Last night wasn’t perfect, but I did nail some solid NBA DFS picks. Nikola Jokic, Bradley Beal and Kevin Love were a solid core, while fading LeBron James was a good strategy (just 49 fantasy points). My team as a whole didn’t deliver, but the starting daily fantasy basketball strategy has you on the right path.
On Saturday you’re again asked to consider rostering some studs, as James Harden and Anthony Davis are quite expensive but look to be in very advantageous spots. My main strategy is to again fade these monsters. Both of these guys are super pricey and I think a more balanced roster is the key to chasing a big night down.
Let’s dive into my favorite GPP roster at FanDuel for Saturday night’s five-game slate:
PG: Lonzo Ball – Los Angeles Lakers ($7.6k)
I don’t really trust Dennis Smith Jr. in his first game back from injury and Rajon Rondo is out, so I think you’re paying up at point guard tonight or dropping way down. I do see D.J. Augustin and Cameron Payne as viable value picks (also, Elfrid Payton faces his former Magic team), but all roads lead me to paying up at PG.
That starts with Ball, who has been a peripherals machine pretty much all year. He is really struggling as a shooter right now and Memphis could slow this game down, but I just like the fact that he can excel even when he’s not scoring the rock. He’s not exactly cheap, but maybe some people will get scared off by his shooting and the less than ideal matchup.
PG: Kemba Walker – Charlotte Hornets ($9.1k)
This is not a great price for Walker (even though he’s been on fire), but that’s a big reason why I’m game for paying up for him tonight. Not only is he a fun hammer to cap this small slate and could possibly be contrarian, but he’s got a great matchup against a Dallas team that doesn’t stop point guards.
Walker is shredding as a scorer right now and is fresh off of a crazy game where he scored 46 actual points. You shouldn’t be demanding that in this spot, but I think he’s capable of another big game. It’s not about the price or gaudy expectations, though. There are a lot of landmines at PG tonight, so I’ll pay up for some safety and upside.
SG: Eric Gordon – Houston Rockets ($5.2k)
Chris Paul isn’t expected to play tonight, which should drive a ton of ownership toward James Harden. He failed in that exact same spot in his last game, though, so I’ll pull the fade like I did last time and pivot down to Gordon.
Gordon should start again and he may have some revenge in mind against his former Pelicans squad. Obviously Harden should wreck in this spot, but you need to pay almost $12k to roster him. I think Gordon could also slay a bad New Orleans defense and he costs $6.6k less. I’ll take the discount and run, hoping Harden doesn’t go completely nuts.
SG: Troy Daniels – Phoenix Suns ($3.7k)
Shooting guard is not a strong position tonight, but with Devin Booker and T.J. Warren both out, the Suns are going to need scoring help on the wings. Daniels has stepped up in that role lately, pouring in 18+ actual points in each of his last three games.
Daniels is in a solid groove as a scorer and he’s also getting nice run (28+ minutes in each of his last three outings). Tonight he draws a favorable matchup with a bad Magic defense, too. If this fast-paced game can stay close, he could be a gem at this low price tag.
SF: Harrison Barnes – Dallas Mavericks ($6.2k)
Barnes carries some risk just because Dallas could always rest him randomly, but if he’s out there I like the value with him at home against a fairly fast-paced Hornets team. Barnes doesn’t offer a ton of upside, but he tends to be rock solid and has topped 30+ fantasy points in six of his last 10 outings.
Small forward is awful tonight, so I’ll pay up for a little stability via Barnes.
SF: Josh Jackson – Phoenix Suns ($6.8k)
I’ll pay even more for Jackson, who is locked into a huge role with the injuries to the Suns right now. Jackson has flourished in a bigger scoring role, as he logs plenty of minutes and can blow up as a scorer.
It’s shown up on the NBA DFS level, as Jackson has topped 30+ fantasy points in four of his last five games. Much like teammate Daniels, he’s also got an amazing matchup in front of him.
PF: Kyle Kuzma – Los Angeles Lakers ($6.2k)
Brandon Ingram is still out, which means Kuz will again start for the Lake Show tonight. Kuzma has been fantastic lately, as he’s logged well over 30 minutes in each of his last seven games. During that stretch he’s stepped it up as a scorer, topping 20 actual points four times and registering 30+ fantasy points four different times.
Still a fine price and looking at a locked in offensive role, Kuz feels like an elite value on this slate.
PF: Bobby Portis – Chicago Bulls ($6.8k)
Anthony Davis needs to be looked at on this slate, but he’s costing nearly $13k and has a matchup with the Rockets that could easily go sour quickly. I’m sure he’ll go nuts, but I don’t feel inclined to pay for him on this slate.
If I’m fading The Brow, I need to feel good about the value at PF. Fortnately I do, as Portis, Aaron Gordon, Julius Randle and others could make fading Davis less of an issue. I really like Portis, as he’s $900 cheaper than Gordon/Randle and should be looking at a big role with Lauri Markkanen out tonight.
Portis is not exactly cheap and is still a risk, but I think that helps lower his ownership at a pretty stacked position.
C: Dwight Howard – Charlotte Hornets ($8.4k)
Howard is another elite hammer option to close out this tiny slate and he’ll be facing a weak Mavs front line. Howard served a suspension in his last game, but is otherwise fresh off of an insane 30-30 game. He is showing loads of upside these days and I love his price and potential for tonight.
Center is loaded with Andre Drummond leading the way, but there is a valid argument against a lot of these other options. I also like Clint Capela at a discount, but Howard feels rock solid and helps me close this slate out in style.
Overall, the main strategy here is to fade Harden and Brow. That saves me a lot of money and allows me to get some options that could easily beast out, but also help me balanced most of my roster. I am still taking some GPP risks here to get that balance, but they feel like calculated dives.
The goal is to gain an edge on the field tonight and as long as Harden and Brow don’t have ridiculous games against each other, this roster gives me the chance to do just that. Love/hate my NBA DFS picks for tonight? Let me hear it in the comments below!