Hello, everyone! bathrobeDFS here with your daily basketball article. First, I will breakdown my lineup for yesterday’s main slate. Then I will go over tonight’s slate from the perspective of a one lineup player on Draftkings. If you have any additional questions or want to see guaranteed updates in regards to breaking news- I provide additional updates, information, and stats on my twitter @bathrobeDFS. Feel free to throw me a follow cause it’s much easier and more timely to provide updates over that medium. It also should go without saying, this is just a preliminary analysis of the slate: everything can change throughout the day, so make sure you are staying on top of any and all injury news and change your lineups accordingly! I am always available to help with any questions there, as well, even if I can’t do a second article.
The Daily Slate:
With a 3 game slate, I’m gonna dig a little deeper and do the game-by-game breakdown that I do for 2 and 3 game slates. This way you can get a fuller feel of who to play and why, instead of just me telling you who I like in fewer words.
Magic vs Knicks - Tip Off: 730pm
Stats and Stuff
O/U - 215.5, ORL -6.5
Pace Rankings: ORL 16th, NYK 23rd
Injury News: Magic - Briscoe OUT
Injury News: Knicks - Jordan DOUBTFUL
Defensive Stats: Magic - 213.5 DKPPG (LEAST IN NBA) - Weak Against PG and SG. Best in the NBA Against C.
Defensive Stats: Knicks - 226.9 DKPPG (15th in NBA) - Weak Against PG. Also subpar against C.
Players in the top 50 in Usage: Vucevic (22nd), DSJ (29th), Ross (44th)
Players in the top 10 in DRPM at their Position: Isaac (8th - PF), Jordan (5th - C), Vuc (6th - C)
Players in the bottom 5 in DRPM at their Position: Knox (WORST - SF)
Easily the worst game on the slate. I don’t know how you can trust anything that comes out of the Knicks side. Even though they won last game, it was the first game they had won in the Garden since John Starks played. I have no faith that a slow, defensive, Magic team is going to suddenly fall apart. As I often say, if I lived in a state with sports betting, I would be all over ORL -6.5. So, we have 2 of the slowest teams on the slate, playing in a game with the lowest total and the highest spread. I’m just saying, folks. It’s a 3 game slate, but is it really??
Vuc (9600) is a monster and, since he won’t have to face Jordan, I wouldn’t mind playing him. I would just warn you, again, that Vonleh (4000) is a surprisingly good Center and would probably draw the start for Jordan again. That being said, Vuc is one of the more unguardable Centers in the league so, even with the Knicks trying to stop him, I doubt they will be able to.
My favorite plays on the Magic are Isaac (5800) and Ross (5300). Both should get a bunch of minutes lined up against Knox (5200) who is the worst defensive SF in the NBA. Both have shown consistent 40 DKP upside. Both are priced low enough they won’t kill you. And both should be able to eat in this matchup.
With Briscoe out again, I also really like Jerian Grant (3400). His price came up 300 from last game, but he showed you he can get you 25-30 DKP if given the run and, in a matchup against this shitty Knicks team, he very well may get that run today. I will also point to one of my favorite punts, Khem Birch (3300). On a small slate, in a game the Magic may end early, Birch may get 20+ minutes and there’s no way he doesn’t pay off at that salary.
Gordon (6400) is strictly a GPP for me. He has been down lately and, while I understand he can hit 50 DKP today, especially in this cake matchup, I just would rather go down a little to someone who’s been getting more consistent run/usage.
On the Knicks side, I don’t want to play anyone. Like, ever again. Maybe next season. But it’s just completely horrible when you play a Kornet and he plays 0 minutes with NO WARNING, I don’t know how you can trust anyone. DSJ and Mudiay will fight for minutes every day. Trier and Dotson will fight. Knox (5200) is safe from a minutes standpoint, and will take his shots, but it’s still up or down with his shots. And then the bigs are a clusterfuck as well, with Vonleh, Thomas, Ellenson, and Robinson fighting for minutes. I absolutely love Robinson (5400) tonight. But even that comes with a horrible risk. I like Dotson (4400) but who knows how much he plays. I wouldn’t mind betting on Mudiay (5000)outgunning DSJ today, but who the hell knows? Fizdale is just the worst.
Celtics vs Raptors - Tip Off: 800pm
Stats and Stuff
O/U - 226, TOR -4.5
Pace Rankings: BOS 15th, TOR 14th
Injury News: Celtics: Baynes OUT
Injury News: Raptors: Nothing
Defensive Stats: Celtics: 222.5 DKPPG (23rd most in the NBA) - Weak Against SF. Best in the NBA against SG
Defensive Stats: Raptors: 221.3 DKPPG (21st most n the NBA) - Weak Against PG and PF. Best in the NBA Against SF.
