Daily Fantasy NBA Basketball Picks for FanDuel and DraftKings - 10/20/18
We have a tidy little Sunday slate, as the NBA goes head to head with the NFL for the first time this season. No worries about a small slate, though - we have lots of value already on the table, with more to potentially come if any big names like Harden sit the second half of a back to back here. We have some bad teams, some high totals, and some tight spreads - all the makings of a super fun short slate to sweat after the NFL inevitably goes pear-shaped on us. Let's dive in and make sense of it all.
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Stephen Curry FD - $9600 DK - $10000
Opponent - DEN
Proj Pts FD - 49.82 DK - 51.94
It will be an overarching theme of the day, but if this game stays close you're going to have a hard time getting away from it. As of this writing this game has the highest total and a very tight -3.5 spread. If you don't think this one ends in a blow-out, Curry is probably under priced. Denver slowed things down last season, but they played the 4th worst defense in the NBA. They're on the second half of a back to back, and Murray was already not necessarily known for his defense. Curry is off to a ripping start to the season - topping 30 points in each of his first two games while averaging 22 shots. I don't expect this to stop against Denver here.
Trae Young FD - $6100 DK - $6100
Opponent - CLE
Proj Pts FD - 31.21 DK - 34.06
I never know what to do with young players like... Young. On one hand, the minutes and usage seem to be there. He's played 33 minutes a game in two very different game scripts, and averaged 16 shots in those games. His 5.8 minutes of time of possession per game are higher than guys like Giannis or DeRozan. And yet he's shooting 37.5% from the field. Generally, either the shots have to come down or the field goal percentage has to go up. Given that Young is just getting his feet wet in the NBA, it is understandable that he's a little overexcited right now. I still think he'll get his shots here, though. And you really can't complain about the match-up. Cleveland had the second worst defensive efficiency last season, and that was with LeBron. Vegas has pegged this game with a total just two points below the Golden State game, so there should be a lot of opportunity to go around. Young seems fine for any format.
Yogi Ferrell FD - $3800 DK - $3900
Opponent - OKC
Proj Pts FD - 19.96 DK - 20.59
Ferrell makes for the perfect FanDuel play at the moment. If he's starting and the Kings don't get blown out, he should play like 30 minutes and is a totally viable play in his own right. If the Kings DO get blown out, he's cheap enough that you can happily drop him as your lowest score. Things get a little closer on DraftKings, as Ferrell is not very heavily involved in the offense and is arguably the last option for them. The match-up sort of doesn't matter here - at 30+ minutes nearly every player with be in play at near minimum prices these days.
Also considered: Jamal Murray.
James Harden FD - $11600 DK - $11200
Opponent - LAC
Proj Pts FD - 56.42 DK - 58.12
This one comes with the obvious caveat that you need to ensure Harden is playing on the second half of this early season back to back. If he's out, you can happily plug Eric Gordon in in his place. If he is playing, though, you should probably assume that he'll quietly resume playing high 30s minutes with absurd usage and time of possession. In spite of having Chris Paul on his team, Harden still has the ball in his hands more than any player in the league besides John Wall. The Rockets are just 2.5 point favorites here, so the blowout risk is apparently not as high as my gut tells me it should be. Either way, Harden looks like a safe way to invest the savings you can get from punting a position on FanDuel.
<Gary Harris FD - $6000 DK - $5500
Opponent - GS
Proj Pts FD - 30.94 DK - 30.96
We wrote Harris up last night for much the same reason we're writing him up tonight. Harris is a featured part of the Denver offense, and when things are clicking he should be an easy source of 30 fantasy points a game. The price is down $200 after the Phoenix game, and if Denver is really supposed to hang in this game you have to figure that Harris will play a major role. The plan appears to be to play him 35+ minutes per game, and given how the man thrives in transition, Golden State is probably a positive match-up for him when it's all said and done. He has a solid floor with big upside if the game gets really fast and stays close.
Dennis Schroder FD - $7000 DK - $7200
Opponent - SAC
Proj Pts FD - 37.16 DK - 38.34
He's only playable if Westbrook sits, of course, but some amount of people will be sleeping on Schroeder after a disappointing performance on Friday against the Clippers. Don't go too crazy, though. Schroeder's 2/15 from the field killed him coming and going - lowering his own fantasy points (obviously) and also contributing to the Thunder getting blown out and the starters losing minutes. I'm loving the 17 shots and 7 assists per game that I've seen out of him so far, and I have no worries that the Thunder will get blown out by the Kings. Again, you can't play him if Westbrook plays, but if Russ is out Schroeder should be the highest owned player on the slate once again.
