If you used my NBA DFS picks yesterday, you were on the winning path. Jusuf Nurkic was part of a six-pack of players that produced 27+ fantasy points and that included five players over 30 fantasy points.
My lone gaffe was Bradley Beal, who was 54% owned and delivered a woeful 20-point fantasy outing. It’s usually not such a big deal when such a chalky play fails, but it’s beyond annoying that a guy like Beal spared everyone with John Wall sidelined.
The only other issues were Kelly Olynyk not being usable with the return of Hassan Whiteside and a contrarian De’Aaron Fox (9% owned) going down with an ankle issue. There was no way to see Fox’s ailment coming, but I actually vouched for a pivot from Olynyk to Bobby Portis (45 fantasy points!) and that worked out nicely.
Overall, it was a pretty good night and I personally managed to place in FanDuel’s big GPP despite Fox going down. Hopefully things worked out for you, as well. Either way, it’s back to the madness with eight games hitting the NBA schedule on Tuesday:
PG: Tyler Ulis – Phoenix Suns ($3.7k)
I don’t normally dive for Ulis, but he did go nuts just a few games ago and is looking at a big role tonight. Devin Booker has been ruled out for tonight’s showdown with the Lakers and Isaiah Canaan is out for the year, so Ulis could start and see 30+ minutes.
Los Angeles pushes the pace, so there should be lots of points and opportunities for stats in this one. Ulis is almost the minimum at FD and is shaping up to be a free square.
PG: Dennis Schroder – Atlanta Hawks ($7k)
There are some really nice value plays at point guard tonight, while the top guys are obvious with CP3, Russ and Chef Curry leading the way. You can make a case for paying up for those guys, but I don’t think you really need to if you make the right moves elsewhere on this slate.
That leads me to Schroder or Kyle Lowry, who both feel too cheap right now. Of the two, I feel better about Schroder, who dropped a sick double-double on Memphis when he faced them earlier this year. He’ll be at home and the Grizzlies just aren’t the same defensively with Mike Conley on the shelf.
I still like Lowry, but the Celtics are tough defensively and he’s been in a rut. Isaiah Thomas, Elfrid Payton and Eric Bledsoe are all in the same price range and could be worth a look. If you’re looking to punt both spots, Andrew Harrison ($5.4k) is another value play that could work out.
SG: Bradley Beal – Washington Wizards ($9k)
The right thing to do in daily fantasy basketball is often the thing I least want to do. After Beal burned me last night, every fiber of my being says to fade him tonight. However, he still has a huge role with John Wall sidelined and he’s averaging nearly 40 fantasy points per game against Philly this year.
In theory, fans should get a good game between the Wiz and Sixers tonight and I have to think Beal will be a big part of that. He remains heavily involved in the offense and is an extremely explosive scorer. I’m going back to the well tonight, which could be interesting with James Harden also available at SG on this slate.
SG: Wayne Selden – Memphis Grizzlies ($3.8k)
You can go balanced with two guys like DeMar DeRozan and Bradley Beal up top at SG, but I’ll pay for a stud and take a dive. Selden is dealing with a knee injury, so if he’s out, perhaps that makes for a pivot to J.J. Redick or someone else.
For now, I want Selden, who has the green light to fire away for a bad Memphis team. Selden can at least score the ball, is cheap and faces a weak Hawks defense tonight. He looks like a fantastic value pick, provided he plays.
SF: Mario Hezonja – Orlando Magic ($5k)
Super Mario feels like a must, as he’s getting really nice run and tends to play confident the more time he gets on the floor. That was certainly the case last night, when Hezonja put up 20 actual points en route to a strong 39-point fantasy performance.
Hezonja has safely topped 14+ actual points in each of his last four games, so with Aaron Gordon again out and Jonathon Simmons questionable, he’s a value lock for me. It also doesn’t hurt that he faces an atrocious Cavaliers defense that he’s averaged 24 fantasy points against across three meetings already this year.
SF: Kevin Durant – Golden State Warriors ($10.7k)
I really have eyes for The Greek Freak tonight, but he’s dealing with an ankle issue. That, plus a loaded SF position, could actually make him a killer contrarian play. That may be true, but KD to close against his former team sounds quite nice and he saves me $800 in salary at FD.
Durant is no slouch, either, as he put up 53 fantasy points in his last contest and has safely topped 41+ fantasy points in eight of his last 10 contests. He’s got an awesome floor and there is always a good shot at him going nuts at home against the team that originally drafted him. OKC no longer having Andre Roberson on hand should give Durant a mild boost, as well.
PF: Ryan Anderson – Houston Rockets ($4.2k)
Rando is an obvious value try in GPPs, as he excels on the road and gets a favorable draw against the Brooklyn Nets. This games projects to be up tempo with a lot of easy looks for a guy who constantly has the green light from long range.
Anderson remains dirt cheap, even though he plays his best ball on the road and has been solid as a scorer (10+ actual points in four straight games). He really turned it on in his last outing, putting up 21 points en route to a strong 35-point fantasy effort. It isn’t crazy to hope for something similar against a bad Nets defense in what could be a shootout.
PF: Ben Simmons – Philadelphia 76ers ($8.5k)
Aaron Gordon is out tonight, so the top PF options are Zinger and Simmons. I like both, but of the two, the rookie offers a little more upside right now. Kristaps Porzingis plays well at home and the Bucks aren’t good inside, but his game doesn’t necessarily play into their weakness.
Simmons has crushed the Wiz in two meetings and seems to have snapped out of a mild rookie wall. He’s playing good ball again and with healthy weapons around him, I think he could excel in this matchup tonight at home. Draymond Green is $500 cheaper and is also worth a look.
C: Clint Capela – Houston Rockets ($7.8k)
Joel Embiid is clearly the top center tonight, but I think I can get similar production via Capela and save over $2k in the process. I’m trusting this process, as the Nets are a very good matchup for centers and Capela put up 35 fantasy points against them earlier this season.
I see a clear path to points, rebounds and blocks for Capela tonight, so I’ll just give in and hope he pans out. He’s not a guy I ever feel amazing about, but he’s actually averaging almost 35 fantasy points on the year and can really clean up in the pick-and-roll game. Hopefully tonight is a big Capela night and most of the field pays up for Joel or Marc Gasol.