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! 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 with the Review!
The Daily Slate:
A nice 8 game slate here. Some great spots, some traps, some stuff to avoid. It’ll be a fun day after a couple of rougher slates. Let’s get into it!
Situations to take advantage of (in no particular order):
Drummond - The Lakers have been one of the worst teams in the NBA against Centers.The Lakers are 6th in pace and the Pistons are 30th. He will get matched up against JaVale McGee who can’t defend a paper bag. The Lakers give up the most DKPPG. They are on the 2nd night of a back-to-back, having to travel from Toronto after last night’s game. LeBron is not supposed to play on both ends of a B2B for the rest of the year, so he should be out, removing about the only decent defender the Lakers have. And his absence will help Drummond (8800) get to his 20/20. I would also take a severely underpriced Blake (7700), but Drummond is the priority here. I will also add that R Jax (4300) is QUESTIONABLE, though he said he should play. He should be in a good spot if he does. Though, honestly, I would be a fan of Ish (3900)regardless.
Embiid - Joel Embiid (9900) should be well over 10k. Embiid is 4th in the NBA in usage. WCS can’t defend him. No one on this team can. He is going to go for 60 DKP here if this game stays close. Unfortunately, with a 233 total being something we love, the spread of PHI -9 gives us some cause for concern. Still, Embiid should get 30 minutes, even if this game blows out and he can crush this price no matter what. I would also be a huge fan of taking Ben Simmons (8500) who should be more expensive than this as well. It feels like they priced down the Sixers for some reason, because, against a Kings team that presents as a huge pace up spot for the 10th-in-pace Sixers, these guys are going to have a ton of possessions and a ton of production.
Hield - I don’t really love anyone from this team. I have to admit that off the bat. I don’t mind attacking PHI through PF, so, if Bjelica (4600) gets the start again, and we can expect him to get 25-30 minutes, I would be a big fan of getting on him. He is also a fantastic defender, while Bagley is one of the worst, so they may need to use him a bunch regardless. But, if there’s someone I love, it is Hield (7100). With Fox defended by Simmons and Barnes defended by Butler, Hield will get the best draw on the team, against a JJ Redick he can absolutely destroy. He will put up a ton of shots tonight, and, if this game does stay as close as Vegas thinks, I would think that Hield is a huge reason why. He’s a GPP risk, but, for a GPP play, you could do so, so much worse.
Hornets vs Wizards - This game has an awesome 232 total with a spread of WAS -3.5. These are 2 teams with consolidated usage, meaning that this is about as good a spot as we can get. The one thing we need to know is that Cody Zeller is Doubtful and Trevor Ariza is Questionable, so we will look at everything with that in mind.
First up, Brad Beal (9500), who has been on fire lately, drastically underowned, and will be attacking a Charlotte team that is +11 when it comes to pace/DKPPG, which shows just how bad they are. Beal commands most of the usage on this team and he has been a 3x2 threat every game lately. 67 DKP against MIN. 59.75 DKP against SAC. Then, last game, 45.5 DKP against ORL, which is the worst matchup possible nowadays. I would expect him to be closer to the 60 DKP again, especially here. The Wizards are still hanging on to playoff hope, and Beal should give it his all.
Second, Zeller is the only decent defender the Hornets have at C. Him being out leaves C in the hands of Biyombo and Hernangomez, two of the worst statistical defenders in the NBA. That means I want either Portis (6100) or Bryant (4000). I would never play both together, but they have shown that, generally, one of them will get run and have a good chance to produce every game. With the Hornets that bad against Ds today, I would be a big fan of one of them.
Third, Ariza is QUESTIONABLE. If he plays, he would be a decent option, but not great. But if he misses, he opens the door for Jabari (5800) to get a TON of run. If Ariza does miss, I will be all over Jabari. He would be one of my favorite plays on the day.
On the Hornets side, with Zeller out, I would have interest in Hernangomez (3200), who should get the start and 20-25 minutes here. The Wizards are horrid against Centers, and have been since Howard went down. Hernangomez isn’t going to win you any defensive awards, but he can put up the offensive stats when given the chance. And he should be given that chance tonight.
I will have a hard time going to Kemba (8200) though. He is the player that relies on the pick and roll the most and, without Zeller, the Hornets just can’t pull it off effectively. If you want to go to one of the point scorers on this team, I would take the chance on Lamb (5800), who should have to do some stepping up, against a terrible Wizards D, in a huge pace up matchup.
Heat 3 Point Shooters - As I have pointed out several times, the best way to attack the Bucks is the same way they attack you - with 3 pointers. And also, positionally, you want to attack the Bucks at PF and SG. Wouldn’t you know that the Heat players that take the 2 most 3 pointers a game happen to start at PF and SG? And, with Dwyane Wade questionable, one of them might get even more run? First is Josh Richardson (5800) who should be priced at around 6500. He will get those minutes regardless, but will be locked into minutes and usage if Wade is out. And he shoots almost 7 3p a game, which they will need to keep this game close. And, somehow, Vegas thinks it will stay that way - with a 220 total and a spread of MIL -4.5. So, while people will avoid this matchup, due to the speed and defense, there are places to attack.
