Basketball Picks Daily Fantasy Expert Advice
Daily Fantasy NBA Basketball Picks for FanDuel and DraftKings - 11/14/16
TGIM! Sunday was a wild slate, with us rotating Zach LaVine out of all of our optimal lineups 5 minutes before lock, and narrowly getting value play Nemanja Bjelica in there at the last second. Whew. Monday stands to be a fairly crazy slate itself, with plenty of injury question marks and some big spreads to sprinkle in a little bit more uncertainty. We won't know what the lineups will look like until right before line-up lock as always, but this article should be a good jumping off point for you to start dreaming on tomorrow's great plays.
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Russell Westbrook FD - $11600 DK - $10800
Opponent - DET
Proj Pts FD - 54.42 DK - 57.96
Westbrook was a chalk play on Saturday, and as of this writing he's nearly paid value on these prices through 3 quarters. Which is, you know, sort of what he does. Westbrook is on pace to take the most shots of any player since 2005-2006 (sup Kobe?), and is on pace for a career high in rebounds and 9.4 assists. He's the total package, a one man team, and could probably bench press a young hippo. He's not the God, but he's A God, and that counts for something. When I think about Ish Smith trying to cover him my brain immediately tries to change the subject on account of how awkward it's likely to be. Great play in any format, once again.
Jose Juan Barea FD - $5800 DK - $6800
Opponent - NY
Proj Pts FD - 28.1 DK - 30.07
Barea got a night off against Golden State, which, you know, would have been nice to know at some point before I had already locked him in to all of my lineups in every format. No matter - Barea will be fresh for this tilt with the Knicks, and my guess is that Derrick Rose will be a lot more interested in getting his on the offensive end rather than chasing the diminutive Puerto Rican on the defensive end. Barea is just an excellent offensive player, shooting 41% from 3 and 96% from the line while setting career highs in assists and rebounds per game. I'll be riding Barea at these prices til Williams comes back, and his role in the offense (which is to say, he sets up the whole offense) makes him a high floor, high ceiling option.
Isaiah Thomas FD - $8100 DK - $7800
Opponent - NO
Proj Pts FD - 43.5 DK - 46.37
Marcus Smart FD - $5100 DK - $5400
Opponent - NO
Proj Pts FD - 27.12 DK - 29.08
The Boston PGs let a lot of people down in their last start, present company included. In watching the game, though, it largely came down to some extremely fluky foul trouble. The good news for them is that they'll be playing against New Orleans, whose combination of fast play and terrible defense makes this a point guard's dream. We saw Thomas' absolute floor against Indiana, and he looks like a super-safe cash game play in a much better match-up here. As for Smart, he feels more like an upside guy to me. The big minutes should give him a fairly high floor, but what you're really hoping for from him is a little run-hot from 3 and on the defensive end. Still, you could do worse than just pairing them together and getting lots of guard minutes against a terrible defense.
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Monta Ellis FD - $5600 DK - $5500
Opponent - ORL
Proj Pts FD - 29.89 DK - 31.47
Josh Richardson FD - $3800 DK - $4400
Opponent - SA
Proj Pts FD - 23.18 DK - 24.44
Two guys who you can only really consider if Dragic and George are missing again, but man can you consider them if that is the case. Both have back to back 5x+ points per dollar performances, and are priced to the point where they're nearly match-up proof at a value level. If you're picking one or the other, Ellis gets the tie-breaker thanks to a game that should stay a little closer and a better defensive match-up, but I'd be thrilled to roll with both assuming the increased opportunity remains.
Victor Oladipo FD - $5400 DK - $5400
Opponent - DET
Proj Pts FD - 29.49 DK - 31.51
Ahh, Victor Oladipo. What to do with this guy? As of this writing he's on pace for a solid if unspectacular 4.5x points per dollar in what should have been a good match-up with Orlando, and that might not be a sure thing. I wrote him up last night, and not a ton has changed since then - Oladipo is shooting more frequently than he did last year and he's playing more minutes. And he's cheaper! So what gives? Well he's certainly losing a few hustle rebounds to Russell Westbrook, and Westbrook's ball-dominant style stand to cost Dipo some assists - but I think he's still due for significant positive regression. Detroit is a slightly below average match-up on paper, but I think he matches up very well against KCP, who is a little undersized in this match-up. I think Oladipo is a solid double-up play if the key punts listed above don't come in.
Harrison Barnes FD - $6000 DK - $7100
Opponent - NY
Proj Pts FD - 34.29 DK - 35.68
Barnes has paid 8x, 6x, and 5.8x points per dollar in his last three starts, and will get arguably his best match-up during that time tonight against the Knicks. They've allowed the 5th most fantasy points per game to opposing small forwards this season, and Melo just seems uninterested in chasing high energy guys like Barnes around the perimeter. Barnes has added 8 minutes and 8 shots per game to last year's totals, and you could argue that he has room to grow in terms of both rebounds and steals. The other Dallas starters (minus Williams) will return here, but that really shouldn't hurt Barnes much at all. Seems like a fine play in any format.
