Only a small five game slate tonight for NBA DFS action. Not the best Friday night we have had to play in a long time. Any discussion today has to start with the New York Knicks. After the trade with Dallas yesterday, we were heavy on the Mavericks value last night and so was everyone else.
Only a small five game slate tonight for NBA DFS action. Not the best Friday night we have had to play in a long time. Any discussion today has to start with the New York Knicks. After the trade with Dallas yesterday, we were heavy on the Mavericks value last night and so was everyone else. Some of those guys ended up 90% in cash and 70-80% in GPPs. The Knicks have a similar situation here today, but it’s not exactly the same. The Knicks big piece in that trade has not laced them up for them all season, so it doesn't affect the minutes or usage as much. Losing Hardaway and Burke is what really is going to open up some minutes tonight. The big man rotation for the Knicks should remain little changed. You have Vonleh seeing his 30+ minutes and you have guys like Robinson and Kanter backing him up at center and playing alongside him to slide him over to power Forward a little. Robinson likely sees half a game with Kanter playing sparse minutes here and there at best (No idea why). You have Kevin Knox and Luke Kornet, as well as Lance Thomas and MArio Hezonja playing the forward spots. Knox probably sees 30 minutes, Kornet may too as he returns from injury. Hezonja could play 24-30 minutes today as he can also slide to the SG depending on who is on the floor with him. Knox, Vonleh, and Allonzo Trier are all likely to play 30+ minutes, but they draw a tough matchup and are already priced decently in that $5K range. The value is with guys like Daymean Dotson and Kadeem Allen who will be backing up at the guard spots and seeing minutes. I prefer Doctson, as Allen likely plays 18-20 minutes with Trier seeing 30+. Yesterday I ended up with a ton of Mavs exposure and mixed results after the trade. I doubt I’m as heavily invested in Knicks today, but they do have some interesting options and everyone is due for bumps in minutes and usage. DraftKings has some of these guys priced up a bit, but FanDuel dropped the ball. Allonzo Trier at $4K is likely to near 90% ownership tonight in all formats as it’s basically a free square.
The other thing that has me trying to figure out what to write here is the long injury report with some key things to look out for. There’s only five games, but we have a slew of potentially slate changing guys listed as questionable here. The biggest one on the list to me is Chris Paul. If CP3 can't go here, we are back to point Harden. Point Harden was the guy with the usage rate in the mid 40, jacking up 30 shots, dropping 50 actual points and flirting with triple double 70-80 point upside games on the regular. If CP3 is out, you best believe I want a ton of point Harden exposure.
Memphis has both Conley and Temple listed as questionable today, so they could be without the starting backcourt. Conley does play through questionable tags and has a few times in recent weeks, They also have Jaren Jackson listed as questionable too. JaMychal Green has seen a big knock to his playing time lately, which makes me think he is not 100% either, hence why we got the big Ivan Rabb game last time out as his minutes covered what was missing from Jackson and Green. This is one of the lowest total games by a wide margin, so I’m not overly excited about going too heavy here anyway. Still if a bunch of these main pieces end up sitting, you would have to look here for value.
The third major injury news is with the Oklahoma City Thunder. We had a late announcement of Steven Adams being out the other night and Nerlens Noel predictably smashed at very high ownership levels. If Adams sits again, Nerlens is back in play again. He’s been given the chance to play 20 or more minutes 3 times this year and came away with 30, 33, and 52 fantasy points. He’s $4200 on FD and $3900 on DK. He averages 16 fantasy points in 14 minutes of action on the season, so even if you just double the minutes to 28, the projected fantasy points would be 32, or about 8X his salary. Tough to ignore a guy like that and most won’t as his ownership from the other night can attest to. He would be the #1 value play on the entire slate if he gets the start and Adams sits.
Top Projected Totals
- Jazz 119.25
- Nuggets 115.75
- Celtics 115.5
- Thunder 111.75
- Rockets 111.25
Biggest Pace Bump
- Heat +5
- Jazz +4.6
- Grizzlies +4.2
Highest Projection over Average
- Jazz +11
- Nuggets +4
- Celtics +3
- Heat +2.5
Russell Westbrook – Not the best spot overall and if I had to choose one of the two I likely lean Kyrie’s way. Still Westbrook is an overall beast. Points, Rebounds, and Assists tend to come in big large bunches as he stuffs the stat sheet. Westbrook has played 36+ minutes each of the last 4. He’s triple doubles in all 4 of those games with averages of 22/13/14 for over 60 fantasy points. He is playing as well as anyone in basketball right now and that ability to stuff every category of the stat sheet is tough to ignore.
Kyrie Irving – Kyrie sat out a few games, but before he did he was on fire. He is also averaging over 36 minutes in his last 5, 4 of which he dropped 60+ DK points in with double digit assists each time. He took at least 19 shots in each of those games and averaged 31/11 during this run. When healthy, he’s playing as well as we have seen him in his career right now and he’s back in the NYC area tonight, which is something of a homecoming for him.
Kadeem Allen – The Knicks called Allen up from the D-League. He’s not a guy I am actively starting my lineups with, bt he did make a few of the teams where I was trying to shoehorn in three studs on FanDuel and needed some punts. Mudiay and Ntilikina are out and Burke was just traded away, so basically Allonzo Trier and Allen are playing the point guard minutes tonight until Dennis Smith Jr joins the team. I would expect possible 20+ minutes from him as he already played 18 last game and that was with Burke and Hardaway crowding the perimeter minutes. He’s not big upside, but at near min price he doesn't need more than 22-28.
