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NBA Daily Fantasy Value and Projection Guide - February 6, 2015

Every day we talk mostly about practices, or players, that should be in your games. I think it’s time we flip the switch and discuss something that shouldn’t be – tilt.

Tilt, by the DFS definition, is allowing recent outcomes to influence future decisions. This is absolutely a recipe for failure. You should never look at this game in the short term. If you find yourself saying, “I hope I win tonight or I’ll be out of bankroll.”, then you’re doing something very wrong. You should focus your attention towards the long term. Success is rarely found in a few days, weeks or even months. It will take a lot of time, effort and patience.

I’d like to refer to a bit of advice that a fellow DFS analyst once gave. Let’s say that your goal for the remainder of this year is to make $10k from playing DFS. So we can assume that you’re playing about $200 on any given night, that’s a reasonable amount that would have a ROI (Return on Investment) of around 14%. (If these numbers are a bit high and you feel they don’t apply to you, just scale them down with 1:50 being your guide.) We’ll say that last night you lost all of your entries – none of your lineups hit. Instead of going on tilt and potentially spending $500 or $1k+ the next night, just subtract the $200 you lost from your original goal. You now want to make $9.8k in 2015. That’s still a solid chunk of change, right?

You could also look at it this way. I typically spread my games out like this – 20% H2H, 20% 50/50, 10% multipliers and 50% GPP. I might lose all of my cash games and all but 1 of my tournament plays, but that 1 tournament play brought in $500. A single GPP win could offset an entire week’s worth of losses, potentially more. Don’t get caught up on a couple of bad nights.

If you allow yourself to think about a particular outcome for too long it tends clouds your judgment. You become irrational, impatient and you develop biases towards certain players. Obviously none of these things are very beneficial. None of these things will make you money. The truth of it is that we all flop. None of us make profits every single night, not even the smartest of experts in this community. There’s far too much variability in this game to avoid failure entirely.

So just keep on keeping on. Adhere to 10-15% of your bankroll. You’ll be just fine. Now let’s look at this stacked slate we have tonight. I’m going to keep it simple as there’s a lot of information to comb through.

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Cleveland Cavaliers @ Indiana Pacers




West is one of the better cash game options on the slate. It’s a good matchup but I’m sure quite a few people will be off of him given his last game log. It’s a bit misleading as he’s likely to see an additional 5-7 minutes here.

Hibbert, like West, should get an uptick in minutes with Ian Mahinmi out. Mozgov isn’t a great defender but he won’t be on the court for too long. His price crept up after a good game against Detroit but it’s definitely still low enough to make him a good tournament option.

Hibbert isn’t a great rebounder or defender, so Timo can certainly take advantage of that. Not huge on him though as there are quite a few options tonight.

Hill’s minutes are being ‘monitored’ but I don’t believe that means he’s restricted. I expect him to play around 30 minutes in this one. Kyrie has been better on defense lately, but still struggles at times. I like this play for tournaments.

Since I believe Hill plays for the majority of the game, I’m downgrading Irving. Indiana doesn’t play very fast and Hill is a solid defender, one of the best in the league last year per Basketball Reference.

If I’m going to spend above $10k, it’s not likely to be on LeBron. I don’t mind it for a couple of lineups, but his upside just doesn’t seem to be there lately.

Smith had one of his good nights last night. If history tells us anything, it’s that he’ll fall on his face in this one despite having the best matchup on the team. Tournaments only, as if you didn’t know that already.

Los Angeles Clippers @ Toronto Raptors



Here’s my stance on the Clippers – play them. I fully believe in revenge games and this is one of them. I understand this may come off as a joke, but the Clippers got a nice bit of rest last night. They’re bound to be upset with the way they played and Toronto’s defense isn’t going to stop them. I believe Redick will continue to sit out, but if he plays we should downgrade Crawford slightly.

Patterson has been great off of the bench for the Raptors. He’s hit 5x+ in 4 straight contests and he should see a ton of Griffin here – more Glen Davis and Spencer Hawes, neither of which concern me.

