# FanDuel NBA Daily Picks and Pivots – December 29

## Welcome to the FanDuel NBA edition of Picks and Pivots, a fantasy basketball column focused on helping you find the best NBA FanDuel lineup!

The purpose of this FanDuel NBA Picks column is to first identify key building blocks that can be used for any roster construction and then identify pivot points to help differentiate your lineup in hopes of a big payday!

For those of you that are new to Picks and Pivots, we will go through the season tracking trends in this space by looking at the winning GPP lineups each day.

One of the most basic questions when starting out the NBA season is how many points should I be targeting for tournament entries? A good rule of thumb is that you want your players to exceed 6x their salary so on a \$60k team salary you are looking for 360+ points. If you spread that out over a roster of 9 players, that is an average of 40 points per player.

A good rule of thumb is that you want your players to exceed 6x their salary so on a \$60k team salary you are looking for 360+ points. If you spread that out over a roster of 9 players, that is an average of 40 points per player.

Now it is unreasonable to expect every player to hit that target, especially when you are utilizing value plays but remember that is the average you need over the course of your roster!

To start the year, I would simply build your roster with the simple 6x rule in mine and do the math quickly. Can I see player X hitting 6x their salary? For example, LeBron James is priced at \$9,600 so in order to return value he would need to exceed 57 points.

This is not a hard and fast rule, but as we go through the season I will track the trends each night to understand the target multiplier we should use as our baseline.

Over the first 59 slates, we have seen the average winning GPP score at 371.0 a night which means we have needed 6.2x value to win big!

Thursday’s Main FanDuel NBA action kicks off at 7:00PM EST with six games on the main slate and no shortage of superstars to choose from. Without further ado – let’s get into our top picks for the day!

## FanDuel NBA – Top Point Guard Picks

Russell Westbrook (\$12,500) As with any slate that Westbrook is on, the question we have to ask is whether or not we build our roster around him. For as long as Victor Oladipo remains out, my answer is always going to be yes, especially on a short slate!

Westbrook has actually seen his price drop \$500 as a result of his match-up with Memphis but remember this is a Grizzlies team that gave up a 61 FanDuel point game to Isaiah Thomas just weeks ago!

Over his last six games, Westbrook has averaged 66 FanDuel points and he is simply a must play for me until Oladipo comes back.

Kyle Lowry (\$8,700) The Raptors have the highest team total on tonight’s slate and see a massive pace increase against the Phoenix Suns. The Suns are giving up the 3rd most fantasy points to opposing teams this season and present favorable match-ups across the board but Lowry is my favorite player to roster from Toronto.

Lowry has 40+ FanDuel points in each of his last four games including a 51 point outing last night against Golden State. The point guard position is loaded at the top end so I recommend paying up at both positions as I expect the majority of tonight’s top scorers will come from the PG position!

## FanDuel NBA – Top Shooting Guard Picks

Josh Richardson (\$4,400) The shooting guard position is a great spot tonight to find value and I recommend double punting the position to pay up elsewhere, especially point guard. Richardson is one of my favorite value plays on the slate as he continues to start and play major minutes for the Miami Heat.

Richardson has played at least 30 minutes in each of his last seven games, including a break-out game against OKC where he dropped 22 points and 34.5 FanDuel points as the primary PG with Goran Dragic out.  If Dragic misses the game again tonight it would make Richardson an almost must play but even without Dragic in the line-up we can roll out Richardson who should continue to start for the Heat.

Seth Curry (\$4,300) The Mavericks get one of the best match-ups on the board with a game against the Lakers so we can look to Dallas for some value options to help round out our rosters. Over the last seven games, Curry is averaging 22 FanDuel points per games which would exceed 5x value at this price point.

The Lakers give up the second most fantasy points to opposing teams and are ranked in the bottom 5 at defending both guard positions. Curry is a reasonable way to get exposure to this game with a relatively steady 5x floor with upside for more in this spot!

## FanDuel NBA – Top Small Forward Picks

LeBron James (\$10,300) The Cavaliers have the second highest team total on the slate tonight with a match-up against a Celtics team he dropped 56.4 FanDuel points against earlier this year on the back of 30 points, 12 assists and 7 rebounds.

When breaking down tonight’s slate my roster construction essentially starts with Russell Westbrook and I will then be looking to be as much elite level exposure to both Toronto and Cleveland. The Celtics are 24th in DvP against opposing SF’s so of all the Big 3, I am looking to lock in King James as my preferred target on the Cavs.

Justise Winslow (\$5,100) The mid-level of the SF position has a variety of solid options to roster including Winslow who continues to log massive minutes for the Heat. The Hornets are 23rd in DvP to opposing SF’s so this is a match-up that Winslow should be able to exploit for a reasonable price point.

Winslow has played at least 35 minutes in each of his last four games including 20+ FanDuel points in each of his last six games. The Heat will be a heavy target of mine if Dragic is ruled out and Winslow will be option #1 in that scenario as he sees the biggest usage increase of any Heat player in that scenario.

## FanDuel NBA – Top Power Forward and Center Picks

Derrick Favors (\$4,600) If you are looking for a sneaky PF punt play, now may be the time to jump on Derrick Favors. The price point is insanely low for a player of his caliber but FanDuel has priced in his minutes restriction since coming back from injury.

## More from FanSided

Take a look however at his recent game logs and you will see the minutes are trending in the right direction! In his last game, Favors played 22 minutes and returned to the starting line-up for the Jazz. Most will continue to avoid Favors but this is a spot where I think in GPP play we can get a player on our roster one game earlier than the rest of the field. The fact that Joel Embiid is out tonight makes this a spot I am even more intrigued by! Proceed with caution but I like the roll of the dice here!

Ersan Ilyasova (\$5,500) With Embiid already ruled out for tonight, the Philly front-court presents some interesting value options we can look to roster. Looking back at the last three games Embiid has sat out, Ersan has put up some solid numbers including 24.6 and 27.2 FanDuel points against Boston and Detroit.

The GPP upside is evident here as well as we saw Ersan drop 54 FanDuel points without Embiid on the floor just weeks ago against Memphis. The match-up here with the Jazz is one we typically would not look to target but with The Process out, the Sixers will have a variety of players see an uptick in production as a result!

Jahil Okafor (\$4,600) In his last two games with Embiid off the floor, Okafor has put up 26 and 27 FanDuel points which would put him right at 6x value at this price point. With Embiid off the floor, Okafor sees his usage increase to 24.7% which is the highest mark of any Sixers starter and he makes for an ideal value play that most will avoid due to his match-up against Gobert and the Jazz.

Next: DraftKings NBA Picks

Best of luck tonight in your FanDuel NBA contests and stay tuned to Fantasy CPR on Twitter for the latest line-up news and roster updates