Check out RadThad’s NBA Cash Game Breakdown for tonight’s 7-game slate!!
What’s up my peeps? I hope you’re all doing well on this fabulous jam-packed seven game NBA slate!
I know that I usually bring you the GPP rundown on weekends, however, we’ve decided to switch things up a little. I’ll be bringing you my cash game strategy on the weekends in an attempt to help you build on that hard-earned bankroll of yours.
As you should know by now, cash game strategy is very different from tournament strategy. In cash games, it’s all about value. Well, it’s not just about value, but you know what I mean.
Your cash game roster should be very “fluid” throughout its construction. To paraphrase the immortal Bruce Lee, “It must be like water.”
Late breaking news can, and will, change your cash game core more often than not so the lineups you create right now will likely look very different from the one you submit prior to tip off.
I’ll be sure to post any updates to the article as news breaks (including updated cash game core plays). I’ll also notify y’all of any updates via the Twitter machine. In the meantime, here are my cash game thoughts for today’s slate:
–Kyrie Irving (BKN) will not play in tonight’s matchup against the Dallas Mavericks due to a right shoulder injury. As a result, Joe Harris (BKN) replaces Culver as a core play on FanDuel. Ty Johnson (BKN) replaces Jarrett Culver (BKN) as a core play on DraftKings. This news also solidifies James Harden (BKN) as my stud of choice on both sites in cash games.
-Updated FanDuel cash game core consists of Ingles, O’Neale, Harris and Vanderbilt. Maxi Kleber (DAL) is a fine quick pivot if one of those other power forwards in the core don’t give you that “warm and fuzzy feeling”.
-Updated DraftKings cash game core consists of Ingles, O’Neale, Nowell and Johnson. Throw in Lonnie Walker IV (SA) as a bonus core play. (Yes, I know DeRozan is back.)
-After constructing a crap ton of lineups since my article was initially posted, I’ve developed a bit of flexibility when it comes to my preferred cash game studs on FanDuel. I would still love to get Harden and Embiid in there for cash games, however, a simple pivot to Karl-Anthony Towns (MIN) gives me an extra $600 to play with. That actually comes in quite handy. The same cash game strategy applies on DraftKings, however, the “Big Kat” is only $200 cheaper over there. (FanDuel GPP tip: Instead of saving $600 by going with Towns, spend $600 and lock in Nikola Jokic (DEN). I’m going to throw out a hot take and predict that he comes away with a triple double tonight against Oklahoma City.)
–Malcolm Brogdon (IND) is considered questionable for tonight’s game against my beloved New York Knicks. I had zero interest in any Indianapolis Pacers tonight, however, if Brogdon sits that will open up some additional cash game value. Domantas Sabonis (IND) would see a sharp spike in his appeal as a tournament option against a slow-paced, surprisingly efficient defensive minded New York team.
-So, as it stands, the current “cash game secret sauce” is a combination of the core players mentioned above, a stud center and stud guard of your choosing, followed by filling the remaining spots using the “cheat sheet”.
Top Stud (over $8K on FD): Joel Embiid (followed by James Harden)
Top Stud (over $8K on DK): James Harden (followed by Joel Embiid)
Top Value (under $5K on FD): Joe Ingles (followed by Michael Carter Williams)
Top Value (under $5K on DK): Jaylen Nowell (followed by Tyler Johnson)
-On FanDuel my most common cash core of players consists of Joe Ingles (UTA), Royce O’Neale (UTA), Jarrett Culver (MIN) and Jarred Vanderbilt (MIN).
-On DraftKings, I’m getting a lot of Ingles, O’Neale, Culver and Jaylen Nowell (MIN). It’s not a coincidence that these cores are very similar. There’s a perfectly good reason for this, as you’ll see below..
