Basketball Picks Daily Fantasy Expert Advice

10/23/2018
James Davis

Daily Fantasy NBA Basketball Picks for FanDuel and DraftKings - 10/24/18

It's a huge Wednesday basketball slate, so let's cut the preamble. Scoring is still broken on FanDuel (as in, we have a huge edge right now), and there's plenty of value to go around on this slate. We've got superstars, bad defenses, fast teams, and value plays. Everything you need for some Wednesday NBA fun.

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Point Guard

Stephen CurryStephen Curry FD - $9300 DK - $9800
Opponent - WAS
Proj Pts FD - 47.1 DK - 49.29
For such a big slate, point guard is surprisingly weak tonight. Our first glance suggests that we don't have a lot of initial value jumping off the page, so it might be a night to punt the position away on FanDuel (or soft punt it with a guy like McConnell if Simmons is out again). Still, you'll need too run at least one PG on each site, and you could probably do worse than Steph here. He's averaging 30/5/8 to start the season with 49 fantasy points per game, and it looks like the Dubs plan on playing him 36-37 minutes per game here. And like we saw against Phoenix, he can even get his in blowouts since the blowouts are usually his fault in the first place. Tonight he'll be up against the Wizards, who on paper represent a slightly below league average match-up. Washington was a playoff team last year, and should be able to hang here, so I'm slotting Curry for his full run of minutes. If he gets them, the floor should be quite solid.

Kemba WalkerKemba Walker FD - $8400 DK - $8400
Opponent - CHI
Proj Pts FD - 41.09 DK - 42.34
The Hornets/Bulls game has a sneaky high 231.5 total tonight, which is good for the third highest on the slate at the moment. I feel like I've written up Kemba 100 times in my DFS career, and it's always with the same reasoning: he'll be a slight value when he has a good match-up. His price has hovered around $8,000 for what feels like forever, and that's because he consistently plays high 30s minutes on a team that is rarely involved in blowouts. The Bulls have the 6th worst defensively efficiency this season while playing the 11th fastest PACE, and Kris Dunn is pretty hapless on the defensive end. Kemba has paid easy value in 3 of his 4 games this season, and in 2 of those he topped 53 fantasy points. He's a reasonable play in any format.

Goran DragicGoran Dragic FD - $6500 DK - $6200
Opponent - NY
Proj Pts FD - 32.09 DK - 33.18
Dragic has been rock solid to start the season on these prices, paying 30+ fantasy points in each of his three games so far. The backcourt of Ntilikina and Burke has struggled defensively so far, and Dragic's persistent never-take-a-possession-off attitude should give them fits here. With the Heat continuing to play short handed it's an all hands on deck situation in Miami, and Dragic looks like a high floor cash game option.

Also considered: TJ McConnell is still probably too cheap if he's going to play 26 minutes of point guard with Simmons out. Keep an eye on the Philly situation for sure.

Shooting Guard

Garrett TempleGarrett Temple FD - $3900 DK - $4000
Opponent - SAC
Proj Pts FD - 25.27 DK - 25.63
Temple is sort of the perfect FanDuel play, to me. He's playing 34 minutes a game right now, making him a classic price/opportunity mismatch guy. He went off for 42.8 fantasy points against Atlanta, and while he wasn't good against Utah, he's the perfect guy to play considering you can just drop your lowest score anyway. This Sacramento match-up has rocketed back into being one of the premier spots in the league, with the Kings pairing the league's fastest pace with the 4th worst defensive efficiency. With Parsons and Brooks likely out again, he might just be a cash game lock for me on FD (and he's playable on DK as well).

Devin BookerDevin Booker FD - $8000 DK - $8300
Opponent - LAL
Proj Pts FD - 40.85 DK - 43.51
Now here's a mid-range payoff I can get behind. The Lakers and Suns understandably have the highest total on the slate, and I'm not dissuaded by the Suns playing rather slow to start the season. Booker is clocking in at an easy 40 fantasy points per game right now, and while Hart is racking up steals he is still prone to gambling and giving up open shots as well. Booker's only risk on a typical night is his team getting blown out, and given the 2.5 spread here, I'm not concerned about it. He'll be one of the higher players on the whole slate.

Zach LaVineZach LaVine FD - $7700 DK - $7400
Opponent - CHA
Proj Pts FD - 37.91 DK - 39.01
LaVine has been incredible to start this young season. His he's shooting 3.5 more times per game (up to 18.3), and doing so with incredible efficiency. He's getting to the rim more, and while his 62 FG% is probably not sustainable, we should see gains from him there this season. He's also shooting 6.7 threes per game and making 45% of those, and he's just looking like an all around stud. His worst game this season was a 5.5x performance against Detroit, and we can of course live with that against Charlotte here. Batum and Lamb have been bad against opposing SGs over the course of the last two seasons, and LaVine just looks like a great play here.

 

Small Forward

Kevin DurantKevin Durant FD - $9900 DK - $9700
Opponent - WAS
Proj Pts FD - 50.84 DK - 51.59
Like Curry, Durant is locked into a high 30s minutes rotation right now, and the 47.2 fantasy points per game he's averaged have been perfectly serviceable on these prices. Durant had his way with Washington last season, topping 30 points in the two times he faced them, making Otto Porter look pretty lost out there defensively. Durant will probably be about 5% more expensive when it's all said and done, and if not, it will only be because he'll lose minutes in blowouts. Again, if you think this one stays close, Durant should have all the floor you'll need.

