Check out the Cash Game Breakdown for tonight’s 6-game NBA DFS slate!!
What up, Mafia! This is already shaping up to be a wild night in the NBA despite there only being six games on the slate. The trade deadline is creeping up so we should be prepared for it to get even wilder over the next 48 hours, including tonight.
The biggest issue we have is that James Harden is Q with Kyrie Irving out. He’s an autoplay in our cash games if he plays. The problem is that BKN/POR is the last game of the night so we may not know his status before the early games tip off.
We’ll need to make sure we’re prepared to pivot away from Harden if he ends up being out, which is easier on DK with more flexibility and will take some additional planning on FD with the more rigid positions. Hopefully we get the news plenty of time in advance but we may not and we’ll want to be prepared for it if we don’t.
I would consider building your teams as if Harden will play and then work out a contingency plan if he sits where you are able to use additional Brooklyn value – guys like Tyler Johnson, Joe Harris, Bruce Brown Jr, Jeff Green and Nicolas Claxton – to pivot to Damian Lillard, Ben Simmons and/or Tobias Harris, guys who are playing at the same time tonight. It really all depends on when the Harden news comes out though.
Having Jordan Poole in your initial build, who is a good cash play today, will give you additional space to switch things around if you need to, but he’s a guy you won’t mind keeping in your lineup if Harden ends up playing.
This is the type of slate in particular where if you can plan ahead, follow the news and make necessary changes, you can gain an edge over much of your competition. But if you don’t have the time to give the slate your full concentration, it’s best to just skip it and wait for a less complicated one.
In addition to the Harden situation, we also have Lonzo Ball as Q for the Pelicans. He missed last game and it was Nickeil Walker-Alexander picking up the start and playing well in 31 minutes. Eric Bledsoe and Josh Hart picked up some additional minutes as well. Bledsoe in particular is super cheap on both sites.
LeBron James continues to be out and the Lakers are taking on the defensively challenged Pelicans, so guys like Dennis Schroder and Kyle Kuzma will see an uptick in opportunity. We may see Marc Gasol back tonight but wouldn’t expect him to play many minutes at all if he does so Montrezl Harrell is certainly still in play.
Jordan Poole ($5600 DK, $6500 FD) – It feels weird paying this much for Poole but he’s been playing a ton of minutes and getting up plenty of shots in this expanded role with Steph Curry out. 34 and 38 minutes the past two games and has gotten up 15 and 21 field goal attempts. He might not continue to shoot such a high percentage, but the shot volume and minutes should help keep his floor fairly high.
Dennis Schroder ($6600 DK, $7000 FD) – With both LeBron and AD out, we can expect an uptick in usage for Schroder. Schroder is obviously no LeBron but he can create his own offense and has a good shot of hitting 20+ real points tonight. Lonzo Ball, who is one of the Pelicans’ best defenders on a really bad defensive team, is Q, so if he were to miss, it would also benefit Schroder.
Damian Lillard ($10,000 DK, $9400 FD) – The price has dropped on Lillard and this is a pretty good time to take advantage, especially on FD. This is the highest total game on the slate by 8 points and we all know Lillard is a beast. CJ McCollum is back but has yet to ramp up to his full minutes and it will likely take some time for that to happen, which is good news for Lillard’s outlook in the near future at this reduced price.
*Tyler Johnson ($3100 DK, $3900 FD) – If Harden misses today, go ahead and fire up Tyler Johnson. He’s extremely cheap on DK, almost a free square there, and he should have plenty of opportunities to create with both the main ballhandlers out for the Nets. Johnson is a proven commodity in the NBA and a guy who has the ability to step up offensively when the minutes and opportunity are available.
*James Harden ($11,300 DK, $11,300 FD) – Harden is Q. With Kyrie Irving already out and the Nets having this juicy matchup against the Blazers in the highest total game on the slate, Harden should be the first guy in our lineups if he plays. He’ll have a very high floor and quite literally 80-90 fantasy point upside, so you don’t want to think about getting cute here in your cash lineups. If he’s in, play him.
