Basketball Picks Daily Fantasy Expert Advice
FanDuel NBA Picks and DraftKings NBA Picks - Wednesday, 12/30/20
It's been an awesome start to the NBA season! Yesterday's article was full of great plays like Elfrid Payton, Tyler Herro, Zach LaVine and Julius Randle and we're going to look to keep that momentum rolling here. This is a much smaller slate though, with only six games on the docket. Without further ado, let's go ahead and get into it!
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Doncic is obviously one of the best players in fantasy basketball and it's just a matter of time before he drops a 60-burger on someone's head. That actually should have happened on Sunday but Luka was limited to just 26 minutes because of the 51-point win over the Los Angeles Clippers. That was his third-straight game with at least 44 DraftKings points though and that's likely going to be his floor for most of the season. The thing that we really love is his usage with Kristaps Porzingis sidelined, leading the NBA with a 38 percent usage rate. That's a monster total and that's really bad news for a Charlotte club ranked 24th in total defense last season.
Irving has been sparkling in his first few games of the season and it extends a rather remarkable run from 2019 as well. In fact, Irving averaged 48 DK points per game in limited action last season and is backing that up with a 46-point average this year. That should make him a five-figure player on both sites but he remains a solid value in the $9,000 range. The best part about using him today is the fact that he gets to match up with Trae Young. Not only is Young a terrible defender, it's also the sort of matchup that will light a fire under Kyrie. Not to mention, Atlanta ranked 27th in defensive efficiency last season.
Dejounte Murray is flirting with triple-doubles regularly and remains a good value on both sites.
With the Bucks playing the second half of a back-to-back set, it's very possible that Giannis Antetokounmpo sits out. If that is the case, Middleton is one of the best plays on the board. In games Giannis sat out last season, Middleton averaged over 40 DraftKings points per game and posted a usage rate right around 30 percent. Even if Antetokounmpo does play here, Middleton is still a solid play. We say that because Middleton has at least 35 DK points in all four games this season, averaging close to 50 fantasy points per game. That's bad news for a Miami defense without Jimmy Butler, whether Giannis suits up or not.
Dennis Schroder FD - $6100 DK - $6200
Opponent - SA
Proj Pts FD - 32.23 DK - 33.96
Schroder has always been a solid fantasy producer throughout his career and it's a wonder why he wasn't more coveted in the offseason. In any case, he's found a wonderful role in Los Angeles and he continues to provide great value. In four games so far this season, Schroder is averaging 16.8 points, 5.5 rebounds and 5.5 assists per game. That equates to 33 fantasy points per outing which is huge with Anthony Davis and LeBron James both nicked up. We're really not worried about the Spurs defense anymore either, owning a 27th OPRK against opposing shooting guards this season.
Gordon Hayward FD - $7800 DK - $7200
Opponent - DAL
Proj Pts FD - 39.89 DK - 40.66
Hayward has always been one of my favorite players in the NBA and while he likely won't win much this season, he's in a great spot to post some monster numbers. Joining a less talented Charlotte team looked strange on the surface to many people but many people don't understand how good it feels to be the man! That's just what Hayward is in Charlotte, averaging 22.7 points, 5.0 rebounds, 7.0 assists, and 1.3 steals per game. A lof of that is due to his monster usage and that should continue for this lackluster roster. Keep using Hayward until he gets above $8K on both sites.
Kyle Anderson FD - $6200 DK - $6000
Opponent - BOS
Proj Pts FD - 33.38 DK - 32.72
It's weird to consider Slo-Mo as a fantasy asset but that's just what he's been this season. Averaging 18.3 points and 10.3 rebounds per game tell you everything you need to know, with Anderson completely changing his game. What adds to his value is the fact that Ja Morant and Jaren Jackson Jr are both out, giving Slo-Mo more shots and usage going forward. This happens to be a much better matchup than many might think too, with Boston sitting dead-last in defensive rating so far this season.
Cam Reddish is just $4,400 on both sites and could provide solid value if he continues to start.
Jayson Tatum FD - $9200 DK - $8600
Opponent - MEM
Proj Pts FD - 48.9 DK - 49.92
Tatum went into superstar mode last season and has not looked back since. What we really like is his floor, scoring at least 37 DraftKings points in every game this season while averaging 45 fantasy points per game. That's no surprise when you see that he leads the Celtics with a 32 percent usage rate, averaging nearly 25 shots per game. Those are James Harden-like usage numbers and he'll continue to drop 50-spots at will with that sort of workload. The matchup against Memphis is majestic too, with the Grizzlies ranked 21st in defensive efficiency while surrendering the fourth-most fantasy points to opposing power forwards.
Maximilian Kleber FD - $3900 DK - $3600
Opponent - CHA
Proj Pts FD - 20.91 DK - 20.75
Kleber is probably my favorite punt play of the day and it's hard to understand why he remains this cheap. We're talking about a guy who's scored at least 14 DK points in all three games this season and should play at least 20 minutes. Those 14 fantasy points don't sound like much but it's quite the floor for a player below $4K. We're talking about a dude who averaged over 30 minutes a game when Porzingis was out last season too and it's very possible that he could play 25-30 minutes here. If that's the case, Maxi is the best lineup filler out there.
Robert Covington has been beyond terrible but his price is getting to a point where we can't forget about him.
Jonas Valanciunas FD - $7500 DK - $7700
Opponent - BOS
Proj Pts FD - 36.82 DK - 38.5
With Ja Morant and Jaren Jackson Jr. out for Memphis, Valanciunas should be one of the focal points of the offense. That's huge for a guy who's already been producing at an elite level this season, scoring at least 38 DraftKings points in all three games this year. That's an incredible floor and he's done that damage despite playing 30 minutes or fewer in two of those games. JV actually played 39 minutes in the most recent game and dropped 44 fantasy points and if he plays that much, he should be a $9,000 player. Boston traditionally struggles against opposing bigs too which looks even worse when you consider the league-worst defensive efficiency rating.
Bismack Biyombo FD - $4600 DK - $4800
Opponent - DAL
Proj Pts FD - 25.57 DK - 25.19
Biyombo has quietly had a nice career in Charlotte and he always seems to produce when given the opportunity. An injury to Cody Zeller is what opened up things for him this season, playing 30 minutes in back-to-back games. BB scored at least 23 DK points in both of those outings too which is no surprise when you consider that he averaged 25 fantasy points per game as the starter last season. That means his price should be at least $5,000 and it's clear that these DFS sites are slow to adjust to his expanded role. Don't forget about the fact that Dallas has no legitimate centers, which should allow Biyombo to feast on the boards and rim protect at will.
Brook Lopez is an intriguing option below $5,000 on DraftKings.