Basketball Picks Daily Fantasy Expert Advice

James Davis

Daily Fantasy NBA Basketball Picks for FanDuel and DraftKings - 1/9/17

Well, it was a lovely weekend in DFSR land. My Steelers won, Doug's Giants lost, football lineups did great, and as of now we're fading Derrick Favors, who was a 63% start and has negative points after a quarter. And, yes, I'm writing this specifically to jinx our chances for the rest of the night.

Monday is a super tiny slate - just 3 games - but that doesn't mean we can't find a little value, so let's get to work.

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Point Guard

Jrue HolidayJrue Holiday FD - $6900 DK - $6600
Opponent - NY
Proj Pts FD - 33.81 DK - 36.18
Back to back rough games for Holiday owners, but there's a lot to like here, at least relative to the competition. The first thing is the minutes - Holiday is on a pretty strict 35 minute rotation unless the game is truly out of hand, and Vegas has this one separated by just 4 points. Prior to those last two games, Holiday had been paying off 5x points per dollar on the regular, and he never had as good a match-up in any of those games as he has here. The Knicks have allowed the 4th most fantasy points per game to opposing point guards in their last 10 games, and Holiday should give their offensively minded back-court fits here.

Russell WestbrookRussell Westbrook FD - $12400 DK - $13000
Opponent - CHI
Proj Pts FD - 56.67 DK - 60.54
Westbrook doesn't get top billing simply because it will be hard to pay up for him tonight. He's brushing up against being too expensive as it is, and on a short slate, you might simply not e able to find the savings you need at other positions tonight. There's a chance you can go double cheap at shooting guard or something, but it won't be easy. As for Westbrook himself, the Bulls have been absolutely abysmal against opposing point guards this season, allowing the very most fantasy points to opposing PGs on the year. It's a little tricky, though, because most of that was under Rondo's not-so-watchful eye. They're probably a better defensive team without him, but it's hard to quantify on such a small sample size. All that being said, you should probably look out for Westbrook to be a chalk cash game play once again.

Deron WilliamsDeron Williams FD - $5900 DK - $5600
Opponent - MIN
Proj Pts FD - 27.79 DK - 30.05
PG gets thin fast. I can't say I love playing Williams here, but it might be a necessary evil if you don't feel like you can afford Westbrook. It's mostly a process of elimination, here. MCW, Rose, and Rubio all have serious performance issues on their prices, and by process of elimination you're sort of left with D-Will. He hasn't exactly been a revelation himself, but he's got a few recent 5x points per dollar performances on his resume, which is more than the rest can boast. I actually like him a bit here against Rubio and the Timberwolves as well. They've been tough on opposing point guards overall, but I think Williams' strength and cunning are a bad match-up for Rubio, who is weaker and prone to gambling. I'm not saying I'd be thrilled to jam him in here, but hey, you get what you get.


Shooting Guard

Victor OladipoVictor Oladipo FD - $5900 DK - $6300
Opponent - CHI
Proj Pts FD - 26.47 DK - 28.52
Oladipo has 4 straight games of almost exactly 5x points per dollar on this FanDuel price, and he'll carry that solid-if-not-spectacular streak into tonight's game with the Bulls. This is a very weird match-up, because normally you'd assume he'd draw Jimmy Butler and be in store for a rather rough night. But the smart money is on Butler tracking Westbrook, which would leave Oladipo with a far inferior defender. It still won't be a great match-up on account of Chicago's slow pace, but I still think the floor is there if you want to run him out.

Buddy HieldBuddy Hield FD - $4100 DK - $4400
Opponent - NY
Proj Pts FD - 22.08 DK - 24.47
Courtney LeeCourtney Lee FD - $4100 DK - $4100
Opponent - NO
Proj Pts FD - 19.59 DK - 20.98
I lump these two together for price reasons, but you'll play them for very different types of contests. I like Lee for your cash games - an cheap, efficient way to escape a rough position somewhat cheaply. He's been playing consistent minutes since returning from injury, and putting up a steady diet of 4.5x-5x points per dollar. Hield is like his high upside brother from a different mother. To give you an idea of how he compares to Lee, in his last 4 games he has 2 games better than Lee's best recent game and 2 games worse than Lee's worst recent game. Both of these guys have great match-ups with one another, so be sure to deploy them in their appropriate formats!

