Basketball Picks Daily Fantasy Expert Advice
Daily Fantasy DraftKings and FanDuel NBA Picks - Thursday, October 26, 2023
We’ve got a smaller, two-game NBA slate here but there’s already some injury stuff we need to pay close attention to going in.
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Point Guard/ Shooting Guard
This pretty straightforward and will likely be the direction most NBA DFS lineups go tonight. We can thank James Harden for that. With the Beard still holding out (or whatever you call it) Tyrese Maxey and De'Anthony Melton will take most of the backcourt minutes for the 76ers.
Last season, with James Harden off the court, Tyrese Maxey had the second-highest usage on the team at 29.1% (only Embiid higher) and that trend should continue tonight as well. Maxey is the clear beneficiary of Harden choosing not to play and it’s really not a secret at all. That being said, he isn’t priced for this opportunity and is still coming at a relative bargain even on a two-game slate.
Meanwhile, the real win for Melton here is with the minutes. Rather than a 22-25 minute guy off the bench, he’ll enter the starting lineup and is likely to see run in the mid-30s at least. Philly does have Patrick Beverley behind these guys, but that’s about the extent of their on-ball guard depth and that’s even a stretch to say about P-Bev. Stacking the 76ers guards here is the play in cash.
The other big injury news for this slate is that Devin Booker is going to sit for the Suns who are already without Bradley Beal. It’s going to push Kevin Durant into must-play territory and his price on DraftKings is kind of a joke with this news. Durant ran 37 minutes in the opener, a win over the Warriors, going for 18 points while struggling from the field at 7-22.
But he grabbed 11 rebounds and the minutes should be at unhealthy levels once again. Durant is going to be cash game chalk because of the situation, and that will be correct. He’s in line for shots in the mid-to-high 20s at the minimum.
Eric Gordon FD - $4700 DK - $4400
Opponent - LAL
Proj Pts FD - 22.96 DK - 26.03
Josh Okogie FD - $5000 DK - $4700
Opponent - LAL
Proj Pts FD - 29.89 DK - 30.96
Meanwhile, with Booker and Beal out we are likely to see a ton of backcourt minutes from Eric Gordon and Josh Okogie in this game. Okogie ran 32 minutes in the first game, getting 17 points on just nine shots mostly because he couldn’t miss. The usage should increase here without a doubt and will make up for him not being able to be this efficient for the long-term.
With that, Eric Gordon is likely to draw the start in place of Booker following 32 minutes off the bench in the first game. Gordon’s rate stats never go through the roof because he’s mostly a shooter/ driver at this point, but the Suns are going to need some ball handling here for sure. Keep an eye out for what they do because there is some chance Jordan Goodwin gets the start here at point guard instead.
Power Forward/ Center
Joel Embiid FD - $11200 DK - $10300
Opponent - MIL
Proj Pts FD - 55.24 DK - 57.89
With no James Harden on the court, expect even more work for Joel Embiid which is really saying something. He had an insane 38.9% usage rate with Harden off the court last season and that should continue here even in a tough matchup against the Bucks.
When it comes to pay-ups on this slate, it’s basically Joel Embiid, Kevin Durant and then do business with what’s left. Seeing as how LeBron is looking at reduced minutes and Anthony Davis’s performances can be a bit more hit-miss, this the the roster construction that makes sense.
Jusuf Nurkic FD - $7900 DK - $6100
Opponent - LAL
Proj Pts FD - 37.04 DK - 39.15
Have to like what you saw from Jusuf Nurkic in the first game, at least from a fantasy perspective. He got to 28 minutes and grabbed 14 boards against an admittedly undersized Warriors team after Kevon Looney. But the Suns are going to need his size here for sure as long as he’s able to stay on the court in drop against Lebron and Davis.
The DraftKings price is mostly where we are looking especially if you think he can get into double-double range.