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 Slate:
Well, this is unfortunate. A 10 game slate today, which is a couple too many- where luck starts to creep in far too much, followed by a 2 game slate on Thursday. I wish they had just made it 8 and 4, but life isn’t what you want.
Situations to take advantage of (in no particular order):
Wolves - There are 2 places I’m gonna go here, and I will go there happily. First, KAT (10800) has been playing out of his mind lately. He isn’t going to be stopped by Drummond, who is not a good defender. Seriously, he has been on a tear. We’re talking 40 DKP in the first half the last couple of games before he took his foot off the throttle (is that a thing?). Well, in this game DET is favored by 5.5 points (which I think has to be an error), so KAT is gonna have to go nuts. He is also someone who isn’t affected in the slightest by back-to-back, from a minutes or a production standpoint. The 2nd place I will go, happily, is Teague (5300) who is fresh of a fantastic game against a much better OKC defense. Now he gets a matchup against the walking corpse of Reggie Jackson’s defense. Sign me up twice, thank you very much.
Blake - Just glancing over the slate, I can tell you that Blake (8600) is going to wind up being one of my favorite plays, assuming the status quo remains and the MIN starters stay the same. Saric is so bad at defense that the Wolves went from one of the teams best in the NBA against PF to worse than average. Even if Saric only gets 25 minutes, those are 25 minutes Blake will be able to get 1.5 PPM. God knows the Wolves aren’t a defensively stacked team- they are 22nd in pace, but give up the 11th most DKPPG, so it’s not like Blake is the only one with a good matchup, but he is the one with the BEST matchup. Also, even though MIN is 22nd in pace, DET is 30th, so this is still a pace up spot. Blake is 12th in the NBA in usage, and he has the best matchup. I can only connect so many dots. With Zaza doubtful, I also think Thon Maker (3100), who isn’t on the Bucks anymore, is in line to get around 18 minutes and could get you a good 20 DKP with that time.
Mavs - The Mavs are 29th in pace, so there is only one team recently that has been playing slower, the Pistons. The Wizards are 6th in pace and, as good as that is, it’s not as good as the fact the Wizards give up the 3rd most DKPPG. Everyone on this team is in play, but moreso the usual suspects. After 2 disappointing games due to blow outs, Doncic (9100) has seen his price come down from near 10k, where it should be. While, who knows, maybe the Wizards also beat the Mavs by 30, I would expect Doncic to get back to the 50-60 DKP 3x2 player he had been up until now. I will make a note- it is possible he’s just tired at this point in the season. He is a kid, not used to this long a season after all. But that’s not something I am considering yet, just something I am going to keep in mind over the next stretch of games. The Wizards are also awful against C without Howard, as I’ve been pointing out for months now, so Powell (5900), who is still underpriced, is still an amazing play. He may be chalk so, in that case I may look elsewhere, but the spot itself is fantastic. And Powell’s production has been pretty damn great too. If the game doesn’t blow out, Brunson (3800) could get you 25-30DKP in his minutes, though it’s not a slam dunk by any means. Also, Dirk (3300) continues his 24 minute-a-game farewell tour, and his price and ownership haven’t adjusted for that production yet. I’ll just close with the fact this game has a 231.5 total as of right now and, in what I imagine is another error, Washington are 5.5 point favorites. I can’t imagine that sits well with this Dallas squad, especially considering just how bad the Wizards are.
Non-Beal Wizards - Which is not to say that Beal (9800) himself is out of play. Cause he could have a good game. But my god. 9800. The things I like here though are plentiful. First, the Mavs have been just awful against PGs. While he hasn’t been producing the 50DKP ceiling games we would want lately, it doesn’t mean Sato (5200) doesn’t have them. Just because he hasn’t gotten one of those 3x2 in awhile doesn’t mean he can’t (though, let’s be honest, with Portis and those guys here, it’s a lot less likely). I DO expect him to be able to get the 10 assists and a 2x2 today, and he should be able to get you a 6x here, if not more. Speaking of Portis (6000), the Mavs have been awful against Centers since they traded Jordan away. While he is also one of the worst defenders in the game (yay Powell), he is also a high usage player who can quickly rack up the DKP. And, against Powell, he should really, really be able to do that. This means that I also LOVE Bryant (4300) today. I wouldn’t play both together, but I would love to have one of the two in my lineup today. The last play I would consider is Jabari (5100) who has two 37 DKP games in his last 3, and, again, this is a weaker Mavs team than people think, and a lot weaker than the red 9th Jabari has next to his name. Ariza finally got under 30 minutes last game, as Operation: Run Trevor Ariza to the Ground may be nearing an end, but that also means that Jabari should be seeing his increase in minutes made more permanent.
