On a small 4-game Tuesday night slate, you needed a pretty stable team to win big in daily fantasy basketball. In other words, more than one gaffe, and you’re in serious trouble in basically any format.
Fortunately my NBA DFS picks were strong across the board, with my best picks being Dennis Smith Jr., Shabazz Napier and Jusuf Nurkic.
Russell Westbrook topped 60 fantasy points on yesterday’s slate, but he really wasn’t necessary to reach the top of tourneys. He was a fine fade in the end.
I couldn’t predict Serge Ibaka getting tossed, but he still got 23 fantasy points and was my worst play on a solid, albeit unspectacular night. My picks didn’t necessarily win you all of the money, but they probably helped you cash and they certainly didn’t sink you.
Wednesday brings a little more wiggle room and upside to the table and hopefully I can use a big 11-game slate to help TSG readers win even more. There are some big studs available, so you’ll have to take some hard stances.
Overall, I’m letting the value do the talking for me. With that, here’s a look at my favorite FanDuel lineup for tonight’s big slate:
PG: Rajon Rondo – New Orleans Pelicans ($5.3k)
Rondo’s run is admittedly jerked around a bit too much for my liking, but he’s also turned back into a human assist machine. The veteran point guard notched an absurd 25 dimes exactly two weeks ago to the day and has topped 12+ dimes three different times in that span.
Rondo is far from safe, but he represents elite value at his current price. He’s on the road, but Memphis (16th versus point guards) isn’t as scary when Mike Conley isn’t on the floor.
Rondo can struggle as a scorer, but he runs the offense for the Pels and carries monster upside based on this price tag. Let’s just hope he doesn’t have one of his random games with below 20 minutes.
PG: John Wall – Washington Wizards ($9.5k)
Everyone is going to be looking at the likes of Russell Westbrook, Stephen Curry and Chris Paul tonight. If things go the way I think they can, Wall will come close to matching them and end up being the better elite play in terms of sheer value.
Wall isn’t cheap, but he’s a better price by comparison and finally is looking like himself again.
Wall’s minutes are all the way back and he’s responded with big outings, putting up 43+ fantasy points in each of his last four games. I personally can never get on the right side of this guy and he’s facing a good Utah defense, but this play is even better if he comes in with low ownership.
SG: Avery Bradley – Detroit Pistons ($4.9k)
Bradley is just too cheap. Shooting guard has some strong options up top, but I have my reasons for dropping down. The biggest one is Bradley is finally starting to score like he’s capable of and his run is back to an elite level (35+ minutes in 3 of his last 4 games).
There’s no denying Bradley can be erratic, but he has a fun matchup with a bad Nets defense in an up-tempo setting. Brooklyn actually ranks inside the top-10 against shooting guards on the season, but I’m looking more at this price and Bradley’s talent level. I don’t expect (or need) the world from him here, but if he can avoid sinking my entire roster, he could end up being a necessary value pick.
SG: Justin Holiday – Chicago Bulls ($5.5k)
Shooting guard is top-heavy, but there’s no James Harden and some of these top dogs have some tough matchups or just cost too much. If I’m spending on this slate, I feel inclined to pay up elsewhere.
That leads me to Holiday, who has been quite steady. He’s not an elite option, but he has showcased a solid floor (21+ fantasy points in 14 of his last 16 games), as well as a little bit of upside. He’ll probably see a good amount of Courtney Lee (not necessarily ideal) in this one, but he can score the ball well and comes in at a fine price.
There is a mild revenge factor here, as well, as Holiday played for the Knicks last year. He hasn’t blown up against them yet, but perhaps a date at the Madison Square Garden can change that. At this price, I’m not expecting the world, but Holiday feels like a safe option that won’t burn me and offers solid value.
If you want to dive deeper, consider Wesley Matthews ($5k) who can be a nightmare to use at times, but feels too cheap for a guy who can score and is on the floor for 35-40 minutes on a nightly basis.
SF: Gerald Green – Houston Rockets ($4.5k)
I’m also looking at Wilson Chandler as a cheap dive at SF, but Green is $500 cheaper and honestly feels way safer. He’s really stepped up with a big scoring role thanks to a James Harden injury and he’s yet to disappoint with 10+ actual points in 6 straight games.