Kawhi LeonardKawhi Leonard FD - $9400 DK - $8700
Opponent - MIN
Proj Pts FD - 49.36 DK - 47.32
I think I prefer Durant to Kawhi at a similar price point on FD, but on DK you can make a real case for Leonard. Toronto's two way stud has been fairly modest so far this season, but I still think we have a lot of value on this price point. Two games have gone against Kawhi completely - a tough match-up with Boston, and a blowout against Charlotte. He was respectable against Cleveland, but 9/22 shooting kept his overall line down. I have a feeling that will change against Minny. So far this season the T-Wolves have been a plus match-up for opposing small forwards, and rank in the bottom 1/3 of defensive efficiency while playing a top 1/3 PACE. Minnesota's personnel should have an awkward time guarding Kawhi as well, with Butler being a hair small and Gibson being a hair slow. I think we see 20 shots from Leonard here, and I believe this is the game that pushes his price past $9k on DK.

Kelly Oubre Jr.Kelly Oubre Jr. FD - $4200 DK - $4300
Opponent - GS
Proj Pts FD - 27.19 DK - 27.34
Oubre started the second half for the injured Mahinmi, and wound up playing 39 minutes in the overtime game against Portland. With Brooks coming out and saying he wants to play small ball for "long stretches" in the future, it only stands to reason that they will try it against a Warriors team that is built to go small themselves. Oubre can credibly chase Durant or Green around, and as we saw last game, he's competent offensively too. And, he's cheap. If you're averse to punting away a position (or if you have a lot of cheap guys), he's the perfect type of high upside bench filler that could bring you good things in cash games or big tourneys.

 

Power Forward

Kevin LoveKevin Love FD - $8500 DK - $8800
Opponent - BKN
Proj Pts FD - 49.03 DK - 52.31
Now here's a real mint of a play. Love's stats look nothing like last year's figures. He's shooting 6 more times per game, hauling in 5 more rebounds, and has even doubled his assists from 1.7 to 4.0. He finally looks like the guy I'm sure the Cavs thought they traded for, and with Irving and LeBron out of town, this finally looks like his team. The beautiful thing? He's still not priced like it. With a modest $500 price increase so far, I think you'll see Love hit the $10k range at some point this season. The man has 36 rebounds in his last two games, and Brooklyn has been the very best match-up for opposing power forwards in the season's worth of games. Great play in all formats.

LaMarcus AldridgeLaMarcus Aldridge FD - $9100 DK - $8500
Opponent - IND
Proj Pts FD - 44.35 DK - 43.99
If you guys are cool with it, can we just pretend like we didn't play Aldridge in his one terrible game this season? Cool? Cool. Lamarcus has been a full on beast so far this season, averaging 23/12/4. He's playing a ton of minutes (averaging 6 more than last season), and has kept his same excellent per-minute production in the meantime. If he's going to play high 30s minutes, he'll be a $10,000 player in short order, meaning we still have a buying opportunity here. He'll be up against Thad Young, who has piloted multiple teams to a bottom 3 ranking against opposing power forwards, and it's hard to believe the Spurs won't realize this is their go to spot all night long.

Dario SaricDario Saric FD - $5800 DK - $6100
Opponent - MIL
Proj Pts FD - 30.22 DK - 31.76
Saric was highly owned in Simmons' absence on Tuesday, and it stands to reason that he'll be highly owned once against if some combination of Simmons and/or Embiid wind up missing here. Saric shot 16 times against Detroit, and still paid 6x points per dollar in spite of only making 5 of those. The Sixers are just leaving too many shots on the table when their big money guys are missing, creating a great opportunity for guys like Saric to fill the void.

 

Center

Alex LenAlex Len FD - $5800 DK - $5400
Opponent - DAL
Proj Pts FD - 33.99 DK - 35.11
We gave you Len as a bounce-back play against Cleveland, and bounce back he did, going off for 16/11/4 with 4 blocks and a phenomenal 46 fantasy point performance. This is the Len most people expect as the starter for the Hawks. He's always been a fantasy points per minute beast, and finally securing a 30+ minute rotation should be all he needs to find a comfortable home as a $7k player. Dallas is still playing slowly, but they are still playing awful defense as well. Their 118.9 defensive efficiency is currently good for dead last in the league. And, importantly, they don't have any offensive threats that should get Len in foul trouble.

Tristan ThompsonTristan Thompson FD - $4700 DK - $5300
Opponent - BKN
Proj Pts FD - 25.17 DK - 25.31
It's looking like a day to go cheap at center, to me. The Cavs have been involved in some weird games this season thanks to how bad they are on defense, but in their one close game Thompson topped 6x points per dollar on these prices. Brooklyn has been as bad against centers as they have against power forwards, and Thompson sure looks like a lock for double-double production here. Neither Cleveland nor Brooklyn will see a lot of games with a 3 point spread, so I like a lot of the players in this game to have far more minutes security than usual.

Keep an eye on the Philly situation. I have a strong suspicion that Embiid will get a night off after an overtime game against Detroit, and if he does, that will create a huge value vacuum. I'd guess Amir Johnson would be the primary beneficiary there. If Embiid plays again, he's a great play against Milwaukee.

 

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image sources

  • Stephen Curry: (AP Photo/Ben Margot)

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