Daily Fantasy NBA Picks from DFSR for 1/6/18
Welcome to DFSR’s NBA picks for Saturday. Our eight game day of hoops begins with the Warriors heading into the Staples Center to play the Clippers in an early afternoon set, and caps off with a six game main slate at the usual 7PM EST lock time. We’ve got a lot of big plays to work through so let’s breakdown our projection system’s top plays position by position.
Stephen Curry FD – $10000 DK – $10000
Opponent – LAC
Proj Pts FD – 53.64 DK – 55.79
If you’re playing the two game early only set, or you’re one of those fearless all day slate players that doesn’t worry about late breaking news, then you may want to give a strong look to Steph Curry as your point guard. Curry is currently listed as probable for today’s game as he deals with some discomfort from that ankle sprain, but it seems safe to say he will take to the court against the Clippers. Steph is back into the $10K club now on both sites, but don’t let that deter you. Steph has the best points per dollar projection of any top money play and one of the best overall PPD projections for the day, but mostly in part to the fact that Kevin Durant is questionable and could likely miss a second straight game. With KD off the court, Curry sees a 7% bump in usage and is a lock in all formats if Durant is inevitably ruled out. Steph loses some appeal if KD plays, but not enough turn me off, especially in the early set consisting of just two games.
Chris Paul FD – $10100 DK – $10000
Opponent – DET
Proj Pts FD – 50.82 DK – 52.75
The main slate equivalent of Steph Curry would be Chris Paul. Paul is another beneficiary of a teammate being out, in this case, James Harden. Harden, who has missed two games already looks to be out for possibly six weeks. With Harden off the court CP3 sees a 31.7 usage. In the first game without Harden, Paul shot poorly against the Magic, but things came together in the last game against the Warriors when he came just an assist shy of a double double with 28 points in 36 minutes. Tonight the Rockets head to Detroit to take on a Pistons team that the Sixers are humiliating as I write this. The Pistons aren’t terrible defending the point, but are far from a shut down defense, allowing the twelfth fewest fantasy points to the position. If anything, with the loss of Reggie Jackson, Ish Smith has upped their defensive game. He may be outclassed by Paul however, who should have little trouble leading the Houston offense and making a strong cash game play in the process.
Tyus Jones FD – $5600 DK – $4500
Opponent – NO
Proj Pts FD – 29.92 DK – 28.72
Jeff Teague has missed five games now with a knee injury, and Tyus Jones hasn’t performed in his place as many have hoped he would. The sites seem to be catching onto that now, and the price is coming back down to earth after a quick spike following his addition to the starting rotation. In his first game as a starter Jones crushed value thanks in part to five steals added to his 6/4/5 line. Last night however he, along with the rest of the Timberwolves looked dead on arrival in a game against the Celtics with all the fantasy appeal of a dental exam. Tonight however is a different story, and Jones will draw the second most targetable defense at the position, a Pelicans team not only allowing 47.6 FPPG to the position, but also playing at a top ten pace factor. Teague stands to miss at least another week or two, so the Wolves are going to count on Tyus Jones putting something together to make up for his missing 20% usage, what better night than tonight against the Pelicans to make it happen? Jones is a risky cash play, but one I’m willing to ride with, and if something clicks, he could prove to be a phenomenal tournament play as well.
Klay Thompson FD – $7300 DK – $6600
Opponent – LAC
Proj Pts FD – 38.1 DK – 39.89
Klay Thompson, like Steph Curry earlier, will see a nice bump in usage today should Kevin Durant sit this one out. With no KD, the other splash brother sees a 6% bump and is priced significantly less than his backcourt counterpart while projecting for similar PPD upside. Klay is particularly appealing on DraftKings where that oh so low price tag presents the opportunity for some serious upside against a Clippers team that ranks among the ten worst defending against the two. Strangely, Vegas hasn’t released a single projection for today’s games as of my writing this on Friday night, but I would expect nothing less than a high scoring affair among these two teams that love to run the boards and combine for for a pace factor of 100.9. Klay is a nice cash play on FanDuel, but I’ll have him everywhere on DraftKings.
Khris Middleton FD – $7200 DK – $6900
Opponent – WAS
Proj Pts FD – 37 DK – 37.8
Khris Middleton is one of the safest plays you’ll find in the NBA simply because of the minutes he sees. Middleton leads Milwaukee in minutes played this season, and is a lock for 35-40 on a nightly basis. The 29 he saw against Indiana was an outlier thanks to the blowout, and Middleton still managed to pay 5X PPD when all was said and done. The Bucks are in the nations capitol tonight for a tilt with the Wizards. Washington is a tough task for opposing two guards, only five teams are stingier with the fantasy points at the position, but if Bradley Beal is forced to shift to assist in covering Giannis that should open Middleton up for a few extra shots. The price is everything here as Middleton is currently on a downward trend, and is nearing season lows on both sites. It’s an excellent time to gain exposure to a player that loves to be out in the thick of it and does so from tip-off until the final buzzer.
