Basketball Picks Daily Fantasy Expert Advice
Daily Fantasy NBA Basketball Picks for FanDuel, DraftKings and DraftPot - 12/29/15
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Russell Westbrook - FD 10600 DK 10500
Opponent - MIL FD Proj. Pts - 48.15 DK Proj. Pts - 49.78
Westbrook continues to put up MVP numbers and finally has his running mate, Kevin Durant, back. Stephen Curry gets a lot of attention, but Westbrook has been off the charts good this year. He is averaging 25.5 points a game while dishing out 9 assists. There are fewer tougher matchups than Westbrook right now. The next lucky contestant to try to stop Russell will be Michael Carter-Williams who could give Westbrook some problems with his 6’6” frame. Westbrook should still put up numbers and at these prices is offering solid value on this slate.
Jameer Nelson - FD 4700 DK 5600
Opponent - CLE FD Proj. Pts - 22.55 DK Proj. Pts - 24.95
Nelson has filled in admirably for Emmanuel Mudiay. Over the last 10 games Nelson has been solid, posting 11 points, 4 rebounds and nearly 6 assists a game. The former Saint Joseph's All-American should be a good play as the number 1 point guard in Denver. Nelson will likely play Matthew Dellavadova who is a solid defender but not a shutdown player. Nelson will likely not have to deal with Kyrie Irving. Expect Jameer Nelson to be productive.
Reggie Jackson - FD 7500 DK 7300
Opponent - NYK FD Proj. Pts - 34.09 DK Proj. Pts - 35.35
Jackson has a had a breakout season at point guard thus far this year. He is putting up 20.2 points a game as well as dishing out 6 assists. Jackson’s success should continue against the New York Knicks. The Knicks are average against opposing point guards this season with Jose Calderon near at the bottom of efficiency rankings among opposing point guards in defensive efficiency.
Will Barton - FD 6800 DK 6900
Opponent - CLE FD Proj. Pts - 32.39 DK Proj. Pts - 33.67
Barton’s stock continues to rise in line with his performance. His scoring averages have actually gone up as the season has continued, averaging nearly 20 points a game in his last 10 outings. Barton has also shot well from the field, 48% in his last 5 games. Will “The Thrill” will meet his toughest challenge this season to date in LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Cavs are among the best in scoring points allowed to small forwards and James is a big contributor to that stat but Barton’s affordable $6800 nightly salary can provide a good value as long as the minutes are there.
Arron Afflalo - FD 4600 DK 4800
Opponent - DET FD Proj. Pts - 22.37 DK Proj. Pts - 24.04
The Knicks made Afflalo their starting shooting guard in the offseason and he has been consistent thus far, averaging 13 points and 4 boards a game. Afflalo has been a bellwether for the Knicks’ overall performance as he averages 16 points in their victories and just 10 in their losses. The former UCLA standout will square off against the Detroit Pistons on Tuesday and will likely see Kentavious Caldwell-Pope most of the night guarding him. At just $4,600, Afflalo could be a solid economical option against the Pistons. Detroit has done a good job against shooting guards, but only the New Orleans Pelicans give up more rebounds to shooting guards.
Giannis Antetokounmpo - FD 6800 DK 6500
Opponent - OKC FD Proj. Pts - 29.52 DK Proj. Pts - 30.55
The Greek Freak is the one of the NBAs budding stars and even though the Bucks are still trying to find their way, Antetokounmpo is a big reason why fans should be excited about the future. Giannis is scoring nearly 5 points above his average and has found his comfort zone in scoring the basketball. He is shooting 50% from the field which is exceptional as a guard. One player the “Freak” draws comparisons to is Kevin Durant. Antetokounmpo may see some of Durant but could see just as much from Andre Roberson. Roberson could have major problems with the length of the 6’11” Antetokounmpo. The minutes were trending the right direction until last night, but he still seems like a higher floor guy on the night.
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LeBron James - FD 10000 DK 9600
Opponent - DEN FD Proj. Pts - 48.16 DK Proj. Pts - 50.03
James has carried the Cleveland Cavaliers to the best record in the East and are the early favorites to return as the East’s representative in the NBA Finals. The Cavaliers expect to have Kyrie Irving on Monday against Phoenix but against the Nuggets Irving will sit out the 2nd portion of the back to back schedule. James should have his way against the shorthanded Nuggets as both Danilo Gallinari and Emmanuel Mudiay are still out with injuries. Our system thinks he's the best big money option on the slate.