*Nickeil Walker-Alexander ($4400 DK, $4900 FD) – NAW drew the start last game with Lonzo Ball out and scored 33 fantasy points in 30 minutes of action. Ball is Q for this one. If he were to miss, we can absolutely look his way again against a seriously depleted Lakers team with no LeBron or AD.
Bruce Brown ($4200 DK, $4000 FD) – With Kyrie Irving already ruled out, we should see a nice boost in minutes here for Brown, but if Harden misses too, this becomes a great situation for Brown. It’s also an outstanding matchup against Portland. We’ve seen Brown step up in these situations before and I’d expect him to do so again tonight.
Andrew Wiggins ($6600 DK, $6800 FD) – Wiggins is another player to benefit from Curry’s absence besides Poole. He put up a monster 40 point, 8 rebound two games ago and followed that up with 20 points and 9 rebounds in his last game. He saw a significant increase in usage and I would expect that to go forward as long as Curry is out.
Joe Harris ($5400 DK, $4700 FD) – Harris is usable tonight whether Harden plays or not. He’s locked into low-to-mid 30s minutes and is a steady-Eddie kind of player. Again, this is a game tonight where we’ll want plenty of exposure in our cash games and Harris is a good way to do that.
RJ Barrett ($6600 DK, $6200 FD) – Really nice pace up spot here for the Knicks. Barrett has been locked into big minutes and is playing very well over the past several games. With the potential return of Elf Payton and Derrick Rose to the rotation, we might not get quite as many minutes, though I’d still project mid-30s and since this is Thibs, the minutes upside will always be there.
Brandon Ingram ($7800 DK, $7600 FD) – This is a nice price for the super talented Ingram. This just isn’t the same Lakers team without their big two and we shouldn’t be hesitant to roster against them like we normally would. Ingram has had a usage rate above 30% in each of the past four games and we can project him for 35-36 minutes here.
Bam Adebayo ($8100 DK, $8000 FD) – Bam is back in a big way for the Heat. He scored 55 fantasy points in 36 minutes last game, and while this isn’t a perfect matchup tonight against the Suns, we’re getting a significant discount on his price from where we were earlier in the season. It’s a good time to hop on the Bam train while we’re getting him at this 8k price point.
Robert Covington ($5700 DK, $6100 FD) – We should expect 36-38 minutes out of Covington tonight as long as the game stays close and this is another good way to get exposure to this high total game. Covington isn’t great at anything but he does a lot of things well, chipping in across multiple categories. Solid cash play today.
Julius Randle ($9900 DK, $10,000 FD) – We’re paying a pretty penny here for Randle but he is locked into huge minutes – 40+ in each of the past four games – and this is a tremendous pace-up spot against Washington. If we can get up to him, this should be really good spot for him today.
Nicolas Claxton ($3900 DK, $4600 FD) – Claxton has stepped into a really nice role for the Nets playing 22, 22 and 26 minutes the past three games. He’s very active, chipping in across multiple categories. The addition of Blake Griffin is a little bit of a threat, but I think Claxton has done enough to maintain these minutes, especially with the Nets shorthanded across the board.
Montrezl Harrell ($6800 DK, $7500 FD) – Harrell has had a bit of an up and down season, mostly because the minutes haven’t always been there, but he’s really been locked in over the past couple of weeks. The price has climbed as his production has increased, but I still think we can go here given the situation for the Lakers and the likelihood that Harrell approaches or surpasses the 30-minute mark tonight.
Dwight Howard $6000 DK, $5400 FD) – Tony Bradley has been drawing the start at center for the Sixers with Joel Embiid out, but it’s been Dwight Howard picking up the bulk of the minutes off the bench. He’s been looking somewhat like his former self of late, crushing the boards and blocking shots, and I expect him to continue to do work again tonight against the Warriors, and likely rookie James Wiseman.