Last night didn’t provide a win in daily fantasy basketball. Ben Simmons was horrendous (15 fantasy points!) and I didn’t get enough from my value picks (Marco Belinelli, Kyle Korver, C.J. Miles and Ersan Ilyasova all had under 20 fantasy points).
That was going to make it hard to win, but fading King James and getting insanely weak production out of Simmons is what did me in. In hindsight, James was 100% necessary (and I won’t be fading him again) and Kevin Love was the elite PF pivot.
Simmons burned me really good, but it’s onward and upward with two Western Conference playoff games hitting the docket on Friday night. Let’s see what my favorite daily fantasy basketball GPP lineup looks like at FanDuel for tonight:
PG: Rajon Rondo – New Orleans Pelicans ($7.5k)
Sometimes DFS is about things as simple as fading guys you love to play. I am a big fan of using Stephen Curry and he has a great matchup going into game three, but he just doesn’t make sense for what I want to do tonight. He and Rondo offer very similar value, yet Rondo is over $2k cheaper.
Playoff Rondo continues to wreck and this is a very good matchup for him at home. He topped 50 fantasy points in game two and he’s put up 35+ fantasy points in every playoff game this year. The Pels being at home in an up tempo matchup very much works in his favor and I tentatively have him as my top PG play tonight.
PG: Dante Exum – Utah Jazz ($3k)
You need to take chances on these tiny two-game slates and provided Ricky Rubio is out again, Exum is probably one of those risks worth taking. He’s logged 15+ minutes in both games during this series and I have to think his role only grows tonight if Rubio sits again.
That seems to be a real possibility, so I’ll take the cash savings and hope Exum pops off at home. I think about 15 fantasy points is a realistic expectation in this spot, but 22-25 is a solid mark to hope for as well.
SG: James Harden – Houston Rockets ($12.5k)
Whether or not the Rockets win game three in Utah, I expect to see a dialed in Harden. The Rockets let the Jazz tie the series up last game, yet he’s been very good so far in this series. His best game of the year came against this Utah defense, too, so with a 2-1 hole on the line here, I expect a big game out of him.
He’s a very tough fade as an elite late-game hammer tonight, yet the presence of two other viable shooting guard options and so many other guys worth paying for (Curry, CP3, KD, Brow, etc) could lower his ownership a bit.
SG: Alec Burks – Utah Jazz ($4k)
This play is contingent on Ricky Rubio remaining out. The main benefactor of Rubio’s absence is Donovan Mitchell, but he’s a steep price now and it may be wise to look for other ways to cash in on this injury. I did that the last time the Jazz were on a DFS slate and Burks was a great play (33 fantasy points).
I’ll go back to the well here, as Burks should be looking at a nice bench role at home and has the ability to put up 30+ fantasy points in a hurry.
SF: E’Twaun Moore – New Orleans Pelicans ($4.5k)
Kevin Durant is obviously the top SF on this slate, but I’m not sure he’s necessary. There are two elite options I’d much rather pair together, while small forward is actually one of the top spots for value tonight.
I won’t talk you out of rostering KD, but with Curry back in the starting five tonight, his ceiling dips a bit. I’ll be spending elsewhere and I just want to soak up minutes at the SF slots.
Moore gets the ball rolling here, as he often plays 30+ minutes and could thrive in this up tempo matchup at home.
SF: Trevor Ariza – Houston Rockets ($4.5k)
You can opt for Iggy here, but I want Ariza’s guaranteed run. He has been super quiet so far against the Jazz, but I think he’s going to sound off as a scorer eventually. You know he can rack up the peripherals when he gets going and this is a pretty big game for Houston. I’ll take the 30+ minutes and hope he shows up.
PF: Anthony Davis – New Orleans Pelicans ($12.9k)
I made the mistake of getting cute in fading King James last night. The Brow offers the most upside of anyone on this slate, so even though he’s nearly $13k, I’m going to suck it up and make him a priority. The price and a plethora of other options on this slate could actually make him a little contrarian and I’ll hope that’s the case.
Draymond Green makes for an elite pivot off of Davis, but The Brow returns home in game three and has yet to really pop off in this series. I think he goes nuts tonight and I’m going to want to be in on that.
PF: Luc Mbah a Moute – Houston Rockets ($3k)
This is just a salary saving punt to make this lineup possible. The good news is Moute is getting at least 15 minutes per game in this series and he has the ability to pile on the peripherals. I can’t know for sure if he’ll get the run to pay off, but at $3k I’m not expecting a whole lot.
C: Rudy Gobert – Utah Jazz ($7.9k)
I don’t see a way around Gobert tonight. Clint Capela costs $1k more on this slate and there simply isn’t another viable center option outside of these two guys. Capela has been better, but the series shifts to Utah and Gobert has to pay off eventually. I’ll eat up the value here and hope he has the better game tonight.