I went with a more balanced approach with my daily fantasy basketball picks last night. Much to my chagrin, Ben Simmons (a guy I’d been using in this spot for the past week) careered. Andre Drummond also took his All-Star snub angst out on Rudy Gobert of all people and put up 30 points, 24 rebounds and 6 blocks.
It was a pretty ridiculous slate simply based on those two guys. Fortunately, I did nail some of my NBA DFS picks. Kemba Walker, Kyrie Irving, Blake Griffin, Zach LaVine, Andrew Wiggins, Jaylen Brown and Robert Covington all topped at least 25 fantasy points.
Jusuf Nurkic ended up being a gaffe, while Ryan Anderson was a failure as a value pick.
There were some solid picks, but nobody I vouched for went particularly nuts and I didn’t promote Simmons or Drummond. Hopefully my picks will be a little more explosive on tonight’s 4-game daily fantasy basketball slate at FanDuel:
PG: Jarrett Jack – New York Knicks ($4.9k)
I don’t feel amazing about Jack, who probably isn’t even the best point guard on his own team anymore. Still, he’s consistently getting around 28 minutes and has showcased some upside recently. On top of that, he’s facing off with the Nuggets, who don’t have an elite defense and might be without Gary Harris on the outside.
That’s great news, as Denver already ranks just 27th against point guards. Not having Harris would make them even weaker in this matchup.
PG: Stephen Curry – Golden State Warriors ($9.9k)
I always love me some Chef Curry and he’s a whopping $2k cheaper than the top point guard on the board – Russell Westbrook. I’m sure Westbrook wrecks, but Curry is also looking at some serious upside at home against Minnesota. Provided Jimmy Butler doesn’t play and try guarding him, Curry is matching up with Jeff Teague.
That equates to a date with the 21st defense against point guards. John Wall is cheaper and Westbrook has more upside, but when compared to the two, Curry offers the most value. He’s my locked-in stud of choice on this 4-game slate.
SG: Tim Hardaway Jr. – New York Knicks ($5.9k)
Shooting guard is arguably the weakest spot on tonight’s small slate, so I’ll freely fade the top options. Bradley Beal has a tough road matchup and both Gary Harris and Klay Thompson are banged up, anyways.
If Harris is out, Will Barton is understandably quite attractive, while Andrew Wiggins also gets a boost if Jimmy Butler sits out again. However, if Harris sits, Denver’s perimeter defense takes a big hit and THJ suddenly looks like an elite value. His upside is even more attractive if The Unicorn is out, but I like him either way.
Courtney Lee could be a solid (and cheaper) pivot if Harris does suit up, while Garrett Tample is a fun fade with others potentially chasing his career outing.
SG: Andre Roberson – Oklahoma City Thunder ($4.6k)
You’re going to want to give Barton and Wiggins serious consideration, but I actually like Roberson tonight. He’s back to logging 28+ minutes now that he’s healthy and OKC will probably want him on the floor even more to slow down Bradley Beal.
Roberson makes Beal a bad NBA DFS play, but this matchup also makes Roberson a good one due to necessity. He should play 30+ minutes and as long as he’s out there, he can fall into stats. He’s always a risk, but if he can get me 25+ fantasy points on this slate, I’ll take it.
SF: Nemanja Bjelica – Minnesota Timberwolves ($4.5k)
Jimmy Butler’s status could shake up this entire slate, but if he’s out for the fourth straight game, Bjelica needs to be on your radar. Everyone on the Wolves would see a boost, but his rise (and hypothetical value) is the most interesting.
Bjelica has worked out as a solid value pick in each of his last two starts, where he logged over 34 minutes. A date in Golden State with the defending champion Dubs isn’t ideal, but I can’t pass up the value here.
SF: Paul George – Oklahoma City Thunder ($8.1k)
If Butler is in fact out, this second SF spot is probably down to PG-13 or KD. George has easily matched Durant in the past and after an All-Star snub, it’s pretty likely he’ll be extra motivated to ball out. I’m saving the extra $2.4k here and rolling with a hopefully angry George.
While that’s my main play, I can’t rule out guys like Josh Richardson, Otto Porter and Michael Beasley. Kristaps Porzingis says he’s playing, so that probably kills the upside for Beas. J-Rich is now a bit too expensive for my liking, while Porter is as erratic as they come.
Still, if PG-13 doesn’t crush and instead delivers a classic PG-13 crater outing, it could be a huge GPP move to fade both him and KD and land a strong value pick. Of that trio, I’d probably feel best about Porter, while Beasley would be the obvious pick if Zinger is randomly scratched.
PF: Kristaps Porzingis – New York Knicks ($8.7k)
Zinger says he’s healthy enough to return tonight, so I’ll go ahead and trust it. The fact that he’s been banged up and not consistently elite could help me here, plus being the most expensive PF option could help lower his ownership.
The Unicorn is always a threat to go off and he actually wrecked Denver earlier this year (38 actual points). I don’t demand that again, but you can always hope for an explosive game with Zinger.
PF: Markieff Morris – Washington Wizards ($4.4k)
I never trust Kieff, but he’s the perfect GPP play in a tough road game against the Thunder. This game boasts one of the best spreads of the night and is on TNT, so I’m betting we get a good one. Morris has been all over the place lately, but his run has been there for the most part.
He’s looking at Carmelo Anthony defense in this matchup and OKC ranks just 13th in general against power forwards. Provided this game stays close, I think there’s a decent chance he crushes his price tag. He’s shaky, but he feels too cheap and on this slate you’re going to need to take a dive somewhere.
C: Karl-Anthony Towns – Minnesota Timberwolves ($9k)
Center is loaded tonight, so I’ll just drop down and use the best overall value. Nikola Jokic and Hassan Whiteside deserve a look, but Towns has a beatable matchup and could wreck more than usual if Jimmy Butler is out again.
KAT has burned me a few times this year and it is the Warriors on the road, but something tells me Minnesota actually competes in this one. Towns was really efficient in the first meeting this year and has had a lot of success in this matchup. In fact, he topped 21 points in 3 of 4 meetings a year ago.
Golden State plays efficient defense, but they rank just 24th against centers and truly don’t have anyone that can shut KAT down. Hopefully he comes in focused and helps keep this one close.