I sure hope some TSG readers checked out my NBA DFS picks last night, as I delivered easily my best FanDuel GPP squad of the year.
My lone gaffe was paying up for Anthony Davis instead of rostering Ben Simmons. Nothing really suggested Simmons was about to drop 76 fantasy points on the Cleveland Cavaliers, but he did just that in a crazy 132-130 win last night.
While I missed out on Simmons and paying up for The Brow absolutely impacted my roster construction, I may not have landed the elite value plays I did if I’d done things differently.
In the end, it’s hard to complain about value picks in Tyler Ulis (31), Malik Monk (41!), Johnathan Motley (47!), Ivan Rabb (42!) and even Deyonta Davis (24). Trey Burke (27) was really my only “bad” play of the entire slate, while Jrue Holiday (54), Anthony Davis (65) and LeBron James (74!) were all worth paying up for.
Ideally Davis could have at least matched Simmons, but I still finished 57th out of over 23,000 in a big GPP with this team. Hopefully you guys followed along and either used this lineup elsewhere or at least caught some of these awesome value plays.
It’s always fun to reflect on such a big night, but the weekend forces everyone to move on.
Saturday offers up an odd slate, as there are a lot of elite options to consider despite just five games hitting the schedule. With that being said, let’s dive into my favorite NBA DFS picks for tonight’s action:
PG: Russell Westbrook – Oklahoma City Thunder ($12.2k)
Normally I’d scoff at paying over $12k for Westbrook against CP3, but OKC badly needs to win games just to sneak into the playoffs this year. He’s been totally fine against the Rockets (53 fantasy points per game) through two meetings this year and he obviously always gets up for big games.
I’m not sure I am demanding 70+ fantasy points here, but Russ will come to play tonight and he has as much upside as anyone. Damian Lillard is in San Antonio, CP3 and the Rockets don’t have reason to force the issue and Eric Bledsoe’s game with New York (-9.5 point spread at Bovada) could be over early.
I’ll just aim high here and hope Westbrook doesn’t spare me to the moon and back.
PG: Dejounte Murray – San Antonio Spurs ($6.7k)
The Spurs are another team that need to win to stay alive and tonight they’ll be at home against the Blazers.
Portland tends to be good against point guards, but Murray can wreck as a rebounder, passer and defender. I think he can do enough scoring to return solid value in this spot, while I’m fine with buying into his upside after he dropped 50 fantasy points in his last game.
That came in an OT thriller but San Antonio needs him to be big tonight. I think he’ll respond and give DFS players who trust him a solid hammer to wrap up this slate.
SG: Damyean Dotson – New York Knicks ($3.5k)
This one is all about floor volume. Dotson went nuts last night with 50 fantasy points, pretty much thanks to both Michael Beasley and Tim Hardaway Jr. exiting with injuries. Assuming those guys are both out again tonight, Dotson is a borderline lock for huge minutes against the Bucks.
I don’t need a 50-burger at this price. Dotson just needs to push for 30+ minutes again and just be competent. I’d take 25-30 fantasy points with pleasure.
SG: D’Angelo Russell – Brooklyn Nets ($6.8k)
This feels like a classic D’Lo explode spot. James Harden is on the slate, but he’s too expensive considering the Rockets are solid favorites at home and they really have nothing to play for down the stretch.
I don’t mind rolling the dice on Russell here, as he’s bound to be low owned due to volatile minutes and other options being available. I don’t want to punt twice at SG, however, and the Bulls are a nice matchup.
SF: Paul George – Oklahoma City Thunder ($7.8k)
I’m putting stock in two things tonight; PG-13 having something to play for and the fact that this dude seems to wreck every single time I pay up over him on a slate.
You hear the “I’m always on the wrong side of said guy” a lot in DFS and George is one of those guys for me. A road date with the Rockets could obviously go horribly, but I have to think a good chunk of ownership will be split between The Greek Freak and Kevin Durant.
Both of those guys could easily be monsters, but if PG-13 can come close to matching/exceeding them, he’s going to open things up more for my team than others. It’s the same situation I was in last night when looking at Ben Simmons vs. The Brow (you can literally do that against with Ridge tonight, too), so I’ll take the discount with George and hope he’s the better play at small forward.
Update: Giannis Antetokounmpo has actually been ruled out for tonight. That firmly puts the other Bucks on your radar but doesn’t really change anything I’m doing here. It could get ownership tilted more toward PG-13, but I still like the savings.
SF: Joe Harris – Brooklyn Nets ($4.5k)
I’ll add another Nets pick to the list, as DeMarre Carroll will not play tonight and that opens up a few minutes. Harris could be in line to get the start in a good matchup versus the Bulls, but he’s been getting run and producing regardless.
I think he’s a fine value play whether he starts or not, while he poured on 15 actual points against Chicago the last time he faced them. He’s been hot as a scorer (double figures scoring in six straight) so if he can remain dialed in tonight I think he can push for 30 fantasy points.
PF: LaMarcus Aldridge – San Antonio Spurs ($9.5k)
Ridge has been a beast for the Spurs, racking up 43+ fantasy points in nine of his last 10 games. Tonight he’ll be at home against his former team (revenge, much?) as the Spurs continue to fight just to make the Western Conference playoffs.
With so much on the line, Ridge will be giving it his all in this setting. He’s a late-game hammer with a really nice floor and monster upside, while it’s certainly worth pointing out that he has put up 46 fantasy points per game against Portland on the year. That might be his floor in this one, which makes him an elite pivot off of The Brow, who played last night and is over $3k more expensive.
PF: Luke Kornet – New York Knicks ($3.5k)
I don’t have a ton of confidence in Kornet, but he put up 34 fantasy points in 21 minutes last night and the Knicks could be down two key scorers. Lance Thomas and Enes Kanter could both be out again as well, so there may be a ton of run to be had.
Hopefully this still allows for Kornet to stay on the bench so he can rack up run in a blowout. Either way, he’s the minimum and may be looking at a big role. I’ll take my chances.
Update: Jabari Parker ($6.2k) is very much in play with the news of The Greek Freak being ruled out. Assuming Kornet is in line for big run tonight, I still see him as a necessary value, while Knicks spares could be even more prevalent if this game ends up staying close.
C: Jarrett Allen – Brooklyn Nets ($5.3k)
Three Nets gives me nausea, but sometimes you have to use guys you’re not enamored with to make a roster work. I’m totally fine with it, though, as the Bulls are a great matchup for just about every position and Allen has been impressing lately.
Chicago isn’t scary down low and has honestly given up some really big DFS performances this year, so there is a lot of upside to be had here. The price isn’t bad, either, while center as a whole is pretty weak tonight.
Overall, I’m choosing Russ as my stud, taking a few calculated dives and trying to stack some guys that have something to play for tonight. Closing with a two-man hammer via Murray and Ridge could be fun, too, while avoiding some studs in possible blowout atmospheres hopefully goes my way.
The key to all of this may very well be PG-13. He has burned me so much in the past, but it seems every time I fade him he plays out of his mind. I’m going against my better judgment by using him over KD tonight, so feel free to fire up Durant elsewhere.
Last night’s daily fantasy basketball picks were awesome, so here’s to an even better night. Good luck and thanks for reading!