Basketball Picks Daily Fantasy Expert Advice
FanDuel NBA Picks and DraftKings NBA Picks - Saturday, 1/11/20
With Minnesota and Houston playing an early game, we have six games making up the main slate. The thing that makes today interesting is all of the injuries. Players like Joel Embiid, Blake Griffin, Anthony Davis and Kristaps Porzingis are all sitting out, forcing us to pay up in the front court. With that in mind, let's get started with some back court players and work our way to those high-end big men.
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One flukey thing that these DFS sites algorithms do is lower a player's price after a dud. What it doesn't take into consideration is how that dud happened. An ejection in the second quarter is what's made Walker such a good value here and it's hard to understand why he's so cheap. If you take out that one outlier, Walker is averaging 38 FanDuel points per game across his last 16 outings. That's the production of an $8,500 player on FD. The brilliant matchup is simply a bonus, with the Pelicans surrendering the second-most fantasy points to opposing point guards this season.
Sato is also coming off a dud in his most recent game and that's lowered his prices to these extremely enticing numbers. Foul trouble is what led to his ugly outing but he was brilliant before that. In fact, Satoransky averaged 31.7 DraftKings points over his previous nine games played. What we really like is that he played 34 minutes a game in that span, establishing himself as the primary point guard for this volatile rotation. We're certainly not worried about Detroit either, with the Pistons sitting 22nd in defensive efficiency.
Also considered: Derrick Rose.
This is the first of many Sixers in this article and it's easy to understand why. With Joel Embiid out for the next few weeks, all of these guys remain great values. We're talking about a big man who's averaging 16.3 shots per game while leading the team with a 31 percent usage rate. It's that usage that makes Richardson intriguing, as he actually did the most ball-handling against the Celtics in the first game without him on Thursday. That led to 43 DraftKings points, bringing his season average to nearly 30 fantasy points per game.
Marcus Smart FD - $5100 DK - $4800
Opponent - NO
Proj Pts FD - 25.52 DK - 25.38
While we don't like Smart as much with a full Celtics roster, he's simply too good to be priced below $5,000 on both sites. This is a dude who's already averaging 27 DK points per game, which would indicate that he should be about $5,500. The reason we love him today is the matchup. Not only does New Orleans rank seventh in pace, they also sit 25th in defensive efficiency and 28th in points allowed. That pace and sloppy play is a beautiful recipe for a hustler like Smart, as he should be able to stuff the stat sheet at will in a matchup like this.
Giannis Antetokounmpo FD - $11200 DK - $11500
Opponent - POR
Proj Pts FD - 57.18 DK - 59.49
With Harden playing the early slate, Giannis is our favorite raw points play of the day. The simple fact is, Giannis leads all players on this slate with 60 fantasy points per outing. That absurd total makes him great no matter the price but it seems crazy that he's cheaper than Luka Doncic, the highest-priced player on this slate. What makes that even more bizarre is the fact that Portland owns a 29th OPRK against opposing small forwards according to DraftKings. Their strengths are at the guard positions and at center, which should allow Antetokounmpo to absolutely feast on players like Kent Bazemore and Carmelo Anthony. That was crystal clear in their first meeting when Antetokounmpo accumulated 24 points, 19 rebounds, 15 assists and three steals en route to 80.3 DK points. WOW!
Tobias Harris FD - $6500 DK - $6800
Opponent - DAL
Proj Pts FD - 37.45 DK - 38.18
Let's keep the Sixers rolling with Harris. He's actually the guy who's benefited most from Embiid's absence, leading the team with a 26 percent usage rate when he's off the floor. That's led to Harris averaging 1.2 DK points per minute in those games which is huge from a guy who would be looking at 35-40 minutes of action and 15-plus shots. The matchup may be the best part of this play though, with Dallas allowing the fifth-most fantasy points to opposing small forwards. All of that has him as one of our best per-dollar plays on this slate.
Al Horford FD - $6400 DK - $6700
Opponent - DAL
Proj Pts FD - 34.44 DK - 34.48
Horford is the final piece to our Philly stack and it's truly amazing just how cheap he is on FanDuel. With Embiid out of the picture, he should return to the Boston Horford that sat in the $7,000-range. In the eight games without Embiid this season, Horford is averaging 36.5 FanDuel points per game. That equates to 6X value at this price tag and that even includes one dud where the Sixers were blown out. That means his average should be closer to 40 fantasy points in what should be a competitive game and we're definitely not scared of an undersized Dallas front-court without Porzingis.Kyle Kuzma FD - $4100 DK - $5400
Opponent - OKC
Proj Pts FD - 28.82 DK - 30.35
With Davis already ruled out for this one, it's highly likely that Kuzma is going to grab another start for the Lakers here. Kuzma was 70%+ owned in cash last night on a much bigger slate, and as of this writing he's gone for 16 fantasy points in the first quarter. Don't overthink this one on FanDuel - it's just a price opportunity mismatch that you can't miss out on. It gets a little closer on DraftKings, but he's close to an automatic play there as well.
Andre Drummond FD - $11000 DK - $10100
Opponent - CHI
Proj Pts FD - 55.19 DK - 54.74
We have a ton of value on this slate, so, let's give you one of the best raw plays on the board. On this current roster with about half of the team missing, Drummond is posting a 24 percent usage rate while averaging 1.4 DK points per minute. That's big for a guy who doesn't need a ton of usage to produce, averaging 17.8 points and 16.2 rebounds per game this season. That's truly horrifying for the Bulls, with Chicago surrendering the most fantasy points in the league to opposing centers this season. That's clear when you see that Drummond is averaging 53 fantasy points per game in three meetings with them this season. Don't be surprised to see him drop a 20-20 line here with a handful of defensive stats.Jaxson Hayes FD - $4100 DK - $3800
Opponent - BOS
Proj Pts FD - 29.75 DK - 28
It looks like Derrick Favors is going to be out here, and if he is, Hayes becomes one of the easier plays on the slate. He's on back to back double-doubles while averaging 40 fantasy points in those contests, and he gets a great match-up with Daniel Theis here. Hayes' explosive athleticism should give Boston fits, and getting 50% more minutes than usual just seals the deal. Heck, even if he isn't starting he's likely a reasonable play here.
Clint Capela FD - $8000 DK - $9200
Opponent - MIN
Proj Pts FD - 42.23 DK - 42.24
I know he's not on the main slate, but I wanted to touch of Capela briefly. We're talking about a guy who's averaging 43.1 DraftKings points per game across his last 24 games played. That's no surprise when you see that he's averaging 15 points and 16 rebounds per game in that span, thriving with the uptick in pace. That's bad news for a T'Wolves team without Karl-Anthony Towns, with Minnesota ranked 24th in points allowed. If Capela does miss this game because of a heel issue, Isaiah Hartenstein becomes a great option in his absence.
If you're looking for another center on the main slate, Brook Lopez is averaging over 30 fantasy points per game across the last three weeks and gets to face a weak Portland defense.
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