Basketball Picks Daily Fantasy Expert Advice

Austyn Varney

Daily Fantasy NBA Basketball Picks for FanDuel and DraftKings - 11/6/17

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Point guard

Kyrie IrvingKyrie Irving FD - $9500 DK - $8800
Opponent - ATL
Proj Pts FD - 42.01 DK - 42.1

After a solid Sunday NBA slate, we have a short 3-gamer on our hands tonight. I don't know why the NBA schedule has been so weird early in the season, but let's hope it starts evening out sooner rather than later. While we only have 3 games on this slate, it's a pretty nice 3 games. We'll start off with an affair between the Hawks and Celtics that's sitting at a 206 over/under with BOS -6. This will be the game we get the least exposure to, but it's still a pretty solid game to target. It will stay close at a fairly decent pace and have some of the lower-owned plays of the day. I don't think Kyrie will fit into that low-owned category, but he's a great play nonetheless. He hasn't gone off for over 50+ fantasy points, but he's been more consistent than he ever was in Cleveland. He is on a B2B, but he only played 27 minutes last night, so 35+ should be no issue. Dennis Schroder is an atrocious defender and the Hawks have allowed the 8th most FP to PG's since 2016. Irving is a great high-end PG option who may have his first 50 FP total of the season.

Mike JamesMike James FD - $5800 DK - $5300
Opponent - BKN
Proj Pts FD - 30.28 DK - 30.08

I could be way off here, but I think Mike James is going to be one of those guys that flash in the pan and completely disappear before arising as a backup somewhere else. Maybe he'll be the new Ramon Sessions. Maybe he'll be the next Steve Nash. Doubtful. I think everyone knows Tyler Ulis is a better PG, but James plays better with Booker, so he's getting more minutes and producing. He's been over 20 fantasy points in just about every game and showed his upside with 45 less than a week ago. We're going to get to a few more Suns, so I'll save the Nets speel for them. You just need to know that the Nets play at the fastest pace and it isn't close. James is going to have the ball in his hands a ton and that can really only go one way against the Nets. His price is still fair and he's a concrete cash game value. I'm not sure I love the upside James has at $5500ish, so let's look at a guy who could go off for 40+.

Stephen CurryStephen Curry FD - $10000 DK - $9600
Opponent - MIA
Proj Pts FD - 43.38 DK - 45.26

Stephen Curry is by no means a must here, but with plenty of value at other positions, there's a chance you have the funds for him. In the off-chance this game does stay close, he could go nuts. Dragic is a fine defender, but we all know it doesn't really matter unless you're Chris Paul or Pat Bev on your best day. Dragic is certainly neither and Curry will have no issue getting his shots off. He hasn't been as explosive as he was in past years, but the consistency has been there more than ever. He's been over 40 fantasy points in every single game besides opening night and has been over 50 just twice. That means he's sitting between 40-50 in almost every contest. It seems like this match-up against the Heat fits the bill as another one, which is fine. Now if this game finds a way to stay close and CUrry sees 35+ minutes, the upside is limitless. This is still the best 3-pt shooter in the league and he' going to have a few crazy games very soon. He has more upside than Irving, but as we speak, I have 85% Irving and 45% Curry. That could change, but I do think this game has a high chance of blowing out.

Shooting Guard

Devin BookerDevin Booker FD - $8200 DK - $8400
Opponent - BKN
Proj Pts FD - 39.29 DK - 40.3

Two of my favorite plays of the night come at SG. In the case of Devin Booker, one of my favorite plays of the season. His price is still below where he'll end up and he sees the best possible match-up he can. There isn't a single situation that would Booker in a better spot than he is tonight. He's picked up a 30% usage rate since Bledsoe out and this is clearly his team to run. I'm sure the Nets will throw many different defenders at Booker, but none of them are any good and it's pretty obvious when you watch their games. Before getting absolutely shut down by the Spurs, Booker has been over 30 fantasy points in every game since Bledsoe went out. You can count him for 30 as a low floor tonight with a projection a lot closer to 40-45. This is one of the games where I could see Devin Booker going for 40 real-life points, so I won't be fading anywhere. I do understand scorers are volatile and there's always the chance he has a bad shooting game, but I'm not sure with his usage that it will matter all too much. His worst possible game should keep you in the mix at the very least.

