Basketball Picks Daily Fantasy Expert Advice

James Davis

The Best NBA Picks Money Can't Buy

If you're betting money on fantasy sports, you really ought to know where your bread is buttered. Maybe you're great at shuffling lots of moving pieces on big nights like last night. You love scouring every single guy -- looking for those hidden gems to plug in, the 2% start that's going to make you rich.

If you're like that, you aren't like me. My bread is buttered on the short nights. A few games, a few decisions. Fewer players means more big mistakes because it's hard to make up the difference on the margins. And if you're betting money on fantasy sports, you want your opponents to be able to make mistakes.

Onto the picks.


DJ Augustin $8.908 - Augustin sees a justifiable price bump with Hinrich down, playing 37 minutes two nights ago when Marcus Teague was named the starter (and when Teague promptly put up a negative fantasy night, not easy). As evidenced last night, DJ is now the heavy minutes point guard for a Chicago team that can't score.  But I love Augustin here because he's playing pass-first in an offense that desperately needs its PG to create shots for others. Ignore the double up in price... Augustin is still dirt cheap (especially on this night where guard play is lacking).

Klay Thompson $11,681 - Guards are generally terrible value today, and given that you're going to have to spend your money somewhere, Thompson isn't a bad bet. San Antonio guards the SG position very well, but guard rotations are all thrown off with Parker out of the mix. And I think San Antonio might have some regression coming in the department of defending the SG, anyway. Hold your nose, take Thompson here, and hope for the best.

Whoever starts at PG for San Antonio

You've got Cory Joseph (still just $4,500), who was respectable for that price last night. Patty Mills has a tough time paying the ~$9k price, and I don't love him tonight even if he's nominally the starter. If Parker is back in action, I like him quite a bit... but that's not clear at this point. If you're asking me - roll the dice with Joseph (or happily take Parker) and get on with your life. There's some reasonable options at big price tags - a rarity on a small night - so I'm saving my money for bigger prizes elsewhere.

Keep an eye on:  Jimmy Butler $8,815 - Steph Curry $21,685 (if you can find the dollars and don't start KD)

Avoid: Russel Westbrook (19,378)


Kevin Durant $22,095 - I'm usually not advocating getting this much dough into one guy, but tonight I don't love fading the Durantula. There is blowout risk for sure. Chicago can't score, and very well might not keep pace with OKC. But Durant's production is insane and if they are blowing out the Bulls, Durant will be a big part of the reason. If you look back at OKC's other blowouts, Durant has paid this price a few times. I'm finding the dollars for him tonight.

Boris Diaw $6,806 - This is how you start fitting Durant into your lineup. Diaw is just kind of a regular dude, who ho-hums his way to about 15 FPPs a night. He doesn't do anything spectacular, but he does just enough to retain daily relevancy, especially on slow nights. He is a high floor, low ceiling type (relative to dollars) that I will put in to even out Durant's price.

Keep an eye on: Harrison Barnes $9,719 - Serge Ibaka $13,226

Avoid: David Lee $16,239 - Tim Duncan $17,458


Kendrick Perkins 5,188 - Yup. You read this correctly. Kendrick f#$%ing Perkins. If you like basketball, and like dribbling or players moving gracefully, then you hate Perkins. Because he, at times, is an atrocity. But so is the center position tomorrow, and I'm advocating punting it altogether. And there's no slower/uncoordinated/mopey punt that Perkins. Honestly, I think he grabs a few boards, dribble the ball off his foot, hits a lay up or two and finishes with 10 or so points.

Keep an eye on Steven Adams $6,618

Avoid: Everyone else

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