Another daily fantasy basketball slate was ruined before it started. I was tending to a sick baby and wasn’t able to get to my lineup before lock, leaving the corpse of Tim Hardaway Jr. to drag my roster into the depths of sorrow.
THJ was a late scratch and in turn, burned a hole into my NBA DFS picks. The news did apparently come out enough before tip off for you to make the switch, however, so hopefully (sans sick baby) you were able to do that. Needless to say, THJ’s goose egg won’t be counted in my daily fantasy basketball picks recap.
It’s maddening, nonetheless.
That aside, my picks last night weren’t half bad. Jarrett Jack, Andre Roberson and Nemanja Bjelica were all logical value plays and all three got 23+ fantasy points. There’s nothing to hate there, while Markieff Morris was the gem of the night (36 fantasy points!). He actually ended up being super chalky, but that was still a great call.
Most of my studs panned out, too. Stephen Curry notched 51.5 fantasy points, KAT nearly hit 50 (15% ownership!) and Paul George was fine enough with 34 fantasy points. Kristaps Porzingis was kind of spare (31), but he also wasn’t crippling.
I opted to pay down at SG last night and it backfired horribly. Bradley Beal laughed in the face of a staunch OKC defense and erupted for 66 fantasy points. I know the guy can score, but he is no king of peripherals and that matchup was not one to target. His 12 rebounds and 7 dimes came out of virtually nowhere.
Can you tell I’m annoyed?
Still, maybe if you caught the THJ news it got you onto Brad in the end. I hope that’s the case and maybe you had enough sense to get off of Zinger due to late injury confirmation, as well. Overall, this really wasn’t a bad batch. Kieff was a terrific value pick and both Curry and KAT were gold.
Long-winded recap out of the way, there is more work to be done on Friday, where DFS gamers get a huge 10-game slate. There is a little more room for error on this slate and there should also be way more value. Let’s dive in with my favorite FanDuel NBA DFS picks:
PG: Darren Collison – Indiana Pacers ($5.4k)
Collison is due back after a one-game absence and he faces a terrible Cavaliers defense. I know Collison is rarely easy to trust, but he’s still seeing 27-30 minutes most nights and carved Cleveland up (34 fantasy points) back on the 12th. I don’t feel a real need to pay up at point guard tonight due to solid value and Collison is a big reason why.
You can also look at Ricky Rubio and Dejounte Murray if you’re looking to save cash at the point.
PG: Jarrett Jack – New York Knicks ($4.9k)
Speaking of good matchups, Jack and the Knicks head to the desert to battle the Phoenix Suns on Friday night. Phoenix is awful defensively, but they happen to rank dead last at stopping point guards. New York did just play last night and Jack isn’t the safest play ever, but the matchup and value are tough to pass up.
Again, I’m personally not enthralled with the point guard position up top tonight. Obviously Chris Paul, Damian Lillard, Kyle Lowry and Kemba Walker are worth a look, but I want to spend money elsewhere on this slate.
SG: Devin Booker – Phoenix Suns ($8k)
Booker looks like a fun intermediate option to pay up for tonight. He does draw Courtney Lee defense in a matchup with the Knicks, but he tends to be fairly matchup proof due to sheer volume. I don’t hate the price here, especially since Booker (34 actual points) had no problem working the New York defense earlier this year.
SG: Zach LaVine – Chicago Bulls ($5.4k)
My favorite value pick on this entire slate is LaVine, who crushed in his last game and projects to do so again at home against the Lakers. LaVine has to contend with Kentavious Caldwell-Pope defense, but in all, the Lake Show rank just 21st against shooting guards.
Volume is in LaVine’s favor here, while the Bulls had suggested his 24-minute restriction will spike to 26-28 minutes for this game. I can’t pass on added exposure to such an explosive DFS option – especially not at this cheap price.
SF: LeBron James – Cleveland Cavaliers ($10.9k)
King James is my stud of choice on what is shockingly a fairly straight forward slate for me. I get the love for James Harden and others, but looking at price, James offers the most value. Indiana is not an ideal matchup against small forwards when you look at the numbers, but the Pacers as a whole (15th) are not scary defensively.
Indy has actually had Cleveland’s number this year and the Cavs have been struggling, but James should be motivated to play well. Besides, he dropped 60 fantasy points against them in their last meeting, so I have no real reason to be worried here.
I want James, but it’s important to note that SF is also awful. Giannis Antetokounmpo is hopefully the chalk play against the Nets. He costs more and is coming off of some rest due to a knee issue, though, so hopefully he’s high-owned and fails to deliver.
SF: Brandon Ingram – Los Angeles Lakers ($5.8k)
Ingram is working his way back to full strength, but he logged 33 minutes in his last game and should be good to go against Chicago. This projects as a fun game on this slate, while the Bulls are not good defensively and rank just 19th against small forwards.
When healthy, Ingram has been L.A.’s most reliable offensive weapon this year. I think it’ll be awesome if he pays off and also negatively impacts the production of Jordan Clarkson. That’s the plan, at least.
PF: Kyle Kuzma – Los Angeles Lakers ($5.6k)
I am double-dipping with some Laker love here, as Kuz looked good in his last game and has a positive matchup in Chicago (Bulls rank 17th vs. PFs). Kuzma is coming off the bench these days, but he can explode anytime out and sees around 26-28 minutes most games.
I like his matchup and as noted, I want some exposure to a game featuring two up tempo teams (both top 12 in pace) in a tight contest (-4 spread) with a gaudy 221 Total.
PF: Lauri Markkanen – Chicago Bulls ($6.6k)
I’m doing it again, as Lauri gets me exposure to two Bulls scorers and four players overall in what could easily end up being the game of the night. Markkanen is still hit or miss at times, but he starts, approaches 30 minutes most games and has been playing well.
On top of his talent, role and recent form, Markkanen has an awesome matchup against a Lakers defense that doesn’t have much of an answer (22nd) against power forwards.
C: Kevin Love – Cleveland Cavaliers ($7.1k)
Love isn’t going to get a ton of ownership due to the Cavs struggling and his desire being held in question recently. This play could be contrarian, but it probably shouldn’t be since he’s been slid back to his more natural power forward spot and also faces a shaky Pacers defense.
Love dropped a nice 21 and 11 double-double on the Pacers the last time he faced them and has quietly averaged over 38 fantasy points against them on the year. I’ll be rather shocked if he can’t return value against them again tonight.
Overall, one of my favorite games to attack on this loaded slate is the Bulls vs. Lakers contests, while I also want a hand in Cleveland getting back on track a bit. Other games that deserve your attention are the Knicks vs. Suns battle (218 Total), Rockets vs. Pelicans and possibly the Nets vs. Bucks.