Hello, everyone! bathrobeDFS here with your daily basketball article. I will go over tonight’s slate as someone that plays 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.
The Daily Slate:
If you don’t want any part of a slate where you are going to have to think of your feet, and prepare for a ton of eventualities, take a break today. The list of players with injury designations is pretty insane, especially for a 7 game slate. As of right now:
Jimmy Butler OUT
Lance Stephenson QUESTIONABLE
Tyson Chandler QUESTIONABLE
Zach LaVine DOUBTFUL
Evan Turner QUESTIONABLE
So, yeah. If you don’t have late swap, or aren’t going to be around, you better hope we get a lot of news after morning shootarounds. Or else tomorrow is going to be a horrorshow for all of us. Having seen all this, let’s take a look at what we can ascertain from what we know.
Situations to take advantage of (in no particular order):
Lakers vs Bulls - One of the best games on this slate, the injury and lineup news actually makes it better for us to target some of the folks here. First, if you want to go with LeBron, getting 27 minutes, because he got 60+ DKP last game, go on ahead. Any time you take someone that limited, with that salary, you are begging to give your money to the field, even if he goes nuts sometimes. You can go basically anywhere else you want in this matchup, at those prices. First, Rondo (6800) is someone you have to love here, especially with Ingram and Lonzo out. Dunn is a decent defender, but Rondo produces across the spectrum, and will get even more run with LeBron limited (assume he hasn’t limited Rondo as well). Kuzma (6400) will be back, and he should be getting a ton of run at Center, a position Chicago is awful against. He will get a bunch of run regardless, and I expect him to do what Moritz has been doing the last few games. Also, McGee (4200) will also get some run at C, with Chandler probably out again, and can easily produce well beyond value at that salary.
On the Bulls side, with LaVine likely not playing, we can take advantage of the huge usage bumps that the other starters are going to get. So, first, Dunn (5200) is going to see the worst-in-the-NBA PG defense of the Lakers. While he’s not normally someone I go to, especially when everyone is healthy, he is certainly someone we can take at this price, in this matchup, with a huge pace up spot, and a great total and spread. Next, Otto (6400) might be the biggest beneficiary for us. His price is cheap enough, his usage is high enough, and his ceiling is vaulted like my freshman dorm. He should also avoid LeBron’s D, with LeBron mainly playing the 4 with Kuzma at the 5. Lauri (8200) is a little expensive here, but he is going to be the #1 option with LaVine out, and he could get you 50 DKP. I don’t like him as much as other options, but I can’t deny his ceiling, and what his usage will be in this scenario. While I LOVE the spot he is in, the price on RoLo (5700)has reached a price much too ridiculous. He has 18 DKP his last couple games.
With LaVine out, I would take a chance on a cheap Selden (3300) or Arcidiacono (3300). Whichever one DOESN’T start. Whoever starts will have their usage limited by playing with the big dogs. Whoever doesn’t will be the big fish in the 2nd unit, and I want to get on that.
Bledsoe - With Jrue out, the Pelicans are horrific against guards. Bledsoe (6500) is going to be my favorite play on this team, by far. I am concerned about this game - the total is great at 237, but the Bucks are supposed to win by 9.5 and, frankly, I find that low. But, if it stays even that close, Bledsoe is going to get his 35+ minutes and, at this price, he is going to crush it. On top of that, the Pels are the fastest team in the NBA lately, and give up the most DKPPG in the NBA. There are going to be a ton of people on Giannis here, and for good reason. He’s a freak and he’s awesome. But I also think that Bledsoe can get you 8x value and Giannis won’t. And I’d rather get that value and use that 5000 salary elsewhere to make sure I get other people with great values.
It should also be noted that the Pelicans have been worst in the NBA against Centers and 2nd worst in the NBA against SFs so if you want to go to BroLo (5800) or Khris (7000) , I understand it. They won’t be owned. BroLo can get you 40-50 DKP. But, like his brother, he is just priced too high to be comfortable using my C or UTIL spot here. And I don’t like Khris as much as Bledsoe, but he’s still in a fantastic spot.
