Check out Thad’s NBA Pre-Pandemic Superlatives for players most likely to succeed among other DFS awards based on their pre-suspension play!
What’s up y’all? I hope this article finds everyone safe, happy and most importantly, at home. Another week without the NBA has gone by and, to be quite honest, it seems like it’s been another month. While there’s still hope that league play resumes at some point, there is no definitive timetable as to when this could happen. I’ve heard all sorts of ideas as to how the league could salvage the season, but for now, the only thing we can do is wait. As long as there’s a chance for the league to come back, I’ll have NBA DFS on the brain. In an attempt to keep everyone preoccupied, I came up with a list of pre-pandemic superlatives (i.e., most likely to succeed, etc.). The winners of these awards are my own personal selections, however, I would love to hear some of yours.
NBA Pre-Pandemic Superlatives (Centers)
Most likely to end up in my cash game lineup:
Nikola Vucevic (ORL): When it comes to cash games, value plays usually dominate the center position. That being said, whenever I’m forced to pay up at center, “Vuc” is always a fantastic choice. He’s averaging 42.25 FanDuel points/43.95 DraftKings points per game and has an excellent combination of a high floor with a sky-high ceiling. He produces, even in tough matchups, putting him in the coveted “plug and play” category.
Rudy Gobert (UTA): Gobert hasn’t flashed much of a ceiling this season, however, his combination of production (40.29 FanDuel points/40.63 DraftKings points per game) and salary makes him a fine cash game option if you don’t want to spend all of your salary at the position. Numerous injuries have left us with “slim pickings” at center this year, leaving Gobert’s fantasy skill set in high demand.
Most likely to end up in my tournament lineup:
Joel Embiid (PHI): Embiid’s seasonal averages (45.71 FanDuel points/47.80 DraftKings points per game) are more than enticing, however, it’s his ceiling that makes him a fantastic tournament option. A host of injuries has forced him to become a less than consistent option, when it comes to taking the court, however, he’s put up more than 60 fantasy points on seven separate occasions this season. When you can get that sort of upside at a shallow position, you need to take advantage of it.
Nikola Jokic (DEN): Jokic may have received an honorable mention, but it was a close call. His seasonal averages (45.39 FanDuel points/47.60 DraftKings points per game) are similar to Embiid’s, and he’s eclipsed the 60 fantasy point mark 10 different times this season. When it’s all said and done, I’ll roll with the guy that is projected to have lower ownership.
Most likely to ruin my lineup:
Cody Zeller (CHA): I fall for the Zeller trap more often than I care to admit. He isn’t a fantasy stud (averaging 23.87 FanDuel points/23.92 DraftKings points per game), and he isn’t going to get close to 30 minutes of playing time. However, on occasion, he will drop 30 or more fantasy points and give me the old “head fake.” I convince myself that he’s a cheap option in a good matchup, but that never seems to work out in my favor.
DeAndre Jordan (BKN): Jordan is another guy who can throw up close to 40 fantasy points out of nowhere, only to come crashing back to earth with a 22 fantasy point outing. Whenever he’s in my lineup, he’s usually in the process of reentering the earth’s atmosphere. At that point, the only thing I can do is brace for impact.
Most likely to make me regret not rostering him:
Mitchell Robinson (NYK): Inconsistent playing time and being a member of my beloved New York Knicks are the main reasons why I usually think twice before adding Robinson to my roster. He made me pay dearly for not using him since the trade deadline, as he put up over 30 fantasy points seven times since February 9 (12 games prior to the league suspending play). He even put up 40 or more fantasy points in four of those games. Getting that type of production from a guy at his salary and low ownership is a steal.
Jonas Valanciunas (MEM): Like Robinson, inconsistent playing time is the major deterrent when trying to decide whether or not I want to roster Valanciunas. He will play 24 minutes in one game; then he’ll get 32 minutes of court time in another. In addition to having multiple 40 fantasy point games this season, he’s put up over 50 fantasy points seven times. Unfortunately, I didn’t roster him when he had most of those performances.
Most likely to excel once league play resumes:
Karl-Anthony Towns (MIN): Towns missed the last 12 games prior to the league suspending play due to a wrist injury. If, and when, the NBA starts up again, he should be ready to take the court and get back to dominating (49.26 FanDuel points/52.40 DraftKings points per game).
Deandre Ayton (PHO): After missing a large part of the season due to injury, Ayton proceeded to dominate the frontcourt upon his return (41.05 FanDuel points/41.95 DraftKings points per game). He put up over 50 fantasy points in five of his last 11 games prior to suspension of league play and should pick up right where he left off once play resumes.
Most likely to disappoint once league play resumes:
Andre Drummond (CLE): The return of the NBA after a lengthy absence would mean the return of a healthy Cleveland Cavaliers frontcourt. We’ve already seen this doesn’t bode well for Drummond’s playing time, as he routinely saw less than 30 minutes once he was traded from the Detroit Pistons. It’s possible he could get a lot of run right out the gate, but I wouldn’t hold my breath.
Hassan Whiteside (POR): Whiteside has been “the man” this season, averaging 43.74 FanDuel points/43.45 DraftKings points per game. Unfortunately, Jusuf Nurkic (POR) should be ready to make his return once league play resumes. Last season, Nurkic started 72 games for Portland and averaged 37.78 FanDuel points/38.55 DraftKings points per game. As a result, Whiteside’s productivity could take a massive hit.
NBA All COVID-19 Team Update (Centers)
Rudy Gobert (UTA): Gobert has been fully cleared of coronavirus by the Utah Department of Health.