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DraftKings Preview: Best Value Plays 11/11

Fantasy expert Cody Taylor looks at six sleeper players who are very good value plays on DraftKings tonight.

Cody Taylor

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One of the best things about playing fantasy sports is being able to trash talk about how great your lineup performed. But it’s a bit tougher to dominate when a salary cap is factored in like on DraftKings. Building a stacked team is tougher when you only have $50,000 to spend on players.

That’s where we come in. We’re going to help you as you build your team each Wednesday. The most important thing in DraftKings is finding great sleeper players who will produce without breaking the bank. Each Wednesday, we’ll tell you which relatively inexpensive players could perform well for your fantasy team that night.

These are favorable plays due to matchups, injuries to other players, recent production and other factors. Here are six sleeper players to target tonight as you play in our Basketball Insiders DraftKings league:

PG: Ish Smith, New Orleans Pelicans – $4,800

Smith’s journey this season has been remarkable. The Pelicans signed Smith the day before their regular season started, and just 24 hours later  he had 17 points, nine assists, three steals and two rebounds against the Golden State Warriors in their debut. Smith has benefited from an injury to Pelicans starter Jrue Holiday, who is on a 15-minute restriction until January and has yet to be cleared to play in back-to-back games. Smith has filled in nicely behind Holiday and is averaging 29 fantasy points per game. He has recorded three-straight games with at least 30 fantasy points.

New Orleans played last night, which means Smith could get the start in place of Holiday on the second game of a back-to-back (as he did on Saturday). Either way, he should see plenty of minutes as he’s proven himself to be the team’s main point guard option with Holiday on a minutes restriction. Smith is averaging 27 minutes on the season and is coming off of his best game of the year, recording 17 points, 12 assists and three rebounds for 43.3 fantasy points last night. He’s a player who should fill up the stat sheet, as he’s averaging nine points, 8.1 assists, 3.6 rebounds and 1.6 steals per game. He’s worth a look tonight given his likely high usage rate.

SG: Kent Bazemore, Atlanta Hawks – $5,200

Bazemore is a player to keep an eye on tonight, especially if you don’t want to break your budget on James Harden. Bazemore has a very favorable matchup against the New Orleans Pelicans, a team that is giving up the most points in the league per 100 possessions at 110.3 points. He’s another player who’s going to fill up just about every category on the stat sheet, as he’s averaging 11.8 points, 4.9 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 2.1 steals per game.

Bazemore is averaging 27.2 fantasy points per game and is coming off of a 31 fantasy point outing on Monday against a Minnesota Timberwolves defense that ranks sixth in the league. He dropped nine points, six rebounds, five steals, three assists and a block in 31 minutes in that game. Considering the scoring system rewards two points per steal and block, 1.5 points per assist and 1.25 points per rebound, Bazemore should be strongly considered tonight.

SG: Jeremy Lamb, Charlotte Hornets – $4,300

Lamb is averaging 21.8 fantasy points per game and is looking to build on that after a successful outing last night in which he dropped 18 points and four rebounds against the Minnesota Timberwolves. In six games this season, Lamb has produced five games with at least 20 fantasy points.

Lamb’s first season away from Oklahoma City seems to be just what he needed to turn his career around. Lamb appeared in just 47 games last season with the Thunder and averaged only 13.5 minutes per game, but he is already seeing a healthy bump in minutes as he is averaging 21.5 per game and has more than doubled his scoring output to 13 points per game. Lamb is worth starting as a cheap option on most nights.

SF: Joe Johnson, Brooklyn Nets – $4,800

If you throw out Johnson’s 7.5 fantasy point performance in the Nets’ second game of the season, he’s averaged nearly 27 fantasy points per game. Johnson’s scoring production this season has been hit or miss thus far, but he’s finding other ways to make up for it. On the season, he’s averaging 10.3 points, five rebounds and nearly four assists. He dropped eight points, nine rebounds, six assists and one steal in the Nets’ last outing on Saturday. Players who can fill the stat sheet are steals in DraftKings.

Despite being on a winless team, Johnson still remains a reliable option who’s averaging 30 minutes per game and seems like a sure thing to get you between 20-25 points. Johnson and the Nets will be squaring off tonight against a Houston Rockets team that ranks 30th against opposing small forwards, so Johnson will be a good value tonight.

PF: Marvin Williams, Charlotte Hornets – $5,500

Williams is averaging 28.4 fantasy points per game so far this season and has flashed great potential. He is averaging 32.3 minutes per game for the Hornets, so he is playing the majority of each game and producing while on the court. DraftKings offers bonus points for players who post double-doubles and Williams is one of 24 players who has posted at least three double-doubles thus far this season.

The Hornets’ offense is scoring the sixth-most points per 100 possessions and is running smoothly. Williams has had four games scoring in double digits, and had a season-high 17 points last Thursday against Dallas. His numbers don’t jump off of the page, but he’ll provide your team with solid production at a reasonable price. He’s turned in five games with at least 27 fantasy points and should be a solid add tonight against a New York Knicks defense that ranks 26th against opposing power forwards.

C: Meyers Leonard, Portland Trail Blazers – $4,200

Leonard has quietly put together some solid performances this season and has really come around during his last three outings. You might might be reluctant to roll with Leonard on a night when DeMarcus Cousins, Andre Drummond, DeAndre Jordan and Dwight Howard are playing, but you could grab Leonard on the cheap and have splurge elsewhere.

Leonard started off the season a bit slow as he was dealing with an ankle injury, but he appears to have gotten past the injury. Over his last three games, he’s averaged 14 points, 5.3 rebounds and 2.3 assists in 31 minutes of action, which has translated to 24.5 fantasy points per game. Portland faces off tonight against the San Antonio Spurs – a favorable matchup at the center position as the Spurs rank 20th against opposing centers.

*****

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:

$300K Shootaround: This $3 league features $300,000 in prizes and a $20,000 first-place prize. Also, if this is your first time playing DraftKings, the $3 entry fee will be waived.

Massive $5 Double Up: This league costs $5 to enter and the top 50 percent of teams double their entry fee to win $10. Basketball Insiders highly recommends these leagues. Even though there isn’t a huge first-place prize, you can consistently win in these leagues and the money adds up. Just be smarter than half of the field and you double your money.

$400K Shootaround: This $20 league features $400,000 in prizes and a $50,000 first-place prize.

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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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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