Julius - As I often do, I will point out that Elf (6500) has 3x2 upside every game that Jrue is out and Brow is limited to 20 minutes. He can easily get you the 51 DKP he got last game again, even against the stifling defense of the Bucks and Bledsoe. But, given the weakness the Bucks have shown against PFs this season, and how many minutes, and how much usage and PPM Randle gets without Jrue, I will love him here. Julius (8700) is priced high enough that I don’t expect people to be on him. And people generally don’t target people playing against the Bucks. But he can easily play 38-40 minutes tonight. For at least 20 of those, he is going to be the main/only option for scoring on this team. I think he’s one of the safest people under 10k to hit 50 DKP tonight. And, while he is expensive, at 8700 he is underpriced.
With F Jax up to 5100, I am still a huge fan of taking a chance on Ian Clark (3300), who gets a bunch of extra run with Jrue out as well, and is priced far too low for the 20+ minutes he’s going to get against the Bucks backups.
Blazers vs Clippers - Oh man, the (tied for) last game of the night could be a real late-night hammer. The total is a robust 231 with a wonderful spread of POR -2.5, helped by it being in LA. The Blazers are slow and don’t give up a ton of DKPPG, while the Clippers are fast and give up a ton of points. They are horrific against PG, C, and PF. So, to start it out, you need to love Lillard (9200). While he’s not 8100 anymore, unfortunately, he’s still not 10k. And, in this matchup, he can get you 60 DKP. Especially with the Clippers actually decent against SG, limiting CJ, and are 2nd best in the NBA against SF, limiting Harkless. Lillard has shown you he can get you 50 real points, recently. And that was against a much better team. He’s going to have to do a lot today, as well, and given how close the playoff seeding is, I expect him to push himself as hard as he can.
Nurkic (7100) is playable, and is in an amazing spot. But, given the limited minutes he’s been seeing lately, and the overall weaknesses here, I will take a chance on Kanter (4300) instead. No matter what happens in this game, Kanter should get his 20 minutes and, in that run, he could get you 35-40 DKP.
On the Clippers side, there are only 4 people I think that are safe enough to play and, for good reason, they are the 4 most expensive players. LouWill (7300) will get a lot of run against the poor D of the 2nd unit, and close this game out. The same goes for Montrezl (6200) for the exact same reasons. Gallo (6700) and PatBev (5200) are the 2 highest usage players, in the two best spots to attack the Blazers, and I will also be going there. Gallo is certainly better overall but, given the price and PatBev’s matchup with CJ, I would love to take a run on him as well.
Situations to be careful of(in no particular order):
Knicks vs Pacers - As of right now, there are 2 games without totals or spreads but, given which games those are, this game is most certainly going to have a total MORE THAN 10 POINTS LESS than the 2nd lowest game. On top of that, the spread has the Pacers home favorites by 12. So every part of this game is absolutely awful to target, especially when there’s 6 other games on this slate. If I am going anywhere on the Pacers side, I will go cheap - meaning Cory Joseph (3600) would be my favorite play on this team. Also, Wes Matthews (4500) is cheap enough you can take a chance there, especially if Tyreke winds up missing.
On the Knicks side, I would also go with the cheap backups here who have more of a chance to avoid the amazing defenders the Pacers throw out in their starting 5. So I would go for Trier (4700), Mudiay (4200), and, if you are desperate, Luke Kornet (3300).
*Cavs vs Sixers - The other 7pm game is one that has an even worse spread, and for good reason. I mean, Embiid (10200) is back, Tobias (7500) is manning PF, and the Cavs should be without Love, Tristan, Nance, Chriss, and Henson. This leaves them with Zizic (3700) and Frye (3000), as the only Centers with Cedi (5200) and Deng Adel (3000) manning PF. So, regardless of if this game blows out, you have to seriously consider locking in both Zizic and Cedi. Anyone else you want to take here is cheap enough and, with how thin the roster is, you can take a chance there.
