Basketball Picks Daily Fantasy Expert Advice

11/07/2018
James Davis

Daily Fantasy NBA Basketball Picks for FanDuel and DraftKings - 11/8/18

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Point guard

Patrick BeverleyPatrick Beverley FD - $4500 DK - $3800
Opponent - POR
Proj Pts FD - 22.69 DK - 23.23
Welcome to an officially weird Thursday in the NBA. We actually have a decent amount of value opened up via a likely Russell Westbrook and Draymond Green DNPs, but that only gets us to a point where the slate is playable (rather than exciting). For the first piece of evidence to this effect, I submit one Patrick Beverley. Point guard is really hard tonight, and particularly if you elect not to pay up. I actually like some of the more expensive plays in Lillard and Curry, but I just hate how lineups look if you wind up prioritizing paying up at the position. Instead, I think I'll turn to Beverley in a game where they should really want his defense. With two exceptionally gifted offensive guards on Portland, I think Beverley will be in line for 30-35 minutes, and a fairly safe 5x points per dollar here. On DraftKings he looks especially free, and I'll definitely play him there.

Kyrie IrvingKyrie Irving FD - $8500 DK - $8000
Opponent - PHO
Proj Pts FD - 39.85 DK - 41.3
After Beverley things get a little dicier. I can't say I relish the thought of even paying up this much for Irving, but Phoenix's guard defense is just so bad that I think you can justify it. The Suns have two offense only guards in Booker and Canaan, and Irving's slash and kick game has looked basically unstoppable in the last week or so. He looks like he's really getting comfortable with Hayward, and the additional shooting help means defenses can't cheat on his drives as much. If there's a fly in the ointment here it's the 9.5 point spread. Boston is happy to find bench time for their studs, and if this game gets out of hand Irving's head should be on the chopping block. Still, I think it's his offensive contributions that get them there in the first place.

Also considered: Eric Bledsoe. It should be a close game with a high total, and I think Milwaukee lets him run. He's still somewhat inexpensive, and again, this position is really hard.

Shooting Guard

Dennis SchroderDennis Schroder FD - $7000 DK - $7000
Opponent - HOU
Proj Pts FD - 37.41 DK - 38.49
Here's a key reason to play the slate. Schroeder was a 90% cash game play at admittedly cheaper prices on Wednesday, but even at higher prices he could be higher owned on Thursday on a shorter slate. We don't need to break down the match-up here. If Westbrook plays Schroeder is out of contention and you might just want to skip the slate. If Westy is out, you play Schroeder without thinking and move on to a different position.

C.J. McCollumC.J. McCollum FD - $7000 DK - $6500
Opponent - LAC
Proj Pts FD - 34.73 DK - 35.68
Klay ThompsonKlay Thompson FD - $6500 DK - $6000
Opponent - MIL
Proj Pts FD - 31.53 DK - 33.1
Here is where things get a little bit interesting. I actually think both of these guys are underpriced relative to where they ought to be. Both have had their breakout games (CJ against the Bucks, and Klay against the Bulls), but both are still lagging in terms of overall fantasy point per game production. The most important thing we've seen from both, though, is what their teams plan to do in close games. Both are generally slated for 35-37 minutes until things get out of hand. And unfortunately for both of their fantasy prospects, things have gotten out of hand more often than not. Well tonight the Blazers are in a game with a 5 point spread, and while the line on the Bucks/Dubs game is not out yet, you'd have to think the Warriors aren't favorites to blow out the reborn Bucks. I love both of these plays, and would love to play all three of these shooting guards on DK if possible.

Small forward

Kevin DurantKevin Durant FD - $10800 DK - $10200
Opponent - MIL
Proj Pts FD - 50.43 DK - 51.22
Giannis AntetokounmpoGiannis Antetokounmpo FD - $12500 DK - $11000
Opponent - GS
Proj Pts FD - 58.86 DK - 60.21
Ugh. The fact of the matter is that it's going to be awfully tough to run both of these guys, and especially tough on DraftKings where you can't throw away a position. So the big question is - which do you prioritize? I think I'm snap playing Giannis on DraftKings where the pricing is tighter, but with the wider spread on FanDuel I think it's awfully close. Giannis has only averaged 4 more fantasy points per game than Durant this season, but he's also playing almost 5 fewer minutes per game thanks to leaving one game early and some wild Bucks games as well. Milwaukee is a better match-up overall, so that's a point in Durant's favor, but Giannis really is the only show in town on his team, which is a pretty significant edge his way. Ultimately I'm just going to have to trust our lineup optimizer to tell me which of these two I'm going to play, because it might even tell me to play both. If I wind up having to choose, it's going to be a pretty rough sweat to root against the other guy.

