Welcome back to Vlad’s Values NBA: a GPP-centric article with my own spin. The goal will be to identify some low-percentage pivot options we can use to differentiate and gain an advantage for our lineups. Additionally, I’ll list some guys who may be chalk. Today’s four-game slate is rather straight-forward. We will see most of the chalk featured from the WAS-ATL and LAL-BKN games along with some slight exposure on some DAL-DEN value.
Welcome back to Vlad’s Values NBA: a GPP-centric article with my own spin. The goal will be to identify some low-percentage pivot options we can use to differentiate and gain an advantage for our lineups. Additionally, I’ll list some guys who may be chalk.
Today’s four-game slate is rather straight-forward. We will see most of the chalk featured from the WAS-ATL and LAL-BKN games along with some slight exposure on some DAL-DEN value.
The CLE-IND game will have the lowest percentage players taken from it because of the low total (207), big spread (IND -12.5), blowout potential and the fact that the Cavs are a mess injury-wise, facing a tough, defensive Pacers squad.
Wizards v. Hawks has the highest implied total (235) and we should expect a high concentration of lineups focused on John Wall and/or Bradley Beal, especially with the team short-handed (Otto Porter / Dwight Howard hurt, Kelly Oubre / Austin Rivers traded away). It is not a bad way to go in cash, but there is always the possibility of blowout here as well. The other two games (LAL-BKN and DAL-DEN), in theory, should be closer battles – but this is the wild, volatile world of the NBA and DFS, where anything can happen on any given day. It is a fun night to play some of those large-field GPPs and approach lineup-building with some contrarian scenarios – yes, something that is indeed possible on four-game slates.
TO THE WINDOOOOWS, TO THE: John Wall, Wizards ($9,800 DK, $10,400 FD) – Wall is priced through the roof for his floor. All puns aside, you’re paying full price here (2nd priciest on DK, 3rd on FD) for someone with the hands-down, best matchup on the slate on a team that is shorthanded. Wall struggled earlier this season, but has been red-hot lately, dropping 79.5, 40.75 and 66.5 DKP in his last three games. He does average 10 less fantasy points in road games, but don’t let that deter you today against the porous defense of rookie Trae Young. Just have to hope this game stays close.
DK SPECIAL: Jamal Murray, Nuggets ($6,600 DK, $8,100 FD) – A much better value on DraftKings and it’s not even funny. The Mavs allow the 11th most DKP to opposing PGs and are among the three worst defensive teams against the position.
TOO CHEAP: J.J. Barea, Mavericks ($4,300 DK, $4,700 FD) – Missed the last two games but his ankle should be fine for him to put some juke moves on the Nugs guards and provide a 6x DK return at his discounted price. An ideal play if Dennis Smith Jr. misses his fifth game of his last six as Barea is almost certain to play more minutes than Jalen Brunson if his ankle is up to the task.
GPP UPSIDE: Trae Young, Hawks ($6,400 DK, $6,900 FD) – His type of matchup as the fast-paced Wiz serve up the third-most DK points to opposing point guards (the Hawks are first).
CHEAP PIVOT: Cory Joseph, Pacers ($4,200 DK, $4,300 FD) – Joseph seems to find his 26 minutes no matter whether a game is close or a blowout. Nothing more than a pivot gut play off some possible Darren Collison semi-chalk. Though it may be rookie Aaron Holiday getting that final, fourth quarter rotation and a bump in minutes if the game isn’t close.
SWEET REVENGE: D’Angelo Russell, Nets ($8,100 DK, $7,300 FD) – Bet your bottom dollar D-Russ will be UP for this game against the team that gave up on him. Problem is the DK algo priced him up for it artificially to make up for the fact that we don’t have many guys to pay up for.
POINTS GALORE: Bradley Beal, Wizards ($8,500 DK, $8,300 FD) – The SG position is the most volatile in nature so sometimes it pays to pay down. You’ll probably want to pay up for both Beal and Wall in your WAS-ATL game stacks with this high-paced matchup with two bad defenses. Beal is a Minutes-Monster, averaging nearly 40 in his last four and averages over a fantasy point per minute.
SURGING CHALK: Monte Morris, Nuggets ($4,700 DK, $5,700 FD) – The rook has been playing some fine basketball and appears to have the trust of Coach Malone lately. It surely helps that Gary Harris has been out as Morris has topped the 30-minute mark twice in his last four games, averaging 15 points and 5.5 assists over that span as well as four steals in his last two.
RICO SUAVE: Luka Doncic, Mavericks ($7,700 DK, $7,600 FD) – More likely to be used in tourneys as most stack up Wiz/Hawks with a piece of Nets/Lakers, the ever-so-smooth rookie may go under-owned. The Nuggets are one of the league’s best defensive teams but they are missing a few key pieces (Paul Millsap, Harris) and may even be without Juan Hernangomez. If the Mavs do some damage, it’ll be Doncic leading the charge.
PUNT-TASTIC: Torrey Craig, Nuggets ($3,600 DK, $4,300 FD) – It’s all about the projected minutes here and the price. A good punt to help fit in your studs, especially if Hernangomez doesn’t play.
