I’m here to break down tonight’s eight-game FanDuel NBA slate starting at 7:00 ET. Keep in mind that this column was created earlier in the day, meaning injury information could change the fantasy landscape through the afternoon. Obviously you’ll want to keep track of any developments through Rotoworld’s NBA Headlines & Injuries Feed as we move closer to tip-off.
With that, let’s dive into each position while mining for the best value and overall plays in this slate.
Damian Lillard – Portland (FanDuel Price: $9,300)
Lillard has been somewhat mediocre from a fantasy perspective over the past two games. I’m hoping that reduces his ownership rate in a prime, up-tempo home draw vs Phoenix. Lillard racked up 53 fantasy points through just 29 minutes in a blowout opening night win against the Suns. His individual matchup looks even better this time around with Phoenix PG Eric Bledsoe doubtful. Look for Dame to resume his fantasy-friendly ways tonight.
Also Consider: Mike James ($4400) of Phoenix also stands to benefit with more usage and offensive responsibilities considering Eric Bledsoe is doubtful. He’s a decent value filler to offset the cost of Lillard … Tyler Johnson ($4500) finally broke out last game, and I don’t believe that was an aberration. Miami needs his scoring ability with Hassan Whiteside still out, and facing a suspect Boston backcourt (at least defensively) is a matchup ripe for the picking … If you don’t quite have the salary to make Lillard work, but still want a quality PG, Mike Conley ($7500) can be that guy. The matchup looks great against a Houston team that is missing Chris Paul’s perimeter defense.
Devin Booker – Phoenix (FanDuel Price: $7,000)
Some people may label Booker as a tournament only play, but I like him in all formats tonight. Sure, he’s a streaky shooter with potential to underachieve if his shot is off. However, the upside is immense, especially considering a higher usage rate with Eric Bledsoe doubtful. Simply put, if Phoenix wants to stay in this game, they’ll need to rely on Booker. The price point is acceptable on FanDuel as well.
Also Consider: I’m looking towards value when filling out my other shooting guard spot. Wesley Matthews ($5000) and Rodney Hood ($5300) don’t have much upside, but they are tolerable fillers who should hover around their value threshold of 25 fantasy points … If Austin Rivers (questionable) misses tonight’s game, expect to see more of Lou Williams ($6000). I personally think he’s overpriced, but a potentially heightened role to go along with his instant-offense ability is tempting.
LeBron James – Cleveland (FanDuel Price: $11,300)
A combination of floor, upside, and low opportunity cost at small forward transforms LeBron into an elite selection on FanDuel. New Orleans doesn’t have anyone capable of guarding him (not many teams do) and LBJ should maintain his heavy usage rate in the post-Kyrie era. The King is a building block in my lineups tonight.
Also Consider: Paul Zipser is questionable for Chicago tonight. If he’s out, Denzel Valentine ($4600) will step into a 35 minute starting role as an easy value complement to James … PJ Tucker ($4600) is another value filler in the event that Valentine doesn’t get the start. However, Tucker is dependent on Trevor Ariza (questionable) sitting out … If all else fails, I don’t mind taking a chance on TJ Warren ($5200) despite the general inconsistencies. Eric Bledsoe’s expected absence should have a ripple effect through this lineup, and Warren could pick up the slack in an up-tempo draw.
Ryan Anderson – Houston (FanDuel Price: $4,400)
At the time of writing this, Trevor Ariza has been upgraded from doubtful to questionable. If Ariza plays, I’ll probably avoid Ryan Anderson with an uncertain workload and usage rate. He has been stepping things up with 34+ minutes in Ariza’s absence, something that immediately vaults him into value consideration if Ariza misses another game. Even though the matchup isn’t great against Memphis, the playing time, upside, and low price point would make Anderson a quality lift in all formats if the injury news breaks in his favor.
Also Consider: If Ariza ends up playing, Marquese Chriss ($4700) is an acceptable pivot. However, he’s questionable himself – so keep an eye on that … Kyle Kuzma ($4900) has a tough matchup at Utah, but Coach Walton has been giving the rookie plenty of opportunities to thrive as of late. I don’t mind him as a fallback value … Al-Farouq Aminu ($5800) should benefit from the elite game environment of PHX-POR, noted several time through this article.
Marc Gasol – Memphis (FanDuel Price: $9,000)
Gasol is another staple in my cash game lineups. He has been amazing to begin the season, and that should continue in a friendly matchup vs Houston. Gasol’s production up to this point in the season has been far from a fluke, as this should be expected whenever he’s fully healthy and playing aggressive.
Also Consider: I’m looking to save at power forward and then spend at center tonight. That’s just the nature of these positions on this particular day … Al Horford ($7500) just keeps producing with one less playmaker (Hayward) out of Boston’s lineup. He catches a break tonight with Miami’s Hassan Whiteside sitting out … DeMarcus Cousins ($12000) will demand plenty of attention in DFS if Anthony Davis is out. That’s the only way we can justify entertaining that insane salary. Even then, it’s more of a tournament proposition than anything, considering Marc Gasol is $3k cheaper.