D'Angelo RussellD'Angelo Russell FD - $8000 DK - $8200
Opponent - PHO
Proj Pts FD - 36.12 DK - 37.9

On the other side of the ball, we have a pretty similar situation with D'Angelo Russell. He has a usage rate that sitting above Booker at 33.1%. That's a number you'll only find on 5 or 6 teams throughout the league. The offense runs through Russell completely and he touches the ball on every single possession. Against a Pheonix squad who's willing to run with the Nets, it should get fun. A shootout between D'Angelo Russell and Devin Booker is a pretty likely scenario in this match-up. Vegas currently has this game sitting at a 237 over/under, which is the highest I remember seeing on this season. The Suns are also favored by just 1 point, so it should stay close. This game is an absolute fantasy gold mine and you have to be crazy to try and avoid it on this slate. Get as much exposure as you can. I'm willing to find value at other positions to play both Booker and Russell in 100% of lineups.

Small forward

Kevin DurantKevin Durant FD - $10500 DK - $10100
Opponent - MIA
Proj Pts FD - 48.15 DK - 48.13

The only real "superstar" we'll touch on tonight is Kevin Durant. I guess Kyrie is getting up there in price too, but not yet. Durant has been a fun roster this season, consistently giving you 45-55 fantasy points. You'd like a higher floor at his price, but his price has come down considerably over the past week. This match-up against the Heat isn't perfect, but it's on the better side of average. You can go ahead and throw out DVP numbers when GSW comes to town, because they're more than pointless. This team forces you to switch up your defense where the DVP isn't really accurate as to who will be covering who. It's a lot more efficient to just analyze and predict who you think matches up where. I see Kevin Durant getting a whole lot of Josh Richardson, James Johnson, and Wayne Ellington. It migt be tough for the Heat to play Johnson on KD anyway, because they have to cover Draymond as well. That could leave some putrid defenders on Kevin Durant. Vegas is expecting a blowout here and it makes a lot of sense. The problem is that these Warriors guys typically get the bulk of their production in the first 3 quarters. With just 3 games on the slate, don't worry about blowouts. Unless you're going to take a stand on the entire game, Durant is a phenomenal play on a slate without much to pay up for.

Josh RichardsonJosh Richardson FD - $4800 DK - $4800
Opponent - GS
Proj Pts FD - 22.96 DK - 23.1

This one isn't too tough to see at a weaker SF position. Richardson is way too cheap, for one. He is a VERY good player who is comparable to guys like Tim Hardaway Jr. and Gary Harris, though not as polished. He was at 35 minutes with Waiters out last game and should see at least another 32-35 tonight. They'll certainly need his scoring capability to keep with the Warriors, and even if they can't, I think Richardson still gets his minutes. Spoelstra won't stretch anyone in a blowout, but I'd be surprised to see Richardson get less than 28 minutes, no matter the circumstance. Even if you're fading this game, Richardson is a value play you can get exposure to. His main strength is definitely scoring, but he's gotten into the peripherals a lot more this season, which helps his FP floor/ceiling exponentially. The Warriors play fast and Richardsons hould have no problem getting up to 25 fantasy points. His price is too low for the role he'll play. He's not a must at all, but you could be at a bit of an uphill climb if he does go for 30+.

T.J. WarrenT.J. Warren FD - $6200 DK - $5700
Opponent - BKN
Proj Pts FD - 28.84 DK - 28.12

T.J. Warren gave us a little taste of 2016 with that performance against the Wizards. It's obviously more than we ever came to expect, but he was consistently around 30-40 fantasy points for a couple months. I think it's just a matter of time until this offense calms down and he finds his solidified role. He's been atrocious over the last 2 games, but was injured in 1 and the entire team got blown out by the Spurs. I think he's right back over 30 fantasy points in this match-up against the Nets. We've touched on them plenty, but let's look at why you can play all these guys an not worry. PACE is how fast a team plays. There's a lot more to it, but basically, how many shots/possessions a game more than average. League average is 100. The Nets and Suns are the 2 highest, sitting at 109!!!!(Nets) and 105 (Suns). It's the reason Vegas has this game at a near 240 total. Play people in this game and don't think twice. I do wish this was on a 12 game slate, so I could have the exact same exposure at far less ownership.Warren will match-up with DeMarre Carroll and Allen Crabbe. You have nothing to worry about. As long as Warren is in there for the minutes, he's as safe as he ever will be.


