Basketball Picks Daily Fantasy Expert Advice

James Davis
DeMarcus Cousins - Daily Fantasy NBA

Daily Fantasy NBA Basketball Picks for FanDuel, DraftKings and DraftPot - 11/15/15

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Reggie Jackson - FD 8000 DK 7600
Opponent - LAL FD Proj. Pts - 35.07 DK Proj. Pts - 36.39
Jackson's only paid up big on prices like these a handful of times this season, but you'll notice a clear trend among the teams he did. Those teams, Chicago, Portland, and the Suns, are all bottom 10 teams in the league in terms of fantasy points allowed to opposing point guards. Today, Jackson will face the Lakers - the 7th most generous team to opposing PGs. The Lakers combine the league's 9th fastest pace with the 3rd worst defensive efficiency. It's awfully hard to imagine Jackson not paying value in this one.

Kemba Walker - FD 7000 DK 6400
Opponent - POR FD Proj. Pts - 34.57 DK Proj. Pts - 36.6
Kemba is an interesting guy, because he's not your classically consistent point guard. He's coming off a huge game against the Bulls (42 fantasy points), but his two games prior were pretty darned terrible. So what drives this ranking? The Portland Trailblazers. After a year in which Damian Lillard embarrassed himself in trying to defend opposing point guards, the Trailblazers have gone even further in the wrong direction this season. They've allowed the most fantasy points to opposing point guards than anyone else has this season, and are a bottom ten team in defensive efficiency overall. Kemba's not a sure thing, but especially on DraftKings, the price is probably too good to ignore.

Isaiah Thomas - FD 7200 DK 7000
Opponent - OKC FD Proj. Pts - 33.24 DK Proj. Pts - 35.5
Perhaps just a big tournament option due to the blowout risk here, but Thomas can fill it up like crazy as the primary ball handler in an offense without a lot of shot creators. He's shooting 24% more shots per minute than he did last season, and it's looking like Smart's return hasn't impacted his minutes very much. OKC is a very strong defensive team, but their up and down style has them playing with the 6th fastest PACE in the NBA. He might only get three quarters in here, but with Durant out, the Cs have a better chance than usual. You can't call him safe simply due to the price (and the other guys, like Jackson, you can get in the same price point), but I'll definitely consider rolling the dice in big tourneys.

Site specific plays: Rondo on FanDuel, and Mike Conley on DraftKings.


C.J. McCollum - FD 6500 DK 6500
Opponent - CHA FD Proj. Pts - 28.75 DK Proj. Pts - 30.58
McCollum has turned into one of the steadier options at the position, even at these increased prices. By the numbers, McCollum is pretty much a totally different player this season. He's shooting 39% more shots per minute, and powers the second unit when Lillard is out in a way that many guards are doing right now. He's definitely susceptible to bad games in the wrong match-up, but playing the Hornets here is far from that. The Hornets have allowed the 8th most fantasy points to opposing shooting guards this season, and the Gerald Henderson/Jeremy Lamb defensive combo isn't likely to change that. McCollum hasn't flexed colossal points per dollar upside, but he's got plenty of safety here.

Eric Gordon - FD 6000 DK 6300
Opponent - NYK FD Proj. Pts - 25.96 DK Proj. Pts - 28.73
Gordon's a guy with 40 minute upside in the right game script, and with an average of 31.5 fantasy points in his last 6 games, he's been one of the safer bets going even as his price has continued to rise. You're getting into slightly dangerous territory at these price points on some level, but the increased shot volume should quiet some of those concerns. He's shooting 20% more shots per minute, and he's averaged 20+ shots in his last three games. He doesn't need to do a whole lot else to pay value when he's shooting that much. The Knicks are basically a league average match-up, so I'd expect Gordon to maintain his recent, consistent performance.

Marco Belinelli - FD 3900 DK 4400
Opponent - TOR FD Proj. Pts - 18.98 DK Proj. Pts - 20.9
It might feel a little weird to play a guy who's coming off the bench, but especially on FanDuel, Belinelli is capable of more points per dollar than basically everyone else at the position. With 5x-6x points per dollar performances in 4 of his last 6 games, Belinelli is the low cost option that can let you pay up elsewhere. He also paid about 2.5x in two of those last 6 games, so it's hard to call him anything like "safe." Still, the price makes him awfully tempting in any format.

If Rodney Hood is out, Alec Burks is a fantastic play in all formats. Likewise for Zach LaVine if Rubio is out again.


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Marcus Morris - FD 6100 DK 6500
Opponent - LAL FD Proj. Pts - 28.57 DK Proj. Pts - 30.88
A lot of people will be sour on Morris after a disappointing performance against the Clips on Saturday, but you shouldn't get too discouraged. Morris is a minutes machine - a lock for high 30s minutes with 40+ minute upside. He's averaged nearly 5x points per dollar on this FanDuel price, and with the embarrassing Meta World Peace (and whatever other terrible dudes) chasing him around, it's hard to imagine him not least meeting his season average here. At a relatively unpredictable position, Morris' safety is worth considerably more than these prices.

Andrew Wiggins - FD 7100 DK 6400
Opponent - MEM FD Proj. Pts - 32.23 DK Proj. Pts - 33.07
Wiggins hasn't lit it up since returning from his knee injury, but all the pieces are in place for him to get back up to his previous levels. He's still getting more than enough looks, and the Minnesota offense should be plenty reliant on him with Rubio banged up. If you're still freaked out by playing guys against Memphis, don't be. All signs are that the league has left the aging Grizz behind, and playing Matt Barnes at the 3 has helped them give up the third most fantasy points to opposing small forwards this season. Assuming all systems are go, I love Wiggins in cash game formats.

