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FanDuel NBA Picks and DraftKings NBA Picks - Wednesday, 2/12/20
This is my final article before the All-Star break and it's been a blast so far. That leaves us with a monster 11-game slate for today and that should make things interesting with so many injuries throughout the league. What's funny is that the biggest absence is not due to injury because Giannis Antetokounmpo is now a father. That is going to be a game-changer on this slate and a major theme in this article!
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This man is an absolute freak right now and it's simply hard to fade him in such a tasty matchup. Let's kick things off by talking about his opposition, facing a Memphis club who sits fourth in pace and 21st in total defense. That pace alone makes Lillard one of the hardest players to fade out there, scoring at least 42 fantasy points in 12 of his last 14 games while averaging 58.3 DraftKings points per game in that span. That happens to be one of the highest totals in the NBA and the only other guys approaching that average are closer to $12,000. Coming off the back-to-back blowout loss to the Pelicans, we aren't all that concerned with any reduction in minutes here.
Milwaukee players are going to be a common theme in this article and it's easy to see why with Giannis Antetokounmpo out of the lineup. That's 30 points, 13.5 rebounds, 5.8 assists and a league-leading 37 percent usage rate gone and a guy like Bledsoe is plenty capable of taking over ball-handling duties in his absence. With him off the floor, Bledsoe is second on the team with a 32.8 percent usage rate while averaging 1.5 DK points per minute. While Bledsoe has only played three games that Giannis has sat, he's actually scored at least 44 fantasy points in all of them while averaging 51 DraftKings points per outing.
Khris Middleton FD - $7200 DK - $8800
Opponent - IND
Proj Pts FD - 45.46 DK - 47.28
This DraftKings price is definitely appropriate but it's hard to understand what FanDuel is doing here. This $7,200 price tag simply makes no sense and it's going to make him nearly impossible to fade despite the projected sky-high ownership. The reason for that is because Giannis Antetokounmpo is out, leaving Middleton as the team leader. With Giannis off the floor, Middleton is posting a 34 percent usage rate while averaging 1.48 DK points per minute. That's no surprise when you see that he has at least 39 fantasy points in all five games that Antetokounmpo has missed while averaging over 48 fantasy points per game.
Caris Levert FD - $6000 DK - $6600
Opponent - TOR
Proj Pts FD - 36.82 DK - 38.11
LeVert is finally seeing the price increase that he deserves. What's really changed things for him is the absence of Kyrie Irving. Since Irving went down four games ago, LeVert has started all of those games while leading the team with a 31.1 percent usage rate. That usage total is actually Top-10 in the NBA in that span, proving that he's the focal point of this offense with Irving off the floor. It's truly evident in his fantasy production too, averaging 37.4 DK points per game in that span. While Toronto is a tough defense, LeVert dropping 48.6 fantasy points against them last week proves that it doesn't phase him one bit.
Victor Oladipo (FD $5000 DK $4800) has really been struggling but is too talented of a player to be this cheap with his huge usage and increase in playing time.
Pascal Siakam FD - $8400 DK - $8700
Opponent - BKN
Proj Pts FD - 44.33 DK - 44.98
OG Anunoby FD - $4800 DK - $5200
Opponent - BKN
Proj Pts FD - 22.88 DK - 22.54
With Marc Gasol and Norman Powell injured and Serge Ibaka sick, these Raptors are gaining a ton of value. The guy that really gains the most value is Siakam, leading the team with a 31.2 percent usage rate with this current roster. That's allowed him to average 1.45 DK points per minute which is no surprise when you see that he's averaging 42.3 fantasy points per game for the season. He's been even better against the Nets, averaging 50.4 DK points per game in two matchups against them. As for Anunoby, he's coming off a 55-point gem in his last game and that alone makes him worth a shot in the $5,000-range. He also has the better matchup of the two, with Brooklyn owning a 20th OPRK against small forwards so far this season.
Trevor Ariza FD - $4400 DK - $4500
Opponent - MEM
Proj Pts FD - 26.23 DK - 26.41
It's strange to see any guy with a role like this being price around $4,500. Outside of one game where he got ejected, Ariza is playing 34.3 minutes per game while scoring 26 fantasy points per outing across those six fixtures. That's really all you can hope for from a player sitting at $4,500, with many of the guys around him barely playing 20 minutes off of the bench. What adds to his intrigue here is the matchup, facing a Grizzlies team who ranks fourth in pace while surrendering the eighth-most fantasy points to opposing SFs.
Christian Wood FD - $7400 DK - $7100
Opponent - ORL
Proj Pts FD - 39.79 DK - 41.29
With Andre Drummond traded and Blake Griffin injured, Wood has established himself as the go-to guy in the Pistons frontcourt. That's evident when you see that Wood has scored at least 35 fantasy points in four of his last five games. The only dud in that run was a game where he scored 18 fantasy points across 23 minutes, dealing with foul trouble against the Hornets on Monday. That tells us that his prior form is more indicative of what we should see going forward, posting Drummond-like averages. While Orlando is a tough matchup, Wood should be asked to play big minutes opposing a guy like Nikola Vucevic as well.
Ersan Ilyasova FD - $4100 DK - $4800
Opponent - IND
Proj Pts FD - 26.23 DK - 26.74
Why are these sites not reacting to this Giannis news? Ilyasova always finds himself in the starting lineup when Antetokounmpo is out and that should make him a $6,000 player. In his five starts for Antetokounmpo this season, Ilyasova has scored at least 23 fantasy points in all of them while averaging 32.8 fantasy points per game. That 23-point floor is already 6X on FanDuel and the average equates to 8X. That's obviously absurd and we can't overlook the fact that Indiana sends out bigs like Myles Turner and Domantas Sabonis, forcing Ilyasova into 25-30 minutes of play.
Karl-Anthony Towns FD - $10300 DK - $10500
Opponent - CHA
Proj Pts FD - 57.32 DK - 60.38
Towns should be $12,000 in a matchup like this. In their one meeting this season, Towns collected 37 points, 15 rebounds, eight assists, four steals and two blocks across just 27 minutes of action against the Hornets. That led to a season-best 83 fantasy points and that's really no surprise when you consider the fact that the Hornets allow the most fantasy points in the league to opposing centers. That absurd performance and the spectacular matchup is a brilliant recipe for a guy who's averaging 52 DraftKings points per game for the season and is clearly running things with Andrew Wiggins. Jeff Teague, Shabazz Napier, Gorgui Dieng and Robert Covington all being traded.
Brook Lopez FD - $5600 DK - $5800
Opponent - IND
Proj Pts FD - 32.14 DK - 30.34
While Indiana has one of the best defenses in the NBA, the center position is one spot where they can be exploited. That's really evident on FanDuel, with the Pacers owning a 21st OPRK against opposing centers. That's great news for a guy like Lopez, with the big man averaging 29 DK points per game across his last 25 outings. In addition, he's averaging 39 DraftKings points per game in his two meetings with the Pacers. In the five games that Giannis has missed this season, Lopez is averaging 28 fantasy points per game as well. If he matches any one of these averages below $6,000, Lopez would be a great value.
Andre Drummond (FD $10200 DK $9400) faces a 29th-ranked Hawks defense and could play with some serious fire after being traded to Cleveland.