After a nice vacation, I’m back for the daily NBA DFS grind. New Year’s Eve is greeted with a full day of daily fantasy basketball action, but I’ll only be paying attention to the main slate at FanDuel.
The main reason is it is awfully difficult to play a full lineup on FD with much confidence so early in the day, while the main slate GPPs are much more lucrative.
You’re still getting a solid five-game slate, which to be honest is the perfect size. Regardless, let’s get down to it as I go over my favorite lineup for tournaments tonight:
PG: Stephen Curry – Golden State Warriors ($10.1k)
Russell Westbrook is the top point guard play and Kyrie Irving is a viable pivot. I’ll go right in the middle with Curry, as he’s got the best matchup on the table against the terrible Suns.
The downside here is Phoenix are massive underdogs, but the Dubs have been known to play down to the level of their competition before. Let’s hope that’s the case here and Chef Curry cooks up some elite late-game hammer fun.
PG: Tyus Jones – Minnesota Timberwolves ($4.5k)
Both Derrick Rose and Jeff Teague are nearing a return to the hardwood, but if they’re out again Jones is going to be one of the best NBA DFS value picks on the board. He excelled with 38 fantasy points last night and has a great fast-paced matchup tonight against the Pelicans.
You’ll have some work to do to find value at PG if Rose or Teague end up playing, but even if one is out I think Jones is a viable GPP dart.
Dennis Smith Jr. ($5.2k) is also an interesting pivot if he remains healthy and on the floor tonight.
SG: Dennis Schroder – Oklahoma City Thunder ($5.8k)
James Harden is a tough fade with both CP3 and Eric Gordon on the shelf, but he’s super expensive in a pace-down game against the Grizzlies. It’s not the spot to play him in my opinion, but feel free if you’re locked in on him as your top stud.
I won’t be going that route, so while there are other shooting guards worth spending on, I don’t mind saving at both SG slots tonight. Schroder is seeing 30+ minutes nightly and has the role and matchup to push for 40 fantasy points. I’ll bank on that tonight.
SG: Austin Rivers – Houston Rockets ($3.8k)
Tonight will require some punts, as there is not great value on the board. Even the value that’s there, like Rivers, just isn’t very inviting.
Much like Harden, he’s got a terrible matchup with Memphis. However, he also has a good role and comes very cheap. He’s my true punt play of the slate and with the injuries in Houston, he just might be the top value pick of the night.
SF: Kevin Durant – Golden State Warriors ($10.5k)
Paul George is the other elite SF to concern yourself with, but I want KD closing in an awesome matchup with the Suns. I’m pairing him with Curry, so if this Warriors vs. Suns game is at all close (it has an obscenely high Total), this could be quite the way to end this small slate.
T.J. Warren ($7k) isn’t a bad intermediate play if you think this game stays close, but I’m aiming a bit higher tonight.
SF: Danuel House – Houston Rockets ($4.2k)
The return of a healthy James Ennis could complicate Houses DFS upside, but Eric Gordon is still out, so I don’t mind rolling the dice here.
House has been a pleasant surprise and can fire away from long range and is a solid price, so assuming Ennis is limited, House should have a good enough role to be worth a look in FanDuel NBA DFS tournaments.
Kelly Oubre Jr. is the same price and is a chalkier option should Devin Booker sit out tonight.
PF: Anthony Davis – New Orleans Pelicans ($12.7k)
James Harden was initially my stud of choice, but The Brow has the softer matchup and is just $100 more. His game environment as a whole is just way better and he showed two games ago how much of a monster he can be.
Hopefully the presence of Harden drops Brow’s ownership a bit, but if he’s chalky that’s fine too. You can differentiate your lineup in other ways.
Power forward really isn’t very inviting beyond Davis, but LaMarcus Aldridge and Draymond Green both look like elite values by comparison.
PF: Maxi Kleber – Dallas Mavercks ($4k)
If Wesley Matthews sits again, Kleber is probably a lock for me.
He’s getting close to 30 minutes per game over his last three contests and can rack up defensive stats. At this price, and especially at FanDuel where your lowest score can be dropped, he’s a fantastic tourney flier.
C: Kevon Looney – Golden State Warriors ($4.2k)
Looney gets the Suns, which alone makes him worth a look. He’s also getting nice run at the five spot for Golden State and few teams are as bad down low as Phoenix is.
Center has some strong options tonight, but I won’t be chasing KAT’S insane 90-point fantasy explosion. There are other places to pay up tonight.
Overall, I’m making a calculated move to roster an elite trio of Curry/Durant/Brow and also fading Harden.
This still feels like a “stars and scrubs” kind of night, but going balanced isn’t the worst idea. That could involve fading KD (dropping to Warren) and Brow (dropping to Ridge and Dray).
It’s up to you to decide which daily fantasy basketball strategy you prefer. Hopefully my NBA DFS picks help you grind out a winning roster, however. Either way, good luck and enjoy the games!