Basketball Picks Daily Fantasy Expert Advice

Doug Norrie

FanDuel NBA Picks and DraftKings NBA Picks - Thursday, 10/31/19

Happy Halloween folks! It's going to be a spooooky set of NBA action we have here. See what I did there? It's only three games on this slate, but it sure looks like there will be some value out there. So let's go trick-or-treating through some plays.

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Point Guard

Jamal MurrayJamal Murray FD - $7100 DK - $6600
Opponent - NO
Proj Pts FD - 36.62 DK - 37.88
The Nuggets are coming off a tough loss to Dallas on Tuesday, but we did get another sense of what their plan is with the starters in close games. For the most part, the usual suspects ran big minutes even on the back-to-back and that’s an encouraging sign from a projection standpoint. Murray got into foul trouble early but still finished with 34 minutes though he struggled from beyond the arc going 0-4 from three. His shooting is down some this season even though the minutes are up. It has his price firmly in the midrange and I do like him as a cash play, especially on DraftKings with the extra .5 for threes. New Orleans is coming in as a near perfect DFS matchup, running a super fast pace with one of the worst defensive efficiencies in the league.

Dejounte MurrayDejounte Murray FD - $6900 DK - $5900
Opponent - LAC
Proj Pts FD - 32.22 DK - 31.72
You are going to have to live with the 24-ish minutes considering Murray is still on a minutes restriction after sitting out the entire 18-19 season. That being said, this guy’s per minute numbers are about as good as it gets. He’s averaging 15 points, eight rebounds and six assists in just 23 minutes per game. For anyone, these number are nuts, for a guard they are particularly astounding. This is a tough matchup against the Clippers who will get Kawhi Leonard back on the second half of the back-to-back. Murray’s price is a bit too steep on FanDuel where it’s been a bit overcorrected because of the early season fantasy returns. But I think the DK price is fine enough and Murray has a solid floor because he contributes in every meaningful way.

Shooting Guard

Jimmy ButlerJimmy Butler FD - $9200 DK - $8200
Opponent - ATL
Proj Pts FD - 43.2 DK - 42.07
This seem familiar? The Heat and Hawks are on the second half of a home-and-home after playing each other on Tuesday. It was Butler’s first game back after the birth of his daughter and he looked no worse for fatherhood wear. In his first official game as a member of the Heat he dropped 21 points, five rebounds and two assists while getting to the line 16 times. The game turned into something of a blowout and he left some minutes out there for sure. That’s a possible problem again seeing as how the Hawks are without Trae Young after he went down early in the game on Tuesday. Butler is still very much a cash play and though he’s in a new scheme, the rebounds and assists and feel a bit on the low end for his skill set if he’s going to run low-30’s minutes. Both the FanDuel and DraftKings prices ticked up some and he’s far from a lock even on this short slate. But I do think we see plenty of cash ownership, especially on DK.

Deandre BembryDeandre Bembry FD - $4700 DK - $4700
Opponent - MIA
Proj Pts FD - 26.38 DK - 25.97
As mentioned, Trae Young went down with an ankle injury that will keep him out for some time. Deandre Bembry has inhabited the backup point guard role for the Hawks and started the second half for Young on Tuesday. Bembry isn’t going to be an overly dynamic fantasy contributor in this offense, and he certainly isn’t going to be a 1:1 usage replacement for Young, but there are plenty of minutes and shots to go around for the Hawks now and the former stands to see at least a moderate minutes increase in the short term. Low 30’s run with the outside chance of double-digit scoring and some assists is reasonable and he’s always been able to chip in steals on the defensive side.

Other Thoughts I think Gary Harris (FD $5600 DK $5100) is still an excellent cash game play. The Pelicans motor on offense and Harris has a solid floor on the minutes.

Small Forward

Will BartonWill Barton FD - $5900 DK - $5000
Opponent - NO
Proj Pts FD - 32.37 DK - 32.46
It can be a little tough to trust the minutes for Barton seeing as how Mike Malone will play bench matchups from time to time. We’ve seen that a couple of times in just the first four games to start the season with Barton’s minutes all over the place (31, 21, 29, 37). The mean projection on Barton sits something like 31 and I think for a short slate we can take the risk he loses some run on the whims of the coach. The Nuggets do spread around usage as well, getting guys open looks when they can without concentrating on just one or two plays. That does limit the upside on some of their guys, but the matchup against the Pelicans is about as good as you can ask for this early in the NBA season.

