Monday produced another solid run with my NBA DFS picks, as last night’s team totaled 294 points. Again, on a lot of slates, this is a score good enough to at least place, but I got burned badly by Blake Griffin (23.5) and Nemanja Bjelica (8!).
Had these two guys come close to their actual value, I would have been looking at a score over 320 and I certainly would have placed. Hopefully you pivoted from Bjelica to Michael Beasley and paid down below Griffin.
My daily fantasy basketball picks were not a complete waste, though. Terry Rozier (31), Trey Burke (62!), Josh Jackson (36), Kyle Kuzma (31) and Brook Lopez (46!) were all good to great. KCP (26.5) and Will Barton (27) performed below expectations, but were’t exactly crippling.
It was another mixed bag, but if you switched things up just slightly, you had a roster that cashed and perhaps even competed for a big prize.
This is a perfect time to remind you that my daily FanDuel lineups are not meant to be seen as optimal rosters. They’re to give you an idea of my favorite studs, values and whether or not paying up for elite options is even the best route. Overall, these picks formulate a sample lineup, but it’s always going to be up to you to make the final call.
That being said, I still think I can lend a helping hand and with another five strong picks last night showed that to be true. Let’s do it all over again for Tuesday night’s fun eight-game NBA DFS slate:
PG: Quinn Cook – Golden State Warriors ($6k)
This is some serious chalk, but with point guard not exactly amazing tonight, it’s not chalk I can fade. Cook is likely to suit up for this one despite a knee bruise and he’s just been crushing with Stephen Curry sidelined.
Cook has logged a ton of minutes and is at worst a lock for 30-35 minutes tonight. In what could be an up tempo showdown with the Indiana Pacers, Cook should vie for around 35 fantasy points.
PG: Goran Dragic – Miami Heat ($6.6k)
I have serious interest in Damian Lillard and CP3 tonight, but I expect both of those guys to be pretty popular. I intend to spend some cash elsewhere, so I’ll pay down at point guard, where there seems to be a lot of solid value.
Cook is an obvious value pick, but Dragic might go overlooked with all of the other options. He’s very much in play tonight, as he’s a solid price and has been fairly steady with 32+ fantasy points in four of his last six games. Dragic is a safe alternative to a lot of shaky cheap PG options and I like his matchup at home against a bad Cleveland defense.
SG: Eric Gordon – Houston Rockets ($5.6k)
James Harden is out tonight, so Gordon should continue seeing a big offensive role for the Rockets. Houston doesn’t have anything to play for really, but Gordon is still going to get around 30 minutes and will have the green light to hoist from long range.
The return of CP3 could put a mild damper on Gordon’s upside, but he’s facing a bad Bulls team he dropped 47 fantasy points on earlier this year. Sign me up for that.
SG: Nick Young – Golden State Warriors ($4.8k)
With Harden out, I really don’t feel the need to spend much at shooting guard. There are several tempting options, but I really like the value here. Swaggy P is a big reason why, as he’s locked into a huge scoring role with Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Kevin Durant all still out for the Warriors.
A date with a solid Indiana perimeter defense isn’t ideal, but I’m playing the volume game here. Young should play a lot and shoot a lot. At this price, I’m not asking for much for him to chase 30 fantasy points and I think he can get there.
SF: Giannis Antetokounmpo – Milwaukee Bucks ($11.2k)
The Greek Freak is my stud of choice. He’s over $1k cheaper than both LeBron James and Anthony Davis and has just as much upside. He needs to keep wrecking for the Bucks to hold onto their playoff spot (or move up), so I can’t see him pulling up lame in a favorable tilt against a bad Clippers defense.
I personally am never on the right side of Giannis, but he makes a lot of sense as the top stud on this slate. I’ll take my chances with him as my elite play and try to build a balanced roster around him.
SF: Harrison Barnes – Dallas Mavericks ($6.4k)
Part of said balance is not punting at SF. I also don’t want to pay up for King James or Otto Porter (vs. Spurs), but the cheap plays all give me nausea. I am fine with Barnes, who lacks elite upside but should provide a very nice floor in a solid matchup against a bad Kings team.
Barnes is a rest risk at this stage of the season, but if active he’s looking at 33-36 minutes and has a shot at 30-35 fantasy points. He’s averaging 29 fantasy points versus Sacramento through three games this year, so I don’t think that’s asking for a lot. If all goes well, he could vie for 40 fantasy points in this setting, too.
PF: Kevin Love – Cleveland Cavaliers ($8.1k)
I always hate fading The Brow, but he just doesn’t make sense for me on this slate. There isn’t enough fun value for me to pay up at more than one spot and I see Giannis as the best overall stud to target. If you disagree, switch things up as you see fit.
One main reason why I feel like I can get away with not rostering Davis is Love. Love is always going to be ready to dish out some revenge when he goes up against Kelly Olynyk (revenge reasons) and it’s easy to see that after he torched Miami for 56 fantasy points earlier this year.
The Heat do not have their big defensive stopper (Hassan Whiteside) on hand for this one, so I’m not really seeing a way Miami shuts Love down. Instead, he could keep his positive momentum going. The veteran big man has looked really good since returning from a hand injury, registering 36+ fantasy points in each of his last four contests.
I don’t know if Love will drop a 50-burger again, but he does have that upside and he’s looked fantastic. He’s always a double-double threat and tonight I think he’s a pretty safe play. I’ll be expecting 40-45 fantasy points out of him in this lineup.
PF: Ryan Anderson – Houston Rockets ($4k)
I have some serious interest in punting the other PF slot with Rando, who rested in Houston’s last game. He logged 34 points and delivered 27 fantasy points in the game before that, so I have every reason to believe with both James Harden and Clint Capela resting tonight, he should be quite busy.
Anderson never shows any hesitance to launch from long range and should be looking at around 30 minutes tonight, so he’s a worthwhile dive in a positive matchup against a bad Bulls squad.
C: Jusuf Nurkic – Portland Trail Blazers ($6.9k)
I have interest in Jonas Valanciunas and Myles Turner around this same price range, but my favorite dollar for dollar center play might be Nurkic. He did not crush the Pelicans earlier this year, but he should be needed in this one to try to contain Anthony Davis.
That could lead to some foul trouble, which is something I am hoping drive’s Nurk’s ownership down. He’s proven lately he has monster upside, though, as he’s piled up 41+ fantasy points in three of his last four games. Nurk Alert is a tough guy to trust, but he racks up stats and his main issue is wondering if he’ll get the run he needs to succeed. Tonight looks like a pretty good spot to bank on that happening.
Overall, I don’t think tonight is a great spot to completely fade studs. The small forward position is super top-heavy, so I think you need one of James or Giannis. LeBron James has a sketchy history against his former Miami team and he’s more expensive, so I think The Greek Freak is the easy call there.
Beyond that, I want to nail some value picks but also keep my lineup around Giannis pretty balanced. I think you need about 320 fantasy points in tournaments just to place tonight, and this team is capable of getting you there, and then some.
Conservative estimates place this lineup right around that area, while better than expected outings from guys like Gordon, Barnes, Love and Nurkic could really put this team in top level contention.
Again, if you have a different strategy, just take my picks with a grain of salt and make those tough calls as you see fit. Whatever you do, however, I wish you luck in tonight’s daily fantasy basketball GPPs at FanDuel!