Hello, everyone! bathrobeDFS here with your daily basketball article. 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. I also have a Venmo and Patreon for those that wanna help Operation: Get Me A Laptop. 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. Let’s get started!
The Daily Slates:
SLATE 1: SHOWDOWN
Bulls vs Pistons
Stats and Stuff
O/U - 217, DET -8
Pace Rankings (last 15 games): CHI 21st, DET 30th
Injury News: LaVine PROBABLE, Reggie Jackson QUESTIONABLE, Bruce Brown PROBABLE, Zaza PROBABLE
Defense Info (last month): Bulls - 230.4 DKPPG (16th most - plus 5 from pace) - WA PG and C
Defense Info (last month): Pistons - 212.6 DKPPG (29th most - plus 1 form pace) - Above Average against Every Position - Best in the NBA against PF, 2nd Best in the NBA against PG
Players in the top 50 in usage (last 15 games): Blake (17th), LaVine (19th), Lauri (47th)
Players in the top 10 in DRPM (season): Brown (4th - SG)
Players in the bottom 5 in DRPM (season): NONE
SLATE 2: TWOGAMESLATE
Raptors vs Heat
Stats and Stuff
O/U - N/A
Pace Rankings (last 15 games): TOR 15th, MIA 27th
Injury News: Kawhi OUT
Defense Info (last month): Raptors - 228.8 DKPPG (19th most - minus 4 from pace) - weaker than average against SF and PG
Defense Info (last month): Heat - 216.6 DKPPG (28th most - minus 1 from pace) - weaker than average against SF. Best in the NBA against C
Players in the top 50 in usage (last 15 games): Kawhi (13th), Wade (22nd), Dragic (39th)
Players in the top 10 in DRPM (season): Lowry (3rd - PG), Green (1st - SG), Richardson (6th - SG), Justise (9th - SF), Siakam (7th - PF), Whiteside (2nd - C), Gasol (9th - C)
Players in the bottom 5 in DRPM (season): Wade (3rd Worst - SG), Ibaka (4th Worst - C)
With Kawhi out, and Dragic (4700) playing, I am a big fan of taking Lowry (7600), though he will be super popular. I would also be all for taking Siakam (7100), who would get the matchup with Olynyk which could be worse. Also, give me all of the OG (3100) as my favorite punt on this short slate. No thanks on any of the Centers. And never Danny Green.
On the Miami side, I will be a big fan of whoever lines up against Ibaka. If Ibaka starts, and Whiteside (5800) starts, I will take him. If Ibaka starts, and Bam (5300) starts, I will take him. Gasol, Ibaka and Siakam are not small dudes, though. If the Raptors start Ibaka, and the Heat start Whiteside, he could put up 50 DKP in 25 minutes. Olynyk (5500) could get anywhere from 25-40 minutes but I’m totally fine taking the chance he gets 40, because, even if he gets 25, he could stay pay this salary off. If Dragic (4700) gets any sort of normal run (and I mean 25 or so minutes), you have to lock him in here.
Pacers vs Sixers
Stats and Stuff
O/U - N/A
Pace Rankings (last 15 games): IND 28th, PHI 10th
Injury News: Sabonis QUESTIONABLE, Tyreke QUESTIONABLE, Embiid QUESTIONABLE, Boban OUT
Defense Info (last month): Pacers - 221.6 DKPPG (23rd most - plus 5 from pace) - Above Average against Every Position. Best in the NBA against SF
Defense Info (last month): Sixers - 229.9 DKPPG (17th most - minus 7 from pace) - weaker than average against PF and C
Players in the top 50 in usage (last 15 games): Embiid (4th), Bojan (40th)
Players in the top 10 in DRPM (season): Butler (2nd - SG), Myles (5th - C), Embiid (10th - C)
Players in the bottom 5 in DRPM (season): NONE
This whole thing hinges on the status of Embiid (9900). Does he play? And, if he plays, how much? After missing 8 games with a knee issue, I would imagine the Sixers are not going to risk playing him until he’s 100%, and, even when they do, at the beginning he will be severely limited, making him a non play. If he plays, it’s hard to take any of the other Sixers bigs. If he is out again, I would have to take another chance on Amir (3500) and his 20 or so minutes at that price. Other than that, I think everyone on the Sixers is fairly priced. If Embiid is in, it’s even harder to pay for anyone here. You can always take a chance on Simmons (9000) getting a 3x2, or Redick (5100) having a great shooting day, but it’s a huge pace down matchup against a great D.
