I didn’t have any success in NBA DFS over the weekend, but I was close to winning big in daily fantasy football. A Rob Gronkowski concussion burned me pretty badly, while Case Keenum falling on his face also cratered a number of my teams.
NFL DFS is pretty much done, which means you can really start putting all of your energy in daily fantasy basketball with yours truly. That starts with a fun 9-game Monday slate, which features Anthony Davis and a slew of elite options.
There is already a ton of injury news to consider before building out your NBA DFS lineups, however. Giannis Antetokounmpo is out for the Bucks, while big names like Jimmy Butler, Goran Dragic, Kris Dunn and DeAndre Jordan appear in doubt, as well.
Be sure to stay up to date with the latest injury news, as I won’t always be able to come back and make changes to my NBA DFS picks. That being said, let’s dive into tonight’s slate with a look at my favorite studs and value picks:
PG: Ryan Arcidiacono – Chicago Bulls ($3.5k)
Kris Dunn will be out again tonight due to a concussion and I think there’s a solid chance that could mean for a big role for Ryan Arcidiacono. He looked quite useful in 22 minutes in his last game and with the Bulls looking to part ways with Jerian Grant, I wouldn’t be shocked to see them hand more run to Ryan tonight.
This is a risky play, but that’s the name of the game in a GPP setting. I also like Jeff Teague (especially if Jimmy Butler is out), but I want to load up at a few spots tonight and a hopefully increased role from Arcidiacono allows me to do that. Even if he only splits the point guard minutes again with Grant, he’s got a great matchup (Pelicans rank 20th against point guards) and his run should be safe in the event of a blowout.
PG: Eric Bledsoe – Milwaukee Bucks ($8.3k)
How do you not use Bleddy against his former team? Bledsoe hasn’t been shy about his disdain for the Phoenix Suns, while he dropped 30 actual points on them earlier this year in Phoenix. Throw in the absence of The Greek Freak and possibly even Malcolm Brogdon, and this is a lock for me.
Bledsoe underwhelmed the last time out and perhaps that gets some of the usual chalky ownership off of him. I’m not enthralled with paying over $10k for Chris Paul with James Harden back, anyways, so this feels like a solid value play for a guy who could go nuts tonight.
SG: Wayne Selden – Memphis Grizzlies ($3.9k)
Memphis is surely getting housed tonight against the Pelicans, but they’re also insanely banged up and will be on a short body count. As many as eight Grizz could be out tonight, so one way or another, Selden is looking at a huge role.
Most NBA DFS gamers will be wondering if he can deliver an encore after erupting for 31 actual points in his last game. I don’t anticipate that, but he could log 30+ minutes and will have the green light as a scorer. He’s also dirt cheap and the Pels rank 29th against shooting guards, so the matchup also looks strong on paper.
SG: Khris Middleton – Milwaukee Bucks ($8.6k)
I really love James Harden at $10.3k tonight for two reasons; that is really cheap given his upside and Middleton might be super chalky. Sometimes it pays to eat the chalk, though. Middleton saves you almost $2k at shooting guard and he’s an elite play against a bad Suns defense (dead last versus SG).
Devin Booker is an interesting pivot in that same price range, but Middleton is a very difficult fade. Not only did he post 54.8 fantasy points in his last game, but he dropped 40 actual points on the Suns in Phoenix earlier this year. If all goes well, everything runs through Bledsoe and Middleton tonight and that should be a very good thing.
SF: Nemanja Bjelica – Minnesota Timberwolves ($3.6k)
I like the idea of solid intermediate guys like Jeff Teague and Andrew Wiggins in the event Jimmy Butler (knee) sits out a second straight game, but in a GPP, I’ll target elite value via Bjelica. He started Minnesota’s last game and was decent (20 fantasy points in 26 minutes). He has excelled with big minutes in the past, too, while a date with the Clippers (dead last against small forwards) certainly is appealing.
Again, there is risk with deep dives like this, but there is also logic to it. I don’t want any part of Bjelica if a healthy Butler takes the court, but he can score the ball and should get solid run if Butler sits out again.
Update: Both Butler and Jamal Crawford have been ruled out, cementing this pick for me in GPPs.
SF: Joe Ingles – Utah Jazz ($5.3k)
I never feel amazing about Ingles, but Rodney Hood is out tonight and the guy is facing the Atlanta Hawks. Ingles is usually pretty steady, too, having put up 22+ fantasy points in 9 of his last 10 games. Atlanta is going to be far more concerned with stopping Donovan Mitchell, while the Hawks rank just 24th against small forwards.
This could be a good spot for Ingles to pop off a bit, while he comes into this one in solid form, having scored 21 actual points in his last outing. I like the matchup and potentially increased role, while Ingles has a solid floor at a very weak position tonight.
I also like Harrison Barnes quite a bit (31, 22 and 26 actual points vs. Wiz in last 3 meetings), but I’m finding it tough to get to him without forcing it.
PF: Anthony Davis – New Orleans Pelicans ($11.5k)
I have the worst luck with The Brow. He dropped 75 and 85 fantasy points in back to back games recently and then I used him over his next two games and he totaled 71 fantasy points. Add in the litany of times he’s “only” gotten me 40-45 fantasy points or he’s exited with an in-game injury, and it’s fair to say he’s burned me more than any other option I use in DFS.
Well, him and Kent Bazemore, Tony Parker and DeMarre Carroll. Those dudes have been maddening to roster over the years.
This is often why I shy away from him, but tonight I actually love him. I think his steep price and a matchup with the banged up Bulls draws down his ownership. That, and viable PF options like Blake Griffin and Ben Simmons are over $3k cheaper.
I like those guys in theory, but they don’t have the upside or matchup The Brow does. Chicago has actually been solid (12th) against power forwards this year, but they didn’t really have much of an answer for him earlier this year (27 and 16). I think he has his way again tonight and I’m hoping he goes a little overlooked with a lot of other stars on this slate.
PF: Blake Griffin – Los Angeles Clippers ($8.4k)
Griffin doesn’t have a great matchup on paper (Wolves rank 2nd vs. PF), but he has a massive role with all of the injuries in L.A. right now. He also should get a break with Minny’s defense being without Jimmy Butler.
That should have Griffin in attack mode at home. Besides, the guy has been pretty reliable lately, with 38+ fantasy points in 4 of his last 5 outings. I always love using Blake to close out a tourney team and tonight he feels like a fun try. Ben Simmons is also worth a look, but I’m not loving him on the road against a slow Memphis team.
C: Jusuf Nurkic – Portland Trail Blazers ($6.7k)
Denver is tough at home and Nikola Jokic is not an easy matchup, but I’m on Team Nurk Revenge tonight. Nurkic hates the Nuggets and has publicly admitted a trip back to Denver is far from “just another game”. He’s wrecked his former squad since joining Portland via trade last year, too, while point guard Damian Lillard has suggested the Blazers will go out of their way to help him have a good game.
The matchup isn’t elite, but Nurkic will be motivated, comes in at a good price and boasts strong upside. His run can be shaky, but he’ll be needed against Jokic and Portland will want him to have a big game. This could all make him chalky, but center is so loaded that I don’t think his ownership will be too obscene.
If you’re not down for Nurkic, paying up may be the way to go. Boogie or KAT would be the top guys worth paying for, while I’m not overly into the idea of paying over $10k for Joel Embiid to face off with Marc Gasol in Memphis.
If you want a fun punt play at center, consider Tyson Chandler. He’s seeing 22-28 minutes nightly and faces a Bucks team that gives up loads of production to even the most average big men.