Basketball Picks Daily Fantasy Expert Advice
Daily Fantasy NBA Basketball Picks for FanDuel and DraftKings - 12/5/18
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Russell Westbrook FD - $11000 DK - $11200
Opponent - BKN
Proj Pts FD - 60.62 DK - 63.38
It only took Russ 29 minutes to go for 18/6/6 on Monday against the Pistons in an OKC blowout that left the starters short on their minutes. That doesn’t exactly project to be the case on Wednesday with the Thunder only 7.5 road favorites against the Nets. Westbrook should be in line for a huge outing against a weak perimeter defense in the Nets who are ranked in the bottom third of defensive efficiency overall. The Nets have definitely slowed things down this season, playing a bottom quarter pace so they aren’t the prime, run and gun matchup we’ve seen in the past. But Westbrook defies most matchups on his own, once again averaging nearly a triple-double on the season (23.5 points, 9.5 assists, 9.8 rebounds). He’ll cost you, but is for sure in the cash game discussion with this matchup.
John Wall FD - $9400 DK - $9400
Opponent - ATL
Proj Pts FD - 50.99 DK - 52.44
I’m going to make somewhat cogent points for a bunch of the big money guys on this slate because, well, there are reasons to play quite a few of them and that’s where your major decisions will lie on Wednesday. With the Wizards struggling to keep their collective heads above water, Wall has played major minutes in the short term and taken 20 or more shots in three of his last five games. It hasn’t always led to fantastic fantasy outputs, but he draws a fantastic matchup here against the Hawks who are about the worst defensive team in the league and have particular problems against opposing point guards. Trae Young can’t defend the position even a little bit and Wall should be able to get to the lane over and over here. I think we are buying a little low because the performance has been scattered this season.
After the big money guys, there’s a smattering of other value in the other price tiers. With Gary Harris out, Jamal Murray becomes a much more attractive play around the $7K range on both sites. He sees usage and minutes’ upticks with Harris off the court and doesn’t draw a tough matchup with Orlando on the back-to-back.
I’d love to play Tim Frazier but he didn’t get crunch time minutes for the Pelicans on Monday. That’s a concern even if the guy continues to start.
Luka Doncic FD - $7200 DK - $6700
Opponent - NO
Proj Pts FD - 37.78 DK - 39.14
Shooting guard is pretty damn bad on this slate, especially on FanDuel where you need to roster two and the position eligibility leaves you without much in the way of options. From a skill perspective, Doncic is nearly the best of the bunch and from a price perspective, he’s ringing in like much more of a value. He put up 21 points and nine rebounds against the Blazers on Tuesday after sitting out on Sunday against the Clippers. He’s shown the ability to contribute along ever line of the stat sheet and, if anything, has yet to put everything together into one monster game. He, for sure, has the ability and we are going to see the guy press up against triple-doubles at times this season. The Pelicans rank 25th in defensive efficiency this season and play the third-fastest pace in the league. If there’s a game to get volume fantasy scoring, this is the one. At a weak position, I’m loving Doncic here and if he can see mid 30’s minutes then we could see one of his best games of the season.
Alec Burks FD - $4100 DK - $4000
Opponent - GS
Proj Pts FD - 21.38 DK - 21.88
Remember when I said this position (especially on FanDuel) was garbage? That’s why you are looking at a name like Alec Burks here. The Cavs are headed down the blowout path almost for sure in this game which could (and should) lead to increased minutes for the bench guys. Burks doesn’t necessarily qualify as a garbage-time dude seeing as he was playing crunch time minutes (hitting a game-winner) against the Nets. But it does seem like the Cavs want to give him run after the trade and he’s coming cheap enough to play in cash games considering how he can create his own shot. He’s played an average of 26 minutes per game since coming over and averaged 14 points and six rebounds with some other stats thrown in. That’s enough to cover these salaries.
With Marvin Williams out and the Hornets becoming increasingly less reliable around minutes and usage with their core group, Jeremy Lamb continues on as one of their few consistent plays. I think we could see a slight minutes uptick in this matchup against the Timberwolves.
Along with Doncic, Wesley Matthews becomes interesting in that excellent matchup against the Mavs. On the back-to-back though, look for some Mavs to possibly sit.
