Basketball Picks Daily Fantasy Expert Advice
Daily Fantasy NBA Basketball Picks for FanDuel and DraftKings - 12/30/16
Are the Brooklyn Nets this year's version of the perfect DFS matchup? It's starting to look that way considering how they're playing. With that in mind, you're going to see a theme with these picks. It's all Wiz baby!
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John Wall FD - $10000 DK - $10300
Opponent - BKN
Proj Pts FD - 50.2 DK - 53.35
When we're targeting DFS upside a general rule of thumb is play guys facing fast-paced, bad defensive teams. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the 2016-17 Brooklyn Nets. Remember a couple of years ago when we were playing everyone against the Sixers with a 101 PACE and 107 Def Eff? This season the Nets are at 104/108 respectively. Now, the pace of the league in general is way up, but the Nets rank off the charts with these stats. Wall's coming off a monster 36/9/11 line against the Pacers and would also see a decent usage boost if Bradley Beal were to sit with the ankle issue (which I think he will). Wall's on ball time is third in the league behind only Russ and Harden and healthily above Lillard. That stands to increase without Beal and either way this matchup is just made for DFS purposes.
Reggie Jackson FD - $5500 DK - $5700
Opponent - ATL
Proj Pts FD - 28.61 DK - 30.75
Before last game, R-Jax had logged 30 minutes a game on lock. But then against the Bucks last time out he ran 34 minutes including some time spent at the two guard. Jackson's third in the league in time of possession per touch and we'd been waiting for the minutes to uptick just a tad. It looks like that might be the case here and I think speculating on a 5-10% bump in court time is realistic. Atlanta's struggled on D of late and I think Jackson an excellent value up against Schroder.
Jrue Holiday FD - $7000 DK - $6300
Opponent - NY
Proj Pts FD - 34.29 DK - 36.59
The Pelicans are coming off a three game stretch of non-ideal DFS matchups in the Clippers, Mavs and Heat. That would go some way to explain Holiday's lack of production in the short term. Tonight they get the Knicks who are a bottom quarter defensive efficiency squad and about average against opposing point guards. I think you see Holiday's shots trend back to the mid teens in this matchup against Rose and company. Holiday plays a bit more off ball than most point guards but he's put up double digit assist numbers in two of his last four games. Look for him to put it all together tonight against the Knicks.
Giannis Antetokounmpo FD - $10300 DK - $9700
Opponent - MIN
Proj Pts FD - 50.9 DK - 53.03
Minnesota doesn't play fast, but they aren't a good defensive squad. They currently rank 26th in the league in team defense and are about league average in defending the SG/SF spot. Giannis is, of course, tough to lable for these purposes mostly because he's an unconventional player in general. What you love about ABC is his floor when the minutes are there. Unlike some other players in this price range, he doesn't rely as much on scoring, instead piling on rebounds, assists and more blocks than you'll see from most guard types. He's a slightly better deal on DK though he only qualifies as a PG over there. The Bucks are a one point favorite in a game with a 209 o/u. Should be enough scoring here and the game projects as close which helps Giannis on the minutes' front.
Josh Richardson FD - $4400 DK - $5000
Opponent - BOS
Proj Pts FD - 23.99 DK - 25.47
I think we can start considering Richardson a safer play at these prices. The wrist injury doesn't appear to be effecting his shots and his minutes are locked in to the 33+ range even with a fully healthy (outside of Waiters) backcourt. Last night he was one of the few bright spots for the Heat going 8-14 from the field, 3-5 from three on his way to a 20/4/2 line. He's a solid value play on FanDuel to fill a shooting guard slot which doesn't look all that robust tonight. On DK he provides multi-position eligibility for a little flexibility. That he sometimes runs the point while also transitioning to the two helps him stay on the court for longer stretches.
C.J. McCollum FD - $7100 DK - $8100
Opponent - SA
Proj Pts FD - 36.09 DK - 38.82
Allen Crabbe FD - $3700 DK - $4100
Opponent - SA
Proj Pts FD - 20.13 DK - 21.77
It doesn't look like Lillard is going to play tonight and the only thing keeping these two from being higher on the list (or even close to must plays) is the Spurs represent such a tough matchup. And that, in and of itself, is a major issue for this guard combo. But without their superstar, the Blazers have turned to these two to fill in much of the scoring gap. They were first and third on the team in shots against the Kings last game and should log minutes in the mid 30's if the game can stay close. Again, the risk here is just how good the Spurs are on defense.
Otto Porter FD - $5700 DK - $6100
Opponent - BKN
Proj Pts FD - 29.16 DK - 30.78
The same line of thinking for John Wall goes for Porter in terms of opponent (the Nets suck) and his projected usage bump were Beal to sit. Porter sees about a 30% bump in usage when Bradley's off the court and you can bet he's the cash game play if the Wiz are playing without their two guard. I'd be willing to play Porter even if Beal plays which tells you about the upside if not. Otto's greatly improved his three point shooting this season from 37% to 44%. He's taking less of them per minutes, but they are better looks and he's capitalizing. I suspect he's the chalk play on FanDuel though it's a little closer on DraftKings.
