Basketball Picks Daily Fantasy Expert Advice

James Davis

Daily Fantasy NBA Basketball Picks for FanDuel and DraftKings - 1/6/19

Happy Sunday everyone! With the NFL playoffs starting, the NBA schedule has opened to a few more games for us to enjoy. Or in the case of this NBA DFS slate, worry about. For such a big slate there are still a few very problematic positions, namely small forward and power forward. Today's slates will be all about reducing harm at the forward positions, and potentially chasing upside on a few guys who have flashed bigger minutes recently. There are two smallish slates here, so instead of going super deep on a few plays we'll try and give you an overview at each position for both slates.

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Early Slate Point Guard

Lonzo BallLonzo Ball FD - $6700 DK - $7600
Opponent - MIN
Proj Pts FD - 33.23 DK - 34.12
Jeff TeagueJeff Teague FD - $6600 DK - $6400
Opponent - LAL
Proj Pts FD - 29.9 DK - 30.62
It's kind of hard to imagine going away from the Teague/Ball combo for the early slate here, assuming Rose is out again. Orlando, LAC, and Brooklyn are all handing us pretty useless options, at which point you're just deciding on two of the three between Dunn, Teague, and Ball. You can certainly consider Dunn if you think he builds upon the huge minutes he played last game, but Ball and Teague just seem safer to me. Ball is still benefiting from a post-LeBron bump, and Teague has dropped double-digit assists in four straight games. Either way, though, if you're deciding between these three it will be tough to go too terribly wrong.

Late Slate Point guard

Russell WestbrookRussell Westbrook FD - $11800 DK - $11100
Opponent - WAS
Proj Pts FD - 59.62 DK - 61.88
It might wind up being tough to pay up anywhere on this late slate given how many tough defenses are playing, but if you can, Westbrook looks very solid to me. Westbrook's game log is marred by two awful shooting performances 3/20 against LA, and 4/22 against Dallas. Nothing has fundamentally changed about his game, and the 28 shots he put up against Portland are a good sign for his fantasy prospects. Washington has struggled mightily against PGs this year, allowing the 5th most fantasy points per game to opposing point guards, and that can't get better with Wall out of the picture. I love Russ in any format here.

Kemba WalkerKemba Walker FD - $8900 DK - $9200
Opponent - PHO
Proj Pts FD - 49.41 DK - 50.71
Devonte' GrahamDevonte' Graham FD - $4000 DK - $3800
Opponent - PHO
Proj Pts FD - 28.41 DK - 28.39
If you decide not to go with Westbrook, I like both of the Charlotte point guards here, assuming Jeremy Lamb is out. It's been interesting - Graham has actually out-assisted Kemba 12-8 in his two starts - and that gives him an excellent floor on these dirt-cheap prices. Walker has been less than impressive in these two games, but he'll get a phenomenal match-up against De'Anthony Melton here. Phoenix has allowed the 2nd most fantasy points per game to opposing point guards this season, and the fast pace of this game should do wonders for these guys.

Early Slate Shooting Guard

Early slate shooting guard is almost too rife with opportunity to even write up, especially compared with the main slate. I like both Andrew Wiggins and Josh Okogie on the Wolves, I love Kentavious Caldwell-Pope going the other way, and I love both sides of the Chicago/Brooklyn game too. De'Angelo Russell has quietly been playing 34.5 minutes a game in his last two, and the Nets seem to have remembered that they traded for him to carry their offense. Post Justin Holiday Zach Lavine is also in a nutty spot against Brooklyn. There are literally too many options here.

Late Slate Shooting Guard

As solid as the early slate is for shooting guard, the late slate is that bad. Our system is landing on Dwyane Wade as a cheap guy that lets you get away from a bad position cheaply. I suppose people will land on Devin Booker, who I'd hate to play at his current prices out of anything other than necessity.

On FanDuel I'll almost certainly be taking a $3,500 throwaway guy here, barring some unforeseen starter that I'm unaware of as of now.

Early Slate Small forward

Brandon IngramBrandon Ingram FD - $6900 DK - $7300
Opponent - MIN
Proj Pts FD - 35.39 DK - 36.26
Just a no-brainer on a small slate at a bad position. Ingram has been playing 36-40 minute rotations with LeBron out, and they just need his scoring right now. Classic solid value play that you don't need to overthink here.

After him, though, it gets fairly rough. DeMarre Carroll has been paying value, but I mean, it's the Nets. Danilo Gallinari is at his peak price, even if the floor has been reasonable recently. After those two you get do-nothings like Jonathan Isaac, or teams whose small forwards don't qualify at small forwards on FanDuel. Weird position.