On the Pacers side, Myles (6500) is too underpriced, regardless of if Embiid plays. If Embiid misses, though, you absolutely have to lock him in on this 2 game slate, regardless of ownership. And it will be HIGH. With Sabonis (5700)likely playing tomorrow, after completing a full practice on Saturday, would be a sneaky, low owned play who should still get the run he had been getting before the injury. With Bojan likely covered by Butler most of the game, I would take a chance on Wes (4600) as a pivot from a likely popular Bojan option.
Yeah. This is a 6 game slate, technically, but is it really? One of the games has a spread of SEVENTEEN FUCKING POINTS OH MY GOD THAT’S A REAL THING. One of the games is between 2 slow as hell teams. One of the games has the Knicks and a presumably KAT-less Wolves. Picking and choosing what to trim and where to attack is going to be important. Just cause a game is on the slate, doesn’t mean we have to play it. And just because a game is bad doesn’t mean things can’t be played. So let’s take a look at it.
Situations to take advantage of (in no particular order):
Trae Young and the Hawks - Before I get into the analysis here, I want to point out that 0 Hawks players got to 30 minutes yesterday. That concerns me for this game, since I assume it’s a preservation strategy for these kids on a back-to-back. It’s certainly possible they are limited to 30 minutes again today. I don’t think it matters, though. But it is something you should be aware of.
Now, will you all listen to me already? How much more money are you going to lose out on by not getting on this bandwagon. Trae (8100) is a different player the last month plus. He is fantastic. Utterly fantastic. He just got a 3x2. And his price fell another 100. If I play multiple lineups tomorrow, I would be 100% on Trae. This is, easily, the best game on the slate. The Pels are the fastest team in the NBA recently. And, with Jrue out, there’s no one on this Pels team that’s gonna even come remotely close to stopping him. And, if you watched that game yesterday, you know that, when it comes down it, the ball is in Trae’s hands, and he is deadly with it. And he, again, can get you that 3x2 bonus any game, especially this one, against a Pels team giving up the most DKPPG in the NBA. If you don’t play Trae tomorrow, don’t blame me. And if you DO play Trae, you are welcome.
The Pels are WORST in the NBA against Centers and 2nd worst in the NBA against SFs. They are also awful against PFs. So, if he is limited to 30 or more minutes again tomorrow, you have to take a chance on an underpriced John Collins (7500) fresh of his murder of the Nets. I will go right back there today. Most of my lineups will start with these 2, and 2 people from the Pels. As far as I have seen, Dedmon is QUESTIONABLE. We won’t know until probably 4-430pm, as the Hawks aren’t likely to hold shootaround on the 2nd morning of a back-to-back, especially a Sunday morning. So, unless they update Dedmon’s status after the game, we can expect to plan on Len (5600) getting another start and being too expensive to lock in. You can CERTAINLY take a chance on him here, especially against the Pelicans, and especially because a 5600 price tag will severely limit his ownership.
Even though he’s not getting the usage you would want, and even though I expect that to continue, given how weak the Pels are everywhere, they are still awful against SF, so when Prince (4400) is that cheap, getting 30 minutes, and could get you a good 8 shots and some counting stats, you have to consider him.
The Pelicans - The Pelicans have been pretty terrible lately, to be really, really unfair to “pretty terrible”. But, in a high paced, no defense, shootout type matchup against these Hawks, who the hell knows who’s going to win? And honestly, who cares? If you read the the first half of that sentence and still cared about the 2nd half, you need to refocus on what matters in DFS. What matters is that Jrue is OUT, Brow is QUESTIONABLE with back spasms (and why would they push him), and Okafor is QUESTIONABLE with a sprained ankle and, even if he plays, is seeing really limited minutes. This opens up a lot of doors. Let’s see who is going to walk through them, into a giant vat of golden coins, diving in, Scrooge McDuck-style.
First up, Elfrid “on the Shelfrid” Payton (5800). I know his price came up 800. But give me a break. He is one of the main pieces of this offense. This game will be fast and close. He is coming off of games against TOR, UTA, UTA, and DEN, which would stunt anyone’s production. Now he gets the golden matchup against Trae Young, literally the worst defender in the NBA according to DRPM. While he’s not as much as a 10x threat as he was when he was 5000, he is still a legit threat for 45-50 DKP tonight. Lock him in.
