Basketball Picks Daily Fantasy Expert Advice
Daily Fantasy NBA Basketball Picks for FanDuel and DraftKings - 1/30/17
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Elfrid Payton FD - $6600 DK - $6700
Opponent - MIN
Proj Pts FD - 31.27 DK - 33.22
Our top value guy of the day has had something of a checkered game-log recently, but if we're trying to target a reasonable average performance, I believe he's our guy. At this point it appears that Fournier will miss Monday's game as well, though his return would certainly make this play a lot less appealing. Since Fournier has been sidelined, though, Payton has paid a steady diet of 5x points per dollar on account of having the ball in his hands considerably more. Fournier is one of the few Magicians who can create his own shot, and his absence means they rely a lot more heavily on Payton to do the heavy lifting. Minnesota is still a very reasonable match-up for opposing point guards, allowing a top 12 average fantasy points per game on account of Rubio's over-aggression. I like Payton as a cash game play with big tournament upside.
Goran Dragic FD - $7800 DK - $7600
Opponent - BKN
Proj Pts FD - 36.03 DK - 38.4
My guess for the chalk point guard play of the slate, Dragic benefits largely here from being up against the Nets' historically bad defense. They've managed to pair the league's fastest PACE with the league's second worst defensive efficiency, and as you can imagine, this is an excellent recipe for giving up huge fantasy totals. They're among the most generous team in the league to basically every position, and they happen to be dead last to opposing point guards. Dragic put up an effortless 42.3 fantasy points in 39 minutes in their meeting last week, and it's hard to imagine that he doesn't repeat that performance tonight. Dragic is an every line-up guy for me for cash games, though I suspect so many people will be on him that you might find better value in fading him for big tournaments. I might not be able to resist, though.
Mike Conley FD - $7500 DK - $7000
Opponent - PHO
Proj Pts FD - 37.02 DK - 39.23
Unsexy, sure, but on a night with plenty of uncertainty you could do a lot worse than Conley's minutes security in this match-up. Recently Conley has been locked into a 34-36 minute rotation recently, and is a fairly safe bet for 5x points per dollar on this DraftKings price when he does so. Phoenix isn't the phenomenal match-up for point guards that they've been in the past, but they're still top 10, and their top 3 PACE means more possessions on both ends of the court for Conley to accrue value. He's not a GPP play by any means, but I believe he has a very nice floor for us to work with here.
The Kyrie question. Hoo-boy, it's a good one. Kyrie and LeBron have been incredible with Love off the court this season, and with K-Love already ruled out, you can rest assured a lot of people will be tempted here. It's too early for me to say (I haven't run any optimal line-ups yet), but I do believe Kyrie will be on the outside looking in, for me.
Seth Curry FD - $4300 DK - $5300
Opponent - CLE
Proj Pts FD - 21.87 DK - 23.89
Curry was nearly a 60% start in cash games in a less than stellar match-up with the Spurs last night and paid 10x points per dollar in spite of Wes Matthews' return, so it stands to reason he'll be healthily owned in a better match-up with Cleveland tonight. The Cavs' two-guard defense has slipped considerably since their addition of Kyle Korver (to exactly nobody's surprise), and Love being out gives Dallas a slightly better chance to hang. I won't be overthinking this one - I'll just follow the chalk and let the other positions sort it out.
Dion Waiters FD - $6300 DK - $7000
Opponent - BKN
Proj Pts FD - 30.94 DK - 33.06
Waiters gets the same benefits as Dragic, and has recently produced similar results on a points per dollar basis. He too torched the Nets for 40+ fantasy points in their last meeting, and he too is under-priced relative to what he should be able to do here. He's a little bit expensive for my blood on DraftKings, but it's very hard to imagine walking away from value like this on FanDuel.
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope FD - $5400 DK - $5500
Opponent - BOS
Proj Pts FD - 27.6 DK - 29.36
KCP is decidedly more risky than the above guys, which is exactly what we might want for our big tournament line-ups tonight. He looked absolutely terrible in the Miami game, shooting 2-11 in an embarrassing performance against the Heat, but was awesome on these prices in his first game back against the Kings. A lot of people will sleep on him in this match-up as well because of the Celtics' reputation against shooting guards. The thing is, Avery Bradley's continued absence is very real, and they've allowed 17% more fantasy points per game to opposing 2 guards in their last 10 games than they have as compared with their season average. I'm not saying he's a lock or anything, and any shoulder injury (even if it is to your non-shooting shoulder) is worrisome, but in what should be a fast paced game I could see KCP sneaking into big tournament winning line-ups tonight.
Keep an eye on Jaylen Brown if Horford sits again.
Marcus Morris FD - $5300 DK - $5400
Opponent - BOS
Proj Pts FD - 25.08 DK - 26.84
On what amounts to a pretty short evening slate, Morris sits relatively comfortably atop our small forward rankings for one major reason - minutes safety. He's playing 38 minutes a night at the moment, and while sometimes he does more with those 38 minutes than others, he opportunity those minutes provide is undeniable. His last 5 games paint a pretty accurate picture, really. He went off for GPP winning totals in 3 of them before being something of an anchor on your hopes and dreams in the last 2 games. Tonight he gets what amounts to a league average match-up with Boston, but it's at least fairly fast paced, so I think he should be able to pay 5x points per dollar on average here without too much difficulty.
