September 2, 2020, 11:02 am
DFS Delivery: Wednesday September 2nd, 2020
By Santino Caccone (twitter: @SantinoCaccone)
We’re in Round 2 in the Eastern Conference as the Bucks find themselves in a similar place once again down 1-0. While we have our one remaining matchup in the first round with a Game 7 between the James Harden-led Rockets and Chris Paul-led Thunder. Let’s get into it!
Miami Heat vs Milwaukee Bucks
(Note: DraftKings pricing)
Jimmy Butler ($8,300) & Bam Adebayo ($7,900)
When starting with the Heat the two guys we look at first are Adebayo and Butler. Both are in good spots, with Bam getting a rebound boost, while Butler has a big matchup advantage. In a superstar-free lineup, getting both is a great start as both should continue to bring back value in this series. But I lean towards Bam out of the two because of roster construction. While I think a few C’s have a solid base here, Bam is the only one with that blow up potential, compared to the guards/forwards where the alternatives are better. Bam only took 12 shots last game, but has been on a glass binge, and with Brook Lopez being allergic to rebounds, Bam can continue to crush the boards in this series.
Goran Dragic ($6,900)
Dragic’s price continues to rise with each game, and he’s nearly at 7K now. While this may give pause to some, it doesn’t over here. He’s simply been fantastic all bubble and especially through these playoffs. His lowest scoring game of the bubble was the first game in which he scored 29 DK points, and since he’s never scored under 31 DK points. With Kendrick Nunn still no threat to his playing time or starting status, Dragic can continue to give us a minimum of 30+ points, and makes sense especially if you shy away from the two big guys.
Jae Crowder ($4,600)
The Heat are deep and loaded with quality options, but we lean towards Crowder among them. He played 35 minutes in that first one, and could once again see that run. With Bam Adebayo guarding Giannis Antetkounmpo, Crowder gets the tall statue that is Brook Lopez. Crowder grabbed 9 boards in the last game, and could again grab a solid number of rebounds as Lopez tends to not crash the boards. Add in a few threes from the streaky shooter, and he has a quality floor with room for more.
Khris Middleton ($8,100)
Giannis Antetokounmpo at $11,400 is obviously always in play as well, and coming off a disappointing loss should be in line for a bounceback (or you know, a better shooting near triple-double), but Middleton clocks in as a nice value here in a better matchup that doesn’t involve Bam Adebayo. He’s been playing well lately, and another 40+ point DK performance should be in store for him. If Eric Bledsoe sits again, we can expect Middleton to continue getting a usage bump and once again initiating more of the offense.
Brook Lopez ($5,500)
Lopez has been shooting great lately and he gets open looks in this offense. With the massive size advantage that he has in this matchup, there should be no excuse as to only getting one rebound. If he remembers that he’s seven feet and decides to grab a few extra boards he should continue hitting value at an affordable price.
George Hill ($4,300)
This play hinges on the availability of Eric Bledsoe, as if he plays, Hill would take a hit. If he sits this one out, Hill who saw a whipping 36 minutes in Game 1, becomes a high-owned value play. Anyone seeing that kind of run at this price on a slate with just two games, is certainly an option to be in lineups. The veteran Hill is no longer at his peak, but he still has big games in him, especially when he’s needed.
Oklahoma City Thunder vs Houston Rockets
Chris Paul ($8,200)
There are quite a few options right at this price range, and there are other nice options on this team to go with as fallbacks, but Paul is out for vengeance against the team made him the scapegoat the past two years, shipped him off to a rebuilding team that wound up not moving him. He took over the game in the fourth quarter of Game 6, and it is clear that it is personal for him. Even at his age, he is still a premiere baller and in a Game 7 under the above circumstances, he is definitely in play.
Dennis Schroder ($6,400)
This is a great price tag for a guy that has been very aggressive and playing heavy minutes this series. He went 0-for-5 from distance in Game 6 and still put up 25+ DraftKings points. Schroeder makes for a great pivot if you want to go with the forwards in the first game with the money that Paul costs.
Steven Adams ($5,700)
The few extra days off looked to help Adams the past two games with the knee injury that he was dealing with. He’s moving better and even saw his minutes jump into the 30’s in Game 6. He’s grabbed double-digit boards in every game sans one in this series’ and has a solid floor because of such. He missed a few easy ones in Game 6, and if they fall in this one can be sitting on a nice return.
Darius Bazley ($3,900)
There are only a few guys 4K and under that have solid roles on this slate, and we covered them on the podcast. Bazley is one of them, and if I’m stuck in this range, I’d be looking his way. His role isn’t as safe as others, but he’s been playing well the past two games with a high rebounding rate while using his size advantage to get draw fouls down low. And if Adams were to get in foul trouble, his upside is greater than the other options.
James Harden ($11,200)
Game 7, against his former teammate that he may or may not have asked to be traded away, with his quote on quote legacy on the line, with Luguentz Dort getting praised for the defensive job that he’s doing, all adds up to this; Harden is due for a blow up game. The way the fourth quarter went down in Game 6 where Harden not only went invisible over the last 5-7 minutes, but wasn’t even touching the ball on offense, was pitiful by this team. There is no way the best offensive player in the league should not have the ball in his hands with the game on the line. I can’t fathom that he or the team let that happen again. I’ll be buying many shares of The Beard.
Russell Westbrook ($8,900)
Westbrook played beyond poorly in the last game. Add in the fact that he’s still expected to be limited, and it’s extremely hard to find any positives here. Since he’s come back he has 24 points on 27 shots from the field and 1-of-4 from the free throw line. After saying all that, there’s a few things in his favor; he can’t possibly be worse in the next one, he’s under 9K, his ownership is going to be extremely low with the bad taste he’s left in owners mouths, and if this game is as close as the last one, I find it hard to believe that he’ll be on a strict minutes limit in a win-or-go-home game. If you’re playing multiple lineups, Westbrook should see some shares. He’s not trying to get beat by the team that traded him ahead of a supposed rebuild.
Robert Covington ($5,900)
Covington has been playing great lately, being more assertive and letting the shots fly from deep, while putting up the stocks that we’ve come to love from him. Covington is a streaky shooter and streaky player over all. But this is the Covington that we have been waiting for, and you want to attack him while he’s here. He’s one of the few guys that a bunch of stocks in a previous game isn’t an aberration we can necessarily chalk up as an aberration.
PJ Tucker ($4,500)
I’ll throw this one in here for Mike, as he is higher on Tucker than I am. Tucker has been rebounding the ball well lately, and sees his fair share of open looks from deep each game. Although he doesn’t see much usage, he’s playing heavy minutes and if he can hit an extra three or so and continue to get some steals, a solid return is on the table.
September 1, 2020, 11:25 am
DFS Delivery: Tuesday September 1st, 2020
By Steven Williams (twitter: @ZeroStarkThirty)
Boston Celtics vs Toronto Raptors
(Note: DraftKings pricing)
Jaylen Brown ($7,300 DK)
Jaylen Brown and Jason Tatum have similar FPPM (fantasy point per minute) production vs the Raptors in their five matchups so far this season. Because of that I prefer Brown at $1900 cheaper. Brown did not shoot well in game 1, he went 6-18 from the field. Foul trouble combined with the semi-blowout nature of this game limited Brown to 31 minutes. Brown has significant room to improve for game 2.
Daniel Theis ($5,200 DK)
Theis pulled down 15 rebounds in game 1, I do not expect that to happen again, but I do expect Theis to play a few more minutes as early foul trouble limited his minutes. Theis is the Celtics only starting caliber big and they will need him. I don’t expect another blowout.
Robert Williams ($3,300 DK)
Enes Kanter was a DNP-CD in game 1. Kanter is a bad match up for this Raptors team and Stevens has already showed us that he is not obligated to give Kanter minutes. Williams makes for a good punt option if you need someone cheap to fill out your lineups.
Kyle Lowry ($7,700 DK)
Lowry is priced at $100 below his back-court mate Fred Vanvleet. Lowry has higher DK point averages against the Celtics. We will have to see if we get any word on the matchups, but if Kemba is guarding Lowry again I like him at $7,700 as a pivot play against the highly-owned guards from the 2nd game.
Serge Ibaka ($6,200 DK)
Marc Gasol was bad in game 1. Look for Nurse to make some adjustments and go to the more agile Ibaka for more minutes in game 2.
Utah Jazz vs Denver Nuggets
Donovan Mitchell ($9,900 DK)
Mitchell has been amazing in this series against the Nuggets. He usage is all the way up to 37% on the playoffs. He will be the focal point of the Jazz offense and he will get his shots. Gary Harris came back for Game 6 and was not able to do anything to slow Mitchell down.
Rudy Gobert ($7,900 DK)
The Jazz have been getting killed in the non-Gobert minutes. His backups can not play significant minutes in a game 7. Gobert has been falling just short of value but I see no real reason for this. If he plays 40+ minutes he is capable of smashing value at $7,900.
Joe Ingles ($5,300 DK)
Ingles seems like the kind of guy that would not shy away from a game 5. I think the Jazz will keep their line up as short as possible. Ingles should have all the minutes he can handle.
Mike Conley ($6,800 DK)
Conley has averaged 38 DK points in 5 matchups vs the Nuggets this season. He should be matched up with Jamal Murray, who is not even a good defender when he not carrying such a massive offensive load. Look for Conley to be aggressive and go at Murray early and often.
Jamal Murray ($9,700 DK)
No one on the Jazz team is guarding Murray well. He is shooting over 50% from the field vs each of his primary defenders. I’ll bet Murray has been stewing all year of his lackluster game 7 against the Trailblazers last year where he went 4/18 from the field. I won’t have any exposure to this team outside of Murray and a few shares of Nikola Jokic. Can we please get one more Mitchell vs. Murray?
August 31, 2020, 1:09 pm
Miami Heat vs Milwaukee Bucks
(Note: DraftKings pricing)
Jimmy Butler ($8,100 DK)
Game 1 of a playoff series always comes with a lot of questions. Matchups, minutes, coaches looking for an edge…
I don’t have any questions about this one though, it’s straight back to the well in Jimmy Buckets. I have a feeling that much like the Pacers in the first round, the Bucks may struggle to find a matchup for Butler. He’s too physically imposing for Khris Middleton to be able to stop and I’m not sure who else the Bucks can throw at Jimmy to slow him down. Against the Pacers he basically got to value or pushed well through a similar price tag in each game except for Game 4 (where he was only required for 23 minutes) and if you remove the two low-minutes outings he’s had since entering the bubble, Butler has been averaging 45 DK points a night. He’s been removed from the injury list with a decent break after a sweep of Indiana and then the shutdown while the bubble addressed social injustice. He should be fresh and ready to roll.
Kelly Olynyk ($3,900 DK)
In a short slate with two big guns both priced over $11000 on DraftKings, we need to find value if we want to play one (or both) of them. Here is the same value play that Mike Apotria and I both found ourselves looking at – if you heard our podcast today (if you didn’t you can find it here by the way… https://t.co/n8ZxGhBMGl?amp=1).
Consider this. Bam will probably guard Giannis. That would leave the regular Heat starter from the Pacers series in Jae Crowder trying to guard Brook Lopez – well and truly undersized – and that may play Crowder off the court. Enter Kelly Olynyk. Olynyk got minutes only in the mid-teens vs the Pacers in round one but here are the DK points vs minutes performances. 11DK in 14mins; 17.25DK in 12mins; 12.75DK in 13mins; 24DK in 15mins. Kelly-O can shoot the three and guess what the Bucks don’t defend well? I’ll be playing a lot of Olynyk today.
