Last night was a mitigated disaster. Russell Westbrook (34 fantasy points!) was a total turd and most of my NBA DFS value picks went full spare on me. Anthony Davis was amazing and was really my lone saving grace.
You were going to have a very difficult time winning money without The Brow on Monday. Pivoting to Karl-Anthony Towns or Andre Drummond could have worked, but that would still require some combination of Devin Booker and Aaron Gordon. It was still a fun night if you used Davis, so hopefully you surrouned him with a better supporting cast than I did.
Tuesday offers up a smaller six-game NBA DFS slate. Is this another spot where you’re going to want 1-2 top shelf studs, or can you get by with a more balanced roster? Let’s see where my head is at for tonight’s daily fantasy basketball squad in FanDuel GPPs:
PG: Tyler Johnson – Miami Heat ($4.7k)
I rarely feel great about TJ, but the guy has a role (27+ minutes in six of his last seven games) and has been producing solid results (27+ fantasy points in three of his last five). He can be shaky, but he does get a pace up game tonight at home against the Sixers.
Philly is going to be much more concerned with stopping Goran Dragic and Hassan Whiteside, so I like Johnson’s chances of breaking away and getting hot in this one. He’s also popped up a bit in this matchup (22 fantasy points per game in two meetings this year), so it’s not crazy to hope for a small explosion tonight.
PG: Kris Dunn – Chicago Bulls ($6.5k)
I see the allure of guys like Damian Lillard and Kemba Walker, but they can be a bit erratic and I like other elite options tonight. I prefer to save my cash and spend down at point guard and that leads me to pairing TJ and Dunn. Besides, I think a lot of people will be chasing Dame’s 50-burger against the Kings so fading him could be a good GPP move.
Dunn did play last night and road games in Charlotte can be troublesome, but his concussion issue is behind him and it looks like you can trust him. I also don’t know if a blowout even hurts him, as the Bulls are fully on board with playing their young talent to allow it to develop.
Dunn is certainly part of that and he’s also destroyed the Hornets (almost 50 fantasy points per game) across two meetings this year. Zach LaVine is back in the saddle, but I love the price, reliability and upside associated with Dunn tonight.
SG: Rodney Hood – Cleveland Cavaliers ($4.5k)
Anytime a talented player is already getting run and their head coach goes public about trying to “get them going”, I love to take advantage. Considering this is a GPP-centric lineup, I don’t mind gambling on Hood, who has proven in the past he can pop off as a scorer at any time.
Cleveland isn’t going anywhere if their new trade acquisitions don’t eventually feel comfortable, so finding a way to get Hood going makes a lot of sense. Hood has already been stealing minutes, as he’s logged 24+ minutes in each of his last four contests with the Cavs. I wouldn’t be shocked to see him top 30 minutes tonight and get himself going as a scorer.
He has yet to really explode for the Cavs and tonight he draws a very nice matchup with the Brooklyn Nets. That might make him popular, but so be it.
SG: C.J. McCollum – Portland Trail Blazers ($7.7k)
I see this as a potentially elite tourney move. I think Damian Lillard ($10k) will demand a lot of ownership and McCollum’s price really isn’t very palatable. Shooting guard is more loaded than point guard, too, so I am betting I can get McCollum at 10% ownership or lower and Lillard will be at 25% or higher.
If true and McCollum is the one that wrecks Sacramento this time, that could be a huge leg up on the rest of the field. It’s a risk and I will say I am not going to be completely fading Dame tonight, but I love this strategy with this specific roster.
McCollum has had a down year by his standards, but he’s still been quite good lately as a scorer, dropping in 21+ actual points in each of his last four games. He’s been just passable against Sacramento so far this year, but with the Kings likely focused more on slowing Thrillard down this time, I wouldn’t be shocked if he’s the one that goes nuts.
SF: Danilo Gallinari – Los Angeles Clippers ($6.5k)
The status of Gallo (hand) is up in the air, but for a GPP, I think I’m willing to take a shot here. The appeal in this game (-4.5 spread, 231 Total) is just too tempting, plus Gallinari returns home seeking revenge against his former squad for the first time ever.
