DraftKings NBA Picks October 22: Can we trust LeBron yet?
We are back up to nine NBA games on our Monday, which makes for a pretty big DraftKings tournament. Only the Warriors are on a back to back, but keep an eye on the Lakers and the upcoming suspensions. Ingram and Rondo should start serving theirs tonight.
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Brian was right, the money line was enormous last night at 283.75, easily a season high. I had one lineup that would have placed any other day of the season, but having Jamal Murray in both lineups ended my night pretty early.
The winning lineup was down a bit to 368 DraftKings points. He anchored with Westbrook and rookie Trae Young, who dropped 60. Great value from Alex Len, Iman Shumpert, Eric Gordon, and Gary Harris pushed him to the top.
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Stephen Curry ($10,100): We saw some teams rest players on the Friday/Saturday back to back over the weekend, and the Warriors are deep enough to rest the whole starting five against the rebuilding Suns. They probably won’t, but keep an eye on the situation. If the Warriors play everything normally, Curry is actually the one I like most. The Suns have been torched by point guards so far. That isn’t going to change any time soon.
Damian Lillard ($8,600): Wall is more interested in offense than defense, so Lillard is pretty much assured his third straight game of 45 or more DraftKings points. It’s not really out of character to see Lillard scoring like he is. With a fully healthy Lillard, this is a very dangerous team, and Lillard a very nice fantasy commodity.
Kemba Walker ($7,900): Last year I wouldn’t have dreamed of using Kemba against a team like Toronto. However, Walker has topped 55 DraftKings points twice in three games. The one that he didn’t was a game against Orlando in which his services were only needed for 27 minutes of court time in a blowout win. Walker is prone to hot streaks, and he is riding perhaps the best of his career right now. I could see low ownership here against the Raptors, which is a great chance to pounce.
Luka Doncic ($6,800): For you followers of the EuroLeague, this was something we really didn’t see last year. Doncic was never given a lot of run with Real Madrid, but the Mavs are turning him loose. Doncic was cold in his debut, but some of the jitters seemed to be gone in game 2. Now he gets a shot at the Bulls, so Doncic is going to have plenty of space to stuff the stat sheet again. The Bulls don’t defend anything well, so enjoy the heightened production.
Kris Dunn ($6,300): Dunn will make his season debut tonight after missing the first couple of games for the birth of his child. This could throw a bit of a wrench into the production of LaVine, but I expect the Bulls to move him to the off guard and let Dunn run the point for most of the game. This is a good spot for Dunn since he shouldn’t have any limitations, and Dallas’ guard defense has been pretty bad to start the season. It might not be a bad idea to get in on the ground floor of Dunn.
Lonzo Ball ($5,500): Rondo’s audition for a courtside Floyd Mayweather could end up costing him the starting job. Ball has three games to run with the first team and impress the King. If he can do that, Luke Walton will have no choice but to run with Ball in the starting five. There is significant upside here for a team that moves the ball well. With Ball playing upwards of 30 minutes for the first time this year, he should put up big assist numbers if nothing else.
Isaiah Canaan ($4,300): Someone this cheap playing starter’s minutes, especially at the point, can be a great value play. Canaan likely wont hold this job for long, but as long as he keeps producing, the Suns are going to play him. Canaan should have no trouble hitting value at this price in a fast paced game with the Warriors.
My pick: Walker(PG), Ball(G); Ball(PG), Canaan(G)
Devin Booker ($8,400): Booker is dumping in points so far this year. That likely wont change against the Warriors. The problem that I have with Booker here is that the Warriors have a habit of shutting down the best player and making someone else beat them. They could try to do that with Booker here. The stats are good enough to use Booker, but don’t expect a huge game here.
Victor Oladipo ($8,200): The track meet with Dallas was a bit of an anomaly with Butler resting, or more accurately, the Timberwolves checking to see what their team would look like without him. Even with Butler, this is not a good defensive team. Oladipo had a nice game against the Nets over the weekend. There is the potential for an even bigger night here.
