Tonight is the night to play some daily fantasy basketball at FanDuel, as there are no NBA games on the schedule for Thanksgiving Day. That’s a time for the three F’s anyways (family, food and football), but just a heads up in case you were hoping to enjoy some hardwood action on the holiday.
It isn’t happening. Instead, 13 games hit the floor tonight. That makes for a lot of elite options and even more intermediate options in NBA DFS circles.
Fading so many studs will be difficult, but what you have to consider is that you can’t roster them all (there are nine guys priced at $10k or higher) and picking the ones that go off won’t be easy. If I have to roster a stud, I’m inclined to look at Kevin Durant against his former team, LeBron James going back to Cleveland or Anthony Davis is an up tempo showdown with the 76ers.
But it’s a 13-game slate. Unless crazy value opens up, paying up for even one of these guys is going to restrict your FanDuel lineup. Contrarian or not, I’m not looking to force any of the pricey guys onto my roster.
Update: Victor Oladipo won’t play tonight and that may open up enough value for me to comfortably get a stud on this slate.
PG: Chris Paul – Houston Rockets ($8.7k)
CP3 is at home with one of the best matchups on the board and he’s arguably too cheap given his strong floor and solid ceiling. He’s put up 32+ fantasy points in 11 straight games, so you know he’s safe. I think he offers a little upside here and crushes this price tag.
PG: Jamal Murray – Denver Nuggets ($7k)
I will be pretty transparent about the fact that I’ll be looking for a way to safely save cash at the second point guard slot. J.J. Barea is very much on my radar if he’s in and Dennis Smith Jr. is out, for example.
For now, I’ll roll out Murray, who is a decent price as long as he’s starting. Minnesota isn’t a good defensive team and they specifically don’t stop point guards very well. He could have a monster outing if the Timberwolves aren’t careful.
SG: J.J. Redick – Philadelphia 76ers ($5.5k)
I really like Devin Booker ($7.9k) tonight against the Bulls, but to be frank, I like a lot of players. I have no issues saving cash at SG, as some of my favorite plays on this slate come at other positions.
Redick’s role really hasn’t take a hit since Jimmy Butler came to town and the Pels push this game’s Total to an obscene 236.5 tonight. I want some exposure to this game, even if it’s of the cheap variety.
SG: David Nwaba – Cleveland Cavaliers ($3.9k)
Nwaba replaces Larry Nance in Cleveland’s starting five and presently is my “low score” punt play for tonight. You are going to want to find a viable punt play regardless of whether you go balanced or try the “studs and scrubs” approach and he’s looking like a fine option.
He’s logged 21+ minutes in each of his last three games and has a little more upside as a starter in a game with a 221.5 Total. The Lakers can push the pace and don’t always blow teams out, so hopefully Nwaba will open up some salary space and also end up actually producing.
SF: LeBron James – Los Angeles Lakers ($11.5k)
I am going back and forth between King James returning to The Land or Kevin Durant finally erupting again versus his former team with Chef Curry sidelined. KD is cheaper and feels like the better value, but James has topped 70+ fantasy points twice in his last three games and may be looking to put on a show tonight.
Giannis Antetokounmpo is actually cheaper than James and I have no idea who would be more contrarian here. All I know is the narrative sides with James and you probably need to pay up for one of these stud small forwards.
SF: Tyreke Evans – Indiana Pacers ($5.8k)
Victor Oladipo is out tonight, so you need to consider some Pacers:
Injury update for tonight at Charlotte.
Victor Oladipo: Out (sore right knee)
— Indiana Pacers (@Pacers) November 21, 2018
Dipo being out probably hurts Indy in Charlotte tonight, but it at least frees up a ton of usage. Tyreke Evans should start and stands to benefit a lot and he’s still pretty cheap.
I’ll slide him in here and hope he has a classic blow-up game. Teammate Bojan Bogdanovic is $900 cheaper at this same position and is worth a look.
PF: Kyle Kuzma – Los Angeles Lakers ($5.5k)
Anthony Davis heads the power forward position, but this slate is so stacked with studs that are all cheaper than him, so I’ll be giving him the hard pass. He’ll wreck in a crazy game with the Sixers, but if you use Giannis/LeBron/Russ and the like, I’m not sure you’re losing anything but shedding salary.
I don’t love the idea of punting power forward completely, but what else is there beyond The Brow? Serge Ibaka, Pascal Siakam and Domantas Sabonis are all actually very appealing, but they also have inflated price tags.
I’m dropping down to Kuz. His run is a bit shaky, but the Cavs are terrible and this is a great “get right” spot for him.
PF: John Collins – Atlanta Hawks ($5.1k)
The main reason I’m willing to punt PF is the fact that there’s some nice value that will hopefully pan out. John Collins enters the starting five in Atlanta tonight and while a date with the Raptors certainly looks scary on paper, the hope is he’s back to normal run and can chase a double-double. If he can do that he’s going to obliterate this cheap price.
C: Deandre Ayton – Phoenix Suns ($7k)
Maybe I’m making a mistake by locking Ayton into my center slot before I make any other picks. I don’t think so, though. I’m not too enamored with any centers below him in price and while the position is clearly stacked tonight, nobody offers more value or upside based on their pricing.
Ayton has proven he can be a monster and a plus matchup with the Bulls bodes well for him. He’s endured some really tough matchups lately, too, so I feel like he’s due for a blow-up spot. Don’t be shocked if he delivers a 50-burger tonight.