Basketball Picks Daily Fantasy Expert Advice
Daily Fantasy Basketball Picks for DraftStreet and FanDuel 1/8/14
Tonight is a super light night in the NBA. For some folks this is a night they avoid. For us? These are some of the best nights, a chance to make smart roster decisions and exploit inefficiencies (even slight ones) in pricing. We'll soon be posting a piece about how the less the games, the more you can take advantage. Tonight's slate is so small, you'll need to make sure you aren't leaving any value on the table. Take a look at some strong plays for tonight.
Note: No FanDuel picks for today as the combination of Thursday and Friday games on their site has me nervous about projecting forward for tomorrow's games. Not that I don't feel there is value in those plays, just that making picks specific to Thursday games and forecasting value towards Friday is difficult. These games are a stay away for me personally.
Also, quick reminder about these picks. At DFSR we employ a system that seeks to gain the most points-per-dollar. When we give a recommendation, it’s because we believe that player has the best chance to meet or exceed his price. On any given the night the highest dollar player can be expected to score the most points, but that doesn’t always make him the best play for the money. Just something to keep in mind. On to the picks.
Ray Allen $6638 - I love Ray Allen for this dollar amount, and actually, for the money I think Ray is one of the top plays for today. The Knicks get torched by opposing shooting guards, especially in the scoring and rebounding phases of the game. We know Ray can score, but add in an extra rebound or two for good measure.
Dwyane Wade $15393 - The "he might sit out a game of a back-to-back" thing could start getting annoying with Wade. I get why he would, it just makes creating lineups with him a bit iffy. If I were to guess, he plays tonight against the Knicks and sits tomorrow against the Nets. (If he sits at all.) Regardless, if he plays, he is the second best start of the day for the big money.
Randy Foye $9968 - After a short stint on the bench and out of the starting lineup, Foye is back and leaving no doubt that he should be playing solid minutes. Granted, last game he went out of his skull, hitting 8 threes. That won't happen again. But for this price he's a solid play against an OKC team that's league average against SGs.
Reggie Jackson $11793 - Jackson's last two games have finally started showing what people thought he would do taking over for Westbrook at the Thunder point. Though Denver is decent in point guard defense, Jackson has significant upside at this price.
Serge Ibaka $13385 - As long as he is playing, Ibaka is my top pick for the money. Denver is absolutely abysmal against power forwards, and this is a game Ibaka was genetically engineered to play in. He could be looking at an easy double-double. If he sits, Nick Collison $6318 actually instantly becomes the play of the day. This will be a bit of a crapshoot because the game is so late. Because Ibaka sat with the flu though, and not some physical injury, I feel more confident about knowing his status well before game time.
Lebron James $21718 or Carmelo Anthony $18889 - Our system has these two guys at dead even in terms of production per dollar. So the question becomes either who your gut tells you to take or (what I would recommend) creating some scenarios and seeing which guy fits in with the best value around him. The former is the way your competitors most likely create lineups, becoming married to one player and shifting the rest of the pieces around him. In this case, I suggest you seeing how to maximize dollars swapping Lebron and Melo. I like fading Durant today. That might come back to bite me, as Durant is just such an animal. But I think Melo and Lebron give you a better chance with their expectation vs. dollar.
Kenyon Martin $7648 - This is only if Chandler doesn't play. Kenyon got serious minutes the last two games when Tyson sat, and he can expect them again if Chandler is still sick. But again, this play is only there if Martin is starting. I wouldn't pay him otherwise.
There is a healthy drop off in forward production after these guys.
Tyson Chandler $11674 or Andrea Bargnani $11725 - This is situation dependent. If Chandler is back from his tummy hurting, I am starting him. If he can't go, then Bargnani gets the nod. It is extremely convenient that they are priced almost identically. This makes it so you can just essentially create your lineup and swap in whoever is starting. I don't want Bargnani if Chandler is out there.