Ricky Sanders breaks down tonight’s 11-game NBA DFS slate!!
Players are based on DK pricing/positions. Plays noted with (FD) are notably good plays on FanDuel. Please read the entire article, as the rankings are explained in the bottom half (along with what news can radically shift these rankings).
- Luka Doncic
- Stephen Curry
- Malachi Flynn
- Ben Simmons (especially on FD)
- Aaron Holiday/Saben Lee
- Evan Fournier
- Terence Davis/Gary Trent Jr.
- Devin Booker
- Seth Curry (especially if no Embiid)
- Paul George
- Jalen Harris ($3,100 on DK)
- Jimmy Butler
- Michael Porter Jr.
- Kyle Anderson
- Saddiq Bey
- Kawhi Leonard
- Brandon Clarke
- Chimezie Metu
- Jayson Tatum
- Aaron Gordon
- Tobias Harris (especially if no Embiid)
- Jae Crowder/JaMychal Green
- Nikola Vucevic
- Karl-Anthony Towns
- Nikola Jokic
- Bam Adebayo
- Deandre Ayton/Tristan Thompson
Top Stud over $8K: Jimmy Butler
Top Value under $5K: Brandon Clarke
DK Core: Jimmy Butler, Brandon Clarke, Evan Fournier, Chimezie Metu
Top Stud over $8K: Jimmy Butler
Top Value under $5K: Aaron Gordon
FD Core: Jimmy Butler, Aaron Gordon, Brandon Clarke, Stephen Curry
Key News to Watch:
Josh Jackson/Frank Jackson – With these two listed as questionable, the Pistons could potentially be down 10 players tonight, and that would leave a lot of usage to be made up for. If Frank Jackson were to sit, Killian Hayes and Saben Lee would likely play sizeable minutes, and have to play stints alongside one another, and Lee is priced near the bare minimum on DK. (Frank) Jackson left last game with an injury after eight minutes and Lee ended up playing 32:12 with an 18.9-percent usage rate and a 36.6-percent assist rate. If (Josh) Jackson were to sit, Saddiq Bey would become one of the top options on their offense by default, and he has been comfortable carrying the load lately, garnering a 23-plus percent usage in three of his last six games. The Pistons have no reason to push injured players so it would make sense for at least one of these Jacksons to sit.
Devonte’ Graham – Very few impact players are truly questionable tonight but Devonte’ Graham is one of those players (and he very likely is on the doubtful side). If he were to sit, Bradley Wanamaker would continue to see additional minutes, and he has seen 20-plus minutes in four straight games. However, last game, Wanamaker did Wanamaker things, garnering a minuscule 6.4-percent usage rate. Basically, the big winners are Terry Rozier and LaMelo Ball, whose roles in the offense are substantial whether Graham plays or not.
Miami Heat @ Boston Celtics – These two teams squared off two days ago and the Heat came away with a monstrous win that left them two games ahead of the Celtics for the six-spot in the East. Why does the six-spot matter? Well, this year, with the play-in game, teams 7-10 in the conference will be forced into a play-in game that will decide their fate while those in the sixth seed and above will at least get an entire series to decide their fates moving forward. Once again, tonight is monstrous for seeding purposes for both these teams, so expect to see massive minutes out of the starters on both sides. My top play from the game is Jimmy Butler who has topped 50-plus fantasy points in back-to-back games and played a whopping 40 regulation minutes on Sunday. Since this game means every bit as much as the game Sunday did, Butler, Bam Adebayo, Duncan Robinson and Trevor Ariza should all be expected to handle massive roles once again (and all are viable parts of a game stack). On the Celtics side, Jaylen Brown will now miss the remainder of the season, meaning Evan Fournier’s 30-point outing against the Heat may not have been a total mirage. Sure, he shot 11-16 including 7-11 from beyond the arc, but he is now a clear top three option in the offense. In the last game, Fournier, Kemba Walker, Jayson Tatum, Marcus Smart and Tristan Thompson all played massive minutes and should be in a position to do so once again. Amongst all games on the slate, this is the safest ones in terms of players roles, since each team will clearly be playing to win. Motivation is huge at this point in the year and this game is by far my favorite of the night.
Minnesota Timberwolves @ Detroit Pistons – Whereas each of the teams in the previous game stack are highly-motivated, neither of these teams have been motivated for a while, which is just as dangerous, since they are simply playing for pride. Nothing has mattered for the Timberwolves in a while and yet all of Karl-Anthony Towns, Anthony Edwards and D’Angelo Russell have averaged over 40 DK fantasy points per game this month and Ricky Rubio has averaged over a fantasy point per minute (FPPM) in his 27.0 minute per game role. Two games feature higher implied totals than this one so it may fly under the radar even with eight Pistons listed out for this game including Jerami Grant, Mason Plumlee, Hamidou Diallo and Cory Joseph. With Joseph out, Saben Lee becomes a solid per-dollar value on DK given the lack of depth at guard. As noted above, Josh Jackson could garner a healthy portion of the usage if he is active, and Saddiq Bey has possessed sneaky-high upside as of late when his shot has been on (20-plus points in three of his last six games). Each team features an implied total of 110.5-plus points here and I expect this game to play at closer to the Timberwolves pace than the Pistons (as evident by the Vegas number). If these teams get out and running like the Timberwolves normally do, the short-handed Pistons should have a few members factor into the GPP conversation, and the Timberwolves condensed offense continues to be comforting to fantasy players as well.
Slate Edges: Jimmy Butler