Derrick Jones Jr ($3,200 DK)
I want a sneaky GPP punt look at Jones Jr here too. In previous matchups against the Bucks, Miami has thrown Jones out there to help guard Giannis Antetokounmpo. It’s only a minutes thing here, but especially considering that Bam Adebayo is logically the first guy who will be called upon to guard Giannis, and if Bam gets into foul trouble… we could find Derrick on court for extended minutes. He can score at the rim in bunches too – so he’s a dart only, but a dart worth looking at.
Giannis Antetokounmpo ($11,400 DK)
OK, so you want to pay up for either James Harden or Giannis Antetokounmpo. The Greek Freak averaged 62.6 DK points against Orlando and did play a healthy allotment of minutes most nights (34/32/31/33/28). He didn’t go under 57 DK points in that series and topped out at 66.75 DK in Game 3.
The problem here for me is I don’t want to try and get Giannis and Harden into a single line up more than a few times in multi-entry games. To do that you have to sacrifice almost everywhere else in your lineup – so I’m probably looking at one or the other (and in some lineups, neither). So, for me it comes down to match up. Harden against the Thunder who are now showing signs of faltering and if Luguentz Dort can’t stop him then he does what he wants?… or Giannis, against the stellar system at the defensive end that is the Heat?
Smart money says The Beard. I’ll take Harden in most of my lineups and then just pivot a percentage of my lineups to get Giannis in there as well.
Khris Middleton ($7,900 DK)
I’m only really interested in Middleton if Eric Bledsoe (questionable) doesn’t suit up. Sure, he was finally firing at the end of the Pacers series, but that’s the Pacers. I expect Middleton to draw the Jimmy Butler defense for this entire series, so I’ll only play him if Eric Bledsoe is out and the pure weight of usage will be there for Khris.
Brook Lopez ($5,300 DK)
I like Lopez here in a centre position that doesn’t offer much in a mid-range price tag. You could pay up for Bam Adebayo for the hope of pure DK points. However, I’m looking to pay down and grab me some Brook Lopez. As I mentioned above, I believe Brook will face either Jae Crowder or Kelly Olynyk, or a combination of both, and he should beat both of those guys. With no Myles Turner in this series to steal boards, those numbers could be up for Brook too. Value play with decent upside, especially if he can get the 3-ball rolling.
Houston Rockets vs OKC Thunder
James Harden ($11,300 DK)
I think I covered Harden enough in the Giannis section above. He’s shown that even with a fantastic defender in Luguentz Dort wearing him like a glove, he is still unstoppable. He’s also $100 cheaper than Giannis on DK tonight.
Eric Gordon ($6,100 DK)
Eric Gordon was still super aggressive in shot taking in Game 5 and even with Russell Westbrook back, he got to value. Russ will still most likely be on a minutes limit here so I’m fine with Gordon at $6100. It’s a CASH play only though for me, I wouldn’t be loading my GPP lineups with him.
Russell Westbrook himself at $9700 DK is still too high for me with those minutes being questionable. He could get there of course, but if he does, I’ll just let him beat me and pay down for other guys. If I hear he’s going to get minutes above 30+, things obviously change. Monitor the news.
PJ Tucker ($4,300 DK)
I rarely play Tucker but that’s a decent CASH price for me. He’s exceeded that value in this series 3 out of 5 times and that value is around his floor too. Keep in mind that both he and Dennis Schroder were ejected last game, and he still got to 19 DK points. If you’re into GPP though, I’d be looking at Brook Lopez at $1000 more, or paying down for Kelly Olynyk.
Chris Paul ($8,200 DK)
It’s win-or-go-home here for the Thunder. I want a lot to do with CP3 here, and it’s absolutely a narrative thing. I mentioned on our podcast today that I feel like Chris hasn’t been aggressive enough in the early stage of these games, he’s been content to hang back a little and see where the pieces around him get OKC to the half. He can’t afford to do that here and I think he comes out shooting. Paul has been getting his mid-range jumper off at will in the second half of games in this series and I think some extra aggression and the fight to stay in the series sees Paul fill it up from the jump.
Dennis Schroder ($6,400 DK)
All in on Schroder for me. SO incredibly aggressive offensively in this series, especially in the last couple. Don’t forget the ejection last game, where he got to 26 DK points still. The casual DFS player may see that drop in DK points and be warned off him without reason. I expect another big outing from Dennis in this one.
Nerlens Noel ($3,300 DK)
Another GPP value/dart/punt play. If you’re trying to get to say… a Giannis & CP3; Harden & CP3 or even a Giannis & Harden type of high/low entry, then you need value somewhere. There are a few low salary options that I like and this is probably my least favorite of the ones I’ve mentioned to be honest – but it’s still on the board. In a two-game slate, we have to be fluid and experiment a little. In 3 out 4 games against the Rockets, Nerlens has actually got to this value.
Example Line Up (DraftKings)
Here’s an example of a High/Low lineup that I like to try at times… go big or go home!
PG – James Harden ($11300)
SG – Donte DiVincenzo ($3400)
SF – Jimmy Butler ($8100)
PF – Kelly Olynyk ($3900)
C – Brook Lopez ($5300)
G – Chris Paul ($8200)
F – Derrick Jones Jr ($3200)
Util – Dennis Schroder ($6400)
– $200 salary remaining
August 26, 2020, 12:34 am
DFS Delivery: Wednesday August 26th, 2020
By Santino Caccone (twitter: @SantinoCaccone)
We’re on to the back-half of the Game 5 slates, and we have both number one seeds looking to close out their overmatched opponents, and the best series of the first round between the Thunder and Rockets. It’s going to be a fun night of basketball with a lot of starpower. As always we are using DraftKings pricing, as it is widely available in more areas around the globe.
Orlando Magic vs Milwaukee Bucks
Nikola Vucevic ($9,200 DK)
The top pure C on the docket is also a solid play here, but one you can really only afford if you are going with the avoid the stars route. It’s tough to do so, unless you’re making quite a few lineups, though the massive dropoff in C options does give this route some life. Vooch has played extremely well this series topping 60 points in two of four games. The matchup works well for him and without Isaac or Gordon, he’s getting fed extra usage in this frontcourt.
Evan Fournier ($5,400 DK)
I was on the Fournier train in the last game and he finally brought us back value in the series. With that said, it wasn’t because his shot suddenly started to fall as he again had a poor showing shooting 4-of-14 from the field. At this price tag he remains in play again in hopes that eventually his shot is going to fall.
Markelle Fultz ($5,100 DK)
Fultz had his best game in the blowout game four. That also coincided with 31 minutes and 15 shot attempts. Both were series’ highs. The matchup isn’t great as the Bucks give up threes but clampdown in the paint, but it was nice to see that Fultz may still get the run in the event that this game turns into a blowout, which is likely.
Giannis Antetokounmpo ($11,300) & Kris Middleton ($7,800)
The only guys I’d be looking at on the Bucks are the two big guys. If you are going in another direction than Harden, whether it’s because of the expected massive ownership or for positional eligibility because the guards on this slate are of better values, then Giannis is the pivot. If you don’t go Giannis and want exposure to this team, then Middleton, who has been playing better with crisp three-point shooting the past two games is at a nice price tag. In a game that could get out of hand, there’s not much else to trust on this team right now.
Oklahoma City Thunder vs Houston Rockets
Chris Paul ($8,100), Shai Gilgeous-Alexander ($7,400), and/or Dennis Schroder ($6,400)
I’m lumping all three guards in one, as they have all been balling lately and are all great options. In a pivotal game 5 with the series tied at two apiece, against a team that plays small-ball, they’ve all been playing heavy minutes. SGA has seen 94 minutes over the past two games, and as such would be my top choice with a very fair priced Schroder slightly behind. Paul has played no less than 37 minutes in any game this series, so he is by no means a distant third even with the biggest price tag of the three.
Luguentz Dort ($4,200)
With the way the slates made up, we are going to have to find value somewhere to pay up elsewhere. Insert Dort, who has played 71 minutes over the past two games and is an integral part of the team’s gameplan in attempting to slow down James Harden. There aren’t many guys, if any, near 4K who are seeing this type of run and in the game of the night, we can expect that trend to continue. Dort isn’t a play to get his ceiling, but he’s hit value over the last two games, and if you need to squeeze in this price tag to fill out a lineup you otherwise are extremely happy with, you won’t be finding this type of workload elsewhere.
James Harden ($11,800 DK)
I’ve been saying it all series, so keep it on your mind, the Thunder have held James Harden to below James Harden standards as much as one could throughout the season. Harden has averaged 54.4 DraftKings points per game over the 7 games against the Thunder this season, and 60.9 points during the series with no Russell Westbrook. With all that said, Harden is as safe as it gets, even with the tag. 60 points looks to be the floor in this one, with the upside to break the slate wide open. With this being the one competitive series’ on the docket, Harden also has the safest floor for minutes among his other high-priced peers.
Jeff Green ($5,600)
With the way this slate is set up at the C position, I find myself landing on Green pretty much every time. There is just a massive gap in pricing that there aren’t many other options to choose from, and he has the highest upside outside of the big three. The matchup suits him well with his ability to space the floor, and he’s seeing nearly 35 mpg in this series.
Danuel House Jr. ($5,500)
House has been playing great the past few games as he has shook off the toe injury that plagued him in game one. That injury is well in the background, as evidenced by the whopping nearly 40 mpg he’s played in games 2-4. The size advantage that he has over Dennis Schroder in the Thunder’s small-ball lineup, has afforded him to rack up 25 boards during that stretch. We should expect House to go over 30 DraftKings points for a fourth straight game with the type of run he is getting.
Portland Trail Blazers vs Los Angeles Lakers
CJ McCollum ($8,100)
With No Lillard around, we can expect a surge in usage to over 33 percent for McCollum. That type of usage is going to certainly make him a viable play, and it’s also going to make him highly owned. The fear is that this game could get out of hand quickly and with McCollum having a bad back, coach Stotts may opt to make it an early night for him. Outside of the scoreboard and gameflow concerns, and speaking purely from a production standpoint, McCollum is set up to succeed in this one.
Carmelo Anthony ($5,900)
Skinny Melo is another guy staring at a big bump in usage, and Melo has never been shy about letting it fly under these circumstances. In what will be the last game played for the Blazers this year Melo will be looking to go out with a bang. Let’s remember that he was out of the league for roughly a year, and was only given a shot when the Blazers got decimated with injuries. Look for Melo to be showing out to leave no doubts in the minds of league executives that he deserves another contract this winter (that’s weird to type). He doesn’t come with the same degree of concerns as McCollum as he should play even if it’s a blowout, and it’s because of that that he is one of my favorite plays of the night.
Anfernee Simons ($4,000)
I mentioned Dort as an option around 4K, and Simons fits that same bill. Without Lillard, the Blazers aren’t going to be playing beyond tonight. Also without Lillard, means there is extra run to go around for the athletic Simons. Simons was seeing minutes in the teens before last game and that jumped up to 25 with Lillard ailing in the last one. He only shot 1-of-8 from the field, but managed to grab five rebounds and dish out six assists, showing that he can produce if given the run. I’m ready to let him into the majority of my lineups at this price tag, in a good matchup, and the chance to be playing against backups for a good chunk of minutes if this game turns ugly.
LeBron James ($10,800) & Anthony Davis ($10,500)
The Lakers live and die by the two big guys, and that isn’t going to change in this one. They’re both in play, but again, without Lillard, they both have the obvious risk of a short night of work. Davis is coming off a game in which he played only 18 minutes, but he said he’s good to go. I’d lean towards LeBron, but Davis’ Center eligibility gives him the positional edge.
