Basketball Picks Daily Fantasy Expert Advice

Austyn Varney

Daily Fantasy NBA Basketball Picks for FanDuel and DraftKings - 1/22/16

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Point Guard

Kyle LowryKyle Lowry FD - $8600 DK - $8500
Opponent - PHO
Proj Pts FD - 42.34 DK - 45.66
Eric BledsoeEric Bledsoe FD - $8300 DK - $8400
Opponent - TOR
Proj Pts FD - 40.47 DK - 43.56

We have a spread out 4 game slate on our hands, and it's a little bit weird. We have 3 games with high over/unders, and the 4th being the one with most value. You should be able to pay up today, but it could end up creating a lot of overlay. This is a day where  or 2 weird decisions can give you a great ownership advantage in tournaments. Lowry and the Raptors will host the Suns, who are coming off of a 107-105 win to the Knicks just last night. I personally do like Lowry a tad bit more, but could easily see Bledsoe having the bigger day. I expect Lowry to play big minutes here, and the rest day for Demar Derozan is coming. It likely won't happen today, but there is a chance. Both of these guys are actually pretty good defenders, but by no means shutdown. The Suns are technically worse against PG's, giving up 45 FanDuel PPG to the Raptors 43. These guys are basically identical in terms of price, and I expect the ownership to be similar as well. I will go with Lowry in both formats, but will also have exposure to Bledsoe. This position, like the rest, is a bit murky tonight. Any safety you can find holds a premium, and both of these guys are absolutely safe.

Jordan ClarksonJordan Clarkson FD - $4400 DK - $4800
Opponent - DAL
Proj Pts FD - 24.58 DK - 26.58

This game between the Lakers and Mavericks offers the most value on this slate, but is also the slowest. With D'Angelo Russell out for at least a week, there will be about 30 guard minutes up for grabs. With sites not having time to adjust yet, all of these guys have to be in consideration. Clarkson should man a lot of point guard minutes, and has a fantastic match up against the Deron Williams. Clarkson has shown the ability to produce when given the opportunity, so I expect nothing less here. He is a great cash game play, and will have him in many tournaments as well. He can take over the game, and has the green light if his shot is falling. As a note, Clarkson runs the pick and roll really well with Julius Randle, and they could be in interesting combo in tournaments. There is definitely a chance the Lakers lean on the PNR with the defense of Dirk Nowitzki. He will not have too much success chasing around Randle and Clarkson, and not much fun either.


Shooting Guard

Will BartonWill Barton FD - $5700 DK - $6500
Opponent - MIN
Proj Pts FD - 29.89 DK - 31.96

Shooting guard does have some solid options, but most are towards the bottom of the pricing range. Sure, you can go to Demar Derozan or LaVine in tournaments, but can surely find better value in cash games. Will Barton comes in at the top of my list, facing off with the Timberwolves in what figures to be a high scoring, competitive affair. Gary Harris has already been ruled out which secures 30 minutes for Barton. Gallinari and Chandler have also been dealing with some issues lately, but are expected to play. This game is 7 hours after lock, so a lot can happen. Barton is the only real safe one of the bunch, and has the upside as well. LaVine is a fine defender, and the Wolves have been average against SG's, giving up almost 42 FD points per game. Barton is willing to take the scoring role, and it looks like the minutes should be consistent until Harris is back. This price will rise, so take advantage while you can.

Louis WilliamsLouis Williams FD - $5100 DK - $5600
Opponent - DAL
Proj Pts FD - 30.96 DK - 33.09

Louis Williams is my favorite of the Lakers bunch, and comes in way too cheap. Williams has been the main scorer for the Lakers, and has done a really good job. Over the last 3 games, Williams has been over 38 fantasy points, and over 30 minutes. It looks like the Lakers gave him a week or two with limited minutes to heal up, and are now letting him go back out there and do his thing. His thing should be fine against the Mavs, who have been average against the 2. Williams comes off the bench, which means he will see a lot of Seth Curry. Curry, like his brother, isn't exceptional at defense. Williams will take advantage and consistently score throughout the game. With Russell out, you can guarantee the minutes will be there for Williams, and we know the production will follow. I would play him in tournaments if he was $7k, so will definitely have close to 100% today in both formats.

