Basketball Picks Daily Fantasy Expert Advice
Daily Fantasy NBA Basketball Picks for FanDuel and DraftKings - 11/22/16
Happy Tuesday, y'all! After a number of frenetic slates with late breaking news and tons of possible options, we settle into a decidedly smaller and hopefully more sane slate for Tuesday. Some solid big money options and some reasonable value options as well. Let's do this like Brutus.
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Russell Westbrook FD - $11800 DK - $12500
Opponent - LAL
Proj Pts FD - 56.66 DK - 61.47
It’s short slate so fitting in salaries like this isn’t always a piece of cake. But if there’s anyone to do it for, it’s Russ. Even at these exorbitant prices he’s actually still one of the top points/$ plays at point guard. That, my friends, is no easy feat. But this is Russ we’re talking about. He’s averaging a triple-double on the season (if we round up on the rebounds by .3) and chucks in the highest usage in the league at 40%. The Lakers, while an improving team, still play a top 5 pace and a bottom 5 defensive efficiency. There are times to fade Westbrook, but this short slate isn’t one of them. This games has the highest over/under at 221 and projects to stay close. All the Westbrook today.
Rajon Rondo FD - $5700 DK - $5600
Opponent - DEN
Proj Pts FD - 27.54 DK - 30.18
After Westbrook, point guard is actually pretty thin on this slate. Rondo hasn’t put up tons of fantasy production since coming to the Bulls from Sacramento, but in close games he’s played a great deal of minutes. And though the shooting hasn’t really been there (it never has been for the guy) he’s contributing enough assists and rebounds to generally pay off these prices. He’s averaging close to 9 assists per this season and has had a recent run of solid rebounding (about 5/ game on the season). He’s also struggling from the field and we could see regression on that front, though the season’s already getting a little long in the tooth. Denver’s a middle of the road defensive team this season and plays at about a league average pace. We should see a full strength Bulls team tonight and I think Rondo sees the minutes.
Also considered: Emmanuel Mudiay. The shooting is enough to drive a man to drink, and a coach as well. He has 6-7x points per dollar upside on his current prices, but he can disappear when he drives the Denver coaching staff crazy enough to cut his minutes. I like the above guys better for cash games, but Mudiay is definitely an option if that's how the money works out for you.
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Dwyane Wade FD - $6700 DK - $6000
Opponent - DEN
Proj Pts FD - 36.31 DK - 38.82
He’s made the transition over to Chicago smoothly and has even slightly modified his game in the process. Wade is averaging twice as many three pointers this season as a Bull (3.5 per game) than his entire career number (1.6 per game). And though he’s actually been good from beyond the arc (38%) it hasn’t necessarily translated to more points per minute for Wade. He’s running slightly less this year than last year in Miami. But he’s still a viable fantasy option tonight even on a relative minutes cap. He sat out on Sunday for maintenance so I’m not too terribly worried about the minutes getting buzzed here. And the amount of blowouts the Bulls played in early in the year (and even recently) has kept the price in check.
Victor Oladipo FD - $5900 DK - $6600
Opponent - LAL
Proj Pts FD - 30.51 DK - 33.14
There’s no issue in just rolling the backcourt for the Thunder tonight with Westbrook and Dipo. You’re still getting a discount on the latter considering some of his early season struggles from the field. But in the last four games he’s been a serious high volume shooter, averaging 17 looks per along with 6.5 attempts/ game from beyond the arc. He’s running a little hot on the latter, but that’s fine as it’s still built in to his price. I suspect you see Westbrook and Oladip as the chalk on both sites considering how much of the OKC shooting volume they’ve accounted for in the near term. The other plus for Oladipo of late is how he’s beginning to rebound and assist more than in the early season as he, presumably, gets more comfortable in the offense.
C.J. McCollum FD - $7500 DK - $7400
Opponent - NY
Proj Pts FD - 35.97 DK - 38.77
A fine third option if none oft he above guys suit your fancy, McCollum has regularly put up 35 fantasy points a game this season while flashing 50 fantasy point upside. His overall numbers look pretty similar to last year's, but he's shooting better from the field and from 3, and has actually been adding shots recently. The Knicks, meanwhile, have been a crime against humanity against shooting guards this season, as they are 2nd behind only the woeful Nuggets when it comes to allowing fantasy points to opposing shooting guards. I could endorse McCollum in any format.
Jimmy Butler FD - $8600 DK - $9200
Opponent - DEN
Proj Pts FD - 40.11 DK - 42.04
A slam dunk value guy even with Wade and Rondo likely active, Butler has maintained his role from previous seasons while padding his shooting percentage thanks to better spacing. We've written him up for several consecutive slates so there's really nothing new to analyze here except for the opponent. The Nuggets haven't been a fantastic match-up for opposing threes this season, but they've been generally bad on defense and I think they're due for some regression when it comes to totals allowed to small forwards. Gallinari doesn't have a reputation as a defensive stopper, and Butler should be a reasonable big money option on a slate without a ton of them.
