Daily Fantasy NBA Picks from DFSR for 11/25/17
Russell Westbrook FD – $10800 DK – $10900
Opponent – DAL
Proj Pts FD – 54.64 DK – 56.52
Wednesday night we were given a glimpse of the Russell Westbrook of old as the Thunder played host to Golden State. Perhaps it was the anticipation of Thursdays turkey feast, or perhaps it was the chance to shine against former teammate Kevin Durant, or perhaps Westbrook is finally taking control of the new look OKC offense. In the past two games Westbrook posted identical fantasy performances, coming one assist shy of his second straight triple double after posting a 22/16/12 line against the Pelicans on Monday night. Wednesday he posted a season high 34 points against the Warriors, unleashing the beast as soon as the clock started counting down and not letting up all night. While he opened up the season quietly, allowing newcomers Paul George and Carmelo Anthony to find their place in the Thunder lineup, it seems safe to say that Westbrook is once again becoming the central force of the OKC offense posting 20+ points in five of his last six outings. The Mavericks have been terrible at defending the one this season, and are allowing a league high 23.9 points per game, so look for Westbrook to put on a shooting clinic and if the peripherals fall into place he will absolutely crush value.
T.J. McConnell FD – $4700 DK – $4000
Opponent – ORL
Proj Pts FD – 32.45 DK – 31.97
The Sixers announced early on Friday that Ben Simmons will miss tonight’s game against the Magic, so T.J. McConnell will draw the start at the point for Philadelphia. McConnell has been a solid play off of the Philly bench this season with Simmons starting at point guard, so this will be a flashback to last season when McConnell was the primary starter and performed very well with Joel Embiid. This season, the pair still have a positive net rating when on the court together, and McConnell has posted some very impressive fantasy lines, even with the Philadelphia second unit. Back in the starting unit at a low-mid ranged price on both sites, the system loves T.J as the top point per dollar projection on the day at 7-8X PPD and should be in consideration in all formats.
Kyle Lowry FD – $8200 DK – $7700
Opponent – ATL
Proj Pts FD – 39.28 DK – 41.04
Similar to Russell Westbrook, Kyle Lowry started the season off quietly and has recently appeared to be turning a corner. He posted a season high 25 points against the Nets on Wednesday, which was the third time in four games he topped the 20 point mark, and was his fourth double double in five outings. The minutes have always been there with Lowry, it was just a matter of waiting on the performance to catch up, and it feels as though we are finally getting to that point. He’ll look to continue his hot streak against the Hawks in a game with a seven point spread. It should remain close, and Lowry should be good for 35 minutes at least, while contending with Dennis Schroder who has one of the worst defensive ratings at the position. Now that the price is on the rise, I don’t know how I feel about Lowry in GPP’s but as a cash option, he’s a fine play.
James Harden FD – $11200 DK – $11500
Opponent – NY
Proj Pts FD – 59.15 DK – 63.03
James Harden posted his worst fantasy performance of the month on Wednesday dropping a mere 21 points against the Nuggets and coming below 50 fantasy points for the first time since November 1st. Harden hasn’t posted a double double since the return of Chris Paul to the Rocket’s last Thursday in Phoenix, but has made up for it with some steady scoring performances helping him to still make it to the 5X mark. Tonight he’ll look to get back on track against a Knicks team that are a bottom ten team at defending the two, and are allowing 27 points per game against opposing SG’s. This game has a 218.5 projection, and though the 13 point spread is concerning, the beard has run the boards for at least 30 minutes in every game this season, and should see plenty of time to make his mark. I question the upside, unless New York finds a way to stick around in this one, but as a cash game play, Harden is an elite choice and the system prefers him over Westbrook, if you find yourself in a spot where you need to choose one or the other.
DeMar DeRozan FD – $8400 DK – $8200
Opponent – ATL
Proj Pts FD – 41.57 DK – 42.16
Like Harden, DeMar DeRozan seemed to have checked out early for thanksgiving break, coming in with an 18 point showing against the Knicks on Wednesday. It was the first time that Double D finished below the 20 point mark in 10 straight games, and was particularly disappointing following his 7X PPD outing against the Wizards on Sunday. That said, DeRozan has been shooting the ball exceptionally well this season. His 48.4% from the field is his best since his rookie season when he shot 49.8% while averaging 4.5 rebounds and assists per game. The Hawks are the worst in the league at defending the SG position, allowing an average of 58.5 FP and 30.9 points per game to opposing twos. You definitely want to try and fit Harden into your lineups, but if you can’t then DeRozan is a solid pivot to free up salary elsewhere.
