Nice 8 game slate of action for NBA DFS today. I am having a major problem with this Clippers/Hornets game today in cash. It has one of the highest totals on the board, yet, I can't find anyone I like a lot for cash games. I thought it would be a good opportunity to explain the difference between cash games and GPPs as well as the type of players we look for in each…
Nice 8 game slate of action for NBA DFS today. I am having a major problem with this Clippers/Hornets game today in cash. It has one of the highest totals on the board, yet, I can't find anyone I like a lot for cash games. I thought it would be a good opportunity to explain the difference between cash games and GPPs as well as the type of players we look for in each. On the Clippers side of the ball, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Patrick Beverley have both put up some big games since Danilo Gallinari went out. The last couple has belonged to SGA, but the ones preceding that he struggled, as Patrick Beverley went off for monster games. Both guys have seen major price increases because of those big games, yet, it’s tough to predict which one will go off. Just when you think it is safe to play P-Bev, he underperforms and SGA smashes. This pattern has been going on most of the season, so I like both in GPPs but not using either in cash. The guy who has benefitted the most from Gallo being out is Tobias Harris. He is not cheap either though. Montrezl Harrell is a guy people expected to benefit, but he’s only played 30 minutes in four of the last 10 and has not gone beyond 5X in any of them. When you look at the Clippers, no one really stands out as cash worthy, even in a game with the second highest total on the board.
While the Clippers project for three points below average, the Hornets project for three points above. Not much is different when you look at them either, though. Kemba Walker hadn't had a big game for weeks; then he explodes for 65 DK points last time out. Again, absolutely a GPP option, especially given the pace bump and above average projections. The problem is he's hard to trust, as sometimes he goes off and sometimes he misses value badly. That is the kind of guy that deserves to be a GPP play. Cody Zeller is real cheap at $4K and coming off a month+ absence. This is a matchup we like big guys in, but can you trust him to play big minutes? Even before the injury, he was barely playing over half the game, and I don't trust he gets thrown right back into a 24-30 minute role. That uncertainty keeps me off of him, but also kills guys like Hernangomez and Biyombo, as they are likely to lose at least some minutes. You have Nic Batum and Jeremy Lamb on the wings. Those guys are priced where they should be for their production. In terms of cash plays, they make the most sense, as they have decent enough floors at their prices and could go off for a ceiling in this paced up spot. In GPPs and Qs today, I will have a game stack here that is heavy on both sides of this one. In cash games though, I have not clicked many, if any, of these guys into my initial lineup builds. In fact, I currently have zero players from this game on any of the cash teams I made on either site. Understanding why guys make sense in GPPs but not as cash game plays will help you avoid risky mistakes. Remember, we are not trying to get the highest score in cash, just the safest one that comes in the top 50% of a 50/50 or the top 44% of a double up to get paid.
We have a lot of teams projected at or below average today. In terms of matchups and potential projected scores. There is some value, and we do have more strong mid-range options than usual today as well. Guys in that $5-$8K range that project for 5-7X value. I don't think you need to build a stars and scrubs type lineup, but if we get more late value (Like Mason Plumlee last night), it can change. As of now though, there are positions I want to spend up at (SF) and a position where we should probably be looking to save (SG). We have good options in various price ranges at the other spots on the floor, so you can mix and match those based on who you like best.
TOP PROJECTED TOTALS
- 76ers – 116.25
- Thunder – 116
- Hornets – 114.75
- Raptors – 111.75
- Clippers – 111.25
BIGGEST PACE BUMPS
- Magic: +5.6
- Grizzlies: +4.9
- Pacers: +4.8
- Cavs: +3
HIGHEST PROJECTION OVER AVERAGE
- Hornets: +3
- Magic: +2
- Grizzlies, Thunder, 76ers: +1
*Everyone else projects at or below average today
FAVORITE CASH PLAYS
Russell Westbrook – One of the few games today where both teams project for above average production. Westbrook has been a monster lately. For the last two weeks, he has managed to average 36 minutes a game and has six straight triple-doubles. SIX of them… IN a ROW…… 53-75 DK points in each of those games. It’s insane that people are not talking more about this, but few guys at any position can stuff the stat sheet as Westbrook can.