DeRozan is a risky play but I’m not afraid of Crawford’s defense. Lowry is sure to be locked down by CP3. Amir and Jonas will have their hands full inside the paint. He has all of the opportunity to score.

Los Angeles Lakers @ Orlando Magic




There will be absolutely no defense in this game. Tobias’ minutes are back up, he’s taking a ton of shots and now he gets the Lakers. I like this tournament play but I have a feeling he’s highly owned.

Boozer is probably going to take over scoring responsibilities with Hill out. I don’t believe he’ll hit 28 pts again, but he won’t need to in order to reach 6x.

Davis saw a huge uptick in minutes and pulled down 20 boards. Similar to Boozer, I don’t see it happening again but it doesn’t need to. Half that puts him at 3x not counting pts, blocks, etc.

I believe Lin is going to take over at PG for the Lakers before long. He’s safer than Clarkson and won’t be owned very highly. Maybe we see the return of Linsanity tonight. I sure miss it.

I believe starting Payton is a trap. With Harris on the court his usage is way down. I think the 40 minutes against the Spurs is an anomaly, not expecting anywhere near that tonight. I understand that the matchup is enticing but I don’t see much coming his way. He can’t score and everyone else should be able to get their own looks against the LA defense, so no assists either.

Vuc is due for another 50+ game and that could happen tonight. It’s tough to project what the Orlando guys do as Harris seems to dictate the outcome. If he’s on, so is everyone else. I wouldn’t mind having 10-15% exposure tonight.

Oladipo really isn’t a terrible cash play. I’d like the price to be a little lower but he could easily hit 35 FP tonight.

Fournier is getting a good run off of the bench. He could log a few extra minutes against the Lakers because why not.

New York Knicks @ Brooklyn Nets



  • NY Knicks big men


I’m rather surprised that Jack is still getting near 40 minutes with Williams back in the lineup. I guess it’s working for them, but I know it’s working for me. Until further notice he is a solid play in tournaments and definitely so tonight against the Knicks.

The surprises continue here with Joe Johnson – his price has actually dropped despite him reaching 5x+ in most of his recent games. I think he’s good for cash and tournaments as NY struggles against both guards and forwards.

There are rumors surrounding Calderon saying that he’s being shopped. For this reason I wouldn’t be surprised if he saw a few extra minutes. At his price he makes a good tournament play and cash games aren’t out of the question.

Coach Fisher said the he hoped to have a few guys back in the rotation tonight. I realize how tempting it is to go for Jason Smith or Louis Amundson, but it’s best if you didn’t. If Amar’e, Aldrich and Wear do happen to return then that would mean fewer minutes for both of those guys.

Some reports are saying that Melo will be rested tomorrow against the Warriors. That concerns me because it means they won’t want to run him very hard in this one. He’s very capable of hitting value within 30 minutes, but I don’t think I want to seek that thrill.

It’s difficult to project Williams’ upside before first seeing how much he can play. We know he has the talent and against NY we may witness it, but it could be smart to wait another game or two before rostering him. 

Denver Nuggets @ Detroit Pistons



  • Most Nuggets – Still can’t trust them


Monroe has had a couple of bad matchups recently. This one should prove to be much easier, so I think he gets back to his 40+ FP standard.

Drummond has been playing quite well recently. It seems that he’s finally found a groove. This is a good matchup as Denver doesn’t really run out many guys that can match up with him.

Chandler is one of the few Nuggets I’ve kept my faith in. He gets a great matchup in this one and should run out 35 minutes or so.

Meeks will see additional time if KCP isn’t able to play. His ability to score makes him a great tournament play at the price, especially since the Nuggets struggle on the defensive end.

I just can’t get behind guys like Lawson, Faried or Hickson. Too much variety in their game not enough consistency.

Augustin is strictly a tournament play. We’ve seen his potential but it’s capped by his floor. He’s still a raw player that’s never really been tasked with leading a team.

Afflalo gets a good matchup here against Meeks. He doesn’t have a ton of size so the shots should go up. Where they come down is a different story. I like him for a couple of tournaments but I’m not going crazy.

