Wednesday was a mixed bag. We certainly had some hits, as Russell Westbrook was worth the trouble with his best game of the year (66 fantasy points). Eric Gordon was also big for us (40 fantasy points), while Carmelo Anthony (45) and Joel Embiid (38) didn’t leave us hanging, either.
Paul George was our first gaffe. He’d been having an excellent season (40+ fantasy points in every game) and had the revenge narrative going for him as he faced his old team. He disappointed greatly, however, as he chipped in just over 13 fantasy points on the night.
There was no way in seeing that coming, while spares like Domantas Sabonis and P.J. Tucker not crushing shouldn’t have been a huge surprise. Tucker wasn’t terrible, though, as he did get 20 fantasy points. Mike James was our other value play last night and he failed to deliver in 22 minutes.
Wednesday produced a stars/scrubs winner in the big GPP, as first place rode Russell Westbrook, LeBron James and James Harden to $100,000. They needed freakish performances from T.J. McConnell, Clint Capela and Jeff Green to get there, however.
We had Russ and a few solid hits, so hopefully our picks helped you cash. Either way, we’re back at it on Thursday, where we get a much smaller five-game slate to work with:
PG: Malcolm Delaney – Atlanta Hawks ($4.8k)
I think Delaney is a must tonight. Jameer Nelson and Matthew Dellavedova (should Malcolm Brogdon sit again) are worth a look, but Delaney is locked into a big role with Dennis Schroder out and he’s the better option of those three players.
Delaye showed us that in his first start, as he logged 33 minutes in his last game. The beauty is he didn’t blow the door off the hinges (19 fantasy points), so there’s a chance people will bypass him for the aforementioned dives or pay up at point guard. I’m hoping he goes under owned, but I love him tonight against the Bulls, regardless.
PG: De’Aaron Fox – Sacramento Kings ($5.7k)
Fox has been stellar to start his rookie campaign, scoring 14+ actual points in three of four outings. He’s slowly leap-frogging starting point guard George Hill, too, so his potential is only building. He is not without risk at this point, but he gets a good matchup tonight against a Pelicans team that doesn’t defend well.
Trending in the right direction, Fox is one of the better value plays on Thursday night’s daily fantasy basketball slate.
SG: Austin Rivers – Los Angeles Clippers ($4.9k)
Rivers doesn’t do a whole lot outside of scoring, but he’s starting and has a solid offensive role with Milos Teodosic sidelined with a foot injury. He’s still a good price for a guy who is going to play 30-35 minutes and shoot the ball 10+ times per game. I like the role and price here and we obviously need to save in some spots.
Shooting guard isn’t exactly loaded, so we can punt this position twice tonight if need be. C.J. McCollum is our chief concern, but if people are paying up for him they’re probably sacrificing another spot they shouldn’t (perhaps one of our studs).
SG: Buddy Hield – Sacramento Kings ($5.1k)
Kings starters feel like a gamble these days, as they all got benched in the fourth quarter in their last game. We’re going to need to throw caution to the wind tonight, however, as Hield gets to dish out some revenge against the team that drafted him and then traded him a year ago. Hield is a starter with the potential to log 30+ minutes and blow up as a scorer, so he’s a fine dive in our double-punt plan at shooting guard.
SF: Giannis Antetokounmpo – Milwaukee Bucks ($12.4k)
I think the way to start this slate off is lock Giannis and Boogie into your team and go from there. Whenever there are studs at weak positions or they’re the clear play, we need to roster them. Small forward is really bad beyond The Greek Freak (by the way, kudos to FanDuel for moving Giannis back to SF), and nobody at this position can touch the upside he’s bringing to the table right now.
Yes, he could finally fail to come close to meeting value, but he is way too hot to bypass on a small slate. His price is gross, but here’s the reality; he does everything, he hasn’t produced fewer than 60 fantasy points in a game yet this year and he faces a Boston team he torched already this year.
Considering Danilo Gallinari is the next best SF, fading Giannis doesn’t feel like an option in any format tonight.
SF: Paul Zipser – Chicago Bulls ($4.2k)
I don’t love Zipser, but we can’t spend much at the second small forward spot tonight and there isn’t really anything after Giannis to get excited about. There are better options than Zipser on paper, but he’s actually a great value in theory at this price.
Thanks to Bobby Portis, Zipser is getting a lot of run and has shown to have little hesistance hoisting shots. He’s not the first Bull I want, but he helps us with salary tonight and after chipping in 25 fantasy points last game, he’s shown us he’s capable of helping out. We can also consider Dillon Brooks, but he’s fallen off the face of the planet ever since posting 44 fantasy points in his NBA debut.
PF: Zach Randolph – Sacramento Kings ($4.5k)
Here’s another dance with the devil in Sac-town, as we’re going to have to cross our fingers the Kings keep it close with the Pelicans so Z-Bo and the other Kings starters don’t get benched again. Randolph has been fairly effective in two of three games (25+ fantasy points) this year, and if The Brow is out, he’s going to shape up as a fine value play on this slate.
PF: Lauri Markkanen – Chicago Bulls ($6.5k)
Markkanen made the Cavaliers pay in his last game and the rookie big man has actually looked quite good through his first three NBA contests. Chicago still lacks depth down low and he’s been exceeding expectations, so it looks like he’ll remain locked into a 30+ minute role.
So far he hasn’t fully blown up, but he’s produced 26+ fantasy points in every start and may have his best chance yet to top 30 against the Hawks at home tonight.
C: DeMarcus Cousins – New Orleans Pelicans ($11.8k)
The second call is without a doubt Cousins, but only if Anthony Davis (knee) sits this one out. Considering The Brow exited his last game with a big scare, I have to think the Pels take it easy and rest him for a game or two. They’d be silly not to. This game is all about Boogie and his return to Sacramento, too.
Provided Davis sits, Cousins is looking at a huge revenge narrative and a massive role. What we saw in his last game after The Brow went down (63 fantasy points) is a pretty good bar to target here. Marc Gasol is the next best center on the board and is probably going to be tired after playing last night. Start your build with Giannis and Boogie and don’t look back.