Welcome to the NBA DFS Cash Game Breakdown, where we identify the top point-per-dollar plays for cash games!
Pretty Robust 10-game slate of NBA DFS action here on Friday. We have a lot of injury news up in the air today that could alter the value on this slate. I mean a lot of it.
I make my list every night and I include a whole section of “What ifs”. If player x, Players A, B, and C benefit. If Player Y is out and so on. That list is twice as long as the list of plays I like today and that’s never a good thing to see.
What it means is that not only do we have a lot of questionable players that we need to get more clarity on, but also that those guys are some of the higher usage guys that could drastically alter the production for numerous other players.
Since we have so much of it, I decided to basically just list all the spots where potential trouble could get to us so you guys can see what I mean and know how to handle it.
1- Indiana Pacers – Jeremy Lamb was banged up and left the last game early after playing just 15 minutes. Something with his groin is bothering him. I really doubt he plays today and am not sure he would be effective even if he did. This morning we also found out that TJ Warren is under the weather with an illness. This could mean the Pacers will play down both starting wing players. Last time Lamb was out the main beneficiary was Aaron Holiday. He would slot in at one guard spot opposite Brogdon. He had some games with 30+ fantasy points and played well enough to see his price jump up near $6K. He’s down near $4300 today and would be an excellent value option. Doug McDermott, Justin Holiday, and Edmund Sumner would benefit as well for dirt cheap prices. Those are more 20-25 fantasy points a game kind of guys though. Yes, they offer value, but not much in upside.
2- Detroit Pistons – Both Blake Griffin and Luke Kennard are doubtful. The Pistons have a tough matchup against the Boston Celtics, but without two high usage, high minute, high shot attempt guys we will have some people to consider. On FD, you have Markieff Morris and Langston Galloway under $4000. Both guys project for 30 minutes here with 25+ fantasy points. That’s over 6X on FD with upside to 30-35 fantasy points. On DraftKings, Morris is $5000, which is about where I think he should be priced. He’s still a decent value, but you have a lower upside and more of a chance to bust with the higher price. He’s absolutely still in play as we saw him put up over 30 fantasy points in 30 minutes without Blake last time, but he’s also had some games of 20-25 in this spot. 20-25 on FD at under $4K is still fine, but that would hurt a lot on DK at $5K. Galloway is a mere $3300 on DK, so you can argue he’s an even better play over there. Even at under $4K on FD he’s definitely in play, so he’s viable on both assuming Kennard can’t go.
3- Boston Celtics – Marcus Smart is ruled out, but Gordon Hayward also missed the last game. They are on the tail end of a back-to-back, so I’m assuming he sat yesterday to play today. He has had foot trouble and did have an MRI, so it might be more serious than that. If so, they could be down two major offensive weapons that play decent to high minutes on the wing. The Celtics have guys like Kemba Walker, Jaylen Brown, and Jayson Tatum that benefit the most from these situations.
4- Toronto Raptors – We have some extreme value opening up here in what is arguably the best spot for fantasy against the high paced and defensively deficient Wizards. Pascal Siakam was injured last game and is out for a while. Marc Gasol was injured too. Siakam plays 35+ minutes most nights and carries a heavy load on offense. Even Gasol was playing around 30 most nights and chipping in. That’s now 65-70 minutes of floor time, 25-35 shots, and 15-25 rebounds missing. Norman Powell is out and Fred Van Vleet is upgraded to questionable, but we also have not seen him in awhile. The Raptors are desperate for bodies with a thin rotation and a lot of the secondary pieces are dirt cheap and projected for 30 minutes now. Serge Ibaka has already started to see an uptick in minutes and production and they are going to have lean on him heavy here. I’m not sure how many minutes he can handle, but he’ll play 30+ and he smashed in 30 minutes last game with 40+ fantasy points. He has seen a huge price jump, but it’s warranted and he’s not expensive for the projections. Guys like Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, Terrence Davis, and Chris Boucher are also in line for big increases in minutes and production. They pop up as some of the top point per dollar plays on this slate. They are basically minimum price on FanDuel and slightly above it on DK. Boucher is $800 cheaper than RHJ, so if you have to choose one of the two on DK, it’s him. However, I don’t hate either guy. I also like guys like OG Anunoby and Kyle Lowry more now. Each should be asked to shoulder more of the load. Fred VanVleet is a GTD, but I do not think he is healthy. I hope he sits, because if he plays it will sap some of the excitement I have for the perimeter trio mentioned. I have built a few lineups already today and Raptors are littering them. I can see people full stacking 4-5 of them in GPPs as well because the usage hole and minutes are that significant.