Nurkic has a crazy FP/min output, but he just can’t play that long. It’s either foul trouble or a lack of conditioning that usually caps him at around 20 minutes. He could have Whiteside-esque potential if he played closer to 30 minutes a game.

Golden State Warriors @ Atlanta Hawks




Curry had a fantastic game against the Mavericks. The Hawks are a much better team defensively, but they lack much fortitude at the PG position. This is one of the best shooters in the NBA we’re talking about. He’ll get his.

Horford is matchup proof. So despite Bogut being one of the best rim protectors in the NBA, he should have no problem getting 35+.

Teague has stepped up and shot the ball well as of late. He’ll need to do so again if the Hawks want to score more than the Warriors.

Oh the blasphemy! Yeah I get that my opinion on Klay tonight is likely in the minority, but I don’t like what I’ve seen. It’s been the Steph show lately and Klay isn’t part of it.

Draymond is a guy that won’t burn you. I wouldn’t go out of my way to target him, but if he falls into your lineup just leave him there.

Speights is a decent tournament play. I found it rather neat when I discovered that he was Golden State’s leading scorer behind Steph and Klay. It’s a good matchup for him as well.

Philadelphia 76ers @ Boston Celtics




As long as Sully doesn’t miss shootaround then he should start. When that’s the case, you play him. He should see closer to 30 minutes unless he screws this up. It’s a good matchup and he gets a ton of usage in that starting 5.

Covington has looked great lately. He shoots a ton and creates turnovers. What’s not to like? I believe his price will continue to creep in so jump in now.

Noel’s ability to block shots in quite valuable in DFS. The Celtics give up plenty blocks and play with a fast pace, top 3 in the NBA to be exact. That’s a ton of opportunities for Noel to rack up the points.

Smart should draw the starting job again. His price saw a decent little spike which worries me a bit, but he should sit finish around 7x his salary. I’ll take that.

The 76ers have improved their defense lately, largely in part to their decision to run a taller, longer lineup. Bradley still shouldn’t have too much trouble scoring. He and Smart seem to work well together – I like his price.

Bass just isn’t the same guy we saw a couple weeks ago. Even with a consistent amount of minutes coming in he just doesn’t put up the points. Look elsewhere.

MCW will either pop off or fizzle out tonight. Boston’s perimeter defense is no joke but he scores more when he slashes than when he spots up and Boston lacks interior defense. Not a huge fan but I wouldn’t mind a couple lineups with him.

Evan Turner is a cheap 5x5 guy. His minutes fluctuate so keep an eye on the starting lineup. If he’s in, you can certainly throw him in.

Mbah a Moute had a somewhat disappointing outing against Denver. I don’t see 8x upside in him, so on this large slate I may fade him.

Crowder seems to have locked himself into the rotation. A solid 26-30 minutes a game against the Philly defense, it wouldn’t be too hard for him to hit 7x+ at near minimum salary.

Memphis Grizzlies @ Minnesota Timberwolves




Randolph’s price dipped a bit although he posted another good game. The Timberwolves aren’t very good defensively. They like to get up and down the court so I’m betting ZBo gets another double-double. He’s a good cash play.

Gasol gets a fantastic matchup and his price is the lowest we’ve seen in a while. Minnesota’s interior defense and rebounding is quite bad. We saw what they allowed Hassan Whiteside to do – his first carrer 20-20 performance.

Thad has been the most consistent performer for the T-Wolves. ZBo slacks off defensively from time to time, so I wouldn’t mind having him in a couple of lineups.

Martin finally looked like his old self against Miami. His price rose a bit and I’m still uncomfortable taking him on FanDuel, but Memphis’ weakness lies at SG with Courtney Lee.

Conley’s usage is just awful. His price will continue to drop and rightfully so. Until I see him post a 30+ FP game I’m fading him.

Green doesn’t draw a great matchup as Andrew Wiggins will be tasked with defending him, but he’s cheap enough that he won’t burn you. His 35 FP upside against this bad defense is what intrigues me. 

Milwaukee Bucks @ Houston Rockets



Middleton is a lock if Zaza and Ilyasova are out. As are most Bucks players. If they’re in, however, that throws a monkey wrench into the whole outcome. I wouldn’t go so far as to say that I’d fade the Bucks if they happened to play, but I’d definitely temper my exposure with so much uncertainty there.

