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:
With the dawn of this 9 game slate, we are going to have a nice long run of manageable slates in a row. After today, we will see 6 games, then 9, then 6, then 7, then 6, then 6, then 8, then 8, then 8, then 9, then 6, then 9, then 6, then 7, then 8, then 8, then, finally, on March 25th, we have 4 games. That is a long stretch we will see of an awesome and consistent number of games. I am excited for that.
Situations to take advantage of (in no particular order):
Kemba - I go through these games in time order. So this is the first game I am writing about today. And I don’t know if I will see a better play than Kemba (8100) at that price. Six games ago, he was in the midst of a streak of being over 9k, reaching a max of 9300. Now, due to a couple of bad games, his price has fallen to an amount we are going to need to jump all over. He is 7th in the NBA in usage, he has Zeller back in full swing, this game has a 234 total with a close spread of CHA -4.5. CHA is 27th in pace and the Wizards are 4th, so it’s an incredible pace up spot. Wizards give up the 4th most DKPPG over the last month and, let’s be frank, an insane % of those points are going to come from/through Kemba tonight. I’m sure the ownership on him is going to be sky high, but that’s a bridge we will have to cross when we come to it. As of right now, Kemba is going to absolutely destroy a fast team that doesn’t play D, as the lead dog on the Hornets. On top of that, Washington is weak against PGs. It just all lines up for him today and, at that price, we have no choice but to jump all over him. Additionally the Wizards are worst in the NBA against PF lately, so if you want to take a low-owned chance on Marvin (4400) or Kaminsky (3900), I am all over it, though Frank the Tank’s price keeps rising without him guaranteed to continue to have this run.
Beal - So, the first pick here is obvious- Brad Beal (9500). Dude has been putting up 50 DKP consistently, and now, against the mediocre Hornets D, he should be able to get there again. No one there is going to be able to stop him. And he will get enough of the other stats we can serious see a 3x2 one of these days. Another play I really like here, though I acknowledge the risk, is Bryant (4300). While Zeller is a decent defender, thus making it hard for us to trust Portis, both of the Hornets backup Cs are 2 of the worst defenders in the NBA among Centers. Bryant is going to get 20 minutes or so here, and could get you 30 DKP against those dudes. There is the chance that the Hornets and Wizards both go small, at which point Marvin and Green (4400) would play some 5, thus taking the minutes away from Bryant, but I think I’ll take the chance anyway. I also have to point out that the Hornets are weak against PG so, fresh off topping 40 DKP, Sato (5500) is an option again. The last person I’ll point out is Jabari (4900). He’s been consistently getting 37 or so DKP, and, in this matchup, he should be able to do that again. People haven’t gotten on him yet, and I doubt they start on a 10 gamer, even though this is one of the best games there.
Jalen Brunson - As much as I love Doncic (9300), I want to first talk about Brunson (3700) who is drastically underpriced for the minutes and production he has been giving us lately. So, while this isn’t the best matchup against a tough, slow paced Orlando defense, he is still going to get 30-35 minutes lined up against defensive liability DJ Augustin (with some time against Briscoe or Grant). I’m not going to say it isn’t risky- he can get you 12 or 40 DKP. But, given his ceiling, given the strength of the Magic’s front court defensively, and given the fact he’ll get some good counting stats if this game stays close, I don’t know how you don’t go here. As for Doncic, as I have repeatedly said, you can play him every game until he’s 10k, and then we can start questioning whether or not he’s a good play. He is a walking 3x2. He has no problem shooting the ball 25 times a game. And he is going to have to run this game, given the fact that the most recent #2 option, Powell, will be shut down by Vuc. The last thing I want to point out is that Dirk (3300), who had been getting 24 or so minutes a game, fell to 12 minutes last game. I don’t know if that was a 1 game thing (it wasn’t a foul issue), but it’s something we should take note of. Even with Kleber out, most of the minutes wound up going to Justin Jackson (3400), who got 25 min and 29.25 DKP. It may have to do with how often the Wizards play small, but it, again, is something we should pay attention to. Assuming it will go back to normal against a taller Orlando team, I will go back to the well on Dirk here.