Spurs - I would normally just put this whole game here but, considering the injury news for the Hawks, I will just talk about the Spurs and the game in general. First up, the Spurs are a mid-paced team and the Hawks are one of the fastest teams in the NBA (they had been 1st most of the year before dropping off lately). The Spurs give up 240.8 DKPPG, which is the 6th most in the NBA. The Hawks give up 242.8 DKPPG, the 4th most in the NBA. On top of that, the Hawks are nearly the worst in the NBA against PG, SG, SF AND PF. It’s pretty insane. And the reason that C isn’t also there is due to Dedmon, who is DOUBTFUL. So what I’m trying to say is I may only play 3 players from the Spurs tomorrow, maybe. DeRozan (8200) and LMA (7600) are awesome, can both exceed value, and are just far, far, far too cheap for this matchup, the pace up spot, the lack of D, etc. Derrick White (5400) is back to normal, and playing his normal amount of minutes. He is going to be lined up against Trae Young, the worst defender in the NBA. Not just against PG. Period. Like 487th out of 487. He is also drastically underpriced. The only thing we need to concern ourselves with here is that Poeltl is QUESTIONABLE. If he plays, I assume he starts and he’s a fine punt at 4300. If he misses, I wouldn’t be surprised if they let Gay (6000) start again, at which point he would become an interesting play, though his price keeps rising even though he’s on the bench. I would be even less surprised if they let Bertans (3300) start, and continue to have Gay come off the bench. Needless to say, whoever starts should get serious consideration here. Belinelli (3400) and Forbes (4000) are also in play. I mean, I wasn’t even kidding. Everyone here is in play. I don’t know if I can go to 4. And I will prioritize DeRozan, LMA, and White, but we have to see what happens with Poeltl before we make any real decisions.
Kevin Love - Center against the Nets. BK 4th in pace. Don’t play D. Can’t stop even bad Centers, much less one who has been showing a floor of 40 DKP lately. Tristan and Zizic are still OUT. BK gives up 8th most DK PPG. Love (7500)is 11th in the NBA in usage. Should get around 30 minutes. Barring injury or foul trouble, there is just no way this doesn’t wind up paying off. I would also be a huge fan of playing Clarkson (5300) in this spot. He is underrated, like a 2nd rate LouWill- someone who comes off the bench, commands almost all of the usage, and has a ceiling game every once in awhile against a team like the Nets.
Injured Sixers - Again, the Sixers are going to be super thin tonight. They wound up playing 9 people last night. Patton got 9 minutes, so he doesn’t matter for our purposes. TJ McConnell got 17 minutes and is in a worse matchup tonight. Butler has been running a lot of point in preparation for the playoffs, when him and Simmons will handle almost all of the PG duties, making TJ superfluous. The rest of the Sixers are in play. So let’s get Jon Simmons (3000) out of the way. He played 26 minutes, which is good. He put up 7 shots, which is good. But he still didn’t even get to value tonight, which is not. You can take a chance, if you really need to, but it’s a 10 game slate. And I’m sure a ton more value is going to open up for us to take advantage of. Embiid and Boban will definitely be out, and Bolden (4500), who is, at best, questionable with an illness. If he plays, he is probably going to get 30 minutes. If he misses, you gotta take another shot on Amir (3100). Mike Scott (4500) is starting to get far too expensive, even for getting 30 minutes. I can’t take that chance at that price. Simmons (8900) is going to eat, even though Dunn is a decent defender. He will get spread around, like I said yesterday, guaranteeing his 2x2 with rebounds, while not eliminating his chance to get the 10 assists for a 3x2 (he got 8 last night). Harris (7700) is probably my favorite play. He’s gonna get a bunch of rebounds himself, and he has been getting a ton of embiid’s usage. Far more than Butler, who I think will be too concerned with trying to stop LaVine and Otto to play enough offense (which he now CAN do). My 2nd favorite play is Redick (4900), fresh off a hot shooting night. But that has nothing to do with it. What it has to do with is the fact he should be lined up against LaVine, most likely, who is awful. And the Bulls, as a whole, are also awful against the perimeter. So go Redick go!.