5- Phoenix Suns – DeAndre Ayton returned from a PED suspension and promptly landed back on the injury list with an ankle. That means the trio of Aron Baynes, Dario Saric, and Frank Kaminsky should go back to their production levels we had seen most of the season anyway. On top of that, Devin Booker has been out for the last week. Cam Johnson is also questionable which could have them down two important wing players. Ricky Rubio has probably benefited the most from that in terms of production. Mikal Bridges has seen more minutes and you have guys like Ty Jerome, Elie Okobo, and Tyler Johnson who did as well. Johnson is banged up and questionable too, although his role is way diminished this year. Kelly Oubre should see an uptick too, but he is priced up where his ceiling is gone and even the floor is not as safe at the lofty price tag. If Booker sits with Ayton out, you would have to consider the other starters for a bump. I like them with higher production more than I like any of the backups. The three big men are in play with Kaminsky as my favorite value of them and Rubio would have upside at his price too.
6- Timberwolves – I am not going to spend a bunch of time on this one and I’ll explain one. Karl-Anthony Towns missed the last game and normally that would be huge. He’s a huge minute, high usage guy. The problem is I do not love the price on anyone who really benefits a ton here. Jeff Teague, Robert Covington, and Andrew Wiggins are the main guys who would pick up the slack. All of them are fairly priced. Covington and Teague are around $6K and project for 30-35 fantasy points. Wiggins is $8K and projects for around 40. That’s the kind of production I project even without Towns vs. a tough Denver D. Even Gorgui Dieng, who would be the value guy likely to pick up the minutes again is not cheap enough. He’s got some GPP upside if he double-doubles or blocks a bunch of shots, I guess, but it is not an easy one.
I wish I had the answers for this slew of questionable major pieces for you guys, but I don’t. I can guarantee you that some of them will play and some of them won’t. That is why I wanted to break everything down. This way when news breaks and we have to make some quick last minute decisions on them, you already know who to target as the news roll out.
Highest Projected Totals
- Raptors 118.25
- Nuggets 113.25
- Pelicans 113
- Heat 112.25
- Warriors 112
Biggest Pace Bump
- Nuggets +5.9
- Cavaliers +5.3
- Thunder +4.4
- Warriors +3.5
Highest Projection over Average
- Cavs +8
- Warriors +8
- Nuggets +6.5
- Raptors +6.5
NOTE: A lot of the guys in this list are ones we mentioned above that we are waiting on news for. Rather than rehash the reasoning for using them, just search by team above and you will see it. If any of those questionable guys do play, you can cross them off the list as we have so many options and at least a few of them are going to benefit from injuries.
Position by Position
Bradley Beal – Beal is the highest projected shooting guard on this slate. With all the value you are looking to pick off some high priced studs because you can. He already sees massive minutes along with Davis Bertans as the rest of the short roster rotate in and out around those two guys.
D’Angelo Russell – The Warriors see a huge projection of eight points above average with a solid +3.5 pace bump. If you are looking to save a little from Beal, D-Russ projects better than everyone else at the position for me and has the highest point-per-dollar ceiling of the top end guys with the discount from Beal.
Josh Richardson – I like that he finally got back up to 35 minutes last game in the revenge vs. his former Miami team. That was what was holding me back on him. He was barely seeing the minutes before this one.
Terrence Davis – Did not mention him enough in the Raptors section because VanVleet may kill his value. If VanVleet can’t go, he should see a huge boost in minutes with Norman Powell now out too.
Kristaps Porzingis – Again, nothing really new here for Porzingis, but since Luka has been out he has really managed to step up and take a bigger role.
Davis Bertans – We did not mention all the Wizards injuries because they are not new. With all the big men hurt, we saw a huge increase in minutes up to 35+ for Bertans and he has been smashing value so much they jacked the price up to almost $7K. He’s still a good play even at that price.
Andre Drummond – I do not hate Joel Embiid either, but in this price range I prefer Drummond of the two. Both are on my GPP lineup builds though.
Enes Kanter – When I look at Kanter vs. Ian Mahinmi in the same price range it’s a tough call. I can see Kanter playing more today to give them a body to bang with Drummond. Mahinmi has the same great set up with all the other bigs hurt for the Wizards, but he’s a guy who can’t play 30+ minutes. Even with the rotation so thin he barely got 24 last game.