Basketball Picks Daily Fantasy Expert Advice
Daily Fantasy NBA Basketball Picks for FanDuel and DraftKings - 12/8/18
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For the first time in a couple months, basketball owns Saturday! With only one CFB game on the board, most eyes should be focused on this slate of 8 NBA games. We'll kick things off in Cleveland, where the Wizards will come in as heavy favorites, even if there is no line on the game yet. John Wall missed last game for personal reasons, but is fully expected to return tonight. He has been playing a lot better as of late and has been over 50 fantasy points in most of the good match-ups he's seen. He'll return from his personal issues, so he should be well rested and ready to go for 35-40 minutes. Collin Sexton is an absolutely terrible defender and Wall will do whatever he wants on offense. I just think it comes down to whether or not the Cavs can keep it close. If they do, I don't see how Wall stays away from 50 fantasy point in 35 minutes.
Jamal Murray is finally hitting his stride. After nailing a few road bumps to start the season, he’s starting to show his consistency and upside on a nightly basis. He’s been over 40 fantasy points in two straight contests and is getting huge minutes. 40, 46, and 36 to be exact in his last three. This is a second leg of a back to back, though I wouldn’t be worried as Murray played 35 and 39 minutes in a back to back sets just about a week ago. Murray is young and the Nuggets aren’t worried about running him a ton. As for the match-up, it doesn’t get much better. The Nets rank 4th worst against the position and play at a top 10 league PACE. Recipe for success.
With George Hill being sent to Milwaukee, Sexton is going to see some big minutes before Dellavedova arrives. He’s played 35 minutes in back to back games and has demolished value. His price is extremely low on both sites, so you only need 25 fantasy points to pay off. The Wizards rank dead last in basketball in terms of fantasy points allowed to opposing point guards, so the match-up is here and the opportunity is plentiful. Sexton is one of the safer options on the entire slate at his price and I don’t think there’s much room for disappointment. As long as he sees 30+ minutes on the court, he’ll pay off such a low price tag.
No signs point to Dellavedova being ready to play in this one, so the minutes should continue to pour in for these guys. They both played over 30 minutes against the Kings last night and dominated. Alec Burks (22 pts, 7 reb, 9 ast) was the better of the two, but Clarkson (26 pts, 4 reb, 1 ast) was great himself. Along with Sexton, these two guys are going to be extremely popular. The Wizards are another fast-paced team and the Cavs will look to bounce back after a disappointing loss to Sacramento just last night. With George Hill gone and the newbies not ready to play, I don't see the Cavaliers having any problem playing these guys big minutes. They will just get some rest once Delly arrives. Personally, I like Clarkson more. He's more consistent and is the way to go in cash games. Burks is extremely cheap, however, and will be hard to get away from in cash games needing you only 20-25 fantasy points. The Wizards rank 21st against opposing small forwards and that's where a lot of these minutes will come. With Hood currently questionable, it's hard to imagine the minutes going in the other direction.
Kent Bazemore FD - $5900 DK - $4800
Opponent - DEN
Proj Pts FD - 34.01 DK - 33.01
The Hawks are dealing with a ton of injuries. As we stand, it looks like Jeremy Lin, Taurean Prince, Omari Spellman, Alex Poythress, and Miles Plumlee will all sit out. Naturally, there are going to be a ton of minutes up for grabs. Taurean Prince's status is the main outstanding news here, and the reason Bazemore is such a good play. With Prince out last game, Bazemore started and played 34 minutes against the Wizards. He put up 47 fantasy points and looked a lot like the Bazemore we've dreamed about. The Nuggets are pretty good against SG's, but you can't count on that number with Gary Harris out of the lineup. Bazemore is still way too cheap on both sites and is a solid option in both formats.
The mid-range at SG is a bit spotty. Since Oladipo went out, the Pacers have tanked in the bottom 5 against opposing shooting guards. Both Hield and Bogdanovic have a ton of upside and shoot a ton when on the floor. I know Bogdan has been a bit underwhelming in his last two, but I think he plays 30+ on the second leg of the back to back. As for Hield, he’s a bit cheaper and more of a sure thing with minutes. The Pacers like to play fast and allow the 4th most open three point shots. Vegas expects the game to be high scoring and I can’t disagree. The Kings are always a bit tough to project, but these are two guys that fit this match-up perfectly and are priced very fair at one of the lesser positions.
Robert Covington FD - $7100 DK - $6400
Opponent - POR
Proj Pts FD - 36.19 DK - 34.88
Small forward is not a pretty position. There are a lot of interesting ways to go, but they all either have a lot of question marks or are just a bit too expensive for comfort. On the high-end, LeBron James is always going to be in play. He's just facing one of the slower teams in all of basketball and is coming off of a pretty intense victory. You then get into the mid-range, where we'll pick out Robert Covington. RoCo has been a perfect Tom Thibodeau player, playing 30+ minutes every single night and getting to 38 in about than half of them. Tonight, he gets the best match-up in all of basketball for small forwards. The Blazers and Harkless/Turner are pitiful on defense against the 3 and Covington should be able to take advantage on both the inside and perimeter. At a position without much safety, a guaranteed 30+ minutes against the best match-up out there is very comforting. His price is still fair on both sites and he should a very popular option at the position.