Dwight Howard ($3,800)
It could be a Kyle Kuzma kind of night with the expected blowout coming, but he could easily get the rest treatment with the two superstars. Howard on the other hand would still be on the court for a little bit in that circumstance. He’s not someone to actively target, but if you are stuck with under 4K with your last spot, he’s okay to look at. He has the playing time advantage against JaVale McGee in this series, and his propensity to grab rebounds and strong field goal percentage help keep him around the 5X value return. Just don’t expect much more.
August 25, 2020, 2:09 am
DFS Delivery: Tuesday August 25th, 2020
By David Menkov (twitter: @Dmenk33)
Utah Jazz vs Denver Nuggets
(Note: DraftKings pricing)
Rudy Gobert ($7,600 DK)
Given the small 2 game slate I wanted to make sure to highlight Gobert as a mid tiered Center option. He has been fairly consistent throughout his matchup vs Jokic, putting up 32 and 44 fantasy points. He is a player that will likely find his way into many lineups for his consistency alone and a guy I will look at if the price is right after loading up on the studs on this slate.
Mike Conley ($6,700 DK)
Conley is a player who was hot before leaving the bubble for the birth of his child. Since his return two games ago he has been nothing short of brilliant putting up 26 and 27 points respectively enough for 38 and 39 fantasy points. At only $6,700 given this matchup against the Nuggets I expect him to continue and play well and outperform his price tag.
Donovan Mitchell ($9,700 DK)
Another young player who is having his playoff shining moment in this first round matchup vs the Nuggets. His price is all the way up to $9,700 on DK, while that may scare some people off of playing him he will absolutely be in play for me given the high scoring nature of the series and his ability to score points in bunches. His price is nearing the limit when it comes to his output but I would include him as part of your lineups as a slightly cheaper to Luka which I will cover a bit later.
Nikola Jokic ($9,400 DK)
As the highest priced big man on the limited slate and a must win situation, he is someone you have to consider across all of your lineups both in GPP and cash formats. If you have $9,400 to spend he is a waking triple double threat every time he steps on the court in this series he is starting to heat up with performances of 47 fantasy points and 50+ in 2 out of the 3 games they have played. The only outlier was game 3s blowout.
Jerami Grant ($4,700 DK)
For those of you who haven’t heard the big news out of the Nuggets camp, the starting lineup will have a major shake up in this matchup. Torrey Craig ($3,400 DK) and Michael Porter Jr ($5,700 DK) will be replaced with Jerami Grant and Monte Morris tonight. At a price tag below $5,000 on DK I would look heavily at Grant given his ability to hit 3s get blocks and steals which should equate to at least a 3x return based on his salary which has not been increased with the promotion.
Monte Morris ($4,000 DK)
For similar reasons to what I mentioned above regarding Jerami Grant, Morris is an incredibly efficient guard who rarely turns the ball over and can rack up assists in a hurry. With a likely minutes total over 25, he should be able to easily exceed value given his bottom of the barrel price tag of $4,000 on DK.
Honorable Mention: Gary Harris ($3,900 DK)
Currently looking like a game time decision, someone who has been out since March a player that before getting hurt was regularly priced in the $5K range given his ability to score as well as rack up steals in a hurry. If he is able to suit and sniff 15-20 minutes on the floor in this pivotal elimination game look for him to be a great contrarian play and a great low budget lineup filler tonight.
Los Angeles Clippers vs Dallas Mavericks
Kawhi Leonard ($10,000 DK)
This series has been more than entertaining given some of the high profile players on both sides. One of the marquee players on the Clippers side has lived up to the hype in Kawhi all series long putting up at least 50+ Fantasy points in each game. A player that already picked up a reputation as a playoff performer, he is seemingly taking it to another level in this series with averages of 32 points 9 rebounds and 4 assists in 7 games this season against the Mavs. Look for him to be a building block of your lineups tonight as he should easily hit value.
Lou Williams ($6,400 DK)
A player that can be described as one of the greatest 6th man of his generation, the last player to make the NBA out of high School sweet Lou is coming off a very strong performance where he put up 50 fantasy points. There are few players who can score in bunches with the same tenacity and ability like him, and at a mid tier price tag of $6,400 plug and play him if you have the salary space.
Honorable Mentions: Paul George ($8,200 DK) & Montrezl Harrell ($4,100 DK)
Let’s start with Paul George, someone who prior to the start of playoffs was putting up solid performances left and right averaging over 40 fantasy points a game. Someone who I called out in previous shows as a lock in my lineups. Fast forward to today and he is a player who is shooting 25% from the field over his last 3 playoff games, and is overly due for a solid performance. I will be looking to take some shots on him given his price tag and his opportunity to make a statement in this pivotal game 5. Montrezl Harrell is a guy working his way back into shape and should see minutes in the 20s. At such a low price tag of $4,100 on DK, he is someone I will target in some of my lineups.
Luka Doncic ($11,000 DK)
Luka Doncic is coming off one of the more impressive playoff performances in recent memory where he single handedly willed the Mavericks to a much needed victory over the Clippers with a bad ankle to boot. He put up an astounding 93 fantasy points with a scorecard of 43 points 17 rebounds and 13 assists. A step back 3 pointer included, Luka is someone you need to put in all of your lineups and thank me later.
Kristaps Porzingis ($9,100 DK) GTD
A game time decision heading into this game, after being a late scratch in the previous game due to a sore right knee. His previous game he was able to erupt for 57 fantasy points, and had a game 1 performance of 50 fantasy points as well. Check back closer to tip to ensure he is good to go before putting him in your lineups.
Seth Curry ($4,600 DK)
The final piece of the Clippers backcourt who is priced fairly well in this matchup is Seth Curry Steph’s younger brother is making a name for himself in his own right. Being the second option with Porzingis out, I like him in this matchup based on his scoring potential and lower price $4,600 vs $5,800 for Tim Hardaway Jr. Save the money and lock and load him into lineups.
Maxi Kleber ($4,100 DK)
Maxi is coming off a 25 point effort in a game in which Porzingis was a late scratch. Should this repeat itself, I love him in this spot and at only $4,100 on DK he should absolutely smash his price-tag.
Example DFS Lineup (Draft Kings)
PG – Luka Doncic
SG – Seth Curry
SF – Kawhi Leonard
PF – Jerami Grant
C – Maxi Kleber
G – Mike Conley Jr.
F – Dorien Finney- Smith
U – Monte Morris
($0 left over)
August 24, 2020, 3:26 pm
The Lay Up Line: Monday August 24th, 2020
By Brenton Eckersley (twitter: @terrain72)
Milwaukee Bucks vs Orlando Magic
DFS Picks (Note: DraftKings pricing)
Giannis Antetokounmpo ($11,000 DK)
I’m honestly a little tentative playing any of the high-priced Bucks’ starters in this one, I have a feeling this could be done with early and that no one really has a chance to reach value. If I’m pushed to pick one though, I’ll always take Giannis… but proceed with caution. That’s a huge price tag to pay if the game blows out and there are better large salary guys further down the board.
Brook Lopez ($5,200 DK)
That’s a slight price drop and right around value for Brook. He’s only a salary saving GPP pivot play for me though, I’m not building lineups around him. I would just rather play him at the salary than someone like Khris Middleton here in a game that I think could easily get out of hand. That might allow us to get a couple of higher priced guys into our lineups further down. His last 4 DK returns have been 34.75, 15, 29.25 and 25.5 points. Take a look at that vs Eric Bledsoe’s last 4 returns – 16.6, 28.5, 28.5 and 37.25 but at a $700 more expensive tag than Lopez. Value, value, value. We must find value.
Nikola Vucevic ($9,100 DK)
This is simply a pivot play away from Anthony Davis in the centre spot, if that’s how your lineups happen to build out. He dropped 62 DK points and 50 DK points in Games 1 & 2 vs the Bucks and if you think this stays closer than I do, he’s a good salary saver. He’s got the ceiling we’re looking for and could be a potential lineup winner if you think that you need the cash elsewhere. If you’re playing Davis though, I wouldn’t necessarily bother with Vuc. There’s enough value in this slate to allow you to go grab two big salary guys and leave him out of it altogether.
DJ Augustin ($4,600 DK)
I won’t go near Markelle Fultz or Evan Fournier as this matchup has continued on, but I will be looking for DJ in some of my lineups. Augustin has topped 34 DK points in 3 of his last 4 and has brought us great value with 34 DK points and 37 DK points in Games 1 & 3 vs the Bucks. Even during his bad night in the Game 2 blowout he gave us 19 DK points which is only just under value for this price. At this point in time, anything under $5500 DK dollars is way too cheap and you can keep rolling him out.
James Ennis III ($4,400 DK)
Still below value at that salary, and keep in mind that the low 3.5 DK points return last game out was due to an early ejection. Casual fantasy players may not pick up on that and avoid him because of a low rolling average. If you take a quick look back before Game 3, his last 4 DK games have returned us outings of 21.75, 25, 31 and 25 DK points – which is right around 6x value. Nice.
Gary Clark ($4,100 DK)
This completely hinges on Aaron Gordon’s availability to go in this one. At the time of writing this article, Gordon hasn’t played in the playoffs against the Bucks and is listed as questionable. During the time AG (and Jon Isaac) have been out, Clark has been a great value play, returning us 26.5, 18.75 & 25.5 DK points. If Gordon suits up, put a line through Clark and I wouldn’t want much to do with AG at $6700 either.
Houston Rockets vs Oklahoma City Thunder
James Harden ($11,700 DK)
Harden is priced high and can always beat the salary, I just think if you’re paying up tonight then we have better options. Westbrook is still out though so there’s never a night where that’s the case and Harden is not in play… I just prefer spending elsewhere on this card.
Danuel House Jr ($5,000 DK)
I’m skipping Eric Gordon here at $1000 more and hoping that House continues the fantasy points production, mostly based on rebounding numbers (surprisingly). In his last two outings, he’s dragged down 9 and then 10 rebounds for the Rockets small ball lineup. His shooting is just fine as well, averaging close to .500 FG% in the last three. Luguentz Dort was all tied up with Harden in Game 3 so House should be free to take the kickout plays from James and shoot at will.
Chris Paul ($8,000 DK)
Chris Paul at $8000 in the playoffs vs Houston? Thanks, DraftKings. One of my favorite plays of the day. There are a couple of slightly cheaper plays at PG but not with CP3’s upside – he notched up 51 DK points in Game 1 and 45 DK points in Game 3. He is shooting at right around .500 FG%, hauling in boards every game and always offers assists and defensive stats as well. The Rockets/Thunder series is a tight one and I just don’t see how we can pass up Paul here.
Danilo Gallinari ($6,100 DK)
I like Danilo here, but only if Steven Adams (Questionable) sits. The offence all flows through CP3, SGA and Adams at the top of the key. If Adams can’t suit up, Gallinari should get a few more looks at the basket than he’s been getting. Decent cash play, I’ll probably leave him alone in GPPs though.
Darius Bazley ($3,900 DK)
Again, this is a “Steve Adams is out” play. The bulk of fantasy managers will look straight at Nerlens Noel here if Adams sits. In our podcast for this slate, you’ll have noticed that both Mike Apotria and I liked the Bazley play more. Don’t always look at the obvious centre-for-centre replacement, and keep in mind that you can play Bazley at the 4 or the 5 position on DraftKings. This is a great option to separate yourself from the herd in a DFS slate and gives you more versatility in approaching your lineups!
Indiana Pacers vs Miami Heat
Malcolm Brogdon ($7,500 DK)
I’m only mentioning Brogdon here as a fade for me. I’d rather take his Miami counterpart at $1000 less salary because on this slate I’m really working towards two bigger names in the last game. If you’re not targeting the two guys in the last matchup like I am, then Brogdon is completely fine to look at… I just believe that coming off a monster 68.75 DK points night, he may have high ownership and don’t forget – this is still the Miami Heat defense that we’re talking about.