.Jeff Green - FD 4500 DK 5400
Opponent - MIA FD Proj. Pts - 22.87 DK Proj. Pts - 24.4
Green has long been a steady player and this year is no exception, averaging a little over 10 points a game and nearly 5 rebounds. Though he's only $4500 play, Green has posted a 26 point game against Miami earlier this season. "Uncle" Jeff will likely see Luol Deng guarding him tonight. The Heat have done an average job guarding small forward. Green could find the going tough as Deng is a solid defender and the emergence of Justise Winslow who is super athletic force. But the run should be in the upper thirties tonight as Memphis will be without Matt Barnes.
Luol Deng - FD 4600 DK 4900
Opponent - MEM FD Proj. Pts - 22.73 DK Proj. Pts - 24
Deng is a similar to his Tuesday night nemesis Jeff Green, Deng has made his name as a two-way player. He will give you everything on both ends of the floor though his numbers have slipped. Deng is scoring 5 points below his average and looks to be in decline after playing at a high level for years. The Grizzlies have done well against small forwards this season, only surrendering 19.2 points to small forwards per game.
Kristaps Porzingis - FD 6200 DK 7400
Opponent - DET FD Proj. Pts - 28.99 DK Proj. Pts - 29.97
Love living life on the edge? Enjoy having your earnings and mental health on the hinge of how Derek Fisher feels that night? Me too. Zinger is a classic example of why minutes in the NBA reign supreme and when the run disappears, so can the production. When he's playing big minutes in the first rotation dude piles on points. But then he'll randomly find the bench and your dreams are up in smoke. His price on FanDuel, I think, is worth the risk. Not on DraftKings where his minutes' volatility has priced him out of the discussion. But since you need to run out two of these guys on FD, he has a higher floor all things considered.
Serge Ibaka - FD 6400 DK 6600
Opponent - MIL FD Proj. Pts - 30.9 DK Proj. Pts - 32.81
The one thing I worry about when it comes to Ibaka is that for his salary he's really the Thunder's fifth option on offense if you assume it's Westbrook and Durant occupy the 1-4 slots. But Ibaka is facing a Bucks' team well below league average against power forwards in scoring and rebounding. It's a good time for him to take advantage and the price won't kill you. Power forward is a tough position most every night and this one's no exception.
Kevin Love - FD 7500 DK 7600
Opponent - DEN FD Proj. Pts - 35.96 DK Proj. Pts - 38.59
He's the play on DraftKings for around the same price as Porzingis with a much better points/$. Love is a good example of why it's great to play on multiple sites to take advantage of pricing differences. He's $1300 more on FD but only $200 more on DK. That's a significant difference and one that offers the perfect hedge on a night like tonight. Don't get me wrong, I like him on FD as well against a weak Nuggets' squad. But on DraftKings he's a fantastic play.
Andre Drummond - FD 9700 DK 9400
Opponent - NYK FD Proj. Pts - 43.91 DK Proj. Pts - 44.71
The Knicks get beasted on by opposing centers. Allowing somewhere in the 12% more scoring per game range to the position. Drummond's coming off two games that saw him average 23/17 with some blocks and steals thrown in for good measure. He's been fantastic. And while I don't by on recent performance (and our system surely doesn't), it is nice to see the minutes in the right spot going into this matchup. He's the expensive play at the position and falls well into the same points/$ range as some of the other big boys on this slate.
Nikola Jokic - FD 4700 DK 4700
Opponent - CLE FD Proj. Pts - 20.86 DK Proj. Pts - 21.48
Joffrey Lauvergne - FD 3900 DK 4400
Opponent - CLE FD Proj. Pts - 15.03 DK Proj. Pts - 15.41
Your guess is as good as mine with these two guys' minutes which is a real shame because if we could only get a line on their expected nightly rotations well... Let's just say life would be a lot easier (or one or the other would be a lot more expensive). As it stands we are left guessing. Both fill it up per minute and are coming close to punt prices. I don't mind taking a stab in tournaments because one or the other seems to play off every other game.
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