Last night was pretty crazy, as my daily fantasy picks hit a roadblock almost immediately with the New York Knicks getting housed by the Indiana Pacers. That ruined my Michael Beasley pick, which was especially disappointing since the guy had 13 points and 3 rebounds before being benched for the night with 9 minutes left in the third quarter.
Beasley wasn’t my only failed pick, of course. Ricky Rubio wasn’t needed in a game where the Jazz won by 47 points, while Mason Plumlee also came up small in a blowout loss to the Mavericks in Dallas.
While some of my value picks didn’t pan out, I also got burned by LeBron James, who was fine with 44 fantasy points, but did not deliver the big night I was hoping for. Devin Booker sure did, as he hung 46 actual points on the Philadelphia 76ers and got you 63 fantasy points if you used him.
Jamal Murray, Klay Thompson, JaMychal Green and T.J. Warren were all good-to-great to wrap things up. Hopefully you avoided those other land mines and had a successful night.
For me, it’s on to the next one and that happens to be tonight’s weak three-game slate. This is obviously not a cash game night and there are very limited options across the board. With that said, here’s a look at my favorite GPP squad:
PG: Damian Lillard – Portland Trail Blazers ($9.1k)
Russell Westbrook is the best point guard on the board in theory, but I love the next two point guards below him, so I don’t see much incentive in wasting over $1k in additional cash to potentially get similar production. Russ hasn’t even topped 50 fantasy points in his past two games and is tasked with dismantling a tough Utah defense tonight.
I’ll gladly drop down to Thrillard, who can be a monster at home and doesn’t have to worry about John Wall on the other side. Lillard can match Russ if he’s on fire and he’s actually not a terrible price, so this feels like a no-brainer to me.
PG: Kyle Lowry – Toronto Raptors ($8.4k)
I’m giving Ricky Rubio a cursory glance, but I’m pretty set on two strong point guards tonight. Lowry is my number two guy here, as he’s been amazing for going on two weeks now. His matchup with a terrible Suns defense is sublime, while the only real risk is a potential (likely?) blowout.
SG: Devin Booker – Phoenix Suns ($7.1k)
DeMar DeRozan and Bradley Beal top the shooting guard position and both could be popular plays. I’m not sure anyone is going to be more popular at SG than Devin Booker, however, as he went nuts last night against the 76ers.
Booker is going to be chalk, but that’s fine, as he remains a great price and carries plenty of upside. A date with the Raptors in Toronto is far from ideal, but the Raptors actually rank 27th against the shooting guard position. Barring a nasty blowout, I like Booker to meet/exceed value tonight.
SG: C.J. McCollum – Portland Trail Blazers ($6.7k)
McCollum has burned me a lot this year, but he erupts from time to time and tends to play his best ball at the Moda Center. His matchup against Bradley Beal and Otto Porter on the outside isn’t ideal, but I’m hoping the bad matchup, his form and the other options at shooting guard lower his ownership.
SF: T.J. Warren – Phoenix Suns ($6.8k)
Paul George was awful in his last game and enters tonight’s small slate at a pricey $8.6k. He’s easily the most expensive SF option and he’ll be facing a stingy Utah defense. He could actually be really contrarian, but for sheer cap space, I’m not going to force him onto my roster.
I love the value in the two guys right below him, while Warren specifically has worked out for me the last two times I’ve tried him. His date with the Raptors is far from ideal, but he’s been scoring the ball well and is one of the best SF options available tonight.
SF: Otto Porter – Washington Wizards ($7k)
Ditto for Porter, as he gives me a pairing of two solid SF options. These guys can both fail miserably, but they’re good prices and have 40+ fantasy point upside. The hope is they both meet value and a high-owned PG-13 struggles with a tough matchup.
PF: Serge Ibaka – Toronto Raptors ($5.2k)
Power forward is garbage, especially if Gobert plays again tonight. That drops Derrick Favors in terms of upside and probably doesn’t make him worth his $7k price tag. Carmelo Anthony would also feel like a risky play, as he’d be getting a fully healthy Utah defense.
Melo has been hot garbage either way, as he’s failed to put up more than 20 fantasy points in three of his last four contests. He’s good enough to snap out of his funk at any time, but a date with a tough Jazz team isn’t the spot I want to use him.
This all has me paying down at PF and it can start with Ibaka. His run is shaky, but in a matchup with a bad Suns defense he could easily light it up in limited action. Ibaka has at least been pretty steady, registering 20+ fantasy points in his last seven contests.
PF: Al-Farouq Aminu – Portland Trail Blazers ($4.6k)
I’ll keep saving at PF and that brings me to AFA. He’s making just his third appearance since returning from injury and is about as limited as Ibaka, but he does a lot of different things and could see a mild minutes increase tonight.
Markieff Morris is in play at a very similar price tag, but I tend to think he’ll be a bit more popular and I never seem to be on the right side of him. A lot of these PF options have shaky run and inconsistent production, so I’m going to try to keep things a bit contrarian to hopefully gain an edge in GPPs.
C: Marcin Gortat – Washington Wizards ($4.7k)
Center is where I’m starting my lineup build for tonight’s action, as it’s one of the worst positions on the board and feels like a great spot to pay down. Rudy Gobert was restricted in his first game back last night and it’s unclear if that’ll be the case again (or if he’ll even play) in the second game of a back-to-back set.
Due to a lack of trust, I can’t pay $8k for Gobert, while I’m not excited about playing Steven Adams against him, either. Greg Monroe didn’t even take the court in Phoenix’s last game, so the Suns’ center long-jam has to be one to avoid. Tyson Chandler ($5k) was fantastic in his last start, but who can trust this musical chairs situation they’ve got going on?
The other option is Jusuf Nurkic, but he feels a bit pricey for a guy that has not only been rather erratic, but will face a Wizards defense that is solid (13th) against the center position.
Gortat doesn’t have a better matchup, but if the center position is going to feel labored, why not save cash in the process?
Right now I’m down to Chandler or Gortat, but with Washington sporting the tighest spread on the board tonight, I slightly favor Gortat. He’s just really cheap and has double-double potential every time he hits the floor. If he can get me 30 fantasy points that will feel like a massive win tonight.