Wednesday’s daily fantasy basketball slate is going to be very interesting. Kyrie Irving has already been ruled out and takes one elite option off the board and this was already a schedule absent of big name talent.
Anthony Davis still won’t play, either, so every Pelicans spare you can name off the top of your head is in play. That mostly leaves Nikola Jokic, Karl-Anthony Towns, Luka Doncic, Jrue Holiday and Damian Lillard as the only plausible “elite” options.
You might need one of them (or two?) to do major damage in any FanDuel GPPs and right now my top pick is Jokic. There is enough value to get you to him comfortably. You just need to decide if you prefer to pay up for him or save with the likes of Rudy Gobert, Jusuf Nurkic or even Jahlil Okafor.
I’m tempted by the latter, but in the end Jokic is in the best spot of anyone on the night. I’ll build around him and see if I can’t climb the ladder tonight. Join me as I break down some of my favorite NBA DFS picks:
PG: Terry Rozier – Boston Celtics ($6.5k)
Rozier again looks like must-own chalk with Kyrie Irving ruled out for the second game in a row. He was solid last time out with almost 40 fantasy points and typically does well with an enhanced role.
The only issue is Rozier’s price has risen quite a bit and everyone will be on him. This is honestly not a bad spot to pivot off of him and pay up at point guard when most people will be trying to pay down. I just happen to want the savings at point guard.
Damian Lillard, De’Aaron Fox and Trae Young are your best “pricey” point guard plays if you want to get away from Rozier tonight.
PG: Jerryd Bayless – Minnesota Timberwolves ($5k)
Ditto for Bayless, who is locked into a huge role with all of Minnesota’s other three point guards sidelined with injuries. Derrick Rose hasn’t been officially declared out as I write this, but it’s unlikely he suits up.
The matchup is bad against the Grizzlies, but Bayless is again looking at all the run he can handle and he’s dirt cheap.
SG: Jaylen Brown – Boston Celtics ($4.7k)
Shooting guard is one of the few spots we actually can feel good about paying up tonight, but I’ll eat more value out of Boston. Brown tends to score the ball well when Irving is off the floor and he’s probably too cheap to fade.
If you have to pick between Brown and Rozier, I’ll side with the savings here.
SG: Buddy Hield – Sacramento Kings ($6.5k)
Hield looks like a solid value and he gets a bad (and fast) Hawks team, so he looks like a fine try. That being said, fading Luka Doncic, Jrue Holiday, Bradley Beal and Donovan Mitchell does feel like a risky strategy.
If you must spend here, I like Jrue the most in terms of role and overall upside. Howard, Doncic at $9.8k as a potentially contrarian play in the iconic MSG is super tough to bypass.
SF: Will Barton – Denver Nuggets ($6.5k)
Barton has a dream matchup and is too cheap given his role and upside. The continued absence of point guard Jamal Murray also helps, while Gary Harris (questionable) might sit this one out.
Barton is an elite play at a truly abhorrent small forward position tonight.
SF: Darius Miller – New Orleans Pelicans ($4.2k)
Normally I wouldn’t be on Miller so much, but he’s cheap and the Pelicans have a slew of dead bodies on their roster.
Thanks to his locked-in run, Miller has topped 30+ fantasy points in two of his last three contests. The matchup with Denver is bad, but he’s at home and should play a ton.
PF: John Collins – Atlanta Hawks ($8k)
Power forward isn’t exactly loaded, so I don’t mind paying for the top option in Collins. He has a solid floor and decent upside, while the matchup against a bad Kings interior defense bodes well.
PF: Lauri Markkanen – Chicago Bulls ($7.4k)
I’m also down for Markkanen, who could see an even bigger role than usual with Zach LaVine possibly sidelined. I like him regardless, but I can see the lack of interest with him being on the road against the Heat.
Looking to save here? Drop all the way down to Kenrich Williams ($3.6k), who snatched 16 rebounds in his last game and could easily end up being the top punt of the slate. I prefer stability at both PF spots, but if you want that second stud (likely at SG), punting here does make sense.
C: Nikola Jokic – Denver Nuggets ($11.2k)
The Joker is the top stud tonight, but he won’t come cheaply and a blowout win over the Pels is obviously on the table. If this game stays close, though, there might not be another option that can touch him.
Jokic should feast on a dying New Orleans roster, but thanks to injuries and Denver’s team struggles away from home, I think he’s an underrated spend tonight. If Jokic is somehow contrarian, he’s a must in my eyes.
Jusuf Nurkic is iffy for tonight, so this decisions becomes a tad easier. To be frank, the only pivot play here is Jahlil Okafor. He’s facing Jokic, though, so it’s quite possible his awesome run finally hits a wall.
It all starts with Jokic for me. From there, I’ll eat a little chalk and then try to go balanced as much as possible.
I hate the idea of fading several gems at both guard spots, but the toughest thing to remember every night is the reality that you simply can’t roster everyone.
I’m not getting myself too caught up in ownership. Instead, I’m focusing on solid values in great spots and trying to be honest with the studs I simply can’t afford to go away from.
Whether you’re with me on tonight’s daily fantasy basketball picks or not, I wish you luck. Stat warm out there and enjoy the games!