Identify the players on tonight’s NBA DFS slate who have the safest floors for your DraftKings & FanDuel cash game lineups!
We have a solid nine game slate of NBA DFS action on Tuesday. It’s actually the biggest slate we have all week, which is unusual for a Tuesday, but with the NCAA having a ton of conference tournaments over the weekend, it makes sense the NBA schedule is a tad lighter on those days.
With bigger slates we tend to have lots of options and lot of news to follow and that is the case today. Before we get into that though, I wanted to give you guys a tip based off something that happened last night. In my openings I usually try to teach you something. Sometimes it is a lesson about how I look at a particular slate of games and sometimes it’s more of general DFS lesson. Today we have one of the latter.
Last night the Milwaukee Bucks threw curveballs at our lineup construction. Everyone was on Khris Middleton and rightly so with Giannis out. After lock, they downgraded him to doubtful and started the end of the bench instead. Donte Divincenzo was another very popular play and that was a disaster. They made no announcement about his playing time and we ultimately watched him watch the game from the bench. Things like this will start to happen more and more as we are only about a month out from the end of the season.
On FanDuel you basically just closed your computer and took your L’s. On DraftKings I still got caught with the surprise Divencenzo news, but I was able to change enough lineups to pull out a couple cashes by swerving off of Middleton. DraftKings late swap is something that is still not used enough by the masses. Sure the good players all change their lineups, but whether you are in a GPP or a large field 50/50 or double up a lot of people will not make the changes when news drops.
One advantage you guys have is that our optimizer updates in real time. It might take a few minutes to factor in the news, but once it does the projections of the remaining games change drastically. If you looked at any projection system yesterday, guys like Middleton and Bledsoe were projected highly. When the Bledsoe news dropped earlier in the day, you saw Donte Divencenzo get a boost in his projections and become a top value play on the day, along with guys like Brook Lopez and a bigger boost for Middleton.
When Middleton was downgraded after lock, you saw names like Pat Connaughton and Brook Lopez get even bigger bumps up. The optimizer and our projection system is ever evolving. At any point during the day it is going to spit out the optimal lineup based on the inputs it has. As the news comes out, the optimizer factors in those changes and adjusts the projections. The optimal lineup changed at 8:30 last night, because the inputs changed. The Middleton news adjusted minutes and usage projections for everyone else on the team.
Those who didn’t make the adjustments missed out on cashing yesterday. They were the dead money in those larger field game types. Even with the dud from Divincenzo, I was able to cash in 50/50s, because a lot of other people had him too and some also had Middleton and never took him out of their lineups.
The name of the game here is to make a profit and if you are not able to make those late changes, you shouldn’t play on Draftkings as it puts you at a massive disadvantage. If you are able to make them, it does give you a leg up on your competition who can’t and that is an advantage you can exploit. I’m not saying one method is better than the other, but be honest with yourself when you register to play on one site or the other.
On days my kid has practice or a game I have to drive him to, I play on FanDuel because I’m not giving anything away since I wouldn’t be able to make changes anyway. On normal nights when I am sitting down watching games on my computer, TV, and phone while following any late breaking news I play on DK and hope all hell breaks loose to give me that chance to take advantage of those not putting in the work.
Again, not saying one is better than the other as both have their advantages/disadvantages, but knowing what your level of commitment to those lineups is should dictate your play this late in the season when crazy breaking news is more and more likely to pop up.
Highest Projected Totals
- Rockets 128.5
- Clippers 124.5
- Blazers 118.5
- Lakers 117.5
- Timberwolves 116
Biggest Pace Bumps
- Magic +4.7
- Knicks +4.6
- Warriors +1.6
Highest Projections Over Average
- Rockets +10.4
- Clippers +8.25
- Knicks +6
- Warriors +6
- Blazers +5
Russell Westbrook – That Minnesota/Houston game has the markings of a massive final score and that scoring has to be done by somebody. I find myself playing Westbrook way more than Harden and the results have been good doing so. Harden’s big recent game came when Westbrook sat out, but when both are playing together, the returns have actually favored Westbrook. Westy is also a bit cheaper than Harden, so for safety in cash that makes him the better option.
Ricky Rubio – He catches another solid spot against weak Portland backcourt defense in a game his team projects above average for. He’s coming off a monster performance, but let’s break that down a little more. Kelly Oubre is out and DeAndre Ayton has been too. At the same time, Rubio is finally healthy after battling injuries much of the year. He’s averaged just 31 minutes on the season, but has played 34-38 in many recent games. They not only need him with the rotation being thinner, but they also need him to do more. He’s taking a few more shots on average, but he’s scored better. He’s also really raised the assist totals which could have something to do with Baynes being more of a pick and pop guy than Ayton and hitting some shots. It could also be that he’s been more involved in creating for teammates without a guy like Oubre in the game. Either way we see his minutes and production up right now and another solid matchup. The price has risen a bit, but not enough to push me off of him.
