Thursday night’s FanDuel NBA DFS picks were a mixed back. Kristaps Porzingis was a failure after exiting with a knee injury, while I missed out on elite value by knowingly pivoting from Omri Casspi (who went nuts) to Doug McDermott.
Zinger was actually on a solid pace (22 fantasy points in 18 minutes), but ultimately buried me. Ideally I would have never even been on Zinger and used Rondae Hollis-Jefferson at PF instead. I was never going to pay over $7k for RHJ, though, so it doesn’t make much sense to backtrack.
Dougie Buckets and Zinger ruined me, but I still had some solid picks that hopefully helped you out. Frank Ntilikina (30) worked out swimmingly, while it really didn’t matter who you used between LeBron James or Kevin Durant. Both topped 60 fantasy points and KD (who I used) saved you some cash.
Jordan Clarkson and Yogi Ferrell were in promising situations but ended up being busts, but Kevin Love was a beast (and an elite value) and Klay Thompson was solid with 25 actual points. He never seems to be worth it, though, and I really went hard after him due to his estimated usage spike. Unfortunately, that really didn’t play out as planned.
Jordan Bell rounded things out as a solid value play and he was quite chalky, as expected. Overall, last night’s team wasn’t a winner, but if you used Love, KD and/or Frank, you could have had a solid core to build around.
Friday’s daily fantasy basketball slate brings in a crazy 11-game slate, so you’ll have to be prepared for a wild night of injury news and a slew of value picks that could open up. Joel Embiid is already questionable to play, so the fireworks could start early. This still projects as a fun slate, so let’s see what my favorite team looks like at FanDuel tonight:
PG: Jawun Evans – Los Angeles Clippers ($4k)
How do you not use Evans tonight across the board? The rookie guard logged 25 minutes last game due to an Austin Rivers injury and tonight both Rivers and Milos Teodosic have already been ruled out. A date with John Wall and the Washington Wizards isn’t ideal, but Evans could be looking at a ton of run.
The play here is Evans gets 25-30 minutes and he falls into some stats. He posted 20 fantasy points in his last game, so there is some potential there. He’s probably a building block for me, as the Clips will also be without Danilo Gallinari and are probably going to need him quite a bit.
PG: Kemba Walker – Charlotte Hornets ($7.7k)
Normally I don’t target players against the Heat due to their slow pace and defensive abilities, but Walker is always in play at home and he’s actually a solid price. Walker’s upside isn’t that different than some of the other pricey PG options, either, so I like the value you can get here.
Walker has been a bit of a spare lately, but his last two games came on the road. Now that he’s back home, I don’t mind taking a chance on him against a Heat defense he dropped 22+ points on three different times last year.
SG: E’Twaun Moore – New Orleans Pelicans ($4.8k)
Moore is like the Taj Gibson of shooting guards; he keeps producing and getting sick run, but FanDuel refuses to budge his price. He’s a free square for me, just because he’s a willing scorer and he’s getting so much floor time.
Moore has safely played 34+ minutes in 8 straight contests and is constantly a threat to score 20 points. He also gets his hands on some rebounds, dimes and steals, so he’s got a lot of upside at this price point. His matchup with Gary Harris isn’t ideal, but if he can grind his way to 28-30 fantasy points, consider it a win.
SG: C.J. McCollum – Portland Trail Blazers ($7.1k)
I wish McCollum were a little cheaper, but he’s earned this price tag by scoring better lately. Portland’s #2 scoring option has poured in 28, 21 and 28 actual points over his last three games and looks to finally be in a groove again.
I like McCollum’s chances of keeping this nice run going against the Magic, who stink overall defensively, but struggle against shooting guards (28th), specifically.
SF: Giannis Antetokounmpo – Milwaukee Bucks ($12.5k)
The Greek Freak is expensive, but he’s worth it on a slate where SF is garbage and there really aren’t that many elite options I covet. I hate the price, but it’s hard to balk too much for a guy who has topped 60+ fantasy points in two straight games and hasn’t dipped below 47 fantasy points in a game since November 1st.
Giannis is the safest player on the board and has the upside to get 70+ fantasy points on any given night. Tonight he’s at home against the Bulls, who rank just 19th against small forwards.
SF: Michael Kidd-Gilchrist ($5.4k)
Giannis is the only expensive SF option I like, but there are several mid-range options to consider. MKG leads the way in that group for me, as he has nice scoring upside and his energy can help him get a lot of other stats, as well.
His matchup with the Heat at home passes the eye test, while he’s done well as a scorer lately with 15+ actual points in 3 of his last 4 games. If he can keep putting the ball in the hoop, he’s going to offer insane value at this price, simply because he rebounds so well and can rack up steals. I love his upside tonight.
PF: Nikola Mirotic – Chicago Bulls ($5.9k)
There was chatter for a while there that the Bulls might just deal Niko the second they could. Heck, maybe they still do. However, he is proving his value right now with 19, 24 and 29 actual points in his last three games. He probably deserves some type of a role going forward, while he could start again tonight if Lauri Markkanen (back) is out.
Niko has started each of the last two games and has paid off nicely with 36 and 43 fantasy points. Milwaukee has been brutal (1st) against power forwards, but I’m not sure I can go against the volume and upside if Mirotic starts again tonight.
Obviously Lauri could be back tonight and the matchup looks rough on paper. If you need a PF pivot, consider John Collins ($5.9k), who put up 30 fantasy points in his return from a shoulder injury yesterday.
PF: JaMychal Green – Memphis Grizzlies ($5.4k)
I don’t love power forward tonight and don’t really see this as the spot to spend my cash. Anthony Davis, Ben Simmons and Aaron Gordon are all worth spending on, but I don’t see any of them as must-have options. That could change for Simmons if Joel Embiid (questionable) is out, but he was bad in his last outing and will face a really tough OKC perimeter defense.
That leads me to paying down at both PF spots and I like Green, who dropped in 32 fantasy points in his last outing. I like him more if Tyreke Evans is out again, as he’d find the ball in his hands a bit more and get some more shots. He plays a lot, though (30+ minutes in 6 of his last 7 games), and has a solid matchup against a weak ATL defense that ranks 25th against power forwards.
C: Steve Adams – Oklahoma City Thunder ($6.9k)
Everyone is struggling in OKC, save for Adams. The stud center is excelling with more opportunities and it’s translated into fantasy success, as well. He’s getting loads of run these days and it’s helped him churn out 30+ fantasy points in 5 of his last 7 games.
His lowest mark was 27 during that stretch and I like his chances to keep the ball rolling tonight, provided Joel Embiid is out. I’m not too high on him if Embiid is out there, but Adams otherwise has a clear path to a nice double-double. If you’re looking to pay up at center, both Marc Gasol and Andre Drummond have great matchups and should be worth a look.