Second up, “Nothing Rhymes with Orange” Julius Randle (8500), a nickname he picked up in LA that just doesn’t translate in his new home. Kind of like how the New Orleans Jazz kept their name when they moved to Utah. (I am making up the part about his nickname. The NO Jazz thing is true). I would be more surprised if he doesn’t get 50 DKP than if he does. He is going to matched up against Len and Collins, who are fucking terrible at defense, to put it lightly. Yes, that is putting it lightly. He is going to get a ton of minutes at the 4 and 5, and he is the lead dog on this offense. Especially if Brow misses. But, honestly, even if Brow plays 20 minutes, Randle will be the focus of the other 28. Again, his recent matchups have suppressed his price, even though he had 2 50+DKP performanced against UTA and DEN 3 and 4 games ago, respectively.
Third, Cheick “Good Luck coming up with a Pun Based Nickname, Smartass” Diallo (4800). With Brow limited anyway and Okafor likely out with his ankle sprain (and likely irrelevant even if he plays), Diallo is going to get you the 25 minutes and should easily get you 30-40 DKP here, with a ceiling for more if he has to play more minutes, or if hs shoots better than 8-15.
Lastly, the wonderfully low priced Ian Clark (3400), who I told you that you shouldn’t sleep on, while everyone else was on F Jax (4200). Well, F Jax got 27 DKP at 3200 and saw his price rise 1000. Clark got 24.25 DKP at 3000 and only saw his price rise 4000. He is going to also get some minutes against Trae Young and company. You know what to do here.
Vuc - So, let’s get one thing straight, I don’t like this game. A 207.5 total? Two of the slowest teams in the NBA? The teams giving up the least (ORL) and 6th least (MEM) DKPPG a game? The 2nd best D against SF (ORL), 2nd best against PF (ORL), 2nd best against SG (MEM), and best against PG (MEM)? Yuck One thing I didn’t mention, though, is Centers, because, since they got rid of Gasol, the Grizzlies have been pretty awful against the C position, even against weaker teams. Well, Vuc (9300) may not get as many possessions as some of the other players on this slate, but, with this game having a 1 point spread, we can expect him to get his normal allotment of minutes. And, against JoVal and Noah, we can expect him to eat. Given the usage, I would also not mind taking a chance on Ross (4800) at that price. Just know it comes with risk. Lastly, due to the injury to Briscoe, if you want to take a chance on a punt with Jerian (3300), I think you could do a lot worse for that price.
Cheap Grizzlies - Given the fact that ORL gives up the least DKPPG, I don’t really want to spend a good deal of money on anyone going against them, for the most part. What I do want to do is take mid-to-low priced people with safe floors and ceilings well beyond what they are priced for. So, step up the power trio of Noah (4900), Bradley (4600), and Delon Wright (4600). While, again, none of them are sure things. And I wouldn’t play Bradley and Wright together, since one of them having you a GPP winning score should preclude the other one from having a similar score in this game. But, if Noah starts at PF again and they let him get 30 minutes this time, or if he just gets a lot of backup run against Khem Birch, he can pay this off. And we have seen just have dangerous Bradley and Wright have been lately. Make sure you are getting in on that too, even in this tough matchup.
Harden vs Doncic - Sure, sure, sure. I know. It’s “irresponsible” journalism to ignore so many other good plays here and focus on the headline-grabbing, superstar vs. superstar trope. Sure, CP3 (7400) is in a great spot against a Dallas team that has been hemorrhaging points to both SG and PGs lately. Sure, Capela (7000) and Powell (6300) are both underpriced for their matchups against terrible defenders Powell and Capela, respectively. But you have to realize a couple of things- First, Harden (11300) is 1st in the NBA in usage and Doncic (8800) is 6th and no one else on either team is anywhere close to that. Second, they are the most consistent play makers. Third, they give you the best chance at the bonuses we love to get on DK. Fourth, both are grossly under priced. Harden should be 12k every game, even with CP3 and Capela in (take his 95 DKP game), especially against this Dallas team, and Doncic should be 10k every game. But, lastly, you also have to realize that I can do whatever the hell I want because I do this for fun. So take that, imaginary person that never existed voicing a complaint no one ever made! I sure showed you!
Situations to be careful of(in no particular order):
Bucks vs Spurs - You know how you attack the Bucks, one of the best Ds in the NBA? The way they attack you- with 3s. The Bucks are one of the worst teams against 3s, ranking 11% worse than NBA average in that metric. They are 5th worst, right behind the Spurs. Uh oh. You know who doesn’t shoot 3s? DeRozan, LMA, or Derrick White. You know who shoots 3s for MIlwaukee? EVERYONE. This is going to be a disgusting game for the Spurs. If you are going to go for the Spurs, I would take a serious stab on Belinelli (3300) and Bertans (3400), who love shooting the 3, and would get extra run with Gay QUESTIONABLE. You can also take a stab at Bryn Forbes (3700) who no one ever plays in DFS, and will get you 25 minutes, and will shoot you 7 or so 3s if need be and, against MIL, it will be.
