Basketball Picks Daily Fantasy Expert Advice

Austyn Varney

Daily Fantasy NBA Basketball Picks for FanDuel and DraftKings - 12/27/17

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Point guard

John WallJohn Wall FD - $8700 DK - $8900
Opponent - ATL
Proj Pts FD - 43.52 DK - 43.43

After returning from injury 2 weeks ago, Wall saw his first game over 35 minutes against the Celtics. It's exactly what I expected and looks to be fully healthy at this point. His price is still too low and he makes for a phenomenal play in all formats.he faces off with Dennis Schroeder and a Hawks team that ranks 6th worst against opposing PG's. Schroder is a terrible defender in his own right and has no big man to cover up his flaws. Wall is going to exploit this defense wherever he wants and can be chalked in for a double/double before tip. The game is expected to say close and with a 214 total and -5 spread. there are plenty of FP for the guy who always has the ball. Wall is an excellent play in all formats that will likely be very highly owned and I really don't care. A cheap John Wall in a top 10 match-up is something I won't get cute with. 

Jeff TeagueJeff Teague FD - $6700 DK - $6100
Opponent - DEN
Proj Pts FD - 35.56 DK - 35.75

Here's another rather cut and dry option at PG. The Nuggets have been the worst team in the league against PG's all season long and currently sit at 27th. The T-Wolves and Teague played exceptionally, finishing with 37 fantasy points in 32 minutes. He seems to have found his role on this offense and has shown a high level of consistency lately. His price is below $7k on both sites and at an extreme value on DK. This is a guy you might want to stay away from in tournaments if you're looking for 50+ upside, but I' m not sure I'll practice what I preach. He's a little too cheap for me and a guy I'll probably just plug in there across the board.

Andrew HarrisonAndrew Harrison FD - $4200 DK - $4100
Opponent - LAL
Proj Pts FD - 23.92 DK - 23.26

Andrew Harrison has been over 30 minutes in 2 straight games and we have to pay attention here. Even if he were to only get 26 or 28 minutes tonight, I don't think he has much of a problem getting to value at $4k. If the 30+ minutes do come, he's an absolute lock. He's been getting time at both the 1 and 2 and both are elite spots to be against the Lakers. With Lonzo Ball out, it'll be Tyler Ennis and Jordan Clarkson to cover him. Neither are good defenders and Harrison will have some advantage over both. His usage is close to 15%, so he'll either need to miss every shot or get into foul trouble if he wants to miss value in 25+ minutes. On a day without much injury news, Harrison is an elite play in all formats in a great match-up.

Shooting Guard

Jrue HolidayJrue Holiday FD - $7700 DK - $7700
Opponent - BKN
Proj Pts FD - 38.37 DK - 38.82

The high-end of SG is an interesting spot. Tyreke Evans has the best match-up of the bunch against the Lakers, but played 36 minutes just last night in a very physically-taxing game. He's in play, but has been held un 30 minutes twice this season on back-to-backs. Instead, we'll move down a bit and take a look at Jrue Holiday. Holiday and the Pelicans have the best team match-up on this slate against the Nets and a lot of them are in play. Holiday started getting into his groove when AD went down with injury, but has shown no signs of wavering. He plays huge minutes at both the 1 and 2, and has produced well over 1 FP/min on the year. He is a guy who's dependent on match-ups as the ball just goes to the big men in most cases. He'll get 4 or 5 extra shots here and a lot more ball-handling opportunity against a Nets squad that doesn't play defense. They rank in the bottom 10 against both the 1 and 2, and also play at a league-fast 108 PACE. Holiday is an elite play in all formats and a guy you can safely project for 35-50. This is a  game we want to target and we'll touch on the stars later.