Gordon HaywardGordon Hayward FD - $5400 DK - $5100
Opponent - PHO
Proj Pts FD - 26.26 DK - 26.44
Alfonzo McKinnieAlfonzo McKinnie FD - $3800 DK - $3800
Opponent - MIL
Proj Pts FD - 21.53 DK - 21.88
Well, this is officially the weirdest position in a while. You can either play two excellent expensive options, or some combination of completely speculative cheap plays. Say what you will about Hayward, but at least his minutes have been consistent. Phoenix has played slower this season, but they have still played the third worst defensive efficiency, which especially benefits guys like Hayward whose offensive production comes from finding wholes in the defense. I list McKinnie here as a purely speculative play. With Iguodala coming back McKinnie falls into the "play this guy only if you're throwing the position away category."

Power forward

Jerami GrantJerami Grant FD - $5600 DK - $4900
Opponent - HOU
Proj Pts FD - 28.49 DK - 27.69
Put me squarely in the camp of people that think Grant is just too cheap right now. He hasn't scored less than 20 fantasy points in a single game all season, and with Westbrook banged up he's flashing 40 fantasy point upside. I think he's honestly playable even if Westbrook is out there, but if Westbrook sits he's just another no-brainer increased opportunity guy.

Al-Farouq AminuAl-Farouq Aminu FD - $5400 DK - $4700
Opponent - LAC
Proj Pts FD - 25.86 DK - 25.9
I think about Aminu the same way I think about CJ McCollum. The Blazers have played so many strange games that his season totals are still a complete and utter mess, but they've made it plain as day that Aminu will play 30-32 minutes in close games. He's a natural fit to cover Tobias Harris here, and while he doesn't necessarily put up big numbers offensively, he's still averaged almost 5x points per dollar on these prices on the season. Given that I believe he will wind up playing ~10% more minutes per game by season's end, I still think we're buying slightly low on his current prices. At a pretty meh position that's probably going to be enough for me to get it done tonight.

Jayson TatumJayson Tatum FD - $6400 DK - $6400
Opponent - PHO
Proj Pts FD - 30.59 DK - 30.66
If you want a little bit more upside than Aminu likely offers, I'm pretty interested in Tatum here. You only want to play him as a part of a Boston/Phoenix stack (with the idea that the game stays unexpectedly close), but if it does, I could see Tatum putting up a big game. Tatum is another guy who has averaged roughly 5x points per dollar in spite of not averaging the amount of minutes he'll play in close games, and I particularly like his skill-set against this Suns front court. He's far too physical for Ryan Anderson, too big for Ariza, and Ayton should have his hands full with Horford. If this game does manage to stay close, I think we could see a throw back to those 40+ fantasy points performances that he dropped NY and PHI at the beginning of the year.

Keep an eye on Kevon Looney. If we get word that he his going to get increased run with Draymond's absence he makes an interesting throwaway option as well.

Center

Jordan BellJordan Bell FD - $3500 DK - $3900
Opponent - MIL
Proj Pts FD - 28.72 DK - 26.84
Bell is basically the reason to play this slate, in my opinion. His cheap price tag allows you to potentially pay up twice at small forward, and with Green out, Golden State should be highly motivated to give Bell extended minutes. You're going to want to wait to get official news that Bell gets the nod, but if he does this is just your classic price and opportunity mismatch.

Clint CapelaClint Capela FD - $7900 DK - $6900
Opponent - OKC
Proj Pts FD - 42.1 DK - 42.07
I'd rather not smash Capela into the Thunder on FanDuel at these prices, but on DraftKings it's looking pretty tempting. Capela has been somewhat underwhelming offensively, but he's as steady as a rock on the glass with double digit rebounds in six straight games, and he brings a defensive element that the Rockets seem to really prioritize. In normal game scripts he's a lock for 35-37 minutes per game, and it's clear that the Rockets view him as a part of their current "big three." On a short slate he might just bring enough value that you could play him alongside Bell at a different flex position.

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