Basketball Picks Daily Fantasy Expert Advice
Daily Fantasy NBA Picks for FanDuel and DraftKings - 12/7/16
It's a huge Wednesday in the NBA highlighted by the Warriors and Clippers showdown at the very end of the slate. That game alone should make it worth it. But there's plenty of other NBA action to whet your collective whistle on.
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Goran Dragic FD - $7000 DK - $7300
Opponent - ATL
Proj Pts FD - 44.58 DK - 46.96
Tyler Johnson FD - $5200 DK - $5200
Opponent - ATL
Proj Pts FD - 33.97 DK - 35.65
The Heat have exactly two guys capable of dribbling the ball up the court and creating their own shot. These are the two. With Dion Waiters, Josh Richardson, Justise Winslow, and others all injured, Miami is so very thin in the backcourt. Both of these guys are in line for major minutes again even on the back-to-back. The Hawks aren't a great matchup with Atlanta rating out as one of the better defensive teams in the league (2nd in defensive efficiency) but the expected minutes are just too robust for these two. Dragic went nuts last night against the Knicks with a 29/7/4 line that more than paid. He'll be in line for similar minutes tonight. Johnson played 36 minutes and was in plenty of 3 guard sets for Miami. Both of them have higher floors tonight.
Chris Paul FD - $9100 DK - $8800
Opponent - GS
Proj Pts FD - 44.44 DK - 46.86
Well this will be the game of the night. A reason to stay up until the wee hours of the morning (for me at least) and a possible early look at the Western Conference Finals. (Sure, I'm looking way, way ahead.) This game has an over/under of 224, the highest of the night, and projects to stay close with GSW only -4 going in. Paul should see his full allotment of minutes in an important game for the Clippers. His per minute stats are down a tad this year compared to last, but I think we are getting a deal on him here because the Clips have been involved in a ton of blowouts this season. That's kept his minutes in check. Not a bargain necessarily, but this game's pace should help his volume.
Consider Jordan Clarkson against the Rockets
Giannis Antetokounmpo FD - $10200 DK - $9800
Opponent - POR
Proj Pts FD - 51.94 DK - 54.15
He got into foul trouble early against the Spurs last game which spelled the end of his minutes' upside. And even with the run buzzed off some he managed a 22/11/2 line with some D stats thrown in. Giannis is labeled as a PG on DK and a SG on FD, but the truth is somewhere in between and outside of those bounds. He's a non-traditional, hybrid type of player who rotates among a variety of positions almost on a possession-by-possession basis. But what he is doing is getting shots up in this offense and contributing with every fantasy stat you need. The Blazers don't have a great way to matchup here and he's a fantastic play considering Vegas has the Bucks with one of highest implied totals on the night. He's close to an "every lineup" guy for me on FD considering SG is always on the weaker side. It's a little closer on DK where there is some more PG value.
Louis Williams FD - $6100 DK - $6100
Opponent - HOU
Proj Pts FD - 30.68 DK - 32.94
Man I hate playing guys who come off the bench, but it's hard to argue with what Lou-Will's doing here for the Lakers. With D'Angelo Russell and Swaggy P sidelined, Sweet Lou's chucked up 20 and 27 shots respectively over the last two games. That kind of usage is basically unheard of from dudes coming off the pine (he's not even the 6th man, that's Clarkson. The Lakers are impossible to figure out from a DFS perspective.) I want to trust he sees minutes here in a game where the Lakers might be playing catch up and need Lou's scoring. But it's far from a a lock and that's a little scary considering he's up over $6K on both sites. There's a lot of ways for that to go wrong. But man, the shot volume and the opponent make it enticing.
Will Barton FD - $6000 DK - $6200
Opponent - BKN
Proj Pts FD - 29.5 DK - 31.53
I like my Will Barton's in the starting lineup and not coming off the bench. The biggest issue with Barton last season was just not knowing his run because he came in as the sixth man and that could mean high variance in his minutes. That hasn't been as big a concern this season for Barton when he's running with the first unit. If you can get him in the mid 30's of run and high teens in terms of shot volume then he's an excellent cash game play even in the $6K range. Barton's not a prototypical two in that he's active around the other parts of the game with rebounding and whatnot. The Nets aren't a good defensive team and the Nuggets have a fantastic implied total tonight.
Harrison Barnes FD - $6400 DK - $6500
Opponent - SAC
Proj Pts FD - 35.25 DK - 36.79
Without Dirk this has really become Barnes' team. He's averaging more than twenty shots a game over his last five and those have come against some slower/ defensively-minded teams like the Spurs and Hornets. Tonight he gets the Kings, a bottom third squad on the D end. Barnes has become a high volume shooter while also keeping the rebounding numbers on the positive side. His price really hasn't caught up for this kind of opportunity in the offense and he's shooting over 40% from three in the short term. He's a fantastic cash game play because of the minutes with the Mavs rotating him between the three and four without Dirk. I suspect he's a popular play tonight.
