Basketball Picks Daily Fantasy Expert Advice

11/07/2018
Doug Norrie

Daily Fantasy NBA Basketball Picks for FanDuel and DraftKings - 11/7/18

Wednesday in the NBA brings us a slate in which Russell Westbrook is already ruled out leading to some likely chalk Thunder guys. But there are plenty of other situations to monitor as well. Will Kawhi suit up for the Raptors? Who will the Hawks run out there against the Knicks? What's up with Anthony Davis? We've got you covered with Wednesday's NBA plays for FanDuel and DraftKings.

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Point Guard

Derrick RoseDerrick Rose FD - $5500 DK - $5600
Opponent - LAL
Proj Pts FD - 29.84 DK - 30.78
While there are never many easy things with DFS, writing Derrick Rose up on this slate feels like one of those *safe* assumptions. Jeff Teague has already been ruled out and we know the Minnesota plan with this personnel. Hell, they showed it last game when Rose played 35 minutes, put up 20 shots and the T-Wolves got subsequently blown out by the Clippers. Team results be-damned, this is a squad that Thibs will run out there for major minutes and there’s even some chance Jimmy Butler sits again. Rose is an auto-play at these prices and he has such outsized opportunity in terms of usage and minutes that it stands to reason he’s one of the highest-owned play on the slate.

Mike ConleyMike Conley FD - $7300 DK - $7300
Opponent - DEN
Proj Pts FD - 38.52 DK - 39.33
Conley has had an up and down start to the season, putting up some very solid scoring lines, but also struggled over the last couple of games to get anything going. Part of that comes down to the three-point shooting where he’s 2-10 over his last two games and only 29% for the season. Over his career, he’s 38% from beyond the arc which does seem to point to regression coming on his shooting from deep. Beyond that, the assists and rebounds per minute are back in line with his ’16-17 season and the recent shooting woes have the price down a bit on both sites. Denver is a good defensive team, and have at least one elite perimeter lock-down guy in Gary Harris. But betting lines have this game as the Nuggets only slight -4 road favorites. A close game could put Conley in the mid-30’s minutes where he’d be a cash game play in the mid-$7K range.

After these two guys, the point guard options do get a bit thin. If Kawhi Leonard sat again, Kyle Lowry would vault to near the top of the value plays. He sees a usage bump with Leonard off the floor. I’d also seriously consider Trae Young against if Taurean Prince sat again. The Hawks draw a good matchup against the lowly Knicks.

Shooting Guard

Dennis SchroderDennis Schroder FD - $6400 DK - $6900
Opponent - CLE
Proj Pts FD - 36.36 DK - 37.49
Remember when I said Derrick Rose could be one of the highest-owned guys on this slate? Well, Schroder will likely be higher. That’s what happens when you get Russell Westbrook ruled out early and don’t allow enough time for the price correction. Schroder opened this season as a DFS darling with no Westbrook. He made good on it in the first game against the Warriors with a 21 point, six assist, eight rebound game, but stunk it up in game two against the Clippers. Since then, he’s been a steady fantasy guy in a bench role for the Thunder and should step into a high-usage situation here against the Cavs without Westbrook. It helps that Cleveland is among the worst defenses in the league on the season with no real hope of improvement. Schroder will be a chalk play on both sites.

Kevin HuerterKevin Huerter FD - $3600 DK - $3400
Opponent - NY
Proj Pts FD - 20.5 DK - 20.95
Allonzo TrierAllonzo Trier FD - $4200 DK - $4500
Opponent - ATL
Proj Pts FD - 21.83 DK - 22.82
These are the “if this, then that” plays coming cheap on Wednesday. Hurter drew the start for Taurean Prince on Tuesday and, from a fantasy perspective, got the job done. He played 32 minutes (no small feat for a Hawks’ guy) and got there by contributing across the box score. Seven points, five rebounds, three assists and four blocks/ steals added up to him hitting value even though he only took five shots. He’s not going to provide a ton of upside considering his lack of usage for this team, but he’d make for a punt play if Prince sat again.

Meanwhile, Trier drew the start for the Knicks with Tim Hardaway Jr. out with back spasms on Monday. The latter is questionable going into Wednesday’s game and Trier would be in line for the minutes again if THJ sat. Trier played 32 minutes in regulation against the Bulls and finished with 21 points and three rebounds on 5-15 shooting. That last piece is the reason to be bullish on Trier on these prices if he draws the start again. Finding his shot in the offense would be the key to the young guard hitting value at these prices. If the situations both play out as expected, I’d probably prefer Trier over Huerter coming in the same punt price tier.

Strongly consider Zach Lavine and Justin Holiday against the Pelicans, a bottom-feeding defensive team this season (even in games where Anthony Davis plays). Both are getting a bit expensive because of rather consistent minutes/ performance, but this is a great matchup for the Bulls.

Small Forward

Paul GeorgePaul George FD - $10200 DK - $9100
Opponent - CLE
Proj Pts FD - 48.21 DK - 49.35
Much like Schroder, George sees a massive usage bump with Westbrook off the court. Over the last two seasons, George has a 26.2 usage rate, but when Westbrook is off the court, that number shoots up to 36.1. That’s one of the biggest on court/ off court jumps you’ll see for any player and George could see high ownership on Wednesday. He faces the Cavs, the worst defensive efficiency team in the league this early in the season who don’t have many functional ways in which to improve on that end. There’s no early line on the game, but it stands to reason OKC is a rather heavy favorite road favorite against Cleveland even without their superstar. In the first two games of the season, with Westbrook off the court, George took 27 and 23 shots respectively including an average of 11.5 threes in those two contests.

