Fading James Harden was a mistake. I tried to get a little creative with my NBA DFS picks last night, but honestly, even beyond Harden it was going to be awfully tough to take down a GPP.
I had a team with Harden on DraftKings and a slew of great plays, yet I barely cashed with 371 fantasy points. I was actually only 28 fantasy points from first place, though, so for a brief moment there I was feeling pretty optimistic.
Those huge 10-game slares often go that route. Your team is awesome, but so is everyone else’s.
Tonight should be different, but also really tricky. You get just four games to work with and they all sport fantastic Totals, but three of them could (should?) be blowouts.
I’m hesitant to bite on the point spreads for Pelicans vs. Thunder and Warriors vs. Wizards, but the Blazers not completely housing the Suns would be a shock.
The Timberwolves vs. Lakers game has the best combination of Total and spread, so that is probably one of the best spots to target players. I personally love the Warriors/Wiz game, though, and will hope other people look elsewhere due to the spread.
Per usual, don’t just blindly use this lineup if you don’t love it. I form these squads based on some of my favorite NBA DFS picks and also trying to be a bit contrarian. These teams are not meant for cash games and you also want to consider late player news as you finalize your roster.
For instance, Kyrie Irving was scratched last night and I didn’t mention Terry Rozier because I handed out my lineup before that news broke. Use this team as a starting point and go from there. Let’s get to it:
PG: Stephen Curry – Golden State Warriors ($9.8k)
Russell Westbrook is the top point guard on this slate, but OKC is also the biggest favorite of the night. It should also tell you something that our Thunder vs. Pelicans pick favors OKC.
If we’re to believe the Thunder house the visiting Pelicans, paying up for Russ makes little sense.
That could help him be low-owned, but I just love the value with Chef Curry at over $2k less. He’s a great stud to build around and I’ll be hoping the Wiz show up to make the Dubs’ starters play the entire game.
PG: Tomas Satoransky – Washington Wizards ($6k)
I believe two things on a small slate like this; you can really just use anyone you like but stacking the right game could give you a massive edge.
If I’m rolling with the Dubs, running it back with a Wiz player or two makes a lot of sense. Curry isn’t known for his defense and the Dubs will be far more concerned with Bradley Beal, so I wouldn’t be shocked for Satoransky to get it going a bit in this one.
He’s a good price, but I honestly have my eye on a lot of point guards tonight. Rajon Rondo is viable if he’s back and not limited, Jeff Teague is worth a look if he returns (Derrick Rose is if he doesn’t) and even Elfrid Payton is on the table due to his price tag.
You can also pay for for Westbrook and hope his game stays close and/or he’s somehow contrarian.
SG: C.J. McCollum – Portland Trail Blazers ($6.6k)
The main reason why the Blazers aren’t favored by 100 tonight is because Damian Lillard is currently listed as questionable. He’s obviously in play at PG if he’s in, but I hope he sits out so I can roster McCollum.
McCollum has a greatly enhanced role when Thrillard is off the floor, so at this price he’s a core play. Due to the matchup and a lack of amazing shooting guard options, that may be the case regardless.
SG: Terrance Ferguson – Oklahoma City Thunder ($4.1k)
Welcome to my punt play for tonight. Ferguson has actually been playing really well for OKC and few things beat a date with a terrible New Orleans defense.
There isn’t a huge argument for Ferguson, but he’s cheap and helps me get the roster I covet.
SF: Kevin Durant – Golden State Warriors ($9.5k)
If people are going to spend their money on Russ, KAT and other studs, there’s a chance one of the top Warriors players will be contrarian.
Hopefully that’s the case, but Curry and KD are both too cheap to ignore right now and they also can top 50+ fantasy points in the same game any night. He feels like an elite pivot away from PG-13, who is $1.3k more tonight.
SF: Brandon Ingram – Los Angeles Lakers ($6.6k)
LeBron James and Lonzo Ball are still out, so Ingram is looking at a big role and plenty of minutes. The matchup with the Timberwolves is solid and if Rondo returns Ingram might get some easier looks.
Ingram is a pretty nice value at a top-heavy SF position. He’s a core play for me based on price and matchup.
Looking for a punt? Nikola Mirotic got banged up last night and could sit out. If so, E’Twaun Moore or any of the Pelicans small forwards could be worth a deep dive.
PF: Dragan Bender – Phoenix Suns ($4.6k)
Bender could again be in line for a start and a big role, as both Deandre Ayton and Richaun Holmes are iffy to suit up tonight.
The matchup with Jusuf Nurkic isn’t great, but Bender has recorded two straight double-doubles and may get all of the minutes he can handle. He’s still too cheap to ignore if that’s the case.
PF: Kyle Kuzma – Los Angeles Lakers ($7.1k)
Julius Randle is the top spend, but he costs a bit too much for me at the moment. I’d much rather save $1.8k and use Kuz, who continues to be locked into a huge scoring role with all of the injuries in L.A.
Kuzma is actually a really nice price and the matchup with Minnesota at home also looks good. Draymond Green is a fine pivot down to get you $500 extra if you need it.
C: Jahlil Okafor – New Orleans Pelicans ($5.5k)
Okafor was a smash hit for me last night (42 fantasy points), but I vouched for him on a night where all of the expensive centers went ham. He still could have been a key piece to a winning team and I think that’s possible again tonight.
The way I see it, it’s not about thinking Okafor is a superior play over Karl-Anthony Towns or Jusuf Nurkic. It’s that Okafor can get me 35-40 fantasy points at a spot where a point guard or shooting guard in a similar price range probably can’t.
I try to think about the lineup as a whole in GPPs, which is why KAT is not a must for me tonight. Obviously he should wreck the Lakers, but loading up the right value plays could be key.
Anthony Davis is still out with a hand issue and Okafor has gone nuts in each of his last two starts with him out. Feasting on Steven Adams won’t be easy, but Okafor is still too cheap for me not to use him here.
Overall, I love the value on this slate. Usually that pertains to lower-end options, but the stud and intermediate value is what excites me the most.
A lot of people will go right to Russ, PG-13, KAT and Beal and not think twice. Those guys are all going to work out just fine and might even be some of the best NBA DFS picks on this slate. However, can you get the right combination and still make a complete team around them?
That’s always the big question. Tonight, I don’t see a point in paying for Russ when Steph is $2k less. I don’t see the purpose of PG-13 when KD saves me $1.3k. And I don’t know if I can pay for Beal when McCollum is over $3k less and possibly has a monster role.
As always, news will trickle out throughout the day and change things. Allow that to alter your lineup as you see fit. Either way, hopefully I help you in some way. Good luck and enjoy the games!