Basketball Picks Daily Fantasy Expert Advice

12/09/2018
Doug Norrie

Daily Fantasy NBA Basketball Picks for FanDuel and DraftKings - 12/10/18

Sundays are made for football. Mondays are made for hoops. We've got a full slate of basketball on FanDuel and DraftKings. There's plenty to consider here with a number of injury issues hanging in the balance and some blowout risk as well. Let's take a look at a packed slate of action.

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Point Guard

Kyrie IrvingKyrie Irving FD - $8500 DK - $8900
Opponent - NO
Proj Pts FD - 44.24 DK - 44.86
The Celtics have played in blowouts in each of the last two games, burning Irving off his minutes with the games getting out of hand. That shouldn't necessarily be the case on Monday against the Pelicans with the Celtics just seven point home favorites. Irving has found something of his patented scoring touch in the short term. Before last game, he’d put up 15 or more shots per game over his last five and averaged almost eight three-point attempts per contest. The Pelicans rank 24th in the league in defensive efficiency this season and are playing at a near league-high pace. Irving should find plenty of scoring opportunities here and is coming at something of a value. Update: Irving is out. Terry Rozier moves way up in terms of value. 

Stephen CurryStephen Curry FD - $9200 DK - $9900
Opponent - MIN
Proj Pts FD - 47.32 DK - 50.62
Curry was a mere mortal on Friday night, going *only* 7-17 from the field and 4-9 from three. Other players would revel in the glory of that line. For Curry, it’s a major disappointment. But this is a bounce-back spot the for the best point guard in basketball and Golden State opens as a 10.5 home favorite against the Timberwolves. There’s some blowout risk of course and that always calls Curry’s ultimate upside into question because he could sit for long stretches in the fourth quarter if the game is out of hand. But I think on FanDuel you’ll take him just over $9K especially considering some of the savings you are likely to see at some of the other positions. Minnesota has been good against point guards this season, allowing 8% less scoring than league average to the position. Covington helps with this as well because they can switch him into certain situations. But I’m still buying on Steph’s shooting here.

With Dennis Smith Jr. looking doubtful for Monday, look for Jalen Brunson to draw another start. He played 30 minutes on Saturday against the Rockets and put up 14 points and three assists. Of course, this is Luka Doncic’s offense with Smith out, but Brunson does ring in as something of a punt play.

If Robert Covington is ruled out again, then Derrick Rose would once again be an interesting play in the Minnesota starting lineup.

Shooting Guard

Jordan ClarksonJordan Clarkson FD - $5300 DK - $4800
Opponent - MIL
Proj Pts FD - 31.86 DK - 33.09
Alec BurksAlec Burks FD - $5300 DK - $4700
Opponent - MIL
Proj Pts FD - 31.59 DK - 32.46
The Cavs traded away George Hill and brought back Matthew Dellavedova in a move that should continue to help the two guys listed above. Burks drew the start on Saturday at shooting guard and played 34 minutes in the win over the Wizards. He went for 14 points, seven rebounds and four assists on 11 shots. The usage rate was down a little bit playing with the starting unit, something we might need to account for going forward. But it’s going to be tough arguing about the minutes considering the price is still very much in the middle tier. That makes him a relative bargain on both sites even in a tougher matchup against a defensively stout Bucks team.
Meanwhile, I expected more run for Clarkson off the bench especially with the Cavs so shorthanded, but it didn’t materialize. He only played 23 minutes on Saturday and finished with an underwhelming fantasy line. I’m willing to go back to the well on Clarkson because I think he’ll continue as a second unit scoring spark on a team that’s still undermanned and without much in the way of pure scoring. Note: if Rodney Hood is back, Burks could find himself back coming off the bench.

Josh HartJosh Hart FD - $4500 DK - $4100
Opponent - MIA
Proj Pts FD - 25.65 DK - 25.41
As expected, Hart drew the start for the injured Brandon Ingram on Saturday and the former played 36 minutes in the win over Memphis. He scored 16 points while also pitching in four rebounds and five blocks and steals combined. The 10 shots were a welcome sight for a guy who can get lost in the offensive aspects of the Lakers’ set up when he’s running with the first team. But the defensive stats aren’t anything close to sustainable. So the truth is somewhere in between. The minutes give him a higher floor at these price points so I’m fine running him back out there for cash games, but I would temper my excitement a bit from last game’s line.

