Preseason Daily Fantasy Basketball Picks For Thursday, 10/20
The 2016-17 NBA preseason is rapidly drawing to a close, with several teams closing up shop until the regular season last night, some finishing up on Thursday and the final preseason NBA slate scheduled for Friday.
The regular season officially arrives next week with a three-game slate on Tuesday, which means the next two days are our last chance to play some daily fantasy basketball for three entire days.
We’re switching our focus a bit for at least today, as we analyze Thursday night’s four-game NBA preseason slate over at FanDuel, rather than our usual look at DraftKings.
Given the major changes at DK (lineup lock and position versatility) we feel at the moment FanDuel offers the better NBA product in terms of stability. Their prices have been far better, as well, so we suggest trying to create rosters there until we see some improvement at DK.
One look at next Tuesday’s regular slate pricing probably tells the story, but the preseason pricing has also been leaning in FD’s favor for quite a while.
We’ll still take a look at both of the top DFS sites throughout the year, but for tonight let’s focus on the top NBA DFS picks at FanDuel. Let’s pilfer through all four games to see who our top preseason daily fantasy basketball targets should be tonight:
Pelicans @ Magic
- Tim Frazier, PG, Pelicans ($5.6k)
- Evan Fournier, SG, Magic ($4.8k)
- Aaron Gordon, SF, Magic ($4.6k)
- Anthony Davis, PF, Pelicans ($8.3k)
- Nikola Vucevic, C, Magic ($6.9k)
This is the preseason finale for both of these teams, which could mean we’ll see the regular starters on both sides. Jrue Holiday (personal) remains out, but the Pellies could be a little closer to 100% with guard E’Twaun Moore back and big man Anthony Davis (ankle) almost back to full strength.
Both have a chance to suit up tonight, while the spotlight is especially on The Brow, who is officially back and will start tonight:
Pelicans announce Anthony Davis is playing tonight vs. Magic in preseason finale.
— John Reid (@JohnReid64) October 20, 2016
Brow isn’t a bad price tonight for what he’s capable of – even in limited minutes. That being said, he’s pretty risky unless we hear he’s getting something close to normal run.
He’s certainly the play over Serge Ibaka, who will probably get decent run with the other Orlando starters, but is far less reliable.
Instead, we’d roll with Fournier or Vucevic when it comes to the Magic. Fournier has especially been red hot during the preseason and is insanely cheap tonight.
Elfrid Payton ($5k) is also worth a cursory glance, but he hasn’t been good at all and there are other point guards to chase after on this slate. Aaron Gordon is cheap and will be back tonight, though, so he could help you save some cash at small forward:
Aaron Gordon (ankles) will start on Thursday https://t.co/a5rqgAtawG
— Rotoworld Basketball (@Rotoworld_BK) October 20, 2016
If you’re looking for a reliable cheap point guard, look no further than Tim Frazier. With Jrue Holiday out, he’s in for a big role and he’s been rather strong all preseason long. Buddy Hield ($5k) is also worth discussing, but Fournier is cheaper and feels like the better play on tonight’s slate.
Heat @ Hornets
- Kemba Walker, PG, Hornets ($7.8k)
- Goran Dragic, PG, Heat ($5.6k)
- Nicolas Batum, SG, Hornets ($6.1k)
- Hassan Whiteside, C, Heat ($9k)
Miami ad Charlotte both play their preseason finales tomorrow, so we definitely need to be weary of guys being rested or severely limited in this one. That being said, this divisional battle is a much better test than either would have tomorrow (76ers and Timberwolves), so both sides could opt to use tonight as their main “dress rehearsal” for the regular season.
That’s pretty key for this particular game, so be sure to stay on top of the latest news and if we hear anything concrete, we’ll try to update you here.
There really isn’t word yet, though, so until we know more, Walker, Dragic, Batum and Whiteside remain your top targets.
Obviously guys like Ramon Sessions, Dion Waiters, Tyler Johnson, Derrick Williams and Frank Kaminsky play into this even more if guys sit out, but as it stands we’re not chasing them until we know more.