LeBron James FD - $10500 DK - $10000
Opponent - DAL
Proj Pts FD - 45.07 DK - 48.61
So let's start by acknowledging, like honest people do, that tonight's small forward selections are pretty damned bad. When it's all said and done there's a good chance that LeBron doesn't make the final optimal line-ups (here's to praying for punts), but we should start with the assumption that an awful lot of people are going to run him today. Love's absence means there are 15 shots to go around, and while Dallas has been one of the worst possible match-ups for opposing small forwards this season, that's largely on account of the snail's pace that they play. Again, I'm not sure I'm recommending LeBron as much as I'm letting you know that you can likely expect to see a lot of people rolling him out there today.
Aaron Gordon FD - $5200 DK - $5200
Opponent - MIN
Proj Pts FD - 26.39 DK - 27.75
Jeff Green FD - $3700 DK - $3700
Opponent - MIN
Proj Pts FD - 17.57 DK - 18.77
Feels bad, man, but these two both have something to offer if you don't feel like spending up on LeBron. You're playing Gordon happily if you think he can stay out of foul trouble, but that's less than a sure thing against Minnesota's over-sized front court. If you're worried about him, I'm not sure you're any less worried about Jeff Green, but I suppose I'll indulge you. Green is basically a minimum priced guy who appears to be a favorite for a 27 minute rotation unless his coach randomly hates him. Which occasionally happens. But still, at a very crazy position, you could do a lot worse than to just try and get away from it with reasonable floor and upside.
James Johnson FD - $6000 DK - $5800
Opponent - BKN
Proj Pts FD - 30.53 DK - 32.2
Did I say small forward felt bad? Because, oh man. Unlike Dragic and Waiters, Johnson was both terrible and mostly invisible from the Heat's last Brooklyn game, so all we have to go on here is the fact that he's playe d30+ minutes and paid 5x+ points per dollar in each of his last two games. You feeling comforted yet? Me neither. The good news here is that that last game happened alongside Hassan Whiteside, meaning this appears to be what the Heat are interested in doing (at least for now). Do I feel safe in this recommendation? No, I don't. But the Nets are, once again, truly terrible against every position, and Johnson stands to have an excellent game if you believe he'll be out there on the court.
Zach Randolph FD - $6400 DK - $5800
Opponent - PHO
Proj Pts FD - 34.32 DK - 35.81
A recommendation that is obviously bolstered by the potential absence of JaMychal Green, but Randolph could very well be a reasonable play regardless. Randolph has played 31 minutes in each of his last 3 games, including popping off for 42 fantasy points in 38 minutes in a brutal match-up with the Jazz. Tonight he'll get a much softer test with the Suns, who have allowed the 6th most fantasy points to opposing power forwards this season. If Green plays this recommendation clearly looks quite a bit worse, but I think he'll be very highly owned at a position that offers little to nothing in the way of safety.
Channing Frye FD - $3800 DK - $3400
Opponent - DAL
Proj Pts FD - 20.25 DK - 22.17
But only if he gets the start. Frye has been a DFS beast when he plays alongside LeBron, who is happy to find him for is signature flat-footed corner 3s. Still, we've seen that Frye is capable of 10x points per dollar on these prices when he starts for Love alongside LeBron, and I'd happily be a buyer on the floor alone if it meant I only had to choose one other player at the position tonight.
Andre Drummond FD - $8000 DK - $7700
Opponent - BOS
Proj Pts FD - 40.36 DK - 42.29
What's your deal, Mr. Drummond? Dre had been pretty mediocre recently before pouring in 17 and 20 in a tough and slow match-up with Hassan Whiteside, and I'm honestly not sure what to make of him here. This is one of those cases where we kind of have to hold our nose and trust the baseline production with the understanding that sometimes this will hit big, and sometimes not so much. Evaluating the Celtics' defensive play vs. centers is very problematic for this match-up, as they've obviously improved on a season over season basis thanks to Horford's arrival, but will either be without Horford or working with a Horford that is some measure below full strength. I'll tell you this, Horford is the only one who can pretend to match Drummond's athleticism on this team, and if he isn't at full strength, it's hard to imagine Drummond not building upon last game's huge performance with another monster.
If Horford is out again Kelly Olynyk likely rockets to the top of this particular list. Horford's current uncertainty makes me hesitant to recommend him, however.
Also considered: Marc Gasol. I suppose some people just won't have the stomach to Drummond tonight, and I can't say I fully blame them. Gasol does offer consistency that Drummond does not, and his minutes are as locked in as they have been at any point in his career. It's going to be another fast paced game against Phoenix, which should of course lead to more points and boards. The only issue with him is the price. He's expensive for his baseline production, and this match-up isn't the 10/10 that it has been in the past. I'm not saying you shouldn't play the guy, but don't expect him to hit 5x points per dollar with his eyes closed or anything.