Basketball Picks Daily Fantasy Expert Advice
DFS NBA Picks for FanDuel and DraftKings - Friday 12/10/21
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The Pelicans are pretty short on ball-handlers right now with the news that they lost Kira Lewis for the season. While Lewis came off the bench, it is still something of a blow and should mean more minutes for Graham and backup Tomas Satoransky. Graham has played 30 or more minutes in regulation in each of the last five games, putting up double-digit scoring in four of the them. You’d like the shot volume to be a little higher here, but sharing the court with Ingram and Valanciunas is tough considering how the Pelicans run their offense. That being said, Detroit has the 24th-ranked defensive efficiency in the league this season and doesn’t offer much in the way of point of attack defense to begin with considering their backcourt unit.
The Hornets are still completely undermanned thanks to about half of their team being on the Covid list right now, and that’s led to major minutes for the group of starters who remain. Martin has been one of those guys who’s been forced into more of a ball-handler role in the short term. He’s played 40+ minutes in each of the last two, averaging 13 points, four assists, and six rebounds in those games, both losses to the Sixers. This game will be a considerably easier matchup against the Kings. There’s a reason this game has (by far) the highest implied total of the slate at 228.5. Sacramento has a middling defense and runs the third-fastest pace in the league. Let’s fire Martin back up one more time before the rest of the team returns.
Oubre has been the primary beneficiary (fantasy-wise) of the rest of the Hornets team sitting games out because of Covid protocols. He’s played 39+ in each of the last three games and is averaging 28 points, three rebounds, and more than two steals per game. That kind of production is a tier above where he’s currently priced and both sites have failed to move his salary enough to fall in line with the current opportunity. In what should be a track meet of a game, this is a pretty easy call to play Oubre in this pricing tier. It’s especially easy on FanDuel where he is completely mispriced.
Josh Hart FD - $5800 DK - $5000
Opponent - DET
Proj Pts FD - 33.22 DK - 35.38
Josh Hart missed a couple of games with an injury, but it didn’t really show when he came back against Denver on Wednesday. He jumped right back in and played 42 total minutes (37 in regulation). The fantasy output wasn’t amazing because he turned the ball over six times. But the rest of the line was exactly what you would want with 12 points and eight rebounds and assists each. He’s shown the ability to contribute across the stat line in the past and there is some chance the Pelicans call on him for more ball-handling duties here. I love the price on both sites, but especially DraftKings where he slots well into a Forward position that can get dicey at times.
Giannis Antetokounmpo FD - $11000 DK - $10900
Opponent - HOU
Proj Pts FD - 59.7 DK - 61.98
There is plenty of middle-tier value on this slate so I don’t think we are going to have any issue paying up for Giannis in this matchup. And what a matchup it is. Houston is playing at the fastest pace in the league this season (103.9) and their defense is well below average. While Stephen Silas has that group fighting (they’ve won seven straight), it’s still an undermanned group compared to the Bucks. Giannis has a rough one against the Heat on Wednesday, but this is still a guy averaging 27 points, 11.6 rebounds, and 5.6 assists on the season. This is just the kind of matchup we want to pay up for and the only real worry is if Milwaukee blows the doors off Houston and he sits the fourth quarter.
Miles Bridges FD - $8400 DK - $7700
Opponent - SAC
Proj Pts FD - 45.01 DK - 47.41
Bridges hasn’t flashed quite the fantasy output we would have thought he’d be putting up considering how many Hornets are currently on the shelf. But I think the minutes and opportunity are still more than enough for the guy in a perfect matchup against the Kings. Bridges has played 40+ minutes in each of the last three games and popped off in the first of those, piling in 32 points. But the last two have been something of a struggle against a defensively-stout Philly team. That just won’t be the case here and in what could be an up-and-down game, Bridges lines up very well as a cash game consideration. I much prefer the DraftKings price.
Power Forward/ Center
Jonas Valanciunas FD - $7500 DK - $8000
Opponent - DET
Proj Pts FD - 44.11 DK - 47.31
We have our cash game plays a bit focused on two games here even with a bigger slate, but I think that much makes sense. From a fantasy perspective, these two are easily the best ones to take advantage of here. Valanciunas had a couple of rough ones against Dallas last week but has rounded back into form in the short term. He’s been among the best fantasy centers in the game this season but the price just isn’t reflecting the projected production and the opponent. The Pelicans need his offense and he’s coming off a 27 point, 11 rebound game in the overtime loss to the Nuggets. I’m all about rostering him in cash here against Detroit and think the FanDuel price is way, way too low.
Alex Len FD - $3900 DK - $3100
Opponent - CHA
Proj Pts FD - 20.74 DK - 21.1
Both Richaun Holmes and Tristan Thompson are out for this game leaving Alex Len the opportunity to at least start at center. Considering the Hornets are running it back with a very thin frontcourt, I think there’s a chance Len is able to stay on the court for longer stretches. When given the opportunity Len has been, at least from a fantasy perspective, very good. But there’s always a risk on the minutes with him, even if he’s in the starting role. The Kings can easily just go a bit smaller, play someone like Marvin Bagley III (FD 4000 DK 3700) more and he loses value. Luckily, this is an earlier game on the slate. If Len or Bagley start, either one makes for a cash game play at their current price points.
P.J. Washington FD - $6600 DK - $6600
Opponent - SAC
Proj Pts FD - 36.3 DK - 38.2
He is still coming off the bench even with the Hornets shorthanded, and last game looked pretty bad. But that was because he got into major foul trouble and couldn’t stay on the court. That seems like much less of a concern here against the Kings and I think we should see Washington play minutes in the mid-30s once again. The previous two games he was excellent, averaging 13 points and 10 rebounds, with more than two defensive stats per. The price has climbed up for sure, but not enough at a tougher power forward position. I think this is a great matchup for how the Hornets use him and he has a high floor considering the projected pace.
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