My daily fantasy basketball picks were a mixed bag on Monday. Willie Reed was a total bust in just 10 minutes of action and Jae Crowder notched just 13 fantasy points. Crowder did not get the extra run that I was hoping for, while Reed just didn’t get much floor time despite DeAndre Jordan sitting out a second straight game.
Ryan Anderson and Gerald Green weren’t amazing, but both were fine value tries, while Tyrone Wallace stayed hot. Chris Paul and Stephen Curry were a fine pairing, Klay Thompson was his usual meh-tastic self and Kevin Durant was a fine pivot off of LeBron James.
In the end, Blake Griffin was probably the best overall value among studs, while Paul George was right there with him. Russell Westbrook was a good fade after getting tossed, too.
The logic wasn’t bad, but Reed and Crowder cratered this lineup. In hindsight, dropping from KD to PG-13 and swapping CP3 and Crowder for something like Blake/IT2 would have been the better call.
Regardless, I’m back for another go of it on Tuesday, as NBA DFS gamers get a small 4-game slate to work with. Let’s see which studs and value picks you may want to mix together to get a potential GPP-winner at FanDuel tonight:
PG: Kyrie Irving – Boston Celtics ($8.2k)
Damian Lillard is the top point guard play on the board tonight, but I like Irving at home against the Pels. His matchup (New Orleans ranks 22nd versus point guards) is about as good and his date with the Pelicans makes for a slightly more competitive game on paper.
These guys on average produce similar numbers, so the hope here is I save some money and match or exceed Thrillard’s production tonight. Irving can certainly pop off, while he’s produced a very safe floor this year. I also don’t hate going cheap at PG across the board. Jeff Teague ($6.9k) and Rajon Rondo ($5.5k) are worth a look, as well.
PG: Dennis Smith Jr. – Dallas Mavericks ($6.5k)
DSJ is my third favorite point guard. Obviously pairing Kyrie with Dame would be fun, but I like Smith’s chances to crush this price tag against Denver (28th versus point guards). DSJ has really been stepping up lately, too, posting 28+ fantasy points in 8 consecutive games.
The run, talent and matchup are all there for the taking tonight, while DSJ also remains a palatable price. I think he’s comparable to Teague tonight and there’s a chance he ends up being the second best point guard on the board. If Ky can match Dame, DSJ is a fine second PG to build around on this 4-game slate.
SG: Andrew Wiggins – Minnesota Timberwolves ($6.5k)
I think a lot of people will gravitate toward Devin Booker and C.J. McCollum tonight – and rightfully so. They’re probably the two most stable SG options on the board and unlike Jrue Holiday, they’re not facing a stingy Boston defense on the road.
I’ll bite on Booker, but McCollum just hasn’t been a guy I love targeting this year. He’s been erratic and often underwhelming. That probably goes for Wiggins, too, but you save nearly $2k in the process here and get a guy who is routinely a threat to score 20-25 points every single night.
Wiggins is certainly a viable play against the Magic tonight. Orlando ranks 28th against shooting guards and will be far busier trying to slow down Jimmy Butler and Karl-Anthony Towns. It only helps that Wiggins worked out (34 fantasy points) the last time he faced the Magic.
SG: Devin Booker – Phoenix Suns ($7.8k)
Booker is cheaper than McCollum and tends to be involved in more peripheral stats. That’s no guarantee, but he has the ball in his hands a lot and can help out with dimes and rebounds a bit better than McCollum can.
Both of these guys have great matchups tonight, but I prefer the upside of Booker. For whatever reason, he averages +3 points on the road and has been solid (38 fantasy points per game) in two meetings with Portland this year. With a bunch of banged up bodies in Phoenix, Booker should be shouldering a massive scoring load tonight.
SF: Josh Jackson – Phoenix Suns ($5.2k)
Jackson is banged up and questionable to play tonight, but he’s looking at a huge role if active. Fellow Suns forwards Marquese Chriss and T.J. Warren could also sit out, which would free up loads of minutes and extra scoring opportunities.
Jackson is still a rookie on the road tonight, but he’s getting solid run lately and actually popped off for a career high 21 points in his last outing. If he can start and log 30+ minutes, he feels like a must-play value pick on this small slate.
SF: Jaylen Brown – Boston Celtics ($5.5k)
Jimmy Butler is the top small forward by a mile, but there should be legit concern the Wolves house the Magic tonight. If you believe he’s logging 35+ minutes, by all means, he could be the top stud to own.
This feels like a “studless” type of night to me, however, and I think dropping down at both SF spots could be part of that. That brings Jaylen Brown into the equation for me, as he consistently sees 30+ minutes and has a really versatile skill-set. He won’t always erupt offensively, but he can often make up for that with strong peripherals.
It’s hard to hate Brown at this price, while he’s also at home and gets to face a weak New Orleans defense that ranks 24th at stopping small forwards. There isn’t much to dislike here, so unless you need Butler, Brown should be on your DFS radar tonight.
PF: Aaron Gordon – Orlando Magic ($7.5k)
Boston slows games down and defends well, so I’m not overly enamored with paying a premium for Anthony Davis tonight. He topped 85 fantasy points in his last game, but it’s extremely unlikely he comes close to doing that again in this one. The matchup just doesn’t allow for it.
The Brow is always in play, but I’ll be fading and pivoting to Gordon, who always has the upside to top 50 fantasy points. He almost did that the last time he faced Minnesota (44 fantasy points), who simply didn’t have an answer for him. He blows up out of nowhere every now and then and considering he hasn’t done so in a few games, I’m highlighting this matchup as a spot to watch him for.
I like the upside you can get with him and even with a tough matchup by the numbers, I like him to exceed value at home.
PF: Taj Gibson – Minnesota Timberwolves ($5.6k)
I really don’t want too much exposure to the game with the biggest spread tonight, but Gibson also went nuts the last time these two teams faced off. He’s got the way better matchup between him and AG (Orlando ranks 26th vs. PFs) and he tends to see 30+ minutes when Minnesota isn’t completely wrecking teams.
The fact that this game is on the road makes some options mildly appealing, while Taj simply offers value at an extremely top-heavy position.
C: Jusuf Nurkic – Portland Trail Blazers ($7k)
Anytime Portland is in an advantageous spot and/or facing a team with a true center, I’m all aboard the Nurk Alert train. For starters, center is admittedly loaded. However, Boogie is at Boston and KAT has to deal with Bismack Biyombo in what could easily be a blowout.
Nikola Jokic is probably my favorite center tonight, but Nurk provides way too much value and upside in a date with the Suns. Phoenix does not defend well and specifically ranks just 19th against centers. Nurkic really hasn’t wrecked them this year, but he’s averaged a nice double-double (15 and 10) across two meetings. Let’s hope he brings some of his upside to the table tonight.