Basketball Picks Daily Fantasy Expert Advice
Daily Fantasy NBA Basketball Picks for FanDuel and DraftKings - Friday 12/7/18
You know the saying -TGINBAF. Thank goodness it's NBA Friday. That means a full slate of games and the perfect way to unwind after a long week of watching other NBA games. Let's break down a Friday slate for FanDuel and DraftKings.
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Russell Westbrook FD - $11300 DK - $11400
Opponent - CHI
Proj Pts FD - 59.54 DK - 62.42
There was a point in Wednesday’s game against the Nets where it sure looked like the 20/20/20 triple-double was within shouting distance for Westbrook. He didn’t get there, but still finished with an incredible 21 point, 17 assist, 15 rebound line in 40 minutes to pull out the road win against Brooklyn. He’s once again averaging a triple-double on the season (barely, but whatever) and remains among the highest floor/ upside fantasy plays on any given night. He’ll get another cherry matchup against a Bulls’ team ranked in the bottom third of defensive efficiency with no perimeter defenders in the mix until Kris Dunn gets back (he’s doubtful for this game).
Jamal Murray FD - $7400 DK - $7100
Opponent - CHA
Proj Pts FD - 36.97 DK - 38.21
Gary Harris has already been ruled out for Friday’s game and we’ve seen Murray get a big boost in minutes and usage over the short term with the Nuggets’ starting shooting guard off the court. Over the last four games Harris has missed, Murray played 40 or more minutes in three of them and averaged 23 points, seven assists and six rebounds. He also took 20 or more shots in three of those four games while also getting to the line 11 times in the overtime win against the Magic on Wednesday. Even with the price bump, Murray’s increased usage with Harris on the court once again puts him into cash game consideration.
I see these two guys as rather clear cash game plays at their respective price points. But there are some other points guards to consider. Stephen Curry is very much in play against the Bucks. The game should stay close and while Milwaukee has looked great on defense Curry is on a different planet this season. He's shooting 55% from three since coming back from injury and on the season is still over 50% from beyond the arc. That’s just stupid.
I don’t mind Collin Sexton for cheap if he’s getting the scoring going, but the guy doesn’t do much else.
Josh Hart FD - $3600 DK - $3600
Opponent - SA
Proj Pts FD - 21.56 DK - 21.32
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope FD - $3700 DK - $3900
Opponent - SA
Proj Pts FD - 19.07 DK - 19.33
With Brandon Ingram on the shelf, both of these guys stand to see an uptick in minutes on the wings for the Lakers. Hart could pull the start after starting the second half for Ingram on Wednesday and the former saw his biggest boost in minutes earlier in the season when Ingram served the suspension. But the run hasn’t been there in the short term at all for Hart. He’s not a robust fantasy contributor so we’d be counting on starter’s minutes for punt prices in this matchup.
Meanwhile, KCP played 28 minutes off the bench on Wednesday when Ingram went down and finished with 12 points and seven rebounds. From a fantasy perspective, Caldwell-Pope is the much more attractive option and would probably be in play even coming off the bench in this game.
Buddy Hield FD - $6200 DK - $6200
Opponent - CLE
Proj Pts FD - 31.85 DK - 33.52
He only played 18 minutes last game because the Kings dismantled the Suns and Hield’s services were no longer needed. But Hield has been sitting in the low 30’s of minutes over the course of the season and draws a great matchup against a defensively inefficient Cavs squad. Hield has become more of a pure scorer this season, relying a little less on the three and a few more midrange jump shots. The results are an uptick in per minute scoring and a more reliable fantasy play (because of the minutes) on a nightly basis.
Bojan Bogdanovic FD - $5100 DK - $5400
Opponent - ORL
Proj Pts FD - 27.1 DK - 28.53
Bojan remains in play because his minutes’ floor is as high as anyone at the position on a night-to-night basis. He’s played 33 or more minutes in each of the last three games, topping up to 38 last Thursday. His value is derived almost solely from scoring. Among players with over 500 fantasy points this season, Bogdanovic has the fourth-highest points: fantasy points ratio (72%). That means if he’s not scoring, you could be left out in the cold for his DFS contribution. But that has also kept the price somewhat in check in the short term and I do think the minutes are rather safe in this matchup.
