Daily Fantasy Basketball Jump Ball 2.6
February 6, 2018 | Justin Bales
E Matt’s Daily Fantasy Basketball Picks
Ben Simmons – Simmons has been on a solid run of late, having reached at least 32.0 DK points in each of his past five games with a 37.8-point average over that span. He pulls a nice matchup against a Washington defense that has seen its performance dip against opposing point guards since the injury to John Wall. Simmons doesn’t have the otherworldly upside of Russell Westbrook, James Harden, or Stephen Curry, but from a dollars per points standpoint he’s a strong option tonight.
Justin’s Rapid Reaction: I’m a fan of Simmons tonight.
D.J. Augustin – Augustin has been playing inspired basketball over that past five games, averaging 21.4 DK points over that span while averaging 23.4 minutes per game. While he is still operating as a reserve point guard for the Magic, Augustin has been seeing more court time lately with Orlando rolling out more two-point guard lineups. He draws a prime matchup against the Cavs tonight, a defense which is allowing the second-most fantasy points per game to the point guard position over their last 10 outings. Augustin doesn’t have huge upside but he should have no trouble paying off his low salary tonight, putting him on the map as a cap-relief option in cash games.
Justin’s Rapid Reaction: Augustin has been playing well enough to be used in all leagues for his absurdly low price tag.
Giannis Antetokounmpo – With LeBron James mired in a mid-season funk, Antetokounmpo stands out at the premier forward option on today’s slate. The Greek has massive upside to go along with an excellent matchup against the Knicks on Tuesday night. New York is allowing the ninth-most fantasy points per game to small forwards and aren’t expected to be able to slow down Antetokounmpo. He’s expensive across the industry but worth using in all formats if you can fit him into those lineups.
Justin’s Rapid Reaction: Is it ever a bad idea to use Antetokounmpo? No. Get him in your lineups if he fits and you like him.
Ryan Anderson – Anderson has been playing solid basketball for the Rockets since going scoreless in 14 minutes on January 26. In his four games since posting the goose egg, the slick-shooting big man is averaging 30.3 minutes, 14.3 points, and 4.0 rebounds per game. Look for him to stay hot on Tuesday when he suits up against a Brooklyn defense that is allowing the second-most fantasy points per game to enemy power forwards this season. Anderson is cheap enough on daily sites that he shouldn’t have much trouble hitting value, although his secondary role in the Houston offense does make him an inconsistent fantasy option. I like him more in tournaments than I do for cash.
Justin’s Rapid Reaction: I don’t trust Anderson at all, but he is a solid tournament option.
Steven Adams – Adams carries a reasonable price tag and he should be plenty busy against the uptempo Warriors tonight. The Warriors-Thunder game has a nice, high over/under set at 230.5 points, which means you are going to want to get some exposure to this contest. Outside of the big names playing tonight, Adams is a cheaper way to get in on this tilt. He is a double-double threat whenever he steps on the floor and should chip in his normal allotment of defensive statistics.
Justin’s Rapid Reaction: I generally only use Adams in tournaments when he is on the road because of his splits.
Brook Lopez – Lopez’s usage has been up-and-down in his first season with the Lakers, but he has shown some encouraging signs over his past two games. The veteran big man has played 28 and 35 minutes over the past two contests, leading the Lakers in scoring in both outings. There’s always the chance the Lakers go back to playing him less than 20 minutes at any point but he is still cheap and has a chance to crush value if he sees around 30 minutes again tonight.
Justin’s Rapid Reaction: I considered using Lopez here in my write up, but it was too difficult to avoid JV. I do like Lopez tonight, though.
Justin’s Daily Fantasy Basketball Picks
Russell Westbrook – Westbrook has been cooling down recently, but he is still averaging 25.5 points, 8.3 rebounds, 13.5 assists, and 2.0 steals per game over the last 10 days. He gets an elite matchup against the Golden State Warriors in a game that will likely turn into a shootout. Westbrook has 80+ DK point upside, and Stephen Curry is the known “weak” defender for the Warriors. Westbrook is not going to come cheap, but he can be considered in all leagues.
Matt’s Rapid Reaction: Always target point guards going against the uptempo Warriors. When those point guards are named Russell Westbrook, do what you can to make his high salary work in lineups.
Tyler Ulis – This is a fairly simple pick. Ulis is far from an elite option, but he is extremely cheap and will be locked into big minutes tonight. It has been announced that he will start for Devin Booker, and Ulis is tentatively expected to play more than 30 minutes tonight. On the season, he is averaging 22.6 DK points in 27.6 minutes per game against the Los Angeles Lakers. Ulis makes a great salary relief option because of his ability to contribute points, assists, and steals. He can be used in all leagues.
Matt’s Rapid Reaction: Ulis had a solid run for the Suns earlier in the season and can fill up the stat sheet when he gets hot. This is a great value play.
Kevin Durant – Durant is another elite option that has been struggling recently. Over the last 10 days, he is averaging 25.3 points, 5.3 rebounds, and 4.5 assists in 35.5 minutes per game. His points, rebounds, assists, steals, and blocks, are all down from his season averages, suggesting they will bounce back shortly. He struggled in his only game against the Thunder this season, but Durant makes a good option because of his depleted price tag and enticing situation.
Matt’s Rapid Reaction: Despite his recent struggles, Durant is way too cheap considering his elite upside.
Evan Fournier – Truthfully, I’m not completely sold on Fournier. He has struggled in his last two games, but he has scored 30+ DK points in five of his last nine games. He has been a better fantasy option at home this season, and he is averaging 28.6 DK points in 32.2 minutes per game against the Cleveland Cavaliers this season. Cleveland has featured one of the worst defenses in the NBA, making Fournier a decent option for a value price tag.
Matt’s Rapid Reaction: Fournier can be inconsistent at times but the Cavs have been consistently awful on defense this season. With Aaron Gordon ruled out tonight and Jonathan Simmons questionable with an ankle, Fournier should see an uptick in opportunity.
Clint Capela – Capela has had an up and down season, as he has often times struggled with fouls. With that being said, he is an elite option when playing big minutes, as he is averaging 1.3 DK points per minutes this season. Capela has scored 40+ DK points in two of his last three games, as well. Capela gets an elite matchup against the Brooklyn Nets, who have struggled against centers this season. The Nets rank 30th in the NBA against centers, making Capela an elite option tonight.
Matt’s Rapid Reaction: The matchup against the Nets is too good to pass up.
Jonas Valanciunas – Valanciunas continues to be underpriced for some odd reason. He has scored 29+ DK points in each of his last seven games. Over that span, he is averaging 37.8 DK points per game. He is a double-double threat, who has seen somewhat of inconsistent minutes recently. He is likely to play minutes in the mid- to high-20s, which should be more than enough time to exceed value. JV comes with a bit of safety, but his upside outweighs his risks. He can be used in all leagues.
Matt’s Rapid Reaction: Valanciunas is playing some of his best basketball of the season but his price hasn’t caught up yet. Take advantage while you can.
Both Writers Will Gladly Respond to Questions and Comments on Twitter at @balessjustin and @supermt.