I think he suits up for this one and he has all of the incentive to fire away. Gallo has been a solid NBA DFS performer lately, putting up 29+ fantasy points in four of his last six games. He also hasn’t dipped below 20 fantasy points in any of his last eight games. If he’s a full go tonight, I love his upside in a favorable matchup on a court he knows all too well.
Obviously if no news comes out on Gallinari’s status, it will be up to you to pivot off of him. Luckily there is a lot of value at SF, as well as two studs worth paying up for.
SF: LeBron James – Cleveland Cavaliers ($11.5k)
King James is nothing if not reliable right now. He’s not ripping off heads like Anthony Davis, but he’s safely topped 50+ fantasy points in a ridiculous eight consecutive games. That streak could end at anytime, but Cleveland is still playing subpar ball on average and tonight he faces the Nets.
Brooklyn offers a fast pace and little defense, so James could go absolutely nuts if this game can stay remotely close. I prefer him to Giannis Antetokounmpo slightly on this slate and hopefully The Greek Freak being $500 cheaper lowers Bron’s ownership.
James has been rock solid in this specific matchup, as he’s averaged 61+ fantasy points across two meetings with the Nets already this year. I think he can do that again tonight, so he’s worth dropping in as my main stud. Small forward is not very enticing beyond the top two guys though, so picking one feels like a must in all formats on FD.
PF: Jabari Parker – Milwaukee Bucks ($4.5k)
Ben Simmons ($9k) leads the way at the PF position, but with Tobias Harris ($7.5k) as the next best bet, I see this as a great spot to pay down tonight. Simmons is on the road against a slower, defensive-minded Heat team anyways, while Harris just seems to be a bit too volatile for this price tag.
There are a few other options here, but I see no reason not to roll with Parker, who logged 24 minutes in his last game (18 actual points!) and has safely topped 21 minutes in each of his last two contests. His price does not presently account for his growing role and he offers some interesting upside as a dynamic scorer off the bench.
Milwaukee is rounding into form here and Parker’s presence is going to slowly chip away at The Greek Freak and others. I like the value I’m getting here at $4.5k still and considering PF isn’t overly strong, I’ll gladly roll the dice here. Anything over 20 fantasy points is a win, but I’m hoping he can dish out back-to-back 30+ fantasy outings.
PF: Paul Millsap – Denver Nuggets ($3.5k)
I will admit this is a tentative value pick, as Millsap has missed a ton of time with a wrist issue and was just recently upgraded to questionable for tonight’s tilt with the Clippers. It’s still quite possible the man known as Thrillsap doesn’t even play, while he could be limited or just flat out rusty.
He is the bare minimum at FD and is at a weak position, though, so I am fine with taking a shot here in GPPs. If I liked more power forwards I probably wouldn’t go this far, but Millsap’s injury was to a ligament, not to a knee or ankle. If he is up to par with his conditioning, it’s not that crazy to imagine Denver allowing him to play 20+ minutes. I’d take Millsap at 20 minutes at this price.
C: Nikola Jokic – Denver Nuggets ($10.2k)
FanDuel seems to be trolling everyone by making Joker and Joel Embiid the exact same price tonight. I like the savings with Joel over on DraftKings, but if you need to pick between the two on a leveled playing field, it’s Jokic and his insane triple-double upside.
Jokic has been ablaze with three triple-doubles in his last four outings, while he also has a favorable matchup against a Clippers interior defense that tends to allow stud centers to have their way. I want to pay up at center tonight, but it’s worth pointing out that this position is pretty loaded. That being said, I don’t think anyone offers the same upside as Jokic right now.
Overall, I have my core of Jokic, LeBron and McCollum. I probably am going to need my two top studs to crack 50+ fantasy points tonight and for this roster to work, C.J. not only needs to blast off, but fading Dame can’t be a mistake.
Beyond that, I’m taking some dives with these value picks, so if you don’t feel great about Millsap, Hood, TJ, Parker and the like, make sure you make the necessary adjustments. Regardless, enjoy the NBA action tonight and good luck in your daily fantasy basketball contests!