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Daily Fantasy Basketball: Cavaliers' Kyrie Irving is Thursday's top play

Kyrie Irving

Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

HIGH FIVE/low five

Daily Fantasy can be quite the grind !  Let us do the grinding for you with “High Five/Low Five”.  Each day, we help put you in the money by presenting you with FIVE of the “top tier” plays, as well as a quick list of FIVE “value plays”.  Use our picks to help with the tough decisions or make a roster straight from our picks.  Thursday’s games are led by Cleveland Cavaliers PG Kyrie Irving; for a look at how last night’s picks fared scroll to the bottom of the article.

Shake it up !


Point Guard: Kyrie Irving, CLE ($8,100): Uncle Drew was fantastic against the Knicks last time out, totaling 37 points and 11 assists, albeit with no Tyson Chandler patrolling the paint.  Nevertheless, lines of this nature have become par for the course versus them, regardless of whether Chandler plays or not.  In his last four games against the Knicks, Irving has averaged 32.7 points and seven assists.  Look for him to continue that success tonight, and provide the best value among today’s top PGs.

Also consider: Stephen Curry, GS ($10,100)

Shooting Guard: Lance Stephenson, IND ($7,800): There’s been no stopping this miniature LeBron as of late.  Having totaled over 40 FPs in each of his last three games, and in six out of the eight games, there is a definite chance that he and his Pacers teammates avenge their poor performances from their last meeting against Phoenix.  The only thing that should stop you from rostering Stephenson tonight is the blowout factor.  Blow out or not, I think “Sir Lance-a-little of everything” gets his and gives you yours.

Small Forward: Paul George, IND ($9,100): There’s just no denying that George is far and away the top SF play of the night.  Not only does Phoenix rank a lowly 23rd against opposing SFs in recent weeks, but all the factors we mentioned with Lance Stephenson are in play here against a Suns team that embarrassed the Pacers on national television not too long ago.  Given the blowout factor and his performance of late, George may not reach value on his salary, but he’s the only SF on tonight’s slate that can guarantee you 30-35 FPs.  If you feel you need that, George needs to be in your roster.

Also consider: Luol Deng, CLE ($6,900)

Power Forward: Blake Griffin, LAC ($9,900): Though Melo and his recent hot streak linger, I like Blake in a higher scoring game (212 O/U) with a better matchup against a Warriors team that ranks 29th versus the PF position.  The fact that he’s topped 40 FPs in seven of his last 10 also bodes well, especially against a team whom he’s had success against before.  On a short slate, he’s my top PF play, though I would not fault anyone for playing Carmelo Anthony.

Center: DeAndre Jordan, LAC ($7,500): Nothing but crickets among the top centers today.  That said, with Anderson Varejao‘s status for tonight still in question, and Tyson Chandler more of a value play, Jordan is the top play if you’re looking to spend at C.  My advice though, would be to wait and see what happens with Varejao and play either Tyler Zeller or Chandler and spend your scratch at the other positions.


low five:

Point Guard: George Hill, IND ($5,100): With a value threshold of just 25.5 FPs, Hill has a good chance at being at or near that tonight, regardless of whether this game ends up as a blowout or not.  Phoenix is ranked 26th against the PG over the past 15 days and last time out against the Suns, Hill was able to post 24.3 FPs in a blowout loss.  Add in that he’s been right around value in each of the last five games, he’s almost a must-play.

Shooting Guard: Tim Hardaway Jr., NY ($3,700): With Iman Shumpert questionable for tonight’s game, Hardaway Jr. is definitely in play.  He’s played close to 30 minutes in each of the last three games and has nearly met or exceeded value in all of them.  Monitor the Shumpert situation as game time approaches and jump on Hardaway if the situation warrants it.

Small Forward: J.R. Smith, NY ($5,100): It appears that someone recently screwed J.R.’s head on straight with him having met or exceeded value in five of the past six games.  I’m liking his chances against a weak Cleveland defense tonight.

Power Forward: Luis Scola, IND ($3,700): I’m thinking Scola gets some extra run tonight in a blowout and throws up somewhere between the 15-20 FPs — just as he’s done in seven of his last 10 games — and on a salary that allows you to spend big elsewhere.  If you want to go cheap at one of the PF spots, Scola is the choice.

Center: Tyson Chandler, NY ($5,100)/ Tyler Zeller, CLE ($3,500): If Varejao is out tonight, I love either of these guys.  What it really will come down to though, is how well you can spend the difference between their two salaries.  If spending the $1,600 elsewhere inspires confidence, go with Zeller.  Otherwise, Chandler is probably the better performer of the two tonight.

Thank you and good luck tonight !!!


About Last Night:

Typically, in your cash games on FanDuel.com you’re going to want to shoot for a score of approximately 300 FPs, as a score in this range will put you in the money in cash games such as Double Ups and 50/50s on almost any given night.  Using this number as our goal, we are able to establish the “value threshold” (VT) or # of FPs a player needs to “reach value” for their salary on any given day in order to achieve the ideal score of 300.  If we then compare their VT with their “actual FPs” (AFP) and illustrate that as a %, we are able to grade each player or pick.  Just as in winning, 1.000 is optimal.


Mike Conley, MEM ($7,500): VT: 37.5  AFP: 45.6  %: 1.216

Bradley Beal, WAS ($6,800): VT: 34.0  AFP: 28.5  %: .838

LeBron James, MIA ($10,400): VT: 52.0  AFP: 39.1  %: .752

Dirk Nowitzki, DAL ($8,000): VT:40.0  AFP: 60.9  %: 1.52

Dwight Howard, HOU ($8,800): VT: 44.0 AFP: 28.5  %: .648

Overall %: .976

low five: 

Jerryd Bayless, BOS ($3,800): VT: 19.0  AFP: 20.3  %: 1.068

Gerald Henderson, CHA ($5,700): VT: 28.5  AFP: 36.1 %: 1.267

Corey Brewer, MIN ($4,800): VT: 24.0  AFP: 9.4  %: .392

Boris Diaw ($3,900): VT: 19.5 AFP: 8.6 %: .441

Jonas Valanciunas, TOR ($5,000): VT: 25.0 AFP: 33.0 %: 1.320

Overall %:  .934


Yesterday’s HIGH FIVE/low five absolutely killed it.  Among the winning combinations was a roster made straight from the HIGH FIVE/low five that had of Mike Conley, Jerryd Bayless, Bradley Beal, Gerald Henderson, Lebron James, Corey Brewer, Dirk Nowitzki, Boris Diaw, and Jonas Valanciunas that scored 281.5 and cashed in EVERY cash game in the one to 10 dollar range, including the Triple Up games.  Winning: all day, everyday.

Tags: Cleveland Cavaliers Fantasy Basketball Kyrie Irving

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