Basketball Picks Daily Fantasy Expert Advice
Daily Fantasy NBA Basketball Picks for FanDuel and DraftKings - 1/2/17
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John Wall FD - $9700 DK - $10100
Opponent - HOU
Proj Pts FD - 46.54 DK - 49.6
Wall tops our point guard section today for a couple of reasons. He's been paying this price recently in basically league average match-ups thanks to Bradley Beal's absence and his increased usage, even in reduced minutes in the Nets game. With Beal out Wall is basically a one man band, scoring most of the team's points while assisting on the others. Houston is not normally a stellar match-up for opposing point guards, except that, as of this writing it looks like Patrick Beverley will miss this game. The other defensive options in Houston are pretty much terrible, and Wall should be able to thrive in a fast paced game.
Kemba Walker FD - $7400 DK - $7900
Opponent - CHI
Proj Pts FD - 37.05 DK - 39.32
Walker is one of the unsung DFS heroes of the season, returning solid cash game value on these prices routinely while going largely unnoticed. He's coming off of a 46 fantasy point performance against Cleveland, and gets a significantly better match-up here with MCW and the Bulls. Carter-Williams generally switches from indifference to over-enthusiasm (leading to gambling mistakes), and the cagey Walker should be perfectly poised to take advantage. While this situation is similar to Wall's in that MCW is a worse defender than Rondo, Walker's ceiling is still somewhat limited by Chicago's slow pace. Still, he should have a high enough floor for your cash game purposes.
Brandon Jennings FD - $4000 DK - $4300
Opponent - ORL
Proj Pts FD - 26.83 DK - 29.29
Malcolm Brogdon FD - $4300 DK - $5100
Opponent - OKC
Proj Pts FD - 26.41 DK - 28.23
I'm sort of burying the lead at point guard by listing these guys at the end, to be honest. If both of them wind up starting Monday they'll be nearly mandatory cash game inclusions, as they averaged 11 times their salaries in their last games as starters. Now neither is a sure thing for the starting lineup as of this writing, but if the yget the nod, they're basically match-up proof on these prices. And the match-ups are nothing to sneeze at, either - both the Thunder and the Magic have allowed top 10 fantasy totals to opposing point guards this season. Please, don't set any lineups without double checking to see if these guys are starting tonight.
James Harden FD - $11300 DK - $12400
Opponent - WAS
Proj Pts FD - 55.56 DK - 60
Harden casually dropped a week's worth of stats on the Knicks, putting up 53/16/17 without the benefit of overtime. That's pretty good, if you're new to this whole DFS thing. Harden has pretty firmly established himself as the main contender to Russell Westbrook's fantasy supremacy, and we get him at a solid discount against the Wizards on account of their being a bit above average against opposing shooting guards this season. There's just one wrinkle - those stats were put up against Bradley Beal, who is well regarded as an excellent defender. The back-ups Harden will face here (like McClellan) have no such reputation, and even if Beal plays, he'll be on one ankle. It's hard to imagine Harden being anything other than stone cold chalk tonight.
Klay Thompson FD - $6500 DK - $6600
Opponent - DEN
Proj Pts FD - 33.06 DK - 35.9
Klay warrants an inclusion here, even if there's a ton of minutes based risk in a potential blowout. He's paid 5x+ points per dollar in each of his last three match-ups, but he also played above average minutes (compared to his season totals) in each of those, and that might be dicey against this Denver team. If the game stays close, though, Klay has a real shot at greatness. Denver has allowed the very most fantasy points to opposing shooting guards this season, and Klay should be prominently featured as a result.
Jamal Crawford FD - $4400 DK - $4700
Opponent - PHO
Proj Pts FD - 24.77 DK - 26.75
There's a whole crew of these cheaper shooting guards that have had poor short term results but who are in excellent opportunities, and Crawford tops my personal list. I like Crawford best here, because his stat lines look a little misleading. He's been bad, yes, but the 5/29 shooting streak he's been on in the last 4 games is nowhere near representative of what he should do going forward. Phoenix, of course, is an excellent match-up to start getting back on track. They play the second fastest pace in the league, and aren't always attentive around the perimeter. I still have faith as long as no one returns for the Clips.
Also considered: Rodney Hood and Jodie Meeks, in the "opportunity is there but they haven't performed" category.
If Kyrie and JR Smith are both out again, Jordan McRae would be something like a must start.
Jimmy Butler FD - $8300 DK - $8700
Opponent - CHA
Proj Pts FD - 43.41 DK - 45.36
Butler's usage has gone up dramatically with Rondo sidelined all season long, and with Rondo seemingly stuck on Hoiberg's naughty list, I believe we're seeing Butler at his lowest prices for the rest of the season. Butler has averaged 50 fantasy points per game in his last 3 contests with Rondo's new role, and he'll get his best match-up in that time here against Charlotte. They've been sneaky terrible against opposing small forwards all season, allowing the 6th most fantasy points to opposing threes this year. Get while the getting is good on Butler, because I don't think it's going to last much longer.
