Basketball Picks Daily Fantasy Expert Advice
Daily Fantasy NBA Basketball Picks for FanDuel and DraftKings - 2/8/18
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Welcome to NBA Wednesday! We had a pretty small Wednesday slate yesterday, but the NBA has traded us for a very nice Thursday. We have another 6 games on the board tonight and plenty to dive into. We start out in Golden State with Stephen Curry. As of now, Kevin Durant is questionable. Curry is obviously viable no matter what happens, but he’s a much better play if Durant is out. He sees his usage go up close to 5% and will see at least 4 or 5 extra shots. In addition to the ball being in his hands every possession, instead of splitting down the stretch with KD. You also have Draymond Green questionable, though he doesn’t really take away any shots. His absence would just help keep the game more competitive, which inevitably helps Curry. The match-up is certainly nice with the Mavs ranking 21st against PG’s. Dennis Smith Jr. is a rookie, but you also have no help underneath the rim. Curry will be able to get open from anywhere on the floor and should be a safe bet for 50+ if KD is out. If KD plays, I doubt I’ll have nearly as much exposure to Curry as I plan. I’d rather pay down and look up to a star elsewhere.
We have a questionable Russell Westbrook, so Raymond Felton has to be touched on. He’s seeing 15 minutes a night with Westbrook in, so you’d have to assume he gets to at least 30 if he sits. He’s minimum priced across the board and someone who always produces when given the opportunity. He knows how to run the offense and will make sure George and Carmelo will have plenty of looks. It’s obviously a bit of an unknown as to how Felton would play with the main unit, but he’s averaged 1.06 FP per minute, so there’s that. The Lakers rank 20th against PG’s and aren’t on the way up. Felton will grab the worst defender on the floor and it should be a cakewalk to the paint. If Westbrook sits, count Felton in for 30 minutes and 25 fantasy points. At least. We could be looking at a lot more. If Westbrook plays, Felton is completely wiped off the board. Make sure Westy is out and plug in Felton across the board. I know I will.
In the mid-range, the NBA Lineup Optimizer is loving Dennis Smith Jr. and I have to agree. He's seeing 32-35 minutes every single game and is now seeing a match-up he should absolutely thrive in. While the Warriors are pretty strong on paper against just about every single possession, they push a lot of production toward PG. Especially if we're going to see Iggy at the 3, who nobody can get by. Curry is the weakest defender in this starting lineup and he's often just covered up by a Draymond switch or KD/Klay front. Tonight, the Warriors may be out of rhythm completely. Smith has some bad games just like any rookie, but he's a lot more consistent than most. Typically sitting around 25-35 fantasy points, he'll make you happy in cash games. He's shown off a very nice ceiling with 40+ a few times and his price is very fair. Looking at the PG position, there is a clear reason why we like Smith Jr. He's the cheapest real viable starter that can be counted on for 30+ minutes and 20+ fantasy points. For the mid-$6k's, you can do a whole lot worse.
Tim Hardaway Jr. FD - $6000 DK - $6400
Opponent - TOR
Proj Pts FD - 29.95 DK - 30.84
We're going to touch on a few Knicks tonight. With Kristaps Porzingis (entire season) and Enes Kanter both out, there is a ton of opportunity to go around. While I'm sure Michael Beasley has a lot of it covered, there are other guys to look at. Tim Hardaway Jr. is the 2nd leading scorer behind Kristaps Porzingis and deserves a lot of attention himself. He is coming off of a recent injury, but he played 33 minutes in 2 of the last 3 games, so it's safe to assume full health. He's a guy that's going to be putting up 30-40 a night when in his rhythm and it's just a matter of time. His shot will start to fall and the rest will be history. He hasn't been bad, either, you just haven't seen the THJ we all know and love. He's still flashed his upside and maintained a pretty solid floor. Tonight, he gets a solid match-up against a Raptors squad that should keep it close. DDR is a solid defender, but there's a reason the Raptors are ranked 14th against shooting guards. He's nothing special and doesn't have much help behind him. Hardaway Jr. has a floor of 20-25 without Porzingis and a legit ceiling in the 50's. You will see it very soon. At his price, I'll have close to 100% in all formats. Shooting guard isn't the greatest and I love what we have going here with Hardaway in a game that should be close all the way to the buzzer.
Josh Hart FD - $6300 DK - $5500
Opponent - OKC
Proj Pts FD - 22.85 DK - 23.08
With Lonzo Ball ruled out for at least 1 more game, Josh Hart remains in our lives. Let’s just take a look at these last 3 games since Hart was given the starting nod. 31, 34, and 39 minutes. 34, 37, and 37 fantasy points. He’s playing on the wing, but getting himself involved in almost every single possession. You then get to his rebounding, which is uber-elite for a guard. He’s put up 10+ in 3 straight. The mat has-up against OKC aid certainly interesting, though it helps they just faced off 2 games ago. The one Hart put up 34 fantasy points in 39 minutes. They’ve ranked 22nd since Andre Roberson went out to SG’s and the entire offense may be in shambles tonight. We could easily be looking at just a shell of the regular lineup. Hart is by no means a must at the raised price tag, but he’s going to produce when on the floor and is in a pretty friendly match-up, so why now. Hart is a guy I’ll play in any format until he disappoints me or is moved out of the starting lineup.