Andrew Wiggins FD – $5700 DK – $5800
Opponent – NO
Proj Pts FD – 28.41 DK – 28.61
Justin Holiday FD – $5800 DK – $5300
Opponent – IND
Proj Pts FD – 28.66 DK – 28.69
Even though Thompson and Middleton are both very fairly priced, if you need to save a little salary at shooting guard, here are two excellent pivots for you to consider. Andrew Wiggins and Justin Holiday are both making a name for themselves in their respective cities as solid role players and are both quite similar players. Each can be counted on for 30-40 minutes per game, with a 25 FP floor and each has flashed 40-50 FP upside. Though both are projecting very similarly in the system, I’m giving the edge to Wiggins who sees a higher usage in Minnesota, and today wins the matchup battle with a Pelicans team coming in among the bottom ten at the position. The Pacers are average at best though, so don’t completely discount Holiday here. Holiday also comes in significantly cheaper on DK. You really can’t go wrong with either of these guys in both cash games and tournaments and I plan to have a fair share of each in all formats.
Giannis Antetokounmpo FD – $11000 DK – $10500
Opponent – WAS
Proj Pts FD – 56.3 DK – 56.96
Last night Giannis Antetokounmpo was the clear way to pay up, tonight there are no shortage of options and Giannis certainly ranks in the conversation as one of the best. At small forward Giannis comes in priced significantly lower than LeBron, but projects for similar fantasy points in our system making that decision that much easier. Giannis takes on a Washington defense that is ranked dead average at defending the position, allowing 40.3 FP per game. Average isn’t a word we use when describing Giannis however, and matchup really doesn’t come into play as he is dominant regardless of what is on paper. The Wizards also play the twelfth fastest pace in the association, which will force the Bucks to speed up their own game which will just further benefit a player seeing a 32.2% usage rate. Giannis is the fourth most expensive play on the main slate, and unless a serious number of punts spring up throughout the day, he’ll be the easiest to work in to our lineups and could very likely be the highest owned among the top tier.
Lance Stephenson FD – $6000 DK – $5800
Opponent – CHI
Proj Pts FD – 31.32 DK – 32.4
Let’s drop down a bit and look at some cheaper options after Giannis. First up we have Lance Stephenson of the Pacers. Victor Oladipo is currently listed as questionable for tonight’s game against the Bulls, and if he misses a fifth straight, Lance Stephenson has been quite the safe play in his place, paying 5X at these prices in all but one start, that coming against a stingy Timberwolves D. The Bulls aren’t exactly an easy target, but they do rank closer to average against opposing threes, and play a similar pace to Indiana. I would expect this game to have an O/U around 210 or so, and blowout should not be a factor. If Stephenson receives another starting nod, he’s a great cash game option, though he’s priced a bit higher than I would prefer for tournaments.
Gerald GreenFD – $5700 DK – $5100
Opponent – DET
Proj Pts FD – 33.85 DK – 32.02
On Christmas Day the Rockets played the Thunder in OKC, and Gerald Green was unemployed. Fast forward a couple of weeks, and how things have changed. Green has played five games now with Houston and just looks better each time out. He dropped 29 points along with three boards and a steal against the Warriors on Thursday night and finally saw over 30 minutes of playing time. He’s nearly doubled in cost compared to when he was introduced to the sites on New Years Eve against the Lakers, but if he keeps performing at the level that he has been, and with no James Harden that certainly is an option, then Green is still in a prime spot to produce some serious upside, especially against a Pistons defense offering up the sixth most fantasy points in the game to opposing defenses at the position. Green is a lock for cash games, and with a potential 7X ceiling he’ll find his way into a lot of my tournaments as well.
On the early slate consider Andre Iguodala if Kevin Durant is out again.
Jayson Tatum FD – $5800 DK – $5900
Opponent – BKN
Proj Pts FD – 29.19 DK – 29.53
The other early game today has the Celtics heading into the Barclays Center for a 6PM ET tip-off with the Nets. Between Golden State and Brooklyn we’ve got two of the five fastest teams in the game in this two game slate which should provide for a lot of fantasy action. Not only are the Nets one of the fastest teams in the game, they’re also pretty terrible defensively. That’s good news for Jayson Tatum who is coming off of a tough matchup against Minnesota who all but shut him down last night. Overall Tatum has been very reliable here in his rookie season, despite a few recent hiccups, he’s generally proven himself a player we can count on for 25-30 FP per night which is all we can ask for at these prices. On the early slate, Tatum is clearly the top choice to run with at power forward.
