Monday night was pretty wild in daily fantasy basketball. I had some really solid lineups (all over 306 fantasy points) that didn’t even place in tournaments. Yeah, pretty crazy.
The good news is I nailed a slew of the NBA DFS picks I handed out last night. Jamal Murray (47 fantasy points) was a fantastic value play at the lead guard spot. He was just under guys like Ben Simmons and Stephen Curry, yet he cost way less. Eric Bledsoe and Khris Middleton were chalky Bucks options and both were plenty solid.
Ersan Ilyasova was also another great Milwaukee play, while Julius Randle, LaMarcus Aldridge, Nikola Mirotic and Harrison Barnes all worked out. My lone gaffe was Rodney McGruder, who felt like a value but ultimately didn’t get the job done.
I also wan’t on guys like Karl-Anthony Towns, Hassan Whiteside, Luka Doncic, DeMar DeRozan and Klay Thompson (14 threes!!) – all of which went nuts.
It’s impossible to use every guy on a team, though, so I’ll take solace in the fact that my daily fantasy basketball picks were for the most part pretty good last night. I only hope they helped you finish in the green.
Either way, it’s back to the drawing board for Tuesday night’s eight-game NBA DFS slate at FanDuel:
PG: De’Aaron Fox – Sacramento Kings ($7.8k)
Chris Paul is going to be the chalk and everyone will at least consider paying up for Russell Westbrook. I don’t see the need. There are numerous viable pivots at an absolutely stacked point guard position tonight and I think you can save and get competitive value.
Fox heads the list of value options for me, as he’s not even $8k despite facing the Magic (29th versus PGs) and averaging almost 37 fantasy points per game. His arrival is for real and this Kings vs. Magic game has a healthy 223.5 Total and -5 spread. It should be a close, high-scoring game and you’re going to want exposure to it.
CP3 is my expensive play at the position, but I just don’t think I need to force the issue tonight.
Update: Fox is currently questionable to play due to a back strain. If he’s out, I’m looking to spend at one PG spot tonight. CP3 leads the way for me, but if you feel you need to pay up for Russ, I can’t fight you there. If you want to go in the opposite direction, Frank Mason would become one of the better punt options on this slate, although he’s listed as a SG at FanDuel.
PG: Trae Young – Atlanta Hawks ($7.1k)
I’m starting my research early in the day, but I’m digging Young. It’s possible he could be contrarian, as point guard is loaded and he’s been relatively quiet. His last huge game came against – you guessed it – this bad Cavaliers team he takes on tonight.
Young popped off for a career-high 35 points in that game and he hasn’t topped even 17 points since. This is a good matchup for him and I won’t be shocked if he goes off again in this one. He’s a solid price and even if he doesn’t drop a ton of points as a scorer you know he’s going to get some dimes.
SG: Eric Gordon – Houston Rockets ($6.4k)
While I’m not forcing Chris Paul into my lineup tonight, I do love the idea of a mini-Rockets stack. It starts with Gordon, who should be able to get hot in a plus matchup at home with James Harden still sidelined. Houston needs to make up for not showing up in their last home game and the Blazers don’t stop shooting guards at a good rate.
Gordon can get hot in a hurry and with all the extra usage floating around right now for the Rockets, he’s just too cheap. C.J. McCollum is basically the same price and worth a look in this game (224.5 Total), but I prefer Gordon.
SG: Evan Fournier – Orlando Magic ($6k)
I really like this Magic vs. Kings game and Orlando is at home so they get a slight bump from me. Fournier can go hot and cold, but he’s actually pretty versatile and tends to be a fairly reliable scorer. You’re just going to need his peripherals to pop up in this one.
The good news is the Kings don’t play any defense, so the pace should be fast and Fournier should get his hands on a lot of stats. He’s only averaging 26 fantasy points per game, but he’s not that expensive and could approach 40 fantasy points in this one.
Buddy Hield is coming in hot and is a solid option for just $600 more.
