Basketball Picks Daily Fantasy Expert Advice
FanDuel NBA Picks and DraftKings NBA Picks - Monday, 2/24/20
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Point GuardLuka Doncic FD - $9800 DK - $10500
Opponent - MIN
Proj Pts FD - 52.99 DK - 55.79
After sitting out on Saturday because of ankle soreness, Doncic has been cleared to play on Monday well in advance of the game. That means we can project him at basically 100% health he should be the big-money play on this slate. He came out of the gate post-All Star Break with a 33 point, 10 rebound, eight assist line against the Magic and now gets a Timberwolves team that’s incredibly compromised on defense after their trade deadline moves. Even with some moderate blowout risk, the floor on Doncic is almost too high to fade on this slate considering some of the cheaper value elsewhere.
Kendrick Nunn FD - $4700 DK - $5600
Opponent - CLE
Proj Pts FD - 27.09 DK - 27.69
Jimmy Butler has already been ruled out for Monday, leaving another chance to run out Kendrick Nunn in cash games. Nunn put up a huge line on Saturday against the Cavaliers with 24 points and eight assists in 35 minutes. The Heat will play matchups as much as any team in the league, meaning Butler being out isn’t a 1:1 certainty that Nunn sees all of those minutes, but two of the last three games Butler has sat Kendrick has played 33+ minutes. Considering this is a home-and-home against these very same Cavaliers, setting Nunn in a similar minutes range is perfectly acceptable. I suspect he’s a popular play.
With Ben Simmons out for the 76ers, there are some point guard minutes up for grabs. When he sat two games ago, Raul Neto (FD $3500 DK $3800) got the start. But last game, when Simmons went down Shake Milton (FD $4400 DK $3600) early seemed to get the nod. This is a situation to keep an eye out for leading into lock as I’d tend to default to whoever is starting.
Shooting GuardJosh Richardson FD - $5100 DK - $4800
Opponent - ATL
Proj Pts FD - 31.13 DK - 31.12
Alec Burks FD - $4000 DK - $4900
Opponent - ATL
Proj Pts FD - 35.03 DK - 35.81
The Sixers come into Monday against the Hawks without both Ben Simmons and Tobias Harris. That should spell plenty of run for Richardson whose minutes cap is off having run 32 and 35 respectively in close games before Philly got trounced by the Bucks on Saturday. He’s been brutal from three over the last two (1-10) but should have a higher fantasy floor here because of the excellent matchup and the expectation that the 76ers will need every minute out of him. It’s encouraging that he’s put up double digit shot attempts in each of the last three games and has projected usage bump with Simmons and Harris off the court. In fact with those two off the court this season Richardson’s 27% usage rate is the second-highest on the team.
Along those same lines, we could see quite the minutes increase for Burks in this matchup as the Sixers struggle to find reliable scoring options with the team depleted right now. He played 30 minutes in the overtime win against the Nets and 21 off the bench against the Bucks. He’s averaged 12 shots per game in that run and should be the Sixers’ first option off the bench (if he doesn’t start). He makes for a great speculative punt on FanDuel at only $4K though I do think the DraftKings’ price is getting a little steep.
Caris Levert FD - $6500 DK - $7300
Opponent - ORL
Proj Pts FD - 35.93 DK - 36.96
The Nets are going to be without Kyrie Irving for the rest of the season and this is now basically LeVert and Spencer Dinwiddie’s team when it comes to the offense. The latter has been a usage machine over the last month, averaging 19 shots per game, shooting 43% from three (5.5 attempts) and putting up a 23 point, five assist, rebound line in his last seven games. He also has 11 steals combined in the last three games. The Nets are still very much in a playoff push and I expect LeVert’s minutes to stick in the mid-30’s range for the rest of the season. You are still getting him at something of a discount considering the newish opportunity.