Markkanen - With the effect Jimmy Butler and Simmons are going to have against Dunn, LaVine, and Porter all game, my favorite play on this Bulls team is Lauri (8000), who will be matched up, the entire game, against Tobias, Amir, Mike Scott, and Bolden (if he plays). So, basically, he should go back to getting 50 DKP and his price just fell 600 for no good reason. For the same reason I love Lauri today, I will also be all over RoLo (5000). It is going to be fun to watch him manhandle whoever the Sixers try to put at the 5 to deal with him. This is a great pace up spot for the Bulls team. And, while people might worry about blow out, the 227.5 O/U is backed up by a nice close spread of PHI -5.
Gobert - These teams met up a couple nights ago and I’m gonna tell you what I told you then - I am worried about playing Donovan because Jrue will be on him and he always still plays like he really cares on both ends of the court. I said, if you are going to play anyone, focus, first, on Gobert (8100). He wound up putting up almost 50 DKP. And, given how bad NO is against C, he should be able to do it again at FAR, FAR too low ownership. Especially on a 10 game slate. Even though Brow is a decent defender, he doesn’t really give a shit right now, and he only plays 20 minutes anyway. I also said the sneakiest play was Ingles (5900), since NO is weakest in the NBA against SF. He got 11 assists, which is amazing, but only got 8 points. He only shot the ball 7 times. He should do much, much better today, I would expect. And I will go right back to the well. I also recommended Rubio (5900), but he wound up shooting 1-8, which is not going to happen again (probably), and he only played 26 minutes, which, truthfully, MAY happen again. But, if he gets 30+, he should easily clear value today. My 2nd most owned player on the Jazz, after Gobert, was Jae (4700), who got 35 DKP in this matchup and I would expect him to do that again. Sure his price went up 500. But that’s not enough. I should also point out Korver (3400) got 29 minutes and 29 DKP. I don’t expect that again, but it might be a real change in minutes that we should pay attention to (and may be smart to take advantage of, before the field catches wind of it).
Randle… and Brow??? I mean, ok. So. I don’t want to play him. I really don’t. But, as I keep saying over and over and over again, the Jazz are easiest to attack by Centers. There is a reason that Brow put up 46.75 DKP in 22 minutes, getting 15p and 11r with 3 steals and 3 blocks. It wasn’t just cause he’s a freak of nature and insanely talented, it’s cause Utah sucks against Centers, and, even in those 22 minutes he gets, he can do it again today. The only questions are 1- does he actually play (who knows) and 2- what is his ownership going to be. The same reason I would play Brow, I would also be all over Randle (8400) who is going to get 26-28 minutes at Center and put up more than 50 DKP last game in the same exact position. Elf (5400) and Jrue (7800) are both underpriced, but I like those other 2 more. Especially Randle.
The Suns - The Suns are taking on the Knicks for worst team in the NBA. I mean that very literally in this scenario, as the Knicks are 13-51 and the Suns are 14-51, meaning the Knicks are the Worst Team in the NBA by 0.5 games. If the Knicks win, the Suns will have a 0.5 game “lead”. If the Suns win, they will have a 3 game win streak and, I’m pretty sure the universe will fold in on itself (so root for the Knicks, I guess. Unless you are a nihilist). I don’t think the Suns care that much, as evidenced by the fact they swept the season series from the Bucks. Against this dumpster fire of a Knicks team, I will take whoever I want. Booker (8100) is awesome, and is top 10 in the NBA in usage. Ayton (7400) draws a difficult matchup against Vonleh, so I think I’d look elsewhere. Oubre (6200) is fantastic though, as the 2nd option on this team. He has 50 DKP+ upside, and this game is one where he will matched up against Knox who is the worst defensive SF in the game. Lastly, Tyler Johnson (5200) will get 34 minutes if he can avoid foul trouble and there is no way he doesn’t get you 30 DKP there.