Power forward

Rondae Hollis-JeffersonRondae Hollis-Jefferson FD - $6700 DK - $5900
Opponent - PHO
Proj Pts FD - 29.9 DK - 29.31

The next 2 positions are somewhat similar. You have an expensive option at each, but they aren't in necessarily the greatest spot. Both (Green + Whiteside) of them can have big games because of their talent level, but the match-ups aren't the best. The point is you can definitely play Draymond here at PF if safety is what you're looking for, but he's expensive and could very well sit below value. Instead, we'll get right back to this 240 projected total game and look at Rondae Hollis-Jefferson. RJH has been great to start the year and looks to be turning into the player they expected. He's basically at 30+ fantasy points every game he gets the minutes, and this game will be must for him. This is the perfect team for RHJ to run with and pick up peripheral after peripheral. Hollis-Jefferson stuffs the stat sheet, so if he's cold from the field or not having a good rebound night, it won't matter as it's only 20% of his game, compared to a guy like Devin Booker who gets about 75% of his FP from scoring. That matters because he can hit his upside of 45 FP while D'Angelo Russell still hits his. If you look at a case of McCollum/Lillard, they rarely both have a big game because they eat into each other's production. With 240 points expected to be scored, you can't have too much exposure.

James JohnsonJames Johnson FD - $6400 DK - $6300
Opponent - GS
Proj Pts FD - 29.79 DK - 30.1

Even with Hassan Whiteside back, James Johnson is averaging 30 minutes a game. He's an extremely important player on this offense/defense and his numbers will continue as long as the minutes do. This match-up with the Warriors is quite nice for his style of play, as he relies on available peripherals. The Warriors make a lot of shots, but they miss a lot too. They also turn the ball over as much as any team in basketball (besides the Nets and Suns). Johnson should play a lot of point forward tonight like he tends to do in fast-paced games. He's trusted to run the point, so if he gets a rebound, there's a good shot he just brings the ball down. He'll see a combo of different defenders throughout the night, depending on how close the game is. Johnson may see only 20-25 minutes in a blowout, but PF is horrible and he should still get you close to 30 FP in that scenario. if it remains at a 10-15 point game like Vegas thinks, he'll be in there for a full allotment.


Al HorfordAl Horford FD - $7500 DK - $7200
Opponent - ATL
Proj Pts FD - 35.06 DK - 35.54

There's an argument to be made for paying up with Hassan Whiteside here, but I think he's very risky. If this game doesn't go the way the Heat want, he could play 10-20 minutes and get replaced by the more agile James Johnson. On the other hand, Whiteside could just as easily go off if it stays close and slower. The safer option is Al Horford, facing off against the porous Hawks interior. Dewayne Dedmon, John Collins, and Luke Babbitt will play center throughout the game for the Hawks and Horford has a very clear advantage against each in 1 spot or another. Horford is the 2nd option on the offense and he's played very well with Kyrie Irving. Sitting between 25-45 all season long, you can count on Horford for production at a weak center position.

Tyson ChandlerTyson Chandler FD - $4900 DK - $4100
Opponent - BKN
Proj Pts FD - 22.38 DK - 22.65
Alex LenAlex Len FD - $4500 DK - $4600
Opponent - BKN
Proj Pts FD - 21.9 DK - 21.52

No, I don't "like" these guys and nobody else does. It's just a case of literally no value at a position and an ideal match-up. These guys are basically splitting the 48 minutes at center, whether Len or Chandler ends up with the advantage. The fast-paced nature of this game should favor Len, but Chandler has been known to stick around in games like this as well and finish with an easy double-double. I personally will do my best to get to Horford because I have plenty of Suns and no desire to lean on these 2, but I get it completely. Either one of these guys could grab 30 fantasy points if they get the 25 minutes. The Nets, like I've said over and over, is the best match-up these guys can have. If you need value at center, don't go switching your lineup around. Neither of these guys will be the reason you lose. There's not much of an opportunity cost, either. Go with the guy who's cheaper on the site you're playing. Good luck tonight everyone and feel free to drop a comment if you have a question or something to say. This is a 3-game slate, so don't be afraid to get a little gutsy.


image sources

  • Kevin Durant: AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki

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