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.
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! Let’s get started with the Review!
The Daily Slates:
Lakers vs Knicks Showdown Notes
O/U - 220, LAL -4.5
Pace Rankings (last 15 days): LAL 7th, NYK 21st
Injury News: Lonzo OUT, Ingram OUT, Hart QUESTIONABLE, LeBron PROBABLE, Stephenson QUESTIONABLE, Chandler QUESTIONABLE, DSJ QUESTIONABLE, Vonleh QUESTIONABLE
Defensive Stats (last month): LAL - 237.7 DKPPG (5th most, -2 from pace), Weakest against PG. Also Weak against SG and C.
Defensive Stats (last month): NYK - 230.7 DKPPG (16th most, -5 from pace), Weakest against SG/SF
Players in the top 50 in usage (last 15 games): LeBron (12th), Mudiay (46th)
Players in the top 10 in DRPM: Lonzo (6th - PG), LeBron (5th - SF)
Players in the bottom 5 in DRPM: Bullock (4th Worst SG), Knox (WORST SF), JaVale (5th Worst C)
Afternoon 3 Game Slate
I am going to a condensed analysis for the 3 game slate.
Hornets vs Heat - Tip Off: 100pm
O/U - 220, LAL -4.5
Pace Rankings (last 15 days): CHA 22nd, MIA 26th
Injury News: Zeller DOUBTFUL, Justise QUESTIONABLE, Wade QUESTIONABLE
Defensive Stats (last month): CHA - 235.1 DKPPG (6th most, -16 from pace), Weakest against C. Also bad against SG/PG
Defensive Stats (last month): MIA - 218.5 DKPPG (25th most, -1 from pace), Weakest against SG. BEST IN NBA against C.
Players in the top 50 in usage (last 15 games): Kemba (9th), Wade (25th)
Players in the top 10 in DRPM: Richardson (6th - SG), Lamb (8th - SG), Justise (10th - SF), Whitside (3rd - C)
Players in the bottom 5 in DRPM: Wade (3rd Worst SG)
Before we talk about anything else, the bad thing here is that the tipoff time is two and a half hours before the next game tips off. Half of a team could be ruled out in that time. This game will have the lowest total on the slate. While I don’t know if it’s sane to completely fade it on a 3 game slate, if you are going to be around to late swap based on any late breaking news (and there should be some), I would give serious thought to going light on this game and saving your spots for the 330/4pm games.
With how bad the Hornets are at defending C without Zeller, I want to get some Bam (5000) who apparently is the only one we can count on for minutes. Take Whiteside (5700) if you like having agita.
With how bad MIA is at defending SG lately, I will take Jeremy Lamb (6000), who isn’t really affected by the loss of Zeller.
Olynyk (5300) should see 35 minutes here and, if he gets hot, could get you 7x value without too much of a trouble. Should also get a bunch of extra rebounds due to the Hornets being so bad.
The rest comes down to injury news. If Winslow misses, Dragic (4300) would be forced into extra minutes, and I would have to take a chance there. Also, this would make me really interested in Kemba (8300), who would have no one on the Heat who can adequately guard him, with or without Zeller
If Wade misses, you have to give extra consideration to McGruder (3300) and Waiters (4300).
Sixers vs Bucks - Tip Off: 330pm
O/U - 231, MIL -6.5
Pace Rankings (last 15 days): PHI 10th, MIL 8th
Injury News: PatCon PROBABLE, Brown OUT, Donte QUESTIONABLE, Brogdon OUT
Defensive Stats (last month): PHI - 221.6 DKPPG (22nd most, +12 from pace), Above Average Against Every Position.
Defensive Stats (last month): MIL - 232.7 DKPPG (12th most, +4 from pace), Weakest against C, SF, SG)
Players in the top 50 in usage (last 15 games): Embiid (10th), Giannis (11th), Khris (45th)
Players in the top 10 in DRPM: Bledsoe (7th - PG), Butler (2nd - PG), Giannis (5th - PF), BroLo (7th - C), Embiid (10th - C)
Players in the bottom 5 in DRPM: NONE
The Bucks have a 3 game lead over the Raptors for top seed in the East, even though they lost Brogdon for the rest of the season with a plantar fascia tear. Tony Snell will be replacing him in the lineup which is not good for the offense of the Bucks, but should push extra usage to all of the other normal starters, meaning all 4 of them should receive slight bumps from here on out, in every game, until they take their foot off the gas.