Late Slate Small forward

Nicolas BatumNicolas Batum FD - $4800 DK - $4700
Opponent - PHO
Proj Pts FD - 26.73 DK - 27.39
Things get a little sunnier on the late slate. Batum played 33 minutes against Denver with Lamb out, and contributed a very solid 11/7/3/1/2 line that was good for 6x on this price. He gets an even better match-up against the Suns here, and like Walker and Graham that's probably enough here.

Paul GeorgePaul George FD - $10200 DK - $10200
Opponent - WAS
Proj Pts FD - 50.32 DK - 51.11
Trevor ArizaTrevor Ariza FD - $6300 DK - $5900
Opponent - OKC
Proj Pts FD - 31.83 DK - 32.13
Our system likes both sides of the small forward match-up for this one. George has been on an absolute tear recently, averaging 32.5/8/4 in his last 15 games. He and Russ seem to have really found a synergy that works, and it's cool to see him turning it on like this. Ariza is a fine defender, but not one that will scare the Thunder away from going to George. As for Ariza, he's just got a wildly high floor given that he's playing 39 minute rotations right now. If we get word that Otto Porter is no longer on a minutes restriction that would muddy the waters a bit, but otherwise I'd be happy to run Ariza even in a match-up that doesn't look great on paper.

Early Slate Power forward

Lol? This one warrants going team by team, I think.

Orlando vs. LAC: Harris vs. Gordon, AKA the two guys our system thinks are going to score almost exactly 4.4x points per dollar. The floor on this terrible production is probably fairly solid, but I mean, really?

LAL vs. Minnesota: Taj and Dario are splitting time in Minnesota, and Kuzma is questionable. If you get word that he is fine, you can play him. If not, the power forward minutes will get pushed to guys who don't qualify at PF. Glorious!

Brooklyn vs. Chicago: Wendell Carter Jr. just played 42 minutes in an overtime game, and has a great match-up against Brooklyn. You play him here. Lauri Markkanen is probably playable as well. On Brooklyn's side, all of their power forward minutes will wind up going to guys who don't qualify at the position. I suppose you could just throw it away by playing Ed Davis.

Late Slate Power forward

James JohnsonJames Johnson FD - $5000 DK - $4400
Opponent - ATL
Proj Pts FD - 26.08 DK - 26.2
Jerami GrantJerami Grant FD - $5600 DK - $4600
Opponent - WAS
Proj Pts FD - 27.02 DK - 26.51
This slate is terrible for power forward as well, but here we are. It looks like James Johnson has won the power forward battle in Miami, but those sound like words I've uttered before. Still, he's cheap, and the position really is that bad. Grant just doesn't look great, but again, what do you really want to do at the position? This slate just features so many tough defenses and terrible match-ups - Indiana, Toronto, OKC, and Miami - and then a ton of teams that are constantly doing weird things - Atlanta, Phoenix, Washington, and Charlotte. In the land of the blind the one eyed men are kings, and right now that's looking like Johnson and Grant.

Early Slate Center

Karl-Anthony TownsKarl-Anthony Towns FD - $10600 DK - $10300
Opponent - LAL
Proj Pts FD - 52.81 DK - 54.37
KAT has been getting a lot of run in DFS circles recently on the back of a four game stretch where he averaged more than 18 rebounds a game, and while that might not be sustainable, it might not need to be. With Rose out Towns has shot 20 or more times in each of his last four games, and Teague seems a lot more willing to run the offense through him. In the same stretch where he averaged 18+ rebounds he also averaged more than 6 assists per game. It sort of feels like the Wolves are finally coming to understand that they have one of the best players in basketball on their team. If that has really happened, you could see Towns' price rise by another 10%. Grabbing them against the hyper-paced Lakers looks pretty good even if he wasn't great against them in their earlier meeting this season.

Late Slate Center

Bismack BiyomboBismack Biyombo FD - $3600 DK - $3400
Opponent - PHO
Proj Pts FD - 30.74 DK - 28.65
BIYOMBO! Picture me yelling that tribally, while pounding my chest. Bismack drew the start against Denver on Saturday, led his entire team in fantasy scoring. If he starts in an even better match-up against the Suns, he instantly becomes a must-play everywhere. He's so much more dynamic than Hernangomez, but there is a chance that he started because it was the first half of a back to back and they were sort of goofing around. If he starts, he'll be 100% owned I'd guess.

Hassan WhitesideHassan Whiteside FD - $7000 DK - $7700
Opponent - ATL
Proj Pts FD - 43.93 DK - 42.6
Just a DraftKings play, to me, but definitely one worth considering. Whiteside's minutes have been coming and going, as always, but you love to see him going for 21 an 18 in 30 minutes against the Wizards. Atlanta has been a top 10 match-up for opposing centers this season, and their lack of conviction around any one center speaks to how poor their play has been there. If Whiteside is feeling good this one could get ugly in a hurry.


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1 Visitor Comment

  1. Great article! if you want another take on tonights main slate on FanDuel and DraftKings check out this article:

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