The NBA is back in full force on Monday, as the league celebrates a civil rights legend with a loaded schedule on MLK Day. This is one of the best days on the NBA circuit, as fans and DFS gamers alike get to soak up the day with a jam-packed schedule, while also remembering an iconic figure in this nation’s past.
While this is obviously an important day for reflection and appreciation, it’s also a fantastic opportunity to enjoy elite NBA action and daily fantasy basketball competition. There are a slew of high profile games scheduled for today, including an NBA Finals rematch between the Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers.
Of course, with games running all day, the early slate will have tipped off by the time I push out today’s NBA DFS picks. Due to that, I’ll only be targeting the main daily fantasy basketball slate at FanDuel in today’s post. With that, let’s dive into my favorite picks for FanDuel GPPs:
PG: Chris Paul – Houston Rockets ($10.8k)
It’s going to be awfully difficult to bypass “CP3 true revenge” night, as he heads home to take on his former Clippers team for the first time. There could be revenge on either side, but with Harden sidelined still, this should be Paul’s show.
CP3 is an elite pivot off of an uber expensive Russell Westbrook. I’m not enamored with Russ to begin with, as he’s clearly very pricey and also has a pace-down showdown with the Kings. That game could also easily be a blowout, so color me disinterested.
That has me looking at CP3 for a variety of reasons, but point guard is really bad beyond the top 3 options. I’m down for paying up for two of them and CP3 could provide both value and upside tonight.
PG: Stephen Curry – Golden State Warriors ($10.2k)
The other star point guard I’ll take a stab at is Curry, who faces the Cavs for the first time since beating them in the NBA Finals. Chef Curry has been red hot lately, dropping 46+ fantasy points in each of his last six outings. He’s been in and out of the lineup due to injuries, but he should be ready to rock in Cleveland.
Normally a road game with the Cavs would be seen as potentially problematic, but Cleveland has been horrendous on the defensive side this year. It will be awfully annoying if they rise up and shut down the Dubs, but if you’re using logic, that doesn’t seem plausible. I have to use Curry tonight, as he’s in great form, the Cavs don’t defend and the PG position is otherwise quite bad.
SG: Tyrone Wallace – Los Angeles Clippers ($4.6k)
Austin Rivers is out again tonight and the Clippers refuse to hand Milos Teodosic a full complement of minutes, so Wallace is among their guards that should continue to see solid run. He’s logged 31+ minutes in 4 of his 5 games this year and also has a promising matchup with Eric Gordon likely guarding him for much of the night.
Wallace is still working to prove he even belongs in the NBA, so I still see his current price tag as a solid discount, provided the run remains steady. The Rockets provide an up tempo matchup at home and also rank just 26th versus shooting guards. Wallace has flashed some solid potential so far and I wouldn’t be shocked if he had a quality outing to cap this small main slate.
SG: Klay Thompson – Golden State Warriors ($6.7k)
Like everyone else, I really want Lou Williams tonight. However, as great as Sweet Lou has been, his price has sky-rocketed and there is enough value at SG to look elsewhere. More importantly, there really isn’t the same kind of value at other positions, so fading Lou might make a lot of sense on this small slate.
I note his upside and the revenge factor, but I may have to pivot to Thompson, who fired off 37 fantasy points the last time he faced the Cavs and can get hot in any situation. Cleveland has been horrible on defense all year, too, so Thompson’s usual 30+ fantasy points gets a boost here. Hopefully he can match Lou’s product and he costs me over $2k less.
SF: Gerald Green – Houston Rockets ($4.6k)
Green did not work out for me last time in a terrific spot against the Suns, but he still logged 33 minutes and pitched in a solid 12 actual points. I need a more explosive outing than that and some extra peripherals, but Houston’s offensive spark is still a great value play as long as James Harden remains out.
A potentially popular GPP strategy could be to pair LeBron James and Kevin Durant on this small slate, but I need value in some spots and Green offers elite upside. He can get very hot as a scorer, he’s playing a ton and the Clippers happen to rank dead last against small forwards. Sign me up.
SF: Kevin Durant – Golden State Warriors ($10.7k)
I need a stud small forward in at least one slot tonight. Paul George could fit into that equation, but he’s been a sad sack lately, pouring in 34 or fewer fantasy points in 4 straight games. I’m sure the second I pay $2.4k extra to get KD he’ll go nuts, but a slow-paced game against the Kings seems like a decent spot to fade him.
LeBron James is the other big SF name here, but he wasn’t great the last time he faced the Dubs and he’s been fairly weak overall (38 fantasy points or fewer in 3 of his last 5 games) lately. Maybe he gets up for this one and goes nuts, but I can get virtually the same DFS player (if not better) at $700 cheaper via KD.
Durant can go nuts in any matchup and he’s enjoyed facing the Cavs. He destroyed them during the NBA Finals this past summer and picked up where he left off on Christmas Day, notching a cool 51 fantasy points. I have no qualms about using him as one of my three studs and also saving a little cash in the process.
PF: Ryan Anderson – Houston Rockets ($4.5k)
I see no reason not to keep capitalizing on Rando these days, as he remains a great price and continues to get solid run. Aside from being a nice price, Anderson plays far better (+4.9 actual points per game) on the road and actually torched the Clippers (33.5 fantasy points) when he faced them earlier this season.
Blake Griffin isn’t always the greatest matchup, but as a whole the Clippers actually only rank 21st against power forwards. With DeAndre Jordan (ankle) also potentially out tonight, I like the chances for Rando to get a couple easy buckets and a few extra rebounds. Either way, he’s too cheap and has enough upside to assume the risk here.
PF: Jae Crowder – Cleveland Cavaliers ($3.9k)
I would love to find a way to fit in Blake Griffin tonight, but there are other studs I deem more necessary to own on this slate. PF isn’t too loaded behind him, though, so I’m wondering if he’ll be chalky and fading him could end up being the right move.
Griffin couldn’t even top 29 fantasy points in his last outing, while Houston is surprisingly stingy (4th) against power forwards this year. I’m not sure that sticks in this spot, but Griffin isn’t cheap and he’s often underwhelmed even in the best situations when I’ve used him.
I’m not sure any of this props up Crowder, but the Cavs included him in the Kyrie Irving trade arguably just for matchups like today, when they face a dynamic team that loves to run with a small lineup. I think that forces the Cavs to use Crowder a little more than usual tonight and considering he already sees 20-25 minutes most nights, I’m a fan of his upside.
Crowder also found success in this exact matchup earlier this season (26 fantasy points), and at this price a similar outing would return all the value I’d need.
C: Willie Reed – Los Angeles Clippers ($4.3k)
DJ has a bum ankle and is listed as questionable for tonight’s home tilt against the Rockets. If he is indeed out, Reed looks like one of the better value picks on the slate. He logged 26 minutes with 46 fantasy points his last time out and would have a palatable matchup against Houston (17th versus centers).
I’m not banking on him to be a stud here, but 25-30 minutes and double-double upside is quite interesting at this low price. The only other center I’m really drawn to is Kevin Love ($7k), who remains a good price, but has undeniably been frustrating to use in DFS tournaments lately.