FanDuel NBA Lucky 7’s For December 18

Jan 16, 2016; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia 76ers forward Robert Covington (33) reacts after a three point score against the Portland Trail Blazers during the first half at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 16, 2016; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia 76ers forward Robert Covington (33) reacts after a three point score against the Portland Trail Blazers during the first half at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports /
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Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports /

Welcome to FanDuel NBA Lucky 7’s where I lay out my top 7 players who are simply intriguing buys for their respective match-ups. The “confidence” ratings reflect how risky each player is with “7” being very risky, and “7777” being a pick I’m very confident about.

SF Aaron Gordon v. Toronto $4,400

  Pros: I have had some seriously unlucky lineups with Aaron Gordon this season so far. He’s cashed in some real head-scratchers like 9.8 Fanduel points on $4,900 at Milwaukee, 11.4 FDP on $4,700 against Phoenix, and 16.9 FDP on $4,500 against Washington. Which has had me and I’m sure thousands of other players ready to delete their Fanduel app. But it’s not so much Gordon’s fault as a stat generator as much it is him getting the short-end-of-the-stick in rotation. His per 36 minute production is the highest of his career this season, and he’s also been horribly managed in position by Scott Vogel (More on that here, by HoopsHabit contributer Josh Cornelissen).

But, once again his salary has dropped $300 after chipping in only 22.8 FDP on $4,700 in his last game. So can we trust that he can put something together like his 41.4 FDP outing on $4,100 two games ago against the Clippers? I think so. He only has to have 22 FDP to make good on your money, and I think he can get there in this game because Toronto scores 14.9 points a game over Orlando. So if the pace of this game falls in the favor of Toronto, Gordon would get more run over the likes of Serge Ibaka, Bismack Biyombo, and Nikola Vucevic.

Cons: Scott Vogel’s rotations have been Aaron Gordon’s fantasy achilles heel. He doesn’t get consistent minutes because of Orlando’s log-jammed frontcourt, so it’s been very hard to actually find himself in a position to accumulate fantasy stats.

In 14 games before his 41.4 FDP spike against the Clippers, Gordon only yielded an average of 16.4 FDP on an average salary of $4,270. Ouch. His salary today is still $4,400, which should seem cheap, but somehow still looks to be somewhat mostly a risk. Look to allot Gordon a SF slot only if you’re confident at your other 7-8 positions.

Confidence: 77

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David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports /

NBA Fanduel – SF Bojan Bogdanovic @ Philadelphia $4,600

Pros: This game could end up yielding great fantasy sleeper value, as Philadelphia’s five most expensive players average $5,560 in salary, and Brooklyn’s average $5,980 in salary. So with a projected point total of 216 and a spread of Philadelphia by two, this game has a ton of fantasy value to work with. The first player I’m having a look at as a bargain chip is Bojan Bogdanovic, who is currently 3rd in shots taken per game for the Nets.

Bojan has me fading Sean Kilpatrick for $5,400 because he’s obvously $800 cheaper, but also Jeremy Lin is back in action for Brooklyn and looks to be making a solid return. Not that Kilpatrick can’t have a great game himself, but with as many good buys that there are at SG (Bradley Beal v. LAC $7k, Evan Fournier v. TOR $5.9k) I think your SF slot is more expendable. If you’re looking for fantasy value in this game, Bogdanovic is a great place to start.

Cons: Jeremy Lin’s return to action adds some turbulence to Brooklyn’s rotation. Lin is likely their 2nd best player behind Brook Lopez, and ranks 3rd on their team in field goal attempts per 36 minutes. Also, it’s no secret that Kilpatrick and Bojan’s rising stocks were due mostly in part to having fill in Jeremy Lin’s void when he missed 17 games. I like Bojan as a semi low-risk option in this game which should be lush in fantasy value.

Confidence: 777

Feb 11, 2015; Oklahoma City, OK, USA; Memphis Grizzlies forward Zach Randolph (50) attempts a shot against Oklahoma City Thunder forward Nick Collison (4) during the fourth quarter at Chesapeake Energy Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports
Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports /

NBA Fanduel – PF Zach Randolph v. Utah $5,700

Pros: I love how Utah matches up in pace against the Grizzlies in this one, and I like the value of Zach Randolph at $5,700. 28.5 Fanduel point sounds extremely reasonable in a game where I imagine he’ll be playing around 33 minutes. The Grizzlies just suffered an embarrasing home loss to the Kings, so I think we’re going to be getting a good performance out of Zach down Low against Derrick Favors and Rudy Gobert.

Randolph had a solid game against LeBron, Kevin Love, and Tristan Thompson in Cleveland three games ago with 32 Fanduel points on $5,700. Granted, Gasol was being rested in that one, but he was still able to hold his own as a very heavy underdog. His outing against Sacramento the other night was a bit disappointing with only 27.3 FDP on $5,700, but that’s still not a devastating point discrepancy, missing his FDP mark by only 1.2 (Or one rebound).

Cons: I’m a little concerned about what effect Marc Gasol will have on Randolph’s output here, but I still like his frontcourt matchup against Derrick Favors as he recovers from a knee injury, more than Marc’s against a full strength Rudy Gobert. If you’re looking to bet against Zach and save yourself $700 at PF, look at JaMychal Green for $5k. Be forewarned, he’s only averaging 16 FDP a game in three games since Zach’s return, so you may be better off just spending up.

