Last night was a disaster for me personally in daily fantasy basketball. On a night where guys like Alec Burks and Will Barton had career nights, Robert Covington, Kent Bazemore and Jamal Murray ended up being horrifyingly bad.
None of those guys made it into Thursday’s FanDuel NBA DFS picks, but they crushed my best team in a single entry GPP. My value picks for Thursday were markedly better. Ricky Rubio ended up being quite chalky and got a solid 30 fantasy points, while John Collins beasted out and ended up being a must.
The Greek Freak was a fine stud to get behind, while J.J. Redick, Donovan Mitchell and Ben Simmons all worked out. Jerryd Bayless was not good enough and DeAndre Jordan was fairly spare, while Sam Dekker was a miss, as well.
There were some whiffs last night, but there were also some really good picks. If you had swapped DJ for Jusuf Nurkic (same price) and dropped from Ben Simmons to Dario Saric, you would have been in great shape. That could have had you paying up over Bayless and Dekker and potentially led you to a fine night.
That wasn’t the case for yours truly and it’s back to the drawing board as Friday rolls in a fun 8-game slate:
PG: Ricky Rubio – Utah Jazz ($5.4k)
There are certainly some pricey point guards I wouldn’t mind rostering, but I’m not sure I can ignore the value at point guard tonight. That starts with Rubio, who is back to solid run and has the potential to get 30-35 fantasy points every time he hits the floor.
Rubio has been solid as a scorer lately and if he can keep that going and pick it up slightly with some extra steals and/or dimes, he could be in for a big night. It doesn’t hurt that he’ll be at home against a Pelicans defense that ranks just 18th against point guards, either.
PG: Michael Carter-Williams – Charlotte Hornets ($5.4k)
The status of Kemba Walker is going to decide some things for me, but even if he doesn’t open the door to MCW, I like the value you can consider elsewhere with guys like Darren Collison and Tyus Jones. You can even look at Goran Dragic and Reggie Jackson, but I’m not sure I’ll be going there.
For now, MCW stands out as a viable DFS play if Walker is again out with a shoulder issue. Carter-Williams wasn’t amazing in a start in his last outing, but he still logged 32 minutes and put up a nice 9-6-5 line. If MCW can just score a little more and add in a steal or two, I think he has a terrific shot at crushing this price tag.
I do worry about the Hornets anytime they’re on the road, but if Kemba is out, MCW is going to be pretty chalky.
SG: Nicolas Batum – Charlotte Hornets ($5.6k)
Batum is never a guy I seem to be on at the right time, but I have to think he’s in for an expanded role if Kemba Walker sits tonight again. Even if he doesn’t, Batum is healthy and back to playing big minutes. For what he can do with his versatile skill-set, he’s too cheap, either way.
There are a lot of shooting guards to like tonight, but there isn’t a James Harden-type guy that we have to spend to get. Victor Oladipo probably offers the most upside, but I’m not sure I can stomach $8.6k to get him. I’m pretty set on Batum at this price, but he looks even better if Jeremy Lamb (knee) and/or Walker sit this one out.
SG: DeMar DeRozan – Toronto Raptors ($7.8k)
DMR wasn’t great the last time he faced the Pacers, but he’s proven over his career he’s fairly matchup proof. I like his price and I also like his chances to heat back up in what is an overall good matchup. Victor Oladipo is a pesky defender, but Indy as a whole ranks 27th against shooting guards and DeRozan can get his at will usually.
I love him as a pivot away from Bradley Beal ($8k) in tournaments, as he’ll likely be lower owned and could easily be just as good or better.
SF: Otto Porter – Washington Wizards ($7k)
John Wall remains out, so the Wizards continue to need scoring and offensive facilitation elsewhere on their roster. Most will go to Bradley Beal, but I’ll just roll with Porter and hope he can get hot from outside. He’s not cheap, but small forward isn’t fun tonight and he does face a Pistons defense that ranks just 23rd against the position.
SF: Jimmy Butler – Minnesota Timberwolves ($8.1k)
I probably want to get to Kevin Durant if I can, but dropping down to either Paul George or Jimmy Butler seems fine, as well. Butler is getting into a groove with his new team and while the OKC defense can be tough, I think he’s a solid value on this slate.
PF: Anthony Davis – New Orleans Pelicans ($10.4k)
The Brow could go overlooked tonight, seeing as he got tossed from his last game and faces what can still be a tough Utah defense. Davis is rarely this cheap, though, and he still carries immense upside. I’ve also seen him go nuts on the Jazz in the past and Rudy Gobert still isn’t in the lineup.
DeMarcus Cousins has also been quite spare lately, so something tells me The Brow will be needed in this one, more than ever. I expect a big outing and at this price, he feels like a must.
PF: Taj Gibson – Minnesota Timberwolves ($5.5k)
I initially was interested in Domantas Sabonis with news that Myles Turner might not play, but I’m not enamored with him against Toronto’s #1 defense against centers. He’s still in play if Turner is out, but I might just shift to Taj, who has been pretty stable for a while now.
Gibson gets tons of run and is always a threat to post a double-double, while tonight he could get a little revenge against his former Thunder teammates. OKC isn’t particularly great at stopping power forwards, either, as they come in ranking just 18th against the position.
C: Bam Adebayo – Miami Heat ($4.7k)
There are a lot of strong center options tonight, but many have tough matchups, feel over-priced or just haven’t been performing up to expectations. Bam wasn’t the stud value pick I thought he’d be the other day, but with Hassan Whiteside out again tonight, he’s in line for 30+ minutes.
A date with Dwight Howard is rarely ideal, but Bam’s value comes largely in put-backs, rebounds and blocks. At this price, I think he can do enough to target 30 fantasy points. That’d be a big win at a position that feels like a trap tonight.