Starting at PF is Kelly Olynyk (5400) who is one of the most important players for the Heat, from a +/- perspective, and that is something they will need as they cling onto playoff hope. While he has gotten significantly less run lately due to blow outs, if this game stays close, I would expect him to run 35 minutes or so, and take a crazy number of 3s. Again, given the weakness the Bucks show against PF, I will be all over him. I also want to point out something I haven’t in awhile - Lopez will pull Bam away from the hoop a lot, which gives Olynyk more rebound upside, which I will take.
Bucks - I don’t know exactly who I want to take here. The Heat are 27th in pace and give up the 3rd least DKPPG. They are slow, and defensive, and methodical. And trying to hold on to the 8th seed in the East. So the Heat are going to be playing on all cylinders. The Heat are also best in the NBA against C, so I don’t want to take BroLo this time. There are a couple ways to attack the Heat, though - 3s, or PFs. Fortunately, that is where the Bucks thrive. So, first, you can consider Giannis (10900), who should be underowned, considering Harden is only 100 more than him. He isn’t the safest to get the minutes, and I would only play him in GPPs, you can’t deny the ceiling or upside.
One of the other ways to attack the Heat recently, is with 3s and SFs. So that means I will be all over Middleton (6800)who plays SF and shoots more 3s than any other Bucks player, minus BroLo. He also has made more 3s than any other Bucks player. I expect him to shoot a ton of 3s today, and he is, by far, my favorite player on this team.
Blazers vs. Pelicans - The game with the highest total on the slate, at 235, with a spread of POR -7.5, this is going to be an amazing game for production. The Pels are first in pace and give up the most DKPPG. They are worst in the NBA against C, and 2nd worst against SF. They are also one of the worst teams against all sorts of guards when Jrue is out, which he is. So, first, we should lock in Lillard (9000) who should absolutely demolish this Pels team. The Blazers are in a tight battle for seeding, so they are going to play hard and, when that happens, the Buck stops with Lillard. He could be priced 10k in this matchup, and we could still take him without reservation. The only issue we should have is worrying this game blows out. For that reason, we can take a chance on CJ (6800), who has been super hot lately, but is tough to trust because he is scoring dependent. Still in this matchup, who is going to stop him?
I also want to go in on Kanter (4500). I feel like, given the way they’ve been doling out minutes lately, they are trying to save Nurkic for the playoffs. He’s going to get you 25-28 minutes which means we get Kanter at 20-23 minutes, something we should be drooling over. He is going to get over 30+ DKP tonight. And I doubt that many people are on him
We also need to be aware of injury news - Harkless and Curry are both Questionable. If Harkless misses, I would take a chance on Layman (3300) getting that extra run. If Curry misses, I would think this gets Lillard more run, with CJ getting the backup minutes. I doubt they give Anfernee Simons a bunch of run here.
On the Pels side, Brow is QUESTIONABLE. If he plays, I imagine this game stays closer, even though he only gets 20 minutes. Who I would have interest in is Randle (8300) and Payton (6600). Randle has seen his price come down 400 in one game. He is going to get 35 minutes here, even if the game blows out, against a Blazers team that isn’t going to be able to deal with him at the 4. I don’t think he’s guaranteed 50 DKP like some other plays, but I do think he’s in a great spot and, if you want to go in on POR, he’s a sensible play to run it back with.
Elf has seen his price come up 1600 in the last 4 games, but, after his 57.25 DKP, 3x2 last game against the best defense in the NBA, the Bucks, Elf only saw his price go up 100. He should easily be able to do that again. I don’t project it, but he is a huge % of this offense with Jrue out, and that won’t change. He will be going for his 3rd straight 3x2, and I wouldn’t be surprised AT ALL, if he gets the minutes to do it. Again, the Portland players are going to be popular. It would make sense to run it back with one of these guys.
I also want to point out that Ian Clark (3300) is still getting a TON of minutes every game and he could certainly make good on that today. F Jax saw his price spike, and Clark just sits there, producing as much as Jackson, at far too cheap a price.
Robin Lopez - Man, the Clippers are a bad D. They are one of the worst teams in the NBA against PF, C, and PG. But they are worst against C, so I would be a fan of taking RoLo (5700) as the first Bull. He has been getting 35 minutes in good games lately, and, if he gets 35 minutes against the Clippers, he could get 40 DKP. That is incredible value. I also think Lauri (8000) has the chance to rebound after a bunch of bad starts. I don’t think he’ll get you more than 50-55 DKP, but that’s still great for the price. The Clippers have been 2nd best against SF, so I don’t have much interest in Otto, but I would be a huge fan of LaVine (7800), should he play without limits. He will spend a TON of time lined up against LouWill, and that is the recipe for 50 DKP here.
