Basketball Picks Daily Fantasy Expert Advice
Daily Fantasy NBA Basketball Picks for FanDuel and DraftKings - 1/30/16
Happy Weekend! It's a weird slate of basketball today, with some tremendous blowouts (Warriors/Nets!), super fast games (Wiz/Rockets!) and a game that should be great to watch but have zero DFS implications (Spurs/Cavs!). All in all, a nice little Saturday during one of the slowest stretches of the fantasy year. Also, it will be good to prepare for the NFL Pro Bowl. Team Rice, or Team... nevermind, already bored. Let's do some NBA DFS.
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Jrue Holiday - FD 7000 DK 7100
Opponent - BKN
FD Proj. Pts - 35.58 DK Proj. Pts - 37.27
Norris Cole - FD 4700 DK 5600
Opponent - BKN
FD Proj. Pts - 24.32 DK Proj. Pts - 25.62
With the big caveat that Tyreke needs to be out in order for this projection to come through, but Cole launched 19 shots with Davis and Reke out last time, and Holiday shot 24. And this is a terrific spot for both of them. The Nets are bad defensively against every position, but they've allowed the 6th most fantasy points per game to opposing point guards this season and the most against opposing SGs, making them one of the very worst in the whole league. It's a classic price/opportunity mismatch, and both guys are great plays in all formats if Evans is out once again.
Patrick Beverley - FD 4400 DK 4200
Opponent - WAS
FD Proj. Pts - 20.7 DK Proj. Pts - 23.09
Beverley's back from injury, and playing 31-35 minutes a game in close contests. When he's playing that much, he's more like a $5,000 player, and while he doesn't score a lot, he does all the little stat-stuffing things that make him a lovely high floor play. He scored 25 and 28 FanDuel fantasy points against the Pelicans and Mavs and has another relatively league average match-up with the Wizards here as well. With Beverley, it's key to look at his opposition's PACE as much as their fantasy points allowed, since he puts up as much fantasy value from steals, rebounds, and assists as he does points. In that case, faster games mean more opportunities to do a bunch of different things, raising his floor considerably.
Early slate upside: He'll probably lose minutes, but Ish Smith will get tons of run in a fast paced game there.
James Harden - FD 10200 DK 10100
Opponent - WAS
FD Proj. Pts - 47.35 DK Proj. Pts - 50.19
While you're going cheap at shooting guard, you can feast your eyes upon one James Harden. The Bearded Bard put up 43/9/7/2/2 in his last game against the Wiz, and I see no reason why he won't go off in this one as well. Washington plays a top five PACE in the league, and Harden should continue his current tour of destruction (that had a brief pit stop against the Spurs) in this one. I'll play him everywhere.
Monta Ellis - FD 6600 DK 6800
Opponent - DEN
FD Proj. Pts - 30.1 DK Proj. Pts - 31.42
Ellis' price is finally starting to climb after a positively ridiculous 50+ fantasy point performance against the Hawks, and he'll probably drift away from playability after this great match-up with the Nuggets. He's scored 29 or more fantasy points in 8 of his last 10 games, and Denver has allowed the 7th most fantasy points per game to opposing shooting guards this season, making this a great spot for one last hurrah before he becomes overpriced (or Stuckey gets back and chews into his minutes).
Tony Allen - FD 4700 DK 5000
Opponent - SAC
FD Proj. Pts - 21.04 DK Proj. Pts - 21.56
If you want to spend a little bit less tonight, Tony Allen looks pretty good to me. It's a little concerning that his minutes were so drastically different in his first two games back from injury, so our projection system is taking a pretty cautious approach for him here. That's nice for us because it means the numbers we're looking at here are a totally respectable floor for your 50/50s and double ups. The Kings are doing their part in this projection as well, as they've allowed the 4th most fantasy points per game to opposing shooting guards this season. On a weird night at the position, Tony is a very viable option.
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Trevor Ariza - FD 5700 DK 5500
Opponent - WAS
FD Proj. Pts - 28.5 DK Proj. Pts - 32.21
Ariza's a guy our projection system has been very bullish on since he's returned to his old role of playing 38 minutes a game, and while his price climbing has chewed into a considerable amount of his upside, we're still at a point where he's a terrific value. I mean, the guy recently had back to back games of 41+ fantasy points - just not a total you see from players priced below $6,000. This is also a totally ideal match-up for Ariza. The Wizards have allowed the most fantasy points per game to opposing small forwards this season, and they're worst at what Ariza does best: defending against outside shooting. High floor, high ceiling play.
