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Hello, everyone! bathrobeDFS here with your daily basketball article. I will go over tonight’s slate as someone that plays on Draftkings. 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:
With baseball season on the horizon, I am going to be putting these out later. When the baseball season starts, the late night article that will be published will be the MLB analysis article, and the afternoon article will be a combo of my analysis article and the good chalk/bad chalk article (similar to what I do on days I can’t get the article out at night).
In that spirit, I also want to say that this weekend will be sparse articles. I do all the research just the same, but I am going to make it much leaner, as I have an insane amount of work to do before opening day, and I can’t spend 4 hours writing this if I want to get all the previews done before opening day. So enough wasting time, then. Let’s take a quick look at tonight:
Celtics v Hornets Showdown
O/U - 222, BOS -3.5
Boston 12th in pace, CHA 22nd
Horford OUT, Hayward OUT, Baynes OUT, Zeller OUT, MKG OUT
BOS - 227.6 DKPPG (18th most, +6 from pace), Weakest against SF/PF
CHA - 235.1 DKPPG (6th most, -16 from pace!!!!), Weakest against C. Also weak against PG/SG
Top 50 usage: Kemba (9), Kyrie (28)
Top 10 DRPM: Smart (1-PG), Kyrie (9-PG), Lamb (8-SG)
Situations to take advantage of (in no particular order):
Wizards - On the Wizards today, I want to take Beal (9300) first. The Wizards have said they are not going to quit until they are mathematically out of it and, technically, they aren’t. The Heat hold on to the 8th seed and they should be missing Justise meaning that, even though they play slow and defensively, they won’t have anyone that can adequately handle Beal. He’s going to be ignored tonight given a couple of the other games, and that’s a mistake.
If Bryant (4400) gets the start at C again with Portis starting at PF, I will have a ton of interest in Bryant here, even though Miami is best in the NBA against C. You just can’t beat the price and the almost guarantee of a 2x2 he will get you.
Heat - A matchup against the Wizards is one of the dreams, especially for a team trying to hold on to the 8th seed (that is projected to fall out of a playoff spot). This is one of the games they need to win. With Justise doubtful, this game is going to come down to a couple of people. First Dragic (5700) has an amazing matchup and would get a ton of minutes and usage and I don’t know how you can’t love him in this spot.
If Bryant starts again with Portis at PF, I would have more interest in Olynyk (5400) than Bam (5600). If Portis starts at C, with Bryant getting the backup minutes, I want all of Bam tonight. I assume that, with Ariza still out, they would keep going double big, especially with Olynyk playing PF. But we will have to see tomorrow. Lucky this game goes off first.
Philly - A bit of a Too Many Cooks situation, there’s just too much here to love. First, you have to love Embiid (10700) in any matchup, even though his price has come and Dedmon is probably the best defender among the starters. It doesn’t matter though. It’s Embiid. He’s probably still underpriced given the O/U, spread, pace, and opposing D.
Simmons (8300) gets the D of Trae Young. My god. If he doesn’t get you a 3x2 today and the game stays close, aren’t you going to be a bit disappointed?? He certainly should be right there.
With the matchup against ATL, feel free to take any other Sixer you want. I love Tobias (7200), who gets to take on Collins, one of the worst PFs in the NBA defensively. Redick (5300) is also underpriced for the woeful perimeter D the Hawks have.
Hawks - I’ve said it before, unless there’s some kind of freakish superstar, I want to attack the Sixers primarily at Redick and Tobias. That means we should prioritize the normal 2 dudes - Trae (7900), who should see a lot of Simmons and also be rotated to Redick enough that we can count on him. In a game that features incredible pace on both sides, that should stay close, he’s going to be most of where this offense comes from. And, even if he only gets matched on Redick 30% of the time, I will take him at this price for that.
Collins (7000) gets the matchup against Tobias. He’s coming off a chain of poor games, but most of those were games severely limited by foul trouble. True he could do that again, but I will keep playing him as his price keeps falling for issues that have nothing to do with his production, really. If he gets a full run today, against Tobias, he could be one of the sneakiest, and cheapest, 50 DKPs you see.
