Basketball Picks Daily Fantasy Expert Advice
FanDuel NBA Picks and DraftKings NBA Picks - 1/31/19
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Welcome to NBA Thursday night. We have six games on the slate with plenty of superstars and value to pick from. We'll kick things off with one of the most exciting games of the night, the Sixers at the Warriors. Simmons and Curry will face off at point guard and our optimizer is taking the side of Steph Curry. The 76ers are typically solid against opposing point guards (43.7 FD PPG), but Curry is no typical PG. These two teams last played in 2018, when Curry went off with 35/5/5. Curry hasn't been great over his last 10, but it's allowed his price to drop and he's still the same player. His full effort is just not needed in most games. With a huge 240.5 over/under, it's impossible to avoid this game. Curry is the top option at a point guard position that's pretty plentiful.
With Lonzo Ball out, Rajon Rondo is going to continue seeing 35+ minutes on a nightly basis. He's put up double digit assists in three straight games and has been involved heavily in what seems like every possession Ingram doesn't ISO. He should put up a few more points and rebounds against the fast-paced Clippers, putting him over that 30 fantasy point mark. His price is still manageable on both sites and he makes for one of the more solid plays on the entire night. The upside is always huge with Rondo as well, as he can put up a triple-double with 20 assists on any given night. Pat Beverley is a tough defender, but that doesn't matter as much for a guy that prefers passing anyway.
I know Collison has been terrible in each of the last two games, but that just makes me like him even more. They were blown out a few nights ago by the Warriors and played just 24 minutes. He followed that up last night with another 24 minutes and just 10 fantasy points. However, the Pacers knew they were on a back to back and threw in the towel early in favor of being competitive tonight. Prior to the last two games, Collison played 30+ minutes in five straight. He should be back to that tonight in a tight and high-scoring game against the Magic, who rank in the bottom third against opposing point guards. Collison is going to have some big games without Oladipo around and I expect him to put up 30-40 fantasy points rather consistently. I expect Collision to be sneaky tonight and he's one of my favorite overall plays.
Khris Middleton FD - $6600 DK - $6200
Opponent - TOR
Proj Pts FD - 32.09 DK - 33.43
Middleton has been steady and average as of late, but I think he turns things up in this one. Kawhi will be stuck on Giannis and while the Greek freak will be just fine, it may push a bit of offense towards Middleton. The rest of the Raptors backcourt defense can be beaten, and Middleton can score on the likes of Danny Green and Normal Powell. His price is solid on both sites, so you really only need 25-30 fantasy points. It’s just hard to ignore a guy like Middleton at this price when he could put up 40 easily with just a few more shots. If this one stays close, Middleton is as safe as it gets at this position.
DeMar DeRozan FD - $8000 DK - $7800
Opponent - BKN
Proj Pts FD - 36.06 DK - 36.14
Derozan is currently listed as probable for this game, so make sure you check on his status before plugging him in. He’ll return after a few games, and Pop hinted towards it being more precautionary rest for something that was sore rather than injury. He should be back in full swing tonight and is not priced up to where he should be. The Nets play fast and rank in the bottom 10 against opposing shooting guards. The Spurs should lean on a Derozan with fresh legs and a game that fits this match-up perfectly. Derozan is a solid play across the board if fully healthy.
Both of these guys carry a bit of risk, but the Lakers are a team you want exposure to tonight. With a 228 total and just a 5 point spread, Vegas fully expects this game to be high scoring and tight. The Clippers play fast and don’t cover the perimeter very well. Especially if their best defender in Avery Bradley is out. Both KCP and Hart rely on the three ball, but it should be open tonight. Their prices are cheap and shooting guard is somewhat tough to fill. Both of these guys should get into the low 30s in minutes and both have huge upside if they get hot behind the arc.
Giannis Antetokounmpo FD - $11500 DK - $10600
Opponent - TOR
Proj Pts FD - 57.67 DK - 59.17
Small forward is easily the best position on this slate. You’ll have to choose from Giannis, Kawhi, and Durant on the high-end, with a bunch of other options cheaper. We’ll start with Giannis, who’s going to face off with Kawhi in what should be one of the more fun 1-on-1 match-ups to watch in all of basketball. Kawhi is obviously one of the greatest defenders of this generation, but Giannis is not the average Joe - and traditional defense vs. position stats don't really work as well against singular talents like Giannis. These two teams met on January 5th, and Giannis simply bodied the Raptors for 43 points and 18 rebounds. All signs point to him enforcing his will on Kawhi down low and he should have no problem picking up his usual peripherals.
