I’m here to break down tonight’s five game FanDuel NBA slate starting at 7:00 ET. Keep in mind that this column was created earlier in the day, meaning injury information could change the fantasy landscape through the afternoon. Obviously you’ll want to keep track of any developments through Rotoworld’s NBA Headlines & Injuries Feed as we move closer to tip-off.
With that, let’s dive into each position while mining for the best value and overall plays in this slate.
T.J. McConnell – Philadelphia (FanDuel Price: $5,500)
I had high hopes for McConnell on Tuesday, as he stepped into a heightened role with Fultz and Bayless sidelined. The Philly point guard ended up with a subpar 21 FP (30 minute) performance at Utah. However, I’m expecting a nice bounce-back effort in a much friendlier draw at Sacramento, who ranks bottom-ten overall in defensive efficiency. McConnell’s minutes will continue to trend upward with Fultz and Bayless on the shelf, creating a nice DFS bargain within this five-game slate.
Also Consider: Russell Westbrook, De’Aaron Fox
Jordan Clarkson – LA Lakers (FanDuel Price: $4,400)
If you watched any of the Lakers-Celtics game last night, then you know Clarkson can fill up the stat-sheet in a hurry. He has noticed more usage and minutes off the bench as of late, averaging 26 FPPG through 23 minutes over the past six games. While it’s difficult to rely on that level of efficiency, Clarkson hasn’t shown any signs of slowing down. Coming off the bench actually helps his cause, drawing easier matchups with more freedom to create. The price level remains relatively moderate as well, helping you reach up to the high-end DFS options tonight (Westbrook, Harden, James, Embiid, Cousins, etc). I’m looking to pair Clarkson with Harden on FanDuel.
LeBron James – Cleveland (FanDuel Price: $11,800)
As mentioned in the previous write-up, there’s no lack of starpower in this five-game slate. Decisions need to be made when considering James, Harden, Westbrook, Davis, Cousins, and Embiid for your lineups. At first glance, I’m partial to squeezing Westbrook, Harden, and LeBron in the same lineup, looking towards value through the PF/C positions … While LeBron’s $11800 salary is undoubtedly heavy, I’m still locking him in as a premium option. This is an excellent, high-scoring matchup at Houston (228 over/under). Derrick Rose has been ruled out, leaving James with more ball-handling responsibilities and usage – as if he needed more to justify his DFS cause. On top of that, the opportunity cost at small forward seems less than other positions, leading me to prioritize King James atop that group of elite players.
Ryan Anderson – Houston (FanDuel Price: $4,300)
I’m looking towards value at power forward to make room for the aforementioned superstars. Ryan Anderson fits the mold as a strong bargain with upside. As mentioned earlier, this Cleveland-Houston matchups represents the highest scoring tilt of the night (228 over/under). Anderson has been seeing strong minutes as of late, and that should continue while countering Cleveland’s small-ball approach. While the Houston forward came out flat last game vs Utah, this draw feeds his playing style (and subsequent DFS upside) much better.
Jonas Valanciunas – Toronto (FanDuel Price: $4,900)
DeMarcus Cousins and Joel Embiid are very tempting in this spot. However, I believe in Valanciunas’ value while prioritizing high-end plays at other positions (Harden, LBJ, Westbrook). Jonas sometimes falls victim to less minutes when the Raptors run smaller lineups. However, they won’t have that luxury against the giant frontcourt of Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins tonight. Valanciunas has displayed strong FP/minute efficiency throughout his career, and he should get a chance to contribute while playing up in pace vs New Orleans.