Danilo Gallinari - FD 7200 DK 7200
Opponent - IND
FD Proj. Pts - 33.26 DK Proj. Pts - 35.92
It's a pretty big drop off (for me) after we go away from Ariza, at least from a safety perspective. Gallinari is the next best bet, though. He's been shooting more recently than he has during the season (16+ shots per game instead of his season long average of 14), and while some of his recent success is a result of great match-ups (like his last game against Washington), he's still a vital enough part of the Nuggets offense that we should be able to count on him here. The one wrinkle is Paul George, who is a willing and capable defender when he wants to be. I don't see Gallo going off here, but at a tough day at the position, I can see him providing a high floor.
Paul George - FD 8500 DK 8900
Opponent - DEN
FD Proj. Pts - 37.37 DK Proj. Pts - 39.7
Paul George was everybody's fantasy darling until a disappearing act against the Hawsk, but we shouldn't let recency bias cloud us too much here. Still, it was nothing new for George, who also scored 20 fantasy points 4 games ago against the Warriors. Can't kill him for that necessarily, but it's still there, and it definitely means he's not part of the Westbrook/Harden class of safety. Outside of those two tough games, he's been a pretty steady diet of 4.5x points per dollar, and Denver has allowed the 9th most fantasy points per game to opposing small forwards this season, so I think he'd be a decent play here if it happens to be how your money works out best. I'll look to spend up elsewhere first, though.
A decent cheap option might be Corey Brewer if he gets the start again. If he does, Ariza will slide to the 4 and he'll be the one with the better match-up. Keep an eye on this.
Early slate favorite RoCoZuna, AKA, Robert Covington. Someone's got to score for Philly, and Covington thrives in fast paced games and in transition.
Myles Turner - FD 5100 DK 5300
Opponent - DEN
FD Proj. Pts - 27.77 DK Proj. Pts - 28.91
Turner has slid into the starting lineup, and has been far outpacing these piddly numbers. Conveniently, we even have a comp for this game, as his first complete explosion was against Denver's pathetic front-court defense. He put up 25 and 7 on 13 field goal attempts in their last meeting, and helped contribute to the Nuggets 2nd worst power forward defense. Love him everywhere.
Ryan Anderson - FD 6200 DK 6900
Opponent - BKN
FD Proj. Pts - 30.01 DK Proj. Pts - 33.04
After he poured in 36 against the Kings, he won't be sneaking up anyone here. I mostly don't want him to sneak up on you. If Brow is out, Anderson is a must play in every single format. That is all.
Thaddeus Young - FD 6400 DK 6300
Opponent - NOP
FD Proj. Pts - 29.11 DK Proj. Pts - 30.2
The other thing Ryan Anderson opens up? The guy who plays against him. There's a reason that Anderson has never really been able to crack a starting lineup in the NBA, and when you see that he's the ultimate stretch-4 offensively, one has to conclude that it's his defense. Thad Young, meanwhile, has seen his daily fantasy price slip due to a one week lull in production, but this is exactly the type of match-up where he could put up a points heavy double-double. I'll play the above guys for safety, but don't be surprised if a Young/Anderson stack is a big tournament winner today.
For real though, this is a really hard night to pull a center. The early slate looks pretty easy - just play Andre Drummond, who might legit kill Jonas Valancunias down low. Late, though? Oy. Let's see.
Marcin Gortat - FD 6900 DK 7000
Opponent - HOU
FD Proj. Pts - 32.96 DK Proj. Pts - 33.5
I guess? Gortat lost minutes in a couple of blowouts, but then inexplicably played fewer minutes against the Nuggets for no reason at all. Still, this would be a nice match-up against the Rockets if Dwight is out, and Gortat is a very nice points-per-minute fantasy player when he is getting his minutes. On a day where uncertainty rules the day, he's probably the highest relative floor guy.
Brook Lopez - FD 8100 DK 7100
Opponent - NOP
FD Proj. Pts - 34.91 DK Proj. Pts - 35.42
Woohoo? Lopez has been all the heck over the place, and really draws the nod here on the strength of his great DraftKings price (where he's actually pretty safe) and his big game against OKC. It's easy to lose track of guys like Lopez - high priced players on awful teams that frequently get blown out - but if Davis and Tyreke are out again, it stands to reason he'll play the upper end of his minutes and put up good production. The Pelicans, after all, have allowed the 2nd most fantasy points per game to opposing centers this season. I'll check closer to game time and make my decision then.
Omer Asik is basically free and put up huge numbers with Davis out last time. Just sayin' - he's playing the Nets.
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