Tonight’s five-game FanDuel NBA slate (starting at 8:00 ET) is somewhat tricky in my opinion. We have several top-flight plays but not enough value to make several combinations work. On the other hand, some injury contingencies (namely Anthony Davis) could change the entire layout of this slate. 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.
Mike Conley – Memphis (FanDuel Price: $7,500)
Damian Lillard and Kyrie Irving are tempting in this spot, but I’d rather take Conley with a considerably cheaper salary and better overall matchup. He’s a solid upper mid-range selection who inspires confidence through all formats. Marc Gasol has been the offensive engine for Memphis, but Conley maintains a solid role within this lineup. He posted 35 FP in 35 minutes against this same Dallas team last night, and a similar performance seems possible.
Also Consider: I’m looking to combine Conley with a value option. Malcolm Brogdon ($6000), J.J. Barea ($5100), and Malcolm Delaney ($4800) fit that category. We’ll need to confirm Brogdon is playing, as he’s the safest bet for minutes/floor if deemed a full-go … Barea has been an efficiency monster to begin this season. While he was great in yesterday’s meeting with Memphis, I have a tough time buying into that outstanding efficiency – therefore treating him as a tournament only option … Delaney will see more playing time with Dennis Schroder out, opening a clear path to value despite his low usage rate.
CJ McCollum - Portland (FanDuel Price: $7,700)
Some people may not think he’s worth the salary in this slate, but I’m buying up shares of McCollum tonight. Patrick Beverley will likely guard Damian Lillard all night, pushing usage towards McCollum with the easier draw. This is far and away the best game environment of the night, and CJ could emerge as the top fantasy producer within it.
Also Consider: If you don’t have enough salary to make McCollum work, Justin Holiday ($6700) is a solid fallback option who has been carrying plenty of usage for the Bulls … As mentioned earlier, Dennis Schorder is out for Atlanta, opening Kent Bazemore ($5700) and Marco Belinelli ($4800) as plausible value fillers … For Chicago, Kris Dunn is out tonight and Paul Zipser is questionable. If Zipser sits, Denzel Valentine ($3900) will step into quality minutes as a great value through all formats for this near-minimum price.
NOTE: As I'm just finishing this article, I see that Paul Zipser is listed as doubtful. Denzel Valentine becomes a very nice value now.
Giannis Antetokounmpo – Milwuakee (FanDuel Price: $12,400)
Giannis is the staple through my FanDuel NBA cash games tonight. Not only is he one of the top projected producers of the night (with a good matchup), but the low opportunity cost at small forward justifies shelling out the big bucks (no pun intended). I’m building around him for cash games tonight.
Also Consider: If Paul Zipser ($4200) is playing for Chicago, I like him as a value complement to Giannis. He should see reasonable playing time with so many injuries running through this Bulls lineup … Otherwise, James Ennis III ($4300) is another value filler in the same salary range. The Memphis forward should continue to see 30+ minutes with Chandler Parsons limited.
NOTE: Paul Zipser listed as doubtful.
Insert shoulder-shrug emoji here. The power forward position is tough tonight, as lineup configuration has us scrounging some value fillers. Nowitzki isn’t bad for his salary, even though playing on a back-to-back is somewhat concerning. That’s where teammate Dwight Powell ($3100) comes in for minimum salary. Powell has been a decent contributor while seeing around 20 minutes in each of the past three games. He could get even more floor time if the Mavericks want to take it easy on Dirk in this back-to-back set.
Also Consider: Skal Labissiere ($5000) is a good value pick who becomes even better if Anthony Davis is out, reducing his risk of foul trouble … Speaking of Davis, Cheick Diallo ($3600) would likely stand to benefit if he misses tonight. Ajinca and Asik are already out, so Diallo would be the only other big man suiting up with Cousins if Davis can’t go … If you’re enthusiasm for CJ McCollum doesn’t match mine, you can swap him for a SG value candidate and try to reach for Blake Griffin ($9800) in this high-scoring battle with Portland.
Jusuf Nurkic - Portland (FanDuel Price: $7,500)
I like DeMarcus Cousins and Marc Gasol, but Nurkic offers plenty of upside for a cheaper salary in the top fantasy atmosphere of the night. While Nurkic’s game log is somewhat underwhelming through four games, consider that two blowouts and one stint of foul trouble factored into that. In fact, the one game without those factors resulted in 42 FP at Milwaukee. I’m expecting a breakout game in this high-scoring tilt with the Clippers.
Also Consider: Of course DeMarcus Cousins ($11800) is in play against his former team, especially if Anthony Davis is out. However, I’m giving stronger looks to Nurkic and the red-hot likes of Marc Gasol ($8800) for significantly cheaper salaries … Dewayne Dedmon ($4900) is a value punt in tournaments to help you strike some high-upside combinations at other positions.