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NBA Daily Fantasy Value and Projection Guide - January 29, 2015

Last night was just weird for me. I had a bunch of lineups that did okay but very, very few actually cashed in. So let me go through my nominations for biggest letdowns from yesterday’s slate.

DJ Augustin, oh how you hate us! You teased us with your two amazing performances only to shrink down to nothing once you gained our trust. He was somewhere between 40 and 50 percent owned in most leagues last night, but that doesn’t do much to sooth the heartache.

Andre Drummond! I was warned about you. Foul trouble against the 76ers? No way! Yeah, that happened. What an awful, terrible way to spend $8k.

DeMarcus Cousins, where were you? Did you play too many video games or sleep too much on your 4 day rest? Fouls didn’t help your cause either, but I expected so much more from you. Honorable mentions include Waiters, Tolliver, KCP, Collison, Bass and Chandler. 

I do want to express my appreciation for Kyrie Irving, LMA, Noel, Monta, Galloway, LaVine, Melo, Lou and Westbrook. If it weren’t for you guys I wouldn’t have a bankroll to play with today.

Tonight we can relax. There aren’t a ton of games out there so just have fun tonight. You should do that every night but greed and happiness don’t typically coincide. 

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Milwaukee Bucks @ Orlando Magic




The Magic have given up average of 111 points to opposing teams in their last ten games. That’s with 2 games against Memphis, one with Indiana, one against the Knicks and another against the Lakers. Memphis, New York and Indiana rank in the bottom 10 in pace, meaning they get fewer possessions on average than at least 20 other teams. The Lakers rank near the bottom in offensive efficiency, but all of these teams scored 100+ against Orlando.

Orlando is 2nd worst in the league at defending the PG and C positions. This is why you’ll want to look at Knight and Zaza. Knight’s minutes tend to fluctuate a little as do the rest of the Bucks’. Jason Kidd isn’t the greatest coach in the world yet. We can still expect him to log at least 30 with the potential to take on 40 if the game is close. With such a good matchup at hand, I like him to hit between 5 and 6x his salary.

Zaza makes for a perfect cash game play, especially on DraftKings. He didn’t see very many minutes against the Heat as he struggled to do much offensively against Whiteside and Bosh. Because of this performance his price tanked a bit. If you look at his history, he’s typically a very consistent player hitting right at 5x salary in every game. I think that’s his floor tonight.

Middleton’s playing time and usage should increase now that Ilyasova is doubtful to play. He will be able to take advantage of both Gordon and Frye as he can play at SF or PF. His minutes have hovered right around 30 for the better half of the month so I also have his floor listed right at 5x his salary.

Mayo won’t get a great matchup if he comes in against Dipo but he’ll be off of him for a good portion of his playing time. I’m not a huge fan of this play but I certainly won’t argue against it. He’s cheap, hitting 25+ mins nearly every game and he’s versatile.

Bayless has been one of the better backup guards in the NBA. He’s getting about 23 minutes/gm in his last 10 and now we couldn’t hope for a better matchup. I’m strongly considering taking both him and Knight in a few lineups.

At the time I’m writing this Tobias Harris is still expected to come off of the bench. I don’t agree with that coaching decision, particularly not in this game, but that’s not my place. His minutes are uncertain while he’s in with the second unit. Despite a really favorable matchup here I’m fading him. I don’t see a ton of upside in 20-25 minutes of playing time when he’ll likely be on the court with Dipo and Vucevic for a part of it.

Vucevic isn’t really a guy I hate tonight but I don’t love him either. Milwaukee is middle of the pack in defending big men. I would like him more if Harris weren’t playing but that’s not the case. He’s getting more minutes than anyone else in Orlando which is promising, but he’s continuing to hit right around 4.5x his salary lately. He played really well against Marc Gasol so he may find no issue with Zaza. I’ll be thinking about this play for a while but I think I’d rather pay up for Gasol if I wanted an expensive C.