Shabazz Napier – Ish Smith is out and that led to a massive minutes jump for Napier. Napier has been playing 28 minutes or less since coming to washington. He has only two games with over that. He played 36 minutes against the Bucks and scored 46 fantasy points. He played 39 last game against Miami and went for 50+. As long as Ish remains out, he’s more likely to get that 35+ minutes than he is to see under 20 and so far the production when he gets that playing time has been well above his value. He’s still under $6K today and that means 35+ fantasy points would get the job done. I project him for over 35 minutes today and he’s played around a fantasy point per minute all season, with the numbers in Washington being above that mark.
Derrick White – Dejounte Murray is out. That has opened up more minutes and usage for White. If LMA remains out as well, that forces the Spurs to go a bit smaller and use guys like Lyles at Center and Gay at PF. It’s not the best matchup as Dalas is good defensively and doesn’t really change the pace much for the Spurs. White is cheap though and the boost to usage and minutes without Murray and LMA play into his favor at that cheap price.
Shaq Harrison – No Zach Lavine has opened up a ton of minutes and usage for various Bulls players and they are all stepping up because of it. Today the guards draw one of the best possible matchups against the weak backcourt defense of the Cavs. Harrison is right around $5K, so he’s no longer a deep value player. He’s still averaged 33 minutes over the last three games and has at least 30+ fantasy points in each. That means he’s giving us a 6x floor on 30+ minutes of action, so the safety is there at this price level.
Matthew Dellavedova – First Darius Garland went down, then Kevin Porter followed. That really thinned out the backcourt for the Cavs. Collin Sexton and Delly have been the major beneficiaries of that. Both guys are playing massive minutes in recent games. Delly is dirt cheap. Sexton is the better producer, but for the price of $4K on both sites, you get much better value out of Dely. He’s averaged 34 minutes over the last 4 games and while his ceiling is probably what we have seen recently, we really only need 25 out of him at the price. He’s averaging about .75 fantasy points per minute, so at 34 minutes a night that’s the 25 we need. Cleveland sees a slight pace bump and projects for their average even on the road, so he could continue to make value as he has in three of the last four.
D’Angelo Russell – On DK we have a ton of solid cheaper PG/SG eligible players and that is likely the path I go in cash. On FanDuel we need to play two of these guys though and D-Lo is one of my favorite spend ups. You have him for a few thousand cheaper than James Harden in the same game. Yes, Harden has a slightly higher projection, but not enough to justify the bigger price. This is a matchup of the third and fourth fastest teams in the league on the season and picking on Harden defense has always been a decent way to go. Russell is the #1 option on this Timberwolves team right now too and has put up some monster numbers even in much tougher matchups at slower paces.
Devin Booker – Boker is coming off a blazing hot first half where he was basically unconscious against the Bucks. I doubt he repeats that effort, but he definitely has the ability to do it. Without the scoring of Oubre and Ayton, he has had to pick it up for the Suns as well. Ayton is questionable and his status impacts my love for Booker, so definitely monitor that. Still the matchup is favorable against the Portland guard defense and the game is projected to be high scoring. Booker has not played less than 37 minutes in any of the games over the past two weeks and unlike many shooting guards, he does contribute assists and rebounds to give you a solid rounded out stat line. Of course his scoring like many shooting guards is the real key, but in a game where both teams project over average I am confident he’ll continue to put the ball in the basket.
Malik Beasley – Speaking of putting the ball in the basket, Beasley has shown the ability to do that since the trade. Not only are the minutes way up, but the production is too. He’s scored 20+ in four straight games and is routinely playing well over 30 minutes a night now. He draws another high scoring game with one of the fastest projected paces on the slate against the Rockets. He should be able to continue to score and add enough of the other stats to get over value. He’s seen a bit of a price increase, but not enough to push me off of him.
LeBron James – I do not think LeBron is a guy I want in GPPs, because the price is high and the ceiling games only come when Anthony Davis is out. The floor is insanely high for him right now though and that’s good for cash. I’m not forcing him in, but never going to argue if you can fit him. It is easier to do on FanDuel. Through four games in March, LeBron is averaging 35 minutes of court time. He’s averaged 30/8.5/11 and is over 1.5 fantasy points per minute. The Lakers get a slight pace bump, a projection over average, and a good matchup against a Nets team that has allowed big games all season. I’m not building lineups around LeBron today, but if I have the money to spend I’m never uncomfortable with him in my lineup.
Gordon Hayward (FD) – Jaylen Brown remains out. The matchup is a little tough here against the Pacers, but Hayward has produced before. He is a guy I like a lot more on FanDuel at $6100. At $7K on DK he needs one of his better games to hit value. Not that he can’t do it, but at $6100 on FD he could even play below his best and still make value. It’s more of a price play than anything, but with Brown out he gets enough of a boost to give me confidence in the floor.
