Big 9 game slate for NBA DFS action here and a couple really good games I want to watch…
Big 9 game slate for NBA DFS action here and a couple really good games I want to watch. You have a potential playoff preview with Boston visiting Philadelphia. The later games feature a matchup between Toronto and Oklahoma City that should also be a very good one. The top total on the day is the game between the Bulls and Wizards at 230. The Jazz and Knicks at 209 is the day’s low. Houston and Memphis as well as Miami/San Antonio and Dallas/Portland are all in the 210-220 range with the other four games in the 220s. Milwaukee visiting Cleveland, Utah visiting NY, and the Blazers at home against the Mavericks are the three games with big double-digit spreads, so those are always worth noting.
As far as injury concerns, we do have interesting ones to discuss. Malcolm Brogdon is out for a few weeks and last game Giannis also did not play. It opened a world of value with multiple guys on the Bucks crushing their number. Kris Middleton is my favorite of them if Giannis sits again, but Brook Lopez, Eric Bledsoe, and Pat Connaughton also saw massive minutes. Nikola Mirotic didn’t see tons of minutes, but he produced when on the floor. He’s still more GPP than cash, but the other four guys mentioned are cash viable without Giannis due to the monster minute loads and increased usage. Remember not only is Giannis a high minute, high usage guy, but Brogdon was too, although at a lesser extent.
The Cleveland Cavaliers may or may not be short-handed tonight. Kevin Love, Larry Nance, and Tristan Thompson have all missed recent games, but all three are listed as questionable and have at least a chance to play. Without them, Cedi Osman has been the major beneficiary. In GPPs you can try to guess Chriss or Zizic correctly, but they are inconsistent and not cash plays to me. Osman has been consistent, plays a ton of minutes, and does contribute in multiple categories.
The other big injury situation features the Chicago Bulls. Otto Porter is doubtful, and Zach Lavine is questionable. With Otto out, Levine has been carrying the offense. If he misses too, I’m not what to expect from a pedestrian group of perimeter guys. Shaq Harrison stepped in for Porter last game. He didn’t do a ton, but he did see massive minutes. Guys like Dunn, Arcidiacono, Luwawu-Cabarrot, and Selden also see minutes, but none really produce. The production bump seems to be with the bigs in Markkanen and Robin Lopez. Both are seeing more consistent minutes too, because they are so thin in the frontcourt. If Lavine misses, I prefer them for the bumps over all these perimeter guys playing 22-28 minutes.
One last piece of information I am watching is the status of Avery Bradley. Although not dirt cheap anymore and not in the ideal matchup, Delon Wright would see his role, minutes, and production expand if he slid into those vacated Bradley minutes. He’s no longer dirt cheap, but he’s reasonably priced for cash.
UPDATE: Zach Lavine is in. Kyle Lowry is out. Nikola Mirotic ended up with an injury that could keep him out. Giannis is still questionable, but we would now have to look at guys like DJ Wilson and Ersan Illyasova if he misses without Mirotic to cover those minutes.
Top Projected Totals
- MIL – 118.25
- WAS – 117.75
- ORL – 115.5
- OKC – 115.5
- CHI – 115.25
Biggest Pace Bumps
- CLE – +6.3
- ORL – +5.3
- TOR – +3
- CHI – +2.8
- BOS – +2.1
Highest Projection Over Average
- ORL – +10
- CHI – +10
- CLE – +4
- WAS – +3.25
- MEM – +1.5
Top Cash Plays
Russell Westbrook – Not an ideal matchup on paper, but the Thunder are projected for a point above average anyway at home. Westbrook produces against everyone, so it’s not a major issue anyway. The good news here too is that with this game likely staying close throughout, you are going to see ceiling minutes from him. He’s off suspension, so he is rested and the way he produces in every stat category means he’s a guy who benefits more than most from ceiling type minutes.
Kyrie Irving – Last three games Kyrie has been awesome, dropping 69, 65, and 53 DK points. His last game against Philly he sat out, but the one before that he dropped 62 on them. The Celtics get the pace bump here too, which should benefit Kyrie who tends to have the ball in his hands a lot. He’s not cheap, although I do prefer the $9Kish price on DK over the $10,500 on FD.
Damian Lillard – I LOVE me some Dame going forward. Without CJ McCollum, we have seen him take 29 shots, followed up by 18 shots and 15 assists. He played 40 freaking minutes last game too with Nurkic the only other guy over 30. This is his team and his time to shine. Portland will go as far as Lillard takes them and he’s the rare guy priced near $9K that projects for over 6X. That means his floor even at the high price is 50ish with upside to 60+ based on his new role with this team.
Elf Payton – that’s now five straight triple doubles with 51+ DK points each time. His price went up as he is no longer cheap in the $6K range, but with this new role without Jrue and with AD a sometimes player, he is producing.
Collin Sexton – Not a huge fan of his game, but a huge fan of the minutes and shot attempts. We only care about the bottom line here; however ugly it may be. The huge minutes load for Sexton and his willingness to be offensive minded are what he needs to keep producing. The matchup is not great, but you are banking on volume here.
DJ Augustin – Love the matchup as they are projected for 10 points over average. Augustin is playing 30+ minutes more often and producing around a fantasy point per minute. With his price, that’s projecting him out for a 6X+ return today when you factor in the bump due to the great matchup.
Goran Dragic – We all know Dragic is better than he has shown, and injuries play into that. With Winslow down, he had his first monster game in a long time. Dragic is a great player and he can go 10X his salary today like he showed us last time out. He’s still cheap enough where 30-35 would be 6X return. So even if he regresses by 40% from his last game, he’ll still be 6X for us at that price.
