Basketball Picks Daily Fantasy Expert Advice
Daily Fantasy NBA Basketball Picks for FanDuel, DraftKings and DraftPot - 1/16/16
Saturday's here! Another round of NFL football, and plenty of NBA basketball fun to enjoy as well. I hope you all enjoyed Jimmy Butler Day as much as we did here - it was the first time in my memory that I've seen the cash line in 50/50s be higher than the cash line in big, top heavy tournaments. Wild, wild stuff. Yes, I know that was 2 days ago. I'm still reeling. Let's go.
If you want to grab a free trial of the winning projections that inform each and every one of these picks, check out our lineup builder and Google Chrome extension that auto-populates your lineups into FanDuel and DraftKings. While the seasons overlap, you'll get access to our tools for the NBA, NFL, and NHL! Get started for free by clicking the button below.
First time with NBA? Be sure to read our free NBA Ebook on building lineups, general strategy and more. We've got you completely covered.
Mario Chalmers - FD 5600 DK 6500
Opponent - NYK
FD Proj. Pts - 31.54 DK Proj. Pts - 32.98
You wouldn't have wanted to been around the DFSR offices on Thursday night watching Mario (Rio)* Chalmers hit the miracle jumper to win the game for Memphis. It's not that we weren't cheering for him, it's that we had him everywhere and were dying for an OT. But alas, we merely had to live with his 9x performance. It looks like Conley will sit again, leaving almost all of the Grizz PG minutes to Chalmers. He's still a deal at these prices against the Knicks.
*The Memphis announcers call him Rio and we were just dying laughing every time they said this. It was the first we'd tuned into a game with him, but I guess it's a thing. And we love it.
Ish Smith - FD 6900 DK 7300
Opponent - POR
FD Proj. Pts - 30.9 DK Proj. Pts - 31.76
I'm a huge fan of Ish's offensive game. He is willing to drive early and often in drives and has a solid understanding of when to take the shot or when to wait for someone to open up. His only real issue at this point (and at these prices) is whether Brett Brown will give him the minutes. He only saw 32 in regulation against the Bulls and if he buzzed even a little in run it comes close with his salaries. I'm willing to take the risk because the rest of point guard looks real rough.
Damian Lillard - FD 9200 DK 9400
Opponent - PHI
FD Proj. Pts - 40.05 DK Proj. Pts - 43.12
Of the higher-priced point guards, he's the easiest to stomach mostly because he's such a huge part of what the Blazers do on offense at all times. Our system doesn't love, love him mostly because the salaries have climbed thanks to some recent awesome performances. But it feels like he has a high floor in this matchup.
Tony Allen - FD 4500 DK 5300
Opponent - NYK
FD Proj. Pts - 23.68 DK Proj. Pts - 24.23
Speaking of reasons we wanted the Memphis games heading to overtime, Allen was another dude we hitched some wagons to against the Pistons. The minutes have been there with a depleted Grizzly backcourt and the fact that he's such a stopper on defense. He'd been pitching in enough scoring to really give him a higher ceiling relative to price, but that dried up on Thursday. Still think he's a major deal for the minutes at these prices and he contributes enough around the margins that when the scoring is there even in moderation he's super solid.
Avery Bradley - FD 4900 DK 5200
Opponent - WAS
FD Proj. Pts - 23.96 DK Proj. Pts - 25.92
Feels like I've done nothing but write this guy up lately. That's fine. I want to keep playing him in good matchups and this is definitely one tonight. He's one of the few Celtics I look at as safer when it comes to minutes and that's a key when we are operating in these price ranges. Now he's a highly volatile player considering he's so scoring dependent. But when the three ball is falling, or he can get enough shot volume then you are taking the right kind of risk on Bradley. Washington is one of the fastest teams in the league and has struggled against shooting guards this season.
Rodney Hood - FD 5100 DK 6100
Opponent - LAL
FD Proj. Pts - 23.46 DK Proj. Pts - 25.61
Woof, he was a little piece of garbage for three quarters against the Kings on Thursday until some fourth quarter threes bailed him out (somewhat). Foul trouble (and just being bad) buzzed his minutes some, but if he's running in the mid low 30's then you have to strongly consider him against the Lakers. LA is allowing roughly 11% more scoring than league average to shooting guards this season and are the worst defensive team in the league. It's really just a shame the Jazz don't have more offensively proficient players.
FantasyHub is giving away a Bo Jackson signed football! Winning one has never been easier - all you need to do is sign up and deposit with FantasyHub now, and you can enter a really cool freeroll. As of right now, there are only 20 entries in the freeroll. Terrific odds for a really cool piece of memorabilia!
Robert Covington - FD 4600 DK 5000
Opponent - POR
FD Proj. Pts - 24.34 DK Proj. Pts - 26.86
With Jerami Grant likely out today, Robert Covington (lovingly dubbed the ridiculous Ro-Co by Philly announcers, I swear) will likely be in the neighborhood of 30 minutes yet again. And, in case you didn't notice, he's been massacring these prices in the last two games. It's legit, too. Covington is one of the only real players the Sixers have, and it's a mystery that he doesn't get more minutes as a matter of course. Portland is basically league average in terms of allowing fantasy points to opposing small forwards, but this is simply a case of the price not matching up with the opportunity and talent.