Mike Conley – Another very overlooked guy who just keeps on grinding out solid cash game value. Over the last seven games, he is averaging 36 minutes a night and 46 fantasy points. Only one game where he missed 40 and he had just shy with 36. Of course, he only has one game over 50 too, but that’s ok in cash. Conley lacks upside at his price to win you a GPP and go 7-8X, but he’s consistently returning mid 40s points, which is a solid 5.5-6X return. Consistency is key in cash and Conley gives you that. He’s paced up, at home, and the Grizzlies are projected over average. All the things we like to see with him.
Rajon Rondo – Rondo is not cheap, but he’s not too expensive for his price in cash. I would not be looking to play him for upside at this price, but Lebron is back and he had a big game earlier in the week with Lebron active. Rondo is a guy who plays a ton of minutes too, especially with the injuries to the backcourt guys here. That is why I like him so much. You won't get cheated with him right now. He’ll likely play 35-40 minutes and produce around a fantasy point per minute. Is so, you are looking at 5.5-6X his salary.
Jerryd Bayless – Derrick Rose and Tyus Jones are still out and it looks like Jeff Teague is unlikely to be back tonight too. Bayless is routinely in that mid 30 range for fantasy points and should stay there again today. It’s not the best matchup against the Grizzlies, but he played them a few days ago and dropped 51 fantasy points. We only need about 35 here, so even some regression from that effort still puts him firmly in play.
Dennis Schroeder – People sleep on him as he is at best the third best option on this team, but he keeps producing and finding himself on the floor in big spots. He is still sub $5K on DraftKings, yet put up over 32 DK points in three straight games for about a 6.5X return. Only $5300 on FD too, so 6X for three straight over there too. The Thunder are projected for above average production tonight as well, so the spot is not bad for a guy who goes overlooked at a fair to cheap price often.
Jaylen Brown – So everyone rightly looks at Terry Rozier, as his numbers take a big jump with Kyrie out, but Jaylen Brown is the sneaky play people forget about. Marcus Smart sees a boost in usage, but his minutes remain normal. Brown is playing about ½ a game when Kyrie is active, but over 30 minutes when he isn't. Brown not only benefits from a usage bump, but he also benefits from a bump in minutes. He’s very cheap around the $5K range and absolutely a guy I will have a ton of exposure to in every format at this price. With Rozier price being jacked up, he’s the best value in the Celtics Kyrie-less backcourt now.
Justin Holliday – Holliday is already seeing big minutes due to injuries to most of the perimeter guys. Garrett Temple may return here, but Kyle Anderson is out, so I think the minutes remain safe. Holliday is cheaper on FD than he is on DK. I don't even mind the DK price, which is why I love the FD price. All three of these guys are cheap and make a lot of sense to outperform their salaries today while leaving you money to spend elsewhere. Hence, why I said SG feels like the spot to save and use the savings elsewhere.
*Note: The Cavs just traded Rodney Hood for Nik Stauskas, Wayne Baldwin and a couple of draft picks. If those guys are not available to play, the Cavs need to cover the half a game or so Hood was playing for them. Cedi Osman is also out, and he was playing well over 30 minutes too. The guys most likely to get extra run are Alec Burks and Jordan Clarkson, both of whom are already decent plays. It’s a brutal matchup for the Cavs, but those guys would hold even more appeal if the new Cavs are not in uniform tonight.
Paul George – I know LeBron is back, but the matchup for PG13 is better, he’s playing huge minutes, and frankly, he’s outperforming other studs anyway with 55-65 fantasy points a night. Yes, the price is up, but given the production, it’s not expensive. George is playing some of the best ball we have seen from him lately and he and Westbrook are proving they can both go off for upside together. The Thunder are playing really fast lately and it’s no surprise to see that both of these teams are projected over average because of it. That high pace allows them to be able to support two stars going off together and the fact the other main pieces are not scorers only makes it easier to trust the two guys who are for upside.
Kawhi Leonard – Much of the year, Kawhi has been going for 50+ fantasy points. The last game they blew out the Clippers and he played just over half the game. Makes sense he would severely underperform in 10+ fewer minutes of action. The game before that they lost to Milwaukee and scored just 92 points as a team. The Bucks are a solid opponent and tough defense, so it makes sense he underperformed there. Today, they get a Philly team that plays fast and tends to be in high scoring games. Toronto is both paced up and projected over average for this one. That makes me think a big bounce-back game for Kawhi is coming. Now, I rarely play him for upside as he’s not the 70 point guy other $10K stars are, but he’s a very consistent 50+ when he gets the minutes and the game stays close. I expect that to be the case here and unlike Milwaukee, even if they lose they will have well over the 92 points they fought hard to get in that one. This is a much easier team to put up points on.