Donovan Mitchell FD – $6800 DK – $6300
Opponent – MIL
Proj Pts FD – 35.16 DK – 35.24
Donovan Mitchell is becoming a staple in these picks this season. The rookie has been performing very well for the Utah back court and though the price has quickly risen, I think there’s still some wiggle room before we have to stop and question is he worth it. The Bulls shut down his shooting game on Wednesday holding him to just four points in 26 minutes, but the thing to appreciate was how he realized he wasn’t getting his shot off so he made sure to contribute in other ways, snagging five boards and dishing out 7 assists for the second time this season, while also picking up a block and steal. For DFS standards that is just what we want to see, because we know even if one aspect of his game is failing he’s aware enough to pick up elsewhere. He gets a boost tonight going against the Bucks who allow an average of 27.4 points to to the position in a game that despite having one of the lowest totals, also has just a 1.5 point spread. I love Mitchell for cash purposes and there could be some upside there for tournaments as well.
Robert Covington FD – $6800 DK – $6200
Opponent – ORL
Proj Pts FD – 33.38 DK – 32.9
Evan Fournier FD – $6100 DK – $6100
Opponent – PHI
Proj Pts FD – 31.48 DK – 32.57
The contest between the Magic and the Sixers in Philly has the second highest point total projection coming from our friends in Vegas at 220. These are two of the fastest paced teams in the game, with a combined 104.2 pace factor, and unlike the Warriors and Pelicans game which also features two fast paced teams and the highest projected total of 229.5, Philly is a mere 5 point favorite while the GS/NO tilt has a 13.5 point spread. There are so many ways you can attack this game from a cash game perspective, we’ve already looked at T.J. McConnell, and we’re going to attack it from both sides at small forward. Robert Covington is such a feel good story for the Sixers, acquired from Houston where he only played seven games as part of the process, nobody expected much from RoCo as he suffered through the Sixers rebuilding, and several seasons of no expectations, but he continued to show that he had what it took to be a starting small forward in this league, and the Sixers obliged recently signing him to a hefty contract extension. On the court he’s been shooting the ball well, and leads the eastern conference in three pointers made. Tonight he draws a prime matchup against Evan Fournier and the Magic who are allowing the second most fantasy points to the position.
Evan Fournier to his own merit is also well in consideration as a solid play at the three. He draws a tougher matchup as Philly is a top ten team defending the position, but he’s a cheaper way to gain exposure to this game if you can’t spare the salary needed for Covington. Fournier is having a career season, posting highs in points (19), rebounds (3.5), and assists (3.15), per game. Fournier only saw 19 minutes of action as the Magic got blown out of the water in Boston last night, so he should be plenty well rested for tonight, in a game that doesn’t project to get near as out of hand. I prefer Covington across the board, but if you need that little bit of savings, I’m perfectly fine dropping down to Fournier in cash games, though I don’t see a ton of upside there.
Wesley Johnson FD – $5000 DK – $4000
Opponent – SAC
Proj Pts FD – 24.91 DK – 23.95
Danilo Gallinari has missed eight contests now with a strained glute and Wesley Johnson has filled the void left very nicely, with his best showing yet coming on Wednesday against the Hawks. Now the Clippers are also contending with the fact that they’ve lost Patrick Beverley for the season. Johnson has been averaging 24.25 FP per game as a starter since Gallo has been held out, with 29 minutes per game, while in just the past four games he has seen those minutes bump up to 33 per outing. The Clippers head in to Sacramento tonight to face the Kings who despite being terrible, have been a chore for opposing small forwards to contend with this season. However with all of the minutes up for grabs in L.A. right now I’d expect Chandler to get plenty of opportunity to make his shot, while still being priced near what he was when coming off of the bench. I don’t think there’s a ton of upside here as the only time Johnson has eclipsed 5X was when he posted 10X in an overtime tilt with the Cavs where he saw 42 minutes, but as cash plays go, he’s about as safe as you can find.
Blake Griffin FD – $9400 DK – $8800
Opponent – SAC
Proj Pts FD – 47.45 DK – 48.52
Keeping with the Clippers, and their struggles, it has been a rough month for the Clips as they have suffered both on the scoreboard and on the injury report. With Danilo Gallinari missing several games and Patrick Beverley now being ruled out for the season, the Clippers lost nine straight games before finally pulling out a W against the Hawks on Wednesday. It was a breakout contest for Blake Griffin who posted his first triple double of the season, mixing 10 rebounds and assists in with a 26 point showing. The stuffed stat sheet was nice to see from Griffin who despite being up in assists this season (5.0 PG) is down in boards (7.4 PG). While the Kings may be good at SF as we noted earlier, they’re outright terrible defending opposing PF’s allowing 50.7 FP per game, which is fifth most in the league. These two teams play at a snails pace, as reflected by the games 205 total projection, but Blake should see no trouble putting in his total allotment of minutes and should easily pay value, and with plenty of other top dollar studs in play, he could be a nice GPP pivot as well.