Oladipo’s usage and minutes have both declined with the return of Harris. He’s down to about 34 mins/gm which likely isn’t enough to make him worth the price. I don’t really see him as a good play for any format. His floor sits at about 3.5x with his ceiling at 6x and that’s being generous. I’d only put him in 1 GPP LU if I felt the need.

Payton doesn’t get a great matchup here but he could be a good look in GPP. I’m probably fading him for the other value plays. As you’ll learn later, I really like Derrick Rose and Langston Galloway tonight. It’s just extremely hard to ignore the fact that he’s hit 5x+ in 8 consecutive games. Admittedly, only one of those games was against a strong defender.

Hate Giannis’ matchup but his peripherals are what I like. He’s been rebounding and passing the ball quite well lately which gives him a nice, cushy floor. He’s remaining cheap for now and it looks like his playing time is trending upward. I wouldn’t feel safe taking him for cash though.

Henson is cheap and should see more time with Ilyasova out. He’s averaging over 1 FP/min so he only needs 15 mins to hit value, he’s averaging 18.

New York Knicks @ Indiana Pacers

I am going to assume that Carmelo Anthony is not playing tonight. If that changes and he suits up, you will want to play him. You would additionally downgrade everyone else around him as he soaks up a ton of usage. As I’m typing this up the lines haven’t been released for this game. I’m expecting an O/U of maybe 184 with IND by 5.




The Knicks are a tough team to predict. They have so many guys with so little known about them. They function entirely different when Melo is on the floor so it’s hard to really predict what their usage is going to be. All of that being said, I think Langston Galloway has locked himself into the starting lineup. He’s now played over 30 minutes in 5 straight games, scoring double figures in each of them. He also rebounds quite well for a guard and he’s still super cheap. The Pacers aren’t very good against PGs especially if George Hill is out. So even though he cost me $200 last night, I’m definitely starting him in a few lineups.

The battle at SG should be fun to watch. Let it be known that if CJ Miles plays, Stuckey loses value. Enough to fade him? I don’t think so, but it definitely bumps him down a notch. If he doesn’t suit up, however, Stuckey gets a good matchup. He should see at least 25 minutes if Miles and Hill are both out. That’s a recipe for success.

Hardaway’s usage, primarily his need to score, spikes when Melo is out. If you were smart enough to take him this past Saturday then you saw it first person. I’m not so sure that he’ll sink 5 treys in this one, but he definitely has GPP worthy upside.

Aldrich has a bruised knee or something like that now so you’re not going to play him. You’d be crazy to before but now it’s a guaranteed NO.

I’m hesitant to take any of the big men in this one. I know there’s value in there somewhere, I’m just afraid to take a chance and have it blow up in my face. Both the Knicks and Pacers are some of the best in the league at defending the PF position. I think I’d be fine taking West in a cash game, but I don’t see a ton of upside there.

Smith should start at C and Amundson at PF. Out of those two I’d prefer Smith as the Pacers only allow 40 FP/gm to PF, best in the league. They allow 46 FP/gm to centers. West is able to pull his defender away from the basket. That limits the potential to rebound. His size also negates a lot of post play. Any of these bargain bin NY guys is up for grabs. We saw what they did last night, I’m just warning you. They aren’t going to post those numbers again.

Lance Thomas should get more minutes with Melo out so he deserves a look. Hibbert, as surprised as I am by this, comes into a good matchup. He’s had a couple of good games in a row so I wouldn’t berate anyone that put him in a GPP.

CJ Watson draws a favorable matchup but his value is heavily dependent on the health of Hill/Miles. If Hill is inactive he could see up to 35 minutes of playing time against a terrible NY defense. I like that a lot at his price. There’s almost too many choices at PG today. 

Denver Nuggets @ Memphis Grizzlies




A lot of the value in this game rides on the health of Mike Conley. I expect him to play in this game, but maybe only 20 minutes. So with that being said I like Ty Lawson a lot. Conley won’t be able to cut and keep up with him with those ankles. Udrih nor Calathes are athletic enough to defend him properly, so I like him a lot. He’s a bit pricey but I think he’s a great GPP play.