Kevin Knox – Still always weary of the Knicks rotations and definitely more now that they are adding in new pieces on the fly, but there is one thing that gives me a lot of hope here. Kevin Knox still played 35 minutes last game. No one else was over 30 or even close to his court time. Knox is not a super upside kind of guy himself, but if you are going to price him in the mid range and he’s going to keep consistently seeing high 30s minutes than this is a solid option for a high safe cash floor.
*Note: I am not really a huge fan of this position today. The guys listed here are ones I could easily be talked off of if anything breaks. As it is, I am already punting one of those spots on FD with Olynyk, and I would much rather try to squeeze two big money SFs in and punt PF. I ultimately may end up doing this to come up off of Knox at SF and try to jam in two superstars. It’s easier to avoid these guys on DK with the multiple position eligibility, and I will likely do that over there today. On FD, the rules say we need two and it’s not a day guys really jump out as great options.
Jayson Tatum – With Kyrie Irving and Marcus Morris out, I now have some interest in Tatum. I don't love guys like Aaron Gordon and Serge Ibaka, although, they are some of the better options available to us on FanDuel. Tatum and the rest of the Celtics get a bump in usage when Kyrie is out. With Morris out too, Tatum could also get a bump in minutes. He’s not even playing 30 minutes a game, but his big games tend to come when he does. This could be one of those spots where he sees 30+ minutes and he tends to end those spots with 30+ fantasy points. The matchup is ideal vs. Cleveland, and the potential bumps in usage and minutes mean he could play towards his ceiling or at least have a higher than normal floor.
Larry Nance Jr. – He’s now starting to round back into his old minutes and he has done what he always does in producing double-doubles. I don't think he’s in for a monster game, but with the Cavs trading Hood and Osman on the injured list, you definitely have a path here for a 30+ minute Nance game. He was routinely putting up 35-50 fantasy points in well over 30 minutes of action before his injury. He played the most minutes since returning last game and that was only 27. He still managed to put up 33+ fantasy points in two straight games, despite playing just 24 and 27 minutes. Bump him up a few and that should counter the tough matchup enough to keep him in play at his price.
Kelly Olynyk – So this is more of an FD GPP thing, but you have a guy in Olynyk coming off two straight 30+ point games still listed at near minimum price. It’s tough to trust the rotations here as they have a lot of solid players and all of them see minutes, so this is risky, but that’s why I like it more on FD. This is a tough position, and when you can give me a guy who has upside at a cheap price, he makes sense to be a drop guy who saves money but also has a chance to cover up for a mistake you make elsewhere.
Joel Embiid – The projected high scorer here facing a team that is a tad undersized in Toronto. The Raptors have used Ibaka at center for much of the year, and while that is fine in some matchups, it’s not going to be easy for him on Embiid. This sets up as a big rebounding game for Embiid, and Embiid is a high usage guy. Not just a high usage center, but high usage guy in general, as his usage rate rivals that of some high-end guards. He has one of the highest floors of any player and is in the highest projected total game on the slate with Philly even projected above average at home today.
Andre Drummond – Drummond has not only played well recently with a string of near 50 point performances in a row, but one of those came against the Mavericks right before they traded DeAndre Jordan over to the Knicks. I see no reason why Drummond can't do that again. I like Vucevic too here tonight, but the discount to Drummond has me more interested on DraftKings. On FanDuel, the price is closer and Vucevic is also in that same range with maybe even a little more safety and upside. On FD, I am trying to get up to Embiid anyway, but I’d be fine if you prefer Vucevic over Drummond for the mere $700 savings. On DraftKings, the savings is closer to $1200 and I can't justify Vucevic over Drummond there with the projections so close.
Myles Turner – The midrange debate for me came down to Turner v. DeAndre Jordan. Jordan faces a slow-paced and defensively decent Pistons team while Turner gets a faster pace Lakers team we have successfully picked on with big men this season anyway. Ultimately, the matchup is what pushed me onto Turner. He’s now playing over 30 minutes a game, as he has done in three straight here. He’s also taking more shots and playing with a higher usage rate. It was 25 and 30 in two of the last three games, and the usage rate on the season is just 20, so that’s a meaningful change.