Yesterday wasn’t amazing, but I did deliver a winner with my NBA DFS picks. I entered a huge GPP and placed, so if you entered smaller contests you may have had a shot at winning decent money.
Fred VanVleet was my only real gaffe, while I could have really climbed the ladder if Jayson Tatum (30) and George Hill (22) had done a little better. LeBron James (62) didn’t meet value but was still worth using, while Kevin Love (40), Dario Saric (46) and Al Horford (34) all worked out. Kyle Korver (23) was decent enough for his price tag.
It wasn’t a bad night and hopefully you benefited from my NBA DFS picks. Let’s do it all again on Tuesday’s two-game NBA slate:
PG: Raul Neto – Utah Jazz ($3.5k)
Neto isn’t an amazing talent, but he’s dirt cheap and has to be looking at a solid role in game five. Both Ricky Rubio and Dante Exum have been ruled out for this contest, so there should be guard minutes floating around.
I don’t exactly trust Neto, but he did log 16+ minutes in each of his last two games and could push for 20+ tonight. If this game turns into a blowout, he probably becomes an even better play.
I love the top three options at PG tonight and wouldn’t mind pairing two of them, but I need some salary relief if I want to land more than one stud on this tiny slate. Neto is one of those deep dives that is worth taking tonight.
PG: Stephen Curry – Golden State Warriors ($9.5k)
CP3 is $500 cheaper and Playoff Rondo is $1.5k cheaper, plus there are three elite options to consider on tonight’s small slate. Because of that, I get the feeling Chef Curry could be pretty low-owned tonight. I’ll take the chance of him being a contrarian late-game hammer to carry this team to the top of GPPs.
I think everyone is at risk of being part of a blowout in both games tonight, so I’ll just grab the PG with the most upside that may go a tad overlooked. That’s the hope, at least.
SG: Donovan Mitchell – Utah Jazz ($8.9k)
I’ll hear arguments for all of the top shooting guards tonight, but James Harden really hasn’t been worth his steep price tag. He put up just 37 fantasy points in his last game and has topped 60+ fantasy points just once in this series with Utah. He’s a very safe play, but I feel like you’re not getting much value with him.
The case is different with guys like Mitchell and Jrue Holiday, who are both over $3k cheaper and offer plenty of upside. They aren’t safe bets to quite match Harden, but if they have big games they can easily come within 5-10 fantasy points of him. When they’re also saving you that much on your salary cap, they’re easy calls.
I prefer Mitchell, just because Utah is beaten down at the guard spot and he’ll need to have a huge game for them to keep this one close. If you don’t trust him, Jrue Holiday makes for a fine pivot at Golden State.
SG: Jrue Holiday – New Orleans Pelicans ($8.9k)
Psyche! I’m using both of these guys.
I don’t really want to dive down for Alec Burks again and guys like Eric Gordon and Klay Thompson don’t do enough outside of scoring. Sure, any of those three guys could explode, but I’d rather pay up for two SG options that both have really nice floors and ceilings.
Holiday has been pretty reliable throughout the playoffs, putting up 37+ fantasy points six different times. In a huge elimination game, I expect him to show up. The beauty is he can fire off as a scorer or rack up loads of peripherals, so he has 50+ fantasy point upside.
Getting two guys who can potentially match Harden and hopefully fading an underperforming Harden could be a brilliant daily fantasy basketball strategy.
SF: E’Twaun Moore – New Orleans Pelicans ($4.6k)
Obviously everyone wants Kevin Durant, but he’s almost $11k and small forward is one of the better spots to pay down. You can force him in your lineup if you want, but his ceiling has always been lower when the Dubs are at full strength. In an elimination game where he either may not be needed or could see his run cut down, I don’t feel like paying a premium to get him.
That has me diving at both SF spots and it starts with Moore, who has been a reliable scorer for the Pels, topping 13+ actual points in each of his last five games. He’s coming off of a nice 20-point performance and has logged 35+ minutes in three straight contests. He has a low floor, but he simply offers too much value right now bad on his run in an up tempo matchup.
SF: Trevor Ariza – Houston Rockets ($4.4k)
I’m trusting talent over production here, as many may feel obliged to bypass Ariza for teammate P.J. Tucker or even pay up for Iggy, Joe Ingles or KD. Those are certainly viable angles to take, but Ariza is bound to pop off eventually and a home game to push the Rockets into the WCF makes good sense.
Ariza has yet to catch fire in this series, but if he does that and can tack on some peripherals, he could be a solid gem on this slate. He remains dirt cheap for a guy who can hit the outside shot and pile up defensive stats. His run has remained steady for most of the playoffs, too, so I’m giving him another shot as this series potentially wraps up tonight.
PF: Nikola Mirotic – New Orleans Pelicans ($7.2k)
Anthony Davis should be pretty popular tonight and Draymond Green is an elite pivot, but if Mirotic is going to go overlooked, I’ll fire him up and hope he has one of his vintage explosions.
Mirotic has been handed plenty of run throughout the playoffs and he’s chipped in a couple solid efforts in this series. It’s not the best matchup for him, but if the Pels are going to extend this series, something tells me he’s going to need to have a big game.
With most people paying up for The Brow or pivoting to Dray, I think Mirotic could be low-owned. If he can push for 40+ fantasy points, he could make for an even better pivot than Green appears to be.
PF: Jae Crowder – Utah Jazz ($5k)
It’s possible everyone will be off of Crowder, as he was abysmal in his last game. While that’s tough to ignore, he’s still getting tons of run and can pop off as a scorer from outside. He also remains a solid price and brings a little upside to the table with some peripherals help. I’m not expecting the world here, but if he can top 30+ fantasy point, I’d consider it a win.
C: Rudy Gobert – Utah Jazz ($7.8k)
Gobert has to be the chalk center play tonight. He’s an elite pivot off of Clint Capela, he’s a solid price and he’s a lock for 30+ fantasy point. There also is not another viable center option beyond the top two guys. The Brow should really be an option here, but this is the hand we’re dealt.
I like Gobert fine here and there’s just no way I’m investing $9.4k in Capela on this slate. Gobert should be locked into 30-35 fantasy points, while he has the upside to get you 45-50 if he really shows up.
In the end, I’m assuming some serious risk here. I’m not rostering Harden, KD or The Brow and that could obviously get me in trouble in a hurry. You might be able to get away with that on this slate, though, since guys like Curry, Holiday, Mitchell, Mirotic and Gobert are all fully capable of having huge games.
If those guys deliver and my sleeper picks aren’t awful, I could gain a huge edge on the field. That’s my strategy for tonight and you really do need to take at least one interesting angle if you want to win big on these small slates.
A few days ago it was rostering Ian Clark. Last night it was using T.J. McConnell, while the guy who finished in first place in my GPP had Shane Larkin who was 4.3% owned and literally finished with 0 fantasy points. It doesn’t matter what risks you take or which guys you use/fade as long as your team as a whole measures up to the rest of the slate.
I think in cash games (though I don’t play cash games on such tiny, volatile slates) and most tourneys, you should pick at least one stud to build around. However, I do like the GPP approach of fading all of the top studs. I think you can do that when there are cheaper pivots that can also operate as studs just as easily.
You don’t need The Brow if Mirotic pops off for 50 fantasy points. You can get away with fading Harden if he fails to erupt and Jrue/Mitchell get 50 fantasy points. Things still have to go your way, but I like this take tonight. Whether you roll with me tonight or not, I wish you luck in your FanDuel NBA DFS contests!