Last night was weird for NBA DFS. Stanley Johnson was an elite value pick and Anthony Davis was worth the shot, but Kevin Love dropped a goose egg due to injury and I didn’t roster James Harden.
Love going down is what crushed me more than anything, but Harden scored 60 actual points. You weren’t winning much without him.
Elsewhere, Jahlil Okafor was a pretty solid value pick based off of his low price, while Bradley Beal lived up to the hype with John Wall out. Lou Williams really didn’t capitalize on Blake Griffin being shipped out of town and Jarrett Jack was an uber sack, however.
Again, none of this mattered due to Love’s untimely injury, but it wasn’t a perfect lineup. Hopefully you used Stanley Johnson, Beal and maybe Brow, while also finding a way to get Harden in there.
Regardless, Wednesday is another day and you get eight more games to work with.
This is actually shaping up to be a pretty fun NBA DFS slate, as there could be a lot of value exposed due to injuries. Kyrie Irving is the biggest name off the board tonight, while guys like Kris Dunn, Lonzo Ball, Marcus Smart, Kevin Love, Lauri Markkanen, J.J. Barea and Nikola Vucevic should not be in your daily fantasy basketball lineup tonight, either.
There are some guys with questionable tags to monitor, too. Joel Embiid rested Monday but you’ll want to make sure he’s in, Devin Booker has been banged up and Aaron Gordon is doubtful to play. Be sure to stay on top of the latest NBA injury news even beyond these guys, as roster changes could drastically impact how you look at the player pool.
For now, I’ll take the information I have as of roughly 2:55 pm CT and see what my favorite NBA DFS lineup looks like at FanDuel:
PG: Terry Rozier – Boston Celtics ($5.1k)
Kyrie Irving and Marcus Smart are both out and Shane Larkin has a knee issue. Even if Larkin suits up, Rozier is probably going to start and should see a big workload. He also has a good matchup against the Knicks and will be throwing down at home in front of the TD Garden crowd.
Rozier isn’t an elite player, but he’s perfectly capable of crushing this price tag. I’d prefer he were cheaper and really open things up, but he’s been viable lately even in a smaller role. He’s looking at 30+ minutes and a big role tonight, so for me he’s a free square and an absolute must.
PG: Dennis Smith Jr. – Dallas Mavericks ($6.8k)
I’m cautiously looking at Isaiah Thomas now that his role will grow with Love on the shelf, but I dig DSJ’s talent and love his matchup in Phoenix against a terrible Suns defense. Point guard isn’t a place we absolutely need to spend up tonight, so middle of the road options make sense tonight.
For now I’m rolling with Smith, who has one of the best matchups out there and has been in fantastic form.
SG: Zach LaVine – Chicago Bulls ($6k)
LaVine has seen his minutes slowly go up and Lauri Markkanen and Kris Dunn are both out, so you better believe the usage will be there for him tonight. There are quite a few options at shooting guard tonight, but LaVine packages upside and solid value. I can’t bypass him on this slate.
SG: Devin Booker – Phoenix Suns ($8k)
I’m also eyeing Jordan Clarkson ($6.6k) due to a killer matchup against Orlando, but if Devin Booker (ribs) is able to suit up, I won’t pass on him. Booker has taken over lead guard duties in Phoenix and has a strong matchup at home against the Mavs.
Booker’s status is still up in the air but he previously said he’ll probably play. A fine GPP move might be to hitch your wagon to Booker, regardless of whether or not news comes out in time.
SF: Harrison Barnes – Dallas Mavericks ($6.6k)
I want to attack a terrible Suns defense one way or another tonight. Even if I roll with IT2 over DSJ, Barnes is a fine option, as well. Barnes is the go-to scorer in Dallas and has a strong matchup on paper in what should be an up tempo contest.
I’m not into paying a premium for an erratic LeBron James, so I don’t have any qualms about dropping down at SF. Barnes allows me to do that with confidence, as he has a pretty good floor and actually has a little upside against the Suns.
SF: Jaylen Brown – Boston Celtics ($5.7k)
I like several small forwards tonight, but I can’t pass on the value and upside associated with Brown. Boston is down two very key bodies, so there are going to be a lot of shots to go around. Brown looks to put up some big numbers tonight, while he already dropped 23 actual points on the Knicks the first time he played them earlier this year.
The mixture of talent and volume make Brown and elite value play. If you don’t agree, consider Brandon Ingram or T.J. Warren.
PF: Jayson Tatum – Boston Celtics ($6k)
I’m going three Celtics deep tonight, as Kyrie Irving and Marcus Smart not being on hand open up a ton of scoring opportunities. More than anything, Boston’s young guns should see the floor a ton and will be at home with a favorable matchup against the Knicks (18th in defensive efficiency).
Like Brown, Tatum performed well against New York earlier this season and is averaging 19.5 actual points across two meetings. He comes in somewhat hot after dropping 20 real life points on the Nuggets, too.
PF: Jarell Martin – Memphis Grizzlies ($5k)
Martin worked out for me last time when I used him against the Suns and reports list JaMychal Green as doubtful to suit up against the Indiana Pacers. Indy ranks just 15th in defensive efficiency and their main weakness is defending big men.
Martin certainly has the matchup in his favor and if Green is indeed out, he’s looking at a big role. I love the value here, while Martin feels like a strong pivot off of what should be a popular Nikola Mirotic.
C: Joel Embiid – Philadelphia 76ers ($10.5k)
Last, but not least, is my favorite stud on this slate. I don’t want to pay over $10k for Victor Oladipo or $9k for Ben Simmons and I certainly don’t want to spend nearly $12k on King James. Instead, I’ll bank on Embiid taking advantage of a killer matchup with the Nets.
The beauty here is Embiid might get some run against former Sixers big man Jahlil Okafor, which won’t end well for the new Net. Brooklyn doesn’t have anyone that can silence Embiid, while he should be fresh after resting on Monday. Provided he’s not randomly scratched, he’s my favorite guy to pay up for.
Dwight Howard is a fun pivot as he faces the Hawks again, while Marc Gasol and Jusuf Nurkic both offer tantalizing value in their own way. Those guys are worth a look, but Embiid is my top dog tonight.