Last night had a ton of potential in daily fantasy basketball, but you truly needed the gem to end all gems to take down a GPP. I should have helped you get there in some respects, as Terry Rozier, Anthony Davis, Russell Westbrook and Gordon Hayward were all fantastic plays.
I did whiff on a few of my other plays, but it’s also worth noting that a lot of value opened up later in the night after my NBA DFS lineup went live. Definitely keep that late news narrative in mind as you piece your teams together.
I’m not so sure we really have to worry about that tonight, but the big concern is where we invest out cash. There are five high level studs available on FanDuel tonight – all of which are priced at $10k or far more expensive. You can’t have them all and you’re working with just a three-game slate, so tough decisions will need to be made.
Join me as I try to carve out a winner on this small slate:
PG: Jamal Murray – Denver Nuggets ($8k)
I really want Stephen Curry tonight, but he’s not cheap and I actually prefer other expensive options on this small slate. I also think I can get close to what Curry can provide via Murray, who went off for 46 actual points just two games ago.
Murray is $2k cheaper and could easily go nuts in a very positive matchup against the Sacramento Kings. Curry is a calculated fade on this slate and I think Murray is one of the better intermediate plays available.
PG: Derrick White – San Antonio Spurs ($6.1k)
Bryn Forbes is a cheaper option here at $4.4k, but he doesn’t do much beyond score. I don’t mind rolling the dice there, but Toronto isn’t exactly an easy matchup for scoring guards.
I’d rather roll with White, who is a safer bet to rack up the peripherals and score at a decent enough rate on top of that. Curry is the elite spend at PG tonight, but I think you can get away with dropping down a bit.
Kyle Lowry’s status is up in the air yet, but whether he plays or not could impact your interest in him or Fred Van Vleet. I’ll just be fading both, but the interest is understandable.
SG: James Harden – Houston Rockets ($13k)
Harden’s price is obscene right now, but he can go for 80 fantasy points any time out and he’ll be motivated to play against the hated Warriors. He’s crushed in this matchup before and I find him incredibly hard to fade.
Our own Alex Hunter says as much in his NBA DraftKings picks for tonight and I agree. I can’t see myself fading Harden on such a tiny slate, but it’s admittedly going to probably be a contrarian play if you do.
DeMar DeRozan faces his former Raptors squad and could be an amazing pivot play if he erupts.
SG: Austin Rivers – Houston Rockets ($3.8k)
I don’t exactly trust Rivers and he lacks elite upside, but Houston needs him with both CP3 and Eric Gordon on the shelf. Based purely on his price and run, he’s one of the top value picks for this slate and I’ll be using him everywhere.
SF: Kawhi Leonard – Toronto Raptors ($10.3k)
Harden is the top stud tonight, but Kawhi feels like a must as he makes his return to face the Spurs for the first time. He’s fresh off of dropping a career-high 45 points on the Jazz and something tells me that was just a warm-up game.
Leonard could easily fall flat here, but you know he’s going to want to play well and Toronto will surely rally behind him. I’d bet he plays very well and is likely a must for this small slate. That being said, pivoting to Kevin Durant at $200 cheaper could be an elite GPP move.
I do think you need one of these stud small forwards to do any damage on this slate, though, and Leonard is my top pick between the two.
SF: Gerald Green – Houston Rockets ($3.7k)
I also like Danuel House in this same spot and ideally I’d just pair KD with Leonard, but a salary cap is a heck of a thing. It’s bound to force you to do things you normally wouldn’t and for me that makes Green a necessary punt.
The good news is he’s my “lowest score” choice for this slate. He’s super cheap and thanks to injuries still gets 20+ minutes of run. Hopefully he can pop off in an up-tempo matchup with Golden State. If not, the plan is for him to be my dropped player from this NBA DFS lineup.
PF: Paul Millsap – Denver Nuggets ($6.2k)
LaMarcus Aldridge is the best power forward on this slate, while Draymond Green, Pascal Siakam and Serge Ibaka also are all attractive. This doesn’t feel like the spot to spend money, though, so I’m either grabbing Thrillsap and hoping for the best or double-punting PF tonight.
I’ll grab Millsap for now, as he’s working his way back to his normal run and this matchup with the Kings is sublime. If this one stays close, there’s honestly a reasonable chance he ends up being one of the better value picks of the night.
PF: P.J. Tucker – Houston Rockets ($4.4k)
Tucker is a minutes play, as he’s going to be on the court virtually all night against the stacked Dubs. Hopefully he soaks up the peripherals and can catch fire from long range. He’s risky, but he makes sense at a fairly weak position and helps me save some cash.
C: Kevon Looney – Golden State Warriors ($4.3k)
I want Nikola Jokic as badly as anyone, but I’m picking my spots tonight and pairing Harden with Leonard. That leaves me dropping way down at center and fortunately Looney should get 20-25 minutes against Clint Capela.
He wasn’t bad in this spot earlier this year, so hopefully he can avoid foul trouble and be busy early. You can also consider Mason Plumlee against the Kings and Greg Monroe against the Spurs isn’t a terrible deep dive for tournaments, either.
If you want a more balanced team tonight, fade Harden. I think it’s really big risk just because he feels like an automatic 60+ fantasy points right now, while he may have more upside than anyone else on the slate.
Sometimes it’s not about price, but more about everyone using the dude who is locked in for 60-80 fantasy points. You could earn more salary to use, but then you need to find someone to get you that production.
I often opt to go the other way in GPPs, but on a three-game slate I’ll eat the chalk. And hey, if Harden is somehow not chalky, even better.
If you do fade Harden, look to Joker or Curry as your second stud to pair with Leonard. Whatever you decide to do, I wish you luck. Thanks for reading and enjoy the games!