As much as I would love to talk about defensive matchups, this is a couple teams filled with freaks. Even if he’s guarded all game by Jimmy Butler, Giannis (10800) is going to take this game like a playoff preview, and will be playing for the win. If the Sixers let Harris guard him, with Butler on Khris, all the better for people who play Giannis.
Embiid (10000) has a tough matchup against BroLo and a good MIL C defense, but, again, he’s a freak. He’s gotten 34 and 36 minutes and 57 and 56 DKP his last couple of games. This is a tougher matchup, for sure, but it’s not like BroLo is going to stop Embiid. He is just underpriced for any matchup, as tough as this one is.
Simmons (8100)... he’s either going to have to attack the basket a lot, or get 20 assists to someone putting up a 3. Cause that’s where the Bucks are weakest, and he barely shoots past the key. The same goes for Butler, who should see the D of Giannis most of the game.
My 2 favorite Sixers are Redick (5100), who will try to exploit his matchup against Snell, and is a 3 point shooter if I ever saw one. He could put up 15 3s today if the Sixers really want to win. While not as prolific a 3 point shooter as Redick, Harris (7200) will get 5+ 3s up, as well as attack the Bucks at their weakest position, from the season long perspective.
Khris (6600) is someone I want today, though I feel like it’s one of those places I’m being too cute. I just feel like Giannis and Butler will be on each other all game, giving Khris a bonus matchup against Tobias Harris. He should be able to eat. Plus, no Brogdon. So that’s more 3s for him.
Snell (3100) should get the start, and might get you value in 20 minutes. Maybe? He could get you anywhere from 5-20 DKP here. It’s a huge risk but, in a 3 game slate, in a GPP, where we are hunting for value, you better believe I am going to take a chance here. As well as PatCon (3500), if he can play. If he is out, I will play Donte (3000). If both are out, with Brown missing, Snell might get 35 minutes, or I might take the chance they play both George Hill and Duval at the same time. But yuck.
Raptors vs Pistons - Tip Off: 430pm
O/U - N/A
Pace Rankings (last 15 days): TOR 13th, DET 29th
Injury News: Lowry QUESTIONABLE, Green PROBABLE, FVV QUESTIONABLE, Ibaka OUT, R Jax PROBABLE
Defensive Stats (last month): TOR - 227.3 DKPPG (19th most, +6 from pace), Weakest against SF and PG
Defensive Stats (last month): DET - 211.1 DKPPG (30th most, +1 from pace), Above Average Against Every Position. SECOND BEST IN THE NBA Against PG AND PF.
Players in the top 50 in usage (last 15 games): Kawhi (13th), Blake (27th), R Jax (39th)
Players in the top 10 in DRPM: Lowry (5th - PG), Green (1st - SG), Brown (3rd - SG), Siakam (7th - PF)
Players in the bottom 5 in DRPM: Ibaka (4th Worst C)
So, this game, and, essentially, this entire slate is going to come down to the health and status of Kyle Lowry. Since this is an early game, we may not know anything until 230-3pm, which means the early game will have been locked for 2 hours already. So you can either plan and try to guess right, late swap, or avoid it all entirely.
We have to also understand this is a Pistons team that has been playing 29th in pace and giving up the fewest DKPPG. Even if Lowry plays, this is just a terrible matchup for the whole Toronto team. On top of that, if you look at the last game, the entirety of the Raptors team had 21 assists on 111 points. Siakam had 6, Kawhi and Gasol had 4. Green, Powell, and McCaw had 2 and Lin, the POINT GUARD had 1. So, yeah.
Kawhi (8600) is priced fairly at 8600 if Lowry is playing, and he’s underpriced if Lowry is out, but nothing substantial enough I would call him a lock. He should get you another 40-45 DKP, but I don’t think he will get you anywhere near the 60 DKP you would want at that price.
Siakam (6700) is your best bet here. He will see his normal run and get some backup C run with Ibaka being out. Granted the Pistons have been wonderful against PF lately, but if he gets you 40 minutes again, at that price, you take it.
Gasol (6400) should get 26-30 minutes again, especially against this DET frontcourt. I think people will be skittish to play him after last game, but I think they will need his height more in this matchup than a Lakers team that plays small. He would be one of my favorite plays, assuming I am right about ownership.
