Welcome to the NBA DFS Cash Game Breakdown, where we identify the top point-per-dollar plays for cash games!
Only a small four-game slate for NBA DFS today. Not the best spot for cash games which is something we always try to hammer home. The smaller the slate the bigger the chalk. Although, I have to be honest, this is a really nice little slate of games, even if we don’t have many of them.
All four have totals of 220 or higher and each of them has a spread of less than three possessions. The biggest piece of news on the day is going to be the status of Anthony Davis. Nothing else is currently up in the air, which is a rare thing to say in NBA DFS. We may get some surprise announcements before tonight, but in terms of projections, the only real grey area is the Lakers.
We have a lot of the best studs in the game playing today and I think that is going to spread out the ownership a little bit on all of them. Giannis, Lebron, Harden, Westbrook, Trae Young, Kawhi Leonard, and Paul George are all super expensive and tend to take ownership, especially on smaller slates.
The problem is with so many of them you can’t afford to play them all. I think the highest owned plays are unlikely to be the expensive ones today. In order to squeeze in more than one of these guys, people are going to look for value. We really do not have a ton of it standing out so far.
The one injury that I thought would open some up was Mike Conley. He tried to return from a long absence, but ended up right back on the injured list. The problem is we saw the prices rise for guys like Mitchell, Ingles, and Bogdanovic while he was out.
With those guys not seeing a decrease in price yet, there really isn’t much of an expected boost given these current prices. Some of the fringe players on the Nets and Atlanta offer some value, but nothing that is a lock.
It really isn’t going to be easy to fit in that second superstar. On DK, you can forget playing three of them today. I would even go so far as to say the optimal build might be one superstar and a bunch of the second tier talent unless some unknown injury news opens up a cheap play we can have some faith in.
Top Projected Totals
- Clippers 119.5
- Jazz 115.5
- Bucks 114.5
- Rockets 114.5
Biggest Pace Bump
- Lakers +4.3
- Jazz +2.8
- Spurs +1.6
Highest Projection over Average
- Jazz +8
- Clippers +4.5
- Hawks +0.5
Position by Position
Spencer Dinwiddie –
Since Kyrie has been out, he’s carried this Nets team. Dinwiddie should be a starting point guard on some team in this league when Kyrie returns. His bad games are 35+ and his good ones are in the low-to-mid 40 fantasy point range with upside to 60. I am not likely spending up on Trae Young tonight with other guys having bigger ceilings and floors in a similar price range.
DeJounte Murray –
We have waited all year for him to get over that 20 minute hump and now it has happened. He has not shown super high upside, but he has been good. His price is rising too, so the potential smash spot for upside is less and less with every dollar it goes up. He’s still priced around the range of the production he is giving us though and offers some savings from the high end still.
Rajon Rondo –
You have a slew of these $4K guys on FD with Derrick White, George Hill, and Patrick Beverley also in this price range. None of those guys have much upside though. All of them project for about 20 points. Rondo projects slightly higher and has a little bit safer and higher floor and ceiling.
James Harden –
The floor is 50. The upside is 70-80s and we have seen him put up 100 fantasy points on his best day. It’s a very tough matchup, but who cares? This guy is routinely going off for big numbers in every category and plays a ton of minutes. You can make a case for paying up for a bunch of different superstars tonight, but Harden is no worse than 2nd on that list for me.
Donovan Mitchell –
Conley being out helps raise his usage, but don’t look for much of a bump in assists. The only spot we really saw the bump without Conley was in scoring and usage. He’ll have the ball and get more touches, but his assist numbers stayed about the same. Still this is a great spot with the Jazz projected for eight points above average and one of the better pace bumps at +2.5.
Khris Middleton –
The price is really the thing here for Middleton. After missing some time, he came back and saw 30+ minutes and 30+ fantasy points. Then he had a couple games he played less than normal minutes. This is one he projects for his ceiling in minutes.
He’s averaging over a fantasy point per minute and today he projects for 30+ minutes which should at least get him to 5-6X. I think he could potentially even do more if they lift the minutes cap a bit.
VALUE: I do think we have some value guys here. Normally, on a large slate, I would not be looking this way, but on a small slate like this I usually do prefer to go stars and scrubs. You are taking on some risk, but Lonnie Walker, Ben McLemore, Cam Reddish, and Kevin Huerter are all interesting cheaper options. You have a few more on DK like some of the cheap PGs (Forbes, Mills, Hill) as well if you are looking for a list of guys that can help you get two or three studs in.
The safest are probably McLemore and Hill, but, remember, they are not likely to do much more than barely make it over the hump.
