Basketball Picks Daily Fantasy Expert Advice
FanDuel NBA Picks and DraftKings NBA Picks - Friday, 12/27/19
We've got an interesting Friday slate of NBA basketball with a bunch of defensively-minded teams and maybe not all that much value. Let's break it down position-by-position.
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Kemba Walker FD - $7300 DK - $10400
Opponent - CLE
Proj Pts FD - 42.98 DK - 44.78
There’s a massive price discrepancy on Walker for this slate. He’s coming almost ridiculously cheap on FanDuel and way too expensive on DraftKings. This kind of spread is pretty rare. With the Celtics getting almost completely healthy, especially around Gordon Hayward (though still without Marcus Smart) the usage for Walker isn’t going to be as robust as we’ve seen when they’re playing shorthanded. That being said, Walker against a Cleveland backcourt that doesn’t play almost anything in the way of defense, should be good to go on FanDuel.
Update: Kemba and the Celtics are playing on the early slate, 4PM EST
Chris Paul FD - $7300 DK - $7300
Opponent - CHA
Proj Pts FD - 39.42 DK - 39.66
Danilo Gallinari is going to miss some time for the Thunder and that does open up some opportunity on the offensive else for this team. Paul demonstrated some of that on Thursday with a great performance even in the loss. He dropped 23 points, 11 assists and six rebounds against the Grizzlies. The usage goes up with Gallo off the court and in theory they *need* him for an extra minute or two. He gets a great matchup against a Hornets’ team ranked 25th in defensive efficiency without anyone who can guard him around the perimeter in any reasonable fashion. This is such a great spot for Paul and the only really concern is the Thunder cut his minutes on the back-to-back.
I do like Ricky Rubio (FD 7200 DK 7100) in the matchup against the Warriors.
Devin Booker FD - $6900 DK - $6900
Opponent - GS
Proj Pts FD - 38.66 DK - 41.03
Despite what Golden State did on Christmas Day, beating an excellent Rockets’ team, this is still a bad squad ranked 20th in defensive efficiency even if that number has been steadily improving of late. With the Suns’ offense becoming a bit more balanced, they haven’t called on Booker for monster fantasy games and that’s driven the price down over the course of the season. He hasn’t scored more than 20 points in a game since all the way back on December 9th and has really struggled from three hitting only one of his last 14 from beyond the arc. But that now has us buying low on the guy and we are getting him at a nice discount in a good matchup.
After Booker, shooting guard, especially on FanDuel looks pretty rough. Let’s run through some of the options. Khris Middleton (FD $7400 DK $7000) is coming off a big Christmas Day game but a lot of those points came late and I’m also worried about this game being a total blowout.
Evan Fournier (FD $5500 DK $5700) should see enough minutes against a very long Philly team, but the latter are also insane on defense so you aren’t getting any matchup breaks.
And finally, with Goran Dragic back, we aren’t getting quite the minutes on Jimmy Butler (FD $8500 DK $7800) but there also aren’t all that many options at the position.
Giannis Antetokounmpo FD - $11600 DK - $11300
Opponent - ATL
Proj Pts FD - 65.99 DK - 68.31
This is going to be a tough call on Friday. On the one hand, he’s easily the best player on the slate and warrants the crazy price tags. On the other hand, the Bucks are big-time favorites against the Hawks and this game could very easily be well over by the time we hit the middle of the third quarter. That would mean significant minutes’ burn from Giannis who will definitely sit in games that are getting out of hand. Short of other reasonable spend-up options I think it’s reasonably safe to play him in cash games considering he’s averaging 31 points, 13 rebounds and six assists in just 31 minutes this season. But realize you can get burned with a blowout at these prices.
Kelly Oubre Jr. FD - $6100 DK - $6300
Opponent - GS
Proj Pts FD - 32.89 DK - 32.35
Even with the Suns getting healthier in the backcourt, Oubre is still playing a ton of minutes and on a weirder slate like the one, it means a lot to just be on the court. Over the last three games, he’s averaging 36 minutes per game with an 18 point, four rebound and three assists line with some defensive stats thrown in there. It’s clear the Suns are comfortable playing him major minutes and that should be the case again on Friday.
John Collins FD - $8100 DK - $7600
Opponent - MIL
Proj Pts FD - 44.26 DK - 44.93
Collins returned from suspension on Monday and went out to 35 minutes out of the gate from the Hawks. He put up 20 shots, just one behind Trae Young which isn’t any easy feat on this team. He finished with 27 points and 10 rebounds with four steals+blocks thrown in there as well. From a fitness and effort standpoint, there was nothing missing after a prolonged absence because of the PED suspension. This is a terrible matchup against the Bucks and you are for sure worried about the blowout. But he’s also coming at a nice pice considering he can pay you off a number of different ways.
Draymond Green FD - $6500 DK - $6300
Opponent - PHO
Proj Pts FD - 37.18 DK - 36.68
Draymond looked like his old school self on Christmas Day, playing 34 minutes and finishing with 20 points and 11 rebounds. It’s always though to figure the Warriors’ motivations at this point, which can make projecting their minutes and opportunity a little tough. But in games where they want to stay competitive, Green is good for mid 30’s minutes and at least double-double potential. I think this should be the case on Friday against the Suns who don’t have a ton of athleticism around the interior. Green is a fantastic value on DraftKing especially.
Aron Baynes FD - $4100 DK - $4800
Opponent - GS
Proj Pts FD - 31.53 DK - 32.5
DeAndre Ayton will sit out again on Friday, leaving Baynes back in the starting lineup at the five. He rolled there on Monday and played 30 minutes with 11 points and six rebounds. Considering the shooting, I think he ran bad on the shooting and shouldn’t have too many issues with Wille Cauley-Stein down low. The Suns have monitored Baynes’ minutes since coming back from injury, even keeping him with the second unit to reduce exposure. But that wasn’t the case last game with him back in the starting lineup and I’m not sweating it going forward.
Joel Embiid FD - $9500 DK - $9700
Opponent - ORL
Proj Pts FD - 52.7 DK - 54.73
Embiid is coming off a Christmas Day massacre of the Bucks in which he looked like the best player on the court on both ends. He had his way with Bucks interior defense, finishing with 31 points and 11 rebounds in just 28 minutes (this was against the best defensive team in basketball min you). But he also dominated on the defensive end, consistency stymying Giannis drives and just generally looking like an insurmountable force under the basket. This isn’t as high profile a matchup, but there’s also possibly some savings at other positions which you means you can seriously consider The Process here.
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