Kevin Durant FD - $10200 DK - $10200
Opponent - DEN
Proj Pts FD - 52.19 DK - 52.87
Soooo, is there some obvious reason I'm missing as to why Durant's price has gone down this year? If anything, he's in an even better spot than last year. He's averaged 38 minutes through the first two games, and while you'd imagine he'll be one of the first to be rested if the game gets out of hand, he'll also be one of the first players to make the game get out of hand in the first place. With his health concerns in the distant past it seems like the Dubs are ready to trust him to go all out, and I think you'll see an 8%-10% price increase here fairly soon. Denver quite simply does not have the personnel to cover both Durant and Green, and with Millsap likely following the more physical Green it could be open season for KD here.
Paul George FD - $9200 DK - $8400
Opponent - SAC
Proj Pts FD - 44.63 DK - 45.82
Another pick that's somewhat dependent on Westbrook's status, but honestly on DraftKings you can probably play him either way. George was a little disappointing on Friday night, but a lot of that was game script related, and didn't speak to his own personal opportunity. George has played 38 minutes in each of the Thunder's first two games, and launched an unsustainable 25 shots per game in those 2 contests. He also chipped in 6 steals. You can't possibly expect George to shoot 32% on the season, and when those shots start falling this price is going up. Sacramento has seemingly flipped the script on their speed this season, going from the league's slowest team to a top 3 pace team early on. Again, if Russ plays George is playable, and if he's out, PG13 is a no brainer.
Cedi Osman FD - $6200 DK - $6000
Opponent - ATL
Proj Pts FD - 27.38 DK - 28.16
Uh, are we trusting this early season Cedi Osman? Are we really heading to a world where Osman plays 34 minutes a game, shoots 13.5 times, and averages 6 assists and 6 rebounds? I'm not ready to go that far, but one thing is clear - Osman is a real part of Cleveland's plan this year. And that probably means he's still under-priced even after some pretty dramatic early season price increases. He's already faced some good competition in Leonard and Butler, so you'd have to consider this his easiest match-up of the season. He seems like a nice high floor option if you can't pay up at both spots (or if Westbrook plays).
Kevin Love FD - $8000 DK - $8500
Opponent - ATL
Proj Pts FD - 47.88 DK - 50.83
Yep, we're still in early season wrong-price mode. Thank goodness, because power forward is a wasteland as usual. Love looks like he's on the fast track to being a five figure player once again, shooting 18.5 times per game and hauling in 19 boards against his former team in his last game. He's paid value with his eyes closed at these prices, and all of this while shooting below 30% from the field. Love has never played a full season where he shot worse than 42% from the field, and shot 46% (on admittedly lower volume) last season. It's straightforward price and opportunity mismatch, and you get a great match-up on top of it all. Easiest play on the slate.
Draymond Green FD - $7400 DK - $6800
Opponent - DEN
Proj Pts FD - 37.07 DK - 37.04
Real talk - things get a little dicey after Kevin Love tonight. I'll start by giving you a few other options and you can make of them what you will.
And that's pretty much it. I'm honestly not sure I really love the play, but unless you throw the position away you aren't left with a lot of options. And I mean, Denver HAS been a top 5 match-up for opposing power forwards for many years consecutively, so it can't be terrible. Still, while Green has been contributing across the board, he has only averaged 9 shots per game over the first two games this season. It's tough to pay $7,400 for a guy who's the 4th fiddle in the awesome.
Also considered: Throwing this position away on FanDuel. What a time to be alive.
Tristan Thompson FD - $4100 DK - $5200
Opponent - ATL
Proj Pts FD - 26.98 DK - 26.97
Alex Len FD - $5400 DK - $4700
Opponent - CLE
Proj Pts FD - 28.02 DK - 27.71
Two centers going off against one another, and I like them for different reasons. On Thompson's side, you have to like how the Cavs are using him right now. A seeming afterthought in the last few seasons in Cleveland with just 20 minutes per game, Thompson has averaged 32 thus far. He's averaging his most shots since 2013, and is chipping in 11.5 boards per game as well. If he is going to be used this way, the match-up almost doesn't matter - the price is just flat out wrong. On Len's side, he was an early game darling that a lot of people lost interest in after a rough start. Yes, Len has been bad - but these game scripts couldn't have gone against him any more. With Atlanta falling far behind in both games, there really hasn't been a lot of opportunity for Len to flex on people. Well, with the Hawks only 7 point dogs, this might be Len's time to shine! In all seriousness, if you give Len 30 minutes this DK price is nuts, and he'll probably be highly owned there.
Clint Capela FD - $6800 DK - $6200
Opponent - LAC
Proj Pts FD - 36.71 DK - 36.94
If you want to spend up a little, Capela should be in a nice spot against the Jordanless Clips. Like Len, we can't say for sure what the minutes plan is for Capela given their first game, but we know he was playing 30 minutes in meaningful games last year, and we know that he was a $7,500 player when healthy last year.
Also considered: Nikola Jokic. The only questions here are - do you play him on the second half of a back to back, and do you trust him against Golden State? If you answer yes to both, he might be worth your while.