FanDuel NBA Breakdown: Wednesday, 1/9
Welcome back to the Wednesday edition of the FanDuel NBA Breakdown! I’m “Thunder Dan” and I love playing and writing about FanDuel NBA DFS. I’m back for another main slate breakdown for you, our FantasyCPR readers. I hope you like some of the changes I’ve made to the made to Breakdown recently. I’m trying to create an all-inclusive article that gives you a place to start your research for FanDuel NBA cash games and GPPs.
When making my cash and GPP picks I always take into account salary, Vegas trends, ownership, and match-up and I always do my best to give you a clear rationale for why I believe each player makes a great GPP or cash target.
Tonight we have a large 10-game main slate on FanDuel. I usually like larger slates more for cash games as we usually have plenty of options at different price tiers. But big slates can be dangerous when a bunch of value opens up because we usually see the cash lines go up in all contest formats
"The FanDuel NBA Breakdown is a first look article that is intended to be a starting point for your cash game or GPP research for FanDuel NBA DFS."
If you’ve read this article before you’ll still recognize some of the same sections like my “value plays,“ core plays,” and “Game Stack of the Night.” I also will still include a sample lineup at the end of each article for either cash or GPP depending on what the slate looks like that particular night.
I’m trying to take a big picture look at the slate and give you a place to start your research, whether you’re a cash game player, GPP player (or maybe you play both – like me).
There will be information that comes out during the day that will likely push us onto certain plays or off others. My best advice is to never settle on a lineup too early in the day, and this particular slate has a lot of questions that need to be answered before we have a really clear picture of who we want to roster. Let’s take a closer look at what tonight’s NBA slate has to offer!
FanDuel NBA Breakdown: 10 Game Slate
With ten games on the slate, there’s a healthy dose (pun intended) of injury information to keep track of today. If some of these guys with Q-tags sit tonight there’s going to be some serious value opening up – stay tuned!
Philadelphia and Washington have the highest Vegas total tonight at 227.5, with the Sixers being only two-point favorites despite the fact that they led the Wizards by 26 points going into the fourth quarter last night.
The two games with the closest spreads are Houston-Milwaukee and Los Angeles Lakers-Detroit. These also happen to be the games being nationally televised on ESPN. The Bucks-Rockets game has a solid 226 total, while the Lakers-Pistons comes in at 217.5.
The widest spread comes from the Cleveland-New Orleans game, where the Pelicans are 14 point favorites at home. The Cavs are really banged up and just played last night, while the Pelicans are getting healthier. These teams just played last week with New Orleans routing Cleveland 133-98.
FanDuel NBA Breakdown: Cash Game Core
Welcome to the cash game core plays section of the Breakdown! I’ve been giving you a GPP core in the past, so instead, I wanted to provide you with a solid trio of players to start building your cash game lineups with tonight. I highly recommend playing cash games on a nightly basis to keep your bankroll up, otherwise, a cold week in tournaments will have you depositing funds in a hurry.
James Harden (12600)
Is James Harden still playing without Chris Paul or Eric Gordon? If you answered, “yes,” then you probably already knew to plug him into your cash game lineups tonight. The icing on the cake would be the fact that the Rockets are in a huge game against Milwaukee and on national TV tonight. High total + tight spread+ James Harden playing “hero ball” = many may fantasy points. Don’t fade Harden in cash!
Domantas Sabonis (7000)
I’m having this terrible feeling of deja vu… New day, but the same situation for Sabonis who is likely going to draw another start with Myles Turner looking doubtful tonight. Sabonis put up a solid 40-spot last night and is an easy plug and play here against Boston in what could be a really good game. He should have his way with Al Horford inside.
Malcolm Brogdon (5700)
Brogdon is “Mr. Reliable” and probably one of the most underrated players in the NBA. He’s the glue that holds this Milwaukee team together. He can do a little of everything, shoot, pass, defend, rebound and he doesn’t need any plays run for him in this offense to get his stats. He’s such a great compliment to Giannis on the court. But I digress… For fantasy purposes he has a really solid floor, scoring 24 or more FanDuel points in 19 of his last 22 games. He won’t go much beyond 35, but we can pretty comfortable pencil him in for 25-35 on any given night.
FanDuel NBA Breakdown: Top GPP Plays
Blake Griffin (9200) and Andre Drummond (9500)
I couldn’t pick just one Detroit big man, so I’m going to write ’em both up. These two are responsible for the majority of Detroit’s points, rebounds, and assists on most nights and the Pistons find themselves in a favorable spot here against the Lakers who are still without their ageless leader LeBron James.
The Pistons are getting paced up here meaning more shots, but also more rebounds on missed shots which I love for Mr. Drummond. He’s been held under 50 FD points for 7 straight games but this feels like the game where he could just explode for 30-20.
Meanwhile, Blake has been playing really well, scoring 34 actual points in his last two games and going for 45+ FanDuel points in 4 straight. He’s a bit cheaper and will likely a bit more popular, but he should thrive in this game against the undersized and inexperienced Lakers.