Giannis Antetokounmpo –
You have LeBron and Kawhi who both are about 1.5 FPPM guys. Paul George is here too and he’s slightly less. None of them are bad plays, but for about $1000 more you can get Giannis who is almost 1.8 fantasy points per minute. This projects to be a close game and his matchup gets even easier if Davis is out again.
Giannis and Harden are my 1 and 1A for spend ups here. There is a case to be made for not playing them together, though. Harden plays in a game with PG-13 and Kawhi so if you like Harden and think it stays close one of those other guys is likely to be involved in a lot of the production too.
If you love Giannis and think that stays close, then AD or Lebron might be the better guy to use on the other side of that game. This is normally something I care more about in GPPs, but on a small slate we do have to take that into consideration. If either of these games blow out for any reason, the better plays are likely the ones on the guys in the game that did not.
While Harden and Giannis are both in play and you can play them together, just realize there is also a little added game selection risk on short slates that is normally something we care about more for GPPs.
LeBron James –
I prefer LeBron to the Clippers guys here tonight. My big beef with the Clippers is that everyone is healthy. When all of these guys are healthy, the Clippers have a lot of mouths to feed and they kind of sap upside from each other.
Kawhi has had big games, but he doesn’t need to do as much as he has in the past. You have Lou Will and PG-13 that also can handle the load and even for cash trying to predict who goes off is tough. They only get to play with one ball and these guys are not cheap.
Giannis or Harden can explode for 70+. I’m not sure either of the Clippers studs can with all of them active. Lebron could if AD sits, but even he would get bumped down to me if AD plays. This is what has also pushed me more onto Giannis and Harden as my spend ups.
Joe Ingles –
I know he looks a bit pricey, but he was starting when Conley was out and routinely going over 30 fantasy points. In fact, he was routinely putting up around 36 which would be value on DK and almost 7X on FD. Remember that the Jazz are in the best spot of any team today projected for eight points over average and with the second best pace bump.
De’Andre Hunter –
I loved this kid in college and I like how his game has translated to the NBA. More of a GPP play on a larger slate because the returns are volatile. On a shorter slate we have to take a few chances and this is a kid who has alternated between giving us 6X upside and missing value.
Atlanta would seem to be in a tough spot, but actually project for half a point above average. Not great, but for a value guy seeing 30+ minutes, I can live with it.
LaMarcus Aldridge –
The Spurs see a pace bump, project right about their average and are at home today. They also face a Nets team that has been giving up decent-to-big games to opposing big men. Aldridge lacks the ceiling of the other stars on this slate today, but he has a high floor and is at a discounted price.
Anthony Davis is not going to make my roster playing with an ankle and shoulder issue if he even goes. The next best option for me is LMA as I am not likely to pay up for Kawhi when everyone is healthy.
Jarrett Allen –
I know the Blocks are a big deal towards his upside last time out and the minutes are still not as high as we like, but the guy can play. He has gone for 32 or more fantasy points in nine of the last 13 games and five of the last seven have been 36+. He is the only reasonably mid-tier priced play that produces today.
Royce O’Neale –
I hate the fact Conley went down, but let’s revisit what happened when he was out before trying to come back. He routinely has played 30 minutes more or less in recent games.
Now he lacks a ceiling, but he’s been consistently flashing a solid 20+ point floor. He is what I like to call a place filler. You use a guy like this to allow you the savings to fit another stud on a stars and scrub build.
With all the stars and the high prices today, I would not be shocked if you need him to round out those rosters.
Rudy Gobert/Clint Capela –
On FD, I have no idea why Capela is $1300 more than Gobert. It makes no sense to me to pay up for Capela. Overall, though, I do have Capela projected for a few more fantasy points and on DK he is cheaper than Gobert. Over there, I go Gobert. In cash, price matters a lot as the high end of Center illustrates for us today. They are the two best plays in terms of raw points, too.
Jakob Poeltl –
The Nets are a team you can pick on with big men and we have seen this work now for a while. Poeltl is cheap. He’s volatile and lacks upside, but you don’t need a guy priced below $4K on FanDuel to do much.
I have a few guys in the midrange I think are interesting, but to me you are either paying up for one of the two studs here today and punting because you tried to squeeze in Gianis and Harden or some combo of other superstars. That means the way I am going and many of you will be going is stars and scrubs.
The one caveat I have here is Anthony Davis. If he is out, then the cheap guy I use is likely Dwight Howard. Javale McGee and Howard both saw a bump in rebounds and shots last game as the pick and roll man with Lebron and Rondo. If Davis plays, that’s his spot and these guys would go back to being secondary pieces.