FanDuel NBA DFS Picks – January 2nd

Last time out I gaffed by fading James Harden. I know he’d been on a tear and without CP3 he was a smash play, but there were other studs to consider and a pace-down matchup against Memphis simply wasn’t appealing.

It was the wrong play. Even worse, my top stud of choice (Anthony Davis) got scratched late in the night and didn’t even play.

I still had some solid NBA DFS picks, but it probably didn’t matter if you rostered The Brow and/or faded Harden.

We can lick our wounds on Wednesday, though, as FanDuel pushes out a big nine-game main slate. Let’s dive in and see what my favorite NBA DFS lineup looks like for GPPs tonight:

PG: Terry Rozier – Boston Celtics ($4.3k)

Kyrie Irving is out tonight, so welcome to Rozier Chalk Night. That can be a scary thing, but he’s just way too cheap and he’ll have a good matchup in front of him. He’s a core lineup play for me tonight and if he doesn’t work out, it’s whatever.

Tyus Jones and Tomas Satoransky are also very much in play thanks to injuries on their respective squads, but Rozier is about $2k cheaper than both of them. You can go cheap at PG tonight, but I’m going to pay up at the second spot.

PG: Russell Westbrook – Oklahoma City Thunder ($12k)

This feels like a fine slate to pay up for Russ. He gets a money matchup against a fast-paced Lakers team and since there’s no King James and it’s in La La Land, this one could stay close.

There isn’t a better late-game hammer out there, so hopefully Russ goes nuts and other people go value at PG or try someone else like Kemba Walker.

SG: Jaylen Brown – Boston Celtics ($4.5k)

I think we can dive in a little more with the Boston value plays on this slate. Not only is Irving out and opening things up for the rest of the offense, but the Celtics are also at home against a Minnesota squad that ranks 12th in pace and 20th in defensive efficiency.

The biggest absence for the T’Wolves is undoubtedly defensive perimeter ace, Robert Covington:

Without him, Minnesota’s defense goes in the tank and they’re bound to give up points in this one. Stacking Celtics spares isn’t without risk, but they offer value and upside. It’s a strategy I’m rolling with tonight.

SG: Josh Okogie – Minnesota Timberwolves ($3.9k)

Okogie is a solid rookie that is in this same Wolves/Celtics game and figures to be handed a big role tonight. This is more of a price play for me, but Okogie has flashed potential at times this year and is bound to get run in this setting.

SF: Mikal Bridges – Phoenix Suns ($4.4k)

Bridges is probably my true “punt” of this slate, but he’s getting all kinds of run for the tanking Suns.

He’s still a good price for a quality young talent that is locked into 30-35 minutes most night and he also happens to get a second crack at the team that originally drafted him and ultimately traded him on draft night.

SF: Gordon Hayward – Boston Celtics ($5.3k)

Hayward is not in good form, as he’s coming off of a game where he didn’t score any points. His run and production haven’t been reliable, but his price has come down quite a bit and he is very much in play with Kyrie Irving sitting this one out tonight.

This feels like a solid opportunity for Boston to try to get a lot of their guys going and stacking Rozier/Jaylen/Hayward feels like a good way to save cash and get easy points.

As noted, this is a strong matchup at home and the Celtics need to make up for Irving’s play-making and scoring. Rozier is the top stand alone value play tonight for Boston, but I don’t mind cramming in two more Celtics to get the team I want.

The good news is this is a big slate, so if you’re not high on Brown and/or Hayward, pivot as needed.

PF: Anthony Davis – New Orleans Pelicans ($12.7k)

The Brow burned us on Monday, but he was sick and is expected to return to the hardwood tonight:

If he does, he may be a must against a Nets defense that simply can’t stop centers.

Davis has been a monster lately (and always) and with all of the value helping to open things up on this slate, I think paying up for both him and Westbrook is pretty doable. If it’s somehow contrarian, all the better.

PF: Kyle Kuzma – Los Angeles Lakers ($7.4k)

I love power forward tonight. I actually think it’s possible to get away with fading The Brow if some of the intermediate options work out. I just don’t think that’s the direction I want to go in.

That being said, Lauri Markkanen, Aaron Gordon, Jayson Tatum, Wendell Carter and Kyle Kuzma all look like fantastic options. Of them all, I prefer Kuz, who should continue to see a big role with LeBron James still sidelined.

I also like Brandon Ingram for the Lakers, but he’s not a core play for me tonight like Kuz is. Unlike Ingram, Kuz won’t be defended by Paul George and he’s a superior shooter and rebounder. I think he’s got a clearer path to success, while OKC happens to struggle the most against power forwards on the year.

The Kuz/Russ pairing feels like a great way to cap this slate and if you want to stack this Thunder/Lakers game (229.5 Total at as a whole, don’t let anyone talk you out of it.

C: Willy Hernangomez – Charlotte Hornets ($5.4k)

Joel Embiid against the Suns or KAT with dead bodies in Minnesota both are attractive plays. But #FreeWilly is getting the start with Cody Zeller out and I can’t ignore the value and upside here.

Hernangomez is a PER monster (44 fantasy points per 36 minutes when Zeller sits) when he’s dialed in and while tonight’s matchup against the Mavericks isn’t great on paper, I think he can do enough to make using him worthwhile.


Some of my plays are pure pricing plays, some are pure role plays and others are just upside plays. I don’t feel great about fading either Russ or Brow tonight, so I think I’m just not going to do it.

Pairing them gives this NBA DFS lineup monster upside and every value play that allows me to do that is backed by a good price, upside and/or logic. It’s not going to be easy to take down a big GPP on a big slate like this, but I think you’re probably going to need one (or both) of Russ/Brow to do it.

Looking to save cash and still want to aim high? Considering paying for guys like Joel Embiid, KAT, PG-13 and/or Bradley Beal instead of Russ/Brow.

Whatever you do, hopefully my NBA DFS picks serve you well. Hopefully we’re back here tomorrow talking about how money this lineup was. Either way, good luck and enjoy the games!