LeBron James FD - $10700 DK - $10500
Opponent - SA
Proj Pts FD - 54.44 DK - 55.83
The Spurs might just stink. They got blown out by the Jazz on Tuesday 139-105, marking the fourth time in six games they’ve allowed an opponent to score more than 128 points. On the season, they rank fourth-worst in defensive efficiency and have had a particular issue guarding on the wings. They don’t have a totally logical solution for Lebron (I suppose Rudy Gay, but not really). Of course, I have a lot of expensive plays in this writeup and you can’t run them all. But Lebron makes for one of those big money considerations. He hasn’t hit a ton of fantasy upside in the short term, but three of the last five games have him at 31 minutes or less because of blowouts. That’s also driven the price down and the sites’ algorithms might still be giving discounts on playing the Spurs. That shouldn’t be the case considering their defensive woes.
Rodney Hood FD - $4800 DK - $4400
Opponent - GS
Proj Pts FD - 28.16 DK - 28.74
Davis Bertans FD - $3500 DK - $3500
Opponent - LAL
Proj Pts FD - 19.83 DK - 20.33
E'Twaun Moore FD - $4400 DK - $4000
Opponent - DAL
Proj Pts FD - 24.39 DK - 24.89
I’m putting these three in the “cheap SF plays who have upside and start, but can completely disappear on you” category. Is that clear enough? Hood’s played 34 or more minutes in four of the last five games, though he needs all of those minutes to garner anything like fantasy relevance. I do think there is some upside on his price if he can find the three-point range (only 28% over his last five) and that’s the key for him hitting value at these prices.
The same can be said for both Moore and Bertans who are more likely to stick with their minutes if the three-ball is falling. We saw Moore get burned off his run last game when he didn’t play crunch time for the Pelicans. That won’t always be the case for considering he’s put together a solid season, but it is a concern for his cash game safety.
And Bertans continues to start, but the Spurs continue to stink. It’s a rock and a hard place situation at a tougher position.
Serge Ibaka FD - $5900 DK - $5800
Opponent - PHI
Proj Pts FD - 32.11 DK - 31.63
Pascal Siakam FD - $6700 DK - $6100
Opponent - PHI
Proj Pts FD - 32.67 DK - 31.97
When the Raptors and Sixers met earlier in the season, Toronto elected to go with a smaller lineup even against Embiid and company with Ibaka at the five. It paid off with a 129-112 Toronto win. Ibaka and Siakam were successful against that unit (albeit that was pre-Jimmy Butler) with Ibaka going for 16 points, eight rebounds and a bunch of defensive stats while Siakam went for 15 points and 15 rebounds. I suspect Toronto goes for similar rotations here and I think we see 30 minutes plus out of both big men. Neither will completely break the bank on you here and it’s hard to imagine the minutes taking a hit in what should be a close game.
Frank Kaminsky FD - $3900 DK - $3700
Opponent - MIN
Proj Pts FD - 23.63 DK - 24.31
The (maybe only) key here for Frank the Tank is whether he draws the start for the Hornets. With Marvin Williams on the shelf, there are some power forward minutes open and up for the taking. But then there’s the fact that Kaminsky has barely played this season. We might need to hear definitive news on this status before lineup lock. Last game, when Williams went down Kaminsky played 25 minutes and put up 19 points and five rebounds against the Pelicans. I wouldn’t imagine he replicates his ten shot attempts, but the minutes would be enough at these prices if he’s running with the starters.
Obviously strongly consider Anthony Davis though there are so many good big money options I don’t think he’s a priority.
Steven Adams FD - $7700 DK - $6700
Opponent - BKN
Proj Pts FD - 38.75 DK - 39.02
Once again, say it with me, “Centers against the Nets. Centers against the Nets. Centers against the Nets!!!” It’s been a crazy recipe for success up until this point and there’s really no reason to pivot away from the strategy now. Brooklyn has so little size and just can’t hang with any competent NBA center, allowing (conservatively) 15% more scoring and 18% more rebounding than league average to the position. Adams has a double-double game written all over him here and is coming a bit on the cheaper side because the scoring hasn’t totally been there in the short term. But this is about the best matchup you can get in DFS right now.
Thomas Bryant FD - $3600 DK - $3300
Opponent - ATL
Proj Pts FD - 20.26 DK - 19.33
He only plays 19 minutes a game so you aren’t going to blow it out of the box on upside with Bryant. But in this matchup, it’s hard to imagine him killing you at punt prices against the Hawks. Even in rather limited run he’s averaging eight points and seven rebounds with some other auxiliary stats thrown in. That’s butting right up around value at these punt prices and if there was a game we might see just a slight tick up in minutes, this would be the one.
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- Thunder Lakers Basketball: (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)