There is a lot of news to sift through, with James Harden (doubtful), Devin Booker (probable), Donovan Mitchell (OUT) and Jeff Teague (OUT) leading the way. Those guys coming or going will certainly shake things up and NBA DFS gamers will have to adjust because of it.
With that and a lot of other things in mind, here’s my favorite lineup for FanDuel’s main slate tonight:
PG: Chris Paul – Houston Rockets ($9.1k)
I really feel like tonight could be a Russell Westbrook slate, but there’s too much value beneath him. I’m not going to force it here, while I also think the Rockets finally get it going in the post-Harden era. Harden should be back this weekend, but they’re starting a huge road trip and I tend to think they whoop the Nets on Friday.
Paul should be a big part of that and we all know he provides monster usage and really nice upside. Brooklyn isn’t the cakewalk matchup they once were, but it’s still a great spot for the Rockets. Look for them to get hot and CP3 to lead the way.
John Wall is a strong pivot here, while Derrick Rose ($6k), Dennis Smith Jr. ($6.5k) and Ricky Rubio ($6.3k) are nice money-saving options.
PG: Dante Exum – Utah Jazz ($3.8k)
Rubio could be chalky and he’s still pretty volatile, so I’d rather not go there.
Instead, with Donovan Mitchell. Raul Neto and Alec Burks all sidelined, I’ll drop all the way down to Exum. He should get 25-30 minutes in this game and even though it’s not the best spot for DFS purposes, FanDuel’s free square philosophy demands you take a punt anywhere you think it makes sense.
I prefer to use punts that actually have a chance at NOT being your lowest scoring player, but if you can find a sad sack PF option to drop to, I’d consider that.
SG: Eric Gordon – Houston Rockets ($5.5k)
Jimmy Butler is a total heel right now, but looks to be the top SG option on the board tonight. I’m not going there, though. Victor Oladipo would be my “stud” at this position and I still don’t see the point. EG can go nuts in the role he has with Harden out and to be frank, it’s just a matter of shots falling for him and a lot of the other Houston shooters.
In a positive matchup against the Nets, I say tonight’s the night and that chalky Rockets stack (that may not be so chalky suddenly) finally pays off. The best part? Gordon is a value at $5.5k.
SG: Luka Doncic – Dallas Mavericks ($8.1k)
Brad Beal is a fine pivot here and you can always consider high-volume guys like Zach LaVine and Tim Hardaway Jr. However, those guys don’t do a whole lot beyond score the ball, so I’m chasing the versatility and upside of Doncic. He’s a fun guy to own and should be busy in a home date with the Knicks.
SF: Carmelo Anthony – Houston Rockets ($6.2k)
Melo is a continuation of my Rockets love tonight. Hey, maybe these guys keep sacking out there, but I think they’re too good for that. The Nets are a pretty good “get right” spot and Melo has been given the green light to launch in this offense. I don’t really care if he starts or not. The usage will be there for him to perform if he can just hit his shots.
SF: Joe Ingles – Utah Jazz ($6.3k)
Kevin Durant draws the defense of Jimmy Butler and is pretty expensive. Kawhi Leonard is also pricey and the Raptors are probably going to house the Suns. I don’t really want to pay a premium for Paul George, either.
All three of those guys are obviously fine options, but I don’t think they’re necessary. I’ll just ride the usage some of the Jazz options will get. Ingles feels like the main guy who benefits the most and he’s somehow pretty steady despite not looking very athletic. He’s a bit over-priced but the role is there for him to smash tonight.
PF: Noah Vonleh – New York Knicks ($5.7k)
Vonleh started last game and went off for 42 fantasy points. He’s really showing the Knicks what he can do right now, as he’s delivered 27+ fantasy points in three games in a row now. His price is a bit high and he’s still not the safest play, but I love him if he starts again. The Mavs also are not a scary matchup, either.
PF: Serge Ibaka – Toronto Raptors ($6.3k)
Tobias Harris and Aaron Gordon are fine guys to pay up for and you can’t forget about Draymond Green, either. Still, the power forward position is probably the weakest of the night, so I find myself trying to save some cash here.
Ibaka is rarely a sexy play and there’s fear of a big blowout, but hopefully he can be part of the process. He’s a decent price and has topped at least 40 fantasy points in each of his last two contests. Sign me up for more of that.
C: DeAndre Jordan – Dallas Mavericks ($8.6k)
I’m not paying a premium to land Rudy Gobert in a tough matchup with Marc Gasol. I also feel like a slew of other centers are either in tough spots or just too expensive. That could end up leading me to Myles Turner ($5.8k), but we know how much of a roll of the dice he can be.
For now, DJ is my guy. Recency bias could take people off of him, but he’s a decent price, at home and faces a bad Knicks team. They don’t rebound very well and he’s topped at least 10+ boards in every game this year. He’s also been a very steady fantasy play with 32+ fantasy points in every game except for his last. I see 40+ fantasy points coming our way via DJ tonight.
I’m back on the Rockets tonight and if they sack for the third time in a row, then that’s on me. I love them in this spot, though, while fading a few chalky plays like Rubio could get us going in the right direction.
Whether you roll out this exact lineup or just mix and match a few of my daily fantasy basketball picks with your own, I wish you luck. Enjoy the games!