Vuc - As I have been pointing out every time they play, the Grizzlies and the Mavs have been terrible against Cs since trading their big defensive stars. The Mavs are going to try to throw Powell against Vuc, but he will not be able to deal, and Vuc (9200), who should be 10k here, is going to feast. I would be more surprised if he doesn’t get 50 DKP than if he does, and that’s even considering the slow pace of this game, and the low Vegas total. The thing about the Mavericks is, even though they are 26th in pace, they give up the 5th most DKPPG. That is, by far, the biggest gap between pace and DK points surrendered per game meaning, even though Dallas tries to keep it slow, they are not stopping the points from being scored, a glance into their horrible D. Dallas has also been 2nd worst against PGs lately, so if you want to take the risk on a DJ Augustin (4500), I totally get it. I just think there will wind up being better plays on such a large slate. If Vuc proves to be popular, I love pivoting down to Gordon (6900), who has the 50 DKP upside at a fraction of Vuc’s ownership.
Drummond - I was debating putting this whole game in the next section, given the paces, and the recent stellar D of the Pistons. But then I saw the fact that Drummond (8800) was priced 1000 too cheaply against one of the worst teams against Centers. Drummond just put up 61.25 DKP in 39 minutes against a better (though still not great) Wolves team. With the Pistons clinging into the 6th seed in the East, they are going to need to keep riding Drummond. He calls this matchup a buffet, cause he’ll be able to eat as much as he wants. I should also point out that Ish (3600) has put up 25.75, 25, and 34.75 DKP in his last 3 games. He has gotten minutes next to R Jax, which is interesting and makes me think we can start playing him more, and with more impunity. I know he got extra run last game due to the blowout, but he would have still crushed his value and gotten a bunch of minutes regardless. The last person I will point out is starting SG Wayne Ellington (3800), who will get matched up against one of the worst SG defenders in the NBA, LaVine. On top of that, the Bulls are one of the worst teams against the 3, meaning Ellington, who has no problem putting up 10 3s a game, will have a great shot at exceeding value today at a too-cheap price no one will be on. If Ellington is too risky for you, you can get a safer, but more expensive Kennard (4600) for the same reason.
LaVine - It’s important to relieve yourself of things you thought early in the season. Just because you learned something 3 or 4 months ago doesn’t mean it is relevant now. Systems change. Rosters change. Starters change. Teams change. Such is the case with the Pistons. Early in the season, it was strategy to attack a quicker, poor defensive team, at PF. But lately, the Pistons have been last in pace as well as last in DKPPG allowed. On top of that, they are now give up the fewest points to PF of any team in the NBA. So, that being said, I am not going to focus on Markkanen here. The only Piston in the top defensive rankings is Bruce Brown, who is 4th, and will be tasked with guarding Otto Porter and nothing else (he’s sure as hell not gonna give you 20 points), so that makes him less desirable. That leaves us with LaVine, 21st in the NBA in usage, matched up against Ellington, who is almost as bad as LaVine (7500) is at D. DET gives up one of the highest boosts in 3s and FG% to SG, and, as someone who never saw a shot he didn’t like, LaVine is going to be tasked with doing a lion’s share of the work here. If he takes another 26 shots and closes in on 60 DKP today again, I wouldn’t be shocked at all. I also think, if you want to go elsewhere or try to stack this game, you can go with either RoLo (5200), who has been pushing over 35 minutes lately and, with those minutes, should easily exceed value, or Dunn (4900), who gets the wonderful matchup against R Jax, who I could beat and I have to use a cane to walk.