Wilson Chandler FD - $5700 DK - $5800
Opponent - PHI
Proj Pts FD - 29.8 DK - 31.86
The caveat, as always, with the Nuggets is you need to feel pretty confident with their minutes. That's never a sure thing with how Mike Malone plays fast and loose with his rotations. It's almost like an organizational philosophy with this club. But Chandler will see mid 30's minutes in the right game and Sixers are a bottom third defense who are allowing 5% more scoring than league average to the opposing small forward. Chandler took nine threes last game, an outlier of course, but he will chuck from time to time and has 13 or more shot attempts in four of his last five games. If you trust low-to-mid 30's run then he's safe to run out there in cash.
Andrew Wiggins FD - $6400 DK - $6500
Opponent - MIL
Proj Pts FD - 34.12 DK - 36.13
Dude's basically a lock for 36 minutes or above when the games stay close and if that's the case you're looking for him to score and score in bunches. Wiggins garners most of his fantasy production by putting the ball in the basket and if that shot isn't falling, then you could be in trouble. But over the last six he's basically putting up 20 shots per game and Milwaukee's allowing more than league average scoring to SG/ SF types.
Markieff Morris FD - $5100 DK - $5200
Opponent - BKN
Proj Pts FD - 26.83 DK - 28.65
The cavalcade of Wizards continues (and we aren't done yet) with Markieff who also, like his teammates has the dream matchup tonight. I don't need to keep going through why this is a spot to target Washington so I won't. I will say the reasons I usually might steer clear of Kieff (foul trouble and minutes' reduction) don't appear as big a risk tonight. He's been kind of doing an every other game thing in terms of destroying people's souls by riding the bench and this should be an on day. I'm obviously kidding with that being any kind of real thing to consider, but he gets to front Trevor Booker and would see a usage bump were Beal to sit.
Kristaps Porzingis FD - $7500 DK - $7400
Opponent - NO
Proj Pts FD - 36.19 DK - 38.33
For as good as Anthony Davis is, he and Pelicans struggle some in slowing down opposing power forwards. They are particularly susceptible on the glass where they are allowing well above average rebounds to opposing big men. Zinger's generally seeing 36 or so minutes in close games and averaging a 20/8/1/2 (blocks) line over his last five and that's including a couple of random minutes downgrades with an injury against the Magic. He's a full go here in an excellent matchup for opposing big men. Porzingis is a top 20 forward in terms of usage this season and is near the top of the league among qualified power forwards in the three point shooting. The price is down a little on FanDuel and he's a solid value on both sites.
Jabari Parker FD - $7100 DK - $7200
Opponent - MIN
Proj Pts FD - 35.53 DK - 37.1
As I mentioned with Giannis, Minnesota is a below average defensive team on the season and where they've struggled in particular is allowing opposing power forwards to score. Fours are scoring 5% more than league average against the Wolves and Parker could see a lot of volume in this game. He's put up 18 or more shots in four of his last five games for an average 25/7/4 line. The minutes are sometimes an issue but he's been hitting value even in games with less run. This is thanks to the increased shooting opportunities, especially from behind the arc. Tonight offers a lot of chances to get mid tier value and Parker is just another example.
Strongly consider paying up for Anthony Davis against the Knicks
Joel Embiid FD - $6800 DK - $7300
Opponent - DEN
Proj Pts FD - 36.88 DK - 38.81
He's back. After sitting the front end of the back-to-back against the Jazz (choosing to avoid Gobert maybe) Embiid takes on a Denver defense that while worse than Utah, is still above average in defending the center position. I don't know if Okafor will sit this side of the b2b but that would only boost my opinion of Embiid. With the minutes up in the 28-29 range and a slight dip in price even after his last two games which same him average 26/8/1/2 lines against the Suns and Kings. Embiid is still a crazy high usage dude, ranking third overall in the league only after Russ and Boogie. I love the price on FanDuel and this he's safe for cash even with the minutes restriction. It's a little close on DraftKings.
Marcin Gortat FD - $6200 DK - $6300
Opponent - BKN
Proj Pts FD - 31.67 DK - 33.07
Brooklyn's bad, Wiz are good plays, yada, yada, yada. I really don't have any new ways to reformulate the same words. Gortat is a play tonight for all the same reasons his teammates are in good spots. On FanDuel I think you can legit consider starting all four of them if Beal were to sit. There's plenty of floor against the Nets in that scenario and they'd represent such a significant part of the Wiz's 115 implied points going in. Gortat is also one of the rare centers in the league who plays big minutes.
Consider Joakim Noah if you think his minutes stick in the high 20's/ low 30's