After a decent stretch of at least respectable NBA DFS lineups, I hit a wall on Friday. I faded James Harden and got a little bit too cute in general, while a slew of my NBA DFS value picks were utter busts.
It was a bad way to end the regular work week, but I personally bounced back by doubling my money in NFL DFS circles. Hopefully the weekend treated you well, but it’s back to the grind come Monday.
FanDuel offers a light six-game daily fantasy basketball slate to get the new week started. This is the sweet spot, as it’s not so many games that everyone’s roster will go nuts and it’s just enough so you get a little wiggle room in the event you make a mistake or two.
This is a great spot to piece together both cash game and GPP rosters, but this feels like a classic stars and scrubs night to me. Let’s see what kind of team that gets me for FanDuel GPPs on Monday night:
Update: Kyrie Irving and Marcus Smart both officially OUT. Proceed with the following lineup at will.
PG: Terry Rozier – Boston Celtics ($3.9k)
I’m admittedly starting my process early, but Kyrie Irving is dealing with a quad issue and is expected to be a game-time call on Monday:
Kyrie Irving is questionable for tomorrow night vs. Nets with a right quad contusion. https://t.co/zUhOov4qVv
— NetsDaily.com (@NetsDaily) January 14, 2019
Should Irving be ruled out, Terry Rozier would be handed a huge role. Rozier has thrived with extra court time in the past and would be a core play at this super cheap price.
Should Irving be in, you could keep this lineup as constructed and consider pivoting to Patrick Beverley, who is just $3.8k and has been getting good run for the Clippers.
PG: Derrick White – San Antonio Spurs ($5.9k)
White has had a couple of good games lately and appears to be a viable option despite how much the Spurs like to mess with their guards. The great thing is he’s not very scoring dependent and he gets his hands in a lot of peripherals.
That gives us a decent floor and some upside with White, who will have a beatable matchup at home against the Hornets. Bryn Forbers is over $1k cheaper and is also an option to consider here, but I think White is the better overall play due his non-scoring impact.
Damian Lillard is a decent value as a $9.4k stud on this slate. I won’t be able to afford him, but if you want to fade James Harden and Anthony Davis he isn’t a bad direction to go in.
SG: James Harden – Houston Rockets ($13.3k)
Harden’s price is egregious, but this dude is on some kind of heater right now. His usage is ridiculous given the injuries in Houston and I find it very difficult to fade him.
I did that on Friday and passed up 81 fantasy points. He put up 74 on Sunday and tonight is at home against a Memphis team he burned for 71.5 just a handful of games ago. He is a bad play if he doesn’t crush like he can, but you do not want to be on the wrong side of him.
Fortunately I think there is enough value to afford Harden. That being said, Donovan Mitchell has a monster role of his own. He and DeMar DeRozan are fine pivots at the shooting guard position.
SG: Jaylen Brown – Boston Celtics ($4k)
Provided Irving is indeed out, Brown is going to be way too cheap to ignore. Marcus Smart is another guy that will be easy to flock to, but Brown would see a minutes increase and would be asked to shoulder more of the scoring load.
Brown and Rozier wouldn’t even be true punts despite their prices. Just make sure Irving isn’t playing if you plan on using them.
SF: Royce O’Neale – Utah Jazz ($4.9k)
Joe Ingles and Jae Crowder are also worth targeting given all of the injuries to the Jazz. However, as things stand O’Neale is looking at a starting gig and has seen 30+ minutes in each of his last two games.
O’Neale could be cheaper, but he’s a valid GPP try given his current role. He’ll be at home against a Pistons team that isn’t all that imposing on the perimeter.
SF: E’Twaun Moore – New Orleans Pelicans ($4.2k)
Nikola Mirotic or Danilo Gallinari are the preffered plays here, while no Irving would also open the door for a big game out of Gordon Hayward.
Those aren’t guys I will force my way too, however, especially since Moore usually logs around 30 minutes and can pop off as a scorer. In a favorable matchup with the Clips, he’s a fine way to cap the night and also open up some extra salary.
Of all of my cheap plays, Moore is probably the one that I’d classify as my true “punt” that would be a candidate to be my dropped low score.
PF: Anthony Davis – New Orleans Pelicans ($12.7k)
It’s worth wondering if ownership will be divided between The Brow and The Beard tonight, but I’m anticipating Harden drawing over 50% ownership and Davis should see quite a bit less than that.
The beauty here is I’m sure Harden will be high-owned, but I don’t know if many people will be stacking both Harden and Davis together.
PF: Rodions Kurucs – Brooklyn Nets ($4.3k)
Kurucs is up there with Moore. He’s a decent bet to get 25-30 minutes and he has a low floor, but he literally just cooked the Celtics only three games ago.
There is very real risk with Kurucs, but I need to throw a few GPP darts to land the two studs I covet. I’m not asking the world out of Kurucs here and he’s flashed solid rebounding and scoring ability. I’d take 30 fantasy points and run.
C: Al Horford – Boston Celtics ($6.7k)
Bismack Biyombo could be viable as a center punt, but I’m not usually amped to target non-scoring big men. That’s even less likely when facing the Spurs.
If I had my choice, I’d pay up for Jusuf Nurkic, who could be a total monster against a Kings defense that struggles mightily down low.
Horford is a nice value, though. That’d be the case most night, but if Irving is out he’s going to get a few more shots. Brooklyn is also atrocious against centers and Horfy torched them to the tune of 35 fantasy points not too long ago.
I’m going with the stars and scrubs approach tonight. That involves paying up for Harden and Davis and hoping that 1) they both go nuts and 2) one of them is low-owned. The rest is up to my string of spares, but Kyrie Irving sitting out tonight would render all of my Celtics plays elite values and far from crazy risks.
I’m still taking a chance on guys like Moore, O’Neale and Kurucs, but that’s the way of tourney life.
Whether you’re with me on this entire lineup or just a few of my NBA DFS picks, I wish you luck. Remember to check in on Irving’s status and also keep an eye on all of the other big names for tonight. Any news could end up cracking this slate wide open.