Players in the top 50 in Usage: Kyrie (13th), Kawhi (19th)
Players in the top 10 in DRPM at their Position: Smart (1st - PG), Lowry (2nd - PG), Kyrie (8th - PG), Green (1st - SG), Siakam (6th - PF), Gasol (7th - C)
Players in the bottom 5 in DRPM at their Position: Ibaka (3rd WORST - Center)
Oh man this is going to be a great game. I don’t know if it’ll be a great game for DFS purposes, but it’s going to be a game that both of these teams are trying to win. The Raptors are sitting comfortably in 2nd place but, with a streak, they have a chance to catch the Bucks and take over 1st. The Celtics are comfortably in 5th, but would, ideally, like to get into 3rd place for a much easier run through the playoffs. We are getting to the time of year when this kind of stuff makes a huge difference, so expect both teams to be giving whatever they have tonight. The Raptors don’t have another game until Friday, while the Celtics have to travel to a different country after the game to take on the Blazers at home tomorrow (and will also be playing 3 games in 4 days). I don’t expect this will matter much at all, but I just wanted to paint the picture.
That being said, maybe the Raptors are resting Kawhi (9200) for a whole week again without telling anymore. Honestly. Who knows? I assume we will find out tomorrow after shootaround, but it’s still annoying that they keep doing this. I am going to assume he plays. If he doesn’t, I will get into it tomorrow. While I wouldn’t say Kawhi is my favorite play on the day, and while I wouldn’t even say that Kawhi is in my top 5, I still like him a lot. As non-scientific as it is, if you have watched Kawhi, or know how he plays, he is the type of player who does better the harder the competition is. He rises to any and all challenges and, for the most part, rises past them. I full expect him to be an easy 50 DKP today, though I don’t know if he can get you the 60 you need to win this tournament.
Someone who I DO think can give you 60 DKP today, though, is Kyrie (8800). I know he will have to deal with Lowry and/or Green, who are no jokes, but I also know that Kyrie don’t care. He dropped 60+ on the Grizzlies when they were still a good D. He dropped 60+ on Miami with Justise guarding him. He dropped 60 on GS. He dropped 60+ on Chicago last game, even. He got 41 minutes. When the Celtics want to win a game, they rely on Kyrie. He is going to run this game from every perspective. When someone is going to get that much usage, in a high scoring game that stays close, you have to give them serious consideration. For one, I think Kyrie is one of the best plays on the slate (before we get hammered by insane injury news later).
The Celtics can be attacked through Marcus Morris, who is a terrible defender. Therefore my 2nd favorite play on the Raptors would be Siakam (7000). I would prefer him to have been cheaper here, but that doesn’t mean he will have trouble getting his 5x value and thensome. Right now, with Lowry not producing with Kawhi in the lineup, with Green going against the team who is best in the NBA against SG, and with Gasol and Ibaka splitting minutes, there are just too few options we can faithfully rely on getting 35+ minutes. Kawhi and Siakam are the two. Gasol (5700) SHOULD get the start against Horford, so you can take a chance if you really want, but I don’t expect him or Ibaka to get much more than 26 minutes. We are going to be seeing a lot of 26/22 splits for the rest of the year. And it’s gonna be really hard to play either of these dudes.
As far as the rest of the Celtics goes, it really depends on if Ibaka or Gasol gets the start at C. Ibaka is one of the worst defenders in the NBA and Gasol is one of the best, so the difference is really stark. If Gasol gets the start, I will have a lot more trepidation in playing Horford (6300). People are going to think he is in a better spot than he is cause of the big green number next to his price on DK. But, again, with Gasol starting, he will get 24 of his 34 minutes against a seriously good defender. Not to say you can’t go there, especially on a 3 game slate, but be careful that it’s not all it used to be cracked up to be. If Ibaka starts, I am 100% Horford.
Toronto is weakest against PG and PF, and best in the NBA against SF. So, since we already talked about Kyrie, since Tatum (5900) will be matched up against Kawhi, and since Smart will be matched up against #1 ranked SG by DRPM in Danny Green, the next Celtic I would be interested in (so.. 2nd if Gasol starts, 3rd if Ibaka starts), is Marcus Morris (4700). He is way too cheap for his starting role. He is way too cheap for going up against a weakness Toronto has. It’s just too cheap. He’s not going to get you 50 DKP (probably…), but he could totally get you 30-40 DKP today. They are going to need him, and I expect him to get a bunch and a few extra 3s up. Like when he put up 10 3s against the Bucks a couple games ago.