If Lowry plays, he’s a little too expensive (unless they rule Kawhi out last minute). If FVV (4000) plays, I will be all over him. He hurt his thumb, so he should have been able to stay in shape, and people don’t consider that when they avoid people coming back from injury.
On the Pistons side, if Lowry is out, I will lock in R Jax (4700) against the D of Lin. Unless FVV starts, at which point I will start Ish (4100). Either way, I want whoever is going against Lin.
Drummond (8700) will have a tough draw against Gasol, but I still think he could get value for this price. Especially if Blake (7500) keeps playing like a Zombie on sleeping pills.
Main Four Game Slate
Hawks vs Magic - Tip Off: 600pm
O/U - 226.5, ORL -7.5
Pace Rankings (last 15 days): ATL 9th, ORL 25th
Injury News: Plumlee QUESTIONABLE
Defensive Stats (last month): ATL - 234.9 DKPPG (7th most, -2 from pace), Weakest against SG, PG and PF
Defensive Stats (last month): ORL - 212.2 DKPPG (29th most, +4 from pace), Above Average Against Every Position. BEST IN THE NBA against SF.
Players in the top 50 in usage (last 15 games): Trae (17th), Vuc (33rd), Ross (42nd)
Players in the top 10 in DRPM: Baze (5th - SG), Isaac (9th - PF), Vuc (6th - C)
Players in the bottom 5 in DRPM: Trae (WORST in NBA), Prince (3rd Worst SF), Collins (2nd Worst PF)
When you see one of the slowest teams taking on one of the fastest, you should immediately look to where you can exploit those weaknesses. The Hawks have many weaknesses.
First, PG. Trae is the worst defender in the NBA. Not just for PGs. For every player. So, even though Augustin (5100) has priced up, he just put up almost 40 DKP in a similar matchup against 2nd worst defender in the NBA, Collin Sexton. Jerian Grant (3200) will also get 18-22 minutes here, so you have to consider him as a punt.
Second, Forwards. Collins and Prince will start and get a lot of minutes. This means Isaac (5200) should be able to destroy Prince. That’s not even fair. And Gordon (7200), who is always a risk of disappearing, should be able to have one of those 50 DKP games against Collins. I would also add that Ross (5600) would also greatly benefit from these same issues.
Third, SG. While he will see some Baze, making him less desirable, you still can’t go wrong at that price for Fournier (5500), especially considering how weak ATL has been against outside shooting lately.
The only decent defender the Hawks have, and he has been showing it against good players all season, is Dedmon, meaning I will actually be lower on Vuc than any of the other starters except Fournier. I know that the Hawks is a great matchup and 9200 is underpriced. But I think the path to scoring is going to be easier through other people. Which does make the chance Vuc has a 3x2 greater. But it’s still pointless to push that issue, so why would they? I should also point out that bathrobe favorite Khem Birch (3400) just got 33DKP and a 13p/11r 2x2 in 18 minutes. Go Khem!
Trae Young (7400) is one of my favorite plays of this slate at that price. Not joking. I know ORL is slow. I know that they give up almost no DKPPG. I know they stunt production everywhere. But I also know that Trae is only 7400 and he’s going to be the lion’s share of this offense, and he has the easiest matchup, against either Augustin or Fournier, who he will obliterate today. He should be back over 8k and I will be ALL OVER him today. I imagine his ownership is going to be super low, and I may have to mass enter again just to get me enough Young over the field.
While I think Collins (7500) is almost a sure bet for a 2x2, and should get the best of Aaron Gordon almost all game, I think my 2nd favorite play on the Hawks is Huerter (4300) who is priced like a punt, but could easily get you 30-40 DKP here. He gets a great matchup against Fournier. He will get you 30 minutes. There’s just no reason that he should be that low. So, while I do like Collins a lot, considering price, gimme Trae first, then Huerter, then Collins.
Bulls vs Kings - Tip Off: 600pm
O/U - 232, SAC -6.5
Pace Rankings (last 15 days): CHI 19th, SAC 2nd
Injury News: NONE
Defensive Stats (last month): CHI - 234.2 DKPPG (8th most, +11 from pace), 2nd worst in the NBA against PG. Also bad against C.
