Basketball Picks Daily Fantasy Expert Advice
Daily Fantasy NBA Basketball Picks for FanDuel and DraftKings - 12/15/18
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Welcome to NBA Saturday! We do have some professional football today, but there is plenty of basketball as well. We have six games on the slate, but it's far from a simple slate. There are a ton of superstars to pay up for and we're going to start out with our favorite of the bunch. The Clippers and Thunder will face off in a game with a 227 total and mere 6 point line in the Thunder's favor. Westbrook put up 58 against this squad just a few weeks ago and had the upside for a ton more in that game. It's going to be up and down all night and we know when Westbrook thrives. I have no intentions of getting passed up by a bunch of Russell Westbrook lineups come midnight. According to the optimizer, he's the top star on the slate in terms of fantasy points per dollar.
Lonzo Ball has played 37 and 34 minutes in each of the last two contests. That's over 34 minutes in four of the last five. His price is still low on both sites and there's a ton of opportunity. The Hornets rank 21st against opposing point guards on the season and the height of Ball should give Kemba some issues on the defensive end. Ball is a guy you can rely on in cash games as he's not reliant on scoring. He is a guaranteed 15 combined rebounds and assists and anything after is just gravy at his price. This is one of the higher total games on the night and we'll want exposure where we can get it. Lonzo Ball is a safe 25 fantasy points with the upside to get into the 40's.
Since Lou Williams went out with injury, the Clippers have only been part of blowouts. We have no idea how this lineup will perform in a close game, but I have a pretty solid idea. SGA, Harris, and Gallinari are all going to pick up a few shots and usage in a game against the Thunder that's expected to be high-scoring and competitive. SGA was phenomenal last game, but just didn't get the opportunity in the second half. He's still priced down on both FD and DK, needing you only 25-30 in cash games to make you happy. If the game stays close, you can lock that in with upside for much more. Point guard is a solid position and one you'll need to get right.
Justin Holiday FD - $5400 DK - $5300
Opponent - SA
Proj Pts FD - 26.73 DK - 26.92
With Zach LaVine fully expected to miss this game, Justin Holiday should step into a prominent role. He's already seeing huge minutes in the starting lineup, but will now grab a bunch more shots and control the ball for more possessions. The Spurs aren't a tough team on defense and especially against perimeter players. Holiday can be safely projected to play 35+ minutes and at his price, and not much can go wrong. He's a solid option in all formats and a guy I'll have scattered across both cash games and tournaments.
Andrew Wiggins FD - $6200 DK - $6400
Opponent - PHO
Proj Pts FD - 31.55 DK - 31.51
It looks like Andrew Wiggins has finally caught his stride. He's been over 30 fantasy points in five of the last six games and is getting huge minutes on a nightly basis. He now gets a match-up against the Suns, who could be without Devin Booker. They already rank in the bottom 10 against opposing guards and have only been trending downwards. He's still under $6.5k on both sites, so you can certainly play him in both cash games and tournaments. I still prefer Justin Holiday, but could easily play both of these guys. All in all, Wiggins has been up and down this year, but there is no better time to trust him than tonight.
Josh Hart FD - $5000 DK - $4500
Opponent - CHA
Proj Pts FD - 28.62 DK - 28.43
Hart finally saw his minutes dip under 30, but it's the first time in almost two weeks. He still played a key role in the game and finished with 24 fantasy points. The Lakers will now head into Charlotte and face off with the Hornets, who rank 25th against shooting guards on the season. Batum and Lamb are overrated defenders, and the Hornets' fast pace can expose them even more. Hart's upside starts to come into question at these prices, but he's cheap and a near guarantee for 20+ fantasy points. I will do my best to pay up at the position, but Hart is the easiest way to pay down if necessary.
T.J. Warren FD - $6400 DK - $6600
Opponent - MIN
Proj Pts FD - 34.73 DK - 34.82
T.J. Warren is just getting back from injury, but has turned up quickly with Devin Booker out of the equation. He's shooting the ball a ton and has been extremely effective over the last two games. He now gets the best match-up in basketball for small forwards. The Timberwolves rank dead last against opposing small forwards on the season and continue to get taken advantage of. Warren still doesn't have his price corrected and sits below $7k on both FanDuel and DraftKings. If Devin Booker plays, I do think Warren sees a few less shots. If he's out, Warren will be the top option on offense and the best play at SF without question. Either way, Warren is a solid option in both cash games and tournaments.
