It’s not often that your NBA DFS team tops 300 point and doesn’t even place. That’s what happened on a wild Saturday night slate, however.
I actually had a pretty good team in place. Dwight Howard put up 50 fantasy points, Kyle Kuzma poured in 45 and six of my picks in all topped at least 31 fantasy points. Harrison Barnes wasn’t amazing (28), but even he was pretty decent.
My team just didn’t explode enough to compete even in a single entry tourney, while Troy Daniels (14.8) and Bobby Portis (20) greatly disappointed in very advantageous settings.
The final result was far from ideal, but I can’t ever complain with seven out of nine guys topping 28+ fantasy points and my team eclipsing 300 as a whole. When that happens and you don’t even place, it just wasn’t in the cards for you to win big.
That’s a bummer, but the fastest way to move on is to look at Sunday’s main daily fantasy basketball slate and try again.
With just two obvious elite options on the board tonight, I am again flirting with the idea of just going balanced and hoping the top studs don’t go crazy. That’s one thought, but perhaps this is the night James Harden finally goes nuts with CP3 on the bench:
PG: Quinn Cook – Golden State Warriors ($5.6k)
Cook might be 60% owned on this slate, but that won’t get me off of him. He was crushing with Stephen Curry out before (20+ actual points in three straight games) and still put up 33.6 fantasy points in 31 minutes upon his return.
Steph is down for the count (knee) again and every other regular Golden State starter is sidelined tonight. Dial Cook up for possibly 40 minutes of action. I know a date with Utah isn’t ideal, but floor time and volume account for a lot. He’s the type of chalk I’ll eat gladly across all NBA DFS formats.
PG: Trey Burke – New York Knicks ($4.5k)
I originally was into Terry Rozier or Ricky Rubio here and I still like them a lot. However, Rozier has been pretty weak lately and Rubio can fall on his face at any point.
Burke will be starting for the Knicks tonight and gets to face one of his former squads. Not only is he (hopefully) locked into a big role, but he could also have some revenge on the brain. He’s always been a fine scorer, but he’s been playing very well lately. With an enhanced role and a dirt cheap price tag, he’s worth the dive tonight.
SG: James Harden – Houston Rockets ($11.8k)
I think tonight is a fine spot to go balanced, but I want one stud and that’s going to be Harden. I think Russell Westbrook is very much in play as well, but he’s got a tougher matchup on his hands.
I am really hoping other DFS players get scared off of Harden for three reasons: Russ is there for the taking, Harden has not gone off lately and he also could easily be in a blowout against a bad Hawks team.
I do fear the latter, but with Chris Paul out, I’m banking on this finally being that big James Harden explosion everyone craves. Hopefully ownership is either off the studs or more geared toward Russ.
SG: Donovan Mitchell – Utah Jazz ($8k)
While I love Harden and am using him, I think you can get away with just going right down the middle at SG tonight. One reason is Mitchell, who popped off for 51 fantasy points in his last outing and faces a banged up Warriors team tonight.
You also can choose from a loaded position with DeMar DeRozan, Bradley Beal, C.J. McCollum and Lou Williams are waiting to wreck. It’d be just my luck for Harden to go spare again and literally all of these guys match or exceed him, but I have to take a risk at some point.
Either way, I love Mitchell right now and with him being a bit more expensive than the other guys at SG, there is some hope he’ll be a little under owned.
SF: Andre Iguodala – Golden State Warriors ($5.5k)
Kevin Durant and pretty much every important Warriors player is out tonight, so I’ll take a dive at SF with Iggy. He is always at risk of being scratched at the last second, so even with so many deaths in Golden State, I think there is a great chance his ownership is pretty low.
His matchup with the Jazz stinks but he’s at home and could take on a bigger role than usual with so many guys out.
SF: Paul George – Oklahoma City Thunder ($7.9k)
Small forward is garbage tonight. I really don’t hate the idea of paying down, but I think this could be a good spot for PG-13 to sound off. A lot of ownership could be directed at Russ tonight, but the Blazers are really good at defending up front and down low.
One spot they have not been elite against is small forward, while George has put up over 36 fantasy points per game against them across three meetings this year. With Russ hopefully slowed down in this one, I’m hoping PG-13 can pop off a bit. I doubt his ownership will be super low, but I like the discount and safety he gives me here.
PF: Kevon Looney – Golden State Warriors ($4.6k)
Power forward is without a doubt the worst position on the board tonight. Draymond Green is out, which leaves Tobias Harris as the best overall option here. He’s a fine try, but he’s a bit pricey for my liking. Instead, I’ll roll the dice with Looney, who is gaining the trust of the Dubs coaching staff.
Golden State needs guys to log minutes with so many viable players sidelined, so Looney feels locked into 20+ minutes per game. Regardless of how Sunday’s tilt with the Jazz goes, I think he’ll be busy and could potentially smash this price tag.
PF: Jordan Bell – Golden State Warriors ($5k)
The same goes for Bell, so I’m just throwing caution to the wind here and using my fourth Warrior and double-stacking the position. Again, PF is brutal tonight, so I don’t mind thinking a bit outside the box.
I think a lot of people will feel weird about using two Warriors power forwards, but both of these guys can do a lot in limited action, yet seem locked into 20+ minute roles. If Green were playing I wouldn’t be doing this, but he’s out so this is a viable strategy.
C: Clint Capela – Houston Rockets ($7.1k)
I’ll close this out with Capela, who I always consider anytime the matchup makes sense. He’s been a bit of a sad sack for a while, but finally woke up with a crazy 64-point fantasy outing. I don’t know if he’ll do that again tonight, but he does have a pretty good matchup in front of him against a bad Hawks team.
Capela can crush in limited action and can do so via points, rebounds and blocks. Hopefully he gets swat-happy tonight as he and Harden help the Rockets to a win.
Overall, I really like the balanced/studless approach, but I can’t fight the feeling that this is the night where Harden finally pays off. CP3’s absence makes it quite the logical angle and it simply needs to happen and this lineup could really go places.
If you’re not down for Harden, just drop down to DMR and then spend up elsewhere (perhaps at PF for Tobias). Whatever you do, hopefully my NBA DFS picks help you figure your own teams out or even assist you in winning cash. Regardless, good luck in your daily fantasy basketball contests tonight!