Basketball Picks Daily Fantasy Expert Advice
Daily Fantasy NBA Basketball Picks for FanDuel and DraftKings - Thursday 1/3/19
You're back! Glad to see you already broke your New Year's Resolution to give up on DFS for good. 2018 was such an incredible year for DFS NBA that 2019 will have a hard time living up to it, but we're giving it the old college try. Today we have a little baby 3 game slate to work with, but that doesn't mean there isn't a little chunk of change to make. Let's do it with a little game by game breakdown, shall we?
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Toronto Raptors at the San Antonio Spurs
The Spurs are favored by 1.5 in a game with a 216.5 total.
Fred Vanvleet FD - $5500 DK - $5700
Opponent - SA
Proj Pts FD - 30.62 DK - 31.27
Danny Green FD - $4200 DK - $4000
Opponent - SA
Proj Pts FD - 21.39 DK - 21.69
Right now Lowry is considered doubtful, and if he continues to miss time you should continue to see a steady diet of FVV and Danny Green. Whether or not they produce for you is another question. Green's gamelog looks like Bitcoin's 2 year price chart, with big spikes and deep valleys. On a short slate you might wind up playing him, but it's not the type of play that makes you want to show up for a short slate. VanVleet has been pretty underwhelming recently, but I maintain that a lot of that is due to a bad shooting streak. I can't say I'm psyched about playing him a tough match-up, but on a 3 game slate I've done worse.
Pascal Siakam is another guy that could show up in lineups given how tough power forward looks tonight.
Rudy Gay is listed as doubtful for the Spurs right now. Poeltl got the start for him last game, but played just 20 minutes and wasn't very involved in the offense. It looked more like a classic "start this guy to keep the second unit in tact" play than it was a credible effort to make him the real starter.
The real Spurs players look pretty uninteresting to me, but there are a couple off-beat guys I could consider.
Davis Bertans FD - $4000 DK - $3800
Opponent - TOR
Proj Pts FD - 20.49 DK - 21.38
Bryn Forbes FD - $4400 DK - $4400
Opponent - TOR
Proj Pts FD - 21.96 DK - 23.15
Forbes is actually a fairly straightforward option here. He had been playing 33ish minutes per game, and saw that climb to 38 minutes against the Celtics. If he's going to play anything like 35+ minutes you've got a simple price and opportunity mismatch, and he should be a very chalky play. Bertans is a little bit more interesting. People were surprised to see him not get the start for Gay, but he basically got the starter's minutes, logging 30 minutes off the bench. He was effective enough against the Celtics, going for 17 and 5 and paying 6x points per dollar on these prices. Again, on a short slate you should probably just go for it even in a tough match-up with the Raptors.
The Denver Nuggets at the Sacramento Kings
The Nuggets are favored by 3 in a game with a 227.5 total.
We step past a pretty benign Raptors/Spurs game and into the fire of a Nuggets/Kings barn-burner. There's some value here, but there are some question marks as well.
Let's start with the home town Kings.
Iman Shumpert FD - $3700 DK - $4100
Opponent - DEN
Proj Pts FD - 19.38 DK - 19.29
Bogdan Bogdanovic FD - $6100 DK - $5800
Opponent - DEN
Proj Pts FD - 31.51 DK - 32.64
A couple of weird wing players, anyone? This is the life you live on a three game slate. These guys are weird (but possibly good) plays for different reasons. Shumpert's minutes have been headed in the wrong direction, but he still managed 27 fantasy points against Portland on the back of his defensive prowess. It's a little troubling that he couldn't stay on the court for more than 24 minutes against McCollum and Lillard given his defensive reputation, but it is what it is. Bogdanovic is a weird play because he's pretty expensive for a bench player, but he's been very consistent in terms of both minutes and production. He seems like a relatively high floor option even in a very tough match-up with the Nuggets.
Our system also likes Buddy Hield on the back of an aggressive minutes projection. He dropped 40 fantasy points in a slightly better match-up with Portland, and you have to think the Kings will have to rely on his scoring here. I have to say that I'm kind of feeling the under on these Kings guys, though, since Denver is playing slower and with better defense this year.
On the Nuggets' side, we're suffering a little bit from "known entity syndrome" here. The actual good, reliable players on the Nuggets are now at their peak prices. Paying $8,000 for Jamal Murray (who has averaged 32.7 FanDuel fantasy points this year) or $10,300 for Nikola Jokic (who has has averaged 44.7 FPS) doesn't seem amazing, but I could see people making the leap. Jokic in particular is at a position with very few realistic options - the Warriors, Raptors, and Spurs don't field a fantasy center, and that leaves you choosing between Capela, Cauley-Stein, Jokic, or what's left of Mason Plumlee's minutes now that Millsap's minutes are ticking up. It's an unenviable position, and it looks like it will mostly come down to what salary fits best.
The Houston Rockets at the Golden State Warriors
The Warriors are favored by 8.5 in a game with a 225.5 total.
The premier game of the night from both an NBA and a DFS perspective. Eric Gordon's continued absence means James Harden and Austin Rivers will be unanimous plays once again, and I think you'll see a lot of people bite the bullet on Gerald Green even if he's only going to play 25 minutes. Clint Capela sucked against the Warriors in their only other meeting this season, but your options are so limited and he's such a huge part of this team right now that he remains in consideration for me.
Basically, we might just wind up playing 4 Rockets here.
Draymond Green FD - $6900 DK - $5900
Opponent - HOU
Proj Pts FD - 35.16 DK - 34.63
Kevin Durant FD - $10100 DK - $9200
Opponent - HOU
Proj Pts FD - 50.72 DK - 51.89
Our system is very clear when it comes to which Warriors you should be choosing from for cash games tonight. With shooting guard all but spoken for by the Rockets guys, Klay Thompson is off the board for cash. Curry has been solid recently, but like Jokic, he's now priced to his ceiling rather than his average production. He could absolutely torch the Rockets here, yes, but I hate to be in the position where I need a guy to his ceiling in order to get there. Instead, I prefer Green and Durant. Both are coming at reasonable price points relative to their season long production, and importantly, we're getting them at very shallow positions on FanDuel. Looking at Draymond's recent gamelog might now be all that inspiring at his $6,900 price tag on FanDuel, but snagging him for $5,900 on DraftKings is an absurd bargain. The biggest risk to these Warriors guys on any given night is the blowout, of course, but against the Western Conference rival Rockets I think we see both sides of this game get their full run of minutes tonight.