I took a more condensed approach to my NBA DFS picks last night due to Super Bowl Sunday and the results weren’t amazing. Zinger went nuts and Jusuf Nurkic was fine, but C.J. McCollum and Kyle Lowry were turds and Giannis Antetokounmpo got hurt in a blowout.
It wasn’t ideal, but if you used the Unicorn you certainly weren’t upset. My final look at the daily fantasy football scene went well, too. Tom Brady was a terrific option for the 2x slot on FanDuel, while Corey Clement (8% owned!) was a beautiful gem that panned out terrifically.
Last night was fun and hopefully you ended up in the green. The NFL season is officially in the bag, however, so now you can focus on NBA DFS contests and start getting ready for the return of daily fantasy baseball. For now, let’s just look at the NBA DFS scene with a look at my favorite GPP lineup over at FanDuel:
PG: Damian Lillard – Portland Trail Blazers ($8.1k)
Thrillard is one of my favorite plays on the board tonight. He draws a difficult matchup against the Pistons on the road, but his price hasn’t budged and he’s better than this $8.1k tag. He has the upside to hit 50 fantasy points any time out and Detroit hasn’t even been that great against point guards on the year.
Considering Kemba Walker is the top point guard ($9k), I don’t mind shaving $900 and grabbing a guy who could easily be just as good, if not better.
PG: De’Aaron Fox – Sacramento Kings ($5.8k)
Several point guards see their price tags inflate today, so I’ll drop down at the other PG spot. Fox is still a rookie but he’s getting reliable run and can easily top 30 fantasy points. He faces the Bulls tonight and with Kris Dunn still on the shelf, looks to have a favorable matchup on paper.
Fox has been steady lately, topping 28+ fantasy points in each of his last four contests. I like his floor and upside in a positive matchup at home, so it’d take some crazy value to get me off of him tonight.
SG: Bradley Beal – Washington Wizards ($8.4k)
Victor Oladipo is the top shooting guard option tonight, but he’s $900 more than Beal, who comes in at a nice discount. Beal can be inconsistent, but he sees a huge usage spike with John Wall sidelined and he’s safely topped 45+ fantasy points in each of his last three games.
Facing Dipo’s defense can be troubling, but Beal is too explosive and has too big of a role to get scared off. I’m taking the discount and running.
Update: Both Victor Oladipo and Darren Collison have been listed as questionable for tonight’s game. If either are out, Beal’s matchup looks significantly better.
SG: Jrue Holiday – New Orleans Pelicans ($7.3k)
There is even more value to be had with Holiday, who has been a fine play for most of the year but is almost a must-own option with DeMarcus Cousins down for the count. Everyone will be looking at Anthony Davis, but he’s got the tougher matchup of the two.
Holiday can explode in any setting and already is averaging over 30 fantasy points against Utah across two meetings. He’s got a stable floor and I think you can get a taste of his ceiling tonight.
SF: Reggie Bullock – Detroit Pistons ($4.4k)
The Pistons are turning to their youth out on the wings after trading away Avery Bradley and Tobias Harris and Bullock is part of that. He’s responded with really solid scoring numbers, safely topping 14+ actual points in four of his last five contests.
Portland doesn’t exactly give him an easy matchup at home, but he’s not the guy they’ll be focused on slowing down in this one.
SF: Danilo Gallinari – Los Angeles Clippers ($5.7k)
Gallo can be tough to trust, just because he tends to score and do little else. It’s even worse when he struggles to score. I don’t mind taking a shot on him, though, as small forward looks awful tonight. There is no stud at the position and with Otto Porter ($7.1k) being the most expensive option, this feels like a clear spot to pay down at.
I’m obviously raking on risk with Bullock, but I’ll do so again at the other SF slot. If it doesn’t happen with Gallo, perhaps value opens up and I can use one of the cheap Magic options.
For now I’m fine trying Gallinari, who is back to playing regular minutes and can take on a big scoring load with Blake Griffin out of town. Gallo doesn’t come without some risk, but he’s at home, has a nice role and already put up 31 fantasy points against Dallas earlier this year. At a weak position, worse moves could be made.
PF: Blake Griffin – Detroit Pistons ($9.1k)
When I first wrote up Griffin’s name I put the Clippers next to him. It’s still so weird he now plays for the Pistons. Regardless, he’s put up solid numbers in two games with Detroit and they’re 2-0 in the process. Tonight he’s very much in play as a discounted stud against a Blazers team he’s fared well against over the years.
Griffin has routinely put up strong numbers in this matchup and specifically topped 40 fantasy points in his lone meeting with Portland earlier this year. The Blazers can defend well at times, but they’re not as tough on the road. Griffin is an elite pivot away from some of the pricey options on this slate and I’ll gladly go in that direction.
PF: Kelly Olynyk – Miami Heat ($5.1k)
I’m tentatively using Olynyk, assuming Hassan Whiteside (questionable) sits out. If Whiteside suits up, that sours me on Olynyk considerably, but he’s otherwise looking at a big role. He has a decent floor when he gets solid run, as he’s put up 27+ fantasy points in each of his last three games.
Olynyk could be looking at 30+ minutes against a bad Magic defense, so if Whiteside sits, I’m all-in.
Whiteside could still play, so if you need another option, consider pivoting to Bobby Portis. Nikola Mirotic was traded out of town and Lauri Markkanen remains out, so Portis should be looking at a big role off the bench for the Bulls.
C: Jusuf Nurkic – Portland Trail Blazers ($6.1k)
Nurk Alert is again on my radar, as he’s really cheap and continues to offer upside. For better or worse, he’s certainly going to be needed tonight against Blake Griffin and Andre Drummond down low.
Portland can be dicey on the road, but he logged 27 minutes on Sunday before fouling out. In terms of his price and upside, he looks like one of the better values on the board tonight.
Center is loaded tonight and most people will be paying up. However, Anthony Davis has to deal with Rudy Gobert and it isn’t crazy to imagine Nikola Jokic and Dwight Howard kind of cancelling each other out. Andre Drummond also doesn’t have an easy matchup against my top pick, Nurkic.
Overall, there is a ton of high level value on this slate. With word coming out that Victor Oladipo is iffy for tonight, I’m probably going to fully focus on a trio of Dame, Beal and Blake. From there, I think there is enough value to create a balanced lineup that really doesn’t need The Brow or some of these other pricey centers.
Nurkic is probably the glue of this team. If he can pitch in the outing I think he can, he could be a huge GPP pivot and allow for this team to top 300 points. That should be good to cash and hopefully make a run at a big night.