points on the Houston Rockets on Sunday and he scored 34 points against the Boston Celtics back on April 3. The Utah Jazz desperately need a win tonight (as well as a Houston loss against Sacramento in order to make the playoffs), and Bryant would love nothing more to player spoiler one last time in front of the home crowd at Staples Center. It’s also worth noting that Utah will be without their defensive anchor Rudy Gobert. This is the final time you can have Kobe in your lineup and he may be a steal at $5,000.

Honorable Mention: Evan Fournier – $5,100

SF: Kent Bazemore, Atlanta Hawks – $5,100

Bazemore has been arguably one of the best fantasy players over his last four games for the Hawks. Over this stretch, Bazemore is averaging 17 points, eight rebounds, 3.8 assists, 2.8 steals and 1.5 blocks per game, which has translated to 41 fantasy points per game.

Bazemore has proven this season that he can contribute on both ends of the floor and make his presence felt in a variety of ways. On April 1 against the Cleveland Cavaliers, he scored only seven points, but added 12 rebounds, six assists and three blocks, which was good for 36.5 fantasy points. The Hawks should continue to play their starters with playoff seeding on the line heading into the final night of action.

Honorable Mention: Maurice Harkless – $4,600

PF: Marvin Williams, Charlotte Hornets – $5,300

Williams is another starter who you can count on playing since the Hornets are still fighting for playoff seeding. Some of the league’s best players could be getting some rest tonight with playoff positions already locked up, but Williams seems likely to play as he normally would.

Williams has been very consistent over his last six outings, as he’s scored at least 24 fantasy points in each of those games. The Hornets are up against the Orlando Magic tonight, and Williams went off for 26 points, nine rebounds, two assists and a block the last time the Hornets and the Magic faced off on March 16.

Honorable Mention: Jabari Parker – $5,900

C: Mason Plumlee, Portland Trail Blazers – $4,700

Plumlee has been very productive over the past several weeks. Since March 1, Plumlee has scored fewer than 20 fantasy points just twice (in a span of 21 games). He’s a guy who comes in at price lower than $5,000 and he seems likely to give you at least 20 fantasy points.

He has proven that he can do a little bit of everything, as he’s averaging 12.4 points, 8.4 rebounds, 4.6 assists, 1.6 blocks and 1.2 steals in five games during the month of April.

Honorable Mention: Jonas Valanciunas – $5,000

UTIL: Toney Douglas, New Orleans Pelicans – $5,500

The Pelicans have been ready for the offseason for quite some time now given all of the injuries they have endured this season. Douglas has been a direct beneficiary of those injuries, starting in 17 out of the Pelicans’ last 18 games.

Douglas has turned in four-straight outings with at least 30 fantasy points and has been one of the team’s leading scorers in each of those games. Look for that production to continue as the Pelicans face off against a Minnesota Timberwolves team that ranks 26th against opposing point guards.

If you are taking our advice tonight, let me know how your team did by reaching out to me on Twitter, @CodyTaylorNBA.

*****

We encourage you to give these players a look as you build your starting lineups for tonight. Here are contests you can enter now:

Sharpshooter:
– Last chance to play before the playoffs start
– Prove your NBA knowledge
– Make every game more exciting
– FREE for new users
– Must join by Wednesday, April 13th at 8:00 pm EST
– Salary cap style drafting: $50,000 to select PG, SG, SF, PF, C, G, F and Utility

Giant Double Up:
– Last chance to play before the playoffs start
– Prove your NBA knowledge
– Make every game more exciting
– Must join by Wednesday, April 13th at 8:00pm EST
– Salary cap style drafting: $50,000 to select PG, SG, SF, PF, C, G, F and Utility

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