FanDuel NBA Picks – January 4th

Last night was a disaster for me personally in daily fantasy basketball. I haven’t seen that many studs face-plant on a huge slate in quite some time. My picks were spread out across a litany of tournament lineups, but guys like Kyle Lowry (29 fantasy points), Eric Bledsoe (17.7), Myles Turner (19), Devin Booker (24), Aaron Gordon (23) and Karl-Anthony Towns – to name a few – were severe disappointments.

Dejounte Murray was supposed to be an elite value play, but he couldn’t even notch 10 fantasy points.

That didn’t completely extend to my NBA DFS picks for TSG, though. Stephen Curry (50) was a brilliant pivot off of Russell Westbrook and Chris Paul, while Ryan Anderson, Lance Stephenson, Eric Gordon and Kyrie Irving were all solid enough.

It wasn’t a perfect team, but there were some strong picks that could have helped you win some money.

Thursday brings DFS gamers a tame 2-game slate (which again reminds me how terrible NBA scheduling continues to be) and for me personally, this is always a fun spot to just aim as high as possible. Kevin Durant has already been ruled out for this slate, while James Harden continues to be out, as well.

Everyone but the Los Angeles Clippers suited up on Wednesday, so there’s a realistic chance of more players beyond KD resting tonight. With that in mind, let’s build the best GPP lineup possible for Thursday night:

PG: Chris Paul – Houston Rockets ($10.4k)

Russell Westbrook didn’t come close to meeting value last night and for GPPs, I think he might be an amazing fade tonight. That isn’t because he can’t or won’t wreck, but there are two elite pivots here in CP3 and Stephen Curry and with just 2 games to work with, not using Russ really opens things up financially when it comes to roster construction.

In addition, Paul could see his ownership drop due to the presence of two other elite options, an inflated price and the fact that he played last night. Obviously you’re going to want to get on Westbrook if CP3 is randomly ruled out for this one, but he otherwise is in a great spot at home against the Dubs.

PG: Stephen Curry – Golden State Warriors ($9.8k)

Ditto for Chef Curry, who has been fantastic in his first two games back from injury and has an up tempo date with the Rockets. No James Harden or Kevin Durant should help this game stay close, while the latter hands Curry a massive scoring role.

CP3 is a great defender, but he has a long history of failing to really put the clamps down on Curry. The only way I don’t use Curry tonight is if he’s a late scratch.

Your only other realistic point guards tonight are Austin Rivers (who is hurt) and Milos Teodosic (who is over-priced). I can see a case for both to be contrarian and save some cash, but on such a small slate, I’m aiming higher at a pretty crucial position.

SG: Terrance Ferguson – Oklahoma City Thunder ($3.5k)

If there is a position I’m flat out punting, it’s shooting guard. Klay Thompson and Eric Gordon always sound fun in theory, but they’re notorious for being pure scorers and doing little else. These are the guys that can score 30 actual points, yet produce just 31 fantasy points.

While they’re both very tempting, I’ll pull the fade card and dive down at SG tonight. Lou Williams is another option and he could explode with his huge role, but OKC has tough perimeter defenders.

Instead, I’ll switch to Ferguson, who dropped 24 actual points last night and could draw another start with Andre Roberson sidelined. I love him even more if Alex Abrines remains out, but he’s so cheap that he feels like a must, either way.

SG: C.J. Williams – Los Angeles Clippers ($3.7k)

The status of Austin Rivers is huge for me tonight, as I’d love to double-punt shooting guard and also use C.J. Williams. You’re not dealing with an elite talent here, but as long as Rivers is out, someone needs to soak up extra minutes at either guard spot.

Williams has been a benefactor of L.A.’s shaky guard health, as he’s logged 22+ minutes in 11 consecutive games. He has a low floor, but he did show off his scoring chops (18 points) in his last game. With the Thunder focused more on Blake Griffin and Sweet Lou, he could fly under the radar a bit and churn out elite value.

If Rivers is active, consider pivoting to Nick Young or Patrick McCaw. The absence of KD and potential absence of Omri Casspi is bound to open things up for one of the two.

SF: Andre Iguodala – Golden State Warriors ($3.8k)

That certainly should be the case for Iggy, who rested last night and should be a full go tonight. He’s maintained a solid role in Golden State’s regular rotation, but that could grow tonight with Durant out and Casspi banged up.

Iggy is tough to trust at times, but he should be looking at 25-30 minutes in a tight, fast-paced contest. If you don’t love him, Gerald Green is another elite value pick at SF on FanDuel. Everyone will be on him tonight and he costs $300 more, though, so I like the idea of Iggy being slightly more contrarian.

SF: Paul George – Oklahoma City Thunder ($8.4k)

I don’t hate the idea of just punting small forward completely, either. That would get me off of PG-13 and pair Green and Iggy, but honestly, I want upside at every spot I can get it. George can go spare at times, but the Clippers don’t defend small forwards that well and he erupted for 42 actual points when he faced them earlier this year.

Expecting a scoring explosion like that again isn’t very realistic, but he has loads of upside and is a versatile DFS option. I don’t love the price, but SF is pretty weak and PG-13 feels like a must on this small slate.

PF: Blake Griffin – Los Angeles Clippers ($8.7k)

Draymond Green is a fine pivot off of Blake Griffin (or a great guy to pair him with), while Carmelo Anthony is also worth a look. I just can’t stomach not using Griffin, though.

Blake has been very solid since returning from a knee injury and he’s the main man on offense for L.A. with so many dead bodies on the roster. He didn’t fare great in his first meeting with OKC earlier this year, but he’s at home and has too much upside to get scared off by some numbers.

I can see the pivot down to Green, but I’m all in with Blake on this small slate.

PF: Ryan Anderson – Houston Rockets ($4.3k)

I probably will just save money at the other PF spot and that brings me to the likes of Jordan Bell ($5.5k) or Ryan Anderson. Rando tends to struggle at home and could see a lot of Draymond Green, but he also chucks at will and could thrive in this fast-paced matchup.

That was certainly the case earlier this year, when he chipped in a solid 30 fantasy points against the Dubs in the first game of the season. Anderson has a low floor, but he also has a nice ceiling and is probably too cheap to fade completely. He also helps me get the pieces I want, so I have no qualms about using him tonight.

If you want to take another deep dive, consider David West ($3.7k). He isn’t very stable, but he actually can do a lot in his usual 15-18 minutes of run. I personally don’t trust that tonight and would rather get the 25-30 minutes Rando has to offer.

C: DeAndre Jordan – Los Angeles Clippers ($7.3k)

All three of the top centers are in play tonight, but DJ is my favorite. He has massive rebounding and shot-blocking upside and just had a nasty string of 9 straight 14+ rebound games snapped. A date with Steven Adams is far from ideal, but I like his upside more than any other center on this small slate.

Steven Adams is cheaper and may return similar value, while Zaza Pachulia ($4k) is an interesting punt play. I just don’t trust Zaza’s minutes in a matchup that should see a lot of smaller lineups, however, while Adams sees really bad splits on the road.

Overall, I want to aim high on this small slate, but I also want to take some contrarian shots. I think fading Russ gives me a chance to do that, while landing (hopefully) elite options basically everywhere. Shooting guard is the only spot where that’s not the case with this lineup, but considering the options, that’s a calculated move.

As always, you don’t need to throw caution to the wind and use this exact lineup at FanDuel. These are just some of my favorite studs and value picks and my personal favorite lineup for Thursday in GPPs. Whatever you do, good luck tonight!