– Here are a few things to consider when constructing your cash game lineups for this slate:
-“How many Minnesota Timberwolves is too many?” Malik Beasley (MIN) has been suspended 12 games by the NBA for conduct related to charges of 5th degree drug possession and “threat of violence” that were issued in late September 2020. As a result, his 23.9% usage and 33.1 minutes per game will be up for grabs. Currently, guys like Jaylen Nowell (MIN) and Jarrett Culver (MIN) are listed as core plays, mainly because they are cheap and allow you to roster at least two beefcake options in your cash games. In all reality, we still need to wait to see who claims Beasley’s starting spot before we get too comfortable. Luckily, Minnesota’s matchup against the Washington Wizards tips off at 7 PM Eastern so we should know well ahead of time. The Timberwolves have been running out a 10 man rotation as of late, so whomever gets the starting nod should likely see the largest boost in value. Jarred Vanderbilt (MIN) also comes in as a viable cash game option. At the moment I’m sticking with two of these three guys, but that could easily change depending on what news breaks prior to tip off. In a matchup against Washington that is expected to be relatively competitive (Washington favored by -4.5) and high-scoring (game total of 237.5), using all three cheap options and surrounding them with studs is also a viable strategy in both cash games and GPPs. (GPP tip: Do you know who’s going to get squeezed out with all of this current Minnesota Timberwolves value? That would be Karl Anthony Towns (MIN). Consider him an excellent leverage play in tournaments.)
–“How many Utah Jazz players is too many?” The matchup between the Utah Jazz and the Orlando Magic was one that I was initially avoiding, given its expected slow pace, low game total (217.5) and blowout potential (Utah favored by -10.5). The announcement that Mike Conley (UTA) has been ruled out in order to manage his current hamstring injury has forced me to reconsider. Guys like Joe Ingles (UTA), Royce O’Neale (UTA), Jordan Clarkson (UTA) and Bojan Bogdanovic (UTA) are popping up as mid-to-low range value plays (that’s the exact order of how I am prioritizing them in cash games). At the moment, a combination of Timberwolves value and Jazz value is the way to go in cash games. (GPP tip: Similar to the situation with the Minnesota Timberwolves, stud options like Donovan Mitchell (UTA) and Rudy Gobert (UTA) could go overlooked in lieu of the value options on the team. Be sure to keep them on your radar in GPPs.)
–“Pig out” on cash game beefcake. Seeing as how the current cash game value options fall under the “scrub” category, the ability to roster high ceiling/high floor “studs” should be relatively easy. With guys like Luka Doncic (DAL), James Harden (BKN), Joel Embiid (PHI) and Nikola Jokic (DEN) on the slate, there are several options to choose from. My current cash game roster construction strategy allows me to pay up at center and for at least one stud at guard, while using the aforementioned Minnesota Timberwolves and Utah Jazz value to pay down at small forward and power forward. I’m currently rolling with Embiid and Harden as my chosen studs to bring me to the promised land, however, any combination of the above center/guard options will suffice. If you roll with enough value plays, you can actually squeeze in an additional option like Russell Westbrook (WSH) or Bradley Beal (WSH). (GPP tip: just because the slate is littered with beefcake doesn’t mean there aren’t viable second tier options that could go overlooked in tournaments. Guys like DeMar DeRozan (SA) and Ben Simmons (PHI) could easily fall through the cracks on nights like this.)
-In a nutshell, you’re basically using your choice of Minnesota Timberwolves and Utah Jazz value with two or three studs of your choice in cash games (preferably paying up at center and guard). That’s the current cash game strategy, but we all know how things tend to change very quickly as we get closer to tip off. You’ll need to stay alert and available in the event that things get weird. (GPP tip: This tip is pretty self-explanatory. Do the opposite of what I just said. Instead of spending up at center and guard, use value at those positions and spend up elsewhere. Another viable tournament strategy for this slate is to roll with a balanced lineup. The biggest mistake that I make when going with a “studs and scrubs” approach in tournaments is either using too many of the chalky plays or using the wrong ones. Sometimes it’s best to let your opponent make the mistakes by avoiding situations entirely.)