Monday night’s NBA DFS picks weren’t perfect, but if you followed along with me, you certainly had a path to success. Damian Lillard (50) was a fantastic pivot off of an expensive Russell Westbrook, while James Harden (41), Marc Gasol (34) and Corey Brewer (33) all worked out.
Yesterday was crazy, though. Harden was pretty spare given his immense upside, Gasol was simply decent and Giannis Antetokounmpo (30!) was a total turd. This was not a day for studs, while a guy I actually mentioned in Jusuf Nurkic (but faded) went completely nuts (56!).
I actually hit on a lot of my value picks and Lillard was a beast. It was really unfortunate for Harden and The Greek Freak to come up so short.
There’s the rub for a four-game slate, it seems.
Fortunately Tuesday offers a chance to turn things around in a big way, as daily fantasy basketball gamers get a nice 11-game schedule to work with. This means there are tons of studs to consider and a lot less value than you’d think. Let’s sort through the madness to see what my favorite FanDuel GPP team looks like for tonight:
PG: Kemba Walker – Charlotte Hornets ($8.3k)
I love targeting a terrible Pelicans defense, so I’m game for spending up to get Kemba tonight. I rarely love trusting in the Hornets on the road, so I will admittedly stop my Hornets exposure here and just hope Charlotte hangs in there and gets a lot of their production from Walker.
History suggests that’s likely. Not only do the Pels struggle terribly against point guards, but Walker specifically dropped 37 fantasy points on them earlier this year. They’ve turned into a significantly worse defense ever since losing DeMarcus Cousins for the year, so I love Walker’s upside in this one.
PG: Lonzo Ball – Los Angeles Lakers ($7.8k)
I’m going back to the well with Zo, who has been a peripherals mad man.
He once again gets a fun, up tempo showdown with the Nuggets, who he torched to the tune of 47 fantasy points just two games ago. Denver does not stop point guards very well and I doubt they’ll suddenly change course tonight against Ball and the Lakers.
L.A. has been playing really well ever since Ball returned to the lineup and they especially are tough to take down at home. Ball has been racking up stats like nobody’s business and this is a very favorable matchup, so I see no reason to fade here.
The beauty with these two point guard picks is they really aren’t that expensive, yet they give me two fantastic options in lieu of spending up to get Russell Westbrook.
SG: Zach LaVine – Chicago Bulls ($6.5k)
The Bulls keep yanking minutes around, but I’m willing to take the dive with LaVine just because he’s a nice price and carries so much upside. A date with the Clippers makes for a fun pace and lots of scoring, while it’s worth noting LaVine absolutely torched them (41 fantasy points) the first time he faced them this year.
Adding to the allure here is the fact that this game is at the United Center. I am digging the value and upside combo here, while I really don’t want to pay up at SG more than I have to.
SG: Devin Booker – Phoenix Suns ($8.2k)
Booker is probably as expensive as I want to go tonight at shooting guard, but he’s likely to play after missing some time with a triceps issue. It’s going to be awfully difficult to bypass him in a home tilt with a still bad Cavaliers defense.
While Booker hasn’t had the luxury of taking on Cleveland’s awful defense yet this year, he’d been on fire recently (37+ fantasy points in five of his last six games) and faces a Cavs defense that ranks 27th against shooting guards.
I’m not really going out of my way to pay for elite players on this slate, so getting strong intermediate options like Booker who can both give me a discount and a bunch of upside feels like a great move.
SF: Nemanja Bjelica – Minnesota Timberwolves ($5.8k)
LeBron James gets the Suns and will be forced into a lot of lineups, but I’m going uber contrarian and fading him tonight. The presence of Russ and The Brow might take his ownership down a bit already, but it’s probably safe to say he’s the top stud on this slate.
There are no tantalizing SF options after him, so I’m either paying for him or dropping down considerably at the position. I choose the latter to promote balance throughout my roster tonight, and it starts with Bjelica. Jimmy Butler remains out, so you can expect to see Bjelica’s huge role (40 minutes in each of his last three games) continue.
This is not necessarily the safest play out there and I would prefer Bjelica’s price to be down a bit, but he’s actually been pretty steady with 27+ fantasy points in four of his last five contests. He’ll have an up tempo matchup with the Wizards, too, so given his run and outside shooting stroke, I think there is enough value to feel good about here.
SF: Corey Brewer – Oklahoma City Thunder ($4.1k)
I’m double-dipping here with Brewer, who I rolled with last night at $3.8k. He delivered with a 33-point gem and while using him again feels risky, he should continue to carve out around 30 minutes and is just too cheap to ignore.
I love when I can get guys who do a lot of things, see the floor a lot and can shoot. Brewer offers all of that, as he’s starting right now, has logged 27+ minutes in each of his last three games and has also produced 21+ fantasy points every game during that stretch.
Provided OKC’s showdown with the Hawks isn’t over before halftime, he should be looking at nice run and a matchup that could give way to another gem based on this low price tag.
PF: Ben Simmons – Philadelphia 76ers ($9k)
Simmons was super weak the last time I used him, but I’m not paying up for Anthony Davis tonight and I love the idea of Simmons chasing 50 fantasy points while being a contrarian option. There are just so many nice options on this slate that I think Simmons gets overlooked and in a fast-paced tilt with the Pacers, I love his upside.
Recency bias obviously plays into lowering Simmons’ ownership, but I’ll assume the mild risk for a guy who has topped 40+ fantasy points in four of his last six games. In fact, his last game (26 fantasy points) saw him struggle largely due to a blowout win over the Nets.
Simmons is going to be needed in this showdown, while he’s done well (46 fantasy points per game) in two previous meetings this year with Indy.
PF: Patrick Patterson – Oklahoma City Thunder ($3.6k)
This is a huge dive, but Steven Adams (ankle/hip) is banged up and is tentatively expected to sit out tonight’s matchup against the Hawks. He really isn’t needed for what should be an easy OKC win, so it’d be wise for the Thunder to sit him.
If he does sit out, it makes sense to target a Thunder bench guy like Patterson, as someone needs to soak up Adams’ minutes and there could be extra run to go around if this game lives up to it’s blowout projection. I’m not buying that due to OKC’s tendency to allow games to stay close, but I still think Patterson sees 25-30 minutes in this one.
That has never guaranteed Patterson would be a hit before, but he can shoot and rebound and Atlanta is not a scary matchup. If he has a clear path to solid minutes, I love taking a shot on him tonight.
C: Brook Lopez – Los Angeles Lakers ($6.7k)
Is this real life? The Lakers are competitive and Brook Lopez is getting serious, consistent floor time. It’s crazy, I tell ya.
I’m sure Luke Walton could rip the rug out from under us at any time, but for the moment Lopez looks like a rock solid NBA DFS target. He did just drop 44 fantasy points on the same Nuggets team he faces tonight and he’ll also be at home.
You know Lopez will be needed for his scoring and size with Nikloa Jokic down there for Denver and given his success lately (22+ actual points in three straight games), I have to give him a try. The best part is center is loaded and I also doubt many people will love the idea of paying for Lopez at nearly $7k. I’m going to throw caution to the wind here and bet on his hot run extending at least one more night, though.
Overall, this is a wide open slate and one that certainly does not lack star power. That being said, I don’t think the deep value is that amazing and I love so many intermediate options that I just don’t see a reason to spend big at any specific spot.
If I did, I’d probably nab King James just because small forward is so atrocious. I like this strategy for tonight’s slate, though, and will probably stick to it. If you agree/disagree or have some other thoughts about tonight’s daily fantasy basketball slate, feel free to interject in the comments below. Either way, good luck in your NBA DFS FanDuel contests tonight!