I was away yesterday to tend to a personal matter, but hopefully you found your way to some winnings in daily fantasy basketball contests at FanDuel. I’m back for Friday’s action, which features a fun six-game NBA DFS slate.
There is actually a lot to think about ahead of this slate, as a litany of injuries are sure to dominate your NBA DFS strategy. How you react to them all is up to you, but just keep in mind that the Boston Celtics and Golden State Warriors are both on this slate and are down a ton of key bodies.
Kevin Durant and Paul George are both questionable to suit up tonight, too, so this slate could have even more value than you thought at first. For now, I’m personally operating as if both are out, simply because that is what I hope will happen and it helps me get the exact team I want.
Obviously if either of those guys suit up, you’ll want to adjust accordingly. Without further haste, here’s a look at some of my favorite studs and value picks in tonight’s FanDuel GPP lineup:
PG: Lonzo Ball – Los Angeles Lakers ($7.8k)
I don’t need to keep seeling Ball, as he’s a peripherals god and when he puts actual points on the board, he can be flat out elite. He’s done nothing to get me off of him lately, as he’s safely topped 35+ fantasy points in seven of his last nine games.
Ball will be at home tonight against a Heat team that plays slow and can defend, but he dropped 38 fantasy points on them in South Beach. On his home floor, Ball figures to dictate the tempo and have an even better game. I’m a little shocked he’s still under $8k, so I’ll stay with him tonight.
PG: Terry Rozier – Boston Celtics ($8.2k)
Both Ball and Rozier might go under-owned tonight, as this feels like a slate where everyone feels forced into using Russell Westbrook. That would naturally have them diving to pair Russ with a cheaper PG. Needless to say, finding the right value play at that second point guard spot could be easier said than done and it also means Russ better wreck.
The status of Paul George (questionable) may dictate that, but no matter what happens, I’m looking to go against the grain on FanDuel.
Westbrook feels much more palatable on DraftKings, but he’s $12.1k at FD and you need to roster two point guards here. There is a ton of value on this slate, but I see a lot of value in Rozier, who is probably losing a ton of ownership simply based on his inflated price alone.
That could scare you off, but he has been a monster as the starting point guard when Kyrie Irving sits and he’ll again run the show tonight for the Celtics. More importantly, Rozier faces a terrible Magic defense that he put up 22+ fantasy points against across three meetings this year. That was in a far weaker role, so I wouldn’t be shocked if he doubles that tonight.
If both of my point guards can get 45-50 fantasy points here (and they totally can), it will make fading Russ (and opening up extra salary) a potential GPP-winning strategy.
SG: D’Angelo Russell – Brooklyn Nets ($6.9k)
D’Lo has been wrecking, so I do have some hesitance with him tonight. I am often on the wrong end of him, so certainly consider every option at shooting guard tonight. You’ve been warned, but I still like Russell against a Sixers defense that struggled against shooting guards.
This is also an up tempo game and considering Russell just torched Philly two games ago (26 actual points), I don’t have too much fear in using him at a discounted price.
Shooting guard isn’t exactly loaded and I think he’s an elite pivot off of more expensive guys like DMR and Lou Williams. He could easily end up matching or besting them on this slate.
SG: Nick Young – Golden State Warriors ($4.7k)
Swaggy P logged 31 minutes in his last game and scored 18 points. He should again be looking at a big role for the Dubs tonight in a plus matchup at home against a bad Kings team. Not only are Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson both out tonight, but Kevin Durant is even questionable.
One way or another, Young is going to get run and hoist shots tonight. At this price, he screams elite value in what should be an up tempo game.
SF: Corey Brewer – Oklahoma City Thunder ($4.9k)
Brewer’s price is on the rise, but he’s been working out lately with 32+ minutes and 30+ fantasy points in each of his last two games. I can’t talk myself into wasting much time on this guy, but he remains a good price for a guy who is logging solid run and can do a lot of things.
If Brewer was already a solid value play with PG-13 on the roster, he’s going to bring even more value to the table if George sits this one out. It can’t hurt that the Los Angeles Clippers are notorious for struggling to defend the wing, either.
SF: Mario Hezonja – Orlando Magic ($4.6k)
Super Mario hasn’t really gone off despite both Aaron Gordon and Evan Fournier missing time. It’s been Jonathon Simmons who has benefited from an increased role. Still, Hezonja is looking at extra minutes and both of those guys could be out again tonight.
I’m going to need AG (concussion) to sit to roll the dice here, but Hezonja has a versatile skill-set and could thrive at home against a depleted Celtics team. Just keep an eye on Gordon’s status.
If things change and AG plays, consider pivoting to Omri Casspi ($3.7k), who could have a massive role whether KD sits out tonight or not.
PF: Draymond Green – Golden State Warriors ($7.8k)
The Dubs are just insanely beaten up right now and Durant possibly sitting tonight (questionable) makes Green a very interesting play. There isn’t a ton of data to support all the bodies being out actually helping Green, but you’d have to imagine more responsibility on the court at least offers more upside.
Green is a good price right now and tends to hover around 40 fantasy points, regardless. With the ball in his hands more and the green light to score more, he could be a money play at the power forward position.
PF: Tobias Harris – Los Angeles Clippers ($7.7k)
Ditto for Harris, who drops in price a bit after climbing way over $8k recently. He’s been very stable for the Clippers, offering a reliable scoring punch and solid versatility. He really does a little bit of everything and has provided a strong floor (33+ fantasy points in seven of his last eight contests) along the way.
A date with a strong Thunder defense isn’t ideal, but OKC has actually dipped in that department since losing Andre Roberson. Should PG-13 sit tonight, they take an even bigger hit, while stud center Steven Adams is even iffy for this one.
That all could help Harris, but I like him no matter what. He’s providing a little more value here and I think he’s a logical pivot off of a way more expensive Ben Simmons. Aaron Gordon is the same price and could be contrarian if he plays, but I’m fine sticking with Tobias to give me two rock solid PF options tonight.
C: Brook Lopez – Los Angeles Lakers ($7.1k)
I like Joel Embiid tonight because he’s been back to his studly ways (50 fantasy points in each of his last two games) and he gets the Nets at home. Unfortunately, he’s super expensive for this slate and the Sixers have actually played three games in the last four nights (including last night).
That might get me off of Joel, while Nikola Vucevic has been a guy that has been impossible to peg. Against a solid Boston defense that has a nice rotation of bigs to toss at him, I might refrain from a $9k price.
All of this has me looking at Brook Lopez, how is in theory overpriced, but not when you look at his recent run and production. The guy is back to the DFS beast he was over the past several years, as the Lakers are feeding him the ball and he’s responding with big games.
Lopez has topped 20+ actual points in four of his last five games and is playing a ton. Tonight he’s at home against a Miami team that has a few bigs they like to put on the court and it’s a spot where he could thrive. The beauty is I’m not so sure too many people will want to pay this price for Lopez, especially with so many other viable center options on this slate.
Ultimately, I’m looking to make some contrarian moves that to me aren’t even that crazy.
Fading Russell Westbrook could easily backfire and if KD plays, not using him is another potential mistake. However, both could be insanely popular plays tonight. In the event they perform below expectations and my pivots excel, I could be looking at a huge advantage in tournaments.
The rest of the way, I’m staying balanced and using logical value picks. I think it’s a strategy that gets me into the money tonight and perhaps even produces a great team. Let me know if you agre or if you have some interesting picks of your own. Whatever you opt to do tonight, I wish you luck in your NBA DFS contests at FanDuel!