Of the options here, Dragic feels like the guy we’d target the most. Walker is by far the most expensive PG on the slate and unless we know he’s going to be out there for 25-30 minutes, he seems like a big dice roll. Dragic has actually been awesome all preseason long, so at this cheap price he’s an easy play.
Whiteside is always a must-play guy when he’s in and getting run, and he’s back after dealing with a death in the family:
Hassan Whiteside is back with the Heat and said he will play tonight.
— Ira Winderman (@IraHeatBeat) October 20, 2016
If he’s starting and getting decent run (and he has all preseason) he looks like a no-brainer play on this slate.
This game has the only two teams that still play again tomorrow, so above all else, make sure you know what’s going on in this one when it comes to lineups and player minutes.
Knicks @ Nets
- Jeremy Lin, PG, Nets ($5.5k)
- Carmelo Anthony, SF, Knicks ($7.3k)
- Bojan Bogdanovic, SF, Nets ($4k)
- Kristaps Porzingis, PF, Knicks ($5.7k)
- Brook Lopez, C, Nets ($6.3k)
I’m probably fading the Knicks at the point guard spot tonight, as Brandon Jennings was “meh” last night and isn’t a lock to play much on the second game of a back to back set. Derrick Rose is just getting back with the team after a legal case in L.A., too, so he also looks doubtful to suit up:
Hornacek tonight said only way Rose gets in tomorrow vs. Brooklyn if he begs to play. But coaching staff against it. #Knicks
— Marc Berman (@NYPost_Berman) October 19, 2016
That could garner mild interest in Justin Holiday, who is just $4k as a shooting guard, but I’d need both Jennings and Rose to be out to take the dive.
Melo sat out last night and he could easily sit New York’s preseason finale, but odds are decent he suits up and gets some nice run to cap the faux schedule. He obviously will be one of the top plays of the night (and at a good price) if he indeed plays.
Zinger did play on Wednesday, though (and killed it), so odds are just as good that he rests in game two of a back to back set. It’s the preseason, after all.
For the Nets, I’m all about Linsanity and Brook Lopez, as they are officially starting and look like strong values.
— Greg Logan (@GregLogan1) October 20, 2016
They all still need to work on their chemistry, so it’d make sense to throw them out there for 25-30 minutes in their last preseason game.
A cheap guy I want to like is Bogdanovic, who was a stud at the Rio Olympics but has been held back throughout the preseason. If we catch wind of Brooklyn giving him a longer look tonight, I’ll be all over him.
Hawks @ Bulls
- Rajon Rondo, PG, Bulls ($7k)
- Dennis Schroder, PG, Hawks ($5k)
- Dwyane Wade, SG, Bulls ($5.8k)
- Jimmy Butler, SF, Bulls ($7.4k)
- Paul Millsap, PF, Hawks ($7.6k)
- Taj Gibson, PF, Bulls ($4.5k)
- Dwight Howard, C, Hawks ($6.5k)
- Robin Lopez, C, Bulls ($4.6k)
This oddly is the most loaded game of the night, as there is a ton of interesting talent and both of these teams enjoy their preseason finales in this one.
The stars should all be out for this one, but actual expected minutes will be big to dictate this game. Chicago does want to get newly acquired point guard Michael Carter-Williams some run off the bench, and they may opt to sit or limit an aging D-Wade, too.
For the most part, all of these guys are in play and I dig Schroder, Millsap and Howard the most. Millsap is probably the safest PF on this entire slate and Schroder and Howard offer killer value based on their pricing and upside.
I’m not overly into Lopez, Gibson or an unlisted Kyle Korver ($4k) or Kent Bazemore ($4.3k), as this really isn’t a slate that demands a lot of savings.
This could be a tricky one if information doesn’t come out early, though, as both teams could opt to rest some older guys. I’d say Wade, Howard and Korver are mostly on high alert, but you’ll want clear updates before finalizing these guys into your NBA DFS lineups tonight.
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