If Conley happens to be out, who do we choose as his backup? Your guess is as good as mine. I would likely stick with Udrih as he’s been more consistent, although I’m not sure if I’d jump to either of these guys with all of the value at PG.

I still like ZBo for cash games. I don’t think he has huge upside. He’s a specialist – rebounds and points. He’s looked a bit better in the assists column as of late but I don’t think that’s something we can rely on to continue. His floor is right around 4x but this matchup is favorable. Denver gives up 49 FP/gm to opposing PFs, so I have ZBo hitting around 42.

Afflalo is on fire and it looks like he’ll be guarded by Courtney Lee. Yes please! On the other side, Lee won’t have much trouble hitting value as Afflalo is only concerned with scoring. I don’t like his upside but I see no reason why you can’t take him for 5x.

Conley’s minutes are just too crazy right now and he hasn’t looked the same. You’re fading him. Faried’s price is slowly beginning to drop but it’s still too high for me.

Gasol has been fairly disappointing lately despite being met with plenty of good matchups. He’s failed to hit 5x in 3 of his last 5 and barely managed 3x in his last game @DAL. Denver really struggles against the C position so he does have upside. The Nuggets are 4th in the NBA in possessions/gm, so the Grizzlies will likely see a few additional touches. I’m not deploying him for cash games but I think he’d make a fairly good GPP play. People are probably going to fade him because of his recent performances.

Chandler came back to reality last night after posting a few 5x games. His price went up just a bit but I still think he’s a good GPP option, especially if Allen is out. I like him against Green. 

Chicago Bulls @ Los Angeles Lakers



  • Personally, I’m not taking Kobe. Everyone else is fair game.


So I think this will be the most valuable game on the night. Gasol is returning to LA so he’s probably a lock for all of my lineups. I just don’t worry about him hitting anything under 40 FP and that’s awesome.

Noah really surprised me in that games against GS. He looked like his old self and I loved it. He was tenacious and full of energy, he attacked the boards and played with heart. You’re still taking a risk on him so I suggest limiting him to your GPP lineups, but he has tremendous upside.

If Nick Young is out again, and I think he will be, Ellington is the sole owner of the SG position for the Lakers. They have to run Clarkson/Lin or even Johnson back there to give him a breather, but he has a lot of upside. Butler will be guarding him which is bit of a downer, but at his price it doesn’t concern me a ton.

Clarkson seems to be trusted with the starting role for now. It’s not the greatest matchup here but Chicago is just middle of the pack at defending PGs. Rose turned the ball over 11 times against GS, if he does anything similar then Clarkson should score a ton of FP.

Speaking of Rose, we all know that LA is awful against PGs. That being said he’s been incredibly inefficient. He’s shot under 40% in 3 of his last 6 and he’s had fewer assists than turnovers in the same number of games. There are, however, a couple of positives. He is taking shots and he’s getting a lot of minutes. He averages about 16 shots a game. That number goes up by quite a bit if anyone from the starting lineup misses. Additionally, as long as the game is close, Thibodeau isn’t afraid to give him 40 minutes. I’m only really considering him for GPP but he’s one of my favorites given his price.

If Butler is playing he’s another solid GPP option. Hopefully he’s recovered well enough to start tonight. If he does, Ellington will be no match for Buckets. Not a huge fan of his price on FD though.

Gibson makes for a great cash game play as he’s almost a lock for 4.5x+. Hill has some decent upside but I’m probably fading him in cash games when I can pay up just a bit for Gibson and the higher floor.

Not sure why you’d want Lin but you can buy him! I mean, the starting PG is cheaper and has more upside but Lin can still hit around 4 or 5x.

Good luck to all of you guys tonight and thanks for the support! Be sure to check out my Twitter, @Steven_Royalty_ where I answer your DFS questions. Also take a look around here at SportingCharts. We’re looking to release a few DFS tools in the near future so it would be a good idea to familiarize yourself with our site. See you tomorrow folks!

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