Confidence: 77

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Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports /

NBA Fanduel – SG Evan Fournier v. Toronto $5,900

Pros: I’m getting a little tired of seeing Evan Fournier all over the place in NBA DFS circles, but he’s been awesome and I sure don’t see him slowing down against Toronto who averages 112 points a game. He’s one of the hottest players in NBA DFS right now, so in this matchup you can absolutely consider him a buy-low option at under the $6k mark. Evan leads his team in points, 3’s, and shot attempts per game, so who else do you think is going to take the weight against Toronto’s blistering offense?

Cons: Orlando’s elite defensive 3 man frontcourt rotation of Bismack Biyombo, Nikola Vucevic, and Serge Ibaka is currently at full strength, and I’m sure Scott Vogel will somehow try to stagger minutes with all three to try and slow down the Raptors as much as possible. It’s uncertain how that may bog down the pace of the game, cutting down possessions and opportunities for Evan to get involved. Let’s just hope Scott Vogel has the sense to give Evan as many opportunities and minutes as possible.

Confidence: 7777

Mar 29, 2016; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia 76ers forward Robert Covington (33) reaches for the ball in front of Charlotte Hornets guard Nicolas Batum (5) during the second half at Wells Fargo Center. The Hornets won 100-85. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports /

NBA Fanduel – SF Robert Covington v. Brooklyn $5,000

Pros: In the same fantasy environment as Bojan Bogdanovic, for relatively the same price, Robert Covington should see a nice bump in his production against the lowly Nets. This game between these two teams who mark the worst and second-worst team teams in the East, provides you with a ton of cheap plays. Don’t forget a rebound is worth as much in a game like this as it is between two championship contending teams.

A stat that always makes Covington an underrated option in fantasy are his steals. He currently leads his team in steals with 1.7 a game. This is a great stat to exploit against the Nets who are the league-worst in turnovers with 17 a game (Well, actually they’re tied for league worst with the Sixers). Covington is also basically tied for first on his team in 3 pointers made per game at 1.8 a game behind only Ersan Ilyasova with 1.9 a game.

Cons: There are a lot of mouths to feed on the 76ers, so it’s just of who’s hands the game will fall into. The Matchup down low between Joel Embiid and Brook Lopez should also yield a multitude of fantasy stats for both of those guys, but if gravitates lopsidedly toward their games, Covington may not see as many opportunities as anticipated. Still, with that steal rate against the Nets, he should find plenty to do.

Confidence: 7777

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Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports /

NBA Fanduel – PF  Blake Griffin @ Washington – $8,700

Pros: The Wizards are giving up 22.1 points a game to Power Forwards and Blake Griffin is averaging 21 points a game this season. So it looks to be a pretty good matchup for him to exploit at what I would consider to be a bargain of $8,700. There’s a good chance John Wall and Bradley Beal come out of the gate at full speed knowing they’re a 4.5 underdog to the Clippers (Which I’d take the points on). So the Clippers will have a full workload to reciprocate in pace.

I don’t know if he’s going to crush his value at $8,700, but a game with the over as high as 214 total points and a spread as low as 4.5 points, should yield great value for Blake and his 28.9% usage rate. He only needs to get you 43.5 FDP to make good on his ticket, so it’s hard to see a lot of other options at Power Forward as valuable as Blake.

Cons: There are two variables that concern me here for Blake’s fantasy production. First would  have to be how much of the Clippers offensive attack will go through LA’s 3 point specialist, JJ Redick (currently averaging 15 points a game this year) instead of him, the second is foul trouble. If John Wall goes to the hole aggressively the whole game and Blake picks up 2 in the first quarter, that may be crippling to your lineup. For what it’s worth, Blake only averages 2.7 fouls a game, and the Wizards get to the line for only 16% of their points, so that may a negligible threat to his value.

Confidence: 7777

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Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports /

NBA Fanduel – C – Salah Mejri v. Sacramento $ 3,900

Pros: This $3,900 bargain chip has been yielding pretty good value for under the $4k mark over his last three games. He’s averaged 21 Fanduel points a game over that span with averages of 6 points, 8 rebounds, and 2.3 blocks. He’s going up against the Kings today who may or may not be with DeMarcus Cousins as we await word on whether or not he’ll be suspended for taunting media personnel. However at $3,900, I really like his potential whether or not Cousins plays.

I love the financial flexibility Mejri gives you at Center as you’re left with $56,100 to disperse among your other 8 slots, and on today’s slate there are a ton of other great buys who don’t come cheap. Mejri’s per 36 minute averages are good at 11.4 rebounds, 2.4 blocks, and 8 points. So let’s hope he comes through!

Cons: Sacramento without DeMarcus could be taken over by the likes of Darren Collison, Ty Lawson and a GTD Rudy Gay. Dallas has the personnel to reciprocate in pace behind the likes of Welsey Matthews, Deron Williams, and Harison Barnes. If DeMacrus is ultimately suspended, this game could pick up in pace too high for Mejri to play a very signiificant role. Still at $3,900, he’s one of the heaviest sleepers on the slate today.

Confidence: 777

Next: 2017 Capital One Bowl Mania Picks

Stay tuned for more DFS picks and for all of the bowl picks against the spread!