Justin HolidayJustin Holiday FD - $5400 DK - $5300
Opponent - NY
Proj Pts FD - 27.19 DK - 26.93

We'll stay in the Holiday family and look at little brother Justin now. He's nowhere near the player Jrue is, but his price is a lot lower and he doesn't need to do you nearly as much. His minutes are a bit up and down, but he's typically between 34 and 38. He's one of the only real shot creators on this team and it's why he often sees more than 15 shots in close games. The Knicks are league average against SG's, but Holiday will play a multitude of different positions throughout the game and see plenty of mismatches. His price is below $5.5k, even though he's above 20 fantasy points every single night and often around 25-30. He's not the best tournament play because of the limited upside, but he's cheap and is a near lock for value if the game stays close. He's not an exciting roster on any night, but this is a strong match-up and he's too cheap.

Jordan ClarksonJordan Clarkson FD - $5500 DK - $5600
Opponent - MEM
Proj Pts FD - 30.8 DK - 31.81

With Lonzo Ball out last game, Jordan Clarkson played the majority of SG minutes and walked away with 45 fantasy points in 35 minutes. The match-up with the Grizzlies isn't very good, but they've actually ranked 21st over the last 10 games with Harrison playing more. Clarkson is an over-sized PG that is going to give any team trouble when given the minutes. He's a lock for 25 fantasy points with the upside for 45 again. The Lakers are actually favored by 3 tonight, so the fantasy points are going to come from somewhere. With Ball out, he should probably be in the $7k's production-wise. He'll get another 30+ minutes with the ball and will have a hard time disappointing if this game goes to plan. It's always difficult to roster anyone against the Grizzlies, but this is far from a regular circumstance.

Small forward

LeBron JamesLeBron James FD - $11500 DK - $11700
Opponent - SAC
Proj Pts FD - 57.84 DK - 59.2

We have both KD and LBJ on this slate and we're going to go with LeBron. He had an atrocious game last time out against the Warriors and finished with 30 fantasy points in 40 minutes. Yikes. He won't have another FP/min showing like that for a long time and especially not tonight. You know he's going to come out hot and put some quick numbers up. The Kings have nobody to cover the King and will likely throw a combo of Bogdanovic and Justin Jackson. There's a reason LeBron put up nearly 70 FP a few weeks ago when these guys played. He's having his best of 14 seasons from a fantasy perspective, so let's not act like 1 game is anything to worry about out of the best player in the world. he's going to dominate this Kings team for every second he's on the floor and has a floor of 50 tonight. He will be in 100% of my lineups as my favorite play at the weakest of all positions.

DeMarre CarrollDeMarre Carroll FD - $5600 DK - $5300
Opponent - NO
Proj Pts FD - 28.03 DK - 28.2

We're going to stay on the Pelicans side for the most part of this game, but if we think it's going to stay close and be high-scoring, someone will hit on Brooklyn. While they have a huge rotation and nobody has locked in minutes, DeMarre Carroll is pretty close. He only saw around 22 minutes for 2 straight games after injury, played 37 and 28 in the last 2. He looks to be fully healthy and ready to give it a go against a Pelicans defense that struggles against the perimeter. Carroll is involved in this offense a ton and can put up 40 FP with ease and a floor of 25 is fair as long as the game stays close. He's actually in a very similar spot to Justin Holiday at SG. He's not a guy you need to force in anywhere, but makes sense as a filler in both cash games and tourneys.


Power forward

Anthony DavisAnthony Davis FD - $11200 DK - $10800
Opponent - BKN
Proj Pts FD - 54.33 DK - 54.45

We'll kick off PF with a very interesting play. On one hand, this is as obvious as it gets. The Nets ranks dead last against PF's in basketball and Davis could put up 70 fantasy points without a blink of an eye. On the other hand, he saw just 31 and 30 minutes in each of his last 2 games and didn't get to value in either. Those games were out of hand, however, so maybe they were just getting rest for AD when a game is close. Anthony Davis is one of the best fantasy players on this planet and you can't ignore him because of his injury struggles. He demolishes when on the court and sees an ideal match-up with RHJ and Zeller. RHJ is actually a great defender, but not so much with the PACE these guys play at. Davis is an elite option in all formats and I think you have to pick between either him or Cousins. For me, it's a bit of both. With a floor of 45 and a ceiling above 80. Davis can be played in any format. I don't see him being more than 35% owned.