Michael Beasley FD - $6200 DK - $6300
Opponent - TOR
Proj Pts FD - 41.13 DK - 42.82
PG13 is an easy play if Russell Westbrook is ruled out. I still don’t know if he’s as easy of a play as Michael Beasley here. With Kristaps Porzingis unfortunately out for the season, we’re going to see Beasley step it up a ton. With Porzingis out of the lineup, Beasley holds a team-high 30.5% usage rate, per NBAWowy. He has the ball in his hands almost every play and will have no problem creating offense against the Raptors. They aren’t necessarily a bad defense, but they don’t have anyone big and athletic enough to stay with Beasley for 30+ minutes. He’s locked into those minutes with Porzingis and Kanter out, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see him get close to 40 even. The upside is unquestioned as a guy who threw up multiple 50+ FP performances last time Porzingis was out. Personally, Paul George and Michael Beasley are a very easy combo at SF.
Paul George FD - $8600 DK - $8800
Opponent - LAL
Proj Pts FD - 40.02 DK - 41.05
As we sit, Russell Westbrook and Carmelo Anthony are questionable. While everyone is still in play with Westy in, it’d be a lot more fun the other way around. If he does miss, a lot of those ball handling minutes are going right to Paul George. Along with a few of the shots. George hasn’t been his best-self just yet, but he’s more than comfortable in the offense with 60+ in 2 of his last 4. That’s with both of the studs in. He’s dominating on the floor and putting up scoring numbers like he did in Indiana in 2012. He’ll be covered by Brandon Ingram and Josh Hart, who are both subpar defenders compared to what PG13 brings to the table. Now if Westbrook or Melo is out, George is a lock for me. He will see a massive uptick in usage along with an added role in the offense. With his price still under $9k for no reason, I would have 100%. Now if Westbrook plays, George turns into a normal GPP play against a weak Lakers squad. Just wait for news on OKC and react as best you can.
Mario Hezonja FD - $5400 DK - $5300
Opponent - ATL
Proj Pts FD - 27.19 DK - 27.63
Russell Westbrook isn’t the only familiar face on OKC tonight with some injury trouble. Carmelo Anthony will join Russ as questionable, leaving almost everything on the board for the Thunder. Melo left game after just 6 minutes, allowing Grant to pick up 35 and PatPat 29. If those are the numbers we’re looking at again, we obviously want a lot of exposure. Both Grant and Patterson are proven viable options that can put up 25-30 FP with ease given the opportunity. Assuming Melo sits, I will have a ton of exposure to both of these guys. For one, the Lakers are pitiful against PF’s. Two, both of these guys are way too cheap and will demolish value if given even close to the same minutes. You’re looking at 2 of the best plays on the slate if Carmelo Anthony is ruled out. These guys also benefit slightly with Westbrook out, but could probably use his playmaking ability at least to a degree. Pay attention to news and make sure these guys find a spot in your lineup if Melo is out.
Dwight Powell FD - $5500 DK - $4500
Opponent - GS
Proj Pts FD - 28.16 DK - 27.29
If you need to pay down a little bit, Dwight Powell is very interesting. Over the last 3 games, he's played 27, 29, and 31 minutes. He's put up 25+ fantasy points in 2 of those and has proven time after time that he will produce when given the opportunity on the floor. After 3 games with a bunch of minutes and produing nicely, I doubt they pull them away against a fast-paced Warriors squad. He fits the best out of any of the bigs and could see even more minutes if the Mavs were smart. You know a match-up with the Warriors is always interesting, but it's never concrete. We all know this game could be over by the 2nd quarter and Powell could end up play seven minutes. It's just possible when you combine 2 volatiles like Dwight Powell and the Warriors. if the game does stay remotely close and pOwell sees his minutes, the production is a lock. He's fairly priced on both sites and I'm a fan in all formats. I'm just a little bit scared is all.
Kyle O'Quinn FD - $4000 DK - $4400
Opponent - TOR
Proj Pts FD - 37.69 DK - 37.8
We now get to the center that I personally like the most. There’s always some question surrounding him, but everything is working in his favor tonight. We know Porzingis is out for the year and Kanter will join him for at least a game. With Hernangomez also gone, I don’t see how O’Quinn avoids 25-30 minutes at a minimum. We know he produces like crazy on the floor, sitting at 45 FP per 40 minutes. At $4k, you’re looking for 20 fantasy points. It will come with ease tonight and I would actually be surprised if he didn’t get to 30. I know O’Quinn is typically impossible to trust, but the Knicks have 0 other centers on the roster and the PF’s are all rookies or inexperienced. Look for KOQ to man up and play big minutes here against the Raptors. He’s my favorite play at center and a guy I love in every format.
Steven Adams FD - $6900 DK - $6700
Opponent - LAL
Proj Pts FD - 34.65 DK - 35.08
We finish off Center with a somewhat-polarizing option. We’ve been all over the Thunder so far and won’t stop here with Steven Adams. I think most would prefer playing Adams with Westbrook in the lineup, but he’s actually seen a 3% usage increase and a few extra shots with him out of the lineup. He’s not a guy who gets any of his FP from calls played for him, but instead makes himself involved any way possible. He’s sitting around 35 FP in most games and doesn’t do much disappointing at all. The match-up against the Lakers couldn’t be any better. It’s been Julius Randle and Brook Lopez picking up minutes at the 5, and either is worth a lick on defense. They rank 28th on the season and have some of the softest big men in the entire league. Adams will bully them around assuming the game stays close and put up another 30-40 fantasy points. He’s a viable option in all formats.
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- Stephen Curry: (AP Photo/Ben Margot)