Fred VanVleet – Lowry is questionable, but I would expect him to play. Kawhi is back too, but I still like Van Vleet. I don’t like hi as much as I would if one of those two guys were out, but he’s going to see minutes regardless and may even be in the starting lineup next to that duo on the perimeter.
Shaq Harrison – Not much upside at all here, but without Porter he did play 32 minutes last game. This is a plum matchup as the Wizards get up and down and play high scoring games. If Lavine sits, that just opens everyone for more usage too, but as long as he starts, I can expect to see 30ish minutes here and he is so cheap that 20-25 is enough for value and anything above that would be gravy.
Luka Doncic – Luka is a beast. People are not fully understanding what this kid’s role is. He’s the whole team for Dallas. He’s their James Harden without CP3. He’s the Westbrook without Paul George and since he doesn’t have a running mate like those guys, this is his standard performance. Luka is a 50 point a night guy. Not a great matchup but doesn’t change the fact he needs to post near triple double numbers for Dallas to even stay in games.
Bradley Beal – Anytime you can get Beal in a high scoring affair you want to do it. He’s proven capable of big things right now. Both Washington and Chicago project over average and this is the highest total game on the slate. Best producer in the highest total game is something worth owning.
Kris Middleton – He was awesome yesterday without Giannis. He’s been awesome all week with Brogdon going down and needed to pick up that slack in minutes and scoring. Even if Giannis plays, I still like him. If Giannis sits, you are a moron not to play him. I was shocked I got him under 40% owned in some double ups yesterday as I thought he was uber chalk. I’ll gladly run it back if half the field or more is still not on board.
Tim Hardaway Jr – Nothing great in terms of upside, but Luka can’t do it all by himself. THJ is about the only other consistent option here and now that he has settled in, we are starting to see him over value for his price. Again, not much upside to speak of, but the floor is solid.
Dwyane Wade – A lot of the things said for Dragic apply here too. Without Winslow these guys must step back into more ball handling and creating, which gives them more upside. Tyler Johnson is gone, so the perimeter is thinner, and these guys are priced around $5K. Matchup is not ideal, but Wade and Dragic have both been playing over expectations today and with low prices there is safety of the floor and upside potential.
Paul George v. Kawhi Leonard – I prefer PG13 for a higher floor and ceiling, but not by a wide margin. You save about $1500 on both sites by dropping down to Kawhi. It’s a very intriguing spot here, because not only are they both two of the best offensive players in the league, but they are also top-notch defensive stoppers. They likely guard each other here too, so it may not be wise to expect upside from them given tough assignments on defense and against each other. Still they project as the top two guys in terms of raw points and I do slightly prefer Kawhi given the discount.
Cedi Osman – He plays so many minutes and does a little bit of everything. I’d like this less if Giannis plays and less if some of the questionable big men on Cleveland get run today (Thompson, Love, Nance). Still Cedi is solid and predictable and not hurting you daily right now. That is the definition of a cash game play.
Danuel House – The upside as a third or fourth best option for the Rockets is not ideal, but they do love this kid. He’s not only seeing minutes, but he’s producing 25-30 fantasy points when he does. House is not the guy to win you a GPP, but at the price he can keep you above the cash line and give you savings to spend elsewhere.
Moe Harkless – Much like House, there is a capped upside here, but I do love the opportunity. He’s seeing near 30 minutes for cheap and with McCollum gone, he’s going to be asked to do more offensively. The Blazers do have a plethora of wing guys now with Curry, Hood, Turner, Layman all in the mix. It’s why I don’t see upside or 35 minutes from HArkless, but he should and could give us 28-30 minutes and 25-30 points which pays off the salary.
Note: Trevor Ariza on DK at $4600 is interesting but does carry some risk. I prefer this as a GPP play, but when healthy $4600 for 35+ minutes is interesting. The other guy is Mario Hezonja. Again, probably more GPPish because the Knicks rotations are tough to predict, but he’s dirt cheap and has been seeing minutes lately.
Julius Randle – If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it and Randle is not broke. The rest of his team may be, but he’s been the beneficiary of that. Of all those big guys, he’s the only consistent one seeing shots and minutes. The minutes help the rebound floor stay high and all this together is why he’s been so good.
Aaron Gordon – The Orlando Magic are projected for 10 points over their average today and Gordon has already been playing around value daily. Given how good the matchup is with the pace bump and high projection, you would expect guys to play towards their ceilings. Gordon’s ceiling is 45-50 points and that would be a 7X return. Even falling a little short likely gets him around the 6X mark, so there is both upside and safety at the price.
Cheick Diallo – He’s not playing 30+ minutes or he’d be a lock. Even at 24ish minutes he’s producing consistently right now. It looks like AD will sit this one out again here today and that just makes it an easier to predict a decent showing from a very cheap option here.
Nikola Vucevic – I know Joel Embiid is playing and not unreasonably priced on DK, but I still think I prefer Vucevic and the savings today. New Orleans is a team that you can pick on. Julius Randle has never been known as a great defender. Vucevic can score inside and out and always comes up with big rebound totals. He is in a great spot here today in a game with both a pace bump and production over average.
Brook Lopez – Hell must have frozen over as I like both Lopez brothers tonight, but the bigger value is Brook. Both guys project for 30-35 tonight and Brook is $1000 cheaper. If Giannis is out, this is a no brainer decision for me, but if Giannis plays and Zach Lavine sits, you could easily talk me into spending up for Robin Lopez > Brook Lopez. We must see how this ultimately plays out, but I have both Lopez brothers grading out high on my list today.