Celtics vs Kings PICK EM YAY! Pick Em!! Might favorite thing! I don’t understand WHY it’s a pick em. The Celtics just beat the Warriors at the Oracle by more than 30 points. They are gonna tie the Kings? I mean, they’ll probably lose by 30 cause that’s the way the NBA has gone lately. But man, it’s a hell of a ride, huh? So, the Kings are 2nd in pace, meaning the Celtics are in a fantastic pace up spot here. The Kings are also mediocre defensively, though they have been improving on the season. As I often point out- when a team is 2nd in pace, but 11th in the amount of DKPPG they give up, they are doing something right defensively. That won’t stop me from being all over Kyrie (9300) here, just know that Fox has entered the top 10 for PGs in DRPM. So there is definitely a path to fading him if he winds up the chalk. You can also take a shot on Horford (6400), since the Kings are a big team and he’ll be needed to play a larger allotment of minutes. They are also weakest against the C position. That’s really it for me on Boston. I just can’t chance those Hayward (3900) points, as cheap as he is. Though, let’s be Frank, if I told you I would bet you a million dollars that Kyrie rests tomorrow, you wouldn’t take it. Cause you just don’t know. On the other side, I worry about playing anyone against the defense of Marcus Smart, but Hield (7200) is on fire lately. When someone can’t miss a shot, even a good defender won’t stop them. Check to see what his ownership is tomorrow and, if he’s as low as I expect, make sure you get some shares. He’s risky for GPP in one lineup, but there is no reason you can’t go there, especially if you want to go with Kyrie. I also LOVE Barnes (5100) who gets matched up against Morris, the only real weak link on this Celtics team. He will get 40 minutes if this game stays close, and his usage and peripheral stats are good enough he will absolutely pay that off if he does.
Situations to be careful of(in no particular order):
Heat vs Hornets - What should be the worst game on the slate, for a number of reasons. The lowest total, at 219. That’s not bad at all, but, it is still the lowest out of 10 games, which is notable. I should note, the spread is CHA -3, so it’s basically a neutral game. But it is between the 24th and 25th teams in pace. The Heat give up the 24th most DKPPG and the Hornets, the 20th. The Hornets want to attack, ideally, with the PG and C, now, but that’s where the Heat are strongest. The Heat spread everything out, and the Hornets are mediocre against everything, meaning there is no real advantage. The only place I would go here is to either Lamb (5200) or, if you are more desperate, Batum (5300). You could also take a chance on Wade (5500) here, with Dragic out, but on a 10 game slate there are so many better places to go.
Nets - If you didn’t read the 4000 or so words I wrote about the Nets the other day, I would strongly recommend you do it because it shows you just why you need to be careful of this Nets team. On top of that, they are going against a Cavs team that is 28th in pace. I know that Sexton is a terrible defender. And Clarkson is even worse. So I would normally love to play D Lo (7900), but his price is just too high for the not 30 minutes he’s going to get. LeVert (5400) and Dinwiddie (5300) should also get 25+ minutes and, at those prices, I would get all over them. I don’t think they have the ceiling you may want in a GPP, but they are both surely able to get you 40 DKP in this matchup against the Cavs, especially considering they are blow out proof- they are going to get their minutes because they need to get them. Treveon Graham is DOUBTFUL, so I would be fine taking a stab on Kurucs (3500)again, but I would be much more a fan of DeMarre (3900). Joe Harris (4300) isn’t someone I particularly LIKE tonight, but he is someone who IS just far too cheap tonight.
