Welcome to the Daily Fantasy Sports NBA FanDuel Top Daily Plays. This article will be featured daily, Monday through Friday during the regular season. I will rank the players according to overall value, with FanDuel’s scoring/salary in mind. These can typically be used on all sites, but use some common sense if another site scores differently or has a different salary. Remember, this is only a guide, and several factors may influence who you should select each day.
There are just five games on deck for the final Thursday of 2017 and there are a few studs in action that could make lineup construction tricky with a smaller player pool available. Let’s look at some DFS NBA FanDuel Top Daily Plays.
Damian Lillard (POR): $8,800 vs. PHI
***Update: Lillard has been downgraded to doubtful***
Lillard draws a phenomenal matchup at home against the reeling Sixers in a game that features a projected total of 208 points. This is a boost in pace for Portland and with a few extra possessions likely as a result, Lillard checks in as the top option at the position tonight.
Ish Smith (DET): $5,500 @ ORL
Smith is the clear-cut top value at the position tonight as he will likely be looking at 30+ minutes of playing time due to Reggie Jackson's injury that will cost him some time. This is also a great individual matchup, so don't overthink this and lock Smith in as a fine midrange option tonight.
Terry Rozier (BOS): $3,800 vs. HOU
Rozier came through for us last night as a great cheap option and he stands as a strong play yet again tonight, especially if Jaylen Brown remains on the shelf. This is a boost in pace for the Celtics and it should be a solid fantasy environment all around.
James Harden (HOU): $12,500 @ BOS
Harden continues to play at a torrid pace as he's scored 68 FDP in three straight games. While the matchup isn't the best from an efficiency standpoint, I don't think it matters all that much for a player of Harden's caliber. The issue, of course, will be roster construction as you will need to identify some value in order to squeeze him into your lineups.
Khris Middleton (MIL): $7,500 vs. MIN
Shooting guard is tricky to attack tonight unless some other value pops up, so you might be inclined to target someone like Middleton if you can't spend up for James Harden. Middleton is a lock for 35+ minutes tonight against the Timberwolves and while there's no value in his price, this game is expected to be close while possessing the highest total of the evening.
Eric Gordon (HOU): $5,800 @ BOS
If Chris Paul remains out, Gordon would emerge as a decent value at the position and a good way to get exposure to Houston's high-octane offense without breaking the bank. The matchup isn't the best, but the potential for extra run helps to offset any concerns over efficiency.
Giannis Antetokounmpo (MIL): $11,900 vs. MIN
Small forward is a wasteland, so it might make sense to simply pay up for Antetokounmpo in what is shaping up to be one of the better fantasy environments of the evening. There's not much that needs to be said about what Antetokounmpo brings to the table as he does everything, so it all boils down to whether or not you can squeeze his hefty salary into your lineups.
Trevor Ariza (HOU): $5,500 @ BOS
Ariza doesn't possess a high ceiling nor does he produce at an elite level on a per minute basis (0.65 FDP/min), but he does play a boatload of minutes (41+ in six straight). The position is devoid of any clear values right now, but Ariza would check in as one of the better ones given with the current landscape.
Kristaps Porzingis (NY): $9,200 @ SA
This is a poor matchup for Porzingis and there's certainly blowout risk, but there's no denying what he's been able to do over the last few games. He's scored at least 43.7 FDP in three straight and any hope of the Knicks keeping this remotely close begins and ends with Porzingis. Because of that, he's better suited for tournaments tonight.
Ben Simmons (PHI): $9,000 @ POR
Simmons' production has tailed off considerably, but that has also brought his price down to a level where you need to consider him in tournaments with the hopes that he gets things rolling again. The Sixers haven't played since Monday and I look for this to be a competitive game in which Simmons should get back on track.
Jayson Tatum (BOS): $5,700 vs. HOU
Tatum has scored 38 actual points over his last two games, which includes a well-rounded fantasy output of 34 FDP last night. He should continue to see increased offensive responsibility if Jaylen Brown remains out and he makes for a high-upside tournament play as a result.
Taj Gibson (MIN): $5,500 @ MIL
Gibson is always a good bet for heavy run and for the price, you could certainly do worse on a short slate. He's picked up his scoring as of late, including consecutive outings of 20+ points. While he won't set the world on fire, the salary is fair and he makes for a decent option in cash games as a result.
Andre Drummond (DET): $9,500 @ ORL
While Joel Embiid and Karl-Anthony Towns are certainly fine options, I'm going shift my attention down to Drummond this evening. Orlando ranks dead last in team rebounding rate and this could lead to a monster outing on the glass for the talented big man. It will be interesting to see how the Pistons adjust without the services of Reggie Jackson, but I don't think Drummond's fantasy stock will be hurt too much tonight.
Nene (HOU): $3,500 @ BOS
On the cheaper side of things, you're probably looking at Nene as a pure punt. While his best days are certainly behind him, he still holds some value as part of the top unit with Clint Capela on the shelf.