Basketball Picks Daily Fantasy Expert Advice
FanDuel NBA Picks and DraftKings NBA Picks - Friday 1/31/20
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Jalen Brunson FD - $3600 DK - $3800
Opponent - HOU
Proj Pts FD - 28.58 DK - 29.36
The biggest news heading into this slate is that Luka Doncic is going to miss this (and potentially several) game, and for DFS purposes, you're basically trying to redistribute an incredible amount of time of possession and opportunity among his team's leftovers. That leaves most of the Mavs in play, but the one who should see the most cash game attention is Jalen Brunson. Brunson's worst night during the 5 game stretch Luka missed in December saw him supply 29 FanDuel points, and if he hits even that number it will be impossible to win in cash games without him. He's one of the easiest plays of the season against the Rockets and that's all there is to it.
JA Morant FD - $7400 DK - $6900
Opponent - NO
Proj Pts FD - 38.08 DK - 38.88
Ja has been on an absolute heater recently, and redistributing JJJ's 13 shots a game should only sweeten the deal here. It's interesting, Ja and the Grizzlies have played so many weird game scripts recently that the sites' pricing algorithms haven't caught on to his true value, but thankfully we can use a little logic and figure out that he's under-priced here. The Grizzlies have been involved in one game in their last five that was decided by fewer than 10 points, and in that game Morant played 34 minutes while chipping in 41 FanDuel points. He's a steal against a Pelicans team that has played the fourth fastest pace with the eighth worst defensive efficiency.
Also considered: Kyle Lowry, who was terrific against Cleveland again last night.
James Harden FD - $10100 DK - $10600
Opponent - DAL
Proj Pts FD - 57.13 DK - 59.51
Harden looked flat out awful against the Trail Blazers after returning from his two game absence, but this price is just downright offensive. With incredible value at multiple positions tonight I just don't see how we get around taking Harden at a full 10% discount to his fair value. Dallas has been essentially a league average match-up this season, and while I understand that there is blowout risk with Luka sidelined, this price is just too good to ignore.
Jrue Holiday FD - $7600 DK - $8100
Opponent - MEM
Proj Pts FD - 41.26 DK - 41.42
I understand why people want to exercise caution with the Pels given Zion's arrival, but people are quick to forget that Jrue was paying prices like these even with a prime Anthony Davis working alongside him. You can't count on him supplying 7 defensive stats the way he did against Cleveland, but even without that defensive explosion he popped off for 41 fantasy points. He's hit value on this FanDuel price in each of his last three games, and I expect that to continue when he squares off against a Memphis team that is already a great match-up for opposing DFS players, even before considering that they will be without their best defensive player in JJJ.
Also considered: Fred VanVleet.
Trevor Ariza FD - $4300 DK - $5000
Opponent - LAL
Proj Pts FD - 26.2 DK - 26.38
More news! Carmelo Anthony has already been ruled out of Friday's contest, which means there will be plenty of shots to go around for those Blazers who are playing, and even more minutes for the already over-worked Trevor Ariza. The ageless wonder put up 33 fantasy points against Houston - incredible value on these prices - and is in a position to do even more damage given how much opposing defenses need to focus on Lillard right now. I don't see how Ariza avoids playing 35 minutes and paying value while the stronger defensive Lakers are focused on Lillard, McCollum, and Whiteside.
Pascal Siakam FD - $8300 DK - $8200
Opponent - DET
Proj Pts FD - 43.43 DK - 44.52
Our system just thinks Siakam is under-priced right now, and we wound up running him last night as well. The main difference for Siakam seems to be the way he positions himself on the court with Gasol out. He's averaged a hair under 10 rebounds a game in his last four, and that 25% increase in rebounding production means his season averages need to be ticked up slightly. He's got a nice match-up with the Pistons, who have allowed the 8th most fantasy points a game to opposing small forwards this season. I'm not sure he's the big tournament play you're looking for, but if you find yourself with money to spend he's a good cash game option.
Also considered: Danilo Gallinari.
Serge Ibaka FD - $5700 DK - $6900
Opponent - DET
Proj Pts FD - 38.82 DK - 40.77
Serge was a unanimous FanDuel play on these prices on Thursday, and I see no reason whatsoever why he won't be the same going up against the Pistons given that his price hasn't moved. He had paid this price nearly by halftime against Cleveland, and when you get a price and opportunity mismatch like this you just take it without asking too many questions. it does get closer on DraftKings, but I still think he's a plenty fine option there as well.
Brandon Clarke FD - $5200 DK - $4800
Opponent - NO
Proj Pts FD - 35.2 DK - 34.69
Zion Williamson FD - $6500 DK - $7000
Opponent - MEM
Proj Pts FD - 36.92 DK - 38.39
I love both sides of the young power forward in New Orleans, albeit for different reasons. The case for Zion presents itself. He's walking into more minutes in the first game that stays close, and the underlying talent is that of an $8,000 player. I actually think Clarke is the more exciting play, though. He's on four straight games of paying these prices - including two 7x performances - and that's with Jaren Jackson in the lineup. Jackson's suspension for this game means we'll likely see even more Clarke, and if he gets the start he'll be one of the more exciting big tournament options out there given the obvious chalk punt plays we already have in place.
Also considered: Anthony Davis, if you decide that this is the position where you'd like to pay up.
Jonas Valanciunas FD - $7000 DK - $6300
Opponent - NO
Proj Pts FD - 39.9 DK - 41.97
Another obvious beneficiary of Jackson's absence, Valanciunas doesn't need to soak up many minutes to become a very attractive cash game option. He's a points per minute animal, and while it can be difficult for him to stay on the court in tough defensive match-ups I think he'll be able to do so against Favors and company assuming Clarke tries to stick Zion. He's a little pricey on FanDuel, but we're actually getting a discount on him on the much tougher DraftKings, and I think he'll see huge ownership over there.
Hassan Whiteside FD - $8300 DK - $8400
Opponent - LAL
Proj Pts FD - 43.15 DK - 42.99
With 11 blocks in his last two game, the talented Mr. Whiteside reminds us why he's a threat on these prices regardless of the match-up. While he's a minutes risk for myriad reasons, the Blazers will absolutely need his size against Howard and McGee, and our model has him out there for 33+ minutes in this game. If that's the case the sky is the limit, and while I hate to effort-cast in general it does seem to matter for Whiteside. A high profile game against the Lakers should bring out the best in him, and he's my favorite FanDuel center of the night.