Basketball Picks Daily Fantasy Expert Advice

Doug Norrie

Daily Fantasy Basketball Picks for Draftstreet and FanDuel 1/25/14

A bit of a late start from your DFSR crew today, but MisterMarch and I paired up to give you a solid set of Saturday NBA plays.

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. Want an in-depth look at how we set our lineups each night? Sign up for our email list and get a free eBook on the 6 steps every pro takes before setting his lineup, either by clicking that link or signing up through the sidebar. On to the picks.



Point Guard

Shelvin Mack FD $4,200 DS $9,750 -
With Jeff Teague out, Mack will be a very popular play on all sites. Milwaukee is roughly league average in terms of allowing FPs to opposing point guards, and an Atlanta team without 70% of its good players should be the first time Milwaukee is in a close game since Oscar Roberston patrolled the glass.

Damian Lillard - FD $7,500 DS $14,260-
Lillard remains tantalizing as the price continues to drop. While he has been pretty lousy lately, Minnesota is a nice matchup for him. If he doesn't produce in this one, I'm going to assume that something isn't quite right, and probably stay away from him until we receive some news. In any format, you'll be hard pressed to find a player at this price with this kind of upside.

Michael Carter-Williams FD $8,600 DS 14,310-
MCW gets a start against a Thunder team that is under-ratedly bad against the PG position (surrendering 9% more FPs than league average). This game has considerable blowout potential if KD comes back, but it should nonetheless be an up and down contest that features lots of scoring until it gets out of hand. A fine GPP play, and a stay away in double-up formats for the faint of heart. He's an especially tempting price on DraftStreet.

John Wall FD $9,000 DS 18,813-
Wall's price remains just a hair too low, as he's producing on this number every single night. While Wall has the reputation of being somewhat erratic, the game logs just don't bear it out. He's scored 40 fpps in 7 of his last 8, and takes on the undersized Burke and a Utah team that has been significantly worse against the PG position since Burke has taken over the starting duties.

DraftStreet Value

Michael Conley DS $14,390 -
A very nice price for Conley DS tonight. He has had a few off games, and Houston is markedly better defending PG when Beverly is around, but under 15K has Conley in value range.



Shooting Guard

Wesley Matthews - FD $6,400 DS $11,552 -
Shooting guards generally give me fits due to their inconsistency, but Matthews is good for value on this price and is about as steady as they come. He's not really an upside play since his minutes don't fluctuate and he doesn't do anything except score, but stick him in your cash game lineups and forget about it.

James Anderson - FD $4,300 DS $8,972 -
Anderson remains perpetually underpriced just about everywhere. He's a starter who is capable of paying off this price at 6-7x on FanDuel, what more do you need to know? He's sort of the anti-Matthews in that he can leave you high and dry, but when his shot is falling and he picks up a stray rebound or two he can provide you with more upside than just about anyone at the SG position.

DeMar Derozan - FD $8,700 DS $15,617-
Derozan has evolved into one of the steadiest scorers in the game, but he is so much more than that. Those stray rebounds and assists he haul in give him about the highest floor of any player in his price range, and he shoots so damned much that it is starting to feel like 20 points is an inevitability. The price keeps climbing, but it's only now catching up to his production. It's tough to imagine "upside" at this price, but you can feel safe allotting a nice portion of your salary to him, and taking your upside elsewhere, especially against a clippers team that has been abominable against the SG position recently. An especially strong play on DraftStreet.

Lou Williams FD 4,000 DS $7,070
Drew the start for Carroll last night and paid these prices easily. This is a minutes thing. If he is playing big minutes (especially in blowouts like last night) then the safety at these salaries is built in.

JJ Redick - FD $5,600 DS $10,037-
Redick is getting his minutes, and when he gets his minutes, he should safely pay this price - especially in comparison with a relatively weak field of SGs today.



Small Forwards

Kevin Durant - FD $12,100 DS $23,747 and/or Jeremy Lamb FD $4,100 DS $8,717-
It's tough to recommend one or the other without knowing Durant's status for tonight. Thankfully this is an early start game in Philly meaning we should know statuses prior to roster lock. SF is always a pain in the ass so I think either of these guys is very much in play for completely different reasons. Durant is safe even at these prices (even with the injury concern) and Lamb has ridiculous upside.

Trevor Ariza - FD $6,500 DS $13,030-
He was a low percentage start that we picked last night. He only went out and put up close to 40FPPs so you're welcome. Like him again.

Paul George FD 8,600 DS $16,945-
Denver is about league average agains this position and George has shown he can pay this in a big way. He isn't the most consistent fantasy dude out there, so I'd probably shy away from him in cash games, but if Durant is out, you can pair his salary with Lamb's rather easily.


Power Forward

David West - FD $6,300 DS $10,767-
West is the definition of a double-up play that you don't want in your tournament lineups. The price and matchup are great for him tomorrow, but if you're expecting 36+ fantasy points, look elsewhere. I'd be shocked to see him out of the 25-35 range - so know what you're paying for. Especially nice price on DS.

Zach Randolph - FD $8,200 DS $14,837-
Z-bo gets a rematch with a Houston team that held him relatively in check last night. It always feels weird picking a player after he's had an off night, especially against the exact same team, but last night seemed to be more a function of his shots not falling than any sort of lack of opportunity. Not feeling Zbo as a GPP play - the upside doesn't seem to be there - but I think he'll pay this price with a pile of boards and buckets.

Serge Ibaka - FD $7,100 DS $14,926-
Poor Philadelphia. Just when they thought it couldn't get any worse, they invite someone into the arena who just might displace Spencer Hawes' teeth on a block. All the disclaimers about blow-out risk here, but it's tough to imagine Ibaka's floor being anything less than a solid paying of value..

Paul Millsap - FD $8,100 DS $16,981-
Millsap has a nice matchup against the hapless Bucks, and is now tragically the last living member of the Atlanta Hawks team. Since Horford went down, Millsap has taken on the lion's share of the offensive duties. With Teague, Carroll, and Antic banged up... who else is even going to shoot the ball besides DFSR darling Shelvin Mack??

FanDuel Value

Amir Johnson- FD $4,800-
Our system likes Johnson tonight. He's been a little feast or famine but has paid this price 5X three of his last five games. He gets a Clip team that struggles against opposing PFs.



Nikola Pekovic FD $7,700 DS $14,711-
Remains one of the scariest looking players around and someone who would fit right in with some sort of Eastern European mob outfit. He also might be able to dominate Robin Lopex just by staring at the guy. A bit of blowout potential here, but I think Pekovic gets plenty of looks down low.

Joakim NoahFD $9,100 DS $19,376 -
Noah is playing at such a high level for a Bulls team that is severely lacking in offensive options. He does a little bit of everything on the court which limits his basement and his ceiling is definitely worth considering in every format. Charlotte is below average against centers and this game should be close (and boring).

Marcin Gortat FD $6,700 DS $13,335 -
Seems so safe. Utah doesn't have much of an interior presence, and Gortat is almost a lock for 30+ minutes every night. He probably won't win you a tournament, but as a cash game play he's money.

Roy Hibbert FD $5,800 DS $12,572-
Was able to manhandle the undermanned King's team last night (even if the Pacers as a whole had difficulty pulling away). Denver really struggles against centers and is below league average defending big men down low.

Gustavo Ayon FD $3,500 DS $7,788
In case you weren't sure, the Hawks are ravaged with injuries, which is why so many of them are picks for today. They are essentially starting their second team making everyone bargain basement deals. Ayon fits right in there.

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