Torrey CraigTorrey Craig FD - $3800 DK - $3200
Opponent - MEM
Proj Pts FD - 19.65 DK - 19.32
The Nuggets are very short-handed right now with both Gary Harris and Paul Millsap hurt. Craig played 32 minutes in the loss to the Hawks, and like Hart, he needs every single minute of floor time to hit fantasy relevance. Considering the cheaper price point, I’m willing to roster him, but this matchup isn’t ideal. Memphis won’t offer the kind possession volume Craig needs to compile fantasy points along the margins. But the price is cheap and will open up value at other positions.

 

Small Forward

Giannis AntetokounmpoGiannis Antetokounmpo FD - $12300 DK - $11700
Opponent - CLE
Proj Pts FD - 61.72 DK - 63.24
The Bucks are on the second half of a back-to-back after a big road win over the Raptors on Sunday night. Giannis put up 19 points and a sick 19 rebounds in the win in what amounted to a team effort from the Bucks. On Monday they’ll get a slower Cleveland team (29th in pace) who just happen to be the worst defensive team in the league. They don’t have anyone who logically matches up with Giannis on the defensive end and could be in for a real problem trying to deal with his game getting to the rim. He’s very expensive and there’s inordinate blowout risk with the Bucks -14 home favorites. But it’s hard to argue with the fantasy floor in this matchup. Keep an eye out for injury news considering this could a game the Bucks decide to rest a player on the back-to-back in an easier matchup.

As with some of the other positions, there are a number of other considerations at small forward on Monday that have to do with some outstanding injury issues. Juan Hernangomez is certainly in play because of the minutes floor, but he draws a terrible matchup against the Grizzlies.

Harrison Barnes is in play if Dennis Smith is out again along with Maxi Kleber. It would mean more usage because of the former and more minutes at the four because of the latter. Dorian Finney-Smith is also in consideration coming off the bench.

And finally, I guess if you like narratives you can consider playing Lebron James against D-Wade in possibly their final matchup.

 

Power Forward

Look, it’s late Sunday and as of right now, this position is just one big question mark. I do think there’s going to be some value opening up over the course of the day but it’s going to depend on all of the injury news we are waiting for.

If Al Horford and Aron Baynes are both ruled out again then Daniel Theis would make for a great play once again. He has the best points/$ game over the last two seasons on DraftKings on Saturday night. He put up 54.5 DK points on a $3000 salary. It literally hasn’t been done better than that.

Hassan Whiteside is still being listed as questionable with the birth of his daughter. We might get word that he’s once again traveling with the team. But if not, Bam Adebayo is in play. He put up a 22/10 line against the Suns on Friday and a 14/8/4 line against the Clippers on Saturday. His price is up, but he’s such a fantasy point per minute guy that he can sustain the production even around $6K on both sites. Kelly Olynyk would be in the discussion as well considering the Heat could once again be short on big men.

Trey Lyles played a million minutes on Saturday with the Nuggets very shorthanded. They are without Gary Harris and Paul Millsap, meaning they need every possible minute from the remaining *trustworthy* rotation players. Lyles ran 38 minutes and put up nine points and 10 rebounds on horrendous 2-13 shooting from the field. You have to count on some regression there, but he now has a terrible matchup against the Grizzlies.

 

Center

Joel EmbiidJoel Embiid FD - $10400 DK - $9800
Opponent - DET
Proj Pts FD - 58.51 DK - 60.53
Embiid sat out Friday night’s game against the Pistons, missing out on a chance to beast on Andre Drummond again. Here’s what I wrote going into that game on Friday before The Process was ruled out:
“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.

Kevon LooneyKevon Looney FD - $4700 DK - $4100
Opponent - MIN
Proj Pts FD - 25.92 DK - 25.09
Since joining the starting lineup for the injured Damian Jones, Looney has been able to maintain a solid minutes’ floor with 29, 25 and 28 over the last three games. He’s averaged a 10 point, six rebound, four assist line in that time with the defensive stats coming and going. That’s right about the value line on his price point and he’ll draw Minnesota team which will offer a challenge with Karl Anthony-Towns in the post. I’m still fine with his price point in cash games, but especially on DraftKings where he’s multi-position eligible and unlikely to kill you with his production.

If Boban Marjanovic starts again then you need to consider him on both sites. We might not have that news prior to lock though.

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