Nikola MiroticNikola Mirotic FD - $8400 DK - $8300
Opponent - CHI
Proj Pts FD - 38.78 DK - 39.72
While we often prefer to play Mirotic when Anthony Davis is off the court, the former has still put up consistent fantasy lines whether Brow plays or not. In fact, in games where Davis is on the court this season, Mirotic is averaging 16 shots, 19 points and double-digit rebounds. And it’s the last piece that’s become so important for Miro maintaining a higher fantasy floor even with Davis on the court. He’s rebounding at the highest rate of his career (8.8 per game) and double-doubled in seven the first ten games. As we’ve already mentioned, the Bulls are an awful defensive team and there’s a reason this game opens with the highest over/under of the slate (231). I’m optimistic Mirotic can keep up this kind of rebounding going forward as the Pelicans shift Davis around the court more on offense.

Much like shooting guard, we have a steep drop off in value plays after some of the more expensive options. There are some mid-tier plays to consider though their matchups leave a bit to be desired. Harrison Barnes is coming off a strong game on Tuesday, but isn’t exactly cheap and faces up against a stingy Utah Jazz defense. Similarly, Joe Ingles could see heavy minutes in this game against the Mavericks, but does take a usage hit with Donovan Mitchell expected to return. And finally, Andrew Wiggins is worth a look against the Lakers.

 

Power Forward

Anthony DavisAnthony Davis FD - $11800 DK - $11500
Opponent - CHI
Proj Pts FD - 61.52 DK - 60.82
From a fantasy perspective, should we be concerned about Davis? At these prices? Maybe. Over his last two games he’s put up *only* an average of 19 points, eight rebounds and two assists on 39 minutes. For an $11K+ guy these numbers are a total disaster. They aren’t even coming close to value and that’s all we are really concerned with when it comes to recommending plays. The biggest dropoff from Brow has been in the scoring department. He's averaging 23.3 points per game, down from 28.1 last year. That's roughly a 20% dip and could be the new norm considering much of it is ties to a similar reduction in overall field goal attempts. Could a full season of Nikola Mirotic plus the addition of Julius Randle off the bench lead to continued lower usage for Davis? Possibly. Admittedly, I'm concerned. But this is the kind of matchup where things could turn around for the Pelicans' big man and he's clearly a top play even at these elevated price points.

Jerami GrantJerami Grant FD - $5400 DK - $5100
Opponent - CLE
Proj Pts FD - 28.66 DK - 28.05
Grant is guy we’ve had a consistently high projection on since the beginning of the season and have begun reaping some of the rewards in the short term. Since entering the starting lineup over Patrick Patterson six games ago, Grant is averaging 14 points, five rebounds while throwing in some assists, blocks and steals. He’s put up double-digit shots in half of those games and stands to see a moderate usage bump with Westbrook off the court. The matchup is fantastic and Grant won’t break the bank on either site. It’s hard to imagine him having a ton of upside because Schroder and George will likely dominate much of the fantasy production, but Grant does rate out as a cash game consideration on both sites.

And then there are the guys we’ll need to monitor leading into lineup lock. The most important situation (at the power forward position) is the Kawhi Leonard news. If the latter didn’t suit up again, then Pascal Siakam and Serge Ibaka would instantly become two of the best plays on the slate against the Kings. Siakam has especially benefited over the last two games, averaging 32 minutes, 16 points, ten rebounds and 2.5 assists. Ibaka’s value would depend on the Raptor’s starting lineup. He crushed the Lakers over the weekend, but then didn’t start against the Jazz. He also fouled out in only 14 minutes (though found a way to drop 17 points and five rebounds before doing so).

 

Center

Andre DrummondAndre Drummond FD - $9600 DK - $9000
Opponent - ORL
Proj Pts FD - 54.02 DK - 54.47
Drummond remains underpriced thanks to some weirdness around his game lines and inconsistent early-season performances. But this guy has as much upside as anyone in the game and could dominate a very weak Orlando interior defense. He’s coming off a 25 point, 24 rebound (overtime) game against the Heat on Monday. It marks the fourth (the fourth!) 20-20 game of the season for Drummond. There have been only five such games in the whole NBA this year, Drummond has 80% of them. Last year there were 26 20-20 games, Drummond had six of them. Again, we are getting Drummond on a discount because ejections, foul trouble and a couple of blowouts led to bad performances in other games, but I do think the mid-to-high 30’s minutes and dominance on the boards is in the cards going forward for Drummond and he won’t draw much in the way of resistance in this matchup.

Karl-Anthony TownsKarl-Anthony Towns FD - $9400 DK - $8800
Opponent - LAL
Proj Pts FD - 46.76 DK - 48.49
Concerns about KAT’s early-season performance have fallen by the wayside with the T-Wolves big man dominating in the short term. Over his last five games, Towns is averaging 22 points and 14 rebounds including a 25 point, 16 rebound game against these Lakers last week. Towns is still coming on the cheaper side on DraftKings where the double-double gets you a few extra points and should be in play tonight against the Lakers. LA remains a bottom-third defensive team on the season and this game should feature one of the highest over/unders of the slate (no early line on the game).

Consider Myles Turner coming cheaper on DraftKings.

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image sources

  • Paul George: (AP Photo/Jim Mone)

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