Basketball Picks Daily Fantasy Expert Advice

Austyn Varney

Daily Fantasy NBA Basketball Picks for FanDuel and DraftKings - 11/15/17

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Point guard

Russell WestbrookRussell Westbrook FD - $10300 DK - $10800
Opponent - CHI
Proj Pts FD - 57.92 DK - 61.64

We obviously aren't seeing the 60+ FP on a nightly basis like last year, but his price doesn't warrant it. As the 5th most expensive option on the slate, you can come in with a different set of expectations. Don't get me wrong, he's still going to have quite a few 60+ FP games. They just won't be the majority. Tonight, the match-up with the Bulls is optimal. On the season, they have ranked dead last against opposing PG's with 53.3 FP allowed per game, sitting 3 full points higher than the 2nd worst team. The Bulls play very slow, so it's not the PACE. Jerian Grant is an inept defender and he doesn't have much help on the inside. On the Thunder side, Carmelo Anthony and Steven Adams are both questionable. If either misses, Westbrook will see a bump to his already high 31.5% usage. Under $11k on both sites, Russell Westbrook is a fantastic play in all formats.

Dennis SchroderDennis Schroder FD - $7000 DK - $6800
Opponent - SAC
Proj Pts FD - 33.8 DK - 35.21

Out of everyone in the entire NBA, Dennis Schroder ranks 10th in usage with 30%. He's been more involved in the offense than guys like Kyrie, LeBron, and Lillard. For the sake of all things right, I hope that changes, but until it does, Schroder is a guy we need to pay a lot of attention to. There's nobody really left on this Hawks squad that wants shots to bad and Schroder is willing to shoot 20+ times with no issues. The Kings sport Hill and Fox at PG, who are 2 very different defenders. Neither are great, but Fox is much, much worse. He's been getting more minutes than Hill and Schroder should have no issue putting number up. He's been bad in the last 2 games, but expect a bounce back here at home. He's fine in all contests at $7k and should have no problem getting to value assuming the game stays close.

Mario ChalmersMario Chalmers FD - $3600 DK - $3800
Opponent - IND
Proj Pts FD - 11.75 DK - 12.07

Mike Conley is listed as questionable, so this play obviously rides on him being out. In the case that Conley sits this one out, Chalmers jumps in as of the top plays of the night. He's already seeing 24 minutes a game when healthy and proved to us plenty last year that he would produce when given opportunity. This is a guy who was putting up 30+ FP every night for a couple weeks. This match-up with the Pacers is fine. Darren Collison is a solid individual defender, but the Pacers play fast and it allows for PG's to succeed. Especially ones like Mario Chalmers who can make 3's and run transition. If Conley sits, I don't see myself staying away from Chalmers at his price tag. Maybe it's ambitious, but I can see 35 minutes from Chalmers if he starts. In that case, you might need him to cash. There's a lot of different ways to get value on this slate and Rio is right at the top. LeBron would be proud.



Shooting Guard

Kris DunnKris Dunn FD - $6100 DK - $4900
Opponent - OKC
Proj Pts FD - 33.06 DK - 31.53

Justin Holiday has been ruled out for this game for paternity leave, giving Kris Dunn the start and a boatload of opportunity/minutes. Holiday typically sits around 30-35 minutes and takes around 15 shots a game, so there is plenty to go around. Kris Dunn isn't the only guy that stands to benefit, but he should get the biggest bump. He's already more expensive than Holiday and it's because of his talent. This is a guy who was drafted very early just a couple years ago out of Providence with hopes of him being a top 5 NBA PG. Those hopes are not gone at just 23 years old. This match-up with the Thunder is a very fast one for the Bulls, who usually play at a 97.5 PACE, higher than just 2 other teams. He's going to draw a solid defender, but so is everyone else on the Bulls. They've been league average against SG's on the season, so I see nothing to worry about. While he's a healthy margin more expensive on FD, I like the play in all formats on both sites. On DraftKings, there's a 0% chance you find a lineup of mine without Kris Dunn.

