Basketball Picks Daily Fantasy Expert Advice

Austyn Varney

Daily Fantasy NBA Basketball Picks for FanDuel and DraftKings - 12/6/17

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Point guard

Jeff TeagueJeff Teague FD - $6200 DK - $6600
Opponent - LAC
Proj Pts FD - 30.68 DK - 30.88

There are a lot of dysfunctional teams in the current NBA, but the Clippers without Blake Griffin has to be right there. They aren't nearly as poorly coached as some of those other teams, but just lack the offensive weapons to get anything consistently done. They started off the season with Patrick Beverley at PG, who's now gone. It's now Austin Rivers, who's a pitiful defender. In every way. The Clippers are actually still average in terms of DvP, which will hopefully keep some people off of Teague. I can promise you they will be one of the 5-10 worst teams in the league against PG's while Griffin is out. It has forced the Clips to play extremely thin with about 0 strong perimeter defenders. These 2 teams played just a couple days ago and Jeff Teague put up 35 fantasy points while going just 3-for-10 from the field. If he makes the 6-9 baskets he typically does in a night, he would have been to 45 without much trouble. At an extremely fair $6.5k, Teague will need to grab you 30-35 in cash games. You can be guaranteed he will see 35+ minutes, so the upside is built in if he gets hot. You'll see people go a lot of different ways at PG and Teague is one of the safer ways to go.

Kemba WalkerKemba Walker FD - $8200 DK - $7800
Opponent - GS
Proj Pts FD - 37.28 DK - 38.63

I don't know if I'll call Kemba safe tonight, but he's a lot safer than he would be if Stephen Curry was playing. Steph' is by no means a menace on defense, but the game has a much better chance at staying close now that the Warriors don't really have a PG. Shaun Livingston is back from his 1-game suspension and the Warriors haven't shown a willingness to stretch his minutes out very much. If I had to guess, I think McCaw and Iguodala see the point for most of the time. Durant may as well, but he won't be covering the PG. It will be a mismatch for the Warriors as they can't move Thompson on to Walker, as it would leave a smaller guy on Batum or MKG. Patrick McCaw is a below average defender and Iggy is good, but on the old side and Kemba has the speed to take advantage. Even if this game does blowout, it's safe to assume 25 minutes and 30 fantasy points out of Kemba. If it stays close, a repeat of last game would be far from shocking. His price is fair and I'd expect the ownership to fall around 25-30%.


Rajon RondoRajon Rondo FD - $6000 DK - $5500
Opponent - DEN
Proj Pts FD - 29.59 DK - 29.81

It could be looked at as a negative that Rondo is seeing just 26-30 minutes a night, but at least it's consistent. It's more than we can say for the past few seasons. He's proven that he can produce heavily in the allotted minutes, putting up 37 fantasy points in each of the last 3 games. At $5.5-6k, that's more than enough. He needs to get you 30 in cash games and is pretty safe against a Nuggets team that ranks 4th worst against point guards. He also sees an uptick with Anthony Davis out, in terms of both shot attempts and peripherals. Rondo is a huge rebounder and the number 2 behind Cousins with AD on the shelf. I would stay away from Rondo in tournaments, however, as I'm not sure how much upside he has at this price. Once we see him start getting 30+ minutes, his ceiling will open up incredibly. If you want to take a gamble and bet on that being tonight, go for it. Just do it in a large-field, low-dollar tourney. Rondo is a great cash game filler at a fair price in a game that is expected to remain close and be high-scoring. There's a lot of different ways to go at this position, so you'll need to get it right.

Shooting Guard

Klay ThompsonKlay Thompson FD - $6900 DK - $7400
Opponent - CHA
Proj Pts FD - 36.53 DK - 38.27
Patrick McCawPatrick McCaw FD - $4400 DK - $3700
Opponent - CHA
Proj Pts FD - 19.73 DK - 19.38

With Stephen Curry out for at least a couple weeks, Klay Thompson is going to take a lot of the responsibility at guard. We also have Patrick McCaw here, who's not as safe, but you have to think they get him involved. Aside from the backup SG minutes, they have shown a willingness to let him play PG in the past and with Curry out, they'll need to. He will also get a match-up with Kemba Walker, who's far from an intimidating defender. He's nowhere near a must and definitely holds some uncertainty, but holds a lot of appeal at the low price. As for Klay Thompson, he's just very safe. Already putting up 30-40 fantasy points a night, Thompson now faces the 5th worst team in the league against SG's without Stephen Curry. That's guaranteed volume in a terrific match-up. His price is still down from the beginning of the season and he's finally performing the way we expected. He's safe in all formats in this game and has a ton of upside if Kemba and Dwight find a way to keep this close.