Derrick Favors FD – $6700 DK – $6100
Opponent – MIL
Proj Pts FD – 34.16 DK – 33.36
The Jazz have been without Rudy Gobert for seven games now and Derrick Favors has paid 5X or better in four of those. That’s impressive for guy who I used to shiver when I would see the system putting him at the top of the projections and question how do I justify spotlighting him here? It’s a much easier task when he is actually playing up to his salary, providing solid output. Even more impressive is the fact that he hasn’t really seen much of an increase in minutes with Gobert out of commission. The 29 minutes he’s averaging over the last seven games is just two more than his season average, but he has taken a much more aggressive approach while he is on the court, with four double doubles in that stretch, compared to just one while Gobert was healthy. While the price has risen in the short term, there is still plenty of wiggle room, and as long as Rudy G. remains out, Derrick Favors is a quality option leading the Jazz front court.
John Collins FD – $6800 DK – $5200
Opponent – TOR
Proj Pts FD – 37.14 DK – 38.31
John Collins drew his second career start against the Hawks last night, following an impressive outing against the Clippers on Wednesday. While he underwhelmed against Kristaps Porzingis posting a 13/5/3 line he should continue to draw the start for the Hawks at least until Luke Babbit is ready to return from his back injury. These are two average paced teams in a game with a promising 211.5 total projection coming from Vegas, and the 7 point spread means it should stay close well into the fourth. Playing heavily to Collins favor is the fact that Toronto is the second Most generous defense to opposing power forwards, allowing 25.2 points and 12.5 rebounds to the position per game and I fully expect Collins to see his full run tonight and make for an excellent play in all formats.
Anthony Davis FD – $11000 DK – $10600
Opponent – GS
Proj Pts FD – 58.26 DK – 58.53
I’m going to throw Anthony Davis in here tonight as a GPP play. The Pelicans are playing the Warriors, so of course we know that means a high projection, and a large spread. Golden State come in as 13.5 point favorites which means there’s a strong chance this one gets out of hand, and Davis sees his minutes cut by the fourth. With that, I won’t be dropping $11K on Davis in cash games. There is however a solid argument in tournaments, as the Warriors have been without Kevin Durant in the front court twice in the past three games, with his status for tonight unknown as I write this. Draymond Green meanwhile sat out last night to rest, and should be good to go, but the key thing to consider is that the Warriors are very generous to the power forward position, allowing the fourth most fantasy points (50.9) and second most points (26.3) to opposing fours. It’s not an ideal situation, but if Davis and co. can find a way to keep this one competitive, and he sees his full run of minutes, he could very well go off and propel someone to the top of a tournament leaderboard. I’m going to play around with this idea and see if I can find a lineup I like around Davis, just though I’d throw it out there for consideration.
Joel Embiid FD – $10100 DK – $9800
Opponent – ORL
Proj Pts FD – 55.66 DK – 57.24
Do you trust the process? I trust the process. I trust it so much that I will have a ton of exposure to Joel Embiid tonight against the Orlando Magic. We’ve already looked at this game from a few different spots, and we’re not finished just yet. Embiid has been dealing with left knee soreness, but with Ben Simmons already ruled out well in advance with a sore elbow, Embiid will have to lead the Philly offense which will be no trouble for the big man who has posted a double double in five of his last seven outings with minutes stretching into the mid thirties. He’s also averaged 2.4 blocks in that span. The system has JoJo ranked as the best way to spend over $10K of your salary tonight and he’s an elite play in all formats.
Al Horford FD – $7000 DK – $7000
Opponent – IND
Proj Pts FD – 38.52 DK – 40.77
We have yet to look at this game between the Celtics and the Pacers, but I couldn’t justify not taking a moment to spotlight Al Horford here. Boston finds themselves in a pace up game (no pun intended) against a Pacers squad that play the ninth fastest game in the league. What they also play is the worst defensive game against opposing big men. Indiana is allowing 19.9 points and 13.8 rebounds to opposing centers, generating the most fantasy points at the position. Vegas gives this game a 207 opening total with just a two point spread, so there are certainly fantasy implications here if you want to consider this game, but my top recommendation would come in the form of Horford, who should make short work of Myles Turner and company.
Nikola Vucevic FD – $7400 DK – $6700
Opponent – PHI
Proj Pts FD – 39.36 DK – 40.31
Back to Philly we go one last time. If you can’t fit Joel Embiid into your lineup, I prefer Horford on FanDuel, but on DraftKings you can get even more savings by switching down to Nikola Vucevic. Philly sports the second worst defense at center, and are allowing 71.2 DKP to the position on the season. Vucevic has been solid lately, posing double doubles in three straight, most recently doing it last night in just 20 minutes against the Celtics with 12 points and 11 rebounds in a game where he averaged 2 fantasy points per minute. We’ve already established that this game is ripe for the DFS picking with a fast pace, high projection, close spread, and nice defensive opportunities to take advantage of. While, again, I prefer Embiid at center, there is certainly a lot to like about Vucevic as a pivot in both cash and tournaments.
This post originally appeared on DFSR.com