Basketball Picks Daily Fantasy Expert Advice
FanDuel NBA Picks and DraftKings NBA Picks - Monday 8/17/20Playoff basketball is here! We are through the regular season in the bubble and now the series start. Let's take a look at the opening NBA slate for FanDuel and DraftKings.
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Point GuardKyle Lowry FD - $7300 DK - $7900
Opponent - BKN
Proj Pts FD - 42.08 DK - 43.82
The Raptors walk into the best matchup on the slate against a shorthanded and undermanned Nets’ team. Sure, Brooklyn’s been a really nice bubble story, but this isn’t in any way a strong defensive unit. If the game can stay close, Toronto is the team I trust the most with the minutes on this slate seeing as how they’ve played with shorter rotations almost all season. Lowry averaged 33 minutes per game in the bubble, and played a ton early on. He shot really poorly from three (only 32%) and yet still finished averaging 17 points, seven rebounds and six assists per game. I like him as a high floor option in a good matchup as long as the game doesn’t get out of hand.
Kemba Walker FD - $6000 DK - $6900
Opponent - PHI
Proj Pts FD - 35.87 DK - 37.59
Though he had his minutes monitored early in the bubble as he continued working his way back from injury, Walker still played well in Orlando shooting the ball very well including 43% from beyond the arc on 35 attempts. The price remains on the lower side, especially on FanDuel because he wasn’t playing enough minutes to ramp back up into the $7K range. That’s good news for a mid-tier dude who will now get a Philly team moving in the wrong direction after losing Ben Simmons for the rest of the season.
Shooting GuardJosh Richardson FD - $4800 DK - $5500
Opponent - BOS
Proj Pts FD - 29.87 DK - 30.18
Richardson’s fantasy games can really come and go, to an almost alarming degree. Sure, he had the 34 points, six assists and five rebounds in 38 minutes against the Blazers. But then there’s a line like five points, one rebound and one assist in the final game against the Rockets. It sure seems like there’s more of the latter than the former which does make him risky. But considering his defense, there’s a good reason to expect he climbs into the high-30’s minutes at the minimum against a smaller Boston team.
Garrett Temple FD - $3800 DK - $4400
Opponent - TOR
Proj Pts FD - 25.75 DK - 26.15
The Nets made a starting lineup switch with three games left to go in the bubble, keeping Temple with the starting five and letting Caris LeVert run the offense. This move allowed Temple to start playing a lot of minutes and he scored 19 and 15 points respectively over the last two games. He also got on the boards, averaging eight over the last two as well. This four-game playoff slate doesn’t have much in the way of put plays because teams are relatively healthy and going to now really shorten their rotations. Temple represents as close as we might get to a very cheap, salary relief guy.
I do think Fred Vanvleet (FD 7000 DK 6800) is a candidate to play a ton if the Nets can keep the game close at all.
With the news that Mike Conley will miss the first couple of games after leaving the bubble for the birth of his son, Donovan Mitchell (FD 7300 DK 8000) and Jordan Clarkson (FD 4400 DK 3800) could be in for a lot of run. The latter is a particularly good deal on DraftKings and could start here.
Small ForwardGordon Hayward FD - $6100 DK - $7300
Opponent - PHI
Proj Pts FD - 38.27 DK - 39.48
Hayward had a very balanced return to basketball in Orlando, playing a bunch of minutes (34 per game, one went to OT) and averaging a solid 19 points, 7.5 rebounds and 3.5 assists per. There are a lot of mouths to feed on offense with these Celtics, but that is also a thing that keeps their prices relatively in check. He’s still a candidate to play a ton of minutes considering his versatility on both ends of the court, and he’s been getting up double-digit shots per game since the restart even with Boston playing mostly healthy and full strength.
Joe Harris FD - $4800 DK - $4700
Opponent - TOR
Proj Pts FD - 29.96 DK - 31.83
Harris has had a really nice restart, shooting the ball lights out from beyond the arc at 54% on a bit more than six attempts per game. He was good for 21 points per game as the Nets second option on offense. He should be in for a lot of minutes in this game if Brooklyn can keep it anywhere close with the Raptors, which won’t be easy. Harris makes for a lower-middle tier value play who isn’t likely to kill you at these prices, even chipping in around rebounds per game in Orlando.
Power ForwardAl Horford FD - $5300 DK - $7200
Opponent - BOS
Proj Pts FD - 33.29 DK - 33.22
The Sixers are just going to try and outsize the Celtics in this first round matchup considering that’s probably their only real advantage at this point. Horford should keep starting at the four and his all around game plays nicely at this FanDuel price. It’s a tougher sell on DraftKings where I think he’s just too expensive. But Horford should see minutes at least in the low 30’s early in this series. He needs to knock down some threes to really get up and over value, but this FD price is pretty easy to deal with.
Marcus Morris FD - $4300 DK - $4200
Opponent - DAL
Proj Pts FD - 28.97 DK - 30.05
Morris is entrenched now as the starting four for the Clippers and they used him a lot often playing shorthanded after Montrezl Harrell left the bubble and with injuries to some other pieces. He had an adequate time fantasy wise, especially at these prices averaging 32 minutes per game for 13 points, five rebounds and 1.3 blocks+steals after you back out a terrible 19 minutes against the Lakers in the opener. He’s a good FanDuel option at a weaker power forward position with the assumption that we can spend up elsewhere.
CenterJoel Embiid FD - $8500 DK - $10200
Opponent - BOS
Proj Pts FD - 52.7 DK - 54.94
There’s still some concern about the ankle injury, though that he played 23 minutes in his final game of the bubble makes me feel a little more comfortable playing Embiid on this opening slate. In his first five games of the bubble, before getting dinged up he was a man on a mission, averaging 30 points, 14 rebounds and 3.2 blocks+steals per game. Against an undersized Celtics’ team he could really go to work if given the full green light in the post, which he should have. The team’s overall offense is still kind of a mess but that means they likely lean on Embiid even more here to start things. It’s a little risky considering some of the other names on this slate, but outside of Doncic no one else have Embiid’s upside if things are really cooking.
Nikola Jokic FD - $8600 DK - $8700
Opponent - UTA
Proj Pts FD - 50.15 DK - 52.49
On FanDuel, it’s close between Embiid and Jokic who come in right around the same price. On DraftKings, it’s an easy Jokic value victory at $1500 less. He should be close to chalk on DK at this price and makes for a high-floor, high-upside play even in a rough matchup against Gobert and Utah. Jokic is a candidate to play a ton of minutes in this game and averaged 20 points, nine assists and six rebounds since the restart. And that counts the last three games when Denver let their foot completely off the gas. The early parts of the bubble were even better.