Jrue HolidayJrue Holiday FD - $7100 DK - $6600
Opponent - DEN
Proj Pts FD - 36.4 DK - 36.78

Jrue Holiday has done a phenomenal job of stepping up with Anthony Davis out. AD is doubtful to play in this one and it looks like Holiday will have another game with extra offensive burden on his shoulders. Holiday is also just playing well, going for 40+ FP in 3 of the last 5 games. He'll match-up with Gary Harris and Will Barton, who are both slightly above average defenders. The Nuggets are a below average defensive team overall and have nobody under the rim without Nikola Jokic. Holiday should have no problem putting the ball in the basket after dicing up KD and Klay a game ago. His price is around $7k on both sites and he's in play in all formats. This is a team we're targeting a lot with AD expected to miss, so don't be surprised to see some more names.

Avery BradleyAvery Bradley FD - $4900 DK - $5100
Opponent - MIL
Proj Pts FD - 27.43 DK - 28.15

It's probably safe to say that we won't see Avery Bradley in as big of a role this year as he has been in past with the Celtics. That's not to say he can be priced at $5k and go ignored while seeing 30+ minutes. Bradley is still a very talented player and is going through a rough patch like he has so many times. His defense will be needed out there for the likes of Middleton and Antetokounmpo and I think it's safe to project 32+ minutes here. His price is extremely depressed on both sites and he'll only need you 25 in cash games. This won't be the fastest game ever, but Vegas expects it to be close and Bradley is one of the 5 in there down the stretch. He doesn't get as much offensive volume as he should, but has been shooting more and more as time passes. He's just getting used to this offense and should be putting up a consistent 25-30 before long. He's tough to trust in cash games at any point, but this is as safe and cheap as you'll find him.

Small forward

Kevin DurantKevin Durant FD - $10000 DK - $10100
Opponent - CHA
Proj Pts FD - 51.74 DK - 51.84
Andre IguodalaAndre Iguodala FD - $4000 DK - $4100
Opponent - CHA
Proj Pts FD - 21.39 DK - 21.09

It seems odd to look at two separate duos on the same team over the course of just 2 positions, but these 4 guys won't just be playing SG and SF. For Iguodala, I wouldn't be surprised to see 10-15 minutes at point guard with Curry out. Durant may play some 4 with Casspi at the 3 and McCaw at the 1. There's a lot of flexibility in this offense and both Iggy+Durant should see 30+ minutes here. There obviously not in the same stratosphere of plays, but both are elite in their respective tier. Durant will see a solid defender in MKG on the perimeter, but there's a reason they are the 3rd worst team in the league against SF's. He has no help behind him and is also struggling with speed after the various leg injuries. He will also see a huge usage spike. Curry holds the league's 18th highest usage at 29%. Durant is just behind at 28%, but jumps up to 31% with Curry out. It may not seem like much, but that 3 or 4 shots and 2-3 possible assists a game. It's also a lot more upside if the game stays close as we know exactly where the ball will be. Iguodala obviously isn't as exciting, but he'll get his minutes (27-35) and shouldn't have trouble putting up FP against a Hornets squad that gives up as many peripherals as anyone. The Warriors are a team you're going to want exposure to with a hole at PG needing filling.

Jimmy ButlerJimmy Butler FD - $8900 DK - $7600
Opponent - LAC
Proj Pts FD - 38.55 DK - 38.14

Jimmy Butler might be solidifying his role on this offense. It shouldn't be much of a surprise as this is what he was doing in Chicago all of last year. He' just has to share a little more this season with some guys who can actually play basketball at an NBA level. Over the past 6 games, Butler has been over 42 FP in 5. He's been over 50 in each of his last 2. He now gets a match-up with the same Clippers team he put up 53 against 2 games ago. He put one of the more dominant 7-minute stretches of the season to end the game and the Clippers had absolutely n0 answer when it mattered. It was a mixture of Wesley Johnson and Lou Williams that was on him and Johnson is obviously much better, but Butler still dominated him. His price is certainly getting up there on FD, but he's WAY too cheap on DK. He'll be in all of my DK lineups and at least some of my FD. Small forward is one of the weaker positions on a very strong slate and it seems like there are a few more obvious options than in other spots.


Power forward

Aaron GordonAaron Gordon FD - $7900 DK - $8100
Opponent - ATL
Proj Pts FD - 39.28 DK - 38.99

Aaron Gordon is one of those few guys under $8k that can hit 40 fantasy points with ease when hot. He obviously has to have his shot falling, but it very well should be against the Atlanta Hawks. For a team that has already ranked 4th worst against PF's, I'm not sure how they plan on handling Gordon without Collins. It'll be a combo of Ersan Ilyasova and Tyler Cavanaugh who will see time on Gordon and neither have any chance. Gordon is one of the best athletes in this league and will demolish either of those guys on the open floor and from the outside. Vegas is fully expecting a high-scoring close game here with a 218 O/U with a 5 point spread. The Hawks biggest weak spot is against PF's and they'll struggle even more with the starter out. Gordon is going to get a cupcake match-up all night long and will just need to hit his shots to reach value. It's always hard to trust Gordon because of the inconsistency he's showed, but his price is fair and this is one of the best spots he could be in.