Gordon Hayward - FD 6800 DK 6400
Opponent - ATL FD Proj. Pts - 30.52 DK Proj. Pts - 32.26
Honestly, I don't like Hayward very much compared to the above guys, but if you need a second small forward for the later slate, it feels like I really ought to give you one. There's a lot in Hayward's favor, for sure. He's been a steady source of 30+ fantasy points since November began, pairing his typical solid scoring with mediocre but steady contributions across other categories. Atlanta is about as generic a match-up as you can get. They've played the 14th fastest PACE with the 14th best defensive efficiency. You can argue he's safer than Wiggins just because there's no injury risk, but he's a clear #3 option at the position for me today.

Also considered: Nemanja Bjelica, even if the minutes are erratic.

On DraftKings, Carmelo Anthony is ridiculously underpriced. It's one of the biggest salary spreads I've seen, actually. $9,400 on FanDuel, and $8,100 on DraftKings. Fantastic play there.

Keep an eye out for any punt possibilities here, especially later on. I love Morris today, but have real reservations about these other guys.


Ryan Anderson - FD 6000 DK 6200
Opponent - NYK FD Proj. Pts - 27.3 DK Proj. Pts - 29.95
It's been a strange run for Anderson since Davis went down - with some huge games mixed in with some stinkers. The stinkers are really the puzzle though. They snuck in a random blow-out of Dallas that cost him minutes, and then got blown out by Toronto which also cost him minutes. This game should remain at a level where Anderson gets his full run, and if he does, he could put up some really nice numbers. He was shooting about 16 shots per game, and crashing the boards in a way that has him threatening double digit rebounds. He's still very reasonably priced on both sites, and if Davis sits again, our projection system likes Anderson in all formats.

Kristaps Porzingis - FD 5500 DK 5800
Opponent - NOP FD Proj. Pts - 26.82 DK Proj. Pts - 27.71
Porzingis is a guy who will almost certainly be 5%-10% more expensive by season's end. He's playing increased minutes, but a little slowdown in his shots per minute has coincided with the two game minutes increase, and the big time production hasn't quite come to fruition. If his previously established shots per minute rate comes back, he'll be a near lock for 5x-6x points per dollar on these prices. And then there's the match-up. He'll be squared off against Ryan Anderson, who doesn't take up a roster spot on the Pelicans for his reputation as a defensive stopper. Feel free to play Porzingis everywhere.

Quick note: this is a great position to hedge today. There are some big price spreads, and they are making a big difference value wise. Let's dive in.

Derrick Favors - FD 8300 DK 7300
Opponent - ATL FD Proj. Pts - 35.34 DK Proj. Pts - 35.8
Favors followed up a breakout game with an incredible disappointment, so it's tough to say where the industry will go on him for this contest. We're going to go ahead and hedge. You can see that there's a $1,000 spread between the two sites, which is a massive difference. Atlanta isn't a particularly great match-up, so this one mostly comes down to Favors. His shots per minute have climbed about 5%, he's playing big minutes with Gobert banged up, and he'll pull down more boards in the big man's absence as well. I like him in any format on DK, but can't imagine deploying him on FD.

Julius Randle - FD 5800 DK 6100
Opponent - DET FD Proj. Pts - 26.74 DK Proj. Pts - 27.24
Randle is still underpriced on FanDuel, and has a great match-up with the offense-first Ersan Ilyasova. Randle hasn't shown his full explosiveness recently, but like a lot of young players, his production will have big, match-up dependent swings while he searches for what his established levels will be. Smart money is on this being one of his upswing games.




DeMarcus Cousins - FD 10500 DK 10200
Opponent - TOR FD Proj. Pts - 53.9 DK Proj. Pts - 54.55
He's electric, boogie-woogie boogie-woogie. Ugh, that was terrible. Still! Demarcus has been shredding since his return to the lineup, and he's got one of his best match-ups in the season against Jonas Valancunias and the Raptors. The Drakes have allowed the 8th most fantasy points to opposing centers this season, and have allowed an astounding 4.7 blocks to opposing fives due to their cadre of slashing perimeter guys. On a night lacking a lot of great big money options, Cousins will be a guy that anchors both my FanDuel and DraftKings lineups tonight.

Robin Lopez - FD 4600 DK 4500
Opponent - NOP FD Proj. Pts - 24.67 DK Proj. Pts - 25.03
With 2 7x+ points per dollar performances on his resume in the last 4 games, Rolo's upside is pretty well established at this point. The Pels have been a crime against humanity at defending the 5 this season, and their 7th fastest PACE with the league's 2nd worst defensive efficiency make basically everyone a consideration against them. And with Davis out? Doubling, tripling down here. Lopez is still very cheap, and is playing plenty of minutes to pay off a price like this.

A few guys that warrant discussion: Andre Drummond, and Karl Anthony Towns. With Towns, the minutes aren't totally there, and while Memphis has been struggling, I can't bring myself to do it. Drummond is a totally different case. He's going to be a HUGE play against the Lakers today, and for good reason. If the Pelicans have been bad against opposing big men, the Lakers have been the league's very worst. Even more relevant to this discussion, they've allowed an astounding 17.5 rebounds per game to opposing 5s. That'd be the worst in the league if not for the Pacers, who've allowed 20.5. That Pacers number is skewed, though, because of one random game where a dude put up 29 rebounds against them in a single game. Oh, shit. That was Drummond. I still like Cousins given how close the prices are here... but when the rubber meets the road, I can picture myself hedging it.

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