FanDuel NBA Picks – January 2nd

I’ve been away for a while – mostly the holiday – but Tuesday marks my return to the NBA DFS scene. Hopefully you enjoyed some fun time over the break with family and friends, as well as some daily fantasy success.

If the latter has evaded you, I hope to shed some light on some solid picks that can change that quickly. It could come as soon as Tuesday night, too, as the NBA offers up a fun 5-game slate.

There is little room for error on these smaller slates, but I like enough value on FanDuel tonight to dive in and swing at a big GPP winner. Let’s see who rounds out my favorite daily fantasy basketball team at FD tonight:

PG: Frank Ntilikina – New York Knicks ($4.7k)

I don’t like using anyone against the Spurs, but I like the discount I get with Frank here. Ntilikina is working his way into a pretty nice role these days (28+ minutes in 3 straight games) and has the ability to rack up a lot of different stats.

Facing San Antonio isn’t ideal, but there aren’t many elite bargain buys on this small slate. He might be my favorite and I think he has a solid shot to approach 30 fantasy points. At this price, that makes him a fantastic steal.

PG: Dennis Schroder – Atlanta Hawks ($7.7k)

I don’t want to load up on Hawks and this is probably a chalky approach, but I’m not sure I have a choice. The Suns provide just an amazing matchup, plus there aren’t a ton of elite point guard options drawing me in.

Damian Lillard and Kemba Walker are your next best bets and both can be shaky. Thrillard is even returning from a long injury absence, so I don’t see much reason to test the DFS gods here. I’ll ride and die with Schroder, who faces a Suns defense that ranks 26th against point guards.

SG: Nicolas Batum – Charlotte Hornets ($6.4k)

I normally don’t like using Batum due to his tendency to spare me to the moon and back, but he is still a versatile player with some nice upside. That could especially be the case tonight, as he’ll face a bad Kings team.

Batum barely averages over 25 fantasy points per game, but he can do a little bit of everything. I trust him and his run more than Kent Bazemore, so that mild boost in trust will have to do on this slate.

SG: Devin Booker – Phoenix Suns ($8k)

Tyreke Evans has been awesome, but he’s simply too expensive now. C.J. McCollum has been a turd for much of the year, too, while Lou Williams isn’t quite worth his price tag now that Blake Griffin is back.

I’ll just roll with Booker, who retains a massive role and has pretty good upside. For a guy who has topped 36+ fantasy points in all three games since returning from a groin issue, he offers tantalizing value.

SF: T.J. Warren – Phoenix Suns ($7.5k)

I see Warren and Kawhi Leonard (same price) as similar options. Perhaps Kawhi will be a bit more contrarian, but with LeBron James on this slate, I’m not sure either will generate insane ownership.

I don’t really want James tonight. He’s probably getting 50 fantasy points, but he’s quite restrictive and I don’t think he’s necessary. That’s the hope, at least. Warren is in probably the best game of this slate and has plenty of upside, himself. Facing a bad Hawks defense (25th vs. small forwards) certainly doesn’t hurt.

SF: Taurean Prince – Atlanta Hawks ($6k)

I don’t normally go out of my way to roster Prince, but he did go nuts (49.5 fantasy points) two games ago and tonight will face the Suns. Phoenix ranks 3rd in pace and doesn’t defend, so this projects as an awesome spot for Prince and really any Hawks players you can comfortably talk yourself into.

I still don’t love Atlanta and won’t go crazy here, but SF isn’t a great position. Prince has been in strong form and I think he offers a solid floor tonight, as well as reasonable upside.

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

Blake is my one true stud on this slate. Kristaps Porzingis and LaMarcus Aldridge could seriously cancel each other out, while King James is a bit too steep for me tonight. Griffin doesn’t exactly have it easy against Memphis, in theory, but he’s at home and has been great (39 and 47 fantasy points) in his return from a long absence due to a knee injury.

He’s been borderline matchup proof for much of his career, while you actually save money by using him over Zinger. He’s also giving you more upside than Ridge, especially with Leonard back in the fold for the Spurs.

PF: John Collins – Atlanta Hawks ($5.9k)

I hate to stack Hawks, but it’s hard not to. The Suns play fast and don’t defend, while they specifically fall dead last against power forwards. Ersan Ilyasova’s range makes him a better play at DraftKings, but on FanDuel I want the safety Collins brings to the table.

C: Tyson Chandler – Phoenix Suns ($4.5k)

Center is trash tonight. There is no way I’m paying almost $9k for Dwight Howard, while few other options call my name. Nurkic feels like an elite value on paper, but his run is always tough to trust.

I just don’t want to pay for a center on this slate, and hopefully dropping to Tyson (29+ minutes in 3 of his last 4 contests) ends up being a little contrarian. The Hawks gets a good matchup against the Suns, but that works in Phoenix’s favor, too. Atlanta  is just 29th versus centers, after all.

Using Chandler never feels amazing, but as long as he starts, I’m fine with the mild risk in GPPs.