Rondae Hollis-Jefferson FD - $4300 DK - $4400
Opponent - LAC
Proj Pts FD - 24.69 DK - 25.68
RHJ finally had the breakout game our line-up optimizer had been seeing in him, posting career highs in terms of both points (20) and rebounds (13) against the Suns. We can't get too carried away, of course - the Suns are an all world match-up thanks to their fast pace and lousy defense - but it's certainly a welcome sign from Hollis-Jefferson, who can disappear from time to time. We're now looking at 2 completely insane performances in his last 4, and 2 pretty mediocre performances. If the mediocre ones are his floor, though, Rondae will be worth more than this thanks to his obvious upside. The Clippers have been uncharacteristically tough against opposing small forwards this season, but they've frankly been tough against every position. They're still playing a league-average pace though, and if you think Hollis-Jefferson is more like a $5,000 player when he plays 30 minutes you can still feel confident deploying him here. Possible that he's best left for big tournaments, though.
C.J. Miles FD - $4400 DK - $5500
Opponent - ORL
Proj Pts FD - 27.79 DK - 30.14
Like Ellis above, Miles is a huge beneficiary of Paul George likely missing this one. He didn't quite get there against Boston, but that looks for all the world like a statistical aberration. It was his worst fantasy performance in 9 games in spite of it being his highest minute total. He'll likely line up against Jeff Green here, which is basically a league-average match-up. Like Ellis, this one is a lot less about match-up and more about opportunity.
Blake Griffin FD - $8700 DK - $8400
Opponent - BKN
Proj Pts FD - 44.67 DK - 46.2
I've been so scarred by some of the names I've had to enter at the power forward position recently that the names I see at the top of the list for tonight sort of give me chills. Blake's been fascinating to watch this season because he's basically reverted back to his Sophmore season, when he shot a little less, rebounded a little more, and played a little more defense. And the really interesting thing here is that his year to date totals have actually been depressed thanks to him losing minutes to the Clips frequent blowouts. Now let's be real, a blowout is absolutely in play here as well. But have you seen the big men the Nets are trotting out there this season? If the blowout comes to fruition, it's highly likely thanks to Blake running them out of the gym personally. The Nets have allowed the 3rd most fantasy points to opposing power forwards this season, and that should get even worse after tonight's game.
Anthony Davis FD - $11500 DK - $11300
Opponent - BOS
Proj Pts FD - 58.62 DK - 60.05
Can you pay up at both power forward slots? If some of the early punts come to fruition, it's highly possible. And who better to fill out your roster than Davis? He's setting career highs in minutes, shots, rebounds, free throws, steals, and blocks, and while the Pelicans are terrible, that's pretty meaningless to us. Davis' price is below where it can be, and will be a strong consideration in all but the worst match-ups. The Celtics have allowed the 10th most fantasy points to opposing power forwards, and they will continue to be without their only true interior stopper in Horford. Boston has slowed down to a league average pace this season, but that shouldn't stop Davis from continuing with his best statistical season yet.
Ryan Anderson FD - $5100 DK - $5600
Opponent - PHI
Proj Pts FD - 29.15 DK - 31.63
If you're looking for a high upside, more off the beaten path sort of play, I really love Ryan Anderson's upside tonight. Anderson has topped 6x points per dollar in 2 of his last 3 match-ups, and has set season highs in minutes in back to back games. If he's gaining the trust of the coaching staff (and James Harden), I highly suspect he'll be a $6,000 player in short order. It likely goes without saying, but the Sixers are a great match-up for power forwards of Ryan Anderson's ilk. Their bigs are almost all offense-first guys when Noel is out of the picture, and the last thing most of them are interested in doing is trying to close out on Anderson's perimeter shooting. Potentially a huge game here if Harden looks his way.
Kelly Olynyk FD - $4000 DK - $4800
Opponent - NO
Proj Pts FD - 30.46 DK - 32.5
Horford's stand-in has paid 7x points per dollar or better in 2 of his 3 starts this season (including his last 2) and gets and excellent match-up with the fast paced and bad Pelicans. It's just a broken price for Olynyk, though, who will cost $5k or more very shortly if Horford continues to miss time. Simply huge upside here, and 5x-6x points per dollar seems like his absolute floor right now.
Joel Embiid FD - $5400 DK - $6300
Opponent - HOU
Proj Pts FD - 34.97 DK - 36.15
Oh man, there are so many juicy cheap centers tonight that I'm not sure where to even begin. If super high floors are your thing, consider Embiid. He's one of the most exciting players in the NBA right now thanks to his outlier height and surprisingly polished offensive game. It's almost impossible to imagine him not getting Capela in early foul trouble, and he sure looks like an easy point per minute fantasy guy at the moment. His price is moving a little out of range on DraftKings, but given the relative lack of price movement on FanDuel it looks like he's in for another night of being one of the top owned centers.
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- Russell Westbrook: (AP Photo/Jeff Haynes)