Seth CurrySeth Curry FD - $4000 DK - $4300
Opponent - LAL
Proj Pts FD - 21.6 DK - 23.57

If you want to pay down a little and get exposure to the same game, Seth Curry is a decent way to go. You don't have to necessarily love Curry tonight, but you have to consider him. He has been over 30 minutes in 3 straight, and has been running the offense for extended periods of time. I expect him to match up with Lou Williams for most of the game, and both of them should be able to score. If Curry has his shot falling, the upside is definitely there. The safety is there as well, as the minutes have been on a steady increase and we haven't seen him disappoint in big minutes. The only problem here is whether he is necessary or not. With only a few spots to pay up on this slate, you may not have a need for Curry. he isn't a guy I think you need to force in, and I do prefer Lou Williams and Barton. However, if you want to grab an off the board expensive guy, you can pair him with Curry and give yourself a solid shot.

Small Forward

Kevin DurantKevin Durant FD - $10600 DK - $10300
Opponent - ORL
Proj Pts FD - 48.28 DK - 51.3

Here we have our first high end play of the day in Kevin Durant, who is coming off of a big game against the Rockets. Most people expect Durant to see a dip in production coming to the Warriors, but has actually seen a substantial leap in rebounding totals. With no true center on the court (sorry Zaza), KD and Green are forced to make up. He has done a fantastic job, and it has given him another sense of safety. I suppose the Magic put Aaron Gordon on KD, and that should be a fun one to watch. Gordon is definitely athletic enough to stay with anyone, but I think he lacks the elusiveness and pure skill that Durant brings to the table. He should be able to get around Gordon, and open shots on the perimeter are never a problem on the Warriors. No matter the defender, you will get open. This game is at 12:00 and only has a -12 line, so I could see someone resting here. Make sure to keep an eye out for news.

Harrison BarnesHarrison Barnes FD - $6500 DK - $6200
Opponent - LAL
Proj Pts FD - 31.64 DK - 33.38

We only have 4 games, so you will see a lot of repeat teams. Sorry 'bout it. The Mavs are one of the teams I will target most, as they seem to be under priced and have a solid team defensive match up. Barnes will see either Luol Deng or Brandon Ingram, depending on the status of Deng. They are both slightly above average defenders, but Barnes is a scorer, ad a good one at that. He has shown his true ability this year, and I've been rather impressed. He should be in for another solid game here, and I like him across all formats. This game has a 207 O/U, and a 5 point spread. Barnes will see 35 minutes, and take 4-20 shots.  There are actually a lot of small forwards I like today, so it will be pretty tricky to slim it down for cash games. I am leaning Barnes and Durant, but Gordon comes in as a close 3rd.

Aaron GordonAaron Gordon FD - $5200 DK - $5700
Opponent - GS
Proj Pts FD - 26.21 DK - 27.56

Barnes and Durant may be the safest 2 SF's out there, but Gordon is certainly up there. His FP per minute rate is incredible, and the only problem he has faced is actually seeing the court. He has finally been seeing 30 minutes, and the production has followed. The Warriors play at a top 3 pace in the league, and Gordon loves nothing more than running in transition. He is a guy who derives his upside form peripherals, which can be grabbed at will against the Warriors. Like I just mentioned, he will match up with Kevin Durant. Durant will dominate Gordon on offense, but I think Gordon can have success as well. Gordon is truly a PF, so he can use his size and strength to get into Durant, who can definitely be affected by bumping and bruising down low. It could go the other way too, and he could see 16 minutes in a blowout. For that reason, he is going to be a tournament only play. This game has a ton of upside, and I would consider stacking it if anyone is ruled out. As for Gordon, get him in some tournaments.

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Power Forward

Draymond GreenDraymond Green FD - $8200 DK - $8000
Opponent - ORL
Proj Pts FD - 36.68 DK - 39.01

Draymond Green is probably my least loved player in sports, but you have to be objective if you want win. He has a good match  up with the Magic today, and is really the only PF that I want to pay up for. Nikola Jokic is obviously intriguing, but the price isn't. He has finally got the price bump we have been waiting for, so I will take a day off and wait until he isn't on a back to back against one of the best defensive centers in the league in Towns. Green will match up with Serge Ibaka, who is an excellent low post defender. Unfortunately for Ibaka, Green doesn't do too much post work. Green gets his numbers from running the floor, rebounding, dishing and hitting open 3's. He is the glue guy to this team, and see no way he ends up under 40. This game could definitely blowout, but Green will get his before the 4th quarter. If the game happens to stay close, Green has way more upside than anyone, and the price isn't crazy.

