We have a robust 9 game slate for NBA DFS tonight, which is usually a good thing. The problem today is…
We have a robust 9 game slate for NBA DFS tonight, which is usually a good thing. The problem today is that we have a list of over 40 guys on those 18 teams listed as questionable, doubtful, or ruled out. A lot of big names too. Guys like Blake Griffin, Zach Lavine, and Joel Embiid are chief amongst them. Luka Doncic, Kevin Love, Giannis Antetokounmpo, and his teammate Kris Middleton are on the questionable lists today. That’s a lot of talent and a lot of minutes and usage that could end up opening up a ton of value. I don’t think finding the value is going to be tough tonight, but it is one of those days where we have to try to find the best values. IT does continue to look like stars and scrubs is the optimal cash game approach, as is normally the case when you have high quality value options available as we always do when guys start resting near the end of a season.
As for the games that matter, the West playoff race is locked up and all, but the matchups are set. Teams can still move up and down, but the 8 in now all clinched a spot already. The East still has a few teams vying for the lower spots in the tournament, but also a couple down there jostling for positioning. Detroit and Indiana are two fighting for positioning, but Detroit is on the road and without Blake Griffin. Orlando really needs this win. They are currently in the 9th spot and have a tough one on the road against a playoff bound Toronto team. Brooklyn is only one game up on Orlando and half a game ahead of the Heat in 7th right now. They may get lucky as the Bucks are 3 games clear in the East and might sit Giannis and/or Middleton tonight. If so, this would be a game we need to look at as someone on Milwaukee has to score if those guys are out. Miami and Boston both need wins too. Boston is currently tied with the Pacers and the Heat are only half a game up on the Magic for the last playoff spot. Boston wants home court and Miami just wants to make it to the playoffs and the win here would help or hurt those causes for both teams. Utah is three games back of the #3 spot and two up on the #8 spot with 6 to go, so they still have a chance to finish anywhere in that 3-8 range in the West. They face a Charlotte team that has glimmering playoff hopes and every loss from here on out closes that door faster. Of the 9 games here, we have more than half with playoff implications, which is always nice to see.
Top Projected Totals
- Jazz 115.5
- Bucks 115
- Blazers 114
- 76ers 113.75
- Nets 112.5
Biggest Pace Bumps
- Cavaliers +4
- Mavericks +2.7
- Magic +2.5
- Nets +1.8
Highest Projection Over Average
- Cavs +5
- Suns +4.75
- Jazz +4
- Knicks +3.75
Top Cash Plays
The value today is not at PG or SF, so these are two positions where I am leaning “stars” over “scrubs”.
Damian Lillard – Portland projects for their average amount of points this season, even without CJ and Nurkic. They are paced up and have one of the higher totals at 114. Dame is carrying the offensive load out of necessity right now. Who else on this team is really able to? Yes, he is pricey, but he’s also popped off for some 60-point games lately, so he’s not expensive for the role he currently has.
Ben Simmons – Philly still projects for a decent number at 113.75 and they are without Embiid today. Not only does Simmons take on more of the offensive role with Embiid, but he also benefits with increased rebounds. He’s a near triple double every game anyway and without Embiid the chances of him getting it actually go up.
Eric Bledsoe – Bledsoe is cheaper than the other two but may have more upside to be honest. Giannis and Kris Middleton are both questionable here, which could mean that Bledsoe has to carry the offensive load. He’s arguably the better upside play in terms of points per dollar, because he is capable of putting up 50+ and he’s $2000-$3000 cheaper than the guys already mentioned.
Devin Booker – We have a ton of value at SG today and on DK you can easily maneuver guys between all the various positions using the multiple position eligibility to fit them in. One guy I am jamming in is Devin Booker. Booker is taking near 30 shots a game, getting to the line, and racking up assists right now. He’s dropping 60-70 fantasy points routinely. Other than personal glory, the Suns have nothing to play for and he draws a weak matchup against the Cavs. On FD it’s tougher to play him with value so good and his price so high, but I’m all about opportunity and right now he’s giving himself the chance to put up video game type numbers and that’s worth paying for.
Pat Connaughton – Connaughton is a solid play even if Giannis and Middleton do play. If they don’t, he would see a major bump in both minutes and usage. He’s not dirt cheap, but still on the cheaper side today and it’s tough to ignore a guy that can go for 30-35 at that price if the main usage guys are out.