Myles Turner ($6,800 DK)
The Indiana big man has finally started to perform (maybe too late for the Pacers). Turner has given us outings of 38.5 and 39 DK points in his last two and is actually averaging around 36 DK points in his last 4. He’s getting blocks at a high clip against the Heat (3,5 & 3) and is putting the ball in the bucket as well. He’s not a GPP play for me, I’d rather look at Bam Adebayo in this game if you want upside but if Cash is your game, here’s a decent pivot play at the centre spot.
Justin Holiday ($4,200 DK)
Another Cash guy for me but definitely in play in that format. The Pacers have had to roll him out to try to stop Jimmy Butler (he’s not) and with the minutes comes the Cash play production. He’s never going to light the world on fire in terms of scoring but his FG% has been pretty good lately and he gets defensive stats for us as well. With his minutes in the last three coming in at 32, 29 and 32 – he should get to value every night at this price tag.
Jimmy Butler ($8,100 DK)
Right alongside Chris Paul as one of my fave plays on this card. $8100 for the beast that is Jimmy Buckets is low, just too low – especially when the Pacers just don’t have a defensive matchup for him. Last three outings against Indiana in this series: 48.75 DK points, 38.25 DK points, 48.5 DK points. Need me to go on? Sure… 50.75 DK points on the Pacers on August 10th. Lock and load.
Goran Dragic ($6,500 DK)
Kendrick Nunn continues to be a DNPCD in this series and that has simply unlocked Goran Dragic. The salary is creeping up slowly but he’s still in smash areas here for one more game at least against the Pacers. In Game 1 he gave us 42 DK points, in game 3 he gave us the same. He’s dragging boards down against the small Pacers lineup (which in earlier Layup Lines and podcasts I flagged has been happening on the regular), adding 5-6 assists every night and you can throw a few steals in as well. Goran is undoubtedly going to be high owned on this slate but with good reason and I don’t think you can fade that kind of production at that salary.
Los Angeles Lakers vs Portland Trail Blazers
LeBron James ($10,800 DK)
Here’s the match up where I’m spending up. LeBron is in beast mode and the best the Blazers can do is throw Gary Trent Jr at him defensively. Sure, he had a misfire in Game 2 of this series but on either side of that…. 73.25 DK points and then 68.5 DK points to bookend it. There’s not much else to say…
Anthony Davis ($10,500 DK)
I’m favoring LeBron over AD here, but if your line ups need you to pay up at the PF/C positions, go for it. Hasn’t gone under 52 DK points against the Blazers “defense” (even in only 29 minutes court time in the Game two blowout, wow) and AD will just continue to roll on through.
Alex Caruso ($3,700 DK)
I usually stay away from anyone outside of the above two guys on the Lakers squad, but give me a little spray of AC Fresh here. As Mike and I touched upon in our podcast, trying to work out who is going to hit their shots between Danny Green and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope will drive even the best fantasy managers to despair, so don’t even try. However, if the Lakers are going to roll Alex Caruso out for 27-29 mins a night like they have in 2 of the last 3 in this series, I’ll take a look. Not a huge look, but he will be low owned and is a pivot play away from some of the guys in this slate who will garner a lot of attention (Gary Clark, James Ennis, etc). This is a GPP dart in its truest form.
Damian Lillard ($10,900 DK)
I’m all in on Dame here and it’s all about narrative. The Blazers have basically been playing playoffs basketball since they entered the bubble and it’s starting to show. Their big man Jusuf Nurkic looks tired, with that time out of the game plus this schedule now taking its toll. CJ McCollum is hit and miss, Carmelo Anthony is… Carmelo Anthony – and it’s all on Dame’s shoulders. If you want any guy to stop the series slipping away, it’s this man. $10,900 is a high salary to pay, but I’m paying it. Given the value that’s on the board I’m going hard on Dame, pivoting between Lebron/AD and I can still get one of Jimmy and Goran into a high/low type of lineup. It’s Dame Time.
Hassan Whiteside ($4,800 DK)
Right at value here but has some serious upside. As I mentioned, Nurkic looks like he’s faltering and Hassan is a PPM monster. Absolutely no problems with Whiteside in this one, he could go big.
Example DFS Lineup (Draft Kings)
PG – LeBron James
SG – Alex Caruso
SF – James Ennis III
PF – Danuel House Jr
C – Darius Bazley
G – Damian Lillard
F – Gary Clark
U – Goran Dragic
($700 left over)
August 21, 2020, 1:02 am
Breakdown by Aaron Asmus (@asmussports on Twitter)
We have a good general understanding of how these series are going to play out with two games in the books for these teams. Some adjustments do need to be made and as always, remain price sensitive and don’t over aggressively be chasing guys who smashed and received a big price bump with it. This has been my favorite of the two different slates so far as we aren’t always forced into the stars and scrubs build and value has been more stable from these teams.
One quick note: when I list Cash and Tournament plays from each game, the order I list them in is the preference that I prefer as a play. So if Luka is listed before Kawhi in the cash section, he would be my preferred play in that format. On to the article!
Fred VanVleet ($7,600) I’ve been on Kyle Lowry and Pascal Siakam for the first two games, but it might be time to start making the adjustment and noticing that the offense has largely run through VanVleet through the first 2 games. He’s the one guy of the three they are seemingly ok extending (43 minutes in this past close game) while Lowry and Siakam were at 37 and 36 minutes respectively. For the playoffs, he’s averaging a 22% USG, 44% AST on 68% TS. The AST rate is particularly note-worthy as Lowry (17% AST) and Siakam (13% AST) are both seeing a decrease in playmaking opportunities. Even in this past game where his shooting regressed to 8-22 and 3-11 from 3, he was still able to get to 49.25 DKP in his 43 minutes. The minutes seem more secure than the other two Toronto studs (just barely), he’s taking a larger offensive workload and the Nets haven’t had an answer for him yet in this series. I think all these Toronto guys are just waiting to have monster games and if we can get the bad Nets to show up along with a close game, these prices are all just too cheap. Fully in favor of FVV in your cash core and want to be heavily overweight in tournaments.
Caris LeVert ($8,100) As I said before I’ve chosen Lowry over FVV and LeVert the past two games, but I think it’s necessary to make an adjustment. LeVert has increased his offensive control in the playoffs to near LeBron/Harden levels with a 28% USG, 52.7% AST and a 9.1% TRB rate. What’s held his price has been his abysmal shooting with a 5-14 and 5-22 performance. The Toronto defense is incredibly tough and they’re actively scheming LeVert into being a playmaker, but the shooting is going to regress to somewhat normal levels at some point. LeVert has also done a nice job getting to the line with 15 free throw attempts combined in these two games. There’s always going to be blow-out risk, especially with Joe Harris leaving the bubble, but that also just cedes more opportunity for LeVert. He’ll be a building block in cash games and should be a core play in tournaments.
Norm Powell ($4,300)/OG Anunoby ($4,600) Grouping these guys together as they are going to be two of the stronger projected value plays on the slate as good chalk. They’ll both get minutes into the 30’s if it’s a close game and are a cheap way to get good exposure to this game environment. OG will be more popular making Powell an easy tourney pivot. It’s likely I’ll have at least one in cash games and perfectly fine with two if you’re not taking a heavy stance on the expensive Raptors.
Nikola Jokic ($9,300) Eventually, a monster Jokic game is going to connect and win the slate at this price tag. He only played 32 minutes in the past game, but the expectation should be in the upper 30’s in a competitive game. The AST rate has been low for him through 2 games (21.4%), but I expect this to regress to the norm (35.2% during regular season) with how much he’s controlling the ball (33% USG, 16.9% TRB, 21.4% AST, 59.7% TS) through two games. He also got a $400 discount from his previous game, making him an excellent buy-low candidate. He’s one of my favorite expensive spends on the slate.
Royce O’Neale ($4,100) Everyone who kept with O’Neale were rewarded with a ceiling game, scoring 37.25 DKP in 35 minutes of play. We can’t expect the 8 assists again, but he showed that his ability to contribute in every category can get him to a ceiling performance if everything runs correctly. The 35 minutes is still pretty low as a minutes floor for him as he was subbed out with 4:09 left in the game due to the blow out. He’s an excellent value play once again in all formats despite the price hike with so few cheap plays we can project into the upper 30’s in minutes in a competitive game environment.
With Conley probable for this game, I’m not interested in the primary Utah creators as they’re all priced up and we aren’t sure if he’s going to get right back into a normal playoff minute right away. Regardless, he’s going to take from Mitchell, Clarkson and Ingles USG and playmaking opportunities making them primarily tournament plays.
Tournaments: Murray–Jokic–Mitchell–Porter Jr.
Kemba Walker ($6,600) Another excellent pricing play as Kemba works his way back into big minutes and increased USG opportunities without Hayward on the floor. None of the Boston studs played more than 30 minutes, but it was encouraging to see Kemba with a 32% USG rate in his 25 minutes. Assuming this game remains competitive, I’m comfortable projecting mid 30’s in minutes for Kemba which is too cheap for a starting PG with his offensive ability and added USG from their main rotation.
Joel Embiid ($9,800) I played Embiid in cash the last game, but I don’t think I want to go back to the well. The offense ran through him but without Simmons on the floor, the team just doesn’t have any playmaking creativity, which makes Embiid easier to stop. He played 34 minutes in the blowout and you can probably add 3-4 minutes to that projection in a competitive environment. My initial lean is Jokic over Embiid in cash.
Jayson Tatum ($9,200) He’s incredibly expensive but I’m not sure it’s enough for how much he’s controlling the ball on offense. He’s not in cash consideration for me, but his upside is as good as anyone on this slate if he can get to his stocks upside. He operated at a 31% USG and a 30.6% AST rate in the last game without Hayward. Look to Tatum in tournaments as a lower-owned expensive play.
Luka Doncic ($10,800) Luka faders got pretty lucky in the last game that he was in foul trouble and the game was a semi-blowout at the end. He was at 8 pts 4 rebounds and 4 assists within the first 4 minutes of the game. His floor ceiling combo is just absurd right now (39.9% USG, 46.1% AST, 12% TRB on 70% TS) in the first two games of this series. He’s also managed to take 27 FTA, leading to easy points. The shooting efficiency will regress, especially with the level of defenders on the Clippers, but that will be off-set in a competitive game where Luka will be on the floor for 40 minutes. There’s enough value where it shouldn’t be too difficult to fit him into your cash games.
Maxi Kleber ($3,900) Kleber still managed to get to 33 minutes with Porzingis getting full run, which is a great sign that he’s going to keep playing a big minutes role in this series. The FPPM and rates aren’t pretty but if we’re trying to play Luka and Jokic and LeVert, plays like Kleber are necessary and he’s one of the few we can feel reasonable with a 30+ minutes role.
Seth Curry ($3,900) Curry’s minutes are a little more volatile than Kleber as I think he gets a reduced role if Trey Burke comes in hot and shooting well like he did last game. Still, in a competitive game I think he’s got a good chance to close because of his shooting and a path to low 30’s in minutes. Depending on your construction, he’s perfectly fine to play with Kleber or instead of him to fit in Luka.
Paul George ($8,300) George is in an excellent buy-low scenario for tournaments where everyone just watched him play horribly on prime-time in the last game. He’s $300 cheaper, he’s going to get 37+ minutes in a competitive game and I think you probably get single digit ownership in tournaments.
