FanDuel NBA Picks – January 24th

My night was over rather quickly in daily fantasy basketball last night and I can only hope the same wasn’t the case for you. De’Aaron Fox got hurt early and exited for good, leaving me with 8 fantasy points and setting NBA Twitter on fire with a career outing from Garrett Temple.

That was a bummer, especially considering the rest of my NBA DFS picks were pretty strong. Davis Bertans (26 fantasy points) was a fine value pick, Paul George (40) was an elite pivot off of the top small forwards and Kyrie Irving scored 33 actual points. Julius Rande (33 fantasy points) also worked out swimmingly, while Draymond Green delivered a solid 12-6-5-1-1 line and Jordan Clarkson was strong for the third game in a row.

My only two gaffes that weren’t injury related came via Klay Thompson (second straight games under 10 actual points) and Jaylen Brown (17.4). I personally pivoted to Michael Beasley (31) later in the night and I’m sure you at least considered doing the same.

Overall, last night was a fine night for my NBA DFS picks and hopefully you avoided the landmine that was De’Aaron Fox. It never feels good to see your end night with an injury in the very first game, after all.

With that, it’s on to Wednesday night’s daily fantasy basketball slate. There are 9 games to peruse through to work your way to a GPP squad at FanDuel. Here’s my favorite lineup:

PG: Kemba Walker – Charlotte Hornets ($8.4k)

I normally hesitate to roll with Walker, but he’s always in play when he’s at home and I bet he’s more driven than ever with all these trade rumors popping up. On top of that, he faces a weak Pelicans defense that has difficulty stopping point guards (20th against the position).

I also like Kyle Lowry at a similar price point, but Walker’s game is probably a safer bet to stay competitive and he might have more upside tonight. Jeff Teague is also very appealing with Jimmy Butler likely out again tonight.

PG: Kyrie Irving – Boston Celtics ($8.2k)

There is admittedly a lot of interesting value at point guard tonight, but I’m making a calculated call to fade the likes of Dejounte Murray, Jerian Grant, Ricky Rubio and Darren Collison. Those guys are all shaky to begin with, but now that people are actively trusting in them, I’ll steer clear and cross my fingers they crater.

I don’t mind paying up at PG, as there is a lot of viable value elsewhere. Irving is a fantastic try, as he’s in Los Angeles for the second night in a row and faces a Clippers defense that doesn’t really have anyone that can stop him. He’s in a groove, too, having put up 40 and 33 actual points over his last two outings.

SG: Zach LaVine – Chicago Bulls ($5.1k)

Many will flock to Jerian Grant with Kris Dunn out again. His price has risen, though, and I’d much rather target that big Zach LaVine breakout game that is seemingly just around the corner. LaVine logged 24 minutes in his last game and that should be his minutes floor going forward.

LaVine should be cheaper, but he brings a lot of volume to the table and has considerable upside against a Philly defense that is down key bodies and ranks 22nd versus shooting guards to begin with.

SG: Andrew Wiggins – Minnesota Timberwolves ($6.1k)

Jimmy Butler is listed as doubtful tonight, which means he’s likely set to miss his third game in a row. I can’t pass on Wiggins at this price, especially considering he took full advantage of a bigger scoring load last time out (40 actual points).

A date with the Blazers in Portland isn’t ideal by the numbers, but Wiggins should have volume for days. His role and price combine to make him one of the chalkiest (and most necessary) plays across all NBA DFS formats.

SF: Robert Covington – Philadelphia 76ers ($6.2k)

Covey is always going to be a roll of the dice, but he gets heavy run most games and may not see the bench tonight. Philly is down three key bodies in J.J. Redick, T.J. McConnell and Jerryd Bayless on the wing, so look for a lot of Covington tonight.

I like his role obviously, but he also has a solid matchup (Bulls rank 29th vs SG, 19th against SF) on the outside. He should get some open looks and perhaps even take on some extra playmaking. He’s a solid enough price, too, while SF is bogged down greatly by injuries to Kawhi Leonard and Jimmy Butler.

Both Harrison Barnes and T.J. Warren are worth a look, but I’ll just save the extra $900 and use it elsewhere.

SF: Jaylen Brown – Boston Celtics ($5.7k)

Brown flopped for me last night, but I’m going back to the well tonight. He remains a good price and the Clippers rank dead last against small forwards. Boston has dropped 4 games in a row, too, so they should be pretty focused on getting a win tonight. I expect a good game out of Brown and at this price I don’t need him to go nuts.

I’ll also be looking at Nemanja Bjelica again if I decide to pay down. He wrecked last game with Butler out (34 minutes, 34.8 fantasy points) and there is plenty of reason to go back to the well again on this slate.

PF: Ryan Anderson – Houston Rockets ($4.1k)

I always love Rando when he’s cheap and on the road. Tonight he draws a favorable tilt against the Dallas Mavericks, who aren’t known for their defense and are a middling unit (13th) against power forwards.

Anderson is always a candidate to get hot from long range and is probably due after failing to top 10+ points in any of his last three contests. I can see a solid game here, but the reality is he’s a talented player that offers upside at a really low price. If he can get me the roster I want, he’s worth the risk.

If you can work your way up the ladder a bit, I also like Dario Saric tonight. He’s a fine price, gets reliable run and should shoot a little more than usual with so many injuries in Philly.

PF: Blake Griffin – Los Angeles Clippers ($9k)

My favorite stud on this entire slate is probably Griffin. He’s at home and is just $9k flat against a Celtics team that is flat out reeling at the moment. Boston can be tough defensively, but that hasn’t been the case during a 4-game skid and I doubt they put the clamps down on the road in this one.

Griffin simply has too much upside to ignore at this price, too. He went absolutely nuts (63 fantasy points) his last time out and has such a huge role in the Clippers offense right now. I don’t expect 60+ fantasy points, but I love his floor and upside at this price.

C: Jusuf Nurkic – Portland Trail Blazers ($6.9k)

If I could find the value picks to get me there, my favorite center on this slate would be Joel Embiid. Some will chase Boogie’s insane 96.6-fantasy point outing, but I’d prefer to chase his matchup. Embiid should be a monster tonight against the Bulls.

That being said, I like too many other options and a key thing to remember in NBA DFS is that you can’t roster everyone. That, and one guy doesn’t make a team. You just need to avoid guys who are going to bury your lineup. I think Nurkic can get by, as Karl-Anthony Towns is not an elite defender and he’ll be needed on the floor to defend KAT, as well.

Nurkic can be hit or miss, but I like his projected run in this one and he brings strong upside to the table due to his scoring, rebounding and shot-blocking. He’s probably my favorite overall value at the center position.