On the Bucks side, my first play here is BroLo (5300) fresh of a hot shooting day, matched up against LMA, one of the worst defenders in the NBA, in a spot that he should be able to take as many 3s as he wants. For that reason I also love Middleton (7100), who is priced a little more than I would like, but should be able to shoot 3s to his heart’s content. The Spurs increase the efficiency of 3s by SFs by 21%, which is awesome. I also love Mirotic (4800) for that reason, especially if the Bucks decide to rest Giannis on the 2nd half of a B2B for load management, in a game that doesn’t matter much for them. At which point, I mean, play everyone. Cause this game would get a lot more crazy.
Suns vs Warriors - When I first saw it, I had to reload the page a couple times to make sure I was seeing it right. The NBA all-star team was hosting the Suns who are arguably, the 2nd worst team in the game, and Vegas put the total at 235 with a spread of GS -17. Holy shit. I don’t know if I’ve ever seen that before. Now, knowing how this works, the person who wins the massive GPP tomorrow is going to stack this game cause everyone else will be afraid of a blow out and this game inexplicably stays close but, frankly, I’m terrified of a blowout. GS -17! SEVENTEEN. Jesus Christ. Honestly, you know who the players on the all-star team. If you want to run it back with anyone, do it with Booker (8300) or Oubre (6400), seeing as how the Warriors have been the worst team in the NBA against SFs over the last month. Honestly, though, here is what I really expect to happen- tomorrow afternoon, east coast time, as we are getting ready for the 330 games, news is going to come out that, say, Curry and Cousins are going to rest. And then it’s all systems go, and we play everyone else. Until then, seriously, play someone if you wanna be cute, but don’t go nuts here. It’ll cost you a lot more than it makes you in the long term.
Situations to monitor:
KAT QUESTIONABLE, Wiggins QUESTIONABLE, Deng QUESTIONABLE, Vonleh QUESTIONABLE - Yeesh. This game had a 227 total with a spread of MIN -11.5 before KAT got injured toward the end of the game yesterday. From what I have seen, it’s a knee injury and, given the fact this is a matchup, at home, against the Knicks, I don’t know why they would push it. Ditto for Wiggins, who was in too much pain to play yesterday, and Deng, who is probably 55 or so at this point. With Vonleh also questionable, after not being able to play yesterday, we have a real mess on our hands. Especially since, as I pointed out with the Hawks game earlier, neither team is going to have a shootaround tomorrow, considering it’s the 2nd day of a back-to-back, and it is a Sunday. Since news for game-time decisions doesn’t normally come out until 90-120 minutes before the game is scheduled to go off, this gives us an expected time of sometime between lock and 30 minutes after lock to find out what is going to happen here. That’s incredible unfortunate so we really have to hope that they give us some kind of update through the day, though I won’t hold my breathe. The best we can do is plan for stuff, so let’s do that.
If KAT and Wiggins miss, and I do expect them to, we would have to almost lock in Teague (5900), Rose (5000), and Taj (4100). I would LOVE to play Saric (4000), but his defense is SO, SO bad they just aren’t giving him any run at the end of games. I mean, he will still pay off the 4k price tag if these guys are out, but his ceiling is limited by his defense. I also think you have to give serious consideration to Bates-Diop (3100) and Tolliver (3100), who would consider to see considerable run against an awful Knicks team. If they both play, run for the hills cause this game ain’t gonna stay close.
On the Knicks side, with them finally unafraid to play Smith (6000) and Mudiay (4500) next to each other, we can finally assume a safe 30-33 minutes for DSJ, which, in this matchup, he can easily payoff. We can also safely assume 25 minutes for Mudiay which, assuming he gets most of that time matched up with Rose, he should easily pay off. The Wolves are going to be a wreck of a team tomorrow, and I expect that spread to change dramatically as the news changes. You also have to consider both Jordan (6100) and Mitch Rob (6000), who would be in fantastic spots against Center Taj Gibson and backup Gorgui Dieng. I, again, wouldn’t play both together, but I would play either, happily. Especially if Vonleh is out.
Ok. That was a lot of words. Now I need to go to sleep cause I didn’t realize it was Daylight Savings Time and suddenly it’s 330 in the morning. Yeesh.