That’s it! I think the first game is going to be important to get right, sorting through the VanVleet, Lowry, Siakam and LeVert tier and finding which of those plays are the most important. My initial lean is to start cash games with Luka, but playing 3 or 4 of the studs in the Nets-Raptors game and Jokic is perfectly viable as well. Please hit me up @AsmusSports on twitter if you have any questions about this slate. Thank you for reading and good luck!
August 20, 2020, 12:25 pm
Breakdown by Aaron Asmus (@asmussports on Twitter)
As we head into game 2 of the series for these 8 teams, I think it’s important to not completely overreact to game 1 performances and chase players who had big games with likely price hikes. This is how we gain an edge on the field – by continuing making logical decisions and staying price sensitive with how we build our lineups. Especially in GPP’s, look to take advantage of guys who will have inflated ownership due to a great game 1.
Jimmy Butler ($7,900) This is one of the tougher game environments in the first round due to these teams being very good defensively, slower paced but we can take advantage of plays because their rotation is so condensed. Butler dominated USG in the first game with a 31.2% USG, 6 blocks and steals combined,17.5% AST rate and shot 12 free throws in 37 minutes. While we can’t rely on the 6 stocks every game, I think we’re going to continue to see Butler at this level of USG as he dominated USG in the 4th quarter. He didn’t receive a big price hike which keeps him firmly in consideration for more balanced lineups in cash games.
Bam Adebayo ($7,500) Myles Turner has always struggled with bigger centers and Bam was able to take advantage in game 1. Probably the most encouraging aspect of his performance is he got to 35 minutes for the first time in the bubble. That’s excellent news as he possibly could continue to increase that minutes cap as the series goes on. His price only increased $100 which is exactly what we’re looking for with our building block pieces. Lack of opportunity cost makes Bam an excellent play in both cash and tournaments.
Goran Dragic ($5,900) Dragic is an excellent example of a guy we shouldn’t automatically include into our lineups. He received a massive $1,500 price hike making him appropriately priced for his role. He’s not out of consideration as a play, but is more of a tournament play for balanced rosters at this tag.
Malcolm Brodgon ($6,900) Brogdon is another guy who did not receive a price hike and remains with excellent game context. With Oladipo missing most of the past game, the offense ran through Brogdon in his 39 minutes on the floor. For the season in 210.5 minutes, Brogdon is a 30.2% USG and 1.33 FPPM rate player. The Pacers just don’t have many guys who can initiate offense, so getting a starting PG for $6900 that’s going to never leave the floor is excellent value. Lock in those minutes and USG.
Cash: Butler– Adebayo–Brogdon–Aaron Holiday (if no VIctor Oladipo)–Justin Holiday
Tournaments: Butler–Adebayo–Dragic–Iguodola–Brogdon–Aaron Holiday (if no Oladipo)
Steven Adams ($5,600) Adams for some reason dropped significantly in price, coming off a 17-12 double double in 27 minutes while being subbed out at the 7:40 mark of the 4th quarter because of the blow-out. If we can expect this game to remain close (currently a -2 spread for Houston) Adams can likely get up to 32 minutes. There’s certainly risk for him being played off the floor by the Houston small-ball, but he can make such an impact on the offensive glass especially that I’m not overly worried about it. Wouldn’t matter much anyone as $5600 is just too cheap for Adams in this match-up. He’ll be a staple cash play, but I do think a fade in tournaments is certainly viable at his likely high ownership.
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander ($6,300) I can’t seem to quit this guy as I truly believe in his talent as a future star in the league. He got a $600 price decrease, but I don’t think his context has completely shifted. There’s some worry that CP3 continues to dominate the ball and have everything run through him, but the game environment is so good for one of the only initiators on the team that will be on the floor 40+ minutes in a competitive game. I doubt we see him only take 8 shots moving forward as well. I prefer Brog in cash to Shai slightly, but he’s certainly a viable option and would be heavily overweight in tournaments.
James Harden ($11,700) Play James Harden in cash.
Robert Covington ($6,000) Another guy I’m not really sure what to do with as Covington’s minutes and ceiling upside is well-documented. He got a $500 decrease, but the upside is obvious in a more competitive game; he’s going to be out there 38+ minutes. I’m a little worried about his lack of shot attempts, but he’s hard to pass on at this price when we’re used to paying in the high $6k range for him. Not a must in cash games, but certainly fine with him if your build lands here and he’s another guy I’d be heavily overweight in tournaments.
Cash: Adams–Gilgeous-Alexander–Cp3–Harden–Jeff Green–Covington
This is the game to be extremely careful of the Magic value plays that all smashed in game 1 with a low percentage result of the game. Aaron Gordon is currently questionable and if he is back, he’s going to severely cut into Ennis, Clark, Ross projections. They all got price bumps as well making them even less of a priority. Essentially, don’t rely on this game for value like most did for game 1.
Eric Bledsoe ($5,300) Minutes were pretty weird for the Bucks in game 1 as Budenholzer refused to extend any of his core guys, despite trailing the entire game. Perhaps he was willing to concede the game to make sure his guys stay fresh for the next series? Regardless, I’m expecting a full bounce-back from the Bucks in this game and a more consistent minutes floor for the key cogs. The Bucks never extend Bledsoe, but $5,300 is just too cheap when we expect him to get 30+ minutes. He fits especially well in builds that are building around 2 expensive studs.
Brook Lopez ($5,000) I’m strongly considering a 2 center cash build with Lopez and Adams for this slate. Lopez, as expected, got 30 minutes in order to match up with the big body Vucevic. I expect more of the same in this game and think Lopez has one of the safer minutes floors because his defense is needed on that match-up. The 0.5 FPPM he produced in game 1 is a pretty big outlier as he’s been a 0.97 FPPM, 18.7% USG player this season in 1822 minutes played. Historically, he’s been a great FPPM producer as well, he’s not a guy who gets extended all that often. I’d rank Adams ahead of Lopez in cash slightly, but wouldn’t fault you for playing BroLo if needing the savings.
Markelle Fultz: ($4,500) Fultz got fairly unlucky in that first game with so many of the other role players going off and crushing value and still put up a decent line of 15 points, 6 assists, 2 rebounds, 1 block on 6/11 shooting in 29 minutes of play. It’s likely he starts again and I think his minutes ceiling is much closer to 33-34 minutes with the other Orlando guys falling back down to earth a bit. It’s about the worst possible spot you can ask for as a guard who thrives around the rim, but he’s still one of the better value plays available on the slate and needed to unlock the studs we want to play. He’s the only Magic player I have interest in for cash games.
Tournaments: Vucevic (game stacks)–Fournier (cheap, too volatile)–Fultz–Giannis–Lopez–Bledsoe
LeBron James ($10,900) I’d like to be able to use the same write-up about LeBron as I did James Harden, but we unfortunately live in a world with a salary cap. I think Harden-balanced or Harden-LeBron teams are both extremely viable cash builds for this slate. Playoff LeBron was fully engaged in the last game with a (79.7% AST, 26.5% USG, 18.9% TRB in 41 minutes). I think it’s likely LeBron looks for his offense more in this one as he was actively looking to distribute even with the likes of Gary Trent defending him. I haven’t quite decided if the two stud build route is correct but if we get more value opening up (Jae Crowder out, Aaron Gordon out), then this build becomes much better.
Anthony Davis ($10,500) Davis makes a tremendous tournament pivot off the LeBron, Harden and Giannis tier of studs. He was simply ok in the first game and being priced so closely to the above tier, is going to be largely ignored. His upside is right there with him and it’s unlikely he shoots 8 for 24 again against this defense. 10-15% Davis in MME or 1 of your lineups in 3-max would be ideal exposure to him at his lowered ownership.
Damian Lillard ($11,000) Same as Davis. Going to be significantly lower owned than the chalky stud tier and has shown his ability to reach a ceiling as good as anybody. One tournament build I really like is starting with Dame and Davis and then not worrying about the rest of your lineup ownership nearly as much letting you play the good value plays.
That’s it! Another fun slate of playoff basketball with some real opportunities to be different and not completely overreact like some of the field is going to do. Please reach out to me @AsmusSports if you have any questions about the slate or want to see something new in the article. Best of luck!
August 19, 2020, 1:45 pm
By Santino Caccone (twitter: @SantinoCaccone)
We’re on to day three and Game 2’s of the first-round of the NBA Playoffs. I can’t wait to see what the Bubble has in store for us today. As always, pay attention to beat writers and the news to give yourself any edge that you can find as we creep closer to tip-off. And happy hunting!
Brooklyn Nets vs Toronto Raptors
Caris LeVert $8,200 – The matchup is not the easiest as the Raptors are just a sound basketball team in every aspect of the game. But LeVert is the most trusted guy on this Nets team and the usage will be there whether the shots are falling or not. I expect more than 14 shot attempts in this one, but LeVert has put up at least seven assists and five rebounds in the past four games, with double-digit assists in two, showing that he’s getting it done in multiple ways as well. While the ceiling may be hard against this Raptors squad, LeVert has a relatively safe floor with the usage he is getting as the guy on this Nets team.
Jarrett Allen $7,100 – The Raptors had the second-best defensive rating during the regular season, so we know that this is a tough matchup. They held opponents to a league-low 33.7 percent from three-point land. Good thing Allen is not a stretch five, because the Raptors also were bottom-five in opponents offensive rebounds and bottom-eight in opponents blocks per game. Now that is what Allen does. There is room here for Allen to do what he does best and exploit the seemingly only weaknesses to this Raptors team. They have a ton of capable bodies to throw Allen’s way, so it won’t be a cakewalk, but he is set up to return value if the game can stay competitive.
Kyle Lowry $8,000 – Both Lowry and Fred VanVleet $7,600 are in play here with plus matchups. Game 1 saw the edge go to FVV as he put up a 30-point 11-assist double-double on 8-of-10 from distance. On the other end, Lowry managed 37.25 DraftKings points on 3-of-14 from the field. I would lean with Lowry in this one as the talented guards swap the hot hand.
Serge Ibaka $5,700 – Ibaka had himself a big Game 1 in only 26 minutes of action. With the game getting out of hand and Marc Gasol and Chris Boucher backing him up, it is easy to limit his minutes. Ibaka has found his groove over his last two games as he was previously dealing with an injury. Not to mention the matchup suits him well as Jarrett Allen is a top-notch shot blocker, but not a defender, and especially not a jump shot defender, something Ibaka is adept at doing. Ideally we’d rather have the price tag closer to $5,200, but there is still room to bring back solid value here.
Utah Jazz vs Denver Nuggets
Joe Ingles $5,600 – No Conley means Ingles is ensured more playmaking and ball handling duties. Pair that with the back-to-back 37-point DraftKings games he has against the Nuggets, and there is a lot to like with Ingles in this matchup. He’s not the flashiest of players, but he’s a do-it-all player who averages over five assists a game and shoots 40 percent from distance.
Jordan Clarkson $4,700 – Clarkson played 39 minutes in the OT Game 1 and finished with 18 points on 17 shots. That is a lot of usage for a guy under 5K. With Conley still out, we can go back to the well with this one as Clarkson should once again be second in shot attempts. If he can pitch in a little of the extras, we’ll be sitting on a nice return.
Royce O’Neal $3,700 – There are very few, if any, players on this slate that we know without an injury or ejection will be seeing over 30 minutes and cost less than 4K. Well, O’Neale will be doing just that, and because such, makes himself stand out amongst the others in his price range. He scored 29 DK points against the Nuggets during seeding play eleven days ago, so there is room to bring back some solid value here as well.
