Please note the advice below is relevant for daily fantasy purposes. A player or team might be better or worse from a fantasy perspective than in real life due to matchup, price, and lots of other factors. This is important to consider when constructing a roster.
Injuries play a huge role in NBA DFS on a nightly basis. Value plays on the various daily fantasy sites can arise at a moment’s notice, so always, always check the starting lineups and injury news right before tipoff.
The Full Roster contests on FanDuel include a new scoring system in which the lowest score of the nine selected players is dropped, allowing users to take more risks with a punt play or two. Then, DraftKings has brought back its late swap for NBA contests.
2/5/19 NBA DFS TOURNAMENT PICKS
Big Jam: $10 entry, $425k guaranteed (DraftKings) – $100,000 to 1st!
Micro Sharpshooter: $3 entry, $135k guaranteed (DraftKings)
Shot: $15 entry, $400k guaranteed (FanDuel) – $100,000 to 1st!
Shot: $7.77 entry, $100k guaranteed (FanDuel)
NBA DFS Top Plays for February 5, 2019
Best Guards for February 5, 2019
Mike Conley vs. MIN ($8.2k DraftKings, $9.0k FanDuel)
Underpriced on DFS sites as often as he’s overlooked in the discussion of best point guards, Mike Conley sports one of the best floor-ceiling combinations on this slate. He’s rolling with averages of 22.4 PPG, 9.2 APG, 5.4 RPG, and 2 SPG while shooting 51.9% from the floor over his last five appearances. Conley faces a Timberwolves team tonight that gives up the third-most PPG (21.81) and sixth-most FPPG (41.5) to opposing PGs this season. Derrick Rose (ankle) is out, and Jeff Teague (foot) is doubtful. That leaves Minnesota with the diminutive Jerryd Bayless to log huge minutes and likely get repeatedly burnt on defense.
Jaylen Brown @ CLE ($4.9k DraftKings, $5.1k FanDuel)
At this point in the season, Kyrie Irving and other stars are just making up injuries or taking nights off for “load management” as they plot their next moves. The Celtics will once again be without their leading scorer tonight in what should still be a blowout win at Cleveland. That thrusts Terry Rozier ($6.7k, $7.0k) into a starting role. Yet Jaylen Brown and Marcus Smart ($5.3k, $5.3k) stand out as more affordable options. Brown is a better Cash play than Smart and has decent per-dollar upside against a Cavs team that ranks dead last in defensive rating this season. Cleveland is also last in opponent 3-point shooting (37.3%) and gives up the third-most 3PTM (2.69) per game to SGs. Brown is 11-for-27 (40.7%) from deep over his last six appearances. That includes a 23-point performance off the bench against the Cavs last week.
Fred VanVleet @ PHI ($4.6k DraftKings, $5.9k FanDuel)
Fred VanVleet is a downright steal tonight at his price tag on DraftKings. With Kyle Lowry (back) doubtful, he’s likely to start and see 30-plus minutes against a Sixers team that coughs up the most APG (9.97) to opposing PGs this season by far. VanVleet sees a 2.3% increase in usage rate (to 21.5%) and averages 0.06 more FPs per minute (0.93) when Lowry is off the floor. He owns a 30.3% assist rate over his last seven appearances and has posted an offensive rating of at least 107 in three straight outings. A grizzled gamer with an accomplished collegiate resume, VanVleet averages more PPG (11.1) and shoots a higher percentage (40.8%) from the field when playing on the road.
Other guards to consider: Russell Westbrook, Kemba Walker, Terry Rozier, Andrew Wiggins, Dennis Smith Jr., Jerryd Bayless, Jordan Clarkson, Malik Monk
Best Forwards for February 5, 2019
Jimmy Butler vs. TOR ($7.5k DraftKings, $8.6k FanDuel)
An intriguing GPP approach tonight is to fade LeBron James and Paul George as the expensive forwards on the board and consider both Kawhi Leonard and Jimmy Butler as alternatives. Leonard logged only 26 minutes in his last appearance and is never a lock to suit up on the road. If he happens to sit, Butler and Ben Simmons would benefit. Regardless, Butler is seeing a steady rise in responsibilities on both ends of the floor. And he seemed to hit his peak in a Sixers uniform with 29 points on 11-for-18 FG shooting in a win at Sacramento Saturday. Butler’s shooting an efficient 48.1% from the field since joining Philadelphia, and while his usage rate has dropped next to Joel Embiid, Toronto does a great job defending centers and tends to play more of a “space-and-pace” style.
Thaddeus Young vs. LAL ($6.1k DraftKings, $6.3k FanDuel)
The Lakers have been the most generous opponent in DFS all season according to DvP rankings. With Victor Oladipo (quad) out and Tyreke Evans (back) nowhere near full strength, Thaddeus Young and Bojan Bogdanovic are both poised to exceed value in this extremely favorable matchup. Young is the more reliable source of peripheral stats, though. He’ll be locked into big minutes tonight as the Pacers’ best option to guard LeBron James. Young has filled it up with 27 points, 19 rebounds, 8 assists, and 5 steals over his last two appearances and is posting his highest offensive rating (114) this season since his rookie year. The Lakers allow the most FPPG (50.13) to opposing PFs by far and give up 113.9 PPG and 47.2 RPG on the road this season.
Justin Holiday vs. MIN ($4.7k DraftKings, $4.5k FanDuel)
With injuries up and down the Grizzlies roster, Justin Holiday is looking at nearly all the run he can handle tonight. Kyle Anderson (shoulder), Omri Casspi (knee), and Dillon Brooks (toe) have all been ruled out. Then, JaMychal Green (knee) is questionable, and Garrett Temple (shoulder) doubtful. Holiday’s been locked into a steady role since joining Memphis and should be brimming with confidence after canning 5 of 10 attempts from deep in a win at Madison Square Garden Sunday. The fact Holiday went 0-for-10 from the field in a rough prior performance at Minnesota could drive his ownership rate down, but he’s in line to bounce back against a Wolves team that yields the third-most 3PTM (12.1) per game this season.
Other forwards to consider: LeBron James, Tobias Harris, Serge Ibaka, Aaron Gordon, Jayson Tatum, Brandon Ingram, Mario Hezonja, Kelly Olynyk
Best Centers for February 5, 2019
Hassan Whiteside @ POR ($6.9k DraftKings, $7.2k FanDuel)
You can’t necessarily trust Hassan Whiteside in Cash games quite yet, but he seems to finally be filling the role Heat HC Erik Spoelstra wants from him. Granted, the huge center is still not logging consistent playing time, but he’ll be needed tonight if Portland gets stud Jusuf Nurkic (knee) back in the lineup. The Blazers play with plenty of pace, after all. And that helped Whiteside snag 16 boards with 5 points and 6 blocks in a meeting with Portland earlier this season. Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum love to attack the rim, and Whiteside is blocking 3.2 shots per 36 minutes.
Al Horford @ CLE ($6.6k DraftKings, $8.0k FanDuel)
If Whiteside is the affordable GPP play at center, Al Horford is the Cash play to use if you want to save for some high-priced guards and forwards. The steady contributor is averaging 16.1 points, 8.4 rebounds, 4.8 assists, and 1.9 blocks per 36 minutes this season. And he’s finally seeing that amount of run since he’s back to full health. Cleveland has struggled down low all season and become more vulnerable with Tristan Thompson (foot) on the shelf. Horford averages the most FPs per minute (1.20) among Celtics when Kyrie Irving is off the floor. He’ll certainly initiate more offense with Irving inactive tonight.