On the Sixers side, if you want to take a shot on any of the expensive guys, start with Embiid, who will be able to get 70 DKP by halftime, and is rotated in such a way he isn’t hurt as badly when games blow out. Plus, you know, never expect a blowout. Ben SImmons (8600) is gonna get some extra ball handling with Butler out, and I expect him, if this stays close, to get you close to a 3x2 tonight. He’s gonna be facing off with Collin Sexton, the 2nd worst defender in the NBA. I’ll take that with his price falling 500. I also love Harris, lined up against Cedi, another one of the worst defenders in the NBA. With how many backups the Sixers have, I just don’t want to go anywhere cheap. If you avoid both of these games, you can build your entire lineup for the 3 8pm games and the 2 10:30pm games.
Situations to monitor:
Doncic QUESTIONABLE - The entirety of how we play this game comes down to if Doncic plays. If he misses, I don’t know how we see this game staying even remotely close. I will only take the punts and lower priced people here. If Doncic (8800) can play this game, I am going to be all over it, and stack it pretty hard. First, Doncic himself is in an amazing spot. He is at least 1200 under what he should be priced. He will get a 3x2 here if his injury isn’t limiting him. I would also be a big fan of taking Kleber (3500) (regardless of if this game blows out) who will start at PF and should get 30 minutes, most of them lined up against LMA who is one of the worst defenders in the NBA at his position. He showed you he can get 10x. He could do it again against this recently-poor Spurs D.
On the other side, again, if Doncic misses I will only go cheap, to people like Mills (3300) and Bertans (3300). With Gay OUT, I expect Bertans to get a bunch of extra run anyway and should be fantastic at that price regardless. If Doncic plays, I am going to smash White (6500) primarily, since Dallas has been awful against PGs lately and White will get a bunch of extra stats with his stellar D. I will also be all over LMA (8900), even at that inflated price. The Mavs have been giving up a ton of DKPPG, but a LOT of those recently have come at PG and against Bigs, who they can’t defend anymore with Jordan no longer on the team. LMA will be the one that eats the most tonight on this Spurs team. And I would be excited to play White and/or him and Doncic, should I be able to. I should also point out that, given how bad the Mavs D has been, you can actually get DeRozan (8400) with them as a stack, and all of them could pay off, at the same time, tonight. It really is that good a spot against DAL, and they really are all priced low enough here to take advantage.
KAT and Wiggins QUESTIONABLE - Honestly, with the Nuggets at home, I’m not so sure this game stays close anyway. If the Nugs win, they will get to 1 GB the Warriors. If they lose, it’s a much more daunting 2 GB. They are one of the best teams in the NBA, AT HOME, and the Wolves aren’t even a playoff team. If KAT and Wiggins miss, there’s no way you can reliably take any of the more expensive people from this game. Honestly, even if they play, it’ll be hard to go anywhere here. I mean, the Wolves are 19th in pace, but give up the 5th most DKPPG. That’s the hallmark of a terrible D. They can’t even play Saric, their starter, into the 4th quarter, because he doesn’t stop points from being given up. For all those reasons, I am going to be all over Plumlee (4400). He is going to get the backup minutes, and the blow out run against a bunch of terrible defenders. I would like him today, anyway, considering he should get 10 minutes against Saric and he could pay it off in just that time. For similar reasons, if you don’t care about the blow out, go all in forMillsap (6400), assuming Saric hasn’t been displaced as the starter. If KAT misses, Taj is going to start at the 5, and Saric is going to be solidified at the 4, given the fact DEN doesn’t play small at all. That means that, even if KAT is out, Millsap is going to crush it. And then Plumlee gets run against Dieng and Short Dudes. I would also add Harris (4000) is far too cheap and, if this game DOES stay close, he will get you 30 minutes in some time against Rose and, yes please.
On the MIN side, you can play KAT (10400) if he plays. He is too cheap and is unguardable. If he doesn’t, you kind of have to give heavy consideration to Taj (5600), even at that insane price, and Saric (4400), even though they recognize how much of a liability he is. I also think that, if Wiggins is out, you have to play Bates-Diop (3400), coming of 2 spectacular games. He would also get some great run in the blow out, and 30 minutes at that price is fantastic.