There was certainly logic to targeting that game and of course Kevin Durant specifically, but paying a premium for a guy sure to be covered by Kawhi Leonard never feels good. KD put up 51 points in an overtime contest, though, so fading him was a huge mistake.
Fortunately my strategy wasn’t way off.
LeBron James (60 fantasy points) was still a very good play and I hit some solid NBA DFS picks. You weren’t getting very far without KD and/or a slew of options from that Toronto game, though, so hopefully you pivoted in the right spots and at least cashed.
Friday is a whole different ball game, as FanDuel pushes out a huge 11-game main slate. There are tons of ways to go tonight, so let’s dive in and see what my favorite lineup looks like:
PG: Kyrie Irving – Boston Celtics ($8.9k)
Normally I wouldn’t want to pay such a steep price for Irving, but he has the revenge narrative as he faces his former Cavs squad and he is ablaze right now. Irving thrives at home at the TD Garden, but he’s just unstoppable these days with 50+ fantasy points in four of his last seven outings.
Irving’s season averages are comparable to most of the guys in his price range and he helps save a few hundred bucks. Russell Westbrook probably has the best matchup on the board, but is a steep price at $11.4k tonight.
PG: Tim Frazier – New Orleans Pelicans ($4.4k)
I don’t trust Frazier, but he’s too cheap if he’s going to start and get solid run like he did in his last game. He dropped 40 fantasy points in that game, so with FanDuel’s low score product it makes sense to take a dive somewhere.
SG: Luka Doncic – Dallas Mavericks ($7.2k)
Doncic does a little bit of everything and has proven time and time again that he can blow up as a scorer. In a tense showdown in L.A. with the Lake Show, he is simply way too cheap to ignore.
SG: Eric Gordon – Houston Rockets ($5.9k)
James Harden will be awfully tempting if CP3 is out again, but I’ll save some cash and roster Gordon, who has thrived in Chris Paul’s absence. He’s locked into a huge role and returns elite value at this current price.
I’m obviously less interested in EG if CP3 returns to the hardwood, so consider pivoting to J.J. Redick ($5.5k) if that’s the case.
SF: Nikola Mirotic – New Orleans Pelicans ($8k)
LeBron James is the top small forward on this slate, but he’s had some weak outings and just played last night. I don’t see him as a must tonight, so I have no qualms with fading him and saving some cash.
Small forward is otherwise pretty weak compared to other positons, but I think you can get some solid bang for your buck with Niko. Mirotic has been rock solid all year and has flashed the ability to drop 50 burgers.
Josh Richardson is a fine pivot at $100 less, while Paul George ($9.1k) isn’t an egregious price, either.
SF: Jonathan Isaac – Orlando Magic ($4.9k)
Aaron Gordon is once again questionable to play tonight. If he’s out I love Isaac, who should start and see about 30 minutes in a very positive matchup with the Suns.
You can consider pretty much every Magic option in this game if Gordon is out, but Isaac is the most appealing based on price and upside.
PF: LaMarcus Aldridge – San Antonio Spurs ($8k)
Anthony Davis is the top power forward tonight, but he’s really expensive and I like two cheaper options below him.
Blake Griffin ripped up the Bulls earlier this year and is very much in play at a palatable $9.1k, but Ridge is even cheaper and also destroyed the Rockets when he faced them previously this season.
Recency bias should get people off the Spurs tonight and they are in an underrated matchup against a Houston team that simply hasn’t been great this year. I’m expecting a big bounce-back game from Ridge.
PF: P.J. Tucker – Houston Rockets ($4.2k)
I’d prefer to land someone like Kyle Kuzma as my second PF option, but it’s going to be tough to comfortably make that happen.
I’m fine with Tucker, though, as he plays 35-40 minutes every single night and will be needed for his defense on DeMar DeRozan. This is a pure minutes-based value play, but San Antonio’s defense is not the one of old. Tucker could get some open looks and hopefully brings his solid peripherals game as well.
C: Nikola Jokic – Denver Nuggets ($8.5k)
I am well aware of the several elite options on this slate, but when you’re dealing with this many games there tend to be a slew of very good players who get priced down.
The Joker is one of my favorites.
I know his minutes have been shaky, but he is simply way too cheap. Jokic is the type of guy who can blow up for 70+ fantasy points and is typically priced in the $9.5-10k range. In a showdown with former teammate Jusuf Nurkic, I expect him to come to play tonight.
This slate is all about value to me. Thanks to 11 games and a few injuries, there are enough deep dives and plenty of stellar intermediate options to get away with avoiding the really expensive options.
I covet Russ, LeBron and The Brow just like everyone else, but sometimes those guys just aren’t necessary to compete in tournaments. I’m fine with paying up for one of them tonight, but I love how this team comes together.
If things break right, Kyrie, Luka, Mirotic, Ridge and Joker are all projecting as elite plays. All of these guys should be safe for 35+ fantasy points and they all realistically can push for 40 or even 50+ if they come in hot.
Value plays like Frazier, Redick, Gordon, Isaac and Tucker should help open things up and if you want to land that one big stud you love, just drop down at one spot. My NBA DFS advice would be to double-punt PG or SG so you can get Brow or LeBron.
Whatever you decide to do, I hope my look at today’s NBA DFS slate assists you in some way.
Remember, you don’t have to use this team as it stands. That’s certainly an option, but sometimes mixing my favorite plays with your own is the best strategy.
Thanks for stopping by and good luck!