This article is part of our FanDuel NBA series.
On a night littered with star talent, this six-game slate provides some obvious cash avenues to follow, but fading most of your elites and going in a slightly contrarian route might be the best path overall.
First, let's get to the obvious stuff. Vegas has the SAC/WAS game set at a blistering 241 O/U. No other game comes close. Put on my broken record, as I'll be humming Bradley Beal's ($10,800) tune all the way home. Beal has been, well, Harden-like in his ability to put up video game numbers on a nightly basis, and with this game sporting the fastest pace of the night, it seems unlikely that I will find a way to fade him. It might also be a night to focus on the Kings, with De'Aaron Fox ($8,000) headlining that list – we may see some Sacramento role plays in my recommendations below.
This is not to say that the rostering of James Harden ($12,400) against Charlotte, or Russell Westbrook ($11,300) and Paul George ($10,600) at Utah aren't excellent plays, but Beal is at my core. I will likely play with several different combos of Harden and George with Beal, but one guy, in particular, stands out as another obvious elite play – and that's Andre Drummond ($10,600). The big man has averaged 24 points and 21 rebounds per game over two contests against the Nets, and if you've read any of my columns, you know I'm always looking at whoever's manning the five against Brooklyn. I think he's unavoidable tonight and could end up with a slate-breaking score that will be difficult to catch up with. Your only variable is his back-to-back status and a quick trip to New York, but for my money, the matchup is just too good.
The somewhat good news is that if I put Drummond and Beal on my wishlist, I still have $5,500 to work with, and if a slide in a $3,500 must-drop I can pump that average up to $5,850. With all this in mind, I'll still give you one elite and one value play at each position tonight, but keep these thoughts at the forefront of your mind.
Aside from the ongoing injury situations, the slate is pretty clean, but two spots stand out as potential opportunities for value.
Larry Nance (chest) OUT: This is good news for Kevin Love ($8,600), who will be called on to do even more under the basket. Due to a plum pick at center, I doubt I can use Love in my center spot, but Marquese Chriss ($3,500) immediately becomes a great must-drop candidate.
Jayson Tatum (shoulder) QUESTIONABLE: There are a few ways to go here if Tatum can't suit up, but a look at his paltry stat line while dealing with this issue on Saturday could bring Jaylen Brown ($4,500) and Gordon Hayward ($4,700) into sharper focus even if he does play.
BACK-TO-BACK TEAMS: Houston. Toronto, Detroit
Kyrie Irving, BOS at LAC (9,800): While I'm not a huge fan of his last stat line against the Clippers, he only played 14 minutes in that game, so we can effectively throw those results out the window tonight. Boston is running hot right now, and while the risk of load management will be coming to the forefront soon, Irving should be out there after a day of rest in Cali, and with Jayson Tatum's status in doubt, he'll be called upon to shoulder a heavy load.
Tomas Satoransky, WAS vs. SAC ($6,300): Running with Satoransky alongside Beal might sound a little strange, but with the lightning-fast pace of this game, you have to expect Satoransky to collect a slew of assists when the game is in transition. Over the last five games, he's averaged close to eight assists per game and always comes up with a few rebounds. If his shot is dialed in, I think we could easily see 35 FDFP or more tonight.
Lou Williams, LAC vs. BOS ($7.300): His gigantic 40-point game against the Thunder should give you a pretty clear indication of how heavily the Clippers are relying on Sweet Lou during this playoff quest. If you look at his long history against the Celtics across many teams, he seems to excel against Boston, and his home game splits have been markedly better this season. If Lou can give me 30 minutes, I'm confident in a full stat line on Monday.
Kyle Korver, UTA vs. OKC ($4,500): While the Jazz will be well-rested, they're playing without Ricky Rubio again, and Raul Neto is still out, so Korver should be in line for 25-30 minutes of playing time tonight, and he doesn't need to do a whole lot to beat value at this price. His recent totals have lived solidly in the 20-25 FDFP range, and that's a perfect number if I'm spending so little.
Also consider: Buddy Hield, SAC at WAS ($7,400)
Danilo Gallinari, LAC vs. BOS ($7,300): Gallinari is another Clipper who's been running red-hot lately. While I realize I've slid past a slew of elites to get to this spot, we're going to have to search for value-beating totals at a low price, and I think both Williams and Gallinari are your guys against Boston in the Staples Center tonight. He's currently on a solid run of and put up over 30 or more FDFP's, and put up 44 alongside Williams against the Thunder earlier in the week.
Jabari Parker, WAS vs. SAC ($5,400): Am I over-playing this game yet? Probably, but I'm going to trust Vegas on this one and assume that everyone will get a nice slice of the pie for the Wizards tonight, and I will likely stack at least two of them in almost every lineup I play.
Also consider: Jae Crowder, UTA vs. OKC ($5,600)
Bobby Portis, WAS vs. SAC ($6.500): In the words of Britney Spears – oops, I did it again. I just can't seem to keep away from the Wizards tonight, and while I think Guys like Siakam and Ibaka could go to town on Cleveland tonight, I wonder how long they'll be on the court. Portis is shooting well, rebounding well, and has either flirted with or converted double-doubles in six straight games. He's hard to avoid.
Kenneth Faried, HOU vs. CHA ($5,500): Houston will be happy to have Faried back tonight, and he'll have every opportunity to excel against a weak Charlotte frontcourt. He may have a bit of rust after missing five games with a hip injury, but a good rebound total won't be hard to achieve against the Hornets.
OK, so we only get one opportunity on FanDuel, and I have to rank Drummond #1 and potentially Love #2, so with those in mind I'll give you just one more guy to consider tonight.
Ivica Zubac, LAC vs. BOS ($5,400): Zubac is one of those value candidates you need if you're fielding a Drummond-free trio of elites. I realize I'm fielding a number of players against a hot Celtics team but I think that this game will be close, and Vegas' two-point spread is a good indicator of how competitive the Clippers can be. He's currently averaging close to a double-double.
Identifying a low-cost must-stop candidate is key to a successful lineup on FanDuel, and you're behind the 8-ball if you don't take advantage of this feature. Here are my five favorite guys to occupy that slot tonight.
Marquese Chriss, CLE vs. TOR ($3,500)
Troy Brown, WAS vs. SAC ($3,500)
Royce O'Neale, UTA vs. OKC ($3,500)
Abdel Nader, OKC at UTA ($3,600)
Langston Galloway, DET at BKN ($3,500)