Gordon Hayward FD - $7700 DK - $8100
Opponent - BKN
Proj Pts FD - 38.8 DK - 41.08
Hayward is one of the more boring daily fantasy commodities going at the moment thanks largely to his relatively fair price. He was an $8,000 player last year, his situation hasn't changed much, and he's still pretty much an $8,000 player. But there's slightly more to the story, here. First of all, Hayward has posted marginal improvements in three key areas - shots per game, FG%, and rebounds per game. No big gains anywhere, but just enough to move the needle. And, quietly, his situation has changed just enough as well. Favors is playing fewer minutes, and Hill has been hurt. Even still, this isn't a sickly low price for him or anything, so we need to find a good match-up to feel good about playing him. Well, there's good news here - this is one of those match-ups. The Nets have been a crime against humanity against opposing small forwards this season, allowing the 2nd most fantasy points to opposing small forwards this season. I love Hayward's floor, even if I'm not thrilled by the ceiling here.
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist FD - $4700 DK - $4600
Opponent - CHI
Proj Pts FD - 26.51 DK - 27.55
Aaron Gordon FD - $4100 DK - $4800
Opponent - NY
Proj Pts FD - 21.72 DK - 22.8
The opposites of Gordon Hayward, basically. These guys have all the ceiling in the world, and have both recently put up 6x+ points per dollar on these prices. But it's not all rainbows, unfortunately. Gordon's minutes have been a roller coaster ride, and MKG hasn't been a consistent enough scorer to reliably top 25 fantasy points per game. I'd call Kidd-Gilchrist the safer of the two here, though I believe Gordon possesses the upside of a $6,500 player in his current situation.
If Kyrie is out, LeBron is a stellar play once again.
Jabari Parker FD - $7100 DK - $7300
Opponent - OKC
Proj Pts FD - 37.08 DK - 38.78
As usual, power forward is something of a nightmare today. Thankfully we can still squeeze a little bit of value out of Jabari Parker. Let's take a minute and thank Jabari for being one of the bright value spots of 2016 - he added a full 5 shots per game while also increasing his field goal percentage and rebounding, and the price has only recently reached fair status on him. And, yes, he's no longer a tremendous value independent of match-up, but OKC has been a top ten match-up for power forwards all season, and at his current minutes it's hard to imagine Parker not having an excellent floor tonight.
Enes Kanter FD - $5400 DK - $5300
Opponent - MIL
Proj Pts FD - 30.52 DK - 31.86
Kanter is a funny guy to recommend here, because I almost never recommend players off the bench. But Kanter is no average bench player. First of all, the post-Durant Kanter has been firmly established as a fantasy point per minute guy - a super rare commodity in DFS, and especially rare in players under $6,000. Kanter also plays a position that's riddled with uncertainty, and helps you escape the position cheaply. He's flirted with 6x points per dollar in 5 of his last 6 games, and is getting a lot of cash game consideration on FanDuel in particular. And, he's a bench guy. Still, in a league average match-up with the Bucks, I could see Kanter doing some work here.
Kevin Love FD - $8400 DK - $8800
Opponent - NO
Proj Pts FD - 46.11 DK - 49.15
This play gets decidedly better if Kyrie is missing this one, but Love is still playable regardless. He's kind of like a rich man's Gordon Hayward from a DFS perspective, but the Cavs' tendency to blow teams out leaves his minutes a little more erratic than you'd like at these price points. Now this game doesn't rate to be especially close, but if it gets out of hand, the data suggests that Love will likely have a big hand in it. The Pelicans have allowed the 4th most fantasy points to opposing power forwards this season, and I believe Love will be actively involved regardless of the game script.
Montrezl Harrell FD - $4600 DK - $5100
Opponent - WAS
Proj Pts FD - 31.29 DK - 32.36
Not a whole lot to say about Harrell. He's made the most of his opportunity since being thrust into the starting line-up, and has been rewarded with more minutes all while his price has barely climbed on FanDuel. He's getting a little pricey for his production on DraftKings, but to be honest, I think he's still a great value. Here's the thing - Harden isn't going to grab every rebound and score every point every game. Harrell might not be the 40+ fantasy point player he was two games ago, but a happy medium between that and his 23 point performance seems likely to me. If he settles in at a 30+ fantasy point player, you'd better believe that his price will continue to climb. It's not a great match-up against Gortat, but it's far from a stay away given his price.
Joakim Noah FD - $4500 DK - $4800
Opponent - ORL
Proj Pts FD - 27.81 DK - 29.17
Talk about a guy whose price is set to climb. Noah has two 40+ fantasy point performances in each of his last two games, and with Anthony and Porzingis battling injuries, I have no reason to believe that won't continue on Monday. Just when it looked like Noah had lost too many steps, he's out there getting 12-16 rebounds in some games, screaming like an animal, and looking like he just won the National Championship for the Gators. Sure, he's doing it for a hopeless team in meaningless games, but we certainly don't care for our DFS purposes. I love Noah's ceiling, and feel like he has a much higher floor than many do in spite of his 10 point performance against the Pelicans.
Also considered:Robin Lopez.
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