Walt Lemon – Hell of a debut for him the other day. He’s min price and played 30+ minutes and put up over 10X. The price hasn’t moved off stone minimum and playing him definitely lets you get a second or third stud. He’s a tough fade because even if he puts up 20-25 at that price you are good and if he repeats the last game you are dead if you didn’t have him. I have a hard time fading the price even in GPPs knowing he’ll be high owned, but in cash games I think it’s stupid to even try. Lock him in and figure things out around him today.
Again, here, the value is not super appealing on FD. On DK the positional eligibility makes it a moot point. ON FD though, I think spending some money here is warranted.
Kawhi Leonard – I put Kawhi here out of default. If Giannis sits, Kawhi Projects for 10+ points over any other SF option available on FD. You have some extreme value at SG and PF today, so it’s easy to pay up at SF if you want and adjust your center and PG to make it work. On DK I have zero desire to use him to be honest. We have enough multiple position eligibility guys and players at other positions I want to play over Kawhi for the price. Still for those on FD he is a guy worth paying for due to positional scarcity as no one else projects for nearly as many raw points.
Bojan Bogdanovic – Bojan seems to be playing some of his best ball lately. He isn’t cheap, but he’s playing and producing around his number or exceeding it lately. Remember they don’t have Oladipo and Collison and Thad Young are not great scorers either. Turner and Sabonis are better options and the other spot is being manned by a rotating group of guys led by Wes Matthews who is pretty much a stand still shooter. That means outside of Collison, Bojan is being asked to create for himself and others and you can see the bump in his production because of it.
Andrew Wiggins – The Timberwolves are a mess and normally I’m not a huge fan of Wiggins for consistency, but I can’t ignore what he has done the last few games. I think he’s actually SG on DK, but the fact I’m reaching here shows you how tough SF is on FD today. I locked in Bojan and Kawhi and built around them and I think that’s the best way to go.
Richaun Holmes (DK especially) – Assuming he plays he should dominate today with Ayton out. He’s had big games in the past under that same umbrella, so it’s not asking him to do anything he hasn’t before. Based on those games the $6500 FD price doesn’t seem crazy. The $4500 price on DK is badly mispriced though and he’s on all of my early roster builds in cash and GPPs because of it. $4500 for a guy who produces well per minute and stands to benefit from a bunch of extra court time today is a dream come true in cash.
Luke Kornet – The Knicks are letting the younger guys and bench players they want to look at get a lot of run right now. Kornet played 36 minutes last game and is dirt cheap. He rebounds and knocks down shots, plus he’s produced multiple 30+ fantasy point games when given minutes. Right now, they are giving him minutes and at the price that’s a 6X return and more if he repeats those efforts.
Thon Maker – The cheap PF group is stacked today. Thon had already been seeing some more minutes and doing OK in them. Today the Pistons are without Blake Griffin, so he steps into a much larger minutes role with usage and rebounds to be had. Maker is another dirt-cheap guy getting a better role and I can’t see him not at least hitting his minimum value today. With so much good cheap value, it doesn’t even make sense to pay up here.
Andre Drummond – It was close on my spend up between Towns and Drummond, but Drummond is without Blake in a game the Pistons need to win. I think they end up feeding Drummond inside and that is on top of the fact he could soak up all the rebounds today and put up one of his 20/20 games. KAT is not in a bad spot either against a Nurkic less Portland team, so I won’t argue if anyone can afford and prefers to go there, but Drummond is slightly cheaper and I project him to be the top scorer overall today, so he gets the #1 spot for me.
Brook Lopez – A nice mid-range option is Lopez here today. I would be looking for more offensive and rebounding out of him if Giannis and Middleton are out. If they play, I’m not going here, but if they sit, he should be able to deliver value at a mid-tier price with increased usage.
Mitchell Robinson – Robinson has played a lot of minutes lately and DeAndre Jordan is again listed as questionable. The Bulls are in shambles with injuries to every key player and the matchup is with guys like Robin Lopez and Cristiano Felicio. Robinson has produced and done so with upside when given minutes. He’s getting those minutes lately and should again today.
Boban Marjanovic – Hasn’t been racking up minutes lately, but without Embiid that could change. I still project him for only around 20, but at over a fantasy point per minute and under $4K on DK that’s a lot of upside. I don’t think he is a must play, but he’s a very good play and at the price a likely popular play too. I’m not expecting a monster 40-point game like he did when Embiid was out a few weeks back, but again 25 is not an unreasonable expectation if he sees 20+ minutes and he could smash if he gets anywhere even close to 30 minutes.