I view this way more as a GPP slate than a cash game one, because the winning lineups here are likely to come from the game stack…
We have less than two full weeks left on NBA DFS action and this is a crappy little Sunday evening 4 game main slate. All four games have spreads of at least 9. All four have totals of 221 to 229. I view this way more as a GPP slate than a cash game one, because the winning lineups here are likely to come from the game stack of the game that doesn’t turn ugly. I try not to go overboard stacking in cash, but the smaller the slate the more it makes sense to do so. Not only is this a small slate, but it’s also one with very little differentiation between games. Tough to use game selection today to narrow down your plays as all of these games are basically the same.
We can look at motivation, which has been big the end of the year here. Sacramento is officially eliminated, meaning the 8 teams in the West are set. They are still jockeying for position though as the Spurs are currently tied with the Thunder for wins in the 7 and 8 spots. Denver and Golden State are also tied for the top spot and both want to win to get that home court advantage throughout in the West. Denver plays a Washington team that is eliminated already, while Golden State has a matchup with a Hornets team that needs the win also. The Hornets are hanging on for dear life as they sit three games out of a log jam at the bottom of the East with 6 to go. This is the game that has the best chance of staying close because of motivation, but the task of going into Golden State against a pissed off Warriors team trying to lock down the #1 spot is not an easy one. The last game here features the Clippers who are a half game behind Utah for the #5 spot in the west. They face the Grizzlies who are on the tail end of a back-to-back. Mike Conley suffered an injury late in the game yesterday. Not sure how serious it is, but there is a big chance he sits this one out. The good news is that opens up some easy value, but the bad news is that it would make this game way more volatile and tough to predict. As you can see here, this is not a slate that really lends itself well to cash.
Sacramento Kings @ San Antonio Spurs
Spurs -9.5, 227
Kings:Nothing really left to play for with the Kings now officially eliminated being 7 back with 6 to go. Nemanja Bjelicahas a stomach issue and Harry Gilesis also questionable. It would make the frontcourt thin if they miss. The major beneficiaries are guys like Marvin Bagleyand Harrison Barnes, both of whom would be in line for ceiling minutes if Bjelicaand Gilesare out. The Kings project below their norms today, so not the spot to really look for much upside here.
Top Plays:D’Aaron Fox, Bojan Bogdanovic (Spurs PG defense is exploitable)
Secondary Plays:Marvin Bagley, Harrison Barnes (Better plays is no Bjelica/Giles)
Spurs:The Spurs do not have anyone that stands out as a must play, but they do have a lot of guys that normally are more GPPish. Again, today I think the best strategy is pick out a game or two and go heavy on it hoping it stays close. If you do that here, a couple of the main spurs are interesting. DeRozan, Aldridge, and Whiteare the ones I tend to look at. Guys like Poeltland Gayare also worthy of consideration.
Top Plays:Demar DeRozan
Secondary Plays:Derrick White, Jake Poeltl, LaMArcus Aldridge
Washington Wizards @ Denver Nuggets
Nuggets -10.5, 225.5
Wizards:Pretty brutal spot here for the Wizards as the Denver pace and defense are not ones that tend to yield a ton of fantasy goodness, especially at home and especially with a Denver team motivated to keep winning as they are currently tied with the Warriors for the top spot in the west. They are withoutTrevor Ariza here, so at least we have some more minutes to distribute. I’m not loving anyone here really. No one really projects that high due to the matchup.
Top Plays:Jabari Parker, Troy Brown
Secondary Plays:Bradley Beal
Nuggets:The Nuggets are in a great spot here. The Wizards are usually one of the best matchups you can ask for and that is the case here. Nikola Jokicusually crushes at home and with the Wizards weak interior, he projects very well here today. The other guy that makes a lot of sense is Jamal Murray. Murrayhas been the other guy crushing lately. The rest of the team is very hit or miss in terms of how they produce.
Top Plays:Nikola Jokic, Jamal Murray
Secondary Plays:Monte Morris
Charlotte Hornets @ Golden State Warriors
Warriors -11.5, 228
Hornets:The Hornets are motivated, but they may not have enough firepower to deal with a Warriors team that is also motivated. In terms of personnel, the only real issue for them is CodyZeller being out. Guys like Willy Hernangomez, Bismack Biyombo, and Frank Kaminskyare all in line to take those added minutes, especially against a bigger team like the Nuggets. This is a game I’m investing in staying closer than some of the other ones with teams that are eliminated already.
Top Plays:Kemba Walker, Dwayne Bacon
Secondary Plays:Frank Kaminsky, Miles BRidges, Marvin Williams
Warriors:While I am looking to use the Hornets, I am always hesitant to use anyone for fantasy on a healthy Warriors team. You have Steph, Klay, Durantand Cousinsall sharing the load when at times each has been the man on their respective teams. It’s the one ball, many scorers problem that really keeps them from being cash plays. I absolutely think one or two of them go off here, but for cash we want certainty. On OKC you know the two guys going off in good spots will be Westbrookand George. For the Warriors, you can never tell. It could be a Steph/ Cousins game or a Klay/Durantone or any combination of 2 or 3 of them. On a small slate like this, I would be more willing to take those chances. It’s really a crapshoot and that’s not a coup out answer. I can make a case for any of the main five guys for the Warriors and it really comes down to which ones you like best. Pricewise, Klay, Cousins, and Draymondare the cheaper ones so they are easier to justify taking with each other or one of the two higher priced ones. I like Curryover Durant, but would not play them together. I’m fine using one of Steph or Durant with one or two of the cheaper options, especially if you are also using some of the better value we have on that Hornets team.
Memphis Grizzlies @ Los Angeles Clippers
Clippers -9, 221
Grizzlies:The Grizzlies played a tough game last night up to the final minutes. Conleywas banged up a little bit, but isn’t on the injury report as of yet. I would not be shocked if he does sit though. If he does Delon Wrightand Tyler Dorseywould be amazingly good plays. The forward minutes are basically the flat ones. Jonas Valanciunasis dominating at the moment, so he is the best play here. The Clippers interior is tissue paper soft and giving up production, so that’s an easy call. If Mike Conley does play, he’s been awesome and the high pace and bad guard defense also points to him as well.
Top Plays:Jonas Valanciunas
Secondary Plays:Bruno Caboclo, Tyler Dorsey, Delon Wright
Clippers:Danilo Gallinarisat out the last game, so my guess is that he plays today. They may try to sneak out a second win without him though and we won’t have that information until much later tonight as this is the late start game. This is not the ideal matchup against a slow paced and defensive minded Memphis team anyway. I don’t really have anyone player here who stands out. They have a few guards that all play, a few bigs that rotate in and out. Gallois normally the one constant, but the injury designation makes me a tad nervous. If Gallosits we would have minutes open up and that would benefit guys like Beverleyand Williams. Overall though, I’m not really using much if any of them here.
Secondary Plays:Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Montrezl HArrell, Danilo Gallinari