Bojan Bogdanovic FD - $5200 DK - $5500
Opponent - SAC
Proj Pts FD - 26.97 DK - 28.3
Bogdanovic revenge game?? We touched on the Bogdanovic on the other side of the ball, but he's not as good a play as Bojan. Bogdanovic has been one of the most consistent Indiana Pacers all year long. On a nightly basis, Bogdanovic is playing 35 minutes and putting up 25-35 fantasy points. He enters tonight against one of the faster paced teams in the league. They also give up the 2nd most three pointers, so it seems like a perfect fit for Bojan. His price is still low enough on both sites and his minutes are a guarantee. Small forward is definitely one of the weaker positions on the night, so you'll be happy with 5x out of anyone.
Deandre Bembry FD - $5500 DK - $3800
Opponent - DEN
Proj Pts FD - 22.15 DK - 21.71
With Taurean Price out, Deandre Bembry played 27 minutes against the Wizards and put up 32 fantasy points. The only reason that Bembry isn't a phenomenal DFS option more often is because of his opportunity. He only plays 20-25 minutes on most nights and doesn't pay off the $5k+ price tag on FanDuel. Tonight, however, 27 is about his floor. He's also going to handle the ball a ton with Jeremy Lin out, and the Nuggets rank middle of the road against both PG's and SF's. As long as everybody on the Hawks is out as expected, Bembry is going to play 27-35 minutes and is one of the safer options on the board at a weak SF position.
In the absence of Hassan Whiteside, both Adebayo and Olynyk benefit. Against the Suns, it was 32 minutes for Adebayo and only 22 for Olynyk. Now with that said, the Heat have shown a willingness to move minutes around due to match-up. I do think Bam Adebayo is a true prospect and one that will put up monster stats when on the floor, but that doesn’t take away from the 3-point upside we know we have in Kelly Olynyk. The Clippers love to play fast and that’ll benefit both of these guys. I think the way to go in cash games is Bad Adebayo. He’s just a lock for 25 minutes and 25 fantasy points at a low tag. He was an 82% start in cash games last night, and went off. Olynyk has a lot more question marks, but can quiet all of them if he gets hot from behind the line. Still, he's more of a big tournament play.
Trey Lyles FD - $3600 DK - $3500
Opponent - ATL
Proj Pts FD - 20.12 DK - 20.56
Paul Millsap broke his toe last night, so the Nuggets will be without him for a few. In the meantime, it’ll be Trey Lyles who sees a huge bump. Personally, I think the Nuggets love Lyles and have no problem running him for 30+ minutes. He’s always shown the ability to produce when on the floor and it always just comes down to opportunity. Now with Millsap out and the Nuggets already a bit injured, Lyles is going to take over. I may be a bit crazy, but I’ll have 100% Trey Lyles. He’s near minimum price and a lock for 25 fantasy points if given the minutes. You won’t find a lineup of mine without Trey Lyles. Juancho Hernangomez is in a similarly strong spot at small forward.
John Collins FD - $7700 DK - $6800
Opponent - DEN
Proj Pts FD - 32.81 DK - 33.52
Here we are with another Atlanta Hawks option. With Prince and crew expected out, you can pencil Collins in for 30+ minutes. That may not seem like a big deal, but it’s huge for a guy that often fails to reach that number. When over 30 minutes, Collins is almost a guarantee to produce. He’s put up 35+ in three straight and does have a lot to do with this offense. His price is getting up there, but I just don’t see much room for Collins to hurt me on this slate. The Hawks are as weak as it gets down low and Vegas thinks he game at least stays close. Collins is a phenomenal option in all formats and one I prefer to Harris and Jackson Jr.
Nikola Jokic FD - $9800 DK - $9200
Opponent - ATL
Proj Pts FD - 48.28 DK - 49.65
Nikola Jokic looked a bit off for a few games, but things are back to normal. He's always one of the more consistent big men in all of basketball on a fantasy points per minute basis, so it's odd to see him go through a stretch like that. He's back over 35 minutes in three straight games and now sees a phenomenal match-up against a Hawks squad that's missing some bodies. Collins and Dedmon are big in size, but neither are defenders. Jokic is going to obliterate this interior and could go for 60 if they run the offense through him. In my opinion, it'll either be Jokic or Murray that goes absolutely off in this game. Jokic is still fairly priced around the industry and needs to get you 50 to make you happy. There isn't much to spend up on this slate, so Jokic should come easy.
Dewayne Dedmon FD - $5000 DK - $4200
Opponent - DEN
Proj Pts FD - 33 DK - 31.67
For our last Hawk of the night, we’ll take a look at Dewayne Dedmon. Dedmon played just 22 minutes last game, but Plumlee was playing. He’s currently doubtful to play, which should open up Dedmon for 25-30 minutes on the floor against a pitiful Nuggets interior. Sure, Jokic is as good as it gets on offense, but they rank in the bottom half against centers for a reason. Dedmon isn’t a bum, either, averaging over 1 FP per minute on the season. It’s all about opportunity for a guy like this. His price is cheap, making him a near lock for value if the added opportunity is given. If you don’t have the funds to pay up for one of the studs, Dedmon will not be the guy that weighs your roster down.