DeMar DeRozan ($7,400): DeRozan is still scoring at a high level, but we saw him filling up other categories too. The Spurs aren’t really used to having this kind of wing production lately. The Lakers are going to be down a couple of players tonight, but they aren’t a strong defensive team anyway. DeRozan is going to be able to snipe away at will and will have no problem hitting value for this price tonight.
Tim Hardaway Jr. ($7,100): Hardaway has attempted upwards of 20 shots in every game this season so far. He literally is the Knicks offense. Is there risk of a down game? If his shot isn’t falling, sure. However with this kind of volume, there is also potential for a monster game every night. I wasn’t that high on him against Boston, and he still hit value. That’s kind of how I feel about tonight against Milwaukee. I’m not crazy about the matchup, and if he does clear value, it likely wont be by a lot.
Zach LaVine ($7,100): LaVine has topped 40 DraftKings points in both games so far this season. That may change with Dunn coming back, but I don’t know that it will. The Bulls are going to need LaVine to keep up the scoring, and that was a large part of his fantasy output anyway. LaVine has 86 DraftKings points on the season. 63 of them come from points alone.
Klay Thompson ($5,600): This is a purely speculative play in case Curry or Durant sit. If they are both out there, it’s really tough to rely on Klay right now. Yesterday’s 26.5 DraftKings points was easily a season high, and that is nowhere near where we need him.
Josh Hart ($5,100): Hart is expected to get more run with both Ingram and Rondo suspended for the week. Hart’s output has been strong for his price point anyway. If he is to get more run at this price, Hart is going to destroy value. Yes, even against the Spurs.
Dante Exum ($4,100): Exum has played well in limited minutes off the bench. The issue here is that most of his output is depended on him scoring. Exum has put in 13 points in each of the first two games with efficient shooting from the field. However, if he goes cold, this is not going to work out well. With Exum seeing only about 20 minutes of court time per game, there isn’t a ton of upside for the risk either.
My pick: DeRozan(SG), Hart(UTIL); N/A
Giannis Antetokounmpo ($11,100): Somewhere in the great fantasy basketball rulebook, it says that the only thing that can keep Giannis from hitting value is having his minutes limited by a blowout. That could happen tonight for the first time this season. The Knicks don’t match up well with Milwaukee at all, so I’m not really sure I trust Giannis to play more than 30-35 minutes here. He would need to to hit value at this price.
Kevin Durant ($10,400): There really isn’t a great option atop the SF heap tonight. There are three great players, but no matchup that I can point to and say definitively that so and so is a lock to hit value. That’s what we want from a star, right? Giannis and Durant both have great matchups, but in that comes risk of a blowout, and especially in the case of Durant who played 39 minutes last night, rest is coming with the game in hand. LeBron would seem to be a wise pivot, but the Spurs are good defenders and the King hasn’t hit value as a Laker.
Kawhi Leonard ($8,800): Charlotte is being carried by Kemba Walker so they can keep up with the Raptors, but they still can’t stop them. Leonard’s shot has been a little off since his arrival up north, but the rest of the all around production is still there. When the Raptors play Kawhi, they are letting him take as many minutes as he can handle. The upside is clearly there to use him as we did two years ago.
Jimmy Butler ($8,000): Butler is very underpriced here. I know Indiana’s defense is pretty good, but he is playing at a very high level while waiting for his trade. He put on a show in Minnesota’s first game at the Target Center. Don’t be shocked if he does it again tonight.
Joe Ingles ($6,400): Ingles has been lighting it up so far this year, racking up 86.75 DraftKings points in two games. It’s not all scoring either. Ingles has morphed into a nice all around player for the Jazz. He may be chalk tonight, but if Ingles torches 7x value yet again, we can’t hardly afford to fade him.
Kyle Kuzma ($5,500): Kuzma is expected to enter the starting lineup during Ingram’s suspension, so that will really help his value. Kuzma is getting about one DraftKings point per minute, so he should be able to hit value with ease tonight. We will have to see what happens with his price the rest of the week.
My pick: Ingles(SF); Leonard(SG), Ingles(SF), Kuzma(F)
LeBron James ($10,500): I have less of an issue paying up for LeBron here since Ingram and Rondo are out. Considering the fate of the rest of the stars on this slate, it feels like the prudent build is a balanced lineup. However, James has the best upside of any star on the slate in what should be a close game with two of the five starters out.
