FanDuel NBA GPP Breakdown
Welcome back to the Tuesday edition of the FanDuel NBA GPP Breakdown! I’m “Thunder Dan” and I am here to help you make sense of tonight’s FanDuel NBA DFS slate.
Today is my wife’s 31st birthday. She’s awesome. She’s 8 months pregnant with our second child and I can’t thank her enough for, well everything. But specifically for always being there for me and supporting my writing career. I love you babe!
Getting back to basketball, I always in this article, my goal every day is to give you my top targets every night for GPP contests for FanDuel NBA. When making these picks I always take into account salary, ownership, and match-up and I always do my best to give you a clear rationale for why I believe each player makes an elite GPP target.
Last night was a bit of a mess with the Kings deciding to give up less than one quarter into their game with the Wolves. Luckily, I had enough Damian Lillard and Clippers going late to save my night from complete disaster. But if anything, last night proves that anything can happen in sports and that NBA DFS is all about leverage. As the day went along yesterday, I realized most of the industry was on that game so I made some lineups without Kings and Wolves players and those were obviously the lineups that cashed last night. That’s what I mean when I talk about being flexible and being willing to pivot before lineup lock.
Tonight we have a small 4-game slate. We have two games with high totals and two with relatively low totals, and one potential blowout. FanDuel pricing, as usual, has presented us with a challenge in roster construction, but that should make it all the more fun! I’ll be going game-by-game instead of position by position today since it’s such a small slate.
"For tournaments, we’re not satisfied with just 5x return on a player’s salary, we’re looking for players who can hit 6-7x value or greater."
Remember, this is a first look article that is intended to get you pointed in the right direction with your research. My best advice is to never settle on a lineup too early in the day (and a friendly reminder that the sample lineup is often constructed about 5:00 AM) and be flexible enough in your roster construction to change your lineups close to lineup lock if necessary. Having said that, let’s dive right into the games!
FanDuel NBA GPP Breakdown: Cavs @ Pacers
This game features two things that we hate in NBA DFS – a low total (209) and a high spread (Pacers -12). Vegas sees the Pacers handling the Cavaliers tonight, likely bludgeoning them to death with their size and dominating them in half-court sets. Both teams are being paced down here and there’s just not a lot to like here for fantasy purposes with where the main pieces on each team are priced.
I’m really not willing to pay 9600 for Victor Oladipo in this spot, even after he finally looked like himself last game against the Knicks with 57 FD points. The Cavs are weak defensively but the lack of pace in this game just isn’t likely to produce the kind of stats we need from V.O. to get him to tournament value. If I had to pick a Pacers to play it would likely be Thad Young (6500) or Myles Turner (7500) as they have the best matchups against a Cavs team with no big men inside to offer much resistance.
On the Cavs side, Larry Nance Jr. is a possibility but is now priced at 7000, meaning he needs 42 FD points to get us that 6x value we want. I’m just not sure I see that kind of upside from him tonight. Jordan Clarkson (5400) is affordable and playing well off the bench. He would also probably play more minutes in a blowout scenario, so he’s probably the safest Cleveland player to roster. I’m just not all that interested in this game and I’m considering totally crossing it off and focusing on the other three games tonight.
FanDuel NBA GPP Breakdown: Hawks @ Wizards
This game has everything we are looking for in NBA DFS – a huge total (235) and tight spread (Atlanta -4.5). It also is likely to be the most heavily targeted game on the slate for those reasons so we are looking at the potential for some really chalky players from this game tonight.
There’s likely no one chalkier than John Wall (10400) tonight. He’s coming off an incredible 78 FanDuel point performance against the Lakers and has easily the best matchup on the slate. So naturally, I’m going to fade him. No, I’m not taking crazy pills, I’m simply trying to leverage a popular play that I don’t think will make tournament value and save precious salary cap space for other expensive plays that I think can. Wall needs 62 FD points at that price to hit 6x and while he certainly can do it, I’m betting on him cooling off.