Julius RandleJulius Randle FD - $6500 DK - $6800
Opponent - DAL
Proj Pts FD - 29.71 DK - 31.58

Randle hasn't been himself lately, but I think he turns it around today. Dirk Nowitzki may be a hall of famer in the near future, but that's definitely not because 0f his defense. It takes him about 5 seconds to move both feet now on defense, and that is only kind of a joke. Randle may not be the fastest guy out there, but he is quick enough. He should be able to dominate Dirk here, and I do expect him to go back to the player we saw 2 weeks ago. He could also see some defense form Dwight Powell and Harrison Barnes, but has distinct advantages over both  D'Angelo Russell is the other guy who takes a bunch of shots on the starting unit, so look for the Lakers to run the offense through Randle. The price is too low, and the options aren't great at PF. Randle and Green are my 2 favorite options, but there is another guy that interests me, but I just picked on him.

Dirk NowitzkiDirk Nowitzki FD - $5500 DK - $5500
Opponent - LAL
Proj Pts FD - 28.17 DK - 29.78

Hopefully Dirk doesn't take too much offense to me calling his defense subpar, and comes out with a good game against the Lakers. Outside of last game, Dirk has been extremely consistent. He hit value in 10 straight, and should return there tonight. He might not score if this was a race, but all he has to do is figure a way to get the ball through the rim. He is awfully good at that, and age doesn't hurt that skill too much. He will be able to post up Randle, and his defense is nothing to be scared of either. Nobody can play defense on the Dirk jumper anyway, so you don't have to worry. He could also see some Timofey Mozgov defense, and he wll just stretch the floor in that circumstance. Either way, I think Dirk hits value and has the upside for a few more. He is more of a cash game player, but I will have him in a few tourneys as well.


Karl-Anthony TownsKarl-Anthony Towns FD - $10000 DK - $10100
Opponent - DEN
Proj Pts FD - 46.44 DK - 48.7

KAT is my guy tonight. Between the 3 high priced guys tonight, Towns is definitely my favorite, for multiple reasons. He takes on a Nuggets team that is historically bad against centers. Nikola Jokic may be a phenom on offense, but he isn't at the point where he is going to slow down Towns. KAT has shown his willingness to take over lately, and that;s something you like to see after his rookie season where he was hesitant to take shots. He is fine with missing now, and isn't second guessing when he pulls up. There is also a severe lack of options at the position. We have 2 guys we will talk about next, but not much else outside of that. KD is my 2nd favorite expensive play, but is at a position that has plenty of ways to go.  They obviously don't have  the upside that KD has, but you get the point. Towns is my top center on the board tonight, and I will have him in close to 100% in both and GPP's.

Tyson ChandlerTyson Chandler FD - $5700 DK - $5500
Opponent - TOR
Proj Pts FD - 27.05 DK - 28.6

Jonas ValanciunasJonas Valanciunas FD - $5600 DK - $5800
Opponent - PHO
Proj Pts FD - 29.5 DK - 30.96

Honestly, there are 3 legitimate options at center. Outside of these guys and maybe Vucevic, you are just relying on luck. I'm not absolutely in love with either of these guys, either, but they fit, and they are both safe. Chandler has been absolute monster lately, totaling over 15 rebounds in 6 straight games. The back to back may worry some, but the Suns need Chandler right now, as he is the only trusted interior presence they have. As for Valunciunas, the safety is a bit less secure. However, the upside is probably higher. He can be a big part of this offense, and we have seen him see upwards of 36 minutes on occasion. With Tyson Chandler beasting recently, Coach Casey will want there best big man out there grabbing boards. Valunciunas has flashed the upside, and although Chandler is a decent defender, Val is a guy who can be match up proof when the jumper is falling. In cash games, I go Chandler. In tournaments, go Val.



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