Nicolas Batum - FD 7100 DK 7300
Opponent - MIL
FD Proj. Pts - 34.2 DK Proj. Pts - 36.51
I'm writing this at the beginning of the New Orleans/Charlotte game, so you'll know more about how reliable Batum's minutes are than I do now. If he gets what we're projecting him for (roughly 35 minutes), he should be a terrific option in this game against the Bucks. Batum's sitting on career highs in points scored, assists, and shots per game, and his price is something under where it ought to be in light of those facts. It's also a great match-up with Milwaukee, who has allowed the 4th most fantasy points per game to opposing small forwards this season. More of a 50/50 play than a big tourney play to me, but I still love it.
Jae Crowder - FD 6400 DK 6400
Opponent - WAS
FD Proj. Pts - 27.89 DK Proj. Pts - 29.65
Gordon Hayward - FD 7600 DK 7500
Opponent - LAL
FD Proj. Pts - 33 DK Proj. Pts - 34.96
These guys fill a similar category for me - more expensive guys that I'm not over the moon on, but I could see playing today if the money is right. The case for Crowder is pretty straightforward, as the Wiz have allowed the very most fantasy points per game to opposing small forwards this season, and he's a very reliable minutes guy on a fast paced team. Hayward, meanwhile, is just jacking a ton of shots for Utah right now. He's averaging more than 17 shots per game in his last 4 games with Favors gone, and he has a nice spot against the defenseless Lakers.
Kristaps Porzingis - FD 6800 DK 7300
Opponent - MEM
FD Proj. Pts - 33.7 DK Proj. Pts - 34.79
It hasn't taken long for Porzingis to be a legitimate source of daily fantasy basketball production, now has it? After playing some super-erratic minutes for much of the season, he's settled into a 30-33 minute rotation, and the fantasy production has scaled right alongside it. Meanwhile, these aren't your older brother's Grizzlies - they've allowed the 9th most fantasy points per game to opposing power forwards this season. I see no reason why any of that will change when the Zinger comes to town. Great play wherever you'd like to run him.
Nerlens Noel - FD 6200 DK 6700
Opponent - POR
FD Proj. Pts - 29.89 DK Proj. Pts - 30.36
Some will be once bitten and twice shy about Noel after a bizarre semi-no-show against the Bulls, but there was some context there. The Bulls went sort of small against the Sixers, and Philly couldn't keep Okafor and Noel on the court on the same time. With Grant likely out again, it's highly unlikely the Noel will see the same reduction in minutes unless he gets in foul trouble. There's two doses of good news for Noel on that front - the Blazers lack a legit front-court threat on offense, and they also really struggled against opposing bigs. I think it's a very solid bounce-back night for Noel, here.
Nene Hilario - FD 4200 DK 4400
Opponent - BOS
FD Proj. Pts - 21.87 DK Proj. Pts - 22.16
Nene seems to have outlasted the Drew Gooden renaissance, and he's turned back into the same reliable per-minute fantasy guy he's always been. In this case, it's a basic math problem. Pencils out - you ready? He's been paying about a fantasy point per minute, is playing mid 20s minutes, and is only $4,200 on FanDuel. Another part of the equation - he'll be up against the Celtics, whose woeful front court defense and fast PACE have allowed the 4th most fantasy points per game to opposing power forwards this season. Stellar play, from where I'm sitting.
Also considered: Cody Zeller.
DeMarcus Cousins - FD 10800 DK 10500
Opponent - LAC
FD Proj. Pts - 48.21 DK Proj. Pts - 48.8
Cole Aldrich - FD 3800 DK 3500
Opponent - SAC
FD Proj. Pts - 15.45 DK Proj. Pts - 15.66
These guys come as a package deal if (and only if) DeAndre Jordan is out again. If Jordan plays, I'll still play Cousins, but obviously can Aldrich. Boogie's resume sort of speaks for itself at the moment - he's averaged 55 FanDuel fantasy points a game in his last 6 contests, and that includes two tough match-ups with Andrew Bogut and Rudy Gobert. He's a man possessed, and neither a gimpy DeAndre nor a full-strength Aldrich will do anything whatsoever to stop it. Aldrich, meanwhile, has been a per-minute beast all season, and getting him at minimum prices for 25+ minutes is going to be very tempting for me, even in 50/50s. Still, Cousins will be the safest big money guy going, and I can't see how playing him kills you.
Jahlil Okafor - FD 6300 DK 6200
Opponent - POR
FD Proj. Pts - 32.99 DK Proj. Pts - 33.39
Okafor has quietly resumed playing 32 minutes a game, and he was sitting on 3 very solid games for these prices before a set-back in a tough match-up against Joakim Noah. He should climb back to his 15-16 shots a game here, and the Trail Blazers have allowed the 6th most fantasy points per game to opposing centers this season. I don't know if you can call him safe just because the Sixers are fairly erratic in general, but I don't mind this play at all and suspect he'll show up in optimal lineups.
So yeah, basketball season! And we've got some goodies you can take with you. At the end of the post, we have our NBA eBook that you really ought to check out before setting even a single daily fantasy NBA lineup. It's free, below.
GRAB A FREE TRIAL OF OUR PROJECTION SYSTEM!
GET OUR FREE EBOOK ON DAILY FANTASY NBA!
- Joey Dorsey, DeMarcus Cousins: (AP Photo/Pat Sullivan)