I’m back after a pretty long hiatus, so apologies for any TSG readers that wanted some NBA DFS FanDuel picks and didn’t get them.
The good news is I’m back just in time to close things out before the NBA All-Star break. Wednesday brings you a massive 12-game daily fantasy basketball slate, while Thursday ends the first half of the NBA season with a weak two-game schedule.
That means most of your NBA DFS action should come on Wednesday night and on such a busy night, I’d suggest breaking things down into smaller slates, if possible.
I’ll still attack things with a look at all options on FanDuel’s main slate, but hopefully you can apply my picks across the board. With that said, let’s dive into my favorite lineup for GPPs tonight:
PG: Kyrie Irving – Boston Celtics ($8k)
Like everyone else, I’ll be eyeing Stephen Curry, Russell Westbrook and Damian Lillard all day. Those guys are worth rostering, but I really love the value I get with Irving, who has the ability to match them if he shows up in the scoring column.
Irving put up 43 fantasy points when he faced the Clippers earlier this year and I think he notches close to 40 again. After a blowout loss to the Cavs, Irving and co. could come into this one a little angry.
PG: Elfrid Payton – Phoenix Suns ($7k)
I really like Payton tonight, as the Suns have no qualms about playing their talent regardless of game situations. He’s fit right into what Phoenix wants to do since being dealt by the Magic and it’s translated to 36 and 42 fantasy point outings.
A date with the Jazz is far from ideal and I probably need Devin Booker to be out, but I love the role and volume Payton is looking at.
SG: D’Angelo Russell – Brooklyn Nets ($6k)
There are several high dollar shooting guards to take a look at on this slate, but I love the value hitched to D’Lo, who can pop off as a scorer any time out. I think tonight offers a fine opportunity for him to go off, as his Nets are at home in what should be a fast-paced battle with the Pacers.
An individual matchup with Victor Oladipi isn’t great, but Russell dropped 30 actual points on Indy earlier this year and Dipo wasn’t able to stop him. With Oladipo commanding ownership with two straight crazy games, I think an elite pivot could be fading him and dropping down to the other talented guard in this contest.
SG: Tim Hardaway Jr. – New York Knicks ($5.5k)
The story is similar in New York, as Bradley Beal carries elite volume and upside into the Madison Square Garden, but it’s Knicks guard THJ I have my eyes on. Hardaway is always a candidate to drown your roster, but he’s a GPP-winner when he gets hot.
I like Hardaway’s chances to catch fire, as he thrives at home and retains a big scoring role with Kristaps Porzingis (torn ACL) done for the year. Beal is usually a tough defensive draw, but he’s busy lately with an enhanced offensive workload. I won’t worry myself too much with the individual matchup and just take solace in THJ’s huge role on offense.
SF: Danilo Gallinari – Los Angeles Clippers ($6.3k)
I don’t really love targeting offensive options against a still strong Boston defense, but Gallo is cheap and has been wrecking lately. The Clippers have proven to be quite the dynamic team, but a big reason for their recent success has been Gallinari’s health and scoring prowess.
Gallo has ripped off six straight games of 15+ actual points and has rebounded fairly well in the process. Boston does have the perimeter defenders to give him fits, but his talent, role and price have me taking the risk on Wednesday.
SF: Brandon Ingram – Los Angeles Lakers ($6.5k)
I also like T.J. Warren if Devin Booker is out, but stacking up Suns is rarely a winning strategy. I’ll instead turn my focus to Ingram, who remains one of the go-to scorers in L.A. The arrival of Isaiah Thomas could end up hurting him, but Ingram is still a reliable scorer (16+ actual points in five straight) and has a nice matchup against a poor Pelicans defense.
Kevin Durant is really the only high dollar SF you should pay much mind to tonight, so looking for mid-level options like Ingram could be a smart strategy. Taurean Prince ($4k) is a viable punt at the position if you feel like spending way up, as well.
PF: Lauri Markkanen – Chicago Bulls ($6.4k)
Power forward is another spot I don’t feel overly inclined to spend at. Blake Griffin has been a bit inflated since joining the Pistons, while Ben Simmons has a less than desirable matchup with a stiff Miami defense.
Either of those guys are fine options, but I’ll probably drop down to mid-range pivots like Markkanen and Melo. Markkanen has been solid all year long, while the trade of Nikola Mirotic ensured he has a solid role going forward. NBA DFS folks saw that right away in his last game, when he posted a nice 21-8 line.
Markkanen will be facing a tough Raptors defense, but he’s actually averaged nearly 30 fantasy points against them in three meetings this year. He’ll also be at home, where he tends to play his best ball.
PF: Carmelo Anthony – Oklahoma City Thunder ($6k)
Anthony finally returned to action on Tuesday night and promptly dropped 24 actual points on the Cleveland Cavaliers. Assuming he’s healthy enough to play again on Wednesday, I’ll be very interested in attacking the value he appears to provide.
If Melo is back to normal, he is arguably way too cheap to bypass. Memphis can certainly be a problem defensively at times, but they’re not the same team this year that many are accustomed to seeing.
Melo (41 fantasy points) also had little trouble against them earlier this year. Given his strong performance in his return, I don’t mind taking the mild risk based on this sweet price tag.
C: Dwight Howard – Charlotte Hornets ($8.3k)
I’m going all in on Dwight tonight. Center is loaded, but so is pretty much every position. You’re going to want to pay up once or twice, but if you see obvious value, you may want to pounce.
I’m doing so here, as Howard is a nightly double-double threat and there is a huge revenge factor with him playing against the team that originally drafted him. That’s not the only reason I want him, though.
Howard has cooled off lately due to some really tough matchups, but Orlando hasn’t been great against centers this year. Howard has a strong matchup and revenge on his side. This is a guy that was priced up over $10k just over a week ago and now he’s offering staggering value. Maybe it’s too late to cash in, but in GPPs, I’m game to find out.
Overall, I really am not looking to pay up that much on this slate. In fact, there are some interesting spots where you could pay down a little more, but I just would rather not take on added risk. Instead of blindly stacking studs (and there are admittedly a lot of them), I like the idea of a more balanced team on this slate – one where I just target elite value.
If I were to drop down, I’d probably pay down at SF and PF. Taurean Prince and Ryan Anderson ($3.6k) could both offer elite value and allow for a spike or two at other roster spots. If I do spend, I’d probably be looking at Stephen Curry ($9.6k) at point guard and The Brow ($11.8k) at center.
Whatever you do, hopefully my NBA DFS picks offered some insight and you find a way to win big ahead of the All-Star break. Good luck!