I still want Wizards exposure, though, as they have the highest team total and are in a position to put up a ton of points against the Hawks here. We are likely to see the debut of newly-acquired Trevor Ariza in this game, who’s not available on today’s slate. However, he’s going to steal minutes from Thomas Satoransky (4700), Jeff Green (5300), and Sam Dekker (4400) if he plays 35 minutes tonight. With Otto Porter out, the Wizards are still pretty shorthanded so I think all three of these guys are still in play but I like them less than I would if Ariza were not to play.
Bradley Beal (8300) is always in play as a pivot off the Wall ownership and is a guy I think still has 6-7x upside where’s he priced, too. Thomas Bryant (4600) got more minutes than he had all season and I like here a bit, too.
The Atlanta side of this game is really tough to like for me. While the Wizards are bad defensively, the Hawks have been running some wacky rotations all year long. John Collins (8200) and Dewayne Dedmon (6600) could both do work inside here tonight but both guys are getting priced up to where they lack much ceiling. Kent Bazemore (6800) is the one Hawks player I’m still interested in here. He’s played over 30 minutes in four of their last 5 games and been consistently in the 30-45 FD points range. His ability to stuff the stat sheet is appealing and he’s in play for me as shooting guard is again one of the weaker positions on the slate.
FanDuel NBA GPP Breakdown: Lakers @ Nets
I love this game as a pivot off the Hawks-Wizards game. It has the second highest total on the slate and the second highest projected pace. I also think there’s a chance that Washington blows out Atlanta, while this game should be close throughout. The Lakers are two-point road favorites here and Brooklyn plays well at home.
For the Lakers, I’m focusing in on their two main ball-handlers tonight – LeBron James (11500) and Lonzo Ball (6800). It’s taken me some time to embrace Lonzo as a fantasy commodity, but he’s finally playing with a lot of confidence and learning how to coexist with LeBron. Coach Walton is also wisely staggering their minutes so Ball is racking up a bunch of assists with the second unit, while getting boards and defensive stats while with the starters. He’s got 10 blocks/steals over his last two games and he’s emerging as a legit defender.
LeBron is…LeBron. He’s good. And he’s positioned for a major bounce back today. I’d much rather pay up for him and the Joker tonight than for John Wall. Kyle Kuzma (7700) is certainly in play tonight, too. He’s not making my preliminary build but if I full game-stack this game I’ll have some shares. Kenneth Caldwell-Pope (4600) deserves a look, too, as he had a massive game off the bench against the Wizards and has been more productive than starter Josh Hart (4500).
FanDuel NBA GPP Breakdown: Lakers @ Nets
If you didn’t know yet, I have an unhealthy obsession with Nets guard Spencer Dinwiddie (7100). Well, I wouldn’t say it’s totally unhealthy but it is approaching Tim Hardaway Jr. – Brian Tulloch status. But seriously, the kid is good and he’s been on quite a tear lately. He took a backseat to D’Angelo Russell (7300) in the Nets’ last game, but I’m going back to Dinwiddie tonight. The biggest reason is that he plays off the bench and therefore should avoid Ball’s defense. He’s a solid scorer and passer and I think he’s got another big night in store for us.
If you would rather play Russell, then go for it. He’s certainly capable of big nights as we’ve seen. I’m just a Dinwiddie truther. The other Nets that really interest me here are their big men. Jarrett Allen (6000), Ed Davis (4100), and Rodions Kurucs (4400 – who’s more of a wing player, but listed at PF) are all cheap and the Lakers are vulnerable inside as we’ve seen opposing centers dominate them. Heck, even Cody Zeller has a 50 FD outing against them.
Pay attention to the status of Allen Crabbe tonight. If he misses then Kurucs could draw another start. If Crabbe plays, I’m likely to focus mainly on Dinwiddie, Davis, and Allen.
FanDuel NBA GPP Breakdown: Mavericks @ Nuggets
This game is super sneaky in my opinion. The total is low at 209, but the spread is only 5 points with Denver being favored at home. The Mavs have been better this season than many people expected and I think they should keep this game with the Nuggets close tonight and perhaps be a source of some fantasy value.