Mikal Bridges – Bridges is a guy people have overlooked lately. His cash ownership has been low and even in GPPs he’s coming in ignored. I think that is a mistake. With Oubre out, he’s been seeing a ton of minutes and producing. He’s averaging 37.5 minutes over the last 6 games. He’s up over 10 shots a game during this run from under 8 on the season and he’s also seen a big uptick in rebounding as well. He’s priced in that mid range today where he could hit value without his best game and he has upside if everything goes well. We have mentioned the bigger total and pace for this game already and that would also benefit Bridges. The Suns rotation being so thin is why a lot of them are popping up on my analysis today.
Rudy Gay – The Spurs have bodies, but not many of them are guys you want playing big minutes. LMA and Dejounte Murray being out opens both minutes and usage that a versatile Rudy Gay can pick up. If LMA comes back today, I’m off of both him and Lyles, but both guys are in play if he remains out. Gay is cheaper and now that Murray is out too, his minutes are higher and safer.
Kristaps Porzingis – If Luka Doncic does sit out with this wrist injury, KP is an auto play for me as he is putting up over 55 fantasy points a night without Luka. Even if Luka plays though he is still a solid option to consider. He had one of his worst games last time out against the Pacers, but in the three games before that he had 65, 68, and 75 fantasy points. He’s basically double-doubling every night at this point or just missing it by a rebound or two. He’s done it in 7 of the last 9 games. He’s also averaged 25+ actual points over the last 10 games. 25 and 10 is worth about 40 fantasy points by itself. He has 26 blocks and steals over the last 6 games for $+ a game or an extra 12-15 fantasy points. Throw in a couple of assists and you can see how he’s constantly ending up around 60 fantasy points. Even with the bump in price, he’s still routinely giving us 6X+ and it tracks with his production.
Aaron Gordon – I have been riding Aaron Gordon for the past month as the Orlando Magic pace of play has skyrocketed. Other than that little blip around when he was injured, it’s been a profitable thing to do. His minutes have been silly over the last month with only one game under 36 minutes and a bunch of 40 minute outings. His numbers have been up across the board and he’s a true five category contributor adding in some defensive stats to his double -doubles with an average of 5 assists. He’s not an elite scorer, but 15-20 points, 10 rebounds, and 4-9 assists has become his norm to go along with a few blocks and/or steals. He’s double-doubled in 6 of the last 8 games and when you can add assists and defensive stats it becomes clear why the floor has been so high.
Eric Paschall – Paschall might be my favorite point per dollar PF play today. He’s really cheap and does have a tough matchup, but the minutes should be there for him with Draymond Green remaining out. The Warriors are very thin in the frontcourt, so his minutes here seem safe no matter what the score ends up being. He’s seen a boost in everything recently. Over the last six games he’s easily averaged over 30 minutes a game at over a 25 usage rate with more than a fantasy point per minute. Again, this is a tough matchup, but his ability to produce across the board and his floor time give me confidence that while he might not hit the ceiling, he should hit the high floor for the low price.
Andre Drummond – We have a lot of higher end center options that I think are solid plays today. Guys like Jonas Valanciunas and Nikola Vucevic are also guys I like and will use in GPPs. Andre Drummond is a tad cheaper than both and has been producing even better. He draws a very good matchup against a soft Chicago Bulls interior and is back to looking like the dominant guy we saw in Detroit. He has sat out a few recent games, but when he plays he dominates. Just look at the last two games he was on the floor. He played 35 minutes against the Pacers and went 27/13/4/4/1. He followed that up with some rest, before going for 28/17/1/3 in his last game in 33 minutes of action. This was a guy priced at $10K or more when seeing these kinds of minutes and usage numbers in the past. On a team thirsty for scoring and rebounding, he should continue to see them as long as the minutes are there. When he’s played, the minutes have been there and that’s why at the discounted price he has been smashing value.
Myles Turner– I had a real tough time deciding between Marquese Chriss, Aron Baynes, and Turner. I do not hate any of them, especially if Deandre Ayton sits. Ultimately though, I ended up on Turner. With Brogdon out, he’s seen a bump in his production over the last few games. The Celtics guard defense scares me, but bigs can still produce against them. Turner is playing solid defense right now and that’s a strange thing to say for fantasy. With him though I understand the appeal of it. He is one of the better rim protectors in all of basketball. He’s been swatting shots away left and right and even when he does not get the blocks he has altered shots and cleaned up the rebounds. His scoring is never going to be elite. He does not get enough shots to be a 30/10 guy with 5 blocks, but he’s done enough to consistently flirt with double doubles and when you have games with 4-8 blocks routinely that really helps raise the fantasy production.