LeBron James FD - $9600 DK - $9900
Opponent - NY
Proj Pts FD - 48.08 DK - 51.36
Bron went through a rough patch over the last couple weeks but bounced back some against the Raptors on Monday with a 34/8/7 line against the Raptors in a game where the Cavs woke back up after three straight losses. You never "need" a win at this time of year, but Cleveland definitely helped themselves by getting off the schnide. This is classic Lebron where he "wakes up" and puts the team on his back and I suspect it continues tonight with them heading to Madison Square Garden. The Knicks don't have many ways to matchup here athletically and Lebron has a fantastic floor for his price. He's still a value on FanDuel and the multi-position eligibility makes him attractive on DraftKings as well.
Brandon Ingram FD - $4000 DK - $4500
Opponent - HOU
Proj Pts FD - 23.39 DK - 25.57
Thabo Sefolosha FD - $4100 DK - $4100
Opponent - MIA
Proj Pts FD - 22 DK - 23.21
I'm putting these guys together as cheaper options who don't have fantastic ceilings. Thabo got the start last game, replacing Kyle Korver with the varsity squad presumably to add even more defense to the first unit. He played big minutes and was able to hit value on the back of his defensive hounding. He had a well-rounded 6/3/2/4/2 line which doesn't look all that impressive but if he can hit an extra three then you are at value on his prices.
Meanwhile, Ingram had seen major minutes with a thin Laker backcourt but saw some of it buzzed off in slower matchups against the Grizz and Jazz. Tonight the Rockets offer a big pace upgrade and they could definitely use his scoring in trying to play catchup.
Blake Griffin FD - $9400 DK - $8600
Opponent - GS
Proj Pts FD - 46.31 DK - 49.65
For many of the same reasons as Chris Paul, this is a great spot for Blake tonight. The price is kept in check because the Clips haven't played a ton of close games this season and he hasn't had to play a ton of minutes. But tonight that might get thrown out the window. I could see him with run close to 40 if the game stays close and that's a great time to buy. His per minute stats are right in line with last season with the rebounds up just a tick. Blake's making an effort to shoot the occasional three but everything else he does is just historic Griffin. That's good news and I'm fine running him out in nearly all cash lineups tonight.
Julius Randle FD - $6100 DK - $6000
Opponent - HOU
Proj Pts FD - 30.21 DK - 33.54
Man do I ever wish we could trust the 37 minutes from last game, but we simply can't. The reality's more in the low 30's range and that makes the decisions on Randle much close. He's a fantastic talent who can score and rebound while he also molds himself into one of the better interior passers in the game. But he falls victim to the same problem as most of the Lakers in that Luke Walton doesn't play set rotations. You'd think Randle's athleticism would keep him on the court in an up-and-down game against the Rockets. But there are some blowout concerns. He's a solid tournament option who's butting up against cash game value.
Jabari Parker FD - $6600 DK - $6500
Opponent - POR
Proj Pts FD - 34.09 DK - 35.59
The Blazers have struggled all year to defend the power forward position. They're getting Aminu back healthy which should help, but in general this is a team without much size on the defensive end. Parker can score when given the opportunity and is tied with Giannis for the team lead in field goal attempts per game. Between the two they are basically crushing everyone else in usage. You'd like him to rebound the position a little better which does hold him back some in the value department. But this is a great matchup and Jabari's price is held in check by not getting on the glass as much as he should.
Hassan Whiteside FD - $8900 DK - $9200
Opponent - ATL
Proj Pts FD - 46.01 DK - 49.26
Much the same reasoning behind Dragic and Johnson, Whiteside is a guy in line for a ton of minutes mostly because the Heat are so very thin in their personnel. He's coming off a 38 minutes game last night, but the Heat really can't afford to manage minutes on the back-to-back tonight. He went 23/14 last night and is a basically a lock for a double-double every night. He's averaging close to 15 rebounds per game and his usage goes up rather significantly with guys like Waiters and Winslow off the court. The matchup against Dwight Howard and the Hawks isn't amazing, but few other superstar types are locked into as many minutes as Whiteside.
John Henson FD - $4700 DK - $4700
Opponent - POR
Proj Pts FD - 28.46 DK - 29.77
The Bucks' minutes situation can be fluid in the best of times and maddening in the worst. So trusting the recent run of a guy like Henson isn't necessarily the safest thing in the world. We are once bit and twice shy on Bucks in the past so locking him into 25+ minutes could be a fool's errand. But he's been there in the starting lineup over the last two weeks and in that time is averaging a 13/7 line. Those numbers are excellent even with the price increase. I get a little concerned when Henson has to face imposing big men on the other side, but Portland doesn't have a ton of offensive size in guys like Plumlee and Ed Davis.