I didn’t vouch for C.J. McCollum on Wednesday night and my NBA DFS picks were far from perfect, but I did hit a few solid plays. Joel Embiid delivered a plenty fine line (48 fantasy points) as my top stud, while Terry Rozier (55 fantasy points!) was the elite chalk play you simply could not fade.
I had some solid plays elsewhere, as Zach LaVine (34) certainly delivered and Dennis Smith Jr. (31) wasn’t too bad, either. Harrison Barnes, Devin Booker and Jaylen Brown (all over 23) weren’t great, but they also weren’t crippling.
That was still a bummer, as I really liked Booker and I tossed caution to the wind and used him in my GPP. Had he gone off, like he is one to do, he would have potentially delivered a big win at insane 2% ownership. Instead, he was lifeless as C.J. McCollum stole the night.
My only true fails were Jayson Tatum and Jarell Martin. Tatum rebounded after a woefully slow start (4 fantasy points at the half!) to finish with 20, but Martin never got going (12). It wasn’t a great daily fantasy squad, but 279 points is hardly the worst score I’ve run into. It wasn’t good enough for tourneys, but perhaps in the right cash setting you could have survived.
It’s onward and upward come Thursday, which provides a fun 5-game slate to work with. This slate is set up to be dominated by Russell Westbrook and/or James Harden, so pretty early on you may have to take a stand. Let’s see how Thursday night’s daily fantasy basketball lineup shakes out for FanDuel GPPs:
PG: Russell Westbrook – Oklahoma City Thunder ($12.3k)
Westbrook is back to his crazy prices, but it’s hard to hate on him when the guy has dropped 62+ fantasy points in 4 of his last 6 games. Russ came back down to earth (40 fantasy points) in his last game and James Harden is on this slate, though, so I’m wondering if there’s a chance at somewhat low ownership.
That’s probably wishful thinking, but I think I’ll eat the chalk here, regardless. Westbrook is obviously a machine, while Thursday’s matchup is favorable against a Denver defense that has a tough time stopping quality point guards. Westbrook has quietly averaged a hair under 50 fantasy points across two meetings with the Nuggets and I like his chances of smashing that production tonight.
I get the temptation to fade Russ, but there isn’t another point guard that can come close to matching him on this slate and aside from Harden dropping an encore, he’s likely the top overall play on the night. I won’t be fading him.
PG: Andrew Harrison – Memphis Grizzlies ($4.7k)
Harrison is my first of many Grizz vs. Pistons picks in this lineup. Hey, if you want the big dogs, sometimes you have to bump elbows in the cheap seats, am I right?
Sadly, that is where I’m going tonight. The good news, however, is Harrison has actually been playing well and with Memphis seemingly intent on dealing Tyreke Evans, Harrison is probably locked into a 25-30 minute role.
Harrison isn’t easy to trust and Detroit can be tough defensively, but he has 20+ fantasy points in 3 of his last 4 games and has a role. Hopefully he gets hot and can be a big piece to my studs/spares stack job tonight.
SG: Wayne Selden – Memphis Grizzlies ($3.6k)
Harrison isn’t the only Memphis spare I have my eye on, as Selden is also getting a lot of floor time and has actually been impressive as a scorer. He’s been inconsistent, but he’s also been rather explosive with games of 17, 24 and 30 over the past couple of weeks.
This is still a young player finding his way in the NBA, but the Pistons traded away a plus defender in Avery Bradley and may need to take some time to get their defensive bite back out on the perimeter. Either way, due to injuries and trade talk, Selden looks to be locked into a solid role and I’ll use him in the hopes he can crush this cheap price tag.
SG: James Harden – Houston Rockets ($11.5k)
Call me crazy, but I want to pair Russ and Harden tonight. This isn’t points chasing, either. I know facing the Spurs on the road could lead to disaster, but Harden has actually wrecked San Antonio in the past and if CP3 and/or Eric Gordon (both questionable) are out again, I can’t pass on his upside.
Everyone saw what that looks like in his last game when he scored 60 actual points and he’s certainly capable of something similar tonight. I’ll be pairing the top two studs on this slate and hoping my bargain buy picks don’t crater this lineup.
SF: Reggie Bullock – Detroit Pistons ($4.7k)
On the other side of what could easily be an awful Grizzlies vs. Pistons game is Bullock. Most will play Stanley Johnson over him, but SJ is no lock to recreate the 50-point fantasy gem he delivered in his last game. Bullock has been paying off for three games in a row (26+ fantasy points in each) now and at least for the moment seems to be locked into a decent role.
It remains to be seen what the debut of Blake Griffin means for Detroit’s rotation, but I’m going to need to locate value somewhere and he makes sense at SF. He’s a fun pivot off of Stanley Johnson and could again be in line for 30+ minutes. That’s enough to get me to take the dive.
SF: Gerald Green – Houston Rockets ($4.5k)
If CP3 or Gordon are out, I also love me some Gerald Green. He can be an erratic scorer, but anytime this chucker is on the floor for a decent amount of time, he’s worth a look. Green saw the floor for 32 minutes in his last game and if injuries crack the door open again tonight, I’m on board.
PF: Ryan Anderson – Houston Rockets ($3.7k)
The story is similar for Rando, but I’m on him whether Houston is at full strength or not. His matchup looks bad on paper, but Anderson is a guy you use almost exclusively on the road. He’s been really spotty lately, but he’s still usually good for 25-30 minutes and always brings upside to the table as a scorer.
For this price, I don’t mind the risk with Rando and if CP3 and/or Gordon take a seat, he becomes a free square for me.
PF: Serge Ibaka – Toronto Raptors ($5.6k)
I have enough cash to work my way up at a couple other spots, so I’ll inch up to Ibaka, who should get some run with Markieff Morris looking good for Washington these days. The Raptors tend to let road games be far more competitive, so I think he’ll be needed in this one.
Ibaka isn’t overly reliable in terms of run, but he’s been steady as a scorer, putting up 10+ actual points in each of his last 5 outings. I think he’s safe for 25+ fantasy points and I will be hoping for something in the 32-35 range tonight.
C: Karl-Anthony Towns – Minnesota Timberwolves ($9.3k)
KAT is a guy I really want on this slate, as there are only a handful of elite center options and he has a fantastic matchup against the Milwaukee Bucks. The Bucks don’t have a soul that can stop him down low and they struggle against centers in general, so there is a lot of upside here.
Towns was lost in against Toronto in his last game, but he’s otherwise been strong with 41+ fantasy points in three of his last four contests. I see him as a discounted stud tonight and love his potential in this matchup. It’s worth noting he notched 38 fantasy points against Milwaukee earlier this year and I think he can safely top that, if not completely crush tonight.
Nikola Jokic is a fine pivot for just $200 more, but he has a tougher matchup. Ditto for Andre Drummond, who is way too expensive considering he has to deal with Marc Gasol and integrating new teammate, Blake Griffin. I don’t love the value at center tonight, so I’m paying up and not looking back.
Overall, this is the perfect slate to whip out the classic stars/scrubs daily fantasy basketball strategy. Perhaps that’s a route to take without using one of the exact studs I have or you’ll have to use different scrubs. Regardless, I like this lineup for GPPs and it’ll be my main roster over at FanDuel on Thursday night. Good luck!