Which plays stand out most for Thursday night’s NBA DFS action on FanDuel? Find out below.
Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City Thunder, $10,800 - He’s my top overall play of the day, but given the weak SF position, there is a strong case to be made for prioritizing Durant due to positional scarcity. There’s not a lot to say about Westbrook other than he’s an absolute machine that pours in fantasy points. I’d look to get at least one of the Oklahoma City duo into your NBA lineups, and if you can fit both, even better.
Outside of Westbrook, I’m looking mid-range at Kemba Walker and Mike Conley. Walker has started the season slow, but draws a plus matchup with an aging Deron Willams, and he provides 40+ FD point upside when his shot is dropping. Conley is boring but this is a great matchup, as Lillard is dynamic offensively but terrible defensively. Conley took full advantage of Lillard’s poor defense last year; he piled in over 40 FD PPG in his three matchups against him.
Rodney Hood, Utah Jazz, $4,500 - I’m liking the Jazz tonight, as they’re getting a solid pace boost facing the Nuggets, who aren’t very good defensively. Hood really struggled with fouls last night but still salvaged his night with 20 FD points. He’s averaging over 5x value and is being very aggressive offensively in his second year, as he’s averaging 13 FGA and 14 PPG.
Outside of Hood, the SG position is really thin. If price isn’t a factor, Jimmy Butler is the clear cut top option, but he’s not cheap and he’ll hurt your ability to get Durant and/or Westbrook, as well as Derrick Favors, who I also really like. C.J. McCollum has been great to start the year, but this is a tough matchup, since the Grizzlies have two very good defenders in Courtney Lee and Tony Allen. Given the thin position he’s certainly in play though. Lastly, I’m kicking around the idea of punting this position altogether and pairing Hood with Courtney Lee. Lee brings no upside to the table, but this is a pace-up game and he’s hit 20 FD points twice this season, which is all we need out of him.
Kevin Durant, Oklahoma City Thunder, $10,000 - Durant looks like the no-brainer play of the day since SF is very weak. Plus, his price tag of $10,000 is pretty manageable considering he’s been over $11,000 in years past. He’s the game’s most dynamic scorer and has already topped 50 FD points twice this year. Jimmy Butler is a quality defender, but Durant is one of the few players that is matchup proof.
Nicolas Batum, Charlotte Hornets, $6,600 - Batum has been a frustrating player to roster in the past, as he’ll flash big upside but then be very passive offensively. However, he’s been much more involved offensively in Charlotte than he was in Portland -- he’s attempted 10+ FGA in every game this year and has been active on the glass too. Chandler Parsons is working his way back from injury and is still not 100%, so this is a plus matchup for Batum.
Also Consider - Nikola Mirotic
Derrick Favors, Utah Jazz, $8,000 - Double check his health, as he played through “flu-like symptoms” last night, but as long as he’s good to go, he’s my favorite play of the day outside of the Thunder’s elite due of Westbrook and Durant. He was terrible offensively last night and still managed 30 FD points, and he has at least 36 FD points in three of his four games. Favors is emerging as the Jazz’s go-to scorer, and this Denver interior is allowing the seventh-most fantasy points to PFs to start the year.
Outside of Favors, I don’t mind Zach Randolph, as his price point is manageable and he always seems to play well against Portland, his former team. However, I’m looking more in the value range for my second PF because I want to fit in Durant and/or Westbrook. That leaves Ed Davis and Marvin Williams as my targets. Williams doesn’t bring a ton of upside, but has been rock solid to start the year and is playing big minutes as a stretch PF. The Davis play depends on the status of Meyers Leonard, who left last night’s game with an injury. The matchup is tough, but if Leonard sits then Davis should get a big minutes boost, and he’s been a very productive fantasy point per minute type of player in his career. The Grizzlies are his former team and he averaged 24 FD points in 24 MPG against them last year, so I like him to hit value if Leonard sits and he draws the start.
Also Consider - Serge Ibaka
Karl-Anthony Towns, Minnesota Timberwolves, $6,600 - The matchup is just middle of the road against the Heat, but this is more about Towns’ appealing price. As is the case with most rookies, he’ll have his ups and downs, but he’s already flashed immense upside and is averaging 5x his salary on FanDuel. Towns struggled with foul trouble in his last game, but has otherwise put up a double double in every other game, and I’ll keep on rolling him out until his price creeps above $7,000.
Rudy Gobert, Utah Jazz, $8,100 - He’s struggled to start the year (he hasn’t topped 36 FD points yet this season) and is probably overpriced on FD given his production this year. And while I won’t look his way for cash games, for GPPs, I have no problem plugging him in. He gets a great matchup to break out of his funk. The Nuggets lack size on the interior, and while Gobert isn’t a go-to option offensively, he should be able to dominate the boards in this matchup.