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. 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.
Blazers v Hornets Showdown
O/U 228, POR -2.5
Pace rankings: POR 17th, CHA 24th
Injury News: Kanter PLAYING, Evan Turner QUESTIONABLE
Defense: Portland - 216.7 DKPPG (4th least). Weakest against SF
Defense: Charlotte - 226.4 DKPPG (11th least). Weakest against PG
Players in the top 50 in Usage: Kemba (10th), Lillard (28th), Monk (34th), CJ (38th), Tony Parker (46th), Nurkic (48th)
Players in the top 10 in D at their positions: Harkless (10th - SF), Aminu (9th - PF), Nurkic (5th - C)
Early 3 Game Slate
Situations to take advantage of (in no particular order):
Hawks/Bulls - Man, what a hell of a 4 OT game. Especially if, like me, you stacked the hell out of that game. I had a 407.25 total that night, one of the highest scores I’ve ever gotten. It was absolutely incredible. While we can’t count on this game going the same way, we can count on the same conditions that let that game become a slate breaker to maintain their presence. It’s just a question of having paid attention enough to have learned what happened in regulation vs overtime vs what was due to foul trouble/injury. So, first things first, START LISTENING TO ME ABOUT TRAE YOUNG. I don’t know how hard I have to emphasize this. Trae (8900) was over 50 DKP well before OT1 started. He should be a lot closer to 10k than 8k, and somehow he’s still on the wrong side of 9000. I had expected Lauri (8600) to eat, considering he was going to be matched up against the Hawks at PF, which is one of their weakest spots (2nd weakest in the NBA, in fact). But I didn’t take into consideration the fact that John Collins is the reason the Hawks are so bad against PF so, when Collins is out, they actually get better with Spellman on the court. Well, Collins didn’t travel with the team to Chicago, and Spellman injured himself and won’t play. So what the hell is going to happen?? We have to get into this. I’m gonna need… a 2nd paragraph…
We have Trae, who I already discussed, getting the start at PG. He is one of the best plays of the day, regardless of slate. They will have Jaylen Adams backing him up, and he’s irrelevant. They are both 6’2”. That’s 2. Then, at SG/SF they have Baze (4600) (who is 6’5”), Huerter (3900) (who is probable and 6’7”), Bembry (3200) (who is 6’6”), Vince Carter (3200) (who is old, just played 45 minutes against the Bulls, and is 6’6”), and Justin Anderson (3000) (who is 6’6” and so bad he only played 5 minutes in a 4OT game where people got injured and into foul trouble). That’s 7. At PF they have…… no one. Unless they call up Alex Poythress (3400) from the G-League (which is possible), they only have 2 players left, Dedmon (5700) and Len (3600) who are 7’0” and 7’1” respectively. If you compare that to the Bulls starting 5- Dunn () is 6’4”, LaVine () is 6’5”, Otto () is 6’8”, Lauri () is 7’ and so is RoLo (). So, while people could have been watching the game, or the stats roll in, and be concerned about what happened last game, it’s all totally different now with Spellman out. The Hawks are either going to have to run Len and Dedmon out there together, or Lauri is getting matched up with someone who is 6’6”, which is just laughable. Atlanta’s starting lineup is going to be a huge deal, both for what Hawks we can play, but how we should strategize which Bulls to play. If the Hawks roll out with Vince Carter or Justin Anderson at the 4, Lauri and Otto are going to be able to eat to their heart's content. If they start Len and Dedmon together, I would try to get as much LaVine and Otto in as I could. This is going to be a popular game, and I don’t know how to deal with that philosophically. People are going to be all over it, given the 4OT thing, but, really, it’s such a good game, with so many viable pieces, I don’t know how you don’t go heavy for both teams. Especially a Hawks team that will, realistically, give 7 players minutes.