Utah - First, Hey, remember before when I was talking about how you need to play Centers against Memphis and Dallas due to the new roster changes, and the fact that most of the field hasn’t caught up to it yet? Well guess who Gobert (8000) is going against tonight? If you guessed the Diamondbacks, you are not only very bad with contextual clues, but you got the wrong sport entirely. Frankly, I’m disappointed in you. In fact, your mother and I are going to get a divorce now. Way to go, Charlie. Anyway, he is going against Memphis. Who will be playing JoVal and Noah. And Gobert is going to make mincemeat out of them, as if they were the enemies of the gangsters from Bugs Bunny cartoons. He is coming off 2 games of around 48 DKP against a terrible NO Defense and, frankly, the Grizzlies have looked even worse than that, which is shocking. Get Gobert. Second - Rubio is DOUBTFUL. Neto and Exum are also expected to be OUT. This leaves the Jazz, once again, without a PG. That means that Donovan (8400)is going to play 40 minutes at the point (with Joe Ingles (5800) taking some distribution on). At 8400, against a Memphis team that is still slow, but nowhere near the defensive threat they used to be, in a game most people will ignore due to it having the Grizzlies playing in it, I don’t know how you don’t prioritize him, and other pieces from this game. While Royce O’Neale will probably move into the starting lineup, the fact I didn’t give him a bold should tell you that his usage isn’t enough to consider him. Korver (3700) and Jae (4800) are both cheap enough, though, and should see some extra run with Rubio out, as it’s passed down the chain.
JoVal OR Noah - As I have been pointing out for weeks, while all of the individual pieces of the Jazz are strong defenders, including Gobert who is ranked 1st in DRPM among Centers, the Jazz, as a whole, are terrible at defending against the position. With this game in Memphis, and projected to stay close, I will have a lot of either JoVal (6500) or Noah (4600). They are going to split the C minutes here, so I am fine with just taking the cheap one and calling it a day. Either can give you 40 DKP here, and, given how random it has appeared lately, again, you can take whichever one you like better, but I will most assuredly go with Noah. Also, as I said last time, I am going to keep playing Avery Bradley (4700) until he starts letting me down. And lately, even with his last game not going amazingly, he’s still crushing it. Every game. And he’s still showing the ability to put up stats across the board, meaning we don’t have to rely on a good shooting day, or luck, for him to reach value. And if he DOES have a good shooting day, it can help win us a tournament. EVERYTHING I JUST SAID ABOUT AVERY BRADLEY ALSO APPLIES TO DELON WRIGHT (4500). I also think I’m the only person who loves going to CJ Miles (3200), his never increasing price, his 25 or so minutes a game, and his 22 or so DKP.
Clint Capela - While it’ll be easy to go with Harden (11000) or CP3 (7500) here, especially at those prices, I am pretty sure Harden is going to see Butler all game, and CP3 will see Simmons, and that will be bad news for both. Capela (6700), on the other hand, gets the sheer joy of having the Sixers come to town without Embiid or newly acquired Boban. He is going to see a lot of Amir, a lot of Bolden, and a lot of Mike Scott and, unlike Vuc, I expect him to try to take advantage of that. The Rockets are currently tied with the Thunder and the Blazers for 3rd in the West, though, after this OKC/POR game is over, they will be in 4th, half a game behind whoever wins, and ahead of whoever lost. We are getting to that time of the year, when all of this all starts coming to a head. I full expect Capela to get a huge run here, against another playoff team, as they try to see if they can work their way up to the 2nd seed. I also would expect Gordon (5000) to see the defense of JJ Redick, which is great news for him. Also, with Faried OUT, he should still be guaranteed the start, and heavy minutes. With Faried out, both Tucker (4000) and Green (3400) are underpriced, but I strongly doubt I will go there. I will keep them in my player pool, though, and if it comes to pass, so be it.