The Dallas backcourt has been a bit of a mess lately with Dennis Smith Jr (5400) and J.J. Barea (4700) both missing some time. Both of them are questionable tonight and if either of them misses then we have rookie Jalen Brunson (4500) in play as a potential punt in a strong spot here. The other strong Dallas play would be rookie sensation Luka Doncic (7600) who takes over as the de-facto point guard on many possessions. Doncic is coming off a strong performance this weekend against the Kings where he put up 46 FD points and he’s an elite GPP play if either of the Dallas point guards is out.
I’ve given up on Harrison Barnes (5600) this year, even if he’s cheap. He just offers very little upside and is totally scoring dependent. I’d much rather target a cheap Dwight Powell (3900) if Maxi Kleber ends up being ruled out. Sure, Dirk is back, but he’s playing single-digit minutes. Powell played 19 minutes in their last game is a very productive fantasy player when on the floor. Pay attention to Kleber’s status tonight as we approach lock.
FanDuel NBA GPP Breakdown: Mavericks @ Nuggets
The Nuggets are my favorite team to target on the slate tonight. Since they’ve been without Garry Harris, Will Barton, and Paul Millsap, we’ve seen them continue to play well and run a really steady rotation with some affordable players (other than Jokic, who’s pricy) who are producing in a big way.
Let’s start with the big spend, though, in Nikola Jokic (11100). He’s so much fun to watch out there, as he’s this big lumbering 7-footer who’s basically running point guard on an NBA team. It’s truly remarkable, and the fact that he’s still only 23 years old is pretty amazing. Ok, I’m blushing. But in all seriousness, his fantasy-friendly game has been on another level since all the injuries went down and he’s got massive triple-double upside every night out. He’s smashed the Mavericks before in his career and I think he’s in line for another big-time performance tonight. Watching DeAndre Jordan try to guard him on the perimeter will be entertaining.
Monte Morris (5700) is playing some great basketball as the Nuggets sixth-man. He comes off the bench and gives them some scoring pop and has been a solid source of assists and steals. He’s priced up now and is more of a cash play tonight, but I still love this kid and what he brings on a nightly basis. The real value play is Torrey Craig (4200), who has played 35 and 39 minutes in the Nuggets’ last two games and averaged 24 FanDuel points. He’s not flashy, but he’s making enough shots and grabbing enough boards to make value and he’s a great source of salary relief tonight.
Jamal Murray (8100) is certainly viable, but too expensive for me with Dinwiddie and Ball being cheaper options with comparable upside. Trey Lyles (4900) minutes have disappeared as Mason Plumlee (6200) has earned more time on the floor with Jokic instead of just backing him up. None of these guys are priority plays for me, but certainly are interesting in-game stacks.
FanDuel NBA GPP Breakdown: Core Plays and Sample Lineup
My strategy tonight will be to target the Brooklyn-L.A. game pretty heavily as well as the Denver-Dallas game. I’m pretty much entirely off the Cavs-Pacers game and I’m looking to pivot off John Wall chalk and focus on the other Wizards players in a great spot against Atlanta.
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Tonight’s core is fairly expensive, and I usually try to include some value in the core plays. However, I really love the spots for all three of these guys and I’ll look to plug-in value around them or use them in some game stacks of their games.
Nikola Jokic (11100)
Spencer Dinwiddie (7100)
Kent Bazemore (6800)
If you can only fit two of the core plays in your lineup due to lack of cap room, that’s fine. Or if you just want to use one of them as a one-off play with another different game stack I think that’s viable, too.
Keep in mind these sample lineups are for illustrative purposes are not intended to be plug-and-play lineups. There’s still a lot that could happen that could change roster construction during the course of the day. Here’s what I am looking at this morning.
PG: Spencer Dinwiddie (7100)
PG: Lonzo Ball (6800)
SG: Torrey Craig (4200)
SG: Kent Bazemore (6800)
SF: Sam Dekker (4400)
SF: LeBron James (11500)
PF: Ed Davis (4100)
PF: Dwight Powell (3900)
C: Nikola Jokic (11100)
Thanks for reading, and good luck in your contests! Make sure you check out all the other great content @fantasyCPR! Good luck in your contests!