Jamal Murray $7,200 & Michael Porter Jr. $7,000 – Both of these guys are very much in play here with these price tags. I am leaning towards Murray with the way he looked in that second half and the matchup he has without Conley there, but Porter’s shot looked smooth and fluid even though it wasn’t falling. If the release point stays clean, the shots will fall, and he will be looking to insert himself more in Game 2. With both having plus matchups, big-time scoring ability, and the usage to tie it all together, it’ll be a lineup construction decision on which one I ultimately go with more in my lineups. Do you prefer the alternatives at Guard or Forward more on this slate?
Jerami Grant – $4,600 – He seems to have the minutes edge and matchup advantage in this one, and if that is the case, he is in play at this price tag. With the Nuggets wanting to keep Millsap fresh for a deep playoff run, this seems like the right play. Grant has averaged over 30 DraftKings points and 43 minutes in their past two meetings, and with that kind of run, he is sure to have a safe floor. Add in that he has a combined two rebounds in those two games, and there’s room to grow here.
Philadelphia 76ers vs Boston Celtics
Joel Embiid $9,900 – Embiid under 10K, in a matchup that he could dominate is going to see him garner a lot of ownership. If you read closely, I wrote could, not should. If you look at his 26 point and 16 rebound performance you might think he played well, but for far too many possessions Embiid did not enforce his will and command the basketball the way that a player of his caliber should. He finished with a mere 15 attempts from the field in 37 minutes. This is a smash matchup for him, and if the Sixers are going to win games in this series without Ben Simmons, they need Joel Embiid to be the alpha and omega of this team. After he goes back and watches the film of that first game, Embiid’s going to realize this and come out on a mission.
Alec Burks $4,600 – Burks has not only inserted himself as the go-to bench option during the bubble, but he’s playing like the go-to backcourt option in general. In the past five games, Burks has averaged more than 14 shots per game and a fraction under 20 points. Aside from threes, he also chipped in with some rebounds, assists and a few steals here and there, which gives him some fallback help to return value at this affordable price tag.
Matisse Thybulle $3,400 – Thybulle is only a rookie, and he is already proving to be one of the better defenders in this league. He is going to be a name stay on the All Defense team for years to come, but right now they need his versatility to guard the plethora of wings that the Celtics have. Thybulle is also a solid spot-up shooter who should have some open looks as the Celtics collapse on Joel Embiid.
Jayson Tatum $9,000 – Tatum had a big Game 1 against the Celtics with 57.75 DraftKings points headlined by 32 points and 13 rebounds. And he should see a small bump in usage in this one with Gordon Hayward out for the next month. The Celtics are Tatum’s team and he is ready to continue showing the world why.
Kemba Walker $6,800 – It’’s been a while since Walker was a serious DFS play, but it’s also been a while since Walker played 35 minutes in an NBA game. This was certainly the most minutes he’s payed in the bubble, and on top of the usage bump and playmaking bump he’ll see with the aforementioned Hayward out of the lineup, Kemba looked spry in Game 1. He had fluid movements and showed a burst that has been missing as he dealt with the knee injury. If Kemba is ready to ball-out with no restrictions, this may be one of the last times we see his price tag under 7K.
Dallas Mavericks vs Los Angeles Clippers
Kristaps Porzingis $8,900 – He’s priced closely to Luka Doncic $11,000, so there is the chance that many avoid him and simply pay up for his ascending superstar teammate. Doncic is certainly in play after dropping 42 points in his playoff debut, but if you want to save some cash, the Unicorn is not a bad lower-owned pivot. He is also in a good matchup, and after playing in only 20 minutes last game after getting ejected, he should be closer to probable than questionable. He made only 3 shots in his 20 minutes but was still able to put up 25 DraftKings points.
Seth Curry $3,600 – With so much attention going towards Doncic and Porzingis, there will be shots to go around for some other players. Insert Curry, who is a knockdown shooter, and should get some open looks in the flow of this game. With the big discount he is getting in this series, he is a solid play to still get exposure on this team without going with the big guys.
Kawhi Leonard $10,000 – Playoff Kawhi is here, and he is a different beast than even the superstar that we get through a load managed regular season. He has been playing heavy minutes inside the bubble and the playoffs are only going to increase that ever-so-slightly. The price tag is going to scare people off, and rightfully so, as he is the second highest price on the slate. With that said, he looks locked-in, and if you are a person who loads up on lineups, he should see some of them.
Lou Williams $5,300 – After joining the bubble late, because of chicken wing gate, Doc Rivers used the seeding games to get Sweet Lou’s feet wet and legs under him. Seeing Williams play 31 minutes in the playoff opener is music to our ears. He notched 27 DraftKings points on only 10 shots, and a 5X value looks to be the floor in this one with Patrick Beverley and Montrezl Harrell likely not ready for a full complement of minutes.
Ivica Zubac $4,500 – Zubac put up a double-double in the first game in only 22 minutes. In fact, he’s averaging 12.8 points and 10.3 rebounds in 20.5 minutes in four meetings against the Mavs. He’s not likely to see minutes in the thirties, as Rivers hasn’t been shown a willingness to do so. But his role is safe and made more so by the fact the Harrell played his first game of the bubble, and even in his limited time he is bringing back value. Any extra minutes is a bonus.
August 18, 2020, 1:42 pm
By Steven Williams (Twitter: @ZeroStarkThirty)
The NBA Playoffs are here! I hope everyone played Donovan Mitchell last night…
Milwaukee Bucks vs Orlando Magic
Price at $10,500 – This price seems way too low. Orlando plays at the league’s slowest pace but Giannis has lit up the Magic for an average of 61 DK points in their matchups this year. Be wary of the high ownership, but I see no reason Giannis can’t return value at that low salary, even if it’s a blowout.
Price at $5,400 – Bledsoe will be the main beneficiary of poor D.J. Augustin and Markelle Fultz defense. His price has not quite caught up to his regular season production. This slate is poor in safe plays that are under $5,500.
The Magic do not have any high-priced players I like. Nikola Vucevic will be given plenty of usage, but this is not a great matchup for him. The Magic have a few inexpensive players that are worth consideration and can help fill out lineups with some high-priced players on this playoff slate.
Price at $4,200 – Fultz will be starting against the Bucks. He will have a tough defender on him in Bledsoe, but I expect him to handle the ball quite a bit. Fultz has not seen too much of an increase in usage without Aaron Gordon and Jonathan Isaac in the lineup, but his price is so low he is tough to ignore.
Price at $3,400 – Ennis is certainly not going to be the sexy pick for the slate. He has quietly been scoring over 20 DK points per game for the last six games. Ennis will get minutes, and that’s all he needs to hit value at $3,400.
Miami Heat vs Indiana Pacers
Price at $4,400 – Dragic has looked great since coming back to the team healthy for the Bubble part of the season. His lowest output has been 29 DK points.
Price at $7,600 – I LOVE Butler at $7,600. Butler eats up the Pacers; he averages 1.4 DK points per minute against this team. His history against the Pacers combined with his motivation to combat his nemesis, T.J. Warren, make for an excellent matchup.
Price at $6,800 –Brogdon is in the best spot of any Pacer. He is the only player that has played particularly well in this match-up. Brogdon averages 1.2 FPPM against this Heat team.
Houston Rockets vs Oklahoma City Thunder
I will not be going nuts with Harden. Without Westbrook, Harden has a usage rate of 43.6%. That is difficult to ignore. That said, I think OKC might double-team him relentlessly. They would be wise to get the ball out of his hands and make the rest of the Westbrook-less Rockets beat them.
Price at $6,500 – I expect Covington to get over 40 minutes tomorrow. Covington accumulates DFS points across all categories and hits value when he plays minutes. I expect D’Antoni to run a short playoff rotation.
Price at $5,500 – Eric Gordon sees this largest bump in usage out of anyone on the team when Westbrook doesn’t play. The Rockets are going to need him to be a secondary creator. Gordon is risky, but capable of having big games.
Price at $6,100 – Gallo is my favorite play in this game. The entire Rockets team in 6’6″ and under. Gallo should be able to shoot over whoever he matches up with. He averages 40 DK points per game versus the Rockets this season.
Los Angeles Lakers vs Portland Trail Blazers
The Blazers have no one that can guard Davis & LeBron. Either one of these guys can have a monster game. LeBron knows he needs to get his teammates going to have a long playoff run. I expect him get his own but, look to set up teammates. Of the two, I prefer Davis.
Price at $10,400 – Davis averages 1.6 FPPM against the Blazers this year. He has a history of destroying the Blazers that goes back to his Pelicans days.
Price at $3,700 – The Blazers should be playing big tomorrow; this should bode well for Howard’s minutes. Howard is a great PPM producer and returns value any time he gets the minutes.
Price at $11,400 – What a price tag… Lillard crushes the Lakers. He averages over 60 DK points per matchup with the Lakers this season. He is on a tear. I will have Lillard in some of my lineups, but I prefer some of the other 10k+ plays on the day.
Price at $4,400 – Without Collins I expect that we will finally see some lineups with both Whiteside and Nurkic. If Whiteside can get 20-plus minutes he can smash that $4,400 price tag.
February 14, 2020, 3:39 pm
Just a quick hitter today, with no real games on tap and a fun showcase of the league’s best young players that should produce plenty of points. I’ll be giving a basic lay of the land for both teams.
If you’re brave enough to be playing DFS for the Rising Stars game, this one’s for you.
On the World side I’ll be looking to target the frontcourt and those who will be filling in for the injured Deandre Ayton: Moritz Wagner and Rui Hachimura. Not necessarily Nicolo Melli, who is the one that’s literally filling in for Ayton on the roster. My top guard for this one is Shai Gilgeous-Alexander.
I am going to want one of Trae Young or Luka Doncic and I prefer Young when it’s all said and done. In last year’s Rising Stars game we Doncic take a backseat and have fun doing it. He’s not the type of guy who is going to look to be super aggressive on offense, while I think Young is.
I’ll also look to get some shares of Zion. The Pelicans did play last night and Zion plays 31 minutes in that game, but we aren’t expecting any starter to get 30-plus minutes and on a point per minute basis Zion is one of the best on the slate.
With those two I like getting to some Miles Bridges. These tend to be showcase games and I like to target the high-fliers who put on a show. They’re will be plenty of alley-oops thrown and I want the two guys on the receiving end of them on the American team.
I think the secondary options on Team USA are slightly better than what is available from the World team. We’ve seen JJJ, Ja Morant and Collin Sexton be aggressive on the offensive end, while guys like Brandon Clarke, Josh Okogie, Svi Mykhailuk and RJ Barrett have been playing passively for the most part.
April 19, 2019, 2:00 pm
Good afternoon, it is Friday April 19 and we have three playoff games to look at for tonight’s DFS slate. As you know here at Hoop Ball we are partnered with DraftKings so we will be using their pricing as a base.
I am switching things up a little for today’s article and instead of just listing my favorite value on the card I will be going game by game, listing the players who I will have in my player pool tonight. I generally run out multiple lineups and making sure they correlate is extremely important. For example: If I am looking to play a stud from both the Thunder and Raptors you could easily correlate it by playing Russell Westbrook with Kawhi Leonard or Paul George with Pascal Siakam. Both options would allow you to spend up at small forward, while still having exposure to at least one of the highest projected scorers on for each team.
This is just one example on a way to correlate, but there and hundreds of ways. An example of negative correlation would be playing a power forward and center from the same team. Yes, they could both hit value, but in a GPP we are looking for the best possible outcome to win a tournament and they those two positions tend to eat into each other’s rebounding upside. I will get to a specific example of this negative correlation in this article.
Now let’s jump right into some playoff action!
Raptors @ Magic – 211 ½ Game total – Raptors +4.5
Kawhi Leonard – $8,200 – Leonard put the Raptors on his shoulders during Game 2 and will look to continue doing so throughout this series. Small forward is generally a spend up vs. spend down position. Leonard is at a fair price and I am expecting this game to stay a little closer than the last with the game being in Orlando.
