A few days ago I pieced together a fantastic “stars and crubs” lineup at FanDuel. I tried the same daily fantasy basketball strategy on Monday. It did not…go well.
Russell Westbrook (61) and Anthony Davis (58) were both quite strong, but I was hoping for crazy outings. They certainly didn’t hurt me, but with a ton of intermediate options going nuts, they needed to be better.
I did hit one one deep dive, as Sindarius Thornwell (45.5!) went completely nuts with L.A. hurting at guard. C.J. Williams (21.2) wasn’t quite as good as I’d hoped, though, while Deyonta Davis (19) was also disappointing.
Damyean Dotson (19) was another weak value play, while Jeff Green (18) also didn’t pan out. Jimmy Butler (28) wasn’t worth using, either, but Michael Beasley (35) was a strong SF option.
I missed out on Eric Bledsoe going nuts and Allen Crabbe (54) also blew up. I rolled out the wrong strategy in the end, but really I got burned by spares. That is the risk of this approach and last night it didn’t work out.
Let’s get back to it as we break down Tuesday’s six-game NBA DFS slate. Remember to keep in mind what teams are playing for and which players are starting or being held out.
The Hawks, Suns, Mavs, Hornets, Rockets, Pacers and Lakers are all going to be tough to trust until we hear concrete lineup reports. On the flip side, Utah, Philly and Washington could still all play for playoff seeding. I also think the Warriors are safe (unless told otherwise) as they try to finish the season strong.
Suffice to say, NBA injury news is going to be a pretty big deal tonight. Keep tabs on that and mix and match your picks with mine as you see fit. For me, though, this is the best GPP lineup for FanDuel contests on Tuesday night:
PG: Quinn Cook – Golden State Warriors ($6k)
The Dubs just handed Cook a new contract due to his stellar play and they’ll just keep giving him minutes to close out the year. A road date with the Jazz is never ideal, but Cook is locked into a nice role and is still a solid price.
Point guard is not great tonight, so I’ll be paying down here and loading up elsewhere. Cook has shown solid scoring ability and he can create offense for others, so getting him at a solid price with his 35+ minutes of floor time feels like a bargain.
PG: T.J. McConnell – Philadelphia 76ers ($3.5k)
Ben Simmons is sick and may not play tonight, which is going to open up a lot of ball-handling and usage. Markelle Fultz ($4k) is very much on the table here, but I’ll just drop all the way down to McConnell, who has been a peripherals monster at times this year and is the bare minimum at FanDuel.
It’s worth noting that this game is projected for the slate’s highest Total (220) at Sportsbetting.ag. I’m sure no Simmons could cause that to take a hit, but there will be very little defense in this one and a lot of movement.
SG: James Harden – Houston Rockets ($11.3k)
The Rockets keep playing their studs normal minutes, so unless Houston declares Harden out tonight, I’ll ride and die with him in a battle with the Lakers. I’m not expecting the world here, but there aren’t a ton of awesome options to chase on this slate.
You could go more balanced, but I just don’t see the point with the value that opens things up. Harden doesn’t have much incentive to go nuts, but he’s capable of delivering 45-50 fantasy points in his sleep. It’s also worth noting this has been an awesome matchup for him (66 fantasy points per game versus Lakers).
SG: Marco Belinelli – Philadelphia 76ers ($5k)
I’m interested in Malik Monk in this spot for just $200 more, but Belinelli gets the same run and has the green light to fire away from deep. He is locked into 25+ minutes no matter what, but with Simmons possibly out tonight, he could hoist a little more than usual.
Philly could end up resting any number of players tonight, while there is added incentive here with Belinelli possibly exacting some revenge on his former squad. The Hawks also happen to rank just 27th against shooting guards, so there is a lot of upside here.
SF: Lance Stephenson – Indiana Pacers ($4.7k)
Indiana is resting their top guys tonight, as they’ve already ruled out Victor Oladipo, Thaddeus Young and Bojan Bogdanovic. That should insert Born Ready into the starting five tonight and hand him 30+ minutes.
I’m sure the Pacers don’t want to run their bench guys into the ground, but there is a lot of value here, both with the price tag and Stephenson’s perceived role tonight.
SF: Kevin Durant – Golden State Warriors ($11.2k)
I’m not forcing KD into my team, but I think he and the Dubs will look to finish strong in Utah tonight. The Jazz are still playing for the 3rd seed in the Western Conference, too, so there’s a chance you get a full game out of Durant.
The matchp is tough by the numbers, but Durant is matchup proof and he may be out to finish the regular season on a high note. Hopefully some DFS gamers will be scared off of Dubs options in the face of this date with a tough Utah defense on the road. There simply aren’t many alternative high-end SF options, though, so I’m rolling Durant out and not looking back.
PF: Domantas Sabonis – Indiana Pacers ($5.9k)
Sabonis destroyed the Hornets (30 points in 38 minutes) in his last game and he figures to have a big role against them again tonight. Thaddeus Young being out opens up minutes again for the young big man, so while I don’t demand a 50-burger in this spot, he feels like a very attractive play.
PF: Julius Randle – Los Angeles Lakers ($7.8k)
Kyle Kuzma is iffy tonight with an ankle issue, so I’m going all in on Orange Julius. He’s been a monster throughout the second half of the year and even in the face of a tough matchup with the Rockets, I like his floor and upside.
Randle may not crush in this spot, but PF as a whole is extremely weak. I’ll take the late-game hammer and hope he goes nuts.
C: Alex Len – Phoenix Suns ($4.6k)
Center loses it’s luster with Joel Embiid out and several other options potentially being limited or scratched. That brings me to Lensanity, who has looked good with 28+ fantasy points in two of his last three games.
Phoenix has a ton of injuries down low and could very well be without Tyson Chandler, Alan Williams and Marquese Chriss tonight.
If all of those guys are out, Len feels like a lock to pay off at this cheap price. His matchup with a bad Mavericks team also looks great on paper, especially considering he torched them to the tune of 39 fantasy points when he faced them earlier this season.
Overall, I’m rostering Harden and Durant from the jump and not really thinking twice. If there is concrete word either are out or will be limited, then yes, you’ll need to adjust your stance and I probably will fade them if that is the case.
I’m sure their ownership won’t be super low, but there is some risk with both guys having very little to play for. Harden could also be in a blowout win, while Durant is also facing a good Utah defense on the road. If that somehow makes one/both of these guys contrarian, all the better.
The beauty here is you can cram these two guys into your lineup with little effort. The key will be the status of Ben Simmons. If he’s out, McConnell and Marco are easy calls and this lineup comes together with zero resistance.
If I’m forced to make changes, I’d consider pivoting down at SG (Donovan Mitchell is an attractive intermediate play) and PF (Dario Saric could be an elite value play if Ben is out).
Whether you like my NBA DFS picks as a whole or not, hopefully I shed some light on Tuesday’s slate and help you win some cash. Regardless, I wish you luck in your daily fantasy basketball games at FanDuel tonight!
PLAY THIS LINEUP