LaMarcus Aldridge ($7,800): Can LeBron or McGee really handle LMA? The Lakers may try and use Kuzma on him, but I think Aldridge could be a bit of a matchup problem for the Lakers here. I don’t expect a big game from Aldrige, but at this price, 6x value is in play.
Jayson Tatum ($7,500): It’s a changing of the guard of sorts for the Celtics. Horford is doing a lot of the dirty work that Tatum was doing last year, and Tatum is scoring almost at will. Tatum has fallen one rebound shy of a double-double twice in three games. He’ll be grappling with Aaron Gordon tonight, but that matchup doesn’t really worry me. Tatum’s low mark so far was 32.75 DraftKings points against Toronto. That’s a pretty high floor.
Bobby Portis ($6,600): Portis has dominated the frontcourt for the Bulls so far, racking up 75.75 DraftKings points in just 62 minutes on the season. Dallas isn’t going to be able to stop Portis either. Portis is a very strong mid-level play so long as his price stays in this range.
Jaren Jackson Jr ($5,200): Jackson will enter the starting lineup with Green out for a significant amount of time. He dominated the Atlanta front on Friday, but Utah is going to be a much different animal. I’m not a huge fan of the matchup, but if Jackson sees starter minutes, he can’t help but hit value with his talent.
Dwight Powell ($5,100): Powell has racked up 56.75 DraftKings points over the first two games. That puts him firmly at 5x value. There is the potential for a lot more against an equally young Bulls team. This could be another high scoring game in Dallas, so this makes a great value play for a lot of these young players.
Jae Crowder ($4,700): Memphis is less imposing with JaMychal Green out. We just saw Crowder go nuts on the Warriors. Memphis is going to slow this game down and dirty it up, but Crowder can play like that too. He should be able to hit value for the price, just don’t expect 7x value like he got against Golden State.
My pick: Portis(PF), Powell(F); Powell(PF)
DeAndre Jordan ($8,100): Jordan dominated against the Timberwolves on Saturday, and really could again tonight against the Bulls. Chicago is undersized in the middle. Jordan has made a living in dominating in those situations. I think we see Jordan top 6x value here, and he could go even higher.
Nikola Vucevic ($7,700): Vucevic just racked up a triple double against the Sixers after playing only 50 combined minutes in the first two games. Vucevic should match up pretty well with Boston, so I would expect to see him on the court quite a bit. The Boston matchup turns me off a little, but they haven’t exactly dominated on the interior, and didn’t really last year either. There is decent potential here.
Rudy Gobert ($7,500): Rudy has opened the season with back to back games of more than 40 DraftKings points. He isn’t likely to put up a huge stat line, and I think he may have issues with Marc Gasol here, but a double-double is still a likely outcome.
Enes Kanter ($7,300): Kanter is one of two Knicks that can actually make a shot, so even though the matchup isn’t ideal, his large involvement on both ends of the court means that Kanter is still a pretty strong bet to hit value.
Deandre Ayton ($6,800): Ayton had issues with Denver’s size inside, but luckily his athleticism will help him here against the Warriors. Ayton has tremendous talent, and is usually worth a look. However, I don’t think we can really trust him against big teams. He should be good enough against the Warriors, but I don’t see a ton of upside here.
Domantas Sabonis ($6,100): The status of Sabonis is still up in the air here, but if he plays, I want exposure against what has been an awful Timberwolves frontcourt. Minnesota is getting shredded on the interior, a trend that isn’t likely to change any time soon. If Sabonis is healthy and not limited by the ankle, he has enormous upside. If Sabonis out, lock in Myles Turner for the same price. Against Minnesota, you can even use them both.
Serge Ibaka ($5,300): Ibaka has quietly put up at least 5x value in every game so far. He isn’t going to play a ton of minutes, so Ibaka is probably better suited for cash games, but you always need a few plays with a steady floor. Ibaka is one of those.
My pick: Turner(C); Jordan(C), Turner or Sabonis(UTIL)
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