Tyreke EvansTyreke Evans FD - $6800 DK - $6600
Opponent - IND
Proj Pts FD - 33.42 DK - 33.63

Tyreke Evans is throwing it back and going crazy for this Memphis squad. It's definitely a surprise, as this is the slowest team he has ever played on. He's figured out a way to put up 35+ fantasy points on a consistent basis all the while sitting below $7k on both FD and DK. He'll now see a massive uptick in PACE against the Pacers, who play as the 7th fastest team in the league. Victor Oladipo is a fine individual defender, but Evans is a bit too big, likely putting him on Bogdanovic, who's too slow. The point is that Evans will be a mismatch for whoever he sees on defense. His price is still too low on both sites and I'm fine with him in all formats. He also sees a massive upgrade if Mike Conley is out, in terms of both minutes and production. I like Kris Dunn more for the price, but still don't think he has the same upside as Evans,

Kentavious Caldwell-PopeKentavious Caldwell-Pope FD - $4900 DK - $5100
Opponent - PHI
Proj Pts FD - 26.8 DK - 27.21

This is just a solid price point play in the mid-range at SG. KCP is the only guy who can really shut anyone down on this Lakers team so he'll be out there for his regular 34+ minutes, if not more against the 76'ers. He's fit into this Lakers offense a lot better than he did in Detroit and he's put up 23+ fantasy points in 7 of his last 8 games, though typically sitting around 30 FP. He'll now match-up against a 76'ers team that ranks 3rd worst against SG's, allowing 56.8 FPPG. J.J. Redick is a fine defender, but the 6'ers play fast and not much perimeter D in general. KCP is by no means a must play at a very fair $5k tag, but he's safe and has plenty of upside if he gets hot from behind the line. He's one of the only guys in this rotation you can count on minutes from and this game is one you want exposure to.

Small forward

LeBron JamesLeBron James FD - $11300 DK - $10900
Opponent - CHA
Proj Pts FD - 56.49 DK - 57.76

LeBron is just continuously playing huge minutes and putting up even bigger numbers. At this point, it's not really the match-up that matters. Every game is staying close and he's shooting 20+ times. Until that changes, I don't see how you avoid him at the price. He's playing an extra role on offense this year and while it will probably eventually wear him down, I won't be the guy to predict when he stops getting the minutes. I'd guess when he is forced to miss a couple games with soreness. Until then, LBJ will see 35+ minutes full of production. He's not only scoring more than he has in past years, but his peripherals are through the roof. I know this is LeBron James we're talking about, but he typically doesn't start off a season with so many fantasy explosions. He's dominated Charlotte his entire career and put up the 62 against them a few years back. MKG is a fine defender, but we all know how much that matters. If you have the funds to pay up, LeBron is as solid as could be in all formats.

Justin JacksonJustin Jackson FD - $3000 DK - $3400
Opponent - ATL
Proj Pts FD - 16.41 DK - 17.19
OG AnunobyOG Anunoby FD - $3200 DK - $3000
Opponent - NO
Proj Pts FD - 18.18 DK - 17.46

Here we have 2 of the better value options on the slate. While nothing really changes for Justin Jackson, he's been over 25 minutes in 4 straight games and is playing a nice role on this Kings squad. At minimum price, you have to give him a long hard look. If he once again gets that 25-30 minutes, he should get to value. He's been bad in terms of FP's, but he's a good player and the production will come. As for OG Anunboy, he's in play for the same reasons as last night. Assuming Norman Powell is once again out, you can expect Anunboy to reel in 28+ minutes and get 10+ shots. The Pelicans have a boatload of poor perimeter defenders and the only good one they have will have his hands full with DeRozan or Lowry. Just as cheap as Jackson, it's not an easy choice for me. I think Anunboy ends up higher owned and he's probably safer, but it's not by a wide margin. Justin Jackson will get things going eventually.

Carmelo Anthony is looking like he'll return. If he doesn't, Paul George is right up there as one of the top plays on the slate.


Power forward

Aaron GordonAaron Gordon FD - $7300 DK - $7300
Opponent - POR
Proj Pts FD - 37.82 DK - 37.46

On the entire season, the Blazers are allowing 35 FPPG to opposing PF's with Aminu in the lineup. Since Aminu went down with his injury, they have allowed 46.8 per game. A strong spot on defense is now a weak spot. A weak spot that should get blown up by Aaron Gordon. Gordon has given us a show so far this year and he's very fairly priced at $7.3k. He's put up 2 stinkers in a row and it will hopefully keep the crowd away. We also have Jonathan Isaac out on the Magic side, which will only solidify Gordon above 30 minutes. He's one of the best point per minute players in the league and this match-up is phenomenal. Noah Vonleh and Ed Davis are 2 guys that are not in the NBA for defense. That's for sure. Vegas has this game as one of closest and highest-scoring, so try not to ignore it. Aaron Gordon is an easy way to get that done.