Situations to monitor:
Collins QUESTIONABLE, Dedmon DOUBTFUL - So, let’s assume Dedmon misses cause that’s normally what happens when someone is Doubtful. Len (4500) becomes the play of the day. 100%. And you know what? Because of that horrorshow of a performance he had last game, and how many people he absolutely crushed, his ownership is going to be a fraction of what it should be. He would be the only C on the roster (Hello, LMA). He should get significant run. The real fun comes with Collins, who is already listed as a game time decision. This game goes off at 730, so we SHOULD know before lock, but I don’t know for sure. I will say this- If you miss 3 games dealing with flu-like symptoms, you probably lost some weight and are still feeling weak. So, I would expect him to be limited and, even if he is “all systems go”, I would be suspect. The Hawks don’t have to play again until Saturday, so they might just let him rest and get his strength back up. If he does wind up missing, we are going to see Poythress (3400) and Carter (3400) get some serious, serious minutes against a position at which SA can be beaten. Even if Collins plays, these guys are going to have to get some serious minutes and, at those prices, I will have to take a chance there. As much as I love Trae (8800) in general, I also love Derrick White’s D and, with Trae almost 9k, I will go elsewhere on this team. Like, for example, Prince (4500), who will be back and could get 35 minutes and put up an easy 30DKP tonight.
DeAndre Jordan QUESTIONABLE - If he plays, I still expect he only gets like 20-25 minutes, given his layoff (and cause the Knicks don’t want to win), but this news is significant and, since he is currently listed as a game time decision, we probably won’t get news until about 730pm, which sucks. If he misses, against this Suns team that gives up the most DKPPG, and is top 10 in pace, I would be all over Mitch Robb (6400) and Vonleh (4600), who would both get serious minutes and production. If Jordan plays, I don’t know how you can take anyone here. Again, I’m not sure if DSJ (6200) or Mudiay (4700) are gonna get more minutes, but you can’t play both. I like to pick the cheap one, but neither is probably the better answer, even against PHX. The best play on the Knicks (if Jordan plays) is Trier (4500)who has been on fire lately and they have been giving him a ton of run at the expense of Knox.
Ingram QUESTIONABLE - Oh man. I feel bad for Lakers fans. Not bad enough that I feel 0 schadenfreude, but regardless. It sucks. Now Kuzma is OUT, Lonzo is still OUT, Ingram is QUESTIONABLE with the shoulder injury that caused him to miss last game, and, much less importantly, Stephenson and Chandler are QUESTIONABLE. There is no O/U or spread out in Vegas for this, and for good reason. They have to see how many of these people miss to determine whether to set the line at DEN -11 or DEN -14. If Ingram misses, I find it hard to justify paying up for LeBron (11300) or Jokic (10600), though I absolutely adore the spot both of them are in. I mean, Lakers are worst against C lately, and they have no one even close to decent enough there to stop Jokic. But how can it stay close if the Lakers active roster is: LeBron, Rondo (6000), Bullock (4200), JaVale (3700), Hart (3300), KCP (3200) with Bonga, Muscala, and Wagner soaking up a small amount of minutes (though we should see Muscala (3000) get a major step up if Chandler does miss). I mean, Rondo is cheap enough he could pay out regardless, plus he is playing on national TV, so you should basically just lock him in already (especially if Stephenson and Ingram miss). Hart would also be a sensational option, given he would run the backup point, and still have high enough usage that he could easily pay that salary off. McGee is also someone you can play if Chandler is out if you think this game stays close, but I will take Muscala in that circumstance. On the Denver Side, as I already said, I LOVE Jokic but I can’t think this game stays close and I can’t waste more than 20% of my salary on someone getting 3 quarters, if that. I would also expect the same to apply to Millsap (6900) and Murray (6200). Hart is actually a decent defender (like Tyus Jones in MIN), so the absence of Ingram and Stephenson would make the Denver guards WORSE plays, especially the ones that wouldn’t get the blow off run. I would be a big fan of playing a Plumlee (4200) who will get a ton of C run, where he can eat, and will get enough minutes to pay it off even if it doesn’t blow out. But if it does, he can help win you a GPP.
Ok. I wanted to go to sleep 4 hours ago, but I had a Doctor appointment today, and I have to have another test and they think I’m gonna need a surgery on my spine and I just can’t sleep. So at least I could focus on something else for a while and get some work out of the way. Hopefully it is as high quality as I normally pride myself on, but I do have to admit I am a little distracted this evening. Thank you all, as always. I love you. And Best of Luck tonight!! I hope to see you later for a Good Chalk/Bad Chalk.