Defensive Stats (last month): SAC - 230.3 DKPPG (3rd most, -1 from pace), Worst in the NBA against PG. Also below average against SG, PF, and C.
Players in the top 50 in usage (last 15 games): LaVine (18th), Hield (29th), Lauri (49th)
Players in the top 10 in DRPM: Fox (10th - PG)
Players in the bottom 5 in DRPM: Bagley (4th Worst PF)
This is a massive, massive pace up matchup for the Bulls against a SAC team that plays horrid D. So the first person you have to go to is the person that controls the most usage - LaVine (8000). He is going to take as many shots as he wants, and, even though his price has FINALLY come up to the 8k mark I’ve been talking about since he came back from the injury, he is still someone who could get past 50 DKP in this matchup, especially if this shoots out.
My 2nd favorite play would be Otto (6500), who gets the best matchup of the lot, against Barnes, who is awful. Considering price, I might like him more than LaVine. But it’s really close.
Next best is Lauri (7300). If they start Bagley instead of Bjelica, Lauri becomes my favorite play. But, assuming Lauri starts opposite Bjelica, he would be 3rd.
On the Kings, the only 2 players I want, and I want a lot of them, are Fox (7100) and Hield (7000). In this matchup, given the weaknesses of the Bulls defense as a whole, and the defense of LaVine specifically, I will be all over these 2 players today. I think both can go off here, and it would be really sneaky to stack this game while the field is looking elsewhere. Especially considering how consolidated usage gets for both.
Wolves vs Rockets - Tip Off: 900pm
O/U - N/A
Pace Rankings (last 15 days): MIN 16th, HOU 24th
Injury News: Teague OUT, RoCo OUT, Rose QUESTIONABLE, Deng OUT, Harden QUESTIONABLE
Defensive Stats (last month): MIN - 242.9 DKPPG (2nd most, +14 from pace!!), 2nd worst in the NBA against PF, also terrible against SF. Also subpar against PG and SG.
Defensive Stats (last month): HOU - 217 DKPPG (27th most, -3 from pace), Weakest against PG. 2nd Best in the NBA Against Centers.
Players in the top 50 in usage (last 15 games): Harden (1st), KAT (4th), Rose (16th)
Players in the top 10 in DRPM: CP3 (4th - PG), RoCo (1st - SF), Tucker (9th - SF)
Players in the bottom 5 in DRPM: Rose (4th Worst PG), Saric (WORST PF)
Well, this sucks, huh? The whole slate will come down to whether or not Harden plays. And there is no guarantee we know before lock. Two games at 6, both filled with plays. Then a 3 hour gap. Then 2 games at 9pm. One of which has James Harden as questionable. All we can do is hope that the Rockets have some kind of Sunday morning availability where they can update his status. But you and I both know, odds are that this is going to be a GTD we won’t know about until 730pm when the team is starting to warm up. For what it’s worth, it’s the same “cervical strain” that kept him out a couple games a few weeks back. So. Good luck to us all. I hope we find out early. I wouldn’t hold my breath.
If Harden (11500) plays, I am pretty sure the Rockets are going to eat the Wolves for breakfast. If that happens, I would maybe take a chance on Wiggins. But I would find it hard to pay up for anyone, given how good the other games are. So I hope Harden misses, so we can take some fun picks from this game.
First, CP3 (6700) would draw a tough matchup against Tyus, but he’s only 6700 and would be without Harden. Meaning you have to lock him in first and foremost, though he would also be the absolute chalkiest of chalk .If you want to get off him, cause of the Tyus matchup, I completely understand.
Second, if Harden misses, you have to lock in Gordon (5300), who gets an insane usage bump, and would get Andrew Wiggins all game, who is the 6th worst SF defensively in the NBA.
I wouldn’t be a big fan of either, but with as much usage as Harden has needing to go elsewhere, it would be hard not to consider Capela (7600) and House (3700) as well (or whoever gets the start).
It should also be noted that, a couple months ago, the Wolves were one of the best teams in the NBA against PF. Then they started giving Saric the starts. And now they are 2nd worst in the NBA against the position. As much as it makes my blood curl, Tucker (4100) is going to get a bunch of minutes against him. The best thing we can hope for is Harden to be out, and the Rockets to move Tucker to SF and move Faried (4000) into the starting lineup, at which point he would be one of my favorite plays of the day. It would also change everything I am about to write about the Wolves.
