You probably had some solid success if you rolled with my NBA DFS picks on Thursday night. Russell Westbrook (below 50 fantasy points) was a great fade and Stephen Curry got hurt before getting even three fantasy points.
Instead of spending up for those guys, I dropped down slightly to Kyrie Irving (48) and Kemba Walker (33) and they worked out just fine. I had some nice hits elsewhere, as Hassan Whiteside (42) was a solid play and Devin Booker (38) was decent as well.
I hit the lottery with some gem value plays, as both Allen Crabbe (44) and Nemanja Bjelica (45) went nuts.
Taj Gibson (22) wasn’t amazing and I did have two turds in Marvin Williams (15) and Nicolas Batum (14), but overall this was a strong lineup and one that helped me double my entry money.
Friday offers up a wide open slate and honestly, one that could be complicated by a lot of injuries. Stephen Curry will not suit up tonight and Anthony Davis is extremely unlikely to play, so those two absences could pave the way for some very interesting options.
With that in mind, let’s dive into my favorite lineup for FanDuel GPPs tonight:
PG: Lonzo Ball – Los Angeles Lakers ($7.5k)
I really like Damian Lillard tonight, but I want to spend big elsewhere and I honestly love the value I get with Ball. Lonzo is not scoring dependent and can rack up the peripherals like crazy, so I certainly am interested in him in an up tempo, plus matchup against Denver.
The Nuggets haven’t been able to slow down point guards at all this year, while Ball has averaged a stellar 42 fantasy points per game (through two meetings) versus the Nuggets this year. I think he can chase 40 points in this matchup tonight, if not much more.
PG: Frank Ntilikina – New York Knicks ($3.6k)
This is a GPP team, so you’re going to need to be willing to take some risks. One could come in the form of Ntilikina, who finally found himself in the starting lineup in his last game. He promptly logged 28 minutes and could be looking at more run going forward.
He carries risk because he hasn’t really popped off as a scorer yet, but he gets his hands on a lot of stats and should improve with the added run. Milwaukee isn’t a dream matchup by any means, but Ntilikina is cheap and finally has a solid role. Here’s to hoping he can get close to 30 fantasy points tonight.
SG: Klay Thompson – Golden State Warriors ($6.5k)
Stephen Curry (ankle) is out for Golden State’s next two games, so the top Warriors players are going to be worth a look. Thompson complained recently about his hip, but as long as he’s a full go tonight, he’s an obvious threat to blow up in a likely shootout against the Portland Trail Blazers.
Thompson sports a nice 28% usage when Curry is off the floor and he is going to provide more upside against a Blazers team he’s already averaging 20 points per game against this year. I think he’s in line for a 40-burger tonight, so at this price I’m all over him in tourneys.
SG: Ben McLemore – Memphis Grizzlies ($4.8k)
McLemore should be cheaper, but Memphis likes what they’re getting out of him right now, so his role should stay strong tonight. There are also a lot of dead bodies on the Grizzlies, so as long as Memphis needs him, you can expect his 30+ minute role to stay intact.
This is not a reliable guy, but McLemore is finally starting to show signs of life with 31+ fantasy points in each of his last three games. The price increase and a showdown with a good Utah defense should drop his ownership, so if he can simply stay the course, he could prove to be a gem of a GPP play.
James Harden is the top SG play tonight, but I’ll be spending my cash elsewhere on FanDuel. As it turns out, I’ll pay down at shooting guard, instead.
SF: Kevin Durant – Golden State Warriors ($9.8k)
KD is not a guy you should be fading tonight, as Curry is out and that gives way to a sick 35.8% usage rate. Durant has delivered some massive games with Curry off the floor this year and is averaging 71 fantasy points per 48 minutes in that setting.
You can’t book 70 points, but Durant is cheaper than usual and suddenly gets an expanded role. It’s always smart to target the Dubs when one of their stars is sidelined, while KD has already wrecked the Blazers (62 fantasy points per game in two previous meetings) this season.
SF: LeBron James – Cleveland Cavaliers ($12.5k)
Small forward is ghastly beyond the top guys. Giannis Antetokounmpo is also in the mix here, but one way or another I’m thinking long and hard about paying up at both slots at FD. King James is my vote for the guy next to KD, as the drop-off is just too steep after these three studs.
I like KD and Bron Bron the most of this trio, while James will be in a very enticing shootout in Los Angeles against the Clippers. This is a game that will feature virtually no defense and a fast tempo, so James should get all of the stats.
PF: Draymond Green – Golden State Warriors ($7.7k)
I’ll add one more Warriors option to the mix here. With Anthony Davis down for the count tonight, power forward gets super weak in a hurry. Paying down at both spots is certainly an option, but I love Green in this spot.
Not only does Green get added looks and playmaking opportunities with Curry out, but he also slayed the Blazers (55 fantasy points) the only time he faced them earlier this year. With Curry out, it’s not too crazy to hope for something similar, plus he’s pretty cheap at the moment.
PF: Cheick Diallo – New Orleans Pelicans ($3.5k)
Somebody is going to have to make up for the absence of The Brow. Obviously Rajon Rondo, Jrue Holiday and Nikola Mirotic are easy calls, but in this team I’m fading that trio and working in the size that has to replace Davis.
Diallo is part of that puzzle and he’s been a per minute fiend (1.13 fantasy points per minute) and could be looking at 20-25 minutes in this one. At the minimum price, he’s a logical gamble.
C: Emeka Okafor – New Orleans Pelicans ($3.8k)
The same goes for Okafor, who has been a really nice story as he has returned to relevancy at age 35, despite being out of pro basketball since 2012. He’s another per minute monster, as he’s putting up 1.20 fantasy points per minute right now.
New Orleans is going to need some size down low, which could put Okafor in a similar 20-25 minute window. This is not a guy who needs 30 minutes to return value, just because he can get easy buckets and rack up rebounds and blocks.
One way or another, the absence of The Brow and Chef Curry is going to impact how you look at this slate. I do think another strategy could be to fade Diallo/Okafor and build a team around Rondo/Mirotic/Jrue and another could be to just make a team without Curry/Davis impacting your build process at all.
This is a very interesting 10-game daily fantasy basketball slate and there are a lot of ways to look at it. For this team, I love some deep value dives and I really want two stud small forwards. Let me know where you agree/disagree and what you plan on doing tonight in the comments below!