Rockets/Celtics - I am generally not a fan of playing against teams that are around 20th in pace, who are ranked under 20th in DKPPG. Unfortunately, that fits both teams, with Houston playing at the 19th fastest pace, but giving up the 21st most DKPPG, while Boston is 16th in pace while giving up the 23rd most DKPPG. That being said, the usual suspects are always in play. Harden (11200) is unguardable. He can go off for 95 DKP any day, even with CP3 and Capela back. It helps when Gordon and Faried are out, but, still, it could happen in any game, even against a tough Celtics team. Kyrie (9200) has been underperforming lately and, in a matchup against CP3 (7900), I don’t know if I can go there for the people priced around or under him. CP3, on the other hand, is going to have to do a lot this game if the Celtics sell out to stop Harden which, if they are smart, they will try to do. He could get you 50 DKP here while they focus elsewhere. Two games ago, Capela (6800) attempted 16 shots. Last game, he attempted 2. I’m not sure what you are going to get, especially against the solid defense of Horford, but, on a 3 game slate, 16 shots from the Center at that price is worth a risk. The other thing about Capela is he is the 5th worst defensive Center so, again, with it being a 3 game slate, I love the chance Horford (6600) has to play 36 minutes and crush this price. Both of these teams have been weakest against SF/PF lately, so taking a chance on a Tatum (5900) or a Morris (5000) isn’t out of the question, but it really depends on how the Rockets proceed. If they start Gordon at the SF, I want to smash Tatum today. I will have him as my highest owned Celtic, metaphorically. If they start Tucker at SF and Faried at PF, I would want to get some shares of Morris instead. The question of who they start also matters in terms of who we can play, as well. Since, obviously, Faried (5500) starting against Morris would make him an incredible play, whereas any other configuration would just make me like Harden, CP3 and Capela (to a lesser degree) more.
Situations to be careful of (in no particular order):
Knicks/Clippers - Not only is one of these teams the Knicks, which makes this whole thing a shitty game I don’t like, but the spread is LAC -10. Do you know how bad you have to be to be 10 point underdogs to the Clippers? Let’s start by saying that the Clippers are still just AWFUL against PF/C. Unfortunately, Jordan (6000) is questionable, and may miss the entire road trip. He practiced yesterday, but we won’t know his status until tomorrow morning. If he plays, I would assume he is limited, which makes it hard to pay that price for him. If he is out, Mitch Rob (6500) is one of the plays of the day, again. I would also be all over playing Ellenson (4000), who seems to be the only other big guaranteed minutes and, against the Clippers, he can pay that off. Vonleh (3900) could get 30 DKP in his 22 minutes again, especially against this Clippers front court. Knox (4900) is getting less run, and less shots, as the Knicks give more minutes to Dotson (4600) and Trier (4200) on the wings. Mudiay (5000) and DSJ (6100) are still fighting for minutes, but LAC is also horrifyingly bad against PG, so I wouldn’t mind taking a coin flip on either, though I would normally just go for the cheaper one. On the Clippers side, I would be hard pressed to take either LouWill (6900)or Montrezl (6400) given the fact they come off the bench so, if this blows out, they will get like, no minutes. I wouldn’t mind taking some run on PatBev (5200) and Gallo (6200) who will get the starters run and could be the reason the game blows out. The people I like the best are people like Shamet (3700) and JaMychal (3900) who are going to get a bunch of minutes regardless of if this game blows out, and will get extra minutes in the case Vegas is right and this game is over early.
Situations to monitor:
Do the Hawks call up Polythress? If not who are the starters? Is it just the 9 active people?
Do the Rockets start Gordon or Faried?
The Late 4 game Slate
This is… this isn’t the best slate. I mean, the first game is ORL/CLE. The 21st and 28th teams in pace. A team that doesn’t give up any DKPPG (Orlando) against a team that not trying to win. The total is a bad 215. The 2nd game is the Raptors, a great team, going against the Pistons, a not great team that is 30th in pace. On top of that, the Pistons give up the 3rd least DKPPG and the Raptors give up the 6th least. The total is also a not-pleasant 219.5. The 3rd game is MIN/WAS which has a 238.5 total and a spread of WAS -1.5. This is a great game. The final game of the evening is the Thunder (yay!) vs the Grizzlies (oh no!). We don’t know if PG13 will play, the Thunder are on a b2b so no shootaround, and we may not have definitive news of if he plays because this game goes off an hour after all the others! So, and I mean this sincerely because, unlike other folks, I am not trying to give you any sort of promotional link where I get money every time you play, if you have been looking to take a break- this is a great, great slate to do it. Monday looks AWESOME. The Afternoon slate is AWESOME. Just spend some time with your family, and make sure to give your pets some extra treats and love for me. That being said, I am here to provide analysis so that’s what I will do. Let’s find where I think this slate can be attacked (besides mostly at that 3rd game).
