Welcome to the Friday FanDuel NBA edition of Picks and Pivots, a fantasy basketball column focused on helping you find the best core lineup for tonight’s eleven game slate which kicks off at 7:00PM EST!
As a reminder, the concept behind FanDuel NBA Picks and Pivots is to first identify key building blocks that can be used for any roster construction and then identify pivot points to help differentiate your lineup in hopes of a big payday!
The winning GPP lineup in the $9 YOLO took down over $200k with a winning score of 382.5 with some big time scores from many of the Picks and Pivots crew featured yesterday! Over the first 130 slates, the average winning GPP score has been 378.7 which would mean we need 6.3x value from our roster in order to win big!
Over the first 130 slates, the average winning GPP score has been 378.7 which would mean we need 6.3x value from our roster in order to win big!
Thursday Night’s Picks and Pivots ended up with a great night as our core plays drove one of my 2 entries into the YOLO GPP to a 193rd place finish out of 113,402 entries turning $9 into $100 on a score of 354.7. The Minnesota stack was huge as we got 55 points from Ricky Rubio, 49 from KAT and 43 from Gorgui Dieng which was a core grouping among our entries and many of the winning lineups on the night!
Friday night we get a loaded slate however it is a bit underwhelming in my opinion as many of the games have zero playoff implications and we have some low totals and big spreads so tread carefully!
FanDuel NBA – Top Point Guard Picks
Kemba Walker ($7,600) Looking over this slate the game that stands out the most to me is Charlotte and Denver as both teams are essentially in must-win territory as they sit just outside the playoff picture as of today. At this point in the year I am looking for guaranteed minutes and with the playoffs on the line I expect the Hornets to roll out a tight rotation with their stars playing all the minutes they can!
Walker gets an elite match-up with a Nuggets team that is ranked 28th in DvP to opposing PG’s and the Hornets meanwhile see the biggest point bump projection of any team on the slate. These two teams played just a few weeks ago and Kemba dropped 43 FanDuel points against this very same Denver team!
Walker comes into the game with an inconsistent recent game log which may scare some away but in this match-up and this price point, I think projecting 50 points in a must win home game is certainly in the range of likely outcomes!
T.J. McConnell ($5,600) With Sergio Rodriguez on the sidelines for Philadelphia, joining the liked of Joel Embiid and Robert Covington, there is a ton of usage now open and McConnell is in a great spot to continue to play massive minutes for a short-handed Philly team.
We saw last night in Minnesota that we can still target non-playoff teams with guaranteed minutes from teams with tight rotations and Philly certainly classifies as they do not have enough healthy bodies at this point.McConnell gets an elite match-up tonight against a reeling Cleveland team and Kyrie Irving defense that just surrendered 44 FanDuel points last night to Rajon Rondo. On a night where value is not jumping off the page, I like the price point of McConnell who should be a safe cash game play with GPP upside in this match-up!
FanDuel NBA – Top Shooting Guard Picks
Nicolas Batum ($6,300) Heading back to Charlotte, I am loading up on the Hornets back-court as the Nuggets rank 29th in DvP against opposing SG’s this season. Batum’s price has come down to a point where we simply cannot ignore him and he is risky as he has only topped 30 FD points one time in his last seven games.
The match-up here though trumps the recent game log for me and he has the kind of GPP upside we are looking for when building our tournament lineups. In this match-up a few weeks ago, Batum dropped 33.4 FanDuel points on Denver which would exceed 5.3x value at this price point making him a solid cash game play and a great addition to a game stack at this price point!
Klay Thompson ($7,500) Last night’s roster build reinforced one major point for me – sometimes, simply take the numbers as they are and do not try to get cute! Last night, the Timberwolves saw one of the biggest pace boosts and were the highest projected scoring team on the slate but many were hesitant to lock them in due to a 10 point Vegas spread and the possible blow out risk.
