My last edition of NBA DFS picks didn’t produce a big winner, but it did hand out some very solid options. Pivoting off of The Greek Freak for Kevin Durant (41 actual points!) was a fantastic call, while John Wall was better than both of the would-be top point guards, Chris Paul and Stephen Curry.
Fading the chalky Rockets was a good move in general on Friday night, but those strong plays weren’t enough to get me to the top of the GPP ladder.
I’ll try again on Monday, as FanDuel rolls out a fun nine-game daily fantasy basketball slate. Be sure to stay up to date on the latest injury news as well as how betting lines could impact how you play.
For now, check out my favorite NBA DFS picks as you prepare to piece together your squads for FanDuel GPPs:
Update: Kawhi Leonard and Giannis Antetokounmpo WILL NOT play tonight. All of the Bucks I discuss in this post are more viable than ever and you can even consider Brook Lopez, John Henson or Malcolm Brogdon. For Toronto, Kyle Lowry, Serge Ibaka and maybe C.J. Miles could be useful. Also, Anthony Davis is out. This lineup is a full go!
PG: Eric Bledsoe – Milwaukee Bucks ($7.7k)
Let’s start this off with the fact that two massive stars – Anthony Davis and Giannis Antetokounmpo – are both questionable as I write this. If either are in, please adjust and consider pivot plays that I litter throughout this post.
If The Greek Freak is out, though, I’m all aboard the Bledsoe Train. A date with the Raptors is not ideal, but this game is in Milwaukee and Bledsoe will be looking at a huge role. He’d initiate offense more and would bring major upside to the table.
If you want more safety, consider riding the Stephen Curry wave. He’s arguably still too cheap ($9.8k) given the way he’s been playing. I’m just not a huge fan of the Dubs in a likely blowout at Chicago.
Bryn Forbes and Derrick Rose are both under $5k and could work out as viable punts. Forbes just keeps scoring the ball well, while Rose could offer nice value if Andrew Wiggins sits out yet again tonight. Tim Frazier is also an option for your free square play with Elfrid Payton sidelined, but I probably won’t be going there.
PG: Jamal Murray – Denver Nuggets ($7.2k)
Murray is coming off of his best game of the year and will be at home against the Pelicans. New Orleans has done a terrible job at defending the point and this game projects to have a lot of points (233.5 Total at Sportsbetting.ag).
Assuming the Pels can keep it close, Murray looks like a terrific play in a perfect NBA DFS environment. Lonzo Ball and D’Angelo Russell look like solid pivots at a similar price point, but give me the late-game hammer in a better spot.
SG: Khris Middleton – Milwaukee Bucks ($7.5k)
I don’t love the idea of Middleton potentially drawing Kawhi Leonard’s defense in this one, but I’ll throw caution to the wind just because Antetokounmpo potentially being out opens up serious run. Per RotoGrinders’ CourtIQ, Middleton saw nearly a 37% usage with Giannis off the court last year. That equated to 61 fantasy points per game. Yeah, I’ll take my chances here.
If Giannis suits up, I still think Middleton is a fine play, but would probably be more interested in saving cash here. Tim Hardaway Jr. has been very stable and wrecked the Nets when he faced them earlier this year.
Jrue Holiday is obviously in an awesome spot if he benefits from injury (Anthony Davis) as well. I think Middleton is a nice pivot off of him, though, as Jrue should be chalkier and is $400 more in salary.
SG: Rodney McGruder – Miami Heat ($5.6k)
Miami is slowly getting healthy, but McGruder has played so well that it might not matter. His spot in the rotation seems safe at the moment and with 33 fantasy points per game, he looks like a great value. A home date with a bad Kings defense makes him a great play tonight.
If you want to go even cheaper, Josh Okogie ($4.2k) is a viable punt if Andrew Wiggins sits again.
SF: Nikola Mirotic – New Orleans Pelicans ($7.3k)
I’ll continue the Pels stack in the event Anthony Davis is out. Don’t ignore Denver on the other side of this matchup, but the value with the enhanced roles is going to be too good to pass up.
Mirotic has been great all year with 32+ fantasy points in four of five contests and with The Brow possibly sitting he could chase a 50-burger. I’m not just guessing, either. In games where The Brow has been in street clothes, Niko has seen a sweet 29% usage rate and produced almost 48 fantasy points per contest.
SF: Harrison Barnes – Dallas Mavericks ($5.4k)
A road date with the Spurs isn’t the scary matchup it used to be, so I have no qualms about firing up a supremely discounted Barnes. He should be closer to $6k based on his role and talent, while he’s already playing in the mid 30’s for his minutes.
Barnes doesn’t have a huge ceiling, but he offers value and will allow me to pay up elsewhere. I don’t love the idea of fading all four of the top SF options tonight, but if things break just right, I think I can get away with it.
If you need to pay for one, Kawhi Leonard is my favorite play. He’s the cheapest and offers as much upside as any of them.
PF: LaMarcus Aldridge – San Antonio Spurs ($8.7k)
Ridge has been really quiet as a scorer over his last couple of games. That added with the not so cheap price tag could lower his ownership at a really bad PF position tonight. I’m game for his upside and the potentially contrarian play. Even if Anthony Davis does suit up tonight, Ridge feels like an amazing pivot.
If you want a cheaper option that should be solid, look to Kyle Kuzma or Dario Saric. Draymond Green has seen his minutes pick up and isn’t a bad pivot ($1.2k in savings) if he’s not rested on the second night of a back-to-back set.
PF: Ersan Ilyasova – Milwaukee Bucks ($4.1k)
Anthony Davis isn’t the only superstar on the mend, as The Greek Freak could also sit due to a head contusion. All of the top Bucks options are fair game if that happens, but Ilyasova might offer more value than anyone. He’s simply too cheap to fade if Giannis Antetokounmpo sits and he’d fit in as my free square on this slate.
Cheick Diallo ($3.5k) is another viable free square option if Davis is in fact out.
C: Julius Randle – New Orleans Pelicans ($6.3k)
Anthony Davis is questionable for tonight’s game and could miss his second straight start with an elbow issue. If so, Randle would likely draw the start in a potentially high-octane showdown against the Denver Nuggets. The matchup isn’t the greatest, but the run and role are very appealing given his cheap price tag.
I also like Nikola Jokic, Enes Kanter, JaVale McGee and Jusuf Nurkic at solid prices tonight, but Randle is the easy call if Davis sits. Much like Nikola and Jrue, Randle just sees so much action in games where The Brow isn’t active. His nasty 29% usage rate and 50 fantasy points per game in contests without Davis are going to be too alluring to ignore.
Tonight understandably revolves around two massive stars in Anthony Davis and Giannis Antetokounmpo. If they’re out, you’re looking at some very chalky lineups across the daily fantasy basketball industry. That’s fine, though, because these guys that will soak up the usage are very good options and are probably going to blow up.
I do think there is serious merit in pivoting off of some of these guys and that’s one reason why I’m fading Jrue Holiday here. Obviously there is still a chance one/both of Giannis or Davis suit up, so be sure to stay on your toes and be ready to make changes if need be.
If you end up having a ton of cash to work with, I really like Kawhi, Curry and Jokic as expensive studs. I don’t deem them necessary as things presently stand, but I won’t scoff at paying up for them at all. The top values at the moment appear to be Forbes, Rose, Okogie, Ersan and Diallo at the moment as well.
Hopefully I helped you a bit tonight. Whether you use this lineup as it stands or just mix in some of my NBA DFS picks with your own, I wish you luck. Enjoy the games!