Green has been far better than that more often than not, too, while his role has been pretty consistent (26+ minutes in 5 of his last 6 games). That won’t change much with Harden still on the shelf, while tonight he’s got a solid matchup at home against the Blazers (19th against SFs). I’m not expecting the world here, but anything over 30 fantasy points would be a huge win.
SF: Kevin Durant – Golden State Warriors ($10.9k)
I love KD as my top stud tonight for several reasons. First, everyone is all about Stephen Curry right now – for good reason – so they could gravitate to the cheaper Dubs star. Secondly, this will be Durant’s first game back from resting a calf injury, so many DFS gamers will be hesitant to trust him. Thirdly, he’s a very interesting pivot off of The Greek Freak.
I can add a fourth and look at Durant’s pricing, too. With the Warriors healthy, he probably isn’t truly worth nearly $11k, but all of this hopefully combines to make him a really fun, contrarian option. His date with the Clippers could end early in a blowout, but at least they stink against small forwards (dead last).
The hope here is Durant doesn’t have a minutes cap (no word that he does) and L.A. can keep this close enough to let him go off. He’s within striking distance of 20,000 career points, so I’d bet he’ll be up for this one.
PF: Domantas Sabonis – Indiana Pacers ($5.9k)
Myles Turner (elboy) has been listed as doubtful for tonight’s tilt against the Heat, which puts Sabonis in play as a pretty chalky value play. Ideally he’d be a bit cheaper, but he’s actually been producing for a while now in a bench role (26+ fantasy points in 6 straight games).
I’m all over Sabonis tonight, as he’ll be at home against Miami, who he’s averaged over 30 fantasy points against in two meetings already this year. I don’t love that he has to contend with Hassan Whiteside, but he can bring his offensive game outside and has had success in tough matchups in the past.
Power forward is not the best place to spend tonight, as Blake Griffin is out, Kristaps Porzingis has been struggling with fatigue and Anthony Davis is probably out, as well. I’ll be paying down at both PF spots and Sabonis seems like a great spot to start.
PF: Ryan Anderson – Houston Rockets ($3.9k)
I’m not high on PF in general tonight, but Rando is just too cheap to ignore. I know he typically struggles at home, but he is almost the bare minimum at FanDuel. I feel like I have to try him and his home struggles should go a long way in making him low owned.
This is a GPP play if there ever was one – especially on such a big slate where you really don’t normally need to assume this risk. Rando randomly wrecking could catapult this team to pretty incredible heights, though, while Portland ranks just 14th against power forwards. If he can approach 30 fantasy points, he’ll pay off in a big way.
C: Karl-Anthony Towns – Minnesota Timberwolves ($9.6k)
There are several elite center options to consider and three fall in the same pricing area; KAT, Joker and Andre Drummond. I am perfectly fine with all three, which means I have no real desire to pay way up for DeMarcus Cousins. There isn’t a ton of tempting value at center, either, so I’m probably exclusively targeting these three options tonight.
I can’t help myself but to roll with KAT, seeing as the Thunder have had zero answer for him all year. In three meetings, Towns has averaged 27.7 actual points per game in this matchup and tonight he’ll be at home, where he sees a 6+ fantasy points per game boost on average.
Steven Adams is not an ideal matchup usually, but that has simply not been a problem for Towns this year. Again, I love Jokic and Drummond as 1B and 1C options, but KAT is my main man at center tonight.
Overall, I love the value on tap tonight and I obviously need some dives to pull through. They’re logical bargain buys, though. All of these guys are just way too cheap, have awesome matchups and/or are simply too talented to pass up.
My studs are Wall, KD and KAT, too. Considering I can stack those 3 together and it doesn’t even feel that forced, I see little reason to find ways to get more expensive guys in this lineup.
Remember, you don’t need to use this team as it stands. Not as enamored as I am with KAT, don’t trust KD or won’t touch Rando with a 10-foot pole? No problem. Sub those guys out and make changes as you see fit. Whatever you do, hopefully some of these picks play a helping hand in getting you some green at FanDuel tonight. Good luck!