Tonight I am simply going to look at the numbers and see a Warriors team that has the highest implied team total on the slate while seeing the biggest pace boost of any team. Think about that for a second, the high-flying Golden State offense sees the biggest pace boost!
The GS-Houston game has the highest combined team total on the slate so I am simply loading up here as part of a mini-stack with the Denver/Charlotte game. Klay Thompson has massive GPP upside as we all know and he has shot better at home all season long so tonight against James Harden/Eric Gordon defense, I am going all in on Klay who has at least 15 shot attempts in each of his last 15 games!
FanDuel NBA – Top Small Forward Picks
Trevor Ariza ($5,600) As much as I love James Harden/Lou Williams in this spot, I like the Batum/Klay combo more so I am going to need to get my Houston exposure elsewhere and I am happy to go to Trevor Ariza tonight who comes into this game playing some of his best basketball.
Ariza has put up 38.8 FanDuel points per game over his last three contests (with Ryan Anderson out) which would be nearly 7x value at this price point. Ariza is racking up steals like a mad-man with 6 steals in each of his last two games which is certainly one of the main reason for his fantasy point spike!
Tonight he takes on a Golden State team that he just put 34.3 FanDuel points on only two games ago and with this mid-level salary he has massive upside and makes for an easy addition into any roster build.
Marcus Morris ($4,900) The Pistons are essentially clinging to their playoff lives as well and we saw last night how popular they would be in GPP play as guys like Ish Smith, Tobias Harris and Andre Drummond were all over rosters across the big tournaments.
One guy who was slightly less owned was Marcus Morris who responded with 43.6 FanDuel points on the back of 28 points and 13 rebounds. Now I never endorse point chasing but tonight he takes on a Milwaukee team that he put up 35.5 FanDuel points against in their prior meeting so this may be the spot to go back to him as he is priced under $5k and gives you legit 6x upside!
FanDuel NBA – Top Power Forward and Center Picks
Nikola Jokic ($10,000) Jokic continues to be one of my favorite GPP DFS plays in the NBA and tonight with a Hornets back-court stack it only makes sense to build a correlation play with Jokic on the Nuggets side!
The Nuggets have some injury news we need to watch as Will Barton and Mason Plumlee are questionable to play which means even more usage for the remaining Nuggets on the floor. Jokic only has one 50 point outing over his last 10 games so many gamers may be scared to make the $10k investment but this is a match-up against Marvin Williams/Cody Zeller that I think The Joker can dominate in and I hope his recent game logs keep his ownership down!
Draymond Green ($7,900) Copy and paste my Klay Thompson logic here. Highest point total, highest pace boost. Play Draymond.
Green has just put up 40 FD points against this same Rockets team and has now put up 40, 43 and 54 FD points in the prior three meetings. The match-up is simply perfect for Draymond here and I plan to have 100% exposure to him as a correlation play off Klay Thompson
Steven Adams ($4,600) Take this less as a ringing endorsement of Adams and more of my stance that Center is a solid spot to punt tonight. Adams does have an intriguing match-up against San Antonio tonight, a team that he did put up 34 FD points against earlier this season and has 30+ in two of his last three meetings with the Spurs.
UPDATE: We have a lot of value opening up which is making it more and more likely I move up to DeMarcus Cousins at center tonight. Cousins gets the ultimate revenge spot against Sacramento and with value already opening up, I think it makes sense to pay up for him tonight.
With Malcom Brogdon OUT tonight, Matthew Dellavedova ($3,500) makes for an elite punt play at PG and do not overlook Vince Carter ($3,900) who should see a nice usage bump with Marc Gasol AND Jamychael Green off the floor tonight!
Overall, this is a slate I am not in love with but plan to roll out a few GPP lineups with this core tonight. I will update throughout the day on Twitter so please keep an eye on the updates and we will adjust accordingly!
Best of luck tonight in your FanDuel NBA contests and stay tuned to Fantasy CPR on Twitter for all the late breaking lineup news and roster updates.