Get off the beaten path with RadThad’s NBA DFS Breakdown, plays designed to help you take down a GPP!!
What’s up my peeps? Tonight’s four-game NBA DFS slate isn’t exactly the most “robust” slate we’ve been given on a Saturday, but like they say, “When life gives you lemons, make limoncello!” As we’ve seen on multiple occasions this week alone, it’s not unusual for Thanos to break out the “infinity glove” and “snap” one of these games into dust, so be prepared. No matter what happens, just remember that “I got you.” I’ll be sure to send out a Tweet whenever updates to the article are posted. Remember, this is a GPP article, so don’t get flustered if some of the “chalkier” names aren’t listed below. The “meat” of the article is at the bottom, so I won’t get offended if you want to start there.
-Both Goran Dragic (MIA) and Bam Adebayo (MIA) have been cleared to play tonight against the Detroit Pistons. They are excellent options in both cash games and tournaments. Dragic fits better as a cash game option on DraftKings, while Adebayo it’s better in cash games on FanDuel. You should consider pairing them up in GPPs and “running it back” with someone like Jerami Grant (DET). Miami is expected to come away with the victory, however, if the game stays close it will be because Grant did some damage. I see Kendrick Nunn (MIA) popping up in a lot of optimal lineups. With Jimmy Butler (MIA) and Tyler Herro (MIA) out I certainly get it, but I’m not brave enough to pull the trigger. I don’t expect him to have a high enough usage rate to make it worth my while, so I’ll continue to spend up at the point guard position in cash games. In tournaments, knock yourself out.
-We still don’t know if +Ja Morant (MEM) will play tonight against the Philadelphia 76ers. It has been reported that does suit up he will be under some sort of minutes restriction. That will chip away at his upside so I’m off of him in tournaments.
–Gordon Hayward (CHA) has been upgraded to “probable” for Saturday’s game against the Toronto Raptors. That puts him in play as a fine low owned tournament option.
- +Ja Morant (MEM)
- LaMelo Ball (CHA)
- Terry Rozier (CHA)
- Shake Milton (PHI)
- Kyle Lowry (TOR)
Hon. mention: Tyus Jones (MEM) if Morant sits
- Fred VanVleet (TOR)
- CJ McCollum (POR)
- Dillon Brooks (MEM)
- Cam Reddish (ATL)
- Tyrese Maxey (PHI)
Hon. mention: Derrick Rose (DET)
- Pascal Siakam (TOR)
- Jerami Grant (DET)
- +Gordon Hayward (CHA)
- O.G. Anunoby (TOR)
- Kyle Anderson (MEM)
Hon. mention: Danny Green (PHI)
- Chris Boucher (TOR)
- P.J. Washington (CHA)
- Blake Griffin (DET)
- Tony Bradley (PHI)
- Brandon Clarke (MEM)
Hon. mention: Xavier Tillman (MEM) and Harry Giles (POR)
- Jonas Valanciunas (MEM)
- Kelly Olynyk (MIA)
- Mason Plumlee (DET)
- Clint Capella (ATL)
- Enes Kanter (POR)
Hon. mention: Bismack Biyombo (CHA)
Top Stud (over $8K on FD): Damian Lillard (followed by CJ McCollum)
Top Stud (over $8K on DK): Damian Lillard (followed by CJ McCollum)
Top Value (under $5K on FD): Dwight Howard (followed by Robert Covington)
Top Value (under $5K on DK): Dwight Howard (followed by Tony Bradley)
NBA DFS Notes
– If you’re taking the “studs and scrubs” approach, Damian Lillard (POR), Trae Young (ATL), Ben Simmons (PHI) and +Bam Adebayo (MIA) have the highest ceilings on the slate (in that order).
– On FanDuel, my most common cash core of players consists of Damian Lillard (POR), CJ McCollum (POR), Tobias Harris (PHI) and John Collins (ATL). I expect these guys to be very heavily owned, so consider using other options in tournaments. Additional/alternate core plays on FanDuel include Ben Simmons (PHI), Trae Young (ATL) and Dwight Howard (PHI).