Sixers without Embiid again - So, a couple games ago, when the Sixers were incredibly thin, a lot was made of the fact Amir (3500) was getting the start. Well, he smashed it, everyone said (because he did), getting 20 minutes and putting up 28.25 DKP. Last game, with Bolden back, every stopped talking about Amir. I said, flatly, if he starts you need to still give him consideration at his price. Well, again, he started, got 20 minutes, and put up 23.5 DKP. This game, against the dreadful D of Capela, and Embiid and Boban out, he should start, get 20 minutes and put up 25+ DKP. Sign me up. On top of that, Simmons (9100) will see the great D of CP3, but who cares. Like Doncic, Simmons with Embiid is a constant threat for a 3x2, and, like Doncic, they move him around the floor enough he should get you a guaranteed 2x2 with rebounds in this matchup, with the added bonus of a 3x2. While I hate playing Butler (7400), and try to avoid him whenever possible, I have one of those gut feelings that, in a game against Harden, he is going to have to step it up on both sides of court, and he should push 40 DKP here, at least. This would come at the expense of Tobias (7400), who I would play Butler instead of. I also must point out that TJ (3000) is going to get 20 minutes at minimum price. I don’t think the usage is there for him, at all, anymore- especially with Butler running the point.
Raptors vs Pelicans - So, right now this game has an awesome 232.5 total with a surprising spread of TOR -4.5. I know Kawhi (8900) has been cold lately, but this is a Pelicans team running at the 2nd fastest pace lately, giving up the 3rd most DKPPG, and who are 2nd worst in the NBA against SF. I also know that Jrue is OUT, Moore is OUT, Okafor is QUESTIONABLE, and Brow is still only going to play 20 minutes. So, apart from playing Kawhi, what else can we ascertain here? First, Randle (8200) and Elfrid on the Shelfrid (5000) are going to go nuts today. If Elf doesn’t have at least a 2x2, I will be shocked. If he doesn’t have at least 30 DKP, i will be shocked. Randle (8200) will get a bunch of minutes against Siakam and a bunch of minutes against Gasol/Ibaka. With his PPM minus Jrue, he should easily pay off his salary, especially if this game stays as close as Vegas thinks it will (though I do not). If Okafor misses, I will have a hard time not locking in Diallo (3900) who will get, at least, 28 minutes and, at that price, will almost certainly be able to pay it off, even if it is against Gasol. Also, get ready for a chalk Frank Jackson (3200) game. Make sure you take some shares of ian Clark (3000) instead, though. Maybe we will get more news tomorrow, but I wouldn’t assume 100% F Jax gets the run over Clark, or that they both don’t get run. Lastly, Brow (6600) is a GPP only play and, then, only if Ibaka starts over Gasol. On the Raptors side, apart from Kawhi, I would lock in whichever C gets the start. NO is Worst in the NBA against C lately. So if Gasol (5600) gets the start, we can expect him to get the 28 minutes and crush that against NO. If Ibaka (5400) starts, even better cause we get to save 400. Lowry (7100) keeps getting 42 minutes a game. With his matchup against Elf and F Jax, even with Kawhi playing (as far as we know), he could have one of those games he gets 50 DKP and no one is on him. That being said, if I bet you a million dollars that Kawhi was going to sit tomorrow, you wouldn’t take it. Cause is there actually a better chance he plays or sits at this point?? Siakam (7000) is an amazing play, regardless. He will spend most of the game matched against Randle, who is ranked as the worst defensive C or PF in the NBA .
