My daily fantasy basketball strategy did not go as planned last night. Instead of Boston working the Suns, they actually got housed early, stormed back to force OT and won. Yeah, crazy.
That crushed the upside of my three Boston bench players and pretty much derailed my team from the jump. Paul George was a beast, but last night’s NBA DFS lineup was otherwise pretty forgettable.
I also got burned by Dennis Schroder (25) and Chris Paul (32) performing way below expectations. CP3 specifically could not buy a bucket for his third game in a row.
Last night was a bummer, but the nice thing is we get to try to do it all again on Friday. FanDuel is pushing out a solid seven-game slate, so let’s dive into some of my favorite NBA DFS picks for tonight:
PG: Derrick Rose – Minnesota Timberwolves ($6k)
Rose is a free square with Jeff Teague out yet again tonight. He has been playing fantastic offensive basketball and a matchup with the Kings (24th vs. PGs) is quite favorable. Rose will probably be chalky, but this is still a fine late-game hammer in a shootout with the highest Total (232 at Sportsbetting.ag) of the night.
PG: De’Aaron Fox – Sacramento Kings ($7.5k)
Fox has been very good in his second NBA season and much like Rose, has a nice matchup in an amazing NBA DFS setting in front of him. Fox averages 20 real points per game on his home court and should get up for a showdown with an iconic figure like Rose.
John Wall is probably the top point guard on this slate and you can consider Ben Simmons, Kemba Walker and Kyrie Irving as well. I just don’t see the point in paying up here when there are two very good options at a discount tonight.
Reggie Jackson ($5.8k) is a decent value play and a fine pivot away from the chalky Rose. The matchup, value and upside are all there for the taking, but I don’t trust his volatility personally.
SG: Buddy Hield – Sacramento Kings ($7.4k)
I’m going to keep the love going for this Kings/Wolves game, which in theory could be absolutely lit tonight. I’d much prefer Buddy with Jimmy Butler sitting on the sidelines and due to his random rest days that’s certainly on the table. I don’t mind him anyways, as he’s been quite reliable as a scorer and DFS contributor.
Hield is not going to be very popular at this price point, yet he looks like a very strong pivot off some of the more expensive SG options.
SG: Donovan Mitchell – Utah Jazz ($8.8k)
Shooting guard is loaded tonight, so in some capacity I’ll be spending a good portion of my funds at both spots. I just might not be using the popular plays everyone else will be.
You need to try to differentiate yourself in GPPs and Mitchell should help me do that. He’s slightly over-priced for a tough matchup with a good Boston defense, but he’s more than capable of popping off at home. That, and this lauded Celtics defense just got torched by Devin Booker last night and could be tired after playing in overtime.
A contrarian Mitchell is very exciting, but feel free to pivot to Jimmy Butler, Brad Beal or Victor Oladipo if you think those options are safer.
SF: Jared Dudley – Brooklyn Nets ($3.5k)
Dudley is my “lowest score” punt for the night. He offers little upside, but he’s the bare minimum and is actually a pretty good value play for a guy who logs 20+ minutes a night. This is purely a price play at a SF position that looks like hot garbage tonight.
SF: Justise Winslow – Miami Heat ($5.6k)
Small forward is really bad tonight and I don’t see a point in paying up. Winslow has found a role again with this team and has logged 30+ minutes in each of his last three games. He is trending in a very positive direction and his ability to basically play four positions makes him a lock for court time every time out.
The jumper won’t always be there for Winslow, but when he’s hitting shots his peripherals help make him an awesome DFS play. He’s too cheap given his upside and versatility and at a weak position he’s my favorite play here tonight.
Otto Porter, Robert Covington and Nicolas Batum can all rack up stats and are in play as well. That’s kind of the problem.
PF: Blake Griffin – Detroit Pistons ($9.8k)
Aaron Gordon is still offering value at $7.9k, but I can’t turn away from the only truly elite PF option on this slate. Griffin is not cheap, but his steep price and recency bias (just 30.5 fantasy points last time out) could help to lower his ownership.
That’s fine by me, as I love the Pistons to cover the spread against the Hawks tonight and Detroit’s rebounding and interior scoring are two huge reasons why. Atlanta does not defend well nor rebound well, so Griffin and the Pistons appear to be in a great spot to smash.
PF: Omari Spellman – Atlanta Hawks ($4.2k)
While I like Detroit tonight, I do think Omari Spellman is worth a look. He logged 28 minutes and produced a whopping 48 fantasy points in his last game and his size will surely be needed against Detroit’s towering big men. Spellman can rebound and hit the outside shot, so here’s to hoping he can stay hot tonight.
C: Dwight Howard – Washington Wizards ($6.9k)
I love Nikola Jokic tonight. His price has dropped to $9.3k and recent form will probably keep his ownership really low. I’m not sure there’s a better time to use him, though. He’s discounted, he’s facing the Nets and he’s due for a big game.
While I want Jokic, I’m not sure I can fade Dwight at this price. He’s getting about 30 minutes a game and is forever a double-double threat. He’s also in Orlando to face his former Magic squad, so there’s the revenge narrative as well. Howard is trending in a positive direction and Orlando could help him out due to ranking 22nd in rebounds per game.
I doubt Howard gets a 50-burger, but 35-40 fantasy points is reachable and he looks like a solid value play to attach to a strong NBA DFS lineup tonight.
It’s not always about rostering every single guy you like. As noted, I like some pivots and I love Jokic. But for me, forcing The Joker into my lineup is going to hurt me elsewhere and I’m not feeling it tonight. There’s also risk to Jokic, so whenever you love a guy that much, consider if it’s worth the risk and if there is a solid pivot play that can match or exceed his projected production.
I don’t know if Dwight will trump Joker tonight and there’s no denying he doesn’t touch The Joker’s upside, but if he can get what I’m projecting for him I think it’ll be the correct call.
Tiny decisions like that can be the difference between winning big and merely cashing, so consider that as you move through your lineup building process.
Whatever you decide, I hope my daily fantasy basketball picks help you in some fashion tonight. Good luck and enjoy the games!