Basketball Picks Daily Fantasy Expert Advice
FanDuel NBA Picks and DraftKings NBA Picks - Thursday, 12/12/19
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Luka Doncic FD - $11400 DK - $11400
Opponent - DET
Proj Pts FD - 58.5 DK - 62.66
What can you really say about Luka that hadn't been said before? He's having the best age 20 season, is in the MVP discussion before he can legally drink in the US, and contributes across the board with the best in the league. He's also just a little bit cheap right now thanks to a stretch of blowouts. We saw that his true rotation is still at least 35 minutes against Sacramento, and if that's the case you'll happily run him against a Detroit team with legitimately no one who can defend him. The Pistons aren't a great match-up in a vacuum, but on a small slate you can't get too picky.
With Jamal Murray likely to miss this one, you're going to see a lot of Monte Morris out there tonight. The match-up with Lillard and Portland is fine, but this is just a classic price and opportunity mismatch, and on a tiny slate you really can't ask for a whole lot more.
C.J. McCollum FD - $7000 DK - $6800
Opponent - DEN
Proj Pts FD - 35.11 DK - 35.76
Another player who's just a little bit too cheap after playing in repeated blowouts, McCollum comes in as a solid but unspectacular value at a really bad position tonight. McCollum's true rotation is around 37 minutes, and scoring just a fantasy point per minute should get you there. If some value opens up anywhere at shooting guard either of the guys listed here will fall off immediately, but in the meantime I think you're getting a reasonable floor in a game that shouldn't result in a blowout.
DeMar DeRozan FD - $8200 DK - $7300
Opponent - CLE
Proj Pts FD - 37.85 DK - 38
To address your concern straight-away: yes, there is likely a little bit of blowout risk here. But the Spurs aren't exactly a world beater this year, and I don't think you can just totally ignore them since they are one of eight teams playing on the slate. It's tempting to look at DeRozan's last two games and envision 40 minutes here, but those games saw 3 overtimes total, so something like 33-35 is more realistic. On a points per dollar basis he just isn't a terrific play, but in a great match-up with the hapless Cavs you have to consider him on a slate with so few reasonable options.
Also considered: Gary Harris, but, woof.
Will Barton FD - $6600 DK - $6300
Opponent - POR
Proj Pts FD - 31.82 DK - 32.31
We have been waiting for the Barton breakout game for a while, and we finally got there against the Sixers. Barton put up 26/7/7/2/2 and handled a lot of the ball handling duties with Murray sidelined. He's one of the best upside plays you can get on a small slate like this. He's basically a fine value if he plays 30 minutes on these prices, and if you shoot the moon and he plays 35+ minutes including a lot of minutes where he is running the offense, you're really doing work.
Kent Bazemore FD - $4900 DK - $4800
Opponent - DEN
Proj Pts FD - 27.39 DK - 27.18
With Hood out of the starting lineup against OKC, Bazemore went out there and played 36 minutes as a starter. He didn't exactly pay this price, but that is just a lot of minutes for a guy priced under $5,000 on both sites. He didn't get there on the minutes in the absurd blowout of the Knicks, but like with McCollum, getting solid value at a tough position might be too much to pass up here.
Kristaps Porzingis FD - $7600 DK - $6400
Opponent - DET
Proj Pts FD - 40.07 DK - 39.82
Last game's minutes confirmed what we've been thinking: Porzingis' true rotation is something like 33-37 minutes. He went through an incredibly odd stretch of games, where Dallas was blowing out teams, he was in early foul trouble, and playing less than 20 minutes on one end of a back to back. With no such concerns tonight, I think it's reasonable to guess that he'll be out there for 35+ minutes again tonight. In that case, he's just by far too cheap - especially on DraftKings. On this lineup he's looking like a 1.3 fantasy point per minute guy, and we have a fantastic value on our hands.
Blake Griffin FD - $7100 DK - $6700
Opponent - DAL
Proj Pts FD - 38.52 DK - 40.82
Blake was almost 50% owned in cash games in his last start against the Pelicans, and he rewarded his owners with 10.3 FanDuel points. Yikes. Most of that was due to some terrible luck from the field, and you can't count on him shooting 1-9 from the field going forward. It's reasonable to be concerned about his overall game this season. He's shooting under 40% from the field, and his other counting stats are struggling as well. So why consider him? The price has very likely just gone too far. Last game's minutes suggest that he's going back up to mid 30s minutes per game, and if that's the case this price is just 10% too cheap. I'm happy to buy in cheap here, even if he did just have a terrible game.
Also considered: LaMarcus Aldridge.
Tristan Thompson FD - $6700 DK - $6100
Opponent - SA
Proj Pts FD - 36.55 DK - 37.52
It honestly hasn't really mattered how the games have gone for Cleveland so far this season - Thompson has been out there for 33-35 minutes. He's averaged 5x points per dollar on these prices, and San Antonio has actually turned themselves into a great DFS match-up. They're playing a purely league average pace with the 6th worst defensive efficiency, and most of that comes from how bad they are against opposing bigs. I'd be happy to run Thompson in any format tonight.
Nikola Jokic FD - $8800 DK - $9000
Opponent - POR
Proj Pts FD - 44.6 DK - 46.83
Jokic got off to a slow start this year, but as he's worked back into shape he's looking a lot more like the $9,500-$10,000 player he was last year. He's topped 40 fantasy points in each of his last three games, including going for 56 against Boston three games ago. With Murray potentially out here a double digit assist game is very much in play as well, and it would be a welcome relief to see the Nuggets running the offense through him more often. I'm not sure that this is where you wind up having the money to spend, but if you do Jokic is a totally serviceable option against Whiteside and his empty-calorie defense.
Also considered: Hassan Whiteside.