Pascal Siakam – $7,300 –Siakam has taken on a scorer’s role during the playoffs. Over the first two games of the series Siakam has shot 40 times and has averaged 39.5 minutes per game during that stretch. I am expecting decent ownership, but he feels like a great cash option with some GPP upside.
Kyle Lowry $6,800 – Lowry said coming into playoffs that he is expecting to be more of a facilitator. Well, he dropped 43.5 DK points while only dishing seven assists. He is still sporting a usage rate of 20.3 percent and while I am not expecting another 43 DK points I do think 35 is on the table. We have a lot of great point guard options on tonight’s slate and lineup correlation is important with the Raptors’ starters.
Nikola Vucevic – $7,800 – This is just a stupid low price for Vucecic. He maintained a salary over $9,000 for the majority of the season should be hovering around $8,500 right now. Obviously the matchup is difficult, but the Magic are at home and need Vucevic to perform in order to stay in the game. He has a 26.6 usage rate and it is bar far the highest of the centers on the slate.
Aaron Gordon – $6,200 – I never feel too comfortable about playing Gordon, but he is underpriced and makes for a solid pivot off of Vucevic if you are still trying to have some exposure to the Magic. Power forward is not that deep today and Gordon offers cash and tournament upside. I would not play Vucevic and Gordon in the same lineup unless I was stacking this game up.
Celtics @ Pacers – 203.5 Game total – Pacers -3
Kyrie Irving – $8,900 – Irving is simply the driving force of this team. He has been looking to get his teammates more involved on offense, while still scoring at a monstrous clip. We have plenty of good options at point guard and we have seen how low scoring these games could be, but he is clearly the best option on Boston.
Marcus Morris – $4,700 – Morris was the chalk two days ago and everyone who started him suffered. I do not expect him to light the world on fire, but we need value and I am hoping Morris left a bad taste in everyone’s mouth and we see a slightly depressed ownership.
Myles Turner – $5,700 – Let me start by saying I do not feel comfortable with any of the Pacers on tonight’s slate, but someone has to get there right? Turner has been getting the Horford treatment throughout the series and while I do not expect that to end I know there is still upside for tournaments in there. His price tag has dropped low enough to the point where we could temper expectations, but still hold out hope for a big rebounding and blocks game. Thad Young and Domantas Sabonis could be in play as well if you find you want to get some exposure on the Pacers side, but did not want to occupy your center position.
Wesley Matthews – $3,900 – Matthews may have cost the Pacers a shot at winning Game 2, but he is a veteran and is under $4,000. There is not much of a ceiling, but if you are starving for value there are worse spots you could go.
Blazers @ Thunder – 222 Game total – Thunder -7.5
Damian Lillard – $9,100 – Lillard time has already begun and I do not see the reason to jump off now. Having C.J. McCollum back has freed up some space for Lillard, but I just love this matchup. He is only $200 more than Irving, but the expected pace and game total of this game is much higher. Lillard and Russell Westbrook have a feud brewing and these two guards get up to play against one another.
C.J. McCollum – $6,900 – Honestly, I feel like we could jump off McCollum after a big game, but he is still underpriced and that leaves him in my player pool. Much of this will come down to ownership to me and if I get the feeling that everyone is on him by around lock and I will pivot elsewhere. When we only have three games on the slate taking a stance is important. Now, I am not fading him, but I will be under the field on him.
Enes Kanter – $6,500 – Kanter burned some people last game and I was one of them. He took a trip to the locker room and when that happens it’s hard to come back and hit value. I expect Kanter to play more than the 20 minutes he did last time out and his salary has dropped $500.
Al-Farouq Aminu and Moe Harkless are in play, but they are not grading out for me as spectacular plays. It would come down to them just fitting into my lineup, rather than going out of my to play them.
Russell Westbrook – $10,200 – There is not much that needs to be said. Westbrook is severely underpriced for a player who provides 80 DK point upside. I mentioned the rivalry forming between him and Lillard and Westbrook is an emotional player who uses that to fuel his fire. It is going to be hard to avoid Westbrook, especially knowing he is only $1,300 more than a popular Irving.
Paul George – $8,700 – George says his shoulder is fine, but I do not believe that completely. Still, we know his upside and now his price has dipped below $9,000. I like Westbrook more, but small forward tends to be a garbage position and locking in one of the studs could be worthwhile.
Steven Adams – $5,900 – Adams will continue the fly under the radar throughout the series, but he simply has the best matchup on the court. We never expect Adams to come out and shoot a ton, but he gets to value without scoring and could in this matchup if he needs to. I will have a lot of exposure to this game and while Adams may not be my first option at center I still think he is one of the better cash plays.
Dennis Schroder – $5,200 – Schroder is strictly a tournament play. In the first game we saw him play 36 minutes and take a boatload of shots. In the last game we saw his minutes dip down to 20 and he let everyone down. I am throwing that game out the window for blowout purposes and leaning towards the first game representing a better sample size. We may not get the 36 minutes that we are looking for, but I feel confident he plays at least 28 minutes and takes 10-plus shots.
As always you can find me on Twitter @MikeApotria with any of your questions or comments.
April 5, 2019, 12:10 pm
Welcome back, It is Friday, April 5 and we have a massive 13-game slate to sort through for tonight’s DFS card. The season is coming to an end and we are seeing some players rest, get shut down and even get new opportunity. Basically, there is a ton of volatility in DFS at the moment and you will either take advantage of it or get taken advantage of. Targeting the teams with something to play for is ideal, we want secured minutes and usage tonight and we have 13 games to pick from. We don’t need to get cute here unless you are trotting out multiple lineups in a mass-GPP.
Before we dive into some plays, here are a few notes:
The studs are always in play and offer a security blanket with raw points on nights we see this volatility. James Harden, Russell Westbrook and Paul George are all in play, but I am leaning more towards a balanced approach.
The Golden State Warriors’ studs will be a complete fade for me.
Lakers are in play. I did not mention any in the picks portion because we are going to want some news. As of now I feel it is safe to assume Kyle Kuzma will miss another game. The only priced up options I have any interest in would be Rajon Rondo and JaVale McGee. It’s not a great matchup, but it is better than the Warriors and they both saw their minutes decreased slightly during the blowout. Lou Williams would be my favorite play on the Clippers’ side of the ball. If you are playing the game theory that it does blow out then we could look at Robert Williams again. Alex Caruso is in play regardless, but it starting to reach a point in salary where it saps some of the value out. You’ll hear me say violative a whole lot today and the two most volitive teams in the NBA are playing tonight being the Lakers and Knicks.
Goran Dragic vs. Timberwolves $6,100 – I mentioned wanting to target players with something to play for, well the Heat are playing for their playoff lives and Dragic has now played massive minutes in four games straight. We’ve seen the ceiling twice over the past four games, making Dragic a sold tournament play, but a little more risky in cash.
Reggie Jackson vs. Thunder $5,700 – I am really looking for Blake Griffin to sit out again if I am targeting Jackson. With Griffin off of the floor Jackson sees an uptick in usage of 5.6 percent, bringing it to 30.1 percent. That is massive and he also gets a matchup against his former team, who struggles against opposing point guards.
Trey Burke vs. Grizzlies $4,600 – Most of the Dallas players are questionable at this point due the load management, but if we see Jalen Brunson and Luke Doncic sit out we need to look at Burke. He would immediately become one of the better values on the slate and draws a matchup against a no longer scary Memphis defense. In fact, the Grizzlies defense has been straight trash. We need to monitor the news.
Luka Doncic vs. Grizzlies $9,200 – I mentioned Burke a moment ago if Brunson or Doncic were to sit, but if Doncic plays he becomes a top option on the slate. He always possesses a massive ceiling and if he plays I think it is safe to assume at least 32 minutes form him. The Mavs have nothing to play for, but Doncic still wants to prove why he deserves rookie of the year.
Delon Wright vs. Mavs $6,500 – Mike Conley is doubtful again and that means we could look at Wright again despite the price tag. The Mavs may be without their starting backcourt tonight and that would only benefit the athletic Wright. The Grizzlies are beginning to get cute with their lineup, so I only feel comfortable with the few players we know have guaranteed minutes.
Jamal Crawford vs. Pelicans $3,600 – You are going to see me talk a whole lot about this game throughout the article. With Devin Booker being ruled out for the season we are going to see a ton of usage and minutes get distributed and Crawford just so happens to play the same position that Booker did. Now, his minutes are not safe, but if Crawford plays he should see close the 30 minutes and will not be afraid to shoot. We have a 13 games to pick from tonight and I would not knock anyone if they did not want to risk their lineups with Crawford and opt for more appealing options on the Suns. Another cheap option could be Jimmer Fredette who played 21 minutes in the last game. Neither player is afraid to shoot and there will be plenty of shots to go around.
Aaron Gordon vs. Hawks $7,400 – The Magic are another team fighting to get into playoffs and I think we could expect heavy minutes from all of their starters if this game stays close. Gordon is a player who thrives in up-tempo games. We’d love for his price to be closer to $7,000, but this matchup has my mouth watering for some of these Magic players and Gordon and a center we will get to are my favorite options.
Josh Jackson vs. Pelicans $5,900 – Jackson will be the chalk of the night, but for good reason. Devin Booker (ankle) has been ruled out for the remainder of the season and this has now become Josh Jackson’s team. We’ve seen some pretty big games from Jackson when Booker has missed games earlier in the season. This is going to be one of my favorite games to target and most of my love comes from the Suns’ side of the ball.
DeAndre’ Bembry vs. Magic $4,900 – I am targeting this game, but I am less in love with the Hawks due to how stout the Magic defense has been. Kevin Huerter and Kent Bazemore have been ruled out and that is going to open the door for some wing minutes. Bembry’s price feels a little high, but if I were to land on him as one of my last positions filled I wouldn’t be mad. I could see playing Trae Young and or John Collins in this spot, but mostly in smaller game stacks.
Christian Wood vs. Suns $6,500 – Wood burned a lot of people on Wednesday, but that doesn’t change the fact that he is a point per minute monster. He only played 20 minutes in the last one and that was with Anthony Davis sitting out. I think that at this point it is safe to assume Davis will sit again. The only worry we have with Wood is his minutes. We want him playing at least 26 minutes if we are paying this price tag, but we just do not know. Still, the matchup could not get any better and Wood is worth a look in tournaments.
Richaun Holmes vs. Pelicans $6,200 – I was high on Holmes during Wednesday’s slate and that was in a matchup versus the Jazz and it payed off. The Pelicans play big and the Suns are going to need size once again. He played a whopping 38 minutes in the last game and Holmes is a fantastic point per minute producer. This is a game with a high total and includes two teams who play at an above-average pace. Holmes will be one of the first bodies I put into my core lineup.
Ivan Rabb vs. Mavericks $5,300 – Rabb may be in line for big minutes again if the recently signed Tyler Zeller is not available to play after signing with the Grizzlies for the rest of the season this morning. Rabb got a massive price increase, sapping a lot of the value away from him, but the matchup is good and we’ve seen a decent ceiling from him before. I like him more cash than I do tournaments, but he is viable in both.
Andre Drummond vs. Thunder $9,900 – Drummond has been of the most consistent players all season long and has hit another gear with Blake Griffin sitting out. Drummond is averaged 59 DK points over his last five games and while this matchup is not the best on paper I still think Drummond warrants a strong look for his ability to break a slate.