Dario SaricDario Saric FD - $4500 DK - $4600
Opponent - LAL
Proj Pts FD - 28.79 DK - 29.66

Saric has been over 33 minutes in 3 of his last 4 games, and at 27 minutes in the 4th. He also put up 26+ FP in 3 of those 4. He'll now get a match-up with the Los Angeles Lakers, who he matches up well with. Kyle Kuzma is more of a perimeter forward and Saric should have plenty of success down low. His price is still way too low if he's going to see these minutes. Last season when seeing 30+ minutes, Saric was around $8k and rightfully so. This is one of the more promising young big men around and he's very under the radar with the other big names on this team. It's great to see him not being overshadowed for minutes and even better when you realize just how cheap he is. I'll have a lot of exposure in all formats and don't know if I do see the merit in fading. There's always risk in basketball, but at $4.5k, I think Saric hits value 95/100 times tonight.

Anthony DavisAnthony Davis FD - $11300 DK - $10500
Opponent - TOR
Proj Pts FD - 57.95 DK - 58.05

You don't have to pay up at PF, but don't go witching your lineup around if it fits. Anthony Davis faced off with this same Raptors squad about a week ago and struggled to put up 42 FP. It was his worst game of the season yet, so hopefully it's still on peoples minds. Davis can dominate in this match-up and a guy like Serge Ibaka is not going to stop him. The Raptors are ranked 3rd worst in the entire league against PF's, so Ibaka is certainly not a guy you need to worry about. It was just an off-game that is going to happen from time to time. He is a 55 FP per night performer that will hit 70 with regularity. He's as safe as could be when on the floor and doesn't need any 1 stat to succeed. For example, he figured out a way to get to 50 FP last game while scoring just 13 points. He's in play in all formats with so much value already open on this slate.


Andre DrummondAndre Drummond FD - $9400 DK - $9000
Opponent - MIL
Proj Pts FD - 51.38 DK - 51.59

We're going to look at 2 high-end and 1 low-end options at center, starting with Andre Drummond. Drummond and the Pistons travel to take on a Bucks team that has played very well. They're also playing slower than ever before, which is typically a bad thing for the opposition. But not tonight. Drummond can have success in fast-paced contests, but he certainly prefers being able to walk down the court and not get tired out by halftime. He'll get the benefit of it being a slow game, but without a monstrous opposing big man that typically comes with it. I don't know if you really want to call Thon Maker a center, but he's listed there and is the only one on the roster. John Henson will also see some minutes on him, but it won't work out any better. Drummond is having a phenomenal season and 45+ FP shouldn't be tough. A ceiling of 60 is prevalent in this match-up.

Joel EmbiidJoel Embiid FD - $9700 DK - $8600
Opponent - LAL
Proj Pts FD - 52.5 DK - 53

If Drummond doesn't fit your mold at center for whatever reason, Embiid should. We were all over him last game against the immobile DeAndre Jordan and it worked out well with 53 fantasy points. Brook Lopez can run more than DJ, but he's a whole lot more awkward when doing it and a whole lot less physical. I wouldn't be surprised to see Brook Lopez engrained in the floor like a pancake in the middle of the paint by the time this is over. That's unless he runs away from contact like most nights. Embiid could get to 20 rebounds if he plays big minutes tonight and points won't be an issue, either. Lopez is an inept big man on defense that Embiid will run through. Or over. Either way, he's going to put up big numbers. He played 35 minutes last game and it looks like the reigns may have been loosened. Uh oh NBA.

Dakari JohnsonDakari Johnson FD - $3600 DK - $3400
Opponent - CHI
Proj Pts FD - 21.96 DK - 21.72

This is by no means value you must have, but it's an option. Steven Adams is looking to be on the downside of questionable, sitting him down for the 3rd straight contest. In his absence, Dakari Johnson has grabbed 17 and 23 minutes, putting up 18 and 11 fantasy points. That was against the Clippers and Mavs, who are 2 below average match-ups for centers, ranking 4th and 9th best. The Bulls, however, allow the 4th most FP to opposing centers at 46.4 (per 48 min.). I doubt we see Johnson for more than 25 minutes tonight, but it's all we should need. Sitting around $3.5k on both sites gives you the need for 20 fantasy points in cash games. While he could obviously go out and lay a dud in 15 minutes, there's a higher chance he hits value while allowing you to pay up elsewhere. At least consider him before plugging in one of the above monsters. Epke Udoh is the only other way to pay way down at center. Don't do that.


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