FanDuel NBA Picks – January 23rd

Ryan Arcidiacono was a classic gaffe on Monday night. After logging 22 minutes and splitting the point guard run with Jerian Grant in his previous game, he played just 5 minutes and didn’t record a single stat. That was devastating, but to add insult to injury, Grant had a career night.

Hopefully you avoided that fiasco, but beyond that horrible miss, my NBA DFS picks were actually fantastic last night. Jusuf Nurkic, Anthony Davis, Andrew Wiggins and Khris Middleton all worked out with ease, while Blake Griffin was amazing with a monster triple-double.

Spares like Joe Ingles and Wayne Selden didn’t meet expectations, but if you used my main core and found your way to other spares, you probably had a good night.

This is as good of a time as any to remind you that my daily fantasy basketball picks are not meant to be your final stop en route to a DFS victory. You can use my favorite lineup as it stands, but I always suggest you note my picks and mesh them with your own gut calls.

If you did that last night, you may have won pretty big. Hopefully that’s the case, but for me, Tuesday is here and I’ve got a 5-game slate to worry about.

This projects as an odd one, as there are several studs to consider despite the small slate. Let’s dive into my favorite NBA DFS picks at FanDuel:

PG: De’Aaron Fox – Sacramento Kings ($5.7k)

Fox feels like a must on this small slate. Whether you’re paying up to land Russell Westbrook or not, you need some value and there are truly only 3 reliable points guards to begin with. Fox isn’t one of them, but the run and talent are there and he faces a Magic defense that ranks dead last at defending point guards.

PG: Kyrie Irving – Boston Celtics ($8.5k)

Russell Westbrook is at home against the Nets and could easily be the top point guard on this slate, but he’s awfully expensive and OKC (-10) owns the second biggest spread advantage on the night. If that spread holds up, he may not be in for a full game and that should hurt his upside.

I don’t like the idea of that with an expensive player and that’s another reason to get me off of Stephen Curry, as well. That being said, I’m more into Curry just because he’s a full $2k cheaper.

Irving is even less expensive, though, and he’s got a (projected) tighter game in L.A. He just went off for 40 actual points in his last game and with Boston reeling (3 straight losses) something tells me he’ll be lazor focused in this one. It only helps that the Lakers play fast and don’t stop point guards (25th) very well.

SG: Klay Thompson – Golden State Warriors ($6.8k)

Thompson is part of a dangerous game (-13.5 spread), but he’s always worth a shot and the Knicks rank just 22nd against shooting guards on the year. He’s been a mixed bag over his last two contests, dropping 8 and 38 points in two very different outings. I like him somewhere in the middle tonight at home in a favorable spot.

SG: Jordan Clarkson – Los Angeles Lakers ($7k)

Klay Thompson is a fine pivot away from Clarkson and there is a very good argument for fading Clarkson. He’s facing a tough Celtics defense, he’s pricey and it’s possible his hot run could come to a screeching halt.

I’ll ride the wave, though. Shooting guard is not at all loaded and he’s been ablaze and is actually getting good run. As long as Lonzo Ball is out, Clarkson feels like a must play option.

Again, I do think fading him on a team or two could pay off. But looking at position depth and his upside right now, he feels pretty necessary.

SF: Jaylen Brown – Boston Celtics ($5.5k)

Small forward is extremely top heavy and I do need to save in a few spots. Brown is a nice value play and he’s also about as far down at SF as I’m willing to go. He’s got a nice matchup on paper (Lakers rank 29th against small forwards) and has also been solid lately with 23+ fantasy points in 7 of his last 8 games.

I don’t expect the world from Brown, but there’s a decent chance he delivers a strong performance here. Outside of pairing Kevin Durant and LeBron James together, I find it difficult to get away from Brown on this slate.

SF: Paul George – Oklahoma City Thunder ($8k)

Kevin Durant lacks elite upside given how loaded the Dubs are. He’s going to get you 40+, but I can’t vouch for much more than that. His matchup is fine, but I’ll be selective in this game against the Knicks just because it boasts the largest point spread of the evening.

There’s also LeBron James, who has seen his role take a hit ever since Isaiah Thomas entered the rotation. IT2 takes away ball-handling and shots and it has led to James chipping in fewer than 40 fantasy points in 4 of his last 6 games.

Of course King James will wreck on the road against a tough Spurs defense the second I get off of him, but the logic does not prop him up tonight.

If Durant and James are going to just hover around 40-45 fantasy points like they have been, I see no reason not to eat the value PG-13 provides. His game could end up turning into an ugly blowout, but he scored 36 actual points in his last game and tonight gets the lowly Nets.

Brooklyn plays fast and is a middling unit (16th) against small forwards. There is a chance he tops 40 fantasy points in this one and if he does, he could be the best SF play on the board.

PF: Davis Bertans – San Antonio Spurs ($3.6k)

Pau Gasol is out tonight and Bertans is already seeing around 20 minutes most nights, so I love him at this price. In addition, Rudy Gay and Kawhi Leonard both remain sidelined, so there is a role here for a good shooter. Add in a home date with an atrocious Cavaliers defense and Bertans is a very difficult fade for me.

PF: Draymond Green – Golden State Warriors ($8.2k)

Power forward is probably the best overall position on this 5-game daily fantasy basketball slate. You have two viable studs up top, while Aaron Gordon, Draymond Green and even Carmelo Anthony give you solid drop-down options. There’s even more value down deeper, but I already am using Bertans and I’ll aim for a more reliable option at my other PF slot.

That comes in the form of Green, who is not reliant on scoring and seems to be a threat for 40+ fantasy points every time he hits the court. Matching up with Kristaps Porzingis isn’t ideal, but Dray posted respectable lines in two meetings against The Unicorn last year.

Green just does so much that I think he’s probably the safest option here. Zinger has been erratic and is not in a great spot on the road, while LaMarcus Alridge’s price is woefully inflated. Aaron Gordon and Melo are viable, but I trust them less.

I want a lock for 35-40 fantasy points here and I think I have that in Green.

C: Julius Randle – Los Angeles Lakers ($6.6k)

Center is not loaded tonight. I don’t feel I need to pay a premium for Steven Adams, while Kevin Love is pretty tough to trust at the moment. I think I’ll save myself some trouble and just drop down to Randle, who has actually been playing really well and will be at home.

A date with Boston isn’t ideal, but the Celtics actually rank just 15th against centers. Randle could pan out nicely in this matchup and I like the idea of not investing too much cash in this position. If I want an elite GPP pivot, I’ll consider Love.