Basketball Picks Daily Fantasy Expert Advice

James Davis

FanDuel NBA Picks and DraftKings NBA Picks - Thursday, 12/5/19


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Point Guard

Lonzo BallLonzo Ball FD - $5800 DK - $5300
Opponent - PHO
Proj Pts FD - 31.75 DK - 32.84
After a long stretch of injuries it seems as though Ball is finally back playing his 32 minute rotations, which means he should just be too cheap here. During the 5 game stretch that he played 31-35 minute rotations earlier this season Ball averaged 35.3 fantasy points a game, and only his erratic rotations since have driven his price downward. Phoenix isn't the all-world match-up that they have been in the past, but they still play a top 11 pace with a defensive efficiency in the bottom half of the league. Ball seems like a solid value as a result.

Isaiah ThomasIsaiah Thomas FD - $5200 DK - $5200
Opponent - PHI
Proj Pts FD - 25.72 DK - 27.89

I won't pretend like this play is risk free, but Thomas played 34 excellent minutes against the Magic his last time out, and it sure looks like he will get plenty of usage with all of the injury woes in Washington right now. The Wiz are really short on creators right now, and the 14 shots and 7 assists that Thomas managed against the Magic could be the norm going forward. If it is, he's about 20% too cheap on these prices, and I'm a buyer on a small slate.

There are a lot of reasonable point guard options tonight, like Ricky Rubio, Ben Simmons, and even Russell Westbrook. I just think you'll want to pay up at other positions instead.


Shooting Guard

James HardenJames Harden FD - $12200 DK - $12000
Opponent - TOR
Proj Pts FD - 62.22 DK - 65.28
It's a terrible match-up for Harden, but that's basically just giving us a discount on his true price right now. You follow basketball, so you're probably aware that Harden poured in 110 points from the field in his last two games. Sure, there was a double overtime game in there, but I mean, this sort of scoring is legitimately nuts. On a short slate I think he is still the premier payoff option even in a tough match-up with this Toronto squad.

Bradley BealBradley Beal FD - $9900 DK - $8700
Opponent - PHI
Proj Pts FD - 49.97 DK - 51.88
Beal fired off 30 shots against Orlando, and honestly it looked pretty natural. When Davis Bertans and Isaiah Thomas are combining for 30 shots, you can rest assured that the Wiz are leaning into Beal about as hard as they can, and the fact that he shot 53% on those 30 shots leads me to believe they may just go back to the well here. It's beyond me why Beal is playing 40+ minute rotations for a team with no hopes whatsoever, but that's not really my problem. I think you can take him on DraftKings on the likely usage alone.

Also considered: the New Orleans shooting guards - Hart and Redick. With Williams likely missing this one there should still be some extra minutes. I'm a little gun-shy on either for cash, but it might be necessary given the general lack of cheap options.

Small Forward

Will BartonWill Barton FD - $6900 DK - $5900
Opponent - NY
Proj Pts FD - 34.8 DK - 35.24

A rock solid high floor option on this tiny slate, Barton is playing 37-40 minute rotations and paying 5x points per dollar with regularity. The Knicks play slowly in large part due to their bad players not being able to find shots, but they still play a bottom 6 defense, and Barton's raw minutes should be enough to get him home here.

Kelly Oubre Jr.Kelly Oubre Jr. FD - $7000 DK - $6100
Opponent - NO
Proj Pts FD - 36.96 DK - 36.92
Things do get interesting if you are forced to pick between Oubre and Barton, though. He's playing similar rotations to Barton - in the 37-40 minute range - but he's pretty much locked into 17 shots a game right now. On average nights he's sitting around 35 fantasy points a game, and flexing 50 point upside when the steals and rebounds come together. All in all he's just a solid DFS option for all formats right now, and especially in one of the best match-ups on a tough slate.

Also considered: Pascal Siakam, but as you're seeing, money is at a premium tonight and you just can't pay up everywhere.

Power Forward

Frank KaminskyFrank Kaminsky FD - $4800 DK - $5300
Opponent - NO
Proj Pts FD - 27.15 DK - 28.15

Cheick DialloCheick Diallo FD - $3600 DK - $4100
Opponent - NO
Proj Pts FD - 24.72 DK - 24.83
Kaminsky was an 84% start in cash games on a huge slate on Wednesday, so you won't be sneaking up on anyone by running him in an even better match-up tonight. I'd expect huge numbers there once again. I don't think Diallo gets enough love as a big tournament option, though. He's a points per minute beast, and he needs something like 15 minutes to be a favorite to pay these prices. If the game script goes weird and he plays 25 he could easily be the play of the night.

Rui HachimuraRui Hachimura FD - $5800 DK - $5700
Opponent - PHI
Proj Pts FD - 31.54 DK - 31.62

Davis BertansDavis Bertans FD - $6000 DK - $5800
Opponent - PHI
Proj Pts FD - 31.14 DK - 32.77

What have we done that we deserve such bounty at the power forward position on a four game slate? With Bryant out, Bertans and Hachimura played 78 combined minutes against the Magic and lofted 28 combined shots in the air. Philly is unquestionably a tougher match-up with their harem of long bodies, but this is just absurd volume, and Vegas sees this as just a 6.5 point game. If you're nervous about playing Diallo in cash games either of these guys is a fine inclusion that can help you pay up at other positions.

There really is a glut of power forward options here: Millsap, Tucker, Horford, Randle, the list honestly just goes on and on. Just find the guys that fit your available salary and go from there.


Joel EmbiidJoel Embiid FD - $10700 DK - $9700
Opponent - WAS
Proj Pts FD - 55.55 DK - 57.69

I'm already embarrassed on behalf of whomever on the Wizards is tasked with guarding Joel Embiid with Thomas Bryant out. Rui Hachimura? I mean, okay. Embiid rolled off three straight games with 56+ FanDuel points before smashing into the Utah meat-grinder, and it's nearly impossible to imagine him not popping off here. I'd say he's the top priority for big money payoffs today, even ahead of Harden.

Jaxson HayesJaxson Hayes FD - $4500 DK - $3800
Opponent - PHO
Proj Pts FD - 26.25 DK - 24.61

If you're trying to sneak away from the Embiid chalk in big tournaments, I actually Hayes is a sneaky great play today. While nobody was looking he slid into the starting lineup and started playing 25-26 minutes a game, and like Embiid, he has a truly great match-up for his style here. While Kaminsky can do a serviceable job against stretch 5s and 4s, Hayes' true pick and roll ability makes this a dream spot for him. I honestly wouldn't be surprised if he made it hard for Kaminsky to stay on the floor, and I'm a big believer here.



1 Visitor Comment

  1. How about Marc Gasol at $4400 on DraftKings…. Dude hasn’t been fantastic this year, but on this slate for that proce it feels like stealing. I mean diallo is 4100 and Kaminsky is 5500 by comparison.

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