Situations to take advantage of (in no particular order):
Kevin Love - I imagine he will be popular, though I am not a psychic. Love (7400) is 11th in the NBA in usage now. He is the Cavs team on both sides of the court. Even if he’s limited to 30-32 minutes, even against Vucevic, he should get you between 40-50+DKP tonight. They rested him yesterday with the plans to play him today, so expect him to be given his normal run. And, in that run, he has been producing way more PPM than the 7400 price gives him credit for. On top of that, Zizic got a concussion, Tristan is still out, and that means Nance (5800) is either going to get a ton of minutes, or just backup C minutes. I would gather, given how big Orlando is, with Gordon and Isaac, he would play a lot more minutes. I would also assume Chriss (3600) still gets some serious minutes here, again, given how big Orlando is. I will also point out that Brandon Knight (3100) has started the last few games for the Cavs and been getting 20 minutes. With Love on the court, his usage is going to be a lot worse than when he got 17.5 DKP yesterday, but he is still someone almost minimum priced who has a safe route to 20 minutes and, especially on smaller slates, that matters a lot. I hate writing like this, but with how bad this slate is, if you want to take a risk on the ceilings and usage of Cedi (5400) and Clarkson (5300), I wouldn’t blame you. I would certainly keep them in your player pool and, if MME, try to get a share of them, but I wouldn’t focus on either if you are making one lineup like I will.
Aaron Gordon - Ok, so, with Love being actually decent on D, I will have less interest in Vuc today. He should be somewhat stifled, though his 9000 price point is always too cheap. Gordon (6700) on the other hand, was coming off of 2 games of 40.75 and 48.25 DKP before his 11p/8r/6a/1b performance yesterday, on uncharacteristic 5-15 shooting. He always has the ability to pop off for 50 DKP and, if this game stays close, he could very well be the one that goes off. Especially if Vuc is popular, I would love to have Gordon tonight. Whoever they put at PF will get smashed by him. It’ll be fun to watch if you are an Aaron Gordon fan. The fun thing about the Cavs is Clarkson is the 2nd worst PG in the league defensively, Sexton is 3rd worst PG, and Osman is 2nd worst SF. So you can really attack them in a whole lot of places. That makes it a little harder to pin down where to go. So, for me, I look at recent usage and that says Isaac (5500) and Ross (5000) are safe bets at their price. Yesterday, instead of giving just Briscoe (3400) the backup run, they split it between him and Jerian Grant (3400). This makes both unplayable. They also only played Augustin for 17 minutes so.. Yeah.. don’t go there either.
Blake Griffin - Ok. You are the Pistons. You now you play at the slowest pace in the NBA. As a result, your defense metrics have spiked, and you give up one of the lowest DKPPG in the NBA. You are clinging on to the 7th seed in the East, separated from 11th place by 3 games. At the guard/wing positions, lined up against Lowry, the 3rd ranked PG by DRPM, Danny Green, the #1 ranked SG, and Kawhi Fuckin Leonard you have Reggie Jackson (5500), Wayne Ellington (3700), who basically only shoots 3s against one of the best wing defenses in the NBA, and Bruce Brown (3100), who is seriously still starting and getting near 30 minutes and you still can’t play him. The Raptors have been basing their starting Center on who they are going against so, given the matchup with Drummond, I would imagine they start the stalwart defensive powerhouse Marc Gasol, meaning that Drummond (8800) is going to have a ton of extra work to do, than if he had been able to start against Ibaka (which, by the way, if that happens, he will be one of the best plays on this slate). That leaves Blake (8400), who could be priced 10k, going against Siakam who is the weakest link in this defense (although still a good defender). Blake is 12th in the NBA in usage and won’t have any problem shooting the ball 25 times. This game only has a spread of TOR -4.5, so the Pistons are supposed to keep it close. Do you really think someone other than Blake is going to be responsible for that????? Really???? Can I have some of what you are smoking, then????
Lowry - I know it’s hard to play Lowry (7300) when Kawhi is playing so, maybe, we will be lucky and Kawhi will get a rest day here (I’m sure some bookmaker is running odds on that right now) which will make this easier. But I kind of hope Kawhi plays because this is one of those times I will be on Lowry regardless and I would love to get him at almost no ownership. I just have to point this out- Since the beginning of February Lowry has had games of 35.25 DKP (With Kawhi - 42.75), 46.5 DKP (Without Kawhi), 44 DKP (With Kawhi - 27.75), 32.5 DKP (With Kawhi - 45.5), 46 DKP (Without Kawhi), 34.25 DKP (With Kawhi - 41), 47 DKP (Without Kawhi), 32 DKP (With Kawhi - 36.5) and 50.25 DKP (With Kawhi - 55.25). So as you can see, Lowry has been having a floor of about 5x here with a ton of games near 50 DKP, even with Kawhi available. Here, we have the Raptors against a Pistons team that starts Bruce Brown at SF because he’s a good defender. And they start R Jax at PG despite the fact he’s a huge defensive liability. I would expect this to be another one of those games that Lowry goes nuts, even if Kawhi is here. If Kawhi is out, he will do the same, just at chalky ownership. I would also point out that I expect Gasol (5600) to start here due to the matchup against Drummond. If this is indeed the case (and we will know well before lock if it is), I don’t know how you can’t take the chance on him getting 30 minutes and 40+ DKP at that price.
