FanDuel NBA Plays: Thursday
Author: CJ "TheSeige" Kaltenbach
After an incredible night of NBA basketball, we get a bit of a break by only having to watch four games tonight. But, that doesn't mean there isn't DFS NBA to play. This four-game slate is actually quite exciting for DFS, so let’s get to the FanDuel picks.
Ty Lawson – Sacramento Kings - $5,100
This pick isn't very sexy to make, but on shorter slates finding value is paramount to competing, and Ty Lawson is the best value option on the board. With starter Darren Collision suspended for the first eight games, Kings coach Dave Joerger has said Ty Lawson is going to play 30-40 minutes, and he logged 36 minutes even in a blowout yesterday. Now the Kings return home to open up their brand new arena against a Spurs team that couldn't have looked better in their blowout against the Warriors. If the Kings keep this game anywhere close, Lawson will log at least 31 minutes, which is just amazing for his $5,100 salary. Take the value here in Ty Lawson and let others try to make up the points by fading.
Isaiah Thomas – Boston Celtics - $8,000
Isaiah Thomas was phenomenal in the season opener against Brooklyn on Wednesday, scoring 25 points while collecting six rebounds and dishing out nine assists in 33 minutes. With Marcus Smart out and the Bulls having three guards in Rajon Rondo, Dwyane Wade and Jimmy Butler that will pick up a ton of minutes, the Celtics won't have a choice other than running out Thomas out there for 33-37 minutes tonight, which makes him a value at his salary. The one concern with Thomas could be Jimmy Butler’s defense, but in a game with a 211 total and one-point spread on the NBA odds board, I'm willing to take this risk for the chance of a monster fantasy night.
C.J. McCollum – Portland Trail Blazers - $6,900
The Blazers were phenomenal in their season opening win against the Utah Jazz on Tuesday night, but the most impressive part was how they really pushed the pace in transition, even against a great defensive team in the Jazz. Now they get a date against the Clippers, who don't have that kind of defensive prowess other than Chris Paul. In picking C.J. McCollum, I'm hoping that Chris Paul shuts Lillard down just enough to make the shooting guard the primary option on offense. Should that happen, McCollum is a steal at this $6,900 price, but even if Lillard goes off like he did in the opener, we’ve seen there are still enough shots for McCollum too.
Avery Bradley – Boston Celtics - $5,600
This is going to feel like a copy/paste of the Isaiah Thomas write-up, but as a fellow Celtics guard he's in a very similar situation as Thomas. Without Smart, all the Celtics guards have extra minutes to eat up, and Bradley played 34 minutes even in a blowout against the Nets. Now the Celtics face the Bulls in what will likely be a close game. If Thomas does get the Butler defense, it leaves Bradley open for even more shots, and he could improve on his 17-9-5 line from opening night.
Other Play: Dwyane Wade - $7,000
Value Play: J.J. Redick - $4,800
Jimmy Butler – Chicago Bulls - $8,200
The signing of Wade has moved Jimmy Butler to the SF position, which is wonderful because it historically is the hardest position to fill on FanDuel. Butler gets a matchup against either Jae Crowder or Avery Bradley, which are both harder matchups, but Butler is one of the best wings in the entire league and should be able to get his points, even in below average matchups. This Celtics-Bulls game has the highest total on the board, and I want to get as much exposure as I can to the game, so Butler will be a core option for me.
Kawhi Leonard- San Antonio Spurs - $8,000
In case it wasn't clear who the leader of the Spurs was going to be after the retirement of Tim Duncan, those questions were clearly answered in the team’s season opening rout of the Golden State Warriors. The Spurs now get the Kings on the back end of a back-to-back; normally I'd be worried about the Spurs blowout, however, Sacramento is debuting a new $534.6 million dollar stadium, so expect the Kings to put up a fight and play with emotion. If this game stays close, I love Kawhi to dominate against Rudy Gay and be the top scoring SF on the slate.
Other Play: Rudy Gay - $6,900
Value Play: Jae Crowder - $5,500
Blake Griffin – Los Angeles Clippers - $8,600
There is one PF that is better than all the rest tonight, and that's Blake Griffin. Griffin, in his career in the regular season against the Portland Trail Blazers, has nine career games over 40 FD points, with 17 of his 18 career regular season meetings against the Blazers ending with over 30 FD points (the miss was 29 FD points). The personnel of the Clippers (and Blazers) hasn’t changed all that much, so Griffin will get to go up against the likes of Al-Farouq Aminu, Noah Vonleh and even Meyers Leonard. When I see that matchup, I can see why he has absolutely demolished in these matchups, and at $8,600 I don't see a case to fade him tonight. Play Griffin and build around him.
Other Play: LaMarcus Aldridge - $7,800
Value Play: Markieff Morris - $5,600
DeMarcus Cousins – Sacramento Kings - $9,800
Cousins was awful in the first half Wednesday against the Phoenix Suns, but recovered in the second half to put up a 24-6-2 line in only 25 minutes. The key to that line is the 25 minutes, as Cousins has had problems in the past handling big minutes in back-to-back situations; however, after only 25 minutes, he should be fired up and ready to go, and he gets to face up against Pau Gasol and LaMarcus Aldridge. Neither player should be able to stop the multi-dimensional Cousins in this spot. As previously mentioned, the Kings are opening up a new stadium, and I think we see a motivated and determined Cousins, which has me thinking he could do better than his 27-11.5 season averages from last year. I will be tuning into this game tonight because I don't want to miss the show, and your DFS rosters shouldn't miss the show either!
Other Play: Al Horford - $7,000
Value Play: Robin Lopez - $5,700
About the Author
TheSeige is a contributor to RotoGrinders who appears frequently on GrindersLive. He is a proven DFS winner, ranking in the top 25 overall of the RG rankings. TheSeige has also had great live final success (12 live final appearances), with not only a win in the FantasyAces College Football final in 2015 but a second place finish in the FantasyAces NFL final only a couple weeks later. When he's not contributing to RotoGrinders, you can find him watching sports somewhere in St. Louis.