Zach RandolphZach Randolph FD - $6100 DK - $6300
Opponent - CLE
Proj Pts FD - 32.66 DK - 33.29

The resurgence of Zach Randolph is something I'm completely on board with. I've been a fan forever and it's interesting to see his old play-style translate to today. He does it quite well, though, as he has about 5,000 moves and you can't tell which one it is until it's over. Until his first step speed leaves, he will be an effective scorer. He hasn't been getting as many minutes as you'd like, but is doing more than enough in them. Ignoring the last outlier, he seems to be getting around 30-32 in close games. This match-up with the Cavs certainly constitutes as a big game for the Kings and you can be sure he'll be in there for 30+ if it's close. He's cheap enough across the industry to be played in all formats. If it's close, Z-Bo will do damage to the likes of Klove and Frye. If it's a blowout, he could walk away with 13 fantasy points to no surprise. 

Markieff MorrisMarkieff Morris FD - $4500 DK - $4700
Opponent - ATL
Proj Pts FD - 23.6 DK - 23.66

I jumped all over Markieff Morris before last game and things turned out exactly how I hoped. He got all the way up to 29 minutes and had a very solid game in a somewhat tough match-up. It's exactly what you'd hope for out of Morris if you're hoping for a full recovery to 35+ minutes and being treated like one of the big guns. For now, he'll be around 25-30 minutes and a very safe cash game plays. 'Kieff is a really good player and can put up 35 fantasy points in a jiffy if getting the ball. The Hawks are a slightly below average team against the PF position and struggle overall in the paint. It's one of the main reasons John Wall is in play. Morris is an elite play at his price that can be played anywhere as a filler. 


DeMarcus CousinsDeMarcus Cousins FD - $11400 DK - $11500
Opponent - BKN
Proj Pts FD - 51.56 DK - 54.09

We looked at AD to start PF and nothing really changes here. If anything, Cousins is just the more consistent and reliable option. He seems to be in there every single game and hasn't pulled any of the same garbage he has for the past 10 years. It seems like both AD and Cousins are coasting a bit with 45-55 in most games, but will have an explosion very soon and I think this match-up is quite the strong candidate. The Nets rank 21st against centers, and even that is an improvement over where they have been for most of the season. Tyler Zeller is actually a decent defender against most centers, but has 0 shot at all here. Allen is way too immobile and won't see much of the floor with these big men. Cousins is a lock for 50 fantasy points with the upside for 80. He'll cost you, but could be very worth it at center, where he may outscore the entire field by 25. He's a guy I have in 60% of lineups as of now, but would like to get that as close to 100% as possible.

Marc GasolMarc Gasol FD - $8600 DK - $8800
Opponent - LAL
Proj Pts FD - 37.64 DK - 37.9

It feels really weird to have the Lakers favored over the Grizzlies. I'm just far too used to seeing this game as a -10 or -12 the other direction. Now that there's little to no blowout risk with Marc Gasol, he's an elite option everywhere against a lowly Lakers interior. It'll be the usual suspects in Randle, Kuzma, and Nance Jr. down there and I can't seem to figure out how they will at all stop him. Gasol is one of the 5 best centers in the league as one of the 5 smartest players overall. He's going to diff up this game for 40 fantasy points with the upside for 60-70 is he gets in a groove. Both Cousins and Gasol are extremely cheap and guys I'm willing to bet heavily on. Good luck tonight and please comment below with any questions! Thanks!


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5 Visitor Comments

  1. If I want to do a Hornets homer stack which 3 should I go with?

  2. Wall, Jru, Lebron, Brow and Boogie. Thanks.

  3. I hope you liked demarre also anthony!….picking studs is easy, picking value is why you pay!!! Westbrook is in every post, yet not tonight, in a unreal matchup…if you fit those 5 in your lineup you are Jesus!!!

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