The Entire MIN/WAS Game - I wish this was an exaggeration but it really isn’t. As of right now, with Vegas waiting on the status of PG13, this game has a total NEARLY 20 ABOVE THE NEXT CLOSEST GAME. That should tell you everything you need to know. What you may not know is that right now the Wolves are 5 games out of a playoff spot, needing to pass the falling Lakers and the mediocre Kings. If they get on a roll and, given their remaining schedule it’ll be tough, but if they get on a roll, they could sneak their way in. The fact that they are 1.5 point underdogs here is pretty crazy, and I would almost certainly take MIN if I was a sports bettor. So, Washington is worst in the NBA against PF and also terrible against Cs so this is another game where I will be taking a chance on playing KAT (10800) and Saric (4200) together. I think that KAT will go nuts and Saric has a chance to more than exceed value at that price. He is still getting the starts, and starters run. People aren’t playing him. And they should be, especially tonight. Taj (3900) is cheap enough that you can take the chance on the punt in case he gets a bunch of extra run, given how bad at D Saric is himself (thus requiring Taj to play), or if KAT gets into foul trouble. Teague (5500) is also really underpriced and I would expect he would be starting now, and should push past 30 minutes this time. On the Minnesota side, Okogie, Wiggins, Saric, Teague and Rose are all also poor to awful defenders meaning that, on the Washington side, Beal (9200) is in another smash spot. As are Ariza (5900), Satoransky (4800), and Green (4500), who has been going overlooked since Jabari and Portis came over. Honestly, I am gonna be all over this game, considering what the other 3 look like. I mean, even Jabari (4800), Portis (5800), and Bryant (4500) are in play although I wouldn’t play these 3 together. And I would explicitly not play Portis and Bryant together. Additionally, I wouldn’t play Jabari or Green together, since Green would be the one who would lose the minutes Jabari gains.
Avery Bradley - Bradley (4500) has been on a tear lately. He isn’t being owned. He should be. OKC is 3rd worst in the NBA against SG lately. He is going to keep getting you 20 real points a game with the real threat of a near 3x2 every game. I mean, he should be a lock for you today. On top of that, OKC is the fastest team in the league meaning Memphis is in as much a pace up spot as we can have. If you wanna take a chance on Delon Wright (4300) at that price, he will see the same benefit that Bradley will and won’t be owned nearly as much. Conley (7600) in a huge pace up spot is really interesting, but only if PG13 misses. If PG13 plays, I don’t trust anyone but the lower priced guys. Also, please add CJ Miles (3200) into your player pool because they are gonna play him 20+ minutes and, especially in this matchup, especially if PG13 misses, he is going to be able to get you 25 real points if he gets hot.
Situations to monitor:
PG13 QUESTIONABLE?? - As I noted above, given the fact that OKC played last night, they will not have a shootaround in the morning and it is possible they just list PG13 as a GTD, since they are at home and we can’t see that, for example, he didn’t travel with the team or something. Since this game goes off an hour after lock, we may not know the status until after 3 of the 4 games are locked. So this is gonna be frustrating. And I hope we gets news early. With the loss of most of their team to trade or injury, the Grizzlies are still slow but they are not a good defensive team. So, if PG13 plays, I don’t know if I can pay for either him or Russ. Given how horrific the Grizzlies now are against Centers, I would still have interest in Adams (6400), although I wish he was under 6000 again. If PG13 misses, I wouldn’t mind taking Russ (11600) here, but I think he will be too chalky, and I would rather spend that salary on other people I have listed. Adams would be a lock though. As would Schroder (5400). I will play Schroder every single game PG13 misses, even if he doesn’t get 6x he still gets close enough. Even against this memphis team. I also assume that, if PG13 plays, Vegas lists this game as a blowout, meaning you can take a stab on Noel (3800) who, again, given how bad Memphis now is against C, you can play anyway.
Ok! That’s everything. Thank you all, again, for all the kind words about Frankie. She went to sleep for good this morning. I already miss her more than I expected. I can’t even go in the room she used to sleep in cause I just keep looking for her and expecting her to be there. Anyway, Thank You all again for the real, true kindness and sympathy you have all shown. Best of luck today, everyone!!