There is going to be a lot of news to consider if you plan on competing in daily fantasy basketball contests tonight at FanDuel. Donovan Mitchell has already been ruled out, while guys like Hassan Whiteside and Tim Hardaway Jr. are at risk of not suiting up as well.
Then you have the never-ending Jimmy Butler saga, although after sitting last night there’s a good chance he plays tonight against the Clippers.
Consider anything that is set in stone or pending as you prepare for tonight’s nine-game NBA DFS slate. Also feel free to try out some of my daily fantasy basketball picks via my favorite lineup for tonight’s action:
PG: Russell Westbrook – Oklahoma City Thunder ($12k)
New Orleans and OKC face off and they both play at super fast paces. This is going to be an insane game and if ever there was a night to pay up for Russ, this is it. He’s not cheap, but there are several elite options on this slate and he’s my favorite.
The Pels have been awful at stopping point guards and we all know Westbrook can fill it up even when he’s not scoring at an elite rate. Westbrook feels like a lock for 50+ and I think tonight could be a great spot for him to chase one of his epic 70+ point fantasy outings.
Mitchell being out puts Ricky Rubio in play, while Stephen Curry looks like a tempting pivot off of Russ. There are enough viable point guards and studs across the board to hope for low Russ ownership, but I love him regardless.
PG: Tyler Johnson – Miami Heat ($4.3k)
Tyus Jones is also in play here ($5.1k) and you’re going to want to stay on top of the statuses of both Goran Dragic and Jeff Teague. Jones has the better game environment, but Johnson is cheaper and probably offers a similar floor and ceiling. I don’t want to attack this Heat/Pistons game too hard, but that’s where a lot of the value may be coming from.
SG: Evan Fournier – Orlando Magic ($6k)
James Harden is very appealing tonight and I also love Zach LaVine as a cheaper pivot. I think you can get away with going much further down, as Fournier offers elite value at home against the Cavs. Cleveland has been awful defensively and they especially have had difficulty on the perimeter. This feels like a vintage Fournier game where he hits a bunch of three’s and racks up some dimes as well.
SG: Damyean Dotson – New York Knicks ($5.6k)
Dotson is looking at 30+ minutes no matter what happens and has been a pretty reliable scorer. He’s topped at least 10 actual points in every single game this year and he’s also hit the boards pretty well.
Dotson is a solid value as he stands, but if THJ is out, he’s a lock. Facing a weak Bulls defense at home certainly doesn’t hurt his upside, either.
SF: Kevin Durant – Golden State Warriors ($10.7k)
KD is my second stud for tonight, as the Grizzlies have their toughest times against small forwards and he looks like a really fun late-game hammer. I get the feeling people are more likely to pay up for Russ, Brow, Harden and at SF specifically, Kawhi, PG-13 and Mirotic.
Durant potentially being low-owned at home? Yeah, sign me up for that. He could easily wreck here and the Grizzlies traditionally play Golden State really hard. This game could stay closer than Vegas expects and if so KD could crush.
SF: Justise Winslow – Miami Heat ($5.5k)
It was Winslow and not Tyler Johnson who drew the start last time Dragic missed time but either way, it appears the Heat have found reliable run for their ace perimeter defender. Winslow isn’t always going to shoot well, but he can get easy buckets and rack up defensive stats.
I don’t want too much exposure to this Heat/Pistons game, but Winslow has a great matchup on paper. If he can hit some shots his versatility should to the rest – especially with how FanDuel rewards steals and blocks.
PF: Aaron Gordon – Orlando Magic ($7.3k)
Confiding in numerous Heat and Magic players never goes wrong, right? I know it’s dicey, but these guys are actually in good spots and their talent can’t be denied. Gordon just went nuts last night in San Antonio, so it’s interesting to imagine how he could fare in a way better matchup at home versus the Cavs.
It’d be classic Magic (and AG) to just sack it up here, but he’s a great value and has 50-point upside. I also don’t mind Tobias Harris here, but prefer Gordon and his matchup.
I’m not paying a premium to land The Brow tonight. His matchup in OKC is not easy on paper and he has not been healthy. That should lead to him being low-owned, but there are just so many elite options to consider. I don’t see a need to force it.
PF: P.J. Tucker – Houston Rockets ($4.8k)
I don’t at all feel amazing about rostering Tucker, but he sees the floor a ton for his defensive prowess and he does two things well for DFS purposes; rebound and rack up steals. He can also hit the outside shot and if he can catch fire, he could be in for a pretty good night.
The Rockets are on the road in Indiana but I love them to win tonight and bettors get a sweet +100 moneyline in the process. Indy will be much more worried trying to contain CP3 and James Harden, so there should be open looks to go around. Considering Eric Gordon is again out and Indiana ranks just 22nd in stopping opponents on the perimeter, Tucker could let it rain a bit in this one.
If Tucker can come up with 3-4 long balls and add in his normal defensive stats, he could end up smashing this price tag and be one of the better NBA DFS value picks of the slate.
C: Bam Adebayo – Miami Heat ($3.8k)
Here’s your free square tonight. Hassan Whiteside is questionable tonight and if he’s out, Bam Bam is a lock for me. He’ll be needed to help stop both Andre Drummond and Blake Griffin no matter what, but he’s a good bet to draw the start and see 25-30 minutes, if not much more.
He is not always a safe option and center is pretty loaded, but he’s probably going to be the best value play on the board. He’s either an elite punt or a free square due to FanDuel dropping your lowest score. Just make sure Whiteside is out before locking Bam into your lineup tonight.
It all starts with Russ for me tonight. There are a slew of expensive options worth targeting, but he’s offering more upside than anyone due to his role, talent, matchup and game environment. KD is not an absolute must, but I like him tonight and he fits in with my value plays.
I’m taking on some risk by going with three Heat and two Magic players, but this is the GPP life. You need to roll the dice a bit and hope it works out in your favor. All I know if the mere possibility of getting Russ and/or KD at low ownership excites me and these other value picks make sense on paper.
Whether you’re with me with this lineup as it stands or not, hopefully my NBA DFS picks help you in some manner tonight. Good luck and enjoy the games!