Last night was a disaster with my FanDuel daily fantasy basketball picks. Pau Gasol was hypothetically a great idea with the Spurs resting a slew of veterans, but got benched to start the second half and ended up being a bad play.
Sunday was just weird across the board, though. Austin Rivers poured in 30 real-life points, while Paul George scored just 8 actual points while shooting a woeful 2 for 17 from the floor.
While those two guys failed anyone who used them, I did nail a few solid calls. Jimmy Butler was fantastic with 33 actual points, while Jeff Teague and Stephen Curry were just fine. Curry actually chipped in 30 real points, but just didn’t have great peripherals.
Value picks like Jordan Clarkson and Julius Randle were busts on a night where Dejounte Murray matched Russell Westbrook.
Weekend DFS can always be troubling, so sometimes it might make sense to completely go against the grain. Whatever the case, things didn’t work out for my squad last night, but hopefully you were down for Jimmy Butler and moved along.
Regardless, a massive 11-game slate arrives on Monday and a GPP-winner awaits. Let’s see what my favorite team looks like after mixing the top studs and value picks:
PG: Jamal Murray – Denver Nuggets ($5.6k)
Point guard isn’t the spot you absolutely need to pay up at tonight, so I find myself seeking value at both spots. There is risk with this strategy, but this is the nature of the GPP mentality. I like the value and upside with Murray, who went off in his last game and will be needed again with Nikola Jokic out again tonight.
Murray has a solid matchup against a weak Mavs defense, who specifically have trouble bottling up point guards. Look for Murray to be aggressive in this one and force FanDuel to up his price next time out.
PG: Ricky Rubio – Utah Jazz ($5.3k)
I like Rajon Rondo here a bit, but Rubio is cheaper and should have the more competitive game ahead of him. Rubio bombed the last time I used him (0 actual points!) but the peripherals are still there.
Tonight he’s at home against a Wizards team that is still playing games without John Wall, so the matchup and role are there for him to crush his perceived value. The reported return of Rudy Gobert could make for some easy dimes, too.
SG: Devin Booker – Phoenix Suns ($7k)
Booker is too versatile and too explosive to be this cheap, so I’m all in on him as my top shooting guard in this huge slate. There is no “must-have” SG here, as Victor Oladipo is now too expensive ($9.2k) for me to take on.
Booker can explode offensively and faces a Sixers team that has not fared well against opposing shooting guards. I’ll gladly take the discount and run.
SG: Klay Thompson – Golden State Warriors ($7k)
That big Klay Thompson game is just around the corner and I think he surprises tonight in a soft matchup with a weak Pelicans defense. New Orleans is worse than usual with Anthony Davis already ruled out ahead of tonight’s game, too.
Thompson came up lame the last time he faced the Pels, but he comes in at a good price and I don’t think he’ll generate high ownership.
SF: LeBron James – Cleveland Cavaliers ($12k)
King James is my stud of choice tonight. He wrecked the Bulls the last time he faced them and they do not defend well at all. There is blowout risk concern here, to be sure, but few can rack up points in three quarters like James can.
I’m hoping with this game being at the United Center, the Bulls can hang tight long enough to help James crush this price tag. Giannis Antetokounmpo is in play, but he’s a little more expensive and has the worse matchup by the numbers. I think one of these stud SF options is necessary tonight, so I’ll clamp down on The King.
SF: T.J. Warren – Phoenix Suns ($7.3k)
I don’t love the value at SF tonight, so I’m either going straight down the middle with a guy like Warren, paying way up or combining those strategies. I could also consider Otto Porter or Robert Covington here, but Warren has a solid matchup and could be due for a big game.
The Suns as a whole are never easy to trust, but after facing the Celtics over the weekend, this is going to feel like a really easy matchup for Phoenix. Warren has been pretty steady as a scorer, notching 18+ actual points in 6 of his last 7 games. I think he’s a safe play with some upside on this slate.
PF: Michael Beasley – New York Knicks ($5k)
Kristaps Porzingis and Tim Hardaway Jr. have both been ruled out again for Monday, so a Knicks spare or two could be in order if you want to take down a big GPP. Beasley certainly makes sense, as he scored 21 and 30 points the last two times he’s drawn a start.
Beasley projects to start again tonight against the Pacers, and considering they don’t defend well, this looks like another great spot for him to sound off as a scorer.
PF: JaMychal Green – Memphis Grizzlies ($4.9k)
I also like Ersan Ilyasova and Taj Gibson a bit here, but Green is cheaper and helps me get the GPP roster I covet. Green was solid in his last game (28 fantasy points) and will be at home against the Timberwolves.
This isn’t the greatest matchup on paper, but Minnesota’s defense isn’t exactly elite and he’s going to be needed given how much the T’Wolves throw big bodies onto the court. I’m not sure I’m hoping for much more than 25-30 fantasy points, but at this price that’d probably still do the trick.
C: Mason Plumlee – Denver Nuggets ($5.8k)
As I said before, injuries are opening things up, so guys like Enes Kanter and Mason Plumlee are going to look awfully attractive on this slate. I prefer Plumdog, as he’s cheaper and has a plus matchup against a bad Mavericks team in Dallas.
Plumlee should start and see around 30 minutes, while his versatile skill-set makes him a threat for nice peripherals.