Zach LaVineZach LaVine FD - $6400 DK - $6700
Opponent - DAL
Proj Pts FD - 28.55 DK - 31.16
LaVine is the Buddy Hield to Oladipo's Courtney Lee, which is to say, he's the mid-range priced guy who could absolutely go off or disappear completely. If you get the 6x points per dollar you got against Utah or Philly you're winning big tournaments, and if you get the 2.5x that he put up against Washington and Portland you're losing cash games. Not an enviable spot. The Mavs are a below league average match-up here, but that doesn't stop LaVine from having big time upside. He's put up some of his biggest games in the weirdest spots (the recent Utah game being a fine example), and he could be a nice way to get separation from the field tonight. He also plays huge minutes (like everyone on the Wolves), which might actually make his floor higher than his recent flubs would suggest.

Small Forward

Jimmy ButlerJimmy Butler FD - $9600 DK - $9300
Opponent - OKC
Proj Pts FD - 44.09 DK - 45.89
Butler is the headlining small forward for us tonight in spite of his rising price for two reasons. First, there are just not many options here whatsoever. The next is that he's added a ton of usage with Rondo off the court this season. While his current price represents something like fair value, there's som chance we haven't seen his price peak just yet. I'm going to write this several times tonight, but this isn't a good match-up, so there's no sure things here. Still, Butler has averaged 23 shots in his last 3 games, 6 higher than his season average, and that's what passes for value on a slate like this.

Andrew WigginsAndrew Wiggins FD - $6400 DK - $6500
Opponent - DAL
Proj Pts FD - 30.36 DK - 32.28
Wiggins' game log looks a lot like these other inconsistent fellas, but I think ther'es more safety here than meets the eye at first blush. He's locked into 38+ minutes per night, and had been paying these prices reliably until the recent dip. Wiggins is a classic case of the DFS community not adjusting to incremental across the board improvements - he's improved in basically every DFS relevant category - all while adding a little bit of playing time each game. And this is a bad match-up for opposing small forwards. If you're playing hthis slate, expect variance for miles.

Also considered: Carmelo Anthony, though his stock is going down with Porzingis and Rose both playing full minutes loads now.

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Power Forward

Anthony DavisAnthony Davis FD - $11100 DK - $11100
Opponent - NY
Proj Pts FD - 53.17 DK - 55.11
I think Davis settles in as my favorite big money play of the night, which might leave Westbrook on the outside looking in. It's weird to say that he was "only good" against the Knicks from a fantasy perspective in their last meeting considering he put up 18 rebounds, but a slightly reduced minutes load kept him just short of greatness. The rebounds are really what you want to key in on here. 18 boards in 34 minutes is other-worldly, and it's worth noting that the Knicks' front court was playing at full strength in that one. Adding 4 more minutes (which is very reasonable to expect here) makes Davis a clearly elite play, and on a night without many of them, I suspect that makes him a cash game staple.

Gorgui DiengGorgui Dieng FD - $5500 DK - $5700
Opponent - DAL
Proj Pts FD - 28.02 DK - 29.62
All the Minnesota guys are playing big league minutes right now, and Dieng is no exception. When things are reasonably close he plays 37+ minutes, and he's paid 5x-6x points per dollar in 6 of his last 7 match-ups. For the 100th time tonight this is no great match-up, but we're taking the minutes and opportunity safety of Dieng for cash games regardless.

Nikola MiroticNikola Mirotic FD - $4500 DK - $4700
Opponent - OKC
Proj Pts FD - 22.65 DK - 24.66
A little upside for your big tournaments for sure, but there might be more safety here than there appears to be at first glance. Mirotic has average 27.5 minutes a game since Christmas, and has only dipped below 20 fantasy points twice since returning from injury in December. He's still priced like a back-up for obvious reasons, but the performance justifies the price and then some. I also like him against OKC for a less obvious reason - they're a very top heavy team, and their second unit is abysmal defensively. Mirotic will likely draw a large dose of Enes Kanter here, who simply can't hope to trail him on the perimeter. I love his upside, and don't mind his floor to be perfectly honest.


Joakim NoahJoakim Noah FD - $4900 DK - $4900
Opponent - NO
Proj Pts FD - 28.29 DK - 29.91
At center you're basically deciding between spending up for towns or going cheap with Noah, and as of this writing, I'm leaning toward going cheap. I'm not too spooked by the minutes in the last two games. He fouled out of one, and the Knicks got blown out in the other. In a game that rates to be much closer, I think we can rely on him for high 20s minutes here. Recently, that's all Noah has needed to pay as much as 6x points per dollar on these prices. There's obviously a decent amount of risk if the Knicks decide they'd prefer to see one of the league's most annoying players on the bench for larger stretches of time, but I'm actually fine with taking the risk if it means we can pay up for a premium guy elsewhere.

