Basketball Picks Daily Fantasy Expert Advice
FanDuel NBA Picks and DraftKings NBA Picks - Tuesday 8/11/20Well, we've finally hit late-season NBA and it only took about 1.5 weeks in the bubble. With so many teams now firmly entrenched in their spot (in the playoffs or not) it has become a very limited cash game player pool.
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Point GuardRussell Westbrook FD - $9400 DK - $9300
Opponent - SA
Proj Pts FD - 53.63 DK - 54.98
Westbrook will return to the lineup on Tuesday after sitting the last two games with a bruised right quad. He’s coming back in time to take full control of the team with James Harden having already been ruled out for this game. Westbrook has a nuts-o 40.6 usage rate when Harden is off the court this season.The assist rate climbs about 13% as well. He should dominate on ball time in this game against a Spurs team that’s picked up the pace since entering the bubble and are effectively starting a four-guard lineup. On a day that should see plenty of savings with injury news and teams punting, Westbrook makes for a high-floor play even in the minutes don’t come all the way back because of the injury.
Austin Rivers (FD $4400 DK $4100) went ballistic off the bench with Westbrook out last game, finishing with 20 shots on his way to 41 points, six rebounds and four assists against the Kings. He could be in for a similar minutes’ share again as the backup point guard.
Damian Lillard FD - $9900 DK - $9800
Opponent - DAL
Proj Pts FD - 51.43 DK - 53.84
As the bubble gets more and more precarious with the numbers of teams with motivation to actually play through a whole game decreasing with each day. The is definitely not the case with Portland who sit one game back of the Grizzlies for the eight seed in the West and the latter has to play the Celtics on Tuesday. Lillard should be looking at max minutes once against a Dallas team that ranks in the bottom-third of defensive efficiency this season. After blowing two FTs late against the Clippers in a brutal loss, he came storming back against the Sixers on Sunday dropping 51 points on 28 shots and 16 trips to the line. *Safety* in minutes these days is the most important thing and Lillard has that right now.
Shooting GuardDevin Booker FD - $8100 DK - $8800
Opponent - PHI
Proj Pts FD - 40.57 DK - 42.96
The Suns are now 6-0 in the restart and now are only a game back of the Grizzlies though the Blazers and Spurs are still ahead of them. It’s a crazy situation and we should definitely see max minutes out of these guys after blowing out a shorthanded Thunder team on Monday. It only took Booker 29 minutes to drop 35 points on OKC, helping to dispatch them with relative ease. He’s now averaging 30 points, six assists and four rebounds per game in the bubble and has carried this Suns’ team through a rather improbable run. The scoring should be on display against against a shorthanded Sixers’ team though they will at least provide more defensive resistance than what we saw out of the Thunder.
C.J. McCollum FD - $7400 DK - $7600
Opponent - DAL
Proj Pts FD - 39.04 DK - 40.34
This line of thinking closely mirrors the Lillard write up in that the Blazers are in all hands on deck mode in this game against the Mavericks. McCollum hasn’t played fewer than 39 minutes in the first six restart games, averaging 21 points, six rebounds and five assists per game. The usage and stats are cutting it close at these price points especially considering Portland is leaning so much on Dame and has found even more shooting off the bench with Trent. But the minutes are going to be there in anything like a close game and on this slate that’s just about enough for a guy like CJ.
Timothe Luwawu FD - $3600 DK - $3600
Opponent - ORL
Proj Pts FD - 24.52 DK - 25.3
Look, there are going to be a lot of ways to save on this slate, so picking punts could get a little tricky. But I do think TLC represents something close to a safe play here. With the Nets locking up the seventh seed, they’ll sit Caris LeVert, Joe Harris, Garrett Temple and Jarrett Allen. When they did something similar against the Bucks TLC dropped 26 points in 31 minutes, going 8-12 from the field. That game Temple played, so there are even more guard minutes and usage to go around here. The Nets are incredibly shorthanded, especially on the wing and I think TLC leads the team in shots for this game.
