Last night wasn’t my best edition of NBA DFS picks, but I did deliver a few solid plays. Derrick Rose was a beast, Dennis Schroder was good chalk, LeBron James handed in 50+ fantasy points and Kyle Kuzma was a solid value play.
Injury news worked against you last night, as a bunch of would-be value plays got eradicated by banged up players hitting the hardwood. The biggest one was Hassan Whiteside, who had been hurt and getting his minutes yanked around. He suited up for Miami and nearly triple-doubled with nine blocks.
It was a pretty crazy slate and my lineup was far from perfect, but there were enough solid plays that you could have mixed some of my picks in with your own to produce a winner.
Keep in mind that each lineup I submit is partially my favorite squad but also me trying to piece together a competitive tournament team with a bunch of my favorite plays. I stand by my daily fantasy basketball picks, but if you aren’t with me on a couple, never feel inclined to submit the lineup as it stands. One or two pivots in the right spot could prove to be the difference between missing the cash line or taking down a tournament.
With that, it’s onto Thursday night’s small four-game daily fantasy basketball slate at FanDuel:
PG: Terry Rozier – Boston Celtics ($4k)
You need to take hard stances on small slates like this and a big one I’m buying into is the Celtics dominating the Suns tonight. That puts me on Rozier and Boston’s top bench options, while Rozier has also been in the news as a disgruntled guy who could potentially be shopped.
There is a big narrative here for Rozier to pop off a bit, especially with the Suns being one of the main teams rumored to want to trade for him. This stance is risky if the Suns play up to Boston’s level, but thanks to a -9.5 spread I am banking on that not happening.
PG: Chris Paul – Houston Rockets ($8.3k)
Stephen Curry is my favorite PG tonight and Damian Lillard is a solid pivot, but they’re both pretty pricey and I can’t get there. CP3 is easily the best value on this entire slate, though. He’s just $8.3k and has the upside to get to 50 fantasy points on any given night.
Paul has been quiet as a scorer with fewer than 10 points in each of his last two contests, yet he’s still poured in 32 and 34 fantasy points. That shows you how dialed in the rest of his game is and a showdown with Dennis Schroder (assuming he starts) should have him licking his chops as a scorer. I think he chases a 50-burger tonight.
SG: Marcus Smart – Boston Celtics ($4.8k)
I will continue my Celtics love from the bench. Honestly, all these guys could easily pay off against a bad Suns defense (28th in the league), but I’m certainly assuming this game is over by the third quarter. Smart is one of the few bench options I’m into either way, as he regularly pushes for 30 minutes and can get his hands in a lot of different stats.
SG: Dennis Schroder – Oklahoma City Thunder ($7k)
James Harden is the top SG option in his return home to OKC, while fading Devin Booker is never fun. However, OKC does have PG-13 that could guard Harden and he hasn’t exactly been living up to his hefty price tag. Booker is a fine option, but I don’t get into the habit of rostering guys against the Celtics.
I honestly prefer Khris Middleton, who is an arguable value in an explosive shootout with the Dubs. This game is projected to be fairly close and I think the Bucks use it as a statement game. Middleton can get hot from long range and should be a big reason why they keep this one interesting. Needless to say, Milwaukee to beat the spread is something I’m into.
That being said, the team I covet can’t fit him in without me taking further dives I don’t feel comfortable with. Fading a chalky Schroder (assuming Russ sits again) is probably dangerous, anyways.
Schroder worked out swimmingly last night (40 fantasy points) and will probably be a fine play again tonight. Just make sure Westbrook doesn’t play.
SF: Paul George – Oklahoma City Thunder ($10.5k)
PG-13 was bad chalk last night, but he has the opportunity tonight to make up for it. He gets a tougher matchup, but this game at home against the Rockets projects to be close and there should be a ton of points here. George is very expensive, but you’re paying for elite usage and his monster upside with Westbrook probably out again.
There are three elite SF options on this slate and while someone like Danilo Gallinari is a solid money-saver, I can’t see going any other route but getting two of these guys.
SF: Kevin Durant – Golden State Warriors ($10.8k)
It is going to be hard to fade Giannis Antetokounmpo, but he’s just so expensive. He has the upside to get 80 fantasy points, but by comparison PG-13 and Durant offer way more value. I don’t love the team I land on if I’m using The Greek Freak, so Durant feels like a must for me.
This is honestly not an easy matchup for the Dubs and I actually love the Bucks to beat the +6 point spread tonight. That being said, Vegas has assigned this game the highest Total of the night and still thinks it’ll be reasonably close. That means four full quarters of Durant and that’s something to get excited about.
No Draymond Green opens up a few more shots and more chances to get assists, steals and rebounds as well. I’m looking for a 50-burger out of KD tonight and while Giannis is the better overall play, I’m not sure the separation will be so great that you need to pay an extra $1.7k for The Greek Freak.
PF: Kevon Looney – Golden State Warriors ($3.9k)
Draymond Green is out tonight, so the Dubs will have to replace his minutes somewhere. I’m thinking Looney will be the main benefactor when it comes to their big men, as he’s seen the most run when Green is off the floor and it’s translated into over 1 fantasy point per minute. He’s a free square and I’m fine with him being my lowest score. Power forward is pretty weak beyond Dray tonight.
PF: Marcus Morris – Boston Celtics ($5.1k)
Tobias Harris and Jayson Tatum are both very much in play at PF, but I don’t think this is the position to invest many of your dollars in tonight. Morris gets decent run off the bench, but the real play here is that Boston covers their -9.5 point spread against a bad Suns team. Morris could wreck off the bench regardless, but if this turns into the blowout it should be, he could see ample playing time.
There is also the revenge narrative, as Morris returns home to the team that drafted him and ultimately traded him away. If he’s at all bitter and he gets solid run, he could smash this price tag. Al-Farouq Aminu isn’t much more and is a viable pivot at PF as well.
C: Boban Marjanovic – Los Angeles Clippers ($5.4k)
#FreeTheBoban night arrives again on Thursday, as the Clips are likely to hand the towering big man a third straight start. He is always going to be in play against teams that push traditional bigs out there and everyone knows he’s a per minutes monster.
His actual run is tough to gauge, but Boban has put up 24+ fantasy points in each of his last three games with fluctuating minutes. His price has climbed, but center is not necessarily loaded tonight and he can do a ton of damage in limited action. I do still like Jusuf Nurkic, Clint Capela and Deandre Ayton, but I think you can save here and get similar value.
The Bucks vs. Warriors game projects as the best NBA DFS scene of the night and I absolutely am getting some action in that game where it makes sense. I refuse to force it, though, especially when there are some great plays in two other games with tight spreads (-3.5 and -5) and solid Totals (214 and 226.5).
Looking at this team, it’s a perfect example of a building process that does not assume bias. I honestly love to roster Curry whenever I can and I find it very difficult not to use Harden and Giannis in their current spots. However, there is too much value to just blindly click on these guys tonight.
My general take here is that three games will probably be pretty close tonight and the one (Celtics vs. Suns) will be a blowout. That has me on Boston bench options to save cash, Looney to eat up value with Dray out and CP3, KD and PG-13 operating as my elite options.
You can try cramming Harden, Curry and/or Giannis in your team, but you’re going to have a tough time piecing together a strong supporting cast.
There are so many high level options tonight that you need to fade some very good players and roll the dice on some less than ideal options. Hopefully this lineup has the perfect combination and helps you win, but like usual, feel free to pivot where it makes sense for you.
Whatever you wind up doing, I wish you luck at FanDuel tonight. Enjoy the games!