Friday night ended up being a success in the NBA DFS picks department and hopefully it helped you win big money. Unfortunately, pretty much everyone had a good lineup last night, so my GPP teams (all over 310!) failed to place.
That’s almost unheard of, but those were the breaks.
Still, if you used my daily fantasy basketball FanDuel picks, you at least had a shot. Ricky Rubio (29.5) was decent enough, Kris Dunn (40.9) bounced back with a great game, Bradley Beal (39) was strong and Kevin Durant certainly didn’t disappoint.
Tim Hardaway Jr. and Jabari Parker (24 each) could have been better, but they were hardly crippling. I also could have gotten away with pivoting from KD to Paul George (42.5), but I can’t complain. That may have potentially taken me off of Aaron Gordon (53.6!) and he was an absolute stud.
Alex Len capped things off with a cool 35 fantasy points, which was seven more than Andre Drummond.
Oh, and one of my favorite value plays was David Nwaba, who popped off for 40 fantasy points.
In the end, I had two guys perform below expectations, but this lineup was otherwise a fantastic string of picks. Hopefully it helped you cash in some way and if you went from KD to George, but again, win or no win, it’s hard to be upset with last night’s results.
I’m back at it again for a weekend run on Saturday, which boasts a fun six-game schedule on FanDuel’s main slate. Let’s see what kind of GPP lineup my favorite mixture of studs and value picks creates:
PG: Russell Westbrook – Oklahoma City Thunder ($11.2k)
I’m going full GPP mode here, as I’m stacking the top three studs and refusing to look back. That’s going to lead to some scary dives, but GPP gonna GPP.
It all starts with Russ, who has gone nuts in each of his last two games and now has a huge showdown with the Blazers in Portland.
On the year the Blazers actually defend the point guard position quite well, but Westbrook has averaged over 55 fantasy points per game against them across two meetings. With each game being bigger and more meaningful in the second half of the season, I have to think even a fatigued Westbrook is going to be a near-impossible fade.
PG: Shabazz Napier – Portland Trail Blazers ($4.5k)
I certainly don’t trust a backup like Napier, but Portland is giving him run right now (20+ minutes in each of his last three games) behind Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum. Portland is going to need a spark off the bench in a pretty tense game with the Thunder and he’s a fine GPP dart that few will throw.
I’m not expecting the world out of Napier. However, he’s topped 27+ fantasy points in his last two games and he’s a very able scorer and passer. If he can get off to a hot start he could top 20 fantasy points and make this dive worth the risk. The idea is simply filling out this roster so my studs can max out.
SG: James Harden – Houston Rockets ($11.2k)
The elite trio gets it’s second big dog in Harden, who absolutely destroyed the Boston Celtics (60 fantasy points) when he faced them earlier this year. That game was in Boston at the TD Garden, too, so I don’t hate Harden’s upside at home in Houston tonight.
Obviously Boston is not the ideal matchup, but Harden has proven to be matchup proof all year long. I’m putting his floor at 45 fantasy points and if this game can turn into a shootout, I wouldn’t be shocked if he again topped 60+ fantasy points. I need him to do that for the roster I’m building, so I’ll bet he comes through for me here.
SG: Manu Ginobili – San Antonio Spurs ($4.2k)
Shooting guard has some interesting options, but if I’m stacking elites and paying for Harden, I have to drop down at numerous spots. That second SG slot is one such spot that makes sense and I have to think Manu will get some offensive looks with the Spurs so banged up right now.
The 40-year old guard is no lock to get heavy run, but he has a nice usage rate when he’s on the floor. San Antonio certainly needs offense with both LaMarcus Aldridge and Kawhi Leonard out of this game, while a showdown with the up tempo Lakers offers added upside. Normally I’d refrain from Manu, but in GPPs I’m willing to roll the dice on this slate.
SF: LeBron James – Cleveland Cavaliers ($12.2k)
King Jame rounds out my elite trio, as I’m just swinging for the fences on this slate. The hope is all three of my studs pan out and don’t sack me, while my laundry list of value plays somehow come through. While it’s a gamble, a lot of these value tries actually make a ton of sense and fading these elites comes with it’s own risk.
I don’t really need to talk you into rostering Bron Bron, though. He’s scored 30+ actual points in four of his last five games and he’s safely topped 50+ fantasy points in 10 straight games. At home in an up tempo clash with the Denver Nuggets, I’d say that streak continues, and then some.
SF: Justise Winslow – Miami Heat ($4.2k)
If you don’t love James, consider pivoting to Paul George tonight. There is an argument that the Thunder could be bogged down after playing last night though, while an injury to Brandon Ingram really thins the SF position out, overall.
That could lead you to Winslow no matter what the rest of your lineup looks like, as injuries to Tyler Johnson and Wayne Ellington should lock him into a solid role. That was the case in his last game, where Winslow was aggressive in 30 minutes and delivered a gem (31 fantasy points).
I am absolutely hoping for that again tonight. That may not necessarily be realistic, but he’s a talented player with an increased role. It’s a solid try in GPPs.
PF: Davis Bertans – San Antonio Spurs ($4.1k)
Bertans is rarely a sexy or super safe play, but as I’ve touched on, the Spurs are pretty beat up. They’re also at home against the Lakers, so they’ll need extra offense. I think they can get that via Bertans, who has shown time and time again he can make an impact as a shooter from the outside.
Not having Ridge really opens things up for Bertans, who put up 21 fantasy points in 16 minutes in his last game. He’s no lock to pay off, but he’s cheap with a favorable matchup at home. Here’s to hoping he gets the run he needs to deliver in this one.
PF: Kelly Olynyk – Miami Heat ($4.1k)
The story is similar for Olynyk, who was a real sad sack the last time you took a chance on him in tournaments. That actually could contribute to recency bias lowering his ownership drastically, which I love to hear with news of Bam Adebayo being ruled out for tonight’s action.
Miami is going to need some size and scoring in the paint one way or another, as the Heat play host to Detroit’s big men, Andre Drummond and Blake Griffin. Olynyk is best known for his perimeter shooting, but he could still get ample playing time to help clean the glass and defend in this one.
As long as Olynyk can push for 25 minutes or so, he’s an elite value play on this slate.
C: Joffrey Lauvergne – San Antonio Spurs ($4.2k)
If you run through this lineup on FanDuel and try to make drastic changes that are better than what I’ve pieced together here, you’ll find yourself failing. The only way to make that happen is to drop down from one of my elite option and for this particular slate, I’m not really interested in doing that.
That leads me to cap things off with Lauvergne, who could get a little more run with the Spurs so short-handed. Pau Gasol is probable to suit up for this one, but the Spurs would be foolish to run his wild due to recent injuries and a winnable matchup at home. I don’t expect Gasol to see elite run, so that could mean his backup sees a few more minutes than some expect.
Lauvergne is a gamble no matter how you shake this one out, but he offers some upside in a fun matchup at home. I’ll roll the dice here and hope he returns the same efficiency he did in his last game (25.9 fantasy points in 19 minutes).
Overall, my main NBA DFS strategy is eating chalk with the top three studs and then hoping my spare picks can do just enough to piece together a winning lineup. If the three elites deliver, that leaves the door open to one or two of these deep dives not having to pan out. Either way, this team is riddled with upside and all of these value picks do have a path to success.
Whether you’re with me on this wild ride on Saturday or not, I wish you luck in your daily fantasy basketball picks tonight!