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FanDuel NBA Plays: Thursday

by Andy “A25Smith” Smith
Updated On: December 3, 2018, 6:02 pm ET

We have a fairly small four-game slate tonight with the Knicks at the Pistons (-4.5, 202), the Lakers at the Pelicans (-10.5, 209), the Raptors at Trail Blazers (-1, 204), and the Rockets at Suns (+7, 214).


Despite the small slate, there are plenty of big tournaments at FanDuel tonight and a ton of interesting value options as well as superstars like James Harden and Anthony Davis.   



Point Guard

Jrue Holiday, $6,800 and Norris Cole, $5,000, New Orleans Pelicans - Tyreke Evans is listed as doubtful for tonight and it doesn’t make much sense to rush him back for a game with a terrible Lakers’ team, so it’d be a big surprise if he played. Assuming he’s out, Holiday and Cole both make terrific options. Along with Anthony Davis, they are shouldering a heavy offensive load and are still very cheap. Holiday took 18 FGA last night and is averaging 19 FGA over his past five games, while Cole took 17 FGA last night and is averaging 15 FGA over his past games. That’s great usage at their price points and they now draw a matchup with a Lakers’ team that is dead last in DVP against both PG and SG. 


Archie Goodwin, Phoenix Suns, $5,100 - There is a ton of value with the Suns tonight and I don’t mind rostering 3 to 4 of them as they’re all cheap and seeing big minutes. I’m giving the slight edge to Norris Cole tonight over Archie, as he draws the easier matchup, but both are great options. Archie got back on track last game and saw 45 minutes of playing time under new coach Earl Watson. He’s proven to be a volatile option, but he does present 35 FD point upside and Patrick Beverley has not been the same elite defender this season. 


Also Consider - Kyle Lowry (great GPP option)   



Shooting Guard

James Harden, Houston Rockets, $11,000 - There are two big name options in Harden and Anthony Davis tonight, and due to all of the value in Phoenix and potentially New Orleans, it’s easy enough to squeeze them both into your lineups. With Eric Bledsoe out, the Suns have really struggled against SG as they are 27th in DVP against the position. The Rockets have a team total of 110.5 points, which is highest on NBA odds board, and Harden is putting up elite numbers right now. A case could be made for a tournament fade, but he brings the highest floor and highest ceiling to the SG position and is a guy to plug into your cash game lineups. 


Devin Booker, Phoenix Suns, $5,400 - Booker’s price is slowly drifting up, but it’s not to the point where it needs to be and he’s still one of the top values on the slate. New coach Earl Watson raved about the young SG and due to all of the Suns’ injuries, he’s going to continue to a ton of shots for the Suns. With Trevor Ariza likely on Markieff Morris, Booker will likely see Corey Brewer or James Harden defense to start this one, which is a great matchup. The Rockets are 22nd in DVP against SG and Booker has topped 30 FD points in consecutive games. Given the matchup, I expect him to make it three straight 30 FD point games tonight. 


Also Consider - Bryce Jones (if Tyreke Evans out), Lou Williams (if Kobe Bryant out)



Small Forward

P.J. Tucker, Phoenix Suns, $4,800 - The SF position is really ugly tonight, and Carmelo Anthony is the top option if you can afford him. He draws a tough matchup with a Detroit team that is second in DVP against SF, so I’m prioritizing James Harden and Anthony Davis for my cash games. Outside of Melo, there’s not much else to like, so I’m just looking for minutes and Tucker certainly provides that. The Suns are very short-handed and T.J. Warren is also now out for the year. He’s played at least 35 minutes in four straight games, so he provides great minute security in an up-tempo game. 


Trevor Ariza, Houston Rockets, $5,900 - He’s similar to Tucker in that he’s not going to get high offensive usage, but he will see a ton of minutes on the court. You can typically lock him in for 35+ minutes and while he doesn’t offer huge upside, he fills a very weak position and offers exposure to the top predicted offense of the night in the Rockets. Staying in Houston, as long as the Rockets stick with their smaller lineup, then Corey Brewer is a nice punt option at just $3,700 if you can’t squeeze in Ariza. 



Power Forward

Anthony Davis, New Orleans Pelicans, $10,100 - He’s enemy #1 for DFS players as he’s been very injury prone this season, and has been a very volatile option. However, he does still carry big upside as evidenced by his 58 FD points against an elite Spurs defense last night. The matchup against an awful Lakers is elite and assuming he can avoid another in game injury, he should feast on their front court. The Pelicans have a team total of 109.8 points, which is second behind the Rockets, which should mean big nights from Davis, Cole, Holiday and maybe even Ryan Anderson


Markieff Morris, Phoenix Suns, $5,200 - As a Rockets fan, it’s odd to include four Phoenix Suns in my write up but given their cheap price tags, elite minutes, and poor Rockets defense, getting several Suns into your lineups is the way to go tonight.  With Jeff Hornacek fired, Markieff is no longer in the dog house, and actually looks to be a focal part of the Suns’ offense.  He played 41 minutes and took 20 shots last game, and Earl Watson said he will be a main focus of the offense.  I wouldn’t expect him to shoot 13-20 again necessarily, but the Rockets are dead last in DVP against PF so this is a great spot for Markieff. 


Also Consider - Julius Randle, Josh Smith



Jonas Valanciunas, Toronto Raptors, $6,300 - Dwight Howard and Andre Drummond are intriguing tournament options for me, but I like Jonas’ price tag and he fits in nicely with the higher prices of James Harden and Anthony Davis. His minutes are the primary reason his price is so low, as he’s played just 19 minutes in each of his past two games. However, he did manage to average over a fantasy point per minute in each of those games, and his minutes were partly hurt last game by the Suns going small. If he can get back to the 25 minute mark, I really like the matchup tonight against a Portland team that has really struggled on the interior and is 21st in DVP. 


Also Consider - Dwight Howard, Andre Drummond, Omer Asik (punt)

Andy “A25Smith” Smith
Andy has been playing fantasy sports for 15 years started playing Daily Fantasy Sports in 2012 with a $150 bankroll and is now ranked in the top 50 of the RotoGrinders leaderboard, including the top 15 in CFB and top 25 in NBA, under the name A25Smith. You can follow him on Twitter @SouthwesternAg.