Small ForwardGiannis Antetokounmpo FD - $11800 DK - $11400
Opponent - WAS
Proj Pts FD - 61.42 DK - 64.04
So there’s little argument over whether Giannis is the very best fantasy option on a night-to-night basis when the minutes are there. Dude is averaging 30 points, 13.6 rebounds and 11 assists in just 30 minutes per game. These, of course, are video game numbers. And so the only really issue is whether we will get enough minutes out of him to justify the crazy-high prices seeing as how the Bucks just kind of blow everyone out of the water every night. But the game against the Pistons may have been instructive on how Milwaukee is going to handle Giannis going forward. He came back into the game in the 4th quarter when the Bucks were up 30 and it seems like the team’s plan is to play him basically 31-33 a night in an effort to make sure the conditioning is there for the playoffs. I actually think this starts to make him even safer going forward.
On FanDuel, after Giannis, things really start to break down at small forward. Let’s go through some of the options: Derrick Jones (FD $4200 DK $4100) is moderately interesting with Jimmy Butler out of the mix. He got up to 27 minutes against Cleveland last time around and did put up a 13/4/4 line with four steals to boot. He’s unlikely to kill you at these prices but the Heat are so wing-heavy now losing minutes isn’t out of the question.
Meanwhile, Cam Reddish (FD $4700 DK $5000) has been playing a ton of minutes for the feisty Hawks over the last couple of games and this Philly team isn’t exactly looking all that scary missing two of their core starters.
And finally, the minutes have basically been there for Marcus Morris (FD $4400 DK $4900) with Paul George out though the usage has tumbled something fierce sharing the court with Kawhi Leonard and company.
Power ForwardBrandon Clarke FD - $5200 DK - $5500
Opponent - LAC
Proj Pts FD - 31.16 DK - 30.54
With news that Jaren Jackson Jr. is going to miss a few weeks with a knee sprain, that means we should target a lot more minutes and production for Brandon Clarke in the short-term. He’s been the beneficiary of Jackson missing time in the past and last game, when JJJ left early, Clarke came in and played 33 minutes with 14 points, ten rebounds and four assists. Clarke is one of the better per minute fantasy players around with the only real issue this season being around consistent playing time off the bench. That shouldn’t be an issue now and the price hasn’t come up to meet what should be the new level of production.
Naz Reid FD - $5000 DK - $5800
Opponent - DAL
Proj Pts FD - 41.26 DK - 43.48
Reid got into foul trouble against Nikola Jokic on Sunday which buzzed off quite a few of his minutes. Even with that, he played 22 and finished with 13 points and five rebounds on 5-12 shooting. Dude is very much a beast when it comes to the fantasy points per minute variety. Sure, the price has climbed some, but it’s nowhere close to what it should be if the real plan is to play him 30+ minutes per game. And that seems to be the case in the current T-Wolves operational plan. DraftKings is a little closer, but he’s still very much a play on both sites.
Al Horford (FD $4900 DK $4500) has been just brutal for Philly, but with Tobias Harris out he could move back into the starting lineup. At these prices I’d tend to take a flyer.
CenterJoel Embiid FD - $10000 DK - $9500
Opponent - ATL
Proj Pts FD - 54.56 DK - 56.89
There are three expensive plays on Monday and the case for all three is strong. Embiid, Giannis and Luka all make for great cash plays and it’s unlikely you’ll be able to roll out all three. With Ben Simmons and Tobias Harris off the court this season Embiid has a team-high 38% usage rate while seeing a boost in the rebounding and assists as well. He essentially becomes the Sixers’ offense. Against an Atlanta team allowing 4% more scoring than league average to opposing centers, this is a smash spot for Embiid. His price on DraftKings is a borderline joke and he’ll likely be incredibly high-owned there.
Kelly Olynyk FD - $3900 DK - $3700
Opponent - CLE
Proj Pts FD - 22.34 DK - 22.78
With Meyers Leonard and Jimmy Butler out of action on Saturday, Olynyk got the rare start for Miami and ended up playing 26 minutes in the win over Cleveland. It stands to reason we see the same rotation again on Monday considering he was effective, scoring 17 points on 5-7 shooting (4-6 from three). I don’t expect that to replicate efficiency-wise, but two rebounds does feel like the absolute floor expectation considering this many minutes. He’s a fine punt play especially on DraftKings if you are really trying to go stars and scrubs.
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