LouWill - You know what else is the recipe for 50 DKP? Being lined up against LaVine, as LouWill (7100) is going to do for a majority of this game. He is in a fantastic spot coming off a bad game against POR. For that reason, I would be a big fan of PatBev (5100), who would start the game lined up against LaVine, before moving down the line later on. I would also be a fan of Montrezl (6000), who would get a lot of run against the awful Bulls backups, before closing out against underwhelming Bulls starters.
Situations to be careful of(in no particular order):
Lakers - The Lakers should be without LeBron, who isn’t supposed to play on B2B anymore. They have to travel to another country after last night’s loss. The Pistons have been playing at the slowest pace in the NBA and giving up the 2nd least DKPPG. They have been above average defending against every position. Honestly, the Lakers just aren’t in that good a spot. That being said, LeBron being out should open up a ton of usage for a bunch of other folks. First, if Rondo (6400)isn’t also held out for some reason, he should push for a 3x2 minus LeBron and against Reggie Jackson. Kuzma (6200)gets a tough matchup against the best PF defense in the NBA, making him less desirable. But when LeBron is out, he becomes the big dog, so he’s worth a chance. KCP (3700) is risky, but should get a ton of run.
Suns vs. Rockets - A surprisingly low 225 total with an upsetting spread of HOU -13, this is going to be a game that will be hard to target if you are a player that cares about blow outs, or only plays one lineup. I know the Suns have beaten the Bucks and Warriors recently, so all bets are off. But I also know that the Suns are worst in the NBA, by far, against SG. And that Devin Booker is also the worst defensive SG in the NBA, by far. So this is a spot that **Harden (11000) could get 45 points by halftime. That may sound like an exaggeration, but it is not. The Suns are a huge pace up spot for the Rockets. The Suns give up the 2nd most DKPPG. And, like I said, the Suns absolutely hemorrhage points to shooting guards. I am not exaggerating - this is the best possible spot Harden could be in as a SG. The only way this could get better is if CP3 winds up missing. I am worried this will blow out but, honestly, so will other people. It will really come down to how ownership looks tomorrow.
If you are playing Harden, you have to assume this game stays close. If that is the case, you might as well acknowledge that the Suns are 2nd worst against C and one of the worst against PG. So if you don’t want to go all the way up to Harden, but still want exposure, Capela (7300) and CP3 (6900) are underpriced. They could also be played with Harden as part of a stack. I should just warn you - NO ONE on this Suns team will be able to stop Harden. Ayton will draw 4 fouls in the first half trying to stop Harden from getting to the rim. There is no reason for anyone else to have to handle the ball, so just be wary of that.
On the Suns side, if this stays close, it will be because of Devin Booker (8100), especially with Warren still out, and Tyler Johnson questionable with a bad knee. If he gets a bunch of time handling the ball, he will get a bunch more assists, increasing his raw point total, and his chance of getting the 2x2 bonus. He will also shoot the ball 30 times without those 2 guys on the floor. Again, for this to work, you are hoping for Booker to have a shooting day so hot he keeps this game close, but, the way the Suns have been playing upset lately, I wouldn’t be shocked at all.
Johnson missing would also give more usage to Oubre (5900) and Ayton (6100), who would both be lined up in good positions to succeed. I would greatly prefer Oubre, who would line up against Eric Gordon, one of the worst SG defenders in the NBA, given how much more consistent he has been lately. Capela is also a bad defender, though, so Ayton, fresh off of disappointing in a chalk situation, should be underowned for being in a good spot.
Knicks vs Spurs - The lowest total on the slate, with a 216.5, and the highest spread, with SA -13.5, this is a game we are going to want to avoid. With the other 7 games on this slate, there is no reason to go here barring some kind of injury news. DSJ is questionable. If he misses, you HAVE to take a chance on Mudiay (4200), even though he would see the stifling defense of Derrick White all game. Jordan (5500) just got 35 minutes last game and put up 38.5 DKP. The game before that he got 15 minutes. So he is someone, at that price, you can take a chance on. Otherwise, feel free to take a chance on anyone you want if you feel like truly just rolling the die on the a Knicks player, but I don’t like wasting my money..
On the Spurs side, My interest will come with lineup news. I assume Jordan and Vonleh start at C and PF, meaning I don’t want Poeltl or LMA here. DeRozan (8400), though, will be lined up against Knox, the worst SF defender in the NBA. If you are going to go anywhere on the Spurs, make sure it is with DeRozan. Also, White (6300) is still underpriced, but, again, in this situation I would just rather go to other games.
Situations to monitor:
Harkless Questionable, Curry Questionable
Tyler Johnson Questionable
LeBron Questionable, Stephenson Questionable, Chandler Questionable
Reggie Jackson Questionable
Starting PF for SAC
Starting C for CHA
Alright! That’s all for this slate. I need to write at least one more baseball article today, so time to get on that!