Aaron Gordon FD – $7900 DK – $8000
Opponent – CLE
Proj Pts FD – 41.36 DK – 41.79
Here’s a game we haven’t touched on yet. I already explained why we’re choosing to fade LeBron at the three, at power forward Aaron Gordon is a play in the upper tier that doesn’t destroy your salary. Gordon is now four games back from a calf injury that held him out of five straight and has provided mixed results. The minutes are there, as he has averaged 34 minutes since his return, he may have just been feeling some lingering effects from the injury. He’s had two days to rest since an underwhelming showing against a tough Houston defense, and gets a much more appealing opponent today in the form of the Cavaliers. Projections are finally starting to trickle in from Vegas, and this game has an all too appealing 222 total despite a 9.5 spread. I think Orlando hangs around long enough to keep it competitive into the fourth, which should allow Gordon to reach his full compliment of minutes, and allow him ample time to hit the 5X spot. Gordon is a top cash game consideration tonight, and I’m not opposed to using him in tournaments either.
Thaddeus Young FD – $5100 DK – $5000
Opponent – CHI
Proj Pts FD – 27.21 DK – 26.63
If you need to save up a bit of cash at the position in tournaments, then pivot down to the mid-tier and Thad young. Young’s price has dipped all the way down to a season low on FanDuel and is near a season low on DraftKings. Even at these prices, Young comes with a bit of risk implied, but there are some things in his favor. He plays a complete game, checking off nearly every box on the stat sheet on a nightly basis. He sees 20-30 minutes per game, and just last week he paid 6X PPD against this same Chicago team. The primary detractor to Thad is that he doesn’t do any one thing consistently, but sometimes he does just enough and at these prices, it doesn’t take much. I’d steer clear in cash, but as tournament plays go, if Young can stuff the stat sheet he could be a deciding factor in a large GPP.
Anthony Davis FD – $11200 DK – $9900
Opponent – MIN
Proj Pts FD – 55.29 DK – 55.37
There are so many ways to pay up tonight, and on FanDuel Anthony Davis isn’t one I’ll consider especially when I can get Boogie for the same price, and Giannis even cheaper. Stop for a second and take a look at that DraftKings price though. For less than $10K you can have a player that sees 30-40 minutes per game, and on Wednesday in Utah came just a point shy of his fourth straight 30+ point game in a row. Sure the Timberwolves are a solid defensive matchup, and AD always has the injury stigma hanging over him. For that, I’ll explore the many other options on FanDuel, on DraftKings though, He’s hard to pass up, just take a look at his recent DK scores. 66.8, 46.3, 52.3, 62.8, thats 4.6-6.7X PPD paid off in each of his last four games. Fade him if you want, I’ll be all over Davis in all formats on DraftKings.
DeMarcus Cousins FD – $11200 DK – $10800
Opponent – MIN
Proj Pts FD – 55.74 DK – 58.35
Karl-Anthony Towns FD – $9000 DK – $8800
Opponent – NO
Proj Pts FD – 44.45 DK – 46.21
With all of the options before us, the key to tonight is going to be determining the right way to pay up, and then how to fill in the spots around him. We’ve already looked at Paul, Giannis, and to an extent Davis. Now we have DeMarcus Cousins, and Karl-Anthony Towns. Granted KAT isn’t a $10K play, but he’s the fourth most expensive play at the five, and definitely comes down to a coin toss when deciding between him and Cousins. Our system has each of these guys within a fraction of a PPD of each other, and neither is a shutdown defender. Both New Orleans and Minnesota rank below average in defending the position. Boogie sees the better DvP matchup, but Towns only needs to get you about 45 FP to pay value which isn’t asking too much. Last night he was the lone bright spot among the Minnesota starters against the Celtics, and ended the night at 6.6XPPD. Cousins to his merit though, has paid 5X in four of his last six games, including a 7.4X PPD outing against the Mavericks just last week. This game features a 217 projected total and a mere 1.5 point spread. You really can’t go wrong with either of these guys, and you’re only limited by your own salary.
Marcin Gortat FD – $4600 DK – $4600
Opponent – MIL
Proj Pts FD – 23.49 DK – 23.75
If, however, you paid up at the other positions, and can’t afford either Boogie or KAT, then the system loves Marcin Gortat against the Bucks. Gortat has been wildly inconsistent over the past couple of weeks, but he’s priced to a point where you can afford to take the risk, and it could just pay off big time. Gortat has paid 7.6X PPD twice in his last six games, but has also mixed in a couple of complete duds. Gortat’s a lock for 20-25 minutes, and when he can push beyond that seems to be when he really makes things happen, I’d expect this game to stay fairly competitive, so the minutes should be there. You may be better off paying up for one of those other guys, but in a pinch, Gortat should be able to deliver tonight.
Consider Al Horford in the early slate
Thanks for reading, tonight has the feel of a night where we want to run multiple lineups, and hedge on our big money plays. I’ll be working on the news and update article throughout the day, so keep an eye out for that, and be sure to post any questions below, or pop in the chat if you’re a member. As always, good luck out there tonight!!!
This post originally appeared on DFSR.com