Last night’s NBA DFS picks didn’t go quite as planned. The Suns were a mess in OKC and pivoting from Dennis Schroder and PG-13 to Kawhi Leonard and Luka Doncic didn’t deliver desirable production.
It was a gaffe all around, but luckily I can start over with Tuesday’s three-game daily fantasy basketball slate at FanDuel.
The options are limited tonight, but sometimes that makes the lineup building process easier. Keep in mind that Stephen Curry is again sidelined. With that, let’s dive into my favorite daily fantasy basketball picks for Tuesday’s main slate at FanDuel:
PG: Quinn Cook – Golden State Warriors ($5.8k)
Cook’s run wasn’t great last night, but Stephen Curry remains out and he’s in a favorable spot at home against the Hawks. Anytime you can get a guy at a solid price against Trae Young, you need to consider it.
Kemba Walker is the top point guard on this slate, but he’s been coming back to earth a bit lately from a NBA DFS perspective. I also like the Hornets to blow the Cavs out tonight, so stacking Charlotte starters really isn’t something I’m going out of my way to do.
That doesn’t necessarily make Kemba a bad play and there’s also CP3 to consider, but I don’t think these are the guys we want to pay top dollar for on a small slate.
PG: Tony Parker – Charlotte Hornets ($4.3k)
While I’m not into the Hornets starters, I do like some of their backups that could see good run in a potential blowout. Parker gets solid minutes no matter what, though, and has been producing with three games of 23+ fantasy points in his last six contests.
Parker is a dart throw, but the Cavs don’t defend and a blowout is a very real possibility. He could be looking at 25+ minutes and given his recent form that may project to a solid fantasy outing.
There is also Trae Young, Jamal Murray and Collin Sexton on this slate, but pretty much everyone beyond the top two options are fairly volatile. If I’m risking it, why not save cash and load up with more reliable studs elsewhere? That’s my daily fantasy basketball strategy tonight.
SG: James Harden – Houston Rockets ($11.5k)
Harden will see Gary Harris defense tonight, but I don’t really care. Everyone knows this guys is matchup proof and he’ll have to come in locked and loaded with Houston looking like a +150 underdog on the road. The Nuggets are a bad matchup, but Harden dropped 40 real points in his last game and he may have to do so again.
The other big thing is there are not any other shooting guards that can realistically meet Harden’s ceiling tonight. Klay Thompson and Gary Harris wouldn’t be a bad pairing, but both guys are mostly known for scoring. I’ll aim a little higher tonight and hope the other SG options struggle to deliver.
SG: David Nwaba – Cleveland Cavaliers ($3.5k)
I also like Malik Monk here in the name of savings, but man are the Cavs battered right now. They just don’t have many bodies, as George Hill, Kyle Korver, Cedi Osman and Sam Dekker are all for sure out tonight and J.R. Smith has been battling an illness.
Logic suggests there are some minutes to be had on the wing and Nwaba has already hit the floor for 13 and 17 minutes over his last two games. He’s far from an elite talent, but he’s a fine two-way player and is just too cheap if there’s a chance he could soak up 20-25 minutes tonight.
He’s a candidate for “lowest score dropped”, but he’s also the bare minimum at a weak position. He’s a lock for me in GPPs.
SF: Kevin Durant – Golden State Warriors ($11.8k)
It will be interesting to see if the Dubs rest anyone after an overtime battle last night, but I doubt KD would be the guy to sit. He has monster upside with Stephen Curry sidelined and is fresh off of a nasty 66-point fantasy outing. I made the mistake of fading him last night and won’t be doing that again.
Much like Harden, there simply aren’t any SF options with the same ceiling as Durant, let alone the same floor. Taurean Prince is really the only other guy I’d consider when it comes to the pricier small forwards, but I’m not feeling obliged to try him out in this matchup (Dubs favored by -13.5).
SF: James Ennis – Houston Rockets ($3.5k)
I think the good move is to pay up for KD and punt the other SF slot. You don’t have to roll the dice on Ennis, but let’s consider three things; Melo is gone, P.J. Tucker is sick and Ennis is already logging 20+ minutes per game.
Houston needs him right now and while he hasn’t been producing, floor time is pretty important when you factor in price. I think he’s my worst play of this lineup, so if he is my dropped score I really won’t be shocked or too worried about it. If he plays well and is a hit, he’ll only make my team that much better.
PF: Gary Clark – Houston Rockets ($5.1k)
The logic is the same with Clark as it is with Ennis. The Rockets need help right now and they’re handing the rookie well over 20 minutes per game (32 in his last outing). P.J. Tucker is a cheaper pivot if he’s good to go, but I really don’t mind Clark due to his solid peripherals. If he can actually score the ball decently he’ll be an elite value at a bad position.
PF: Omari Spellman – Atlanta Hawks ($4.4k)
Draymond Green heads a very weak PF spot tonight and the only other expensive guy I’m looking at is Paul Millsap. You can pay for Dray, but again, I’d rather invest my big cash in more reliable/explosive assets.
My second PF slot belongs to Omri, who can score the ball and also rack up rebounds. I can’t be sure how much run he gets in a matchup with the small-ball Warriors, but he’s safely logged 26+ minutes in each of his last three games. His ability to hit the long ball may keep him on the floor in this one.
Marvin Williams isn’t the worst pivot if you’re afraid of Omari’s run taking a hit tonight.
C: Nikola Jokic – Denver Nuggets ($9.7k)
Clint Capela ($8k) looks like a great value on paper and there’s no denying what Tristan Thompson ($6.1k) has been doing lately. Both of those guys deserve a look, but there simply isn’t another center on this slate that can match The Joker’s upside.
Jokic is averaging 8 more fantasy points per game than any other center on this slate and popped off for 69.7 fantasy points just two games ago. Doing that against Clint Capela won’t be easy, but he’s another guy that can excel regardless of matchup due to his elite peripherals and ability to hit the long ball.
My NBA DFS lineup building process was simple today; start out with an elite core of Harden, KD and Joker and work my way down.
Obviously I’m taking a lot of chances here, but consider the dice rolls a lot of these secondary plays would be if you had the cash to land them. Klay Thompson, Eric Gordon, Paul Millsap, Gary Harris, Kent Bazemore – the list goes on. All of these guys are viable NBA DFS picks, but they also come with risk and can burn you in a hurry.
I’d rather pick my spots with some punts and load up on the true studs of this slate. In GPPs, it’s a pretty solid strategy and certainly allows for loads of upside.
I can see why some will be reluctant to go that route, so just take the picks you like here and mix them with your own if that’s the case. Either way, thanks for stopping by and good luck tonight!