I was not into the idea of paying up for LeBron James or James Harden last night and they both wrecked. That was still mostly fine, as my favorite stud was Blake Griffin. He was solid with 46 fantasy points and had he not exited with a knee injury with three minutes to go, he may have topped 50.
Either way, you weren’t sad to roster Griffin on a night where Ben Simmons was not elite. Overall, I pieced together a solid team, but it was interrupted early with news of Tony Parker’s return. That got me off of Patty Mills (who didn’t start) and I ended up rolling the dice with Shaun Livingston. Lance Stephenson also wasn’t worth using once it was made known that Victor Oladipo would be suiting up.
It wasn’t a great night, but my top picks (Griffin, LaMarcus Aldridge, Klay Thompson and Nikola Vucevic) were good-to-amazing. Ridge was one of the best plays of the slate, as he went absolutely nuts (33 points, 10 rebounds) against the Mavs.
Avery Bradley was the wrong “revenge” play, as Lou Williams dropped 42 actual points on the Lakers. Lonzo Ball (19 fantasy points) was also a total spare and I continue to have difficulty pegging his big games.
It wasn’t the best slate, but Tuesday gives me a chance to push out a better lineup. DFS gamers get just five games to work with and two beasts in LeBron James and Giannis Antetokounmpo lead the way. Let’s see if either of those guys belong in our GPP lineup:
PG: Tim Frazier – Washington Wizards ($4.9k)
John Wall remains out for the next couple of weeks, so it’s the Tim Frazier show at the point for the Wizards. Frazier isn’t an elite talent, but he can score and actually has a versatile skill-set. I’d prefer to get him at a cheaper price, but he logged 28 minutes in his last start and should threaten for 30+ for as long as Wall remains sidelined.
Frazier could heat up tonight, as the Timberwolves do not fare well against opposing point guards (22nd) and Minnesota will be more worried about the likes of Bradley Beal and Otto Porter. Provided the run is there, I love Frazier’s chances at meeting value tonight.
PG: Tyus Jones – Minnesota Timberwolves ($5.2k)
With John Wall out, there isn’t much reason to spend at point guard on Tuesday. Eric Bledsoe and Goran Dragic will now both probably go nuts, but both of these guys can be erratic and also bring low floors to the table. Instead of playing with that fire, I’ll hope Jeff Teague (Achilles) misses yet another contest.
Jones was fantastic with Teague out in his last game, as he grabbed an insane seven steals en route to a 51-point fantasy outing. Jones is going to get loads of run and he’s quickly proving he has the versatile skill-set needed to crush this price tag. Just monitor Teague’s status and be prepared to pay up at one PG spot if need be.
SG: Dion Waiters – Miami Heat ($6.1k)
Bradley Beal will be pretty popular with John Wall out and I admit he’s a dangerous fade. However, he could draw the Jimmy Butler defense all game and I’m not too excited about his prospects if that ends up being the case. That, and I feel like there is some nice value at shooting guard tonight.
Waiters is one interesting value pick, as he gets the revenge narrative as he heads back to face the team that initially drafted him. Waiters dropped 29 points on the Cavs when he returned home last year and he’s a gunner, so I think you could be getting some tantalizing value in this spot tonight. He’s forever a GPP play, but that’s the name of the game, so I’m all for it.
SG: Justin Holiday – Chicago Bulls ($5.5k)
Another solid SG play should be Holiday, who has a nice role with the Bulls and will be at home against what has become the worst defense in the NBA. Phoenix ranks dead last in defensive efficiency right now and they specifically rank dead last at stopping shooting guards, as well.
Holiday is a solid scorer and is probably due for a big game. With this matchup, I think he gets it.
With Beal potentially having a tough matchup and Devin Booker ailing, I’m dropping down at both SG spots and I love Holiday as part of that pairing.
SF: LeBron James – Cleveland Cavaliers ($12k)
Most people will be struggling to pick between King James and The Greek Freak, but I’m just going to use both. This is, of course, assuming Antetokounmpo isn’t randomly sat with knee soreness or the Cavs don’t sit some of their studs after playing last night.
I don’t really expect either to happen, though, while James should get up for a game against his former squad. James has been a beast lately and continues to run a lot of Cleveland’s offense. With 50+ fantasy points in 7 of his last 8 contests, he’s my favorite stud on this slate.
SF: Giannis Antetokounmpo – Milwaukee Bucks ($11.8k)
I’ll pay the extra $200 to land James first if I have to pick a side tonight, but Giannis is going to be a must for this GPP team. The main reason why I want both of these guys is there are not any must-own studs at point guard, shooting guard or power forward.
Your team is going to start looking ugly awfully fast if you try forcing a stud center and Bradley Beal in, so I’m fading those ideas and pairing the two best players on the board together. Antetokounmpo has cooled down a bit ever since the Bucks traded for Eric Bledsoe, but he’s still poured in 47+ fantasy points in 9 straight games.
I have no worries about The Greek Freak, who will be battling a Kings team that doesn’t defend well and doesn’t have an individual threat to stifle Giannis. The hope is both of these guys live up to their price tag and one is low owned.
PF: Bobby Portis – Chicago Bulls ($4.8k)
Power forward is a wasteland tonight, so I’ll do all I can to not spend much cash here. Portis helps me out in one slot at FanDuel, as he’s a decent price and will be at home against a terrible Suns defense. Phoenix ranks dead last against power forwards on the year, so while that should have many flocking to starter Lauri Markkanen, I’ll roll with Portis.
The run isn’t amazing, but Portis is getting 20+ minutes off the bench each night and has displayed explosive upside even in a limited role. I wouldn’t be shocked to see him get hot early and play a little more than usual, either.
PF: Kenneth Faried – Denver Nuggets ($4.8k)
I do not love power forward tonight, so if it makes sense, diving at both spots is something I’m going to strongly consider. Faried will need to start to trust him at all, but he did log 31 minutes and produced 28 fantasy points in his last outing.
Faried is not your usual player, as he thrives on hustle stats and can emerge out of tougher matchups as a winning pick. His status will depend on the lineup Utah rolls out, but Paul Millsap is sidelined and Wilson Chandler is iffy for this one. If that forces Faried into the starting five, I’m going for it.
C: Marcin Gortat – Washington Wizards ($4.9k)
I never feel amazing with Gortat as my center, but this is a small slate and he faces a Minnesota defense that ranks 21st against centers. Gortat was a spare in his last game, but had produced 30+ fantasy points in each of his three previous contests.
Gortat’s defense will be needed with Minnesota playing two bigs a lot of the time – especially Karl-Anthony Towns. KAT has a tough matchup by the numbers on the other side, too, while I think you can get away without paying for a stud center if you pair the two best SF options on the slate.
I’m not sure just how contrarian that will be, but I think it’s a great idea for GPPs. You can do that and then hope guys like Jimmy Butler, Otto Porter and T.J. Warren fail to meet expectations. They’re all over-priced (arguably), so there’s a good chance that happens.