With the lack of value on this slate, I also want to point out Theis (3500). He’s probably not going to get you 10x today, but with Baynes out, he still gets the backup run. He should get 17-20 minutes or so. This will come against Ibaka, most likely (with Gasol starting). He could easily get you 20 DKP and no one should be on him cause who the fuck else is going to recommend you play Daniel Theis today??? But I will.
Thunder vs Nuggets - Tip Off: 1030pm
Stats and Stuff
O/U - 237, DEN -3
Pace Rankings: OKC 1st, DEN 22nd
Injury News: Thunder - Nothing
Injury News: Nuggets - Lyles OUT
Defensive Stats: Thunder: 236 DKPPG (8th most in the NBA) - Weak Against SG
Defensive Stats: Nuggets: 226.4 DKPPG (17th most in the NBA) - Weak Against SG
Players in the top 50 in Usage: Russ (11th), PG13 (12th), Jokic (14th), Schroder (37th)
Players in the top 10 in DRPM at their Position: Harris (6th - SG), PG13 (1 - SF), Grant (6 - SF), Millsap (4 - PF)
Players in the bottom 5 in DRPM at their Position: NONE
Well this should be the game of the day from every perspective. The Nuggets are 2nd in the West, 1.5 games behind the Warriors, and 3 games ahead of the 3rd place Thunder. If OKC loses, they will be 4 back of 2nd. If they win, they will be 2. If you ever played sports, you understand how much more 4 is than 2, philosophically.
Let’s start off with the big 3- Russ (11000), PG13 (10400), and Jokic (10000) are all in spots to go nuts tonight. When we think about the people we want to play, we want to get the people who control the game the most- the people through who most of the usage of a team flows. The more consolidated it is, the better. So, in the case of these 2 teams, all 3 of these guys are pretty much the be all end all. Russ has been hot lately, and I expect him to be the highest owned of all the 3. While I do love this play, once again, I am going to go elsewhere. My favorite of the Thunder players is his teammate, again, PG13. After an incredibly disappointing last game, in a slate in which he was chalk, I expect his ownership to be the lowest of all 3. But he still played 38 minutes, and still shot the ball 19 times. He just went an incredibly uncharacteristic 4-19 from the field, including 2-9 from behind the arc. That’s not going to happen again (probably…) I would expect him to fight for the 2x2 again. I would expect him to get you 30 real points, again. Will Barton is not going to be able to stop him. And I think he’ll be able to shoot as much as he wants.
My favorite of the 3, though, is Jokic. I expect him to run this game, as he runs so many. If Adams gives him a hard time, he will get the assists by drawing people in and then dumping it off to Millsap (6200), who is also primed to go nuts tonight. If Adams get pulled off him, he will smash whoever else is on the court. It’s just impossible to guard someone who can’t be guarded. And when that person is a team’s whole offense, you have to ride that as hard as you can. I’m not sure if Jokic or PG13 will be owned less, but, either way, they are going to be far too low. I’ll put it another way, I’ll be more surprised if Jokic doesn’t get a 3x2 today than if he does. I would be more surprised if he doesn’t get 50+ DKP than if he does.
As far as other players go, I really only love Russ, PG13, Jokic, and Millsap. I can understand taking a chance on Schroder (4300) who is underpriced and has as high as ceiling as anyone else priced in that range. I don’t mind taking a chance on Beasley (4200) who will get the start, matched up against Ferguson. Just know that he is probably going to top out at 25 or so minutes, with Harris getting 20+ minutes as well. He can still pay that price off, however. Just be careful.
If you want to take another random stab on someone they are going to need- look at Noel (3900). While Adams should be able to get his minutes, it is not out of the question that he gets into some kind of foul trouble. Whatever happens, though, the Nuggets are a huge team and they are going to need Noel’s height in the 2nd unit and, just in case, if something happens to Adams. In a 3 game slate, someone like this is someone who can break the slate. You just have to pick the right one.
The last person I’ll mention is Adams (5600) himself. He is someone who just shouldn’t be priced under 6k. He is someone who has been playing poorly lately, which has caused his price to drop, but he’s still the person that, when they needed him against Utah, played 47 minutes in the 2OT and got 45 DKP. Now, I know that is obviously not representative. But if he can get around 1 PPM and he plays 35 minutes, he is more than paying off that price.
Alright! That was a 3 game slate. It’s sad that 1/3 of the games and 1/6 of the teams has to do with the Knicks, but that’s just how it goes. I will see you all, hopefully, with another GC/BC tomorrow. If not, again, get that chat app and we can discuss whatever we need to, as it happens, up until everything locks. I will see you there!!