Josh Smith has quickly become one of my favorite tournament plays. He’s had 6 solid games in a row, something we’re not used to seeing from him.

Harden has been hitting under 5x his salary quite a bit lately, but his price has come down. The Bucks aren’t all that great at defending slashers like him. Obviously he has the potential to hit 60 on any given night, I’m just not sure I can lock him in anywhere.

DMo isn’t a bad cash play but I’d much rather have Smith in this case.

Ariza has strung together a couple of good games. He’s getting a good matchup here, likely being defended by Dudley or (if healthy) Ilyasova. He should get 35+ minutes and the 3-pt bonus on DraftKings will benefit him.

New Orleans Pelicans @ Oklahoma City Thunder

As I write this, Kevin Durant is still listed as OUT for this contest. As long as that remains true then Westbrook is a lock. You’ll want 50+% exposure to him in tournaments and 100% in cash games. If Durant plays, I’m likely playing him and dropping Westbrook down to 10%.




Tyreke had a solid game against OKC, he just missed his shots. I don’t believe he’ll shoot 25% from the field again, so I like his chances to increase that total.

Ibaka has played very well as of late. His length caused trouble for Davis. He’ll return to OKC now where he plays slightly better. I like him in any format.

Waiters, with Durant out, is certainly up for consideration. His price went up a good notch but that doesn’t alter his value very much.

Morrow is an interesting punt at SG if Durant misses. Almost all of his production comes from scoring so he’s risky, but likely low owned.

I realize this is another controversial stance. Ibaka was able to defend him quite well. He wasn’t able to pull down many rebounds or create a ton of turnovers. Tonight’s game being in OKC doesn’t help his case much. I’ll gladly spend my money elsewhere.

Anderson could take on some additional scoring responsibility. Roberson holds down Gordon while Ibaka maintains Davis – he’ll need to step up again. 

Utah Jazz @ Phoenix Suns




This is Hayward’s ideal matchup. The Suns are already despicable defensively. They had a rough game with Portland last night and lost a rim protector. He’s one of my favorite plays tonight.

Morris is the only guy I always seem to like for Phoenix. He gets the job done no matter what. Everyone else tends to hit their floor once in a while.

Wright should see upwards of 30 minutes now with Len doubtful. His ability to rebound and block shots makes him the perfect punt.

Dragic’s ceiling just doesn’t seem to be there anymore. It certainly won’t be against Utah’s slow-paced, rather solid defense.

Burke is back to seeing his usual run of 30+ minutes a game. His price on DraftKings hasn’t risen very much so he’s one of my top targets for tonight.

Miami Heat @ San Antonio Spurs


You’ll notice there’s no avoid or consider for this game. It’s because nobody exists in this contest except for Hassan Whiteside. We’ll leave it at that…

In all seriousness, it’s projected to be an ugly affair. For the Spurs, Tim Duncan and Kawhi Leonard are the only guys I have interest in, but they have the worst matchups on the floor. Luol Deng and Chris Bosh are very good defenders. Having Whiteside at the rim doesn’t make matters any better.

I’m not on anyone for Miami apart from Whiteside. Bosh has a decent matchup but he just doesn’t rebound anymore with Hassan in the lineup. He’s far too scoring dependent for the price he’s listed at.

We know to start Whiteside. I’ll probably have him at 40-50% exposure in my tournaments. I don’t believe he’ll be in my cash lineups, but that may change.

Thanks for reading, folks! Be sure to come say hi over on Twitter, @Steven_Royalty_. I run a trivia contest every single night around 6 P.M. EST. The first person to answer correctly is rewarded with a $2 GPP entry. It’s free money, so why not try it out? All I ask is that you follow me and @SportingCharts to before you accept the prize. Also don’t forget to come back tomorrow as I do this kind of analysis every single day. Cheers!

Note: FanDuel is hosting a one-day $300,000 tournament where the winner takes home $30,000! Entry fee is just $25! Join FanDuel!


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