Kevin Durant FD - $9400 DK - $9100
Opponent - PHI
Proj Pts FD - 50.57 DK - 51.55
I don’t think you can go wrong with any of the three expensive SF’s, but the optimizer has Leonard finishing 3rd. He’s still a very solid play and could put up 60 against a Bucks team that doesn’t love playing defense. However, you have Kevin Durant at a reasonable price in a game with a 240 total, so that’s the priority. The Sixers will likely start with Butler or Chandler on him, but it won’t matter. Durant will do his thing and put up 50+ fantasy points if it stays close throughout. I prefer Giannis just slightly if you have the funds, but will probably end up having more Durant with the salary difference. Both are exceptional plays and it just comes down to which stars you prefer.
J.J. Redick FD - $5500 DK - $5500
Opponent - GS
Proj Pts FD - 26.29 DK - 28.2
If you can't pay up for one of the expensive SF options, J.J. Redick is a solid option in all formats in the mid-range. He typically gives you 25-30 fantasy points on a nightly basis, but with the pace and expected total of this game, the upside is huge. He has no problem shooting the ball 10+ times and he'll see countless opportunities in transition from behind the line. Thompson is a solid one on one defender, but he may end up on Simmons with Curry switching to the smaller Redick. Either way, he'll see a ton of open threes and has been good at filling up the stat sheet a bit more this season. There is definitely a ton of opportunity cost at the position, but you may want to spend it elsewhere and Redick is solid as could be.
LaMarcus Aldridge FD - $9600 DK - $8300
Opponent - BKN
Proj Pts FD - 44.24 DK - 43.67
Keep an eye out, as I could see the Spurs resting LMA for a game once Derozan gets back. He's seen a big workload and we know Pop likes to handle his vets with bubble wrap. Once you can confirm he's a full go for tonight, you can deploy him in all formats. He's still a huge part of the offense with Derozan back and this match-up is phenomenal. The Nets have a long track record of being awful against opposing bigs, and currently rank 27th in the entire league. Jarrett Allen has no chance of staying with him in the mid-range and it should open up the entire paint for cutters. Aldridge is still fairly priced on both sites and you can play him across the board.
Pascal Siakam FD - $6500 DK - $6200
Opponent - MIL
Proj Pts FD - 33.34 DK - 33.29
Siakam has been getting very consistent minutes (36, 33, 37) of late and his price has yet to rise. He hasn’t been exceptional in his last two games, and that should all change tonight. He’s facing off with an immobile Bucks interior that he should be able to put on skates. His upside is never monstrous, but he’s under $7k and a near lock for 30-40 fantasy points if the game remains close. If you’re looking for upside in the same price range, Kyle Kuzma is a bit cheaper and should train his role coming off an injury. He could easily go off against a Clippers weak defense.
Montrezl Harrell FD - $7200 DK - $6800
Opponent - LAL
Proj Pts FD - 36.02 DK - 34.48
The price on Harrell isn’t all that forgiving for a guy that lacks upside, but you know what to expect. He’s an amazing cash game play and a guy I wouldn’t touch in tournaments. He’s going to see around 28-30 minutes and will be very active when he's in there. He controls the paint and is extremely tough to control in the pick and roll. The Lakers are weak down low and Harrell will have no problem putting up another 30 fantasy points in limited minutes. He’s not the highest upside play, but you also shouldn't have to worry about him being a total bust.
Andre Drummond FD - $9200 DK - $8100
Opponent - DAL
Proj Pts FD - 45.48 DK - 45.69
Center has a few different options at the top. If you can afford him, Joel Embiid is a great play against a Warriors team that he should dominate. He’s just overly expensive and not someone you should jam in if it forced you to pay down everywhere else. Instead, pay a few thousand less for Andre Drummond. Drummond will face off with Deandre Jordan after doing so and dominating him just a few nights ago. He put up 23/15 and will now host Jordan in Detroit. I expect a similar performance tonight with maybe a few added blocks.
Brook Lopez FD - $5700 DK - $5100
Opponent - TOR
Proj Pts FD - 28.56 DK - 28.05
With Brook Lopez seeing 30+ minutes in back to back games, it looks for all the world like this is the Bucks' plan for him going forward. He’s backed both up with consecutive 30 fantasy point games in tougher match-ups than this. Lopez will have no problem getting open against Siakam and Ibaka as their focus will be on helping off onto Giannis and Middleton. Lopez is going to always have open shots in this offense and it’s why he’s so effective in Milwaukee. Tonight, he’s as safe as could be in all formats and a guy I like to be in a ton of my lineups.