GoldenState TooManyCooks vs Denver Nuggets - With Klay back, we have the all-star team reunited for the first time in a few games (before Klay’s injury, they rested people a couple games). This game is between the 1st place Warriors and the 2nd place Nuggets. If Denver can go into Oracle and win this, they take a 2-1 lead in the season series, and tie the Warriors on top of the Western Conference. If they lose, they fall 2 games back. At this point in the season, those 2 games are a lot more mountainous. We can expect both teams to give it everything they have. But what does that mean? Well, for Denver, it means that Jokic (10100) will get a 3x2 in a pace up spot, against a Warriors team giving up the 10th most DKPPG, and against a mediocre Cousins’ D. Even if Dray rotates to help Boogie, we have seen that just means Jokic dumps it off to either Murray, Millsap, Harris, or Barton and gets you 10 assists before the 1st half is even over. It’s pretty amazing to watch him play and, tomorrow night, I expect to see his best in action. I will be all over him here. With Murray and Millsap pretty accurately priced for their production, we can look to take advantage of Barton (5900) being priced that low, going against GS who are the worst in the NBA against SFs over the last month. On top of that, as I pointed out last game, Harris (4000) is back to starting and playing normal minutes. He got 35.5 DKP in that game. And now he is lined up against Klay, who is bottom 5 in DRPM among SGs. On the Monstars side of the ball - Denver is weakest against SF, meaning that my first pick here would be Durant (8900), who is under 9k for the first time this season. With Klay lined up against Harris, who is great, and Dray lined up against Millsap, who is great, I will look to go to either Curry (9000) or Cousins (7600) if I want a 2nd piece for this game. I like Curry’s matchup and projection more, but Cousins + 1400 extra salary looks pretty damn enticing from where i’m sitting right now.
Thunder vs Clippers - The last game of the night may be the best of the night when it all comes down to it- a 236.5 total, a spread of LAC -1.5, two teams giving up the 9th and 11th most DKPPG, who also play at the 3rd and 5th fastest paces in the NBA. Damn, This is gonna be a fun game. PG13 (9700) is just way too underpriced here. So is Russ (10800). This is one of those games where they, legit, could both get a 3x2. The Clippers are terrible at D. This is going to be a track meet with some shots being put up. With how awful the Clippers are against C, you can go to Adams (6200), but there are just too many choices today, and so little usage goes to Adams as it is. I am, however, a fan of Schroder (5600), just not a fan of that price. I consider him a GPP play only because, right now, he is priced like PG13 is out and he just doesn’t get that much if both stars are healthy. On the Clippers side, with the Thunder 2nd worst in the NBA against SGs, my favorite play is PatBev (5400) who is underpriced for the 40 DKP he keeps putting up. This should be a fantastic matchup for him to get all sorts of counting stats that will help us win some cash tonight. For the same reason I like PatBev, I will also be all over LouWill (6800) who will also be able to take advantage of the gaping hole OKC has at SG right now. Gallo (6200) is risky, considering the fact PG13 should be on him most of the game, but he is still far too cheap. If you are looking for some risky low priced plays, SGA (4100) and Shamet (4100) are both terribly underpriced for their ceiling, and the matchup they have today.
Situations to be careful of(in no particular order):
Cavs vs Heat - The 28th and 24th paced teams, that don’t give up a ton of DKPPG, facing off against each other in a game with a paltry 213.5 total and a concerning MIA -8.5 spread. On top of that, the Heat are best in the NBA against Cs, meaning that Love (7800), who we should be looking at every game, is going to be in a matchup for which is price doesn’t make him an absolute lock. Would I be surprised if he gets 50 DKP here? Not at all. But I also wouldn’t be surprised if he gets 35 DKP. The Cavs also have some of the worst guard D in the NBA, led by Sexton and Clarkson, 2 of the worst defenders in the NBA, not just among PGs. Normally I would take this as an opportunity to play Justise (6200), but his price has come up, and Dragic (5600) should come back tomorrow. Olynyk (5800) has also seen his price climb more than 2k in the last couple of weeks due to a couple of 40+DKP performances. While we can’t rule that out against a hapless Cavs team, what we can say is he has as much chance to get you 20-25 as he does to get you 30-35, and I just don’t want to go there for that much salary. The one person I would consider here is Wade (5400) who, no matter what, will be matched up against an awful defender he can take advantage of. With Zizic and Tristan out, I don’t mind taking a chance on Nance (6000) but, again, given his price, and given this matchup, I think there are better plays elsewhere.
Ok, that’s everything for an awesome 9 game slate. It should be smooth sailing for the next couple weeks .And I can’t wait! Best of luck everyone!! One of you’s gonna win a big GPP tonight. I feel it.