Taj GibsonTaj Gibson FD - $5700 DK - $6200
Opponent - LAC
Proj Pts FD - 29.6 DK - 29.13

I got some flack the other day for say Taj Gibson is a below average player. Wasn't expecting that one. This is a guy who had some solid years as a post-specialist in Chicago, but is now in our lives strictly because of his coach. If he was on any other team seeing the 30-33 minutes he deserves, he would be $4000 and worthless. With Tom Thibodeau stuffing 36-40 minutes down the throat of his starters, it forces Gibson into play. They also let him shoot as much as 10-12 times a game, which is about 10-12 more than he should with Wiggins, Towns, Teague, and Butler on the court, but whatever. He's getting the usage and has backed it up with 25+ fantasy points on a nightly basis. He doesn't have much of an upside, because well, he isn't very good, but he can get to 35-40 FP if it stays close. Without Blake Griffin, the Clippers don't really know what to do at PF. It should be a lot of Harrell with the size of the T-Wolves, but Dekker and Wes Johnson have taken some time there as well. Gibson is a bigger body than any of those guys and his typical 25+ FP shouldn't be a problem against this interior.

LaMarcus AldridgeLaMarcus Aldridge FD - $8300 DK - $8100
Opponent - MIA
Proj Pts FD - 43.98 DK - 43.43

With the bog dogs (AD, Griffin, Porzingis) all expected to miss tonight, we're forced to look into the mid-tier here at PF. We already looked at Aaron Gordon in a phenomenal match-up against a team that plays fast and has no interior presence. We'll now shift our attention to LaMarcus Aldridge, who'll face off against a Whiteside-less Miami Heat team. They have about 0 guys to be scared of at this point and it'll both Kelly Olynyk and James Johnson that cover LMA. Neither have any chance at all if LMA is on his game. This is still one of the more dominating post scorers in the league and can hit 50+ when hit outside shot is falling. The Heat don't play fast, but LMA is fine in a slow game and can be counted on for 35+ before getting out of the bus. He may not have the same upside as an Aaron Gordon in a 218 total game, but he's going to be the lone focal point of this offense against a Heat team that is missing their best defensive piece.


DeMarcus CousinsDeMarcus Cousins FD - $11300 DK - $11300
Opponent - DEN
Proj Pts FD - 58.25 DK - 60.78

And now for the easiest play of the night. With Anthony Davis doubtful and fully expected to miss at least 1 more game, it'll be Cousins with a 30%+ usage rate once again. he's dominated the Blazers and Warriors so far with AD out and now sees the easiest match-up yet with the Nuggets. The Nuggets are without Nikola Jokic, so they'll be relying on Mason Plumlee and Trey Lyles to slow down the best big man on planet earth. They have no chance of even slowing him down and I think it's fair to put  55 FP floor in here. It's obviously tough for anyone to predictably put up 55 fantasy points, but he touches the ball on almost every possession here and turns them into FP far often than not. Personally, I'll have 100% ownership. I just don't have any interest in trying to make these points up elsewhere. Cousins should be bumped up into the mid-$12k's when Ad is out and we'll take advantage every single game until then. He's one of the top plays on the slate in all formats, bar none.

Karl-Anthony TownsKarl-Anthony Towns FD - $8400 DK - $8100
Opponent - LAC
Proj Pts FD - 44.35 DK - 45.98

If you're not a fan of a guaranteed 55+ points (why?), Karl-Anthony Towns is a guy with immense upside himself. He finds himself in a very nice match-up with a Clippers squad that is more than short-handed. This would be a good match-up anyway for Towns, who is going to give DeAndre Jordan a fit. Jordan is already a below average defender, but simply can't leave the paint. If Jordan leaves the paint, there is absolutely 0 rim protection for guys like Jimmy Butler, Wiggins, and Teague. It's just not an option. Instead, they'll try to switch when Towns is on the perimeter to whoever is playing the 4. Assuming that's Dekker or Johnson, he will bring them inside and dominate. If Jordan tried his hand at the perimeter, it will only last a possession or two. he has to play big minutes with Griffin out and can't follow around and active Towns all night. His price is way down to low-$8k's and can be played in all formats. It just comes down to the opportunity cost with DeMarcus Cousins at the same position. On DraftKings, you can play both and Towns should be under 15%. Center is a spot you will need to get right.


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2 Visitor Comments

  1. Livingston served his suspension Monday he’s available to play today

    • Edited! Thank ya!

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