Basketball Picks Daily Fantasy Expert Advice
FanDuel NBA Picks and DraftKings NBA Picks - Thursday 12/19/19
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Murray has been doing work on a points per dollar basis recently, and has recently been thrust into an expended role, playing 29 and 30 minutes in each of his last two games. He's been good for roughly 5x points per dollar in the games where he played 29+ minutes this season, and he'll have his best match-up of the season against the Nets here. Brooklyn has allowed the fourth most fantasy points per game to opposing point guards this year, and while Dinwiddie has been excellent offensively he is not the type of defender to scare us off Murray. Given that we are going to need money for other positions (more on those in a minute), I love Murray for cash games here.
Rajon Rondo FD - $4600 DK - $4800
Opponent - MIL
Proj Pts FD - 27.27 DK - 28
It's the marquee match-up of the season! With 8 losses between them, the Lakers and Bucks will face off for the first time this season, and are sure to pull out of all of the stops. Rondo has a tendency to rise to the occasion, and given that he's paid 6x+ points per dollar on his price in each of his last two games I sort of love him here. Milwaukee actually has some defenders to chase around Bron and Davis, but Rondo could go fairly unchecked, and I think he winds up with a lot of the ball-handling duties.
Also considered: A number of guys. Patrick Beverley is a candidate to add more minutes. Spencer Dinwiddie looks pretty good. Russell Westbrook and George Hill don't look so bad, either. It's honestly hard to make a bad call at the position tonight.
James Harden FD - $11400 DK - $12400
Opponent - LAC
Proj Pts FD - 62.04 DK - 65
Our system is embarrassed on behalf of the FanDuel pricing algorithm, though you might not be able to go up and get Harden on DraftKings. This is just a case where FanDuel is likely overvaluing how difficult how tough a match-up this is. Harden had his way against a full-strength Clippers team the last time around, going off for 37/8/12 in 42 minutes on 9-16 shooting. This is the type of situation where DvP numbers fall down. Yes, Harden would rather play the Wizards or whatever, but when you're a singular talent that tends to transcend even challenging match-ups, particularly if your price has fallen too far.
Khris Middleton FD - $6400 DK - $6300
Opponent - LAL
Proj Pts FD - 36.05 DK - 37.52
Middleton is another guy who is probably too cheap on account of a tough match-up with the Lakers. He's scored at least 26 fantasy points in every game in December, and that's in spite of the fact that his minutes are all over the place due to the Bucks' frequent blowouts. In a close game he should play 33-35 minutes, and given the high profile of this one I'm counting on the Bucks to be out there for their full run of minutes.
LeBron James FD - $10300 DK - $10000
Opponent - MIL
Proj Pts FD - 58.91 DK - 62.03
Giannis Antetokounmpo FD - $11200 DK - $11300
Opponent - LAL
Proj Pts FD - 63.39 DK - 65.46
I have to say - the pricing on this slate seems absolutely bizarre to me. What these plays lose on account of being in tough match-up they absolutely make up for in opportunity safety, since both the Lakers and the Bucks are potential blowout risks on a nightly basis. Given that each of these guys has paid an average of 5x+ points per dollar on these prices, and this is the least likely game for a blowout for either on the season, our system believes these two are actually just the highest value plays at the position.
De'Andre Hunter FD - $4800 DK - $5100
Opponent - UTA
Proj Pts FD - 24.48 DK - 25.19
Taurean Prince FD - $5400 DK - $5600
Opponent - SA
Proj Pts FD - 26.68 DK - 28.23
Because you eventually just run out of money trying to play all the most expensive guys. Both of these plays are cut from the same cloth. Hunter is a guy whose minutes are generally secure, but who can disappear on you even when the minutes are there. He has been more reliable recently, and Vegas has the Conley-less Jazz as just 6 point road favorites here. Prince is a 33-35 minute rotation guy when things aren't out of hand, and given that the Nets are just 2.5 point dogs here I think he should have plenty of floor for your cash game purposes.
So for starters, we have a couple of great expensive options in Anthony Davis and Kawhi Leonard, here. But I really want to play Harden, and our system loves LeBron and Giannis too. Funds are getting tight. Let's see where else we can go here.
Jabari Parker FD - $5300 DK - $5500
Opponent - UTA
Proj Pts FD - 30.29 DK - 30.32
The Hawks have played in so many ridiculous games recently that it might be tough to get a handle on Jabari's true rotation, but in close games he tends to play 27-30 minutes a game. He is one of those math problem plays, here. On the season he's averaged 27 minutes and 30 fantasy points per game. Getting 30 fantasy points for a mid $5k salary is just a ridiculous deal, and whatever defensive pressure Utah can place on an opposing power forwards isn't enough to justify this discount, assuming the game stays close.
Jarrett Allen FD - $6100 DK - $6500
Opponent - SA
Proj Pts FD - 33.55 DK - 34.19
Hat tip to DFSR's own Doug Norrie, who called out the Pelicans match-up as a fantastic spot for Allen to do his thing. I'm going to give him the same credit against the Spurs here, as his athleticism off the pick and roll should give the Spurs more sedentary bigs fits here. I don't know that he'll replicate the block party he threw for the Pelicans, as 6 blocks is just not a reasonable expectation regardless, but something like mid-30s fantasy points on 30 minutes is very much in play against a Spurs team that's basically been league average against opposing fours this season.
Also considered: LaMarcus Aldridge going the other way against Allen and company.
Rudy Gobert FD - $7800 DK - $7800
Opponent - ATL
Proj Pts FD - 42.34 DK - 42.61
Gobert's price has been frozen just under $8,000 for a while, and it's making less and less sense. He's playing 36-37 minute rotations, he's topped 36 fantasy points in each of his last 5 games, and he's flexing a 50+ point ceiling in the right match-ups. This spot against Atlanta could very much be that. The Hawks have allowed the 12th most fantasy points to opposing centers this season, and they only avoid the top slot due to their slower pace. The Hawks play the 3rd worst defense in the league this year, and a polished player like Gobert should have his way.
Clint Capela FD - $9100 DK - $7600
Opponent - LAC
Proj Pts FD - 44.32 DK - 44.16
The Rockets have tipped their hand on their rotations this season, and we can expect Capela to hit 40 minutes when they need him out there. He'll start this game, and then likely play straight through Harrell's rotations as well, and I think high 30s minutes is almost a guarantee if he stays out of foul trouble. I prefer Gobert on FanDuel, but given that Capela is somehow cheaper than Gobert on DraftKings it seems like a fairly automatic play there.