On the Wolves side, if Harden is out, I will be all in on Wiggins (5500), who would be lined up against Gordon, who is even worse than Wiggins at D. With Teague out, Rose coming off the bench at best (and Questionable in his own right), and KAT going against a Rockets team that has been shutting Centers down lately, Wiggins is going to be in one of those spots where, when you look back at it and he has taken 30 shots and gotten 50 DKP, you are like “oh shit, why didn’t I even consider Wiggins.” You know, those games Wiggins has a couple of a year? It’s one of those.
As good as the Rockets have been against C, i would also take a shot on KAT (10000), who is 4th in usage and just can’t be stopped by Capela, or anyone else on this Rockets team. He is the head honcho on this team, in every sense, and with Teague out it increases his usage, and his assist upside.
Even though he draws a tough matchup against CP3, he will get 30 minutes with Teague out, so you have to take a chance on Tyus (4700) at that price. I don’t love the spot, but I love the price, the usage, and the opportunity. And those win out here, and in DFS.
The last thing I will point out here is, not to beat a dead horse, but Saric is so fucking terrible at Defense I just got past him with my walker. If the Wolves want to keep this game close, they are going to need to give Taj (4400) a LOT of extra run. Be sure to give him a lot of consideration, because I really think they are going to need to use a lot of him in this matchup, at the expense of Saric.
Nets vs Clippers - Tip Off: 900pm
O/U - 231, LAC -6
Pace Rankings (last 15 days): BK 14th, LAC 4th
Injury News: Crabbe OUT, Napier QUESTIONABLE
Defensive Stats (last month): BK - 225.1 DKPPG (21st most, -7 from pace), Weakest against C/PF. 2nd best in the NBA Against SG.
Defensive Stats (last month): LAC - 233.4 DKPPG (10th most, -6 from pace), 2nd worst in the NBA against C. Also weak against PG and SG.
Players in the top 50 in usage (last 15 games): D Lo (2nd), LouWill (5th), Dinwiddie (14th), Gallo (43rd), Montrezl (44th)
Players in the top 10 in DRPM: PatBev (3rd - PG), Treveon (7th - SG), Zubac (8th - C)
Players in the bottom 5 in DRPM: Dinwiddie (5th Worst PG), LouWill (2nd Worst SG), Joe Harris (4th Worst SF)
The most expensive play in this game is 7100. And it has a total of 231. With 2 fast teams (BK was just 1st in pace) with huge holes in their defense. Oh man, this is going to be fun to get a lot of cheap value from.
First, and foremost, Centers/PFs against the Nets and Centers against the Clippers. Give me all of them. First, obviously, is Montrezl (6600) who should get 40-50 DKP tonight just for showing up, like he got his name right on the SATs. Next is Ed Davis (3500), who will only get 20 or so minutes, but will get to eat while doing it. Third, Zubac (4700) will also only get you 20-24 minutes here, but he is 1200 more expensive than Davis. Last is Jarrett Allen (5300), who I just don’t trust to get the minutes or production. But you can’t deny his upside and the spot he’s in.
Second, high usage guards. The only decent defender on this team at the guard position is PatBev, who will have his hands full with LeVert (and vice versa). That leaves D Lo (7100) and his falling price tag, against SGA and his terrible D. He isn’t getting as many minutes lately, but he is still 2nd in the NBA in usage over the last 15 games, even with Dinwiddie back. He could get you 50 DKP here and people will avoid him. I also LOVE Dinwiddie (6100) and LouWill (6900) who will get most of their run lined up against each other, and they are both horrible defenders. As you can see, LouWill and Dinwiddie are both top 15 in the NBA in usage, so we can count on them to take a lot of shots, and can laugh at how ridiculous these prices are.
The last play I want to mention is Gallo (6800) who is the unquestioned usage leader of the starting 5 for the Clippers. He will be matched up with Kurucs who is a dumpster fire. While he will cede all of his late game usage to LouWill and Montrezl, making him a riskier and less reliable play, he could get you 40 DKP when they are off the court, and we can just hope for some crumbs when they are.
Wow!! This should be an exciting day of basketball!! I wish you all the best of luck! I am going to leave my house for once and go look at laptops with my wife! Yay! I’m super excited. I don’t think I have enough to get one, but at least then I’ll know what I am aiming for! Hooray!