Small ForwardMikal Bridges FD - $4800 DK - $4800
Opponent - PHI
Proj Pts FD - 30.03 DK - 28.82
It wasn’t pretty all the way through, but Bridges found a way to scrape towards value against the Thunder. He turned on the scoring in the second half and got his way to 18 points and six rebounds in 29 minutes. It’s clear his versatility, especially on defense keeps the minutes share high enough on a game-to-game basis even though he can (fantasy-wise) disappear for longer stretches in the game. But it’s also what keeps the price in check and the small forward position on FanDuel is a bit thin on this slate. I don’t mind taking the savings with Bridges.
Carmelo Anthony FD - $5400 DK - $5600
Opponent - DAL
Proj Pts FD - 26.87 DK - 27.35
We could be looking at just a full Blazers/ Suns stack in cash to avoid the pitfalls of what’s happening with a lot of other teams on this slate. That would mean paying up a little out of the “value” zone for some players in order to at least lock in their safety on the minutes. Carmelo is a good example of that here. He’s not exactly cheap, but there are few small forward options you can basically pen into 35 minutes which is what he’s averaging in the restart. He’s putting up 16 points and seven rebounds per game which included a real run bad game against the Nuggets.
Power ForwardPower forward, on FanDuel is an incredible problem on this slate. As of this writing, there wasn’t a ton of clarity on some of the situations. I’ll go through some possible plays we can take a look at with some of the caveats.
Brandon Clarke (FD $5800 DK $5000) and Anthony Tolliver (FD $3500 DK $3500) are both interesting, cheaper, options for the Grizzlies. The latter finally got back to his fantasy points per minute baseline in the last game off the bench. He ran 26 minutes and put up 16 points and nine rebounds. Meanwhile, with Kyle Anderson in foul trouble, Tolliver got 30 minutes though that dude needs every one of them to get to value even at cheaper prices.
Rodions Kurucs (FD $3800 DK $4100) could be in for a lot of minutes with Jarrett Allen specifically out for the Nets. The concern is that Rodions is turning into a real guy on the Nets, effectively the only starter who isn’t sitting this game. That could lead to reduced minutes if the Nets are looking to save him.
The Pelicans are out of it and sitting Zion, Ingram and Jrue Holiday. That could mean a start for Nicolo Melli (FD $3700 DK $3900) and possibly decent usage with the so much of the firepower sitting this one out.
Gary Clark (FD $3500 DK $3400) is still starting for Aaron Gordon and the Magic are playing crazy shorthanded with Isaac, Evan Fournier and Terrence Ross all sitting out against the Nets.
CenterDeandre Ayton FD - $7700 DK - $7900
Opponent - PHI
Proj Pts FD - 42.53 DK - 43.43
On Monday, we got true lineup shenanigans with the Suns releasing a starting lineup without Ayton with about 10 minutes to go until lock. It turned out he missed his Covid test and came to the game late, losing his starting position. He logged only 17 minutes so, in some ways, we don’t have to worry about getting burned too badly on the back-to-back. This Sixers have been very good against centers this season, but that’s with Embiid on the floor. The defensive efficiency really drops off if the big guy isn’t around. Ayton was on his way to being a chalk play on Monday before the wild news and should be that way again on Tuesday.
Jonas Valanciunas FD - $7300 DK - $7200
Opponent - BOS
Proj Pts FD - 40.95 DK - 42.66
Valanciunas had a horrendous game against Marc Gasol and the Raptors on Sunday, scoring 0 points in 27 minutes with only two field goal attempts. It’s such an outlier game for a dude who’d been averaging 17 points and 10 rebounds per game in the five previous games. I do like him for a bounce back game against an undersized Celtics’ team in a must-win game for the Grizzlies. I think we can get him at lower ownership, especially on DraftKings where starting two centers could be the play.
Jusuf Nurkic (FD $8500 DK $9000) is of course still in play, but Whiteside is back for this game and Nurk might just be a little too expensive relative to some of the other higher-priced guys written up at other positions.