James Harden – So Harden is in play regardless, BUT if Chris Paul (Listed as Questionable) misses the game he shoots up to my #1 stud to spend for. We already know what Harden does without Paul. The 45 usage rate, the 30+ shots, the double digit assists to go along with the huge point totals. The guy was underpriced at $14000 without Paul, so you best believe I will be looking to start lineup rebuilds with him if Paul is going to sit. I think he’s in play either way to be honest, so even on FD without news it’s not a bad play. That’s why he makes the cash write up. (I will note we have some solid cheap options to use. Not all of them are cheap on both sites, but you can easily build teams without Harden using guys who could go way beyond 6X today)
Monte Morris – This one hinges on Gary Harris. We had seen him have some big games earlier in the year with Harris out. With Harris and Murray out last game, he put up a monster fantasy score. Morris is still cheap on FD and listed at SG. ON DK he is PG only and even pricier than he is on FD. I don't hate him at the higher price at PG on DK, but that only means I should love him at SG and a lower price on FD and I do.
Allonzo Trier – So on DraftKings at $5400 he’s an OK play. I expect him to get the bulk of PG minutes tonight and with the short rotation he should easily see 30-35 minutes of action. On FanDuel though he’s a must play for me at only $4K. When guys are the same price or lower on FanDuel and I like them on DK, It makes me love them on FD. When a guy is over a $1000 Discount on FD, he’s a must play and that is what we have here today. DK did a better job of adjusting prices after the trade. I’m not sure if FanDuel dropped the ball or if the contests were already in the lobby, but either way you know have a bunch of Knicks likely to see 30 minutes with two high usage guys out of the picture priced like bench warming scrubs. Trier being the best PG option, he’s likeliest to benefit most and atK is WAAAAAY too cheap to ignore.
Note: I also don't hate Dennis Schroder. I just think Morris would have more upside as long as Gary Harris is out. If Harris Plays, I’d rather use Schroder than Morris. I also like Eric Gordon if Chris Paul Sits. Obviously the big jump and big upside would be with Harden, but Gordon has been the #2 scorer when CP3 was out before.
Paul George – SF is kind of rough here today and PG13 is a standout play because no one else projects within 10 points of him. The matchup is not ideal, but PG13 is the epitome of a cash game play. Consistency ($ straight games of 55-65 fantasy points), big minutes (38+ in each of the last 4, and is also in a spot where his team may have usage and rebounds to go around if Nerlens is starting for Steven Adams. Miami is not a high pace team and upside for GPPs is probably not what you can expect from him today, but at 38+ minutes a game you can expect he’s going to produce regardless of matchup with that much floor time.
Kyle Anderson – On FanDuel I would be more likely to come up and take a Justise Winslow if I could fit him in, but on DraftKings at $4400 Anderson is still too cheap. In fact we made the argument last game at $4500 he was too cheap and now the price dropped. At this price on DK if he gets me 25+ I am very happy and he can certainly do that.
Mario Hezonja – With the Knicks in flux due to the trade, it’s all hands on deck and the hands on deck are going to be busy. Hezonja is in play on both sites at just over $4K. He’s been seeing 30 minutes lately anyway, so I believe he will do that or more here at least until the reinforcements arrive and suit up.
Kenneth Faried – He’s pricey now so this is about the top of the range for him, but how can you argue with what he has done? The guys has played 30+ minutes each of the last three, double-doubled in them all and averaged 40 fantasy points. He’s a legit compiler of stats in this role and the role remains the same until Capela returns or they trade for another big man. He’s going to have a rough night on defense, but offensively he draws Jokic who is not a high motor guy or a good defender.
Jerami Grant – Worst case scenario, Steven Adams plays and Grant still sees his 30 minutes and comes close to value. Best case scenario is Adams misses, Grant plays some back up center as well as his PF minutes and comes through with a 35 point game. That’s what happened last time out and has happened with Nerlens Noel or Steven Adams out before.
Luke Kornet – You should be sensing the Knicks theme running through the write up by now, but why not? When these guys are cheap and the rotation is thin, they are all good plays. Kornet is slated to return from the injured list and I wouldn't be shocked if he steps right back in as a starter tonight alongside Vonleh and Knox. Kornet was playing 30+ minutes before the injury and at $4300 you don't have to do much to get to value.
Nikola Jokic – The Rockets are undersized right now with Tucker/Faried manning the middle and we have successfully picked on them with weaker players. Jokic tends to smash when at home and he’s been playing really well lately anyway, coming off a triple double performance. Jokic is one of the best spend ups on the day and we do have quite a few of them to use. He is the priciest center, but I also project him for 15+ points above everyone else at the position tonight. The mid range is not where I want to be.
Nerlens Noel – If Steven Adams sits, Noel is going to be very popular. This is about the toughest decision I think I will have on this slate. If Nerlens is in, you get a high point per dollar opportunity by using him. Jokic is still likely to be the top overall producer here, but you then get into the 2 by 2 game of Nerlens and ______ v. Jokic and ______. Frankly I have started lineup builds with Jokic, but have my 2 by 2 swaps ready in case Nerlens gets another start. At $4200/$3900 on FD/DK he can end up with a 8-9X performance. In three games of 20 minutes or more this season his returns are 30, 32, and 52. That’s a minimum 7X and 13X on the upside at his price today. The matchup is not a soft one, but when a guy is that cheap with that kind of floor and ceiling in spots like this in the past, it’s tough to justify anything besides using him.