Basketball Picks Daily Fantasy Expert Advice

James Davis

Daily Fantasy NBA Basketball Picks for FanDuel and DraftKings - 11/4/18

Two small Sunday slates, and to be honest, it's going to be pretty tough to offer the full set of picks for each one. Let's zoom out on the slates on a high level and talk about some plays you're going to want to target.

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Early Slate

So the major theme of the early slate? Lots of great big money plays! For starters, you have the two Sixers' big names going up against one of the softest match-ups in the league in Brooklyn.

Ben SimmonsBen Simmons FD - $9500 DK - $9800
Opponent - BKN
Proj Pts FD - 48.38 DK - 47.17
Joel EmbiidJoel Embiid FD - $11300 DK - $11800
Opponent - BKN
Proj Pts FD - 57.83 DK - 60.42
The Nets are playing as fast as they were last year, which, oddly, puts them toward the bottom of the league. What hasn't changed, though, is their utterly terrible defense. Embiid is just far too much player for Jared Allen, and the 4 point spread suggests he plays his minutes. Simmons is one of the more exploitable primary ball handlers in the league (with just 4 shots outside the restricted zone this season - thank DFSR's Doug Norrie for the stat!), but thankfully Brooklyn is almost certainly too clueless to do anything about it. Both of these guys are great plays.

Khris MiddletonKhris Middleton FD - $7600 DK - $7600
Opponent - SAC
Proj Pts FD - 35.98 DK - 36.7
Giannis AntetokounmpoGiannis Antetokounmpo FD - $11800 DK - $13800
Opponent - SAC
Proj Pts FD - 65.07 DK - 66.54
Now we slide over to the Milwaukee/Sacramento game. There's blowout risk here, with the Bucks being 10 point favorites, but the game also has the highest total on the slate by 10 points. Sacramento has flipped the script this season, transitioning from one of the league's slowest teams to a top 10 PACE squads, while playing basically league average defense. Middleton is cheaper than he has been, and Giannis is too cheap in a match-up against one of the many teams that can not cover him.

But here's the issue: where am I supposed to find the savings to play these guys? It's looking increasingly likely that you're going to have to run some cheap speculative guys, like Iman ShumpertJJ Redick off the bench.

We don't have any power forwards projected for 30+ minutes on the entire slate, and the most expensive options are Noah Vonleh (who just played 10 minutes), then three back-ups, and then Markieff Morris. How are you supposed to play two of these guys on FanDuel? FML.

Barring some kind of major news I'm pretty likely to just watch football during this slate.

Late Slate

Okay, things get a little bit more interesting on the late/main slate tonight.

Point Guard
Tyus JonesTyus Jones FD - $4800 DK - $4900
Opponent - POR
Proj Pts FD - 28.43 DK - 27.49
Isaiah CanaanIsaiah Canaan FD - $3900 DK - $3700
Opponent - MEM
Proj Pts FD - 24.71 DK - 25.51
For starters, we have two great cheap options at point guard. Tyus Jones is coming off of playing 40 minutes against the Warriors, and Derrick Rose is questionable and leaning towards doubtful. Canaan might not be a Cadillac level point guard, but he played 32 minutes as a starter in his last game, and that looks to be the plan going forward. He's paid 5x-6x points per dollar on these prices when starting, and looks like a very easy play even in a sub-par match-up with Memphis.

We're keeping a close eye on the Raptors. If Leonard sits (and it looks like he will), Kyle Lowry becomes a terrific play. Leonard has basically filled the shots-vacuum left by DeRozan by himself, and if he's out Lowry is the only shot-creator left on the team. I'd play him with the two punts on DK, and might even prioritize him on FanDuel due to a lack of high quality spend-up options.

Shooting Guard
Garrett TempleGarrett Temple FD - $4400 DK - $4600
Opponent - PHO
Proj Pts FD - 24.66 DK - 24.75
Temple is just another guy on a long list of too-cheap value guys in good match-ups on the late slate. For the love of the gods, could one of these guys have wound up on the early slate? Ugh. The plan for Temple seems to be to play 34 minutes in close games, making this yet another price/opportunity mismatch.

Devin BookerDevin Booker FD - $7900 DK - $7400
Opponent - MEM
Proj Pts FD - 38.37 DK - 40.64
Booker is a quasi-payoff for a slate with a ton of great cheap plays. Memphis is a pretty terrifying match-up, pairing a top 4 defense with the very best defensive efficiency in the league. Booker, though, is almost certainly too cheap for what he can produce. I can't tell if this is a case of the sites over-price correcting Booker, or them having a difficult time figuring out how to price him around his injury. I believe our system likes him primarily because you have to put the money somewhere, and he's a high volume shooter with a solid floor.

Also considered:CJ McCollum. It hasn't been pretty for CJ early this season, but I just have a hard time believing that his minutes won't settle back in around 35 per game the way it's been in the past. He looks like a solid value in basically any match-up until his price climbs back to the mid $7,000s.

Small forward

Now here's a weird position. We have more value that we can't really take advantage of in Kyle Anderson, but we may just wind up playing him by default because the position is so bad.

It's funny - both sides of the TOR/LAL match-up wind up being dependent on the Kawhi news. If Kawhi plays he's in a great match-up against the Lakers, who are pairing a top 4 pace with a bottom 10 defensive efficiency. If he sits, it obviously opens up a ton of value on the Toronto size. The last time Leonard sat Norman Powell started and played 27 minutes, but did next to nothing with it.

On the Lakers' side, LeBron looks like a great play if Kawhi sits, but probably too expensive if he plays. Leonard just swings the match-up too dramatically against LeBron, who is already fairly priced.

Power forward
LaMarcus AldridgeLaMarcus Aldridge FD - $8100 DK - $7800
Opponent - ORL
Proj Pts FD - 39.05 DK - 38.61
Now here's a stupid position. Aldridge is much too cheap at a very terrible position. Orland is playing slower than a lot of the league right now, but they are still a top 10 match-up for opposing power forwards. After him, you're back to the drawing board.

At this point, you're basically guessing at players' minutes. Pascal Siakam and Markieff Morris are both playable if you think they play their minutes. The trick here is that there are a half a dozen guys exactly like them at a very similar price - Taj Gibson, Ingram/Kuzma, Aminu, hell, his own teammate Ibaka. They all basically suffer from the exact same issues: minutes uncertainty.


Karl-Anthony TownsKarl-Anthony Towns FD - $9400 DK - $8600
Opponent - POR
Proj Pts FD - 47.57 DK - 49.18
Yet another big money payoff that doesn't exactly feel like one. Towns isn't even averaging paying off these prices, and this match-up with Portland isn't exactly the best possible one for him. What our projection system sees here is the potential that brought him to back to back 60+ fantasy point games. Towns has added 1.5 threes per year, and is shooting a phenomenal 45% on them. By all evidence he's an improved shooter, and yet, he's shot just 43% from 2 this season. Our lineup optimizer believes he must improve, and that he'll shortly become a $10k player once again when he does. Our optimizer believes it. I think I do. Do you?

Also considered: Javale McGee.


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