SF: Danilo Gallinari – Los Angeles Clippers ($6.3k)
I also like Carmelo Anthony ($6.7k) here, but for the team I want, I don’t mind dropping $400 to Gallo. They’re basically the same DFS player and I don’t see a huge difference between them tonight. Gallinari popped off for 26 real points the last time he faced OKC and he’s a threat to do something similar tonight.
SF: Sam Dekker – Cleveland Cavaliers ($3.7k)
Kevin Love is out with an injury, so the Cavs are giving their spares some run. Dekker started and played 24 minutes last game, so he looks to be as good of a free square as any. His score will probably be dropped, but a matchup at home with the Hawks could allow him to drop in a pretty good outing. Let’s hope he does and makes up for someone else who sacks you.
Update: Another great value SF play could end up being Jeff Green. Markieff Morris won’t play and Kelly Oubre is questionable. With both of these guys possibly out, Green would see major run and possibly even start. Double-punting SF is a very real option tonight, but Green would be the superior play to Dekker if Oubre sits.
PF: Aaron Gordon – Orlando Magic ($7.7k)
AG is not an easy guy to get behind right now, as he’s been pretty bad in each of his last three contests. The PF position is garbage, however, and I’m not exactly excited to pay a premium for Blake Griffin against the Celtics (15.7 fantasy points against them in his last game).
Gordon could be the victim of recency bias, as his matchup is actually solid on paper and this game should be fun. Due to a lack of options and others possibly double-punting here, I think Gordon could be a great option to target on this slate.
PF: Tobias Harris – Los Angeles Clippers ($7.8k)
Harris has been rock solid all year long, posting at least 27+ fantasy points in every single game. He dropped 48 fantasy points the last time he faced the Thunder and this game tonight figures to be all of the fun.
There are not currently any value PF options I’m enamored with, so unless they open up, I don’t mind going balanced here and landing two power forwards who have the ability to get me 40+ fantasy points.
C: Willie Cauley-Stein – Sacramento Kings ($7.1k)
Joel Embiid heads a pretty solid center group tonight. He’s playing in the second game of a back-to-back set and will be on the road against a good Raptors defense. I’m not super interested in paying top dollar for him, so I’ll just save here and use Trill.
I also like Nikola Vucevic ($8.8k) in this same game, but WCS saves me a ton of cash and honestly feels like the better play. Vucevic probably has the safer floor, but Trill could crush in this spot and comes in hot with 43+ fantasy points in each of his last two contests.
Honestly, this does feel like a Russell Westbrook night. His floor tends to be about 50 fantasy points per game and I wouldn’t be shocked if he pushed for 70 tonight. The big question is if you actually need it. He costs quite a bit at $12k and I’m of the belief that it may be smarter to just go “studless” on this slate.
Point guard is loaded to the point where paying for an elite option really isn’t a necessity. Shooting guard doesn’t really have a legit stud, Blake Griffin against Boston makes PF pretty similar (although he should be insanely low-owned) and center offers value despite giving several options. Small forward might be the one spot I could regret not paying up at, as Kawhi Leonard and PG-13 could both be money on this slate.
With Russ healthy, though, I’m less inclined to pay top dollar for Paul George. Leonard should be good, but he’ll also draw Robert Covington defense and that could lower his ceiling a bit.
I don’t blame you if you want to force Russ into your lineups tonight. I still think balanced is the way to go or just pivot to John Wall, Ben Simmons or CP3. If you do pay for Westbrook, however, I’d pay down at the PF spots. Montrezl Harrell is a good price and you can consider full punting the other PF play.
Overall, this feels like a studless, balanced slate.
Even so, guys like Trae, Fox, Trill, Harris and AG all could easily put up “stud” lines. If so, this team will have a great shot at soaring up a GPP. After all, you know ownership is going to be divided at center and point guard, while some people will feel forced into paying for a SF option.
Going straight down the middle is an interesting daily fantasy basketball strategy to consider tonight. Whether you go that route with my NBA DFS picks or not, I wish you luck. Enjoy the games!