Last night was an interesting night for daily fantasy basketball, as there were too many injury situations to count before lineups locked. At the end of it all, guys like Mario Hezonja, Andrew Harrison and Aron Baynes offered elite value.
I wasn’t able to get on those guys due to writing my NBA DFS picks earlier in the day, but I did promote Milos Teodosic, who was very solid and helped open things up. The unexpected return of Nicolas Batum burned my Jeremy Lamb pick, while Bobby Portis was another value pick that was just okay.
Rajon Rondo should have been a solid play, but he actually kept himself out of the 4th quarter because his team was playing so well without him. Trevor Ariza and Jayson Tatum were both fine enough, but neither blew the hinges off the door like some of the spares people were made privy to later in the day.
Nikola Vucevic was fine as my stud center, but Paul George was a total waste in his return to Indiana. Even James Harden wasn’t great, as he scored 21 points and handed out 8 dimes, but didn’t come close to living up to his lofty price tag.
In the end, Giannis Antetokounmpo was the only stud truly worth paying up for and on a night where a bunch of cheap players panned out, the studs left people hanging.
It was interesting, indeed. It’s on to the next one on Thursday, however, as five more games trickle in and give everyone a shot at GPP glory at FanDuel:
PG: Yogi Ferrell – Dallas Mavericks ($4.7k)
Dennis Smith Jr. remains sidelined with an injury and point guard is garbage tonight. Dennis Schroder, Lonzo Ball and Spencer Dinwiddie are your top options and while all three are fine tries, they’re not what I would call “stable”.
Ferrell isn’t a steady NBA DFS performer, either, but he gets a pace-up game at the Oracle Arena and will again be looking at 30+ minutes and a big offensive role. He fired off with a nice outing against the Spurs (31 fantasy points) his last time out, so I’m not worried about any matchup issues. The guy gets me run and shots at under $5k at a weak position, so I’m going to take that and run.
PG: Frank Ntilikina- New York Knicks ($4.3k)
Ntilikina isn’t safe, either, but PG isn’t a great position to invest much cash tonight. I will hope some of the top guys fail and that the recent progress Ntilikina has shown (21+ fantasy points in three straight games) keeps showing up tonight.
A date with the Nets looks great on paper, while the rookie is aggressive and gets his hands in a lot of different stats. If you’re waiting for the perfect time to take a stab at his upside, this is it.
SG: Klay Thompson – Golden State Warriors ($7.6k)
Klay Thompson normally doesn’t see a huge spike in usage with just Stephen Curry off the floor, but with Curry and Draymond Green not in, he sees a spike to 28%. Green has already been ruled out for tonight’s tilt against the Dallas Mavericks, so the Thompson hype should mount.
Thompson could be ho-hum as usual, but I think a much more engaging role presses him into action. That elusive Thompson explosion could arrive against the Mavericks on this slate and I refuse to miss out on it.
SG: Jordan Clarkson – Los Angeles Lakers ($5.3k)
Much like point guard, shooting guard really isn’t a spot I feel like I need to pay up at. I really want Thompson, but I can understand double-punting the position. I’ll pay down at one spot for sure, as Clarkson makes too much sense if the Lakers are going to get housed in Cleveland. Even if they don’t, he’s still looking at 20+ minutes and 20+ fantasy points.
SF: Kevin Durant – Golden State Warriors ($11.7k)
You’re going to need either King James or KD tonight and I vote for Durant, who is cheaper and has more upside with two key Warriors players out tonight. Durant’s floor so far without Curry is around 51 fantasy points, while it’s arguable we have yet to see his true ceiling. Dallas doesn’t have anyone that can stop him, so brace for the fireworks tonight.
SF: Doug McDermott – New York Knicks ($3.6k)
Dougie Buckets has seen a nice spike in minutes with Tim Hardaway Jr. sidelined, so I don’t mind pivoting off of popular values like Omri Casspi to get to him. I know he doesn’t do much else other than score, but he’s got a terrific matchup versus Brooklyn (29th against small forwards) and has helped out lately with 10+ actual points in 5 of his last 7 games.
If Buckets can grab some boards, hand out a few dimes and have an on night from long range, you could be looking at the best value pick of this entire slate.
PF: Jordan Bell – Golden State Warriors ($4.3k)
With Draymond Green out, Bell becomes a cash lock and probably a GPP must. It’d be contrarian to fade him, but why? He’s looking at a big role and 25+ minutes with Green out and he’s displayed a very versatile skill-set in the past. He doesn’t need to go nuts to pay off at this salary, either, while PF in general is awful on this slate.
PF: Kristaps Porzingis – New York Knicks ($10.2k)
Power forward is garbage at FanDuel, but I’m still down for paying up for the Unicorn, who is back to destroying souls (30 and 37 actual points in his last two outings). Tonight he faces the Nets, who run as fast as anyone and don’t defend.
That’s a good recipe for fantasy goodness, while Zinger dropped a cool 50 fantasy points on them earlier this year. With THJ still out, Porzingis is still going to be counted on for a massive offensive role and I think he responds in a shootout.
C: Kevin Love – Cleveland Cavaliers ($7.9k)
I covet KAT on this slate and Andre Drummond could feast on the Hawks, but Love offers too much value. I even like his upside against the Lakers, who can struggle on the road and rank 25th against centers this season.
Love has minute issues and has been dealing with a bad hip, but he should thrive in this matchup with the Lakers. He’s at home and the pace of this game should get him a lot of outside shots and rebounds. I think he’s a lock for 35+ fantasy points tonight, barring a massive blowout.