– On DraftKings, I’m getting a lot of Lillard, Simmons, Harris, Robert Covington (POR) and Howard. Tony Bradley (PHI) is also popping up in a lot of optimal lineups as a source of value.
– If you’re looking to construct a low owned lineup, here are a few recommendations that will buck the current roster construction trends for this slate:
- “How many Philadelphia 76ers is too many?” Joel Embiid (PHI) will not play against the Memphis Grizzlies on Saturday due to right knee pain. That’s going to leave a lot of usage up for grabs amongst his teammates; 29.2% to be exact. Ben Simmons (PHI) and Tobias Harris (PHI) have been the “go-to” guys when Embiid has been out in the past, so expect them to do most of the heavy lifting. Dwight Howard (PHI) will pick up a nice chunk of minutes at the center position, making him a nice value option to target in cash games. Tony Bradley (PHI) makes for a fine minimum salary option (I prefer him in tournaments). With Seth Curry (PHI) still sidelined, Shake Milton (PHI) should be the primary scorer for the second unit (29.6% usage rate against Miami in his last game), so don’t sleep on him in GPPs.
- “How many Miami Heat players is too many?” At the moment, Duncan Robinson (MIA), Andre Iguodala (MIA), Precious Achiuwa (MIA), Max Strus (MIA), Kelly Olynyk (MIA) and Chris Silva (MIA) are the only Miami players who aren’t listed as either out or “game-time decisions” That’s it. There’s a chance they could wind up having the minimum eight available players needed to play, but if they do, it will be by a thin margin. We might not get this news until later on, so stay alert and be prepared to pounce. Achiuwa, Olynyk, Robinson and Strus would be my “core four” when it comes to Heat players if the current injury situation stays put.
- Pay down at point guard. Most DFS’ers will have some combination of Damian Lillard (POR), Trae Young (ATL) and Ben Simmons (PHI) in their lineup. I can certainly understand why. In addition to being three of the top projected fantasy scores on the slate, they also have three of the highest ceilings. There aren’t a lot of other options to “spend up” for, so they’re also the cream of the crop when it comes to “beefcake” on the slate. That being said, taking a chance on much lower owned guys like LaMelo Ball (CHA), Terry Rozier (CHA) or even +Ja Morant (MEM) would be a smart move in tournaments.
- Pounce on potential late-breaking Miami Heat opportunity. While many of the Heat players are declared “out,” a number of them remain “game-time decisions.” If guys like Goran Dragic (MIA) and Bam Adebayo (MIA) become available, you’ll definitely want to have exposure to them. The same goes for Tyler Herro (MIA). However, he’s dealing with a neck injury, so tread carefully.
- Stack a game, any game. Personally, I’m going with a Charlotte Hornets at Toronto Raptors game stack (game total of 219.5 with Toronto favored by -7.5). This certainly isn’t the “sexiest” game on the slate. However, these guys just played each other last Friday. I know that doesn’t carry a lot of weight when it comes to predicting how the game will go. However, if Gordon Hayward (CHA) sits again with a hip strain, I do expect the Hornets to go with another eight-man rotation (roughly). LaMelo Ball (CHA) and PJ Washington (CHA) see the highest upticks in usage when Hayward is out, while Terry Rozier (CHA) and Devonte’ Graham (CHA) aren’t shy when it comes to taking shots (16 and 15 field goal attempts on Friday, respectively). “Running it back” with the likes of Lowry, VanVleet, Boucher and/or Siakam should round things out rather nicely.
- Low-owned tournament “scrub” options I like tonight include: Harry Giles (POR), who should see an uptick in minutes with Jusuf Nurcic (POR) out, Xavier Tillman (MEM), who has been seeing increased minutes as the backup center to Jonas Valanciunas (MEM), and Tony Bradley (PHI), who should see extended run with Joel Embiid (PHI) out.
Peep out today’s NBA DFS Cheat Sheet!