Giannis Antetokounmpo (11800)
So Giannis is taking on James Harden and the Rockets in a game with a one point spread, the second highest total, and is on national television. Sign me up! Harden and Giannis are both likely to be popular tonight, but I’d rather one of them (or both) than Anthony Davis who’s not likely to see full run if the Pelicans make quick work of the Cavs again.
Tristan Thompson (6200)
Speaking of the Cavs, if you do think they can hang in there somehow then Tristan Thompson could be the play of the night. With Larry Nance leaving last night’s game early, we could see the Cavs without any other big men to play center. Last night, Thompson played 34 minutes and had a solid 15-13-5 double-double that was good for 41 FanDuel points. The potential for a blowout makes him a risky play, but he certainly has big-time upside at the same time.
FanDuel NBA Breakdown: Value Plays
For our purposes here at the Breakdown, we classify players priced at 5000 or less as “value plays.” Identifying value has been crucial this year on FanDuel as the new “drop score” rule has forced us into playing a lot of “stars and scrubs” rosters in both cash and GPP formats.
Jeremy Lin (4400)
Lin started for the injured Kevin Huerter tonight and had a great game, posting 20 points and 9 assists. Even if he’s pushed back to the bench, he should get 20 minutes and he’s just too cheap for a guy with his scoring ability and assist rate.
Ed Davis (4600) and Rodions Kurucs (4400)
It sounds like DeMarre Carroll is going to try to play, but the Nets will still be without Rondae Hollis-Jefferson and Allen Crabbe. Kenneth Faried could stick in the rotation and steal minutes at PF, or he could get relegated back to the bench. The Nets are a tough team to figure out, but the prices on these two are cheap enough that they don’t need all that many minutes to pay off these tags.
T.J. McConnell (4700)
I have a love affair with T.J. and I don’t care who knows it. He’s finally seeing his price move up, but he’s still got some margin for profit here with his scoring, passing, and steal potential with the Sixers second unit.
Gerald Green (4300)
Green is playing well off the bench for the Rockets and picking up a bunch of minutes. The Rockets really need his shot-making on the floor and he’s scored 18, 16, 13, and 21 actual points for them in his last four games. Sure, he’s scoring dependent, but he can fill it up when he’s on.
FanDuel NBA Breakdown: Game Stack of the Night
While it’s really tempting to make some Giannis-Harden game stacks tonight (and don’t get wrong, I’m gonna try), it’s also extremely cost prohibitive with two guys eating so much salary cap. The other pieces you want from that game are never going to fit under the cap and you almost have to make it a 1-1 and fill in with value plays from other games.
Detroit (+1.5) @ Los Angelas Lakers (217.5 total)
The game I want to stack the most is the Pistons-Lakers game. We know where the majority of the fantasy production is coming from on both sides and the players are affordable enough for us to squeeze in four or five of them into a lineup.
For Detroit, it’s all about Blake Griffin and Andre Drummond and I think you can stack both of them together in the same lineup. It will be a unique approach, as most players will only target one of them or the other, assuming that when one goes off the other one can’t.
On the Lakers side, we have four primary targets in Lonzo Ball (7100), Kyle Kuzma (7100), Brandon Ingram (6900), and Josh Hart (5900). All of these talented youngsters have gone off at various points during LeBron’s absence. My favorites are Ingram and Hart, not only because they’re cheaper but because I like their matchups better, as they will likely see Reggie Bullock and Bruce Brown on defense and we’ve seen wings have some success against this Toronto defense.
FanDuel NBA Breakdown: Sample Lineup and Overview
I’ll cut right to the chase. I like to anchor my FanDuel lineups with at least one stud and if I have to pick one tonight it’s James Harden. My second favorite spend-up is Giannis and I do think it’s possible to play them both, but only if we get some value that opens up today.
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I always like punting one or two spots on FanDuel with this year’s new “drop score” rule. Playing a lineup of all 5-7k players just makes zero sense to me and you’ll find that the guys winning consistently on FanDuel are going “stars and scrubs” pretty frequently.
Today’s sample lineup is a CASH lineup. You’ll find some of my cash core players in here, as well as other players who I believe, have a solid floor due to their combination of secure minutes and fantasy production per minute.
Remember, the sample lineup is for illustrative purposes and is not necessarily a “plug-and-play” lineup. There’s still a lot of injury information we need before 7:00 PM tonight when lineups lock.
PG: Jeremy Lin (4400)
PG: T.J. McConnell (4700)
SG: James Harden (12600)
SG: Malcolm Brogdon (5700)
SF: Bojan Bogdanovic (5400)
SF: Jae Crowder (4700)
PF: Blake Griffin (9200)
PF: Domantas Sabonis (7000)
C: Tristan Thompson (6200)
Ok, that wraps it up! I hope you enjoyed my slate breakdown and I appreciate you taking the time to read my article. Be sure to share it with friends and fellow DFS players, leave comments or hit me with other feedback or questions on Twitter. And keep coming back to FantasyCPR for the best free content in the industry! Good luck in your contests!