Karl-Anthony TownsKarl-Anthony Towns FD - $9200 DK - $8900
Opponent - DAL
Proj Pts FD - 43.93 DK - 46.22
To be honest, though, a lot of folks are going to see this as a potential spot where you can pay up. Like the rest of his teammates, Towns is playing huge minutes very consistently. And like a lot of his teammates, he's slightly overpriced at the moment thanks to his huge minutes. If you're paying up for Towns tonight you're acknowledging that Bogut is a pretty rough match-up, but tolerating it because Towns is cheaper than some other superstar options and he plays as many or more minutes than the rest of them. Me? I'll probably just go with Noah and take the upside of Davis.



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21 Visitor Comments

  1. So you guys recommend Favors and then fade him… that’s not very nice. Cost me a cool $100.

  2. NBA lineup lock rule: In early $3 NBA sharpshooter yesterday, 29.99% or 820 people had Greek Freak in their lineup only to receive zero points due to this crazy lineup lock rule now used by draftkings. I encourage everyone to send them a request to change this rule back to the old rule.

    • I sent them a message about that and they say it’s to let people enjoy the games and not worry about changing their line-ups. I call BS!! It;s better to change the rules and let people play a $10,000 player which means the rest of your team is dead? I think they know when a player is scratched before the rest of us and pass on that info to who they can profit from.

  3. Play Yahoo Fantasy, no lockup, 10 max lineups. I like playing against real players, not 150 computer generated lineups.

    • Ditto…I know this is a free service (thank you), but since I play exclusively on Yahoo, it makes gauging this advice challenging at times, still…no complaints.

      Having the options to swap out (no locks) is huge.

  4. May very well try that if they don’t change this stupid rule.

  5. I also got burned by the lock out. Talked to representative , guess they couldnt afford to refund 5.00. How much do they make?

    • Are you telling me you called a rep at FD or Dk because 1 of your players got scratched in your $5 contest and you wanted a refund? The websites have no control over who plays in the games. Guys get sick or injured or rain delays or ice storms like in Portland the other night. Checking NBA lineups 15 minutes before lock time will help immensely the rest is just part of the daily fantasy experience. It has happened to us all and it will happen again. Don’t complain about it. It can actually become a benefit to those who pay attention. Good luck out there

  6. DraftKings and fan duel aren’t profitable yet.

  7. I checked my lineup 5 minutes before first game time and he hadn’t been ruled out? My issue is why change the rule just for basketball? If you wanna throw your money away go ahead. Are you telling me the majority of players wanted that rule changed? Who is this site for? And who do you work for?

  8. My whole point exactly. Previous lineup lock rule was fine. Don’t mind losing when fair, but absolutely no sense to have this new lineup lock rule. I bet if SaahilSud, Notorious, or some of those big guys lost $50,000 or so due to this issue and complained, they might fix it. Not asking for a refund on my end, just fair lineup lock. Not locking lineup at 7 on 10 oclock games, that is nuts.

  9. they cant change it back because draftking merged with fanduel thats part of the agreement.

  10. Amen Richard!!!! I had Gianni’s and checked 1min before lock and he was still not ruled out. I lost $100. I ain’t tripping though because it has helped me before by not having a guy that was a scratch. Is the same rules for everyone that plays so u just gotta deal with it because it ain’t changing. The NBA requested that DK change rule and they really don’t have a choice if they wanna keep offering NBA daily games.

  11. I’m with Big Al. Once you submit your lineup doesn’t mean your work is done. I always check 10 minutes before start time to see if there are any changes. If a West Coast player is questionable or a GTD, then you start him at YOUR risk, no the risk of the site. I have been burned a million times by last minute scratches, it’s all part of chance you take.

  12. DK and FD will never change the lineup lock rule

  13. Try to keep your gloating to a minimum, “your” Steelers had no competition, and the AFC is a cakewalk until you meet up with the Pats, if you get that far.

    Seriously, it’s too early to rub salt into a wound bro, stick to your strong suit, daily fantasy advice.

  14. Not sure where you get your info Matt, but get new sources. Giannis was ruled out at 7:31AM on rotoworld and 12:28PM on RotoGrinders…

  15. You guys might be the only two people that play on Yahoo! I play primarily on FD and I know I’m gambling with playing guys that are questionable. I’ve burned full line ups when the Rockies “should get the game in” but played a half inning and got rained out. If you have trepidation, play a 1$ line up or something.

  16. Shut up and move on you dumb fuckong faggots

  17. Way to pick almost every single one of the worst players besides the obvious plays. Keep up the fantastic predictions!!!!!!

  18. Ethan yo I use fantasy labs for all my injury info and they had the alert out that Gianni’s was a scratch about 2min after line up lock. If u played early 4 game slate that started at 11am central time so I highly doubt u or anyone beside ABC’s mother had that info before that slate began.

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