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist FD - $4400 DK - $3900
Opponent - DEN
Proj Pts FD - 23.78 DK - 22.6
Kidd-Gilchrist pulled the start on Wednesday in place of the injured Marvin Williams and was generally underwhelming from a fantasy perspective. But I do think there’s some reason to be bullish on his prospects in this matchup. He took 10 shots in 23 minutes against the Timberwolves and also pulled down five rebounds. He lost some run because of the blowout and didn’t have any defensive stats. he averages a block and steal each per game, so there’s upside on those numbers if he gets the start again. He’s also coming so cheap at a weaker position, especially on FanDuel.
Rudy Gay went off for 31 points and seven rebounds in the Spurs’ loss to the Lakers on Wednesday. He’ll get the same matchup on the back end of the home and home and I suppose there’s some upside in playing him here again. The 21 shots were completely out of nowhere so I don’t think you can bank on that usage, but he’s still moderately priced on both sites.
Bam Adebayo FD - $5500 DK - $4200
Opponent - PHO
Proj Pts FD - 33.23 DK - 33.66
Kelly Olynyk FD - $5100 DK - $4000
Opponent - PHO
Proj Pts FD - 26.74 DK - 27.54
Hassan Whiteside has already been ruled out for Friday leaving us a possible Bam-chalk scenario on both sites. Last time Whiteside sat, earlier in the season, Adebayo played 29 minutes and put up an 11 point, eight rebound, three steal game in 29 minutes against the Pistons. He’ll get a slightly easier matchup here against the Suns on Friday and should see very high ownership on both sites. He’s the prime beneficiary of Whiteside sitting and of course gets to face a Suns’ team ranked second-to-last in defensive efficiency on the season with particular issues against opposing big men.
We could also see something of a bump for Olynyk here off the bench. He played 24 minutes in that Pistons’ game and put up 13 points, five rebounds and four assists. He’s also seen more steady run in the short term with 28, 29 and 25-minute games over the last three.
Lauri Markkanen FD - $6700 DK - $6300
Opponent - OKC
Proj Pts FD - 34.55 DK - 35
In the Bulls first game without Fred Holberg, Markkanen reentered the starting lineup in place of Jabari Parker and promptly put up a team-high 24 shots (see ya later Zach Lavine). Markkanen established himself as the center of the offense and also pulled down 10 rebounds in the loss to the Pacers. The Bulls still aren’t going to be any good, but we are buying way low on their young power forward if this is going to be his kind of usage going forward. The shot attempts were for sure on the high side, but we also could see another slight minutes’ increase as he works his way back from the injury.
Joel Embiid FD - $10700 DK - $10100
Opponent - DET
Proj Pts FD - 56.1 DK - 58.1
Embiid and Andre Drummond have something a feud going though it’s been pretty one-sided this season. In their two meetings Embiid is averaging 36 points, 14 rebounds, and two blocks. Drummond? Not so much. The price isn’t through the roof on Embiid here and he stands up as a big money payoff even on the big slate. He’s putting together close to an MVP season to date, and shown the ability to maintain steady mid-30’s minutes nightly. Update: Embiid has been ruled out. If Mike Muscala enters the starting lineup he would be an interesting DFS play
Kevon Looney FD - $4500 DK - $4300
Opponent - MIL
Proj Pts FD - 24.6 DK - 23.84
Looney offers a way to get away from the position on the cheaper side. He’s been in the starting lineup since the Warriors lost Damian Jones and has played well in mid-20’s minutes both games. He won’t get a ton of shots with this starting group, but has found a way to get up six and eight looks in the last to games respectively while also contributing on the boards and the defensive end. He might be called further away from the basket than normal with Brook Lopez on the floor, but the latter also isn’t much of a defender. I don’t mind Looney as a low-range punt play.