Nikola Vucevic vs. Hawks $9,600 – We have two fantastic options to spend up on at center tonight. Vucevic draws a matchup against one of the worst defenses and the Magic enter must-win mode. I expect big minutes from Vucevic if this game stays close and he has smashed the Hawks already this season with an average of 53 DK points in three games. If I had to choose at the moment I think I would rather play Vucevic over Drummond, but it’s close.
Donovan Mitchell vs. Kings $8,400 – It’s always a toss up for me when it comes to Mitchell and Rudy Gobert. If it’s a good matchup for one it tends to be just as good for the other. Ricky Rubio is currently being listed as questionable and as you could tell by my center picks I am leaning towards going in the opposite direction of Gobert. Not saying he is a bad play, he is in a great spot, I just like Drummond without Blake and Vucevic against the Hawks slightly more.
Elfrid Payton vs. Suns $7,100 – This is a fantastic matchup for Payton against his former team. Everything is there for him, but the minutes. The minutes have been down over the last few games and if I knew he was going to play more than 30 minutes he would be a lock. He’s a bit risky, but with this matchup I am going to have a few shares in some GPP’s.
As always you can find me on Twitter @MikeApotria with any questions or comments. Good luck!
March 29, 2019, 12:36 pm
It is Friday March 29 and with fantasy seasons coming to an end it becomes the perfect time to dive into DFS. We have March Madness, the start of the MLB season and the NBA all happening at once. This means the sharks that play other sports cannot put all of their attention into the NBA anymore and it becomes a great opportunity to take advantage. Luckily for me, I only play season-long fantasy baseball and always give the NBA my complete attention.
Going into the night we are hoping to have the news on whether or not Paul George will give it a go. Obviously, if he is out we look at Russell Westbrook. He is in play either way, but sees an insane uptick in usage with George off of the floor.
Damian Lillard vs. Hawks $10,100 – I am going right back to the well on this one. Lillard let me down Wednesday, but that game was a blowout and Lillard only saw 28 minutes and shot 12 times. The Hawks should keep this one closer and the pace of this game is expected to be fast.
Kemba Walker vs. Lakers $8,500 – We have so many well-priced guards to choose from on tonight’s slate, but Walker is one of my favorites. The Hornets have not been mathematically eliminated yet and Walker is playing for a bonus. It is key to monitor and track players achievements towards the end of the season and we have a few guys looking to make All-NBA teams. If you want to play Trae Young or Kyrie Irving over Walker I won’t knock you, they are all great plays, but for me it’s Walker.
Trae Young vs. Trail Blazers $8,300 – Trae is going to be popular for those wanting exposure to this game, and for good reason. Young is trying to show why he believes he deserves rookie of the year after back-to-back 30-plus point games. I would like to see the minutes slightly higher, but I’ll take 34 minutes if he continues shooting 20-plus times per game like he has over the last three games.
Jamal Murray vs. Thunder $5,900 – I like Murray, but I would only play him at shooting guard because of how stacked point guard is on tonight’s slate. The Thunder may be without Paul George for tonight’s game and if that is the case we are going to see Russell Westbrook use a lot of his energy on offense. If I am targeting a position against the Thunder I tend to go with the backcourt. In three games this season Murray is averaging 36 DK points against the Thunder.
DeAndre’ Bembry vs. Trail Blazers $3,900 – Taurean Prince has already been ruled doubtful and we know we are looking for the value in this game to get the studs we want. Bembry plays multiple positions and should absorb at least 10 of Prince’s 30-plus minutes per game. The other options are Kevin Huerter and Kent Bazemore. I am leaning Bembry and Huerter for cash and tournaments, while Bazemore would only be in tournaments. It helps that all of these guys are eligible to play at both shooting guard and small forward.
Miles Bridges vs. Lakers $4,900 – He isn’t the shiniest option, but small forward is weak and it’s a great matchup versus the Lakers. Over his last five games Bridges has averaged 32 minutes and 32 DK points per game. At a point per minute and playing 30-plus minutes he becomes a viable option for value.
Jae Crowder vs. Wizards $4,500 – The Jazz get an uptick in pace with this game. Crowder is someone who always flies under the radar and is slightly underpriced. He should be good for 26 minutes no matter what and if this game goes small or gets out of hand, he should see a few more. We do not have a ton of value at the moment and Crowder is one of my safer cash plays with a little tournament upside.
John Collins vs. Trail Blazers $6,900 – We are going to want to target some Hawks – I’ve said this multiple times – and to be honest they are all in play. If I am avoiding Trae Young in a lineup I am looking towards Collins. His play of as of late has not been the best, but going against one of the worst pick-and-roll defenders in the league could change that. I’ve mentioned about four players from the Hawks so far in this article and I would look to have at least one of them, but more likely two in every lineup. Dewayne Dedmon is an option as well if you are looking for the slight savings over Collins.
Derrick Favors vs. Wizards $5,800 – Let me start by saying I would not play both Favors and Crowder in the same lineup. The have an impact on one another’s value. Favors has been in great form and the shot attempts have been there over the last four games. His minutes are never impacted by blowouts and the matchup is a fantastic one.
DeMarcus Cousins vs. Timberwolves $7,100 – We have some center options to choose, but Cousins feels like he has one of the safer floors tonight. He also possesses some solid upside in a matchup that we have seen centers take advantage of throughout the season. Karl-Anthony Towns has improved on his defense, but it is still a matchup worth taking advantage of.
JaVale McGee vs. Hornets $7,000 – These minutes feel real and until I see them drop again I am treating this as the norm going forward. His rebounding rates are off of the wall and he gets a matchup versus a Hornets frontcourt that has been nothing short of lackluster. We have some good centers on the board, but McGee possesses one of the higher ceilings out of them.
Enes Kanter vs. Hawks $5,500 – Like I said with Lillard, I am going right back to the well with Portland. Kanter only played 21 minutes in his first start for Jusuf Nurkic, but again, the game got out of hand. The Hawks stink at rebounding and I fully expect Nurkic to take advantage of it and I am hoping to take advantage of him flying under the radar after burning a few people of Wednesday. A pivot off of Kanter would be playing two centers and Zach Collins or Al-Farouq Aminu at one of the forward positions.
As always you can find me on Twitter @MikeApotria with any of your questions or comments. Let’s catch a win tonight!
March 22, 2019, 12:56 pm
Welcome back! It is Friday, March 22 and we have seven games to break down for tonight’s card. We have a lot of March Madness going on tonight and that is why I am here to funnel you the information while you can remain firmly planted on your couch immersed on basketball. On a more serious note, this is a great time to capitalize on those who want to get action, but whose focus and research is in other places. I love college basketball, but my priority will always be the NBA.
A lot of tonight’s lineup construction will be dependent on how you correlate your plays. For instance, if you are targeting a few of the value options starting over there in Memphis it makes sense to play a bigger name on the other side of the ball in hopes it remains close. If you are targeting a one-off in this game because you are worried about a blowout it makes sense to choose an option whose minutes would be safer regardless of score or comes in as a superb value.
Let’s jump right into this.
Russell Westbrook vs. Raptors $10,800 – We are going to have some studs to spend up on and if I am choosing one it’s Westbrook. I want exposure to this game and we just watched these two teams play two days ago. It went how one would imagine; Paul George struggled with Kawhi Leonard guarding him. Those are generally the only two guys I target from the Thunder and tonight it’s narrowed to one.
Rajon Rondo vs. Nets $6,800 – Trying to peg the rotation or minutes for anyone on the Lakers is difficult, but we know there is going to be value somewhere and the matchup is solid. Rondo’s minutes have been consistent and when he gets the minutes he generally produces. Rondo generally explodes with the counting stats and it will only easier to get assists with the update that LeBron James is expected to play.
Delon Wright vs. Magic $4,900 – The matchup is slightly rough against a stout Magic defense, but we have so many injured bodies on the Memphis side of the ball that I am obligated to mention a few. Wright played 40 minutes in their last game in which Avery Bradley out and now we have the news that Mike Conley is being listed as doubtful. Wright will likely be the chalky play, but we could pivot to Tyler Dorsey or Justin Holiday as well for some value.
D’Angelo Russell vs. Lakers $8,300 – He’s just been on fire as of late and he gets a revenge matchup versus the team that moved him two summers ago. There is without a doubt some bad blood here, regardless of what anyone says, but even if we take that away we still have a fair price and great matchup for a guy who could break a slate. Expect his ownership to be high, but he is going to be hard to fade.
Fred VanVleet vs. Thunder $5,200 – No Lowry means fire up your shares of VanVleet. He should be chalky again, but he did just drop 36 DK points on the Thunder two days ago. We have cheap options we could pivot to, but this game should stay close and competitive; the same can’t be said for some of the Memphis value guys.
Kyle Kuzma vs. Nets $6,500 – LeBron James coming back should give Kuzma a few more open looks, which he could definitely use after shooting 39 percent from the field over the last five games. The Nets can’t rebound and with LeBron James back we also have to imagine they run Kuzma at the five for stretches.
Rudy Gay vs. Rockets $5,400 – I generally do not target Gay, but I do not love a lot of the options at small forward tonight. If this game goes small he should see more than 30 minutes. The Spurs have been playing like the Spurs as of late and I am expecting Pop to do what he has to do in order to keep this game intact.
Bruno Caboclo vs. Magic $3,500 – He played massive minutes in the last game and there are even fewer bodies for the Grizzlies tonight. I never feel confident in Bruno, but he offers upside with his rebounding and defensive abilities. We have to keep in mind that when he did play big minutes it was a one-point game and it a solid matchup versus the Rockets. We do not have that same avenue here, but a solid pivot could be Chandler Parsons if you are worried about it getting out of hand. He should play at least 22 minutes regardless of a blowout. Both of these plays are risky, but if you need to save money they are there.
Kevin Love vs. Clippers $7,700 – I do not love the price tag, but Love is no longer on the injury report and is playing one of the league’s worst rebounding teams in the Clippers. We want to know Love is playing 30 minutes before we pay this price tag, but he was questionable with a head injury coming in, nothing lower body or shoulder related. Every option listed at small forward is also power forward eligible on DraftKings if this is a spot where you’d rather save than spend up.
Pascal Siakam vs. Thunder $7,200 – Siakam is coming off of a great performance against the Thunder and with Kawhi Leonard likely guarding Paul George we should see Siakam draw Jerami Grant. Siakam handles the ball more with Lowry out and it is a home game on a night where he just received the NBA Cares Community Assist award. I’m guessing something small during the pre-game for him, but it’s a small-added narrative – he is a great play regardless.
Nikola Vucevic vs. Grizzlies $9,600 – Anytime Vucevic and Nikola Jokic are on the same slate we tend to see Vuc’s ownership dip. He may not offer as high of a ceiling as Jokic, but he has been one of the most reliable fantasy contributors this season. The plays in this game are going to come down to whether or not you think it stays close enough for the starters to play all four quarters. We have to keep an eye out on the other center in the game as well. Joakim Noah (knee) was added to the injury report Friday morning and if he were forced to miss, we may see big minutes from Jonas Valanciunas again, vaulting him into consideration.
Clint Capela vs. Spurs $7,400 – Capela has performed well against the Spurs this season. In three games he is averaging a massive 20 points and 17 rebounds for just fewer than 50 DK points per game. It is a fair price tag and there is not a lot else to love or trust at center tonight.
Hassan Whiteside vs. Bucks $5,000 – Whiteside offers tournament value coming off of the bench in limited minutes. We’ve seen him put up some massive double-doubles and his price has come down to a point he peaks my interest. If Bam Adebayo were to miss Whiteside would vault into consideration, but otherwise he is a GPP flier.
As always you can find me on Twitter @MikeApotria with any of your questions or comments. A big thank you to those who competed in Wednesday’s “Beat the Expert” contest. I got smoked, but it is always a blast.