Basketball Picks Daily Fantasy Expert Advice
FanDuel NBA Picks and DraftKings NBA Picks - Friday, 7/31/20Friday is the first *full* slate of hoops we've had in about four months. And it should be a fun one. Let's take a look what's in store for DraftKings and FanDuel.
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Point GuardRicky Rubio FD - $6500 DK - $7400
Opponent - WAS
Proj Pts FD - 37.63 DK - 38.37
No one is really sure why the Suns are here in Orlando, but I suppose that’s besides the point. They made the trip and it stands to reason they’ll give this thing a puncher’s chance to start on Friday. They dray easily the best matchup in Orlando against the remains of the Wizards who didn’t bring Bradley Beal or Davis Bertans. The Wizards were the second worst defense in the league this season behind the Cavs, but ran at a much faster pace. Rubio should be able to put in work after playing 19 minutes in his first bubble game. He’d double-doubled in seven of the last ten games before the stoppage averaging 19 points and 10.5 assists in that span. This is the best matchup you can get here in the bubble and I’m here for Rubio even if the Suns’ games might not matter much.
Russell Westbrook FD - $9800 DK - $9400
Opponent - DAL
Proj Pts FD - 54.38 DK - 55.59
Russ cleared his Covid quarantine and has been as active as ever since starting back up in the bubble. The Rockets only had mild minutes restrictions on him early and I think he’ll be totally unleashed once the games matter. The Rockets have only seeding to play for so it’s not totally clear how much the games matter for them when we ramp back up. But Russ was a beast fantasy-wise with the Rockets going small, averaging 26 points 10 rebounds and four assists over the last four games before the stoppage. He isn’t coming all that expensive on either site and has as high a floor as anyone in the game because contributes across the box score.
Shooting GuardDevin Booker FD - $8000 DK - $8800
Opponent - WAS
Proj Pts FD - 43.02 DK - 45.46
Much along the same lines as Rubio, Booker just draws the best matchup to start this Friday slate. They haven’t been shy running him minutes in the scrimmages which is a good sign for his safety and I do think the Suns are here to play at least for the first couple of games. Booker was a 26/6.6 guy when the season closed, basically matching his 2018-19 output. I think we can put him on lock for his numbers if the minutes are there and the Wiz won’t offer much in the way of resistance.
Caris Levert FD - $8200 DK - $7800
Opponent - ORL
Proj Pts FD - 41.4 DK - 42.46
To say the Nets brought the B-squad to the bubble would be an insult to the letter B. It’s more like the D squad with Spencer Dinwiddie, Taurean Prince, DeAndre Jordan and Wilson Chandler sitting out along with Kyrie Irving and the pipe dream of Kevin Durant returning. That leaves this a skeleton crew at the very best. LeVert stands to see a ton of usage with this squad. With Dinwiddie and Kyrie off the court this season, LeVert spiked a 39% usage rate and we started to see that in the scrimmages for the Nets. They don’t have a lot of hope of winning games, but if it stays close Caris should see a ton of shots.
BR> Keep an eye on Lonnie Walker IV (FD $3800 DK $3200) here. He’s coming very cheap and the Spurs have been running him consistently with the starting five, going very small without Aldridge. Sharing the court with DeRozan isn’t a case for high usage, but Walker is super cheap.
Small ForwardTroy Brown FD - $4600 DK - $4700
Opponent - PHO
Proj Pts FD - 26.32 DK - 26.18
Isaac Bonga FD - $3600 DK - $3300
Opponent - PHO
Proj Pts FD - 20.28 DK - 20.04
Troy Brown should be the focal point of the Wizards’ “offense” leading into this restart. He sees a big uptick in usage with Beal off the court this season going from a full season 16% to 22% when the latter isn’t around. In the last preseason game he led the team with 14 shots and went for 12 points and eight rebounds. He’s coming cheap enough on both sites to take a flyer on the usage for sure.
And oh yeah, we’re going there with Bonga. He often fell victim to the Washington standard line of having no f$%&-ing clue who was going to play the minutes regardless of whether you were starting or not. It was sometimes a joke when he’d get called out under the big lights as a starter and then roll 15 or so minutes. But with Beal and Bertans sitting it out and the Wiz playing for very little, there’s reason to suspect they try to get Bonga solid run in a development phase. He’s raw for sure, but has the ability to contribute across the stat line when running minutes, as he showed in the first few bubble scrimmages. I never trusted the minutes before, but I sort of do now.
Jonathan Isaac (FD $3500 DK $5800) is the minimum on FanDuel but there could be a pretty hard minutes cap for him still.
Power ForwardRichaun Holmes FD - $3900 DK - $5100
Opponent - SA
Proj Pts FD - 29.96 DK - 28.82
After a DoorDash snafu put him out of commission for some days in the bubble, Holmes looks like he’ll be back in the starting lineup when we restart and he should be in line for plenty of minutes at the five. Marvin Bagley is sitting out and Holmes has been the guy. He’s a beast per minute fantasy-wise and has been throughout his career. If given 30 minutes, he’s nearly a lock for a double-double and I don’t suspect the Kings hold back minutes to start considering their precarious position in trying to get into the playoffs.
Robert Covington FD - $5800 DK - $6100
Opponent - DAL
Proj Pts FD - 32.73 DK - 31.99
Covington was basically playing the four and sometimes the five on the final iterations of the Houston lineup before things got shut down. But as in all things Houston outside of Harden and Russ, that still led to up and down performances. He put up 20 or more points in two of the last five, but also have a 7 and 3 in there as well. Such is the case when you play with massive usage guys who also kind of grab all of the rest of the stats as well. But I think Covington’s minutes are safe out of the gate and power forward is perpetually thin on FanDuel.
CenterJakob Poeltl FD - $4200 DK - $4700
Opponent - SAC
Proj Pts FD - 26.04 DK - 24.44
Poeltl will likely be Friday night chalk at center. Without LaMarcus Aldridge and Trey Lyles, the Spurs are seriously deficient in the big-man department and Poeltl will likely cover almost all of the minutes there. He’s had some monster lineup without Aldridge in the past and sees both a minutes jump as well as a 4% usage and relative 3% rebounding bump as well. He’s probably the best points per dollar value on the entire slate considering the opportunity.
Jonas Valanciunas FD - $7700 DK - $7800
Opponent - POR
Proj Pts FD - 44.15 DK - 45.72
It will be interesting to see how hard Memphis runs things out of the gate. On the one hand, I love what Jonas can bring to the table fantasy-wise when given the minutes. Over his last 16 games before the stoppage he average 14 points and 14 rebounds per game. The issue is that a lot of that came without Jaren Jackson and Brandon Clarke. There’s a good chance one or either of those guys take over big minutes in small ball five lineups, pushing Jonas out of of some of his minutes. Statistically and fantasy-wise Jonas is one of the best per minute guys in the NBA, but those minutes are definitely in question to start.