Cam ReddishCam Reddish FD - $4400 DK - $4600
Opponent - MIA
Proj Pts FD - 18.63 DK - 19.1
Reddish saw decent cash game ownership on the Tuesday short slate and that was with Trae Young taking the court. Without the latter, I do think we see the rookie get play in cash games once again. It’s been an inauspicious start for the rookie and the game against the Heat embodied some of the concerns. He took his most shots (10) but finished with just six points. The rest of the line was all over the place with six assists but also six turnovers and five fouls. That all being said, no Trae Young will open up plenty of opportunity and the Hawks have been willing to give Reddish a longer leash in the starting lineup even with the struggles. Here’s to hoping the new look Hawks give him a chance to step up in the short term.

Along with Reddish, I think you can strongly consider De'Andre Hunter (FD $4800 DK $4800) as well.

Power Forward

Bam AdebayoBam Adebayo FD - $8300 DK - $7600
Opponent - ATL
Proj Pts FD - 40 DK - 40.4
John CollinsJohn Collins FD - $8700 DK - $8300
Opponent - MIA
Proj Pts FD - 39.45 DK - 40.94
These two squared off on Tuesday and both finished with excellent lines. Bam got into some foul trouble early, but still played 33 minutes and finished with 17 points, 10 rebounds, three blocks and a couple of steals. The guy can really just do it all and is a budding star with Hassan Whiteside finally moved out of town. He can range between the four and the five and is about athletic as they come.

Meanwhile, Collins caught fire early from beyond the arc and ended up with 30 points and seven rebounds. I don’t think we see the same kind of scoring efficiency again considering he was 5-8 from beyond the arc. I don’t mind playing both together here in cash though it could be a bit cost prohibitive . Between the two I would lean Bam seeing as how the minutes are a little more stable and he’s able to produce fantasy value across the stat line a bit better than Collins. One of the key differences is Bam’s distribution where he’s more than doubled the assists from 2.2 to 4.8 per game year over year. It’s a nice choice to have, but I’m leaning Adebayo on this small slate.

Paul MillsapPaul Millsap FD - $5700 DK - $5300
Opponent - NO
Proj Pts FD - 29.31 DK - 28.6
Jabari ParkerJabari Parker FD - $4800 DK - $4300
Opponent - MIA
Proj Pts FD - 22.38 DK - 23.38
Much like the Will Barton issue, Millsap’s minutes are a bit all over the place to start the season. With Jerami Grant behind him, Denver can afford to play matchups a little more than they could in the past. If you can trend towards 28-29 minutes on Millsap then these prices are palatable. That being, said considering the, at times, low usage, he can kind of kill you on a shorter slate even against an excellent matchup like the Pelicans. I’ll take the pace-up game for Denver and mid-tier pricing on him, but it’s close.

I put Parker and Millsap together because they are around the same price points and Parker also has some question marks. The latter is coming off the bench, but has seen higher usage in that role and the Hawks are without shots with Trae Young off the court. He’s put up double-digit scoring in three of the first games and will add the occassional rebound. On DraftKings, I think if he sees 23-25 minutes you are in very good shape on the price.


Nikola JokicNikola Jokic FD - $10400 DK - $10000
Opponent - NO
Proj Pts FD - 47.49 DK - 49.93
Recommended every other Nuggets’ starter, so why stop now? Jokic has triple-doubled in two of his first four games to start the season and that will likely be something of a theme this year of the Denver center. He’s about as versatile as ever and the Nuggets have surrounded him with so many shooters that the assist numbers are unlikely to range as much as they have so far (2, 12, 2, 10). The number should settle around what he did last season in the seven-per-game range. The big plus for Jokic in this game as well is the Pelicans will likely start Jahlil Okafor at center and have no meaningful size behind him. This is a smash spot for Jokic who should have his way on the offensive end.

Meyers LeonardMeyers Leonard FD - $3700 DK - $3400
Opponent - ATL
Proj Pts FD - 19.2 DK - 19.85
We actually rolled Meyers Leonard in cash games on the smaller Tuesday slate mostly because the position was such a disaster that it seemed going cheap was the better part of valor there. It worked out seeing as how he played a season-high 25 minutes and grabbed nine boards with three blocks. Look, some of that was lucky considering this was his best game of the season and he gained an extra minute or two when Adebayo got into foul trouble early. That being said, center on FanDuel is problematic once again and just getting out of the position with a punt play isn’t the worst idea in the world. So while I’m not advocating Leonard on the back of that last game, I do think 22-23 minutes at near-minimum salary won’t kill you in cash games.



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