Paul George FD - $9700 DK - $9200
Opponent - LAC
Proj Pts FD - 45.88 DK - 45.95
If you have the ability to pay up, Paul George has been phenomenal as of late. We already touched on Russell Westbrook earlier and this game is one I'm going to target a ton. Vegas has the Thunder favored by just 6 with a crazy high total of 227. With Lou Williams out on the other side of the ball, both offenses are now very concentrated. George is getting up there in price, but he's getting a ton of run (35+ minutes) and has been over 40 fantasy points in six straight contests. The Clippers rank 20th against small forwards on the year and play at a top 10 PACE. There are a lot of different ways to pay up tonight and George is one that won't end up hurting you in any format.
Robert Covington FD - $6200 DK - $5500
Opponent - PHO
Proj Pts FD - 32.28 DK - 31.19
This is just a match-up play for RoCo. Warren is known as a fine defender, but hasn't backed it up for most of his career. It likely has to do with the PACE and help he has, but they rank 27th against small forwards no matter how you cut it. Covington is back over 30 minutes, so Thibs obviously thinks he's healthy. His price is way too far down on both FD and DK, for no reason. When on the floor, he's going to put up 30-35 fantasy points on most nights in this offense. The optimizer loves Covington tonight and I certainly agree. The price is down and the floor is evident with his minutes.
I've already mentioned the Lou Williams injury a couple times, but I do think it's a huge deal. We haven't seen exactly what will happen yet, as the Clips have participated in blowouts in back to back games. Once a game stays close, like this one should, I expect Harris to play 35 minutes and shoot close to 20 times. As for Harrell, he never sees the huge minutes, but can put up 40 fantasy points in 25 minutes against the Thunder. Harris is a lot more safe and my personal favorite power forward option on the slate. I think he's a huge match-up problem for the Thunder and will now have the ball in his hands a ton comparatively. Both of these guys are worth a look in all formats, with Harrell being slightly less predictable.
Dario Saric FD - $4600 DK - $4200
Opponent - PHO
Proj Pts FD - 29.96 DK - 31.61
Dario Saric has already been over 30 minutes in two straight games and now Taj Gibson has been ruled out. He is WAY too cheap on both sites and I just don't see any way you get away from him in any format. Aside from the guaranteed value in those minutes, the match-up against the Suns is a great one. He's going to have a ton of open shots all over the floor and is a lock for 20 fantasy points. We've seen Saric put up 50 fantasy points a few times and it's never out of the realm of possibilities in this offense. Towns does not mind sharing if someone is hot. Saric will be in 100% of my lineups.
Karl-Anthony Towns FD - $9700 DK - $9800
Opponent - PHO
Proj Pts FD - 52.14 DK - 53.47
It's between Karl-Anthony Towns and Andre Drummond on the high-end. We're going to go with Karl-Anthony Towns, but Drummond could easily bully a Celtics team that has no interior presence. As for Towns, he has one of the best possible match-ups out there against the Phoenix Suns and DeAndre Ayton. Ayton is a terrible defender and Towns will stretch him in every sense on offense. Center is one of the weaker positions on tonight's slate and I will do my best to pay up in cash games. I don't see a way around Towns reaching 50 fantasy points if he gets his full allotment of minutes. The offense is focused around him and the Suns don't have anyone that can stay in front of him.
Steven Adams FD - $6800 DK - $6500
Opponent - LAC
Proj Pts FD - 37.06 DK - 37.33
If you can't pay up at Center, we'll look back to our favorite game on this slate. Steven Adams is going to control the paint against the Clippers and will get his 35+ minutes as long as the game stays close. I actually think Montrezl Harrell will end up on him a lot, which will be a solid match-up to watch. Adams put up 44 fantasy points against these guys a few weeks ago and will look to encore tonight. I personally have been able to pay up for Towns in most of my lineups, but do have some exposure to the safe and solid Steven Adams. Let me know if you have any questions or comments down below! Good luck!
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- Karl-Anthony Towns, Joffrey Lauvergne: (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)