CENTERPIECE: LeBron James, Lakers ($10,600 DK, $11,500 FD) – With enough cheap options today, you may want to consider building around one of the expensive Wizards (Wall/Beal) and this man right here. The Nets may yet again start rookie Rodions Kurucs at small forward (if Allen Crabbe is out again), but nevertheless, there really isn’t anyone on this team who can guard Bron. The Nets hold their own against opposing guards but have been thrashed all season by big men. James is coming off a sad 25-point effort against the Wizards this weekend and there is rarely a better bounce-back situation in NBA DFS than Off-Game Bron, so be sure to take advantage.
VALUE WIZ: Sam Dekker, Wizards ($3,800 DK, $4,400 FD) or Trevor Ariza, Wizards (DK only: $4,600) – Ariza may be making his debut, but he is nowhere to be found on FanDuel’s side of things. If for some reason he doesn’t play, we can deck the halls and sing fa-la-la bitches with the big white man out of the University of Wisconsin. Dekker was a hit last game, hitting 10-of-15 shots in just 22 minutes on his way to nearly 37 DK points. No team allows more FD points to opposing small forwards than the Hawks. With all of the injuries among teams on this slate, the SF position on FD is undoubtedly a bona fide shit show.
GREEN WITH ENVY: Jeff Green, Wizards ($4,800 DK, $5,300 FD) – So many Wiz, so little roster spots. Actually, we have a ton of them and can stack on stack on stack ‘em today. We should expect Markieff Morris back after he left last game early with a neck stinger, so that may affect Green’s minutes. But Green has been starting at power forward the last three games and has enjoyed his time there (34.25 and a 44 spot). Would you be shocked in the slightest if I told you who the team was allowing the most FanDuel points to opposing power forwards this year? Ding, ding, ding – correct! It’s the Hawks. Though times they are’a changin’ with John Collins back in the fold.
ALL-STAR: John Collins, Hawks ($7,900 DK, $8,200 FD) – Speaking of Collins, I freaking love this dude. He is the leader of this hodge-podge of Hotlanta talent and has averaged nearly 44 DraftKings points over the last 10 days. Don’t let the fact that he is this expensive fool you – he was significantly cheaper a month ago, but he’s back on the court and asserting his dominance. This will be his price range for quite some time, so get used to it. Oh, and the matchup isn't too shabby either.
GPP PIVOT: Larry Nance, Cavs ($6,000 DK, $7,000 FD) – Don’t expect too much love for Larry from DFS’ers today as he is priced in that odd mid-range that just doesn’t work for a stars-and-scrubs build. I’m fairly certain that the Cavs won’t have enough fight in them to keep up with these Pacers, but Nance will be expected to carry the workload, especially without Tristan Thompson around for a bit. The mini chink in the Pacers’ incredible defensive armor is big men, and Nance is the Last Don tonight. He’s been doing a little bit of everything stats-wise and could surprise with one of his 40-plus point ceiling games when no one’s looking. Just remember your boy Gut told ya.
DED MON WALKING: Dwayne Dedmon, Hawks ($5,600 DK, $6,600 FD) – This guy has been winning me money all season. I won’t go so far as to call myself the Dedmon Whisperer because I’m too young to die and not Jamaican, but I’ve been able to predict his ceiling games this year. Problem is, the price has risen considerably following his best game of the season (51.5 DKP: 24 pts, 12 reb, 3 assists, 5-for-5 on 3’s). This likely won’t happen again this year (well, the three-point shooting, that is), but more big games are on the way. He’s rendered Alex Len useless and is averaging over 30 minutes a game over his last five. Not sure I’m going there on FD as my lone center, but I could make it work on DK.
CONTRARIAN SPEND-UP: Nikola Jokic, Nuggets ($9,700 DK, $11,100 FD) – Based on process of elimination with the expensive options with Wall/Beal/LeBron being popular, I just don’t see Jokic being 40-plus percent owned on this ninja turtle slate. The unappealing part of all this is a tough matchup with DeAndre Jordan, but I won’t mind it today on teams were I want to get a little weird. Jokic is the second most expensive guy on FanDuel and it seems to me like this is the spot where people may prefer to pivot.
CENTER PUNTS: Tyson Chandler, Lakers ($3,700 DK, $4,200 FD), Kyle O’Quinn, Pacers ($3,500 DK, $3,000 FD) – Chandler’s viability lies with the possibility that JaVale McGee is not over his illness and may either not play, nor play at full strength. Chandler doesn’t take shots, but he can still grab a mean board – lots of them. There is no team in the NBA this year allowing more fantasy points to opposing centers (65.5) than the Nets. As for O’Quinn, that’s just one of my crazy pivot punt plays at min salary for a guy who has skills but rarely gets to showcase them. KOQ may have that opportunity tonight if this game gets out of hand quickly. He’s just two games removed from a 37-point DK effort in just 27 minutes in a blowout against the Magic. Are you feeling froggy?