Kent Bazemore FD - $4900 DK - $5500
Opponent - NO
Proj Pts FD - 23.8 DK - 25.67
Normally I'm a fan of Bazing less, but we're left without a lot of attractive options at the small forward position tonight. Bazemore's actually been pretty solid, though. He's a lock for his 30 minute rotation, and he's averaged 5x points per dollar with solid across-the-board production in his last 5 games. The Pelicans have allowed the 11th most fantasy points to opposing small forwards this season, and Baze looks for the most part like a solid way to escape a bad position cheaply.
Carmelo Anthony FD - $7900 DK - $7800
Opponent - POR
Proj Pts FD - 35.89 DK - 38.25
Chances are good it's going to be hard to fit Melo in if you want to play Butler as well, but there's a case to be made that he's a safer option on a points per dollar basis than Bazemore. Melo's cheaper than he was last season, but you could argue that he's been basically the same player on a per minute basis. Looking at game logs, it seems to me that the minutes have been mostly a fluke. When he's healthy he's been on a 35-38 minute rotation, and his shots really haven't suffered as a result of Derrick Rose coming to town. The Trail Blazers have basically been a league average match-up for opposing small forwards this season, so a solid if unspectacular performance from Melo is what we're forceasting here.
Kristaps Porzingis FD - $7200 DK - $7500
Opponent - POR
Proj Pts FD - 38.19 DK - 40.59
Porzingis has become something of a DFS darling thanks to his flashy upside, but what we're really buying here is the increased consistency in minutes. His excellent rebounding and scoring ability (combined with his role in the offense) lead to pretty regular points per minute performances, and the coaches seem to have finally realized that he can stomach an NBA workload. While he's becoming just a little bit on the pricy side, the real selling point here is the match-up. The Trailblazers allowed the absolute most fantasy points to opposing power forwards this season, and they really don't have anyone to match Porzingis' combination of size and finesse. He'll be hugely owned tonight.
Paul Millsap FD - $7600 DK - $7900
Opponent - NO
Proj Pts FD - 38.1 DK - 40.67
Like small forward it might be tough to get all big money options at this position, but Millsap is another excellent option here. Millsap has been serving up a regular diet of 5x points per dollar on these prices recently, and is still underpriced to where he's been historically when all things are clicking and his minutes are consistent. Millsap is playing a slightly larger role in the Atlanta offense after Horford's departure, adding to both his shots and assists per minute. The Pelicans, meanwhile, have continued their ongoing tradition of having a big name power forward who doesn't do anything to depress opposing fantasy totals. The Pels have allowed the 5th most fantasy points to opposing power forwards this season, and Millsap looks like an excellent option here.
Anthony Davis FD - $11800 DK - $11000
Opponent - ATL
Proj Pts FD - 56.23 DK - 58.39
Will Davis or Westbrook own the highest owned big money guy slot? Well, probably Westbrook. But it doesn't mean you shouldn't consider my brother from a different mother. Davis returned from his game off with a vengeance, averaging 38 and 13 with a smattering of complimentary stats as well. The issue here is the match-up - Millsap and the Hawks have been a bottom 5 match-up for opposing power forwards this season - so the real question is whether Davis is simply underpriced relative to what he's up to these days. We have mounting evidence that he's too cheap, but I'm not sure that will make enough of a difference for him to get the big money nod over Russ.
Robin Lopez FD - $4900 DK - $5300
Opponent - DEN
Proj Pts FD - 28.89 DK - 30.21
The Rolo train rolls on, baby! Lopez turned in another excellent points per dollar performance against the Lakers, supplying a steady 12/11/2/2 line that paid 6x points per dollar in spite of not even playing his full allotment of minutes. It was no fluke, either - he's paid nearly 6x points per dollar in 5 of his last 6 outings. It's another fine match-up here with Denver's offense first bigs, though they do reduce his upside somewhat thanks to their good rebounding ability.
Mason Plumlee FD - $5300 DK - $5600
Opponent - NY
Proj Pts FD - 29.27 DK - 30.75
Is it too offensive if I call him a poor man's Robin Lopez? Because that's sort of what he's been recently. He's been posting 5x points per dollar routinely, and put up 6x points per dollar against tough defenders in Demarcus Cousins as Omer Asik. The lack of reasonable big men in Portland mean Plumlee's minutes are nearly locked in, and the only risks to him on a nightly basis are foul trouble and blowouts. This game doesn't project to be out of hand, and while Porzingis can get opposing bigs in foul trouble, it's not enough to dissuade me from playing Plumlee here. It's not clear that you should bother since Lopez has been better on lower prices, but he's still a fine option if you don't trust Sideshow Rob for whatever reason.
Consider Dwight Howard, but I'm not sure it's where you should be spending up on such a shallow slate. Still, the back to back 40 fantasy point performances are fairly compelling. I don't really trust the minutes at this point, though.
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- Russell Westbrook: (AP Photo/Jeff Haynes)