Basketball Picks Daily Fantasy Expert Advice
DFS NBA Picks for FanDuel and DraftKings - Tuesday 12/7/21
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On a very short, three-game slate, we are going to have to make some tougher decisions with our lineups. And some of that could include playing guys coming off the bench. It seems like the plan, in closer games, is for Rose to run closer to 30 minutes even in the sixth-man role. If that’s the case then I think we are still getting away with something at these prices, especially on DraftKings. On a full slate? I don’t think we’d be going here. But the picking might be a bit thin here with the player pool and especially with the value plays if most of the superstars are taking the court.
Even with Jaylen Brown expected back for this game, I think we can still consider Schroder here for a couple of reasons. Even if he were to come off the bench, I think Schroder will see enough minutes and usage in that role to justify the price, at least on FanDuel. And I think there is reason to expect that even if Brown were to come back, it wouldn’t be for a full minutes workload. The Celtics have been careful with this before and it stands to reason they will again considering the injury. Schroder is still good for more than double-digit shots per game even when the Celtics are fully healthy and for even more, if they are even a little banged up.
The Knicks got blown out last game against Denver with the 14-point loss actually looking much closer than the actual score. Burks had his minutes buzzed off, but it sure seems like the plan is to play him a lot of minutes now that he’s joined the starting lineup. Now, the Knicks have lost three out of four since making this move so no idea if it sticks. But if he’s out there with the starting five then I think we can keep running him at these prices, especially on a shorter slate. He’s averaging 15 points per game in the starting role and (mostly) been able to contribute with rebounds and assists as well. San Antonio is playing the 11th-best defense in the league this season, but they are running at a top-6 pace.
Evan Fournier FD - $5100 DK - $4700
Opponent - SA
Proj Pts FD - 23.41 DK - 26.02
It can be a bit of a dice roll these days when it comes to Tom Thibodeau and his rotations. Historically, he’s wanted to play his starters tons and tons of minutes, and that’s mostly been the case with the Knicks. But not always. Fournier is one such example who has a starting position locked down, but the run has fluctuated. But he’s played 29 or more in the last four games, since Kemba Walker headed to the bench and been okay, averaging 16 points per game in that stretch. His bigger issue is that if the shot isn’t dropping, the fantasy production can really flag. It’s somewhat built into his price at this point, but is still a concern.
Kevin Durant FD - $10800 DK - $10800
Opponent - DAL
Proj Pts FD - 50.56 DK - 54.78
The Nets have been somewhat forced into playing Kevin Durant major minutes this season with the team needing his production much more than originally planned. He’s playing the eighth-most minutes per game of any player this season and many of the guys above him have a number of different overtimes as part of their game log. When Durant is in there, he’s going 36 minutes or more on the regular. And the usage is through the roof. Over the last four games, he’s averaging 23 shots per game and putting up 31 points per. That is to go with the seven assists and nine rebounds. He’s doing it all for the Nets and the team needs every bit of it. Against the Mavericks, I think he’s a cash play at this position.
Keldon Johnson FD - $5400 DK - $5600
Opponent - NY
Proj Pts FD - 30.69 DK - 33.08
Again, if we are looking for players in the mid-range here then I think Johnson makes an interesting play. For the most part, in closer games, the Spurs have seen fit to play him around mid-30s minutes on the season. There’s been some fluctuation in that number though which has led to the price landing in this mid-$5K range and sticking. The production can come and go at times, and he isn’t the highest usage guy in this offense at all. But on this slate, this maybe represents savings if guys like Luka, Porzingis, and even Jaylen Brown are all going to play. That leaves us without much to dig into with the lower tier of pricing. And it could mean tougher lineup builds. If that’s the case then I think we need to take Johnson’s production in this price tier.
Power Forward/ Center
Julius Randle FD - $8700 DK - $9100
Opponent - SA
Proj Pts FD - 45.44 DK - 49.76
In terms of “safe” options at their current price points, Randle might be one of our best options on this slate. He plays a ton of minutes when the games are close and contributes enough across the box score to keep you in play at his price points on both sites. For the season, the numbers are down some from last year but are still solid all things considered. He’s putting up 20 points, 10 rebounds, and more than five assists per game. And the Spurs don’t have a ton in the way of solid power forward types to defend him in the post or in space. I think considering the savings you get on him compared to the next tier up, this is a spot to roster him in cash.
Jakob Poeltl FD - $6300 DK - $5900
Opponent - NY
Proj Pts FD - 33.87 DK - 35.13
If we can’t find a bunch of punt plays on this slate, and it really doesn’t look like there are going to be many, then filling up our lineups with mid-range plays could be the way to go. Poeltl is locked more than 30 minutes per game when things stay closer. He’s right around a double-double average when this is the case and even has 13 blocks over the last five games. This game is a thinner spread with the Knicks coming in as -3 road favorites. I don’t love the matchup against New York with the Knicks running a bottom-third pace in the league. But again, this slate has us making some tougher decisions.
There are some other things to consider here. If Jaylen Brown were to sit out then I think Jayson Tatum (FD 9700 DK 9400) would be an almost automatic play on both sites. We just might not get that news in time before lineup lock considering this is the late game.