Lillard - I know the Pistons are the slowest team that gives up the least DKPPG. I also know that Lillard is going to get you 60+ DKP tonight anyway because R Jax is a horrid defender and they are going to have to work just to try and hide him. I also know that CJ is still out, which means almost everything is going to go through Lillard. It’s not the best spot for a team, but man is it a phenomenal spot for Lillard. Much like Beal, I expect Lillard to go ignored given some of the other games on the slate. I also pointed out last game that the 2nd biggest beneficiary of CJ being otu would be Seth Curry (3600) and he got you 10x. He should be able to do that again, commanding usage for the 2nd unit.
Louis XIV (The Suns vs Kings) - One of the best matchups anyone could ask for, we have two fast teams that play terrible D and will just the ball back and forth and shoot the ball as much as possible. Honestly, it may be simple, but take whoever you want. There is no one here who will face any sort of defense that should dissuade you if you really like them.
Personally, I will start with Booker (8800) in a great matchup against Fox, since he will be playing PG for the most part. I will take Fox (7800) in a fantastic matchup with Booker. And Hield (7400) against whoever they put at SG. I also would get on that Bagley (6300) train, even though his price has come up. The Suns are so, so bad against Cs and he gets to start against the backups. He could get you a 2x2 by halftime. And I expect people to be scared off by his price. If he is chalk, and he may be, feel free to pivot to WCS (5700), who still gets an amazing matchup against Ayton. Especially if Giles is out.
Lastly, with Jackson probably out, and Oubre out, and Warren out. Bridges (5000) is going to get an insane amount of minutes and it will pay off. He will be one of my highest owned players on the day. I suggest you get all over him as well.
Situations to be careful of (in no particular order):
Mavs vs Warriors - You know what screams “Watch Out!”? When Steph Curry is out and the Warriors are still projected to be 16 point favorites. Ouch. That is absolutely brutal, as I’m sure this entire game is going to be. So what do you do? Well, it depends on your philosophy, as I always say. If you don’t care about blowouts, you have to ride Durant (9100), Klay (7400), Doncic (8900) and Cousins (7300) as hard as you can, cause they are going to be a majority of the offense in this game. If you do think this game blows out, I would consider Cousins (7100) anyway, at that amazing price point against a Mavs team that has been bad against Cs since they got rid of Jordan. Other than that, I would definitely take the cheaper plays, specifically Quinn Cook (3000) who would get the start AND blow out run. Which is fun. You can play him no matter what. You can also ride Justin Jackson (3400) as long as you want, since he will get a ton of extra run with Hardaway missing the rest of the season, is drastically underpriced, and will probably start and get blow out run as well.
Pistons - I just don’t like the pricing of anyone here. Drummond for 9000 against Nurkic and a similarly slow and defensively minded Blazers team doesn’t seem like too good a bargain. And the same goes for everyone else down the line - Blake at 8200. Jax at 5100. The only people I would take a chance on, by their very nature, are the punts. From Ellington (4300) and Ish (4300) down, you can take a stab on any of the guys that would get you enough minutes to have an impact.
Situations to monitor:
Dunn QUESTIONABLE, LaVine QUESTIONABLE, Otto Porter DOUBTFUL - The entirety of this game will come down to these 3 guys. We have to assume Porter misses, since his designation is D. If all 3 miss, you can’t play anyone even moderately expensive here. You have to focus on the punt plays on both sides - so Shaq (4100), Selden (3600), Archy (3400), Neto (3100), and even Jae (4700), though he’s on the verge of being too much. If one of LaVine or Dunn plays, this game still probably blows out, but we can take a chance on more of the mid priced people. This would open up Rubio (5700) and Favors (5700), as well as RoLo (5800) who gets to take on the Jazz as a Center, which is the best place to attack them. You could also go up to Lauri (6900), since he would control a ton of the usage, though I hate the matchup against Favors. If Dunn and LaVine both play, this game has a much better chance of staying close, and you can play anyone you want. Donovan (8500) and Gobert (8100) get 2 of the best individual matchups on the slate, especially. I may like RoLo even more in this situation.
Wolves vs Grizzlies - Taj is QUESTIONABLE, Conley is QUESTIONABLE, and Noah is QUESTIONABLE. That’s on top of the people out like Deng and Bradley. If Conley (7500) gets over his “soreness”, he is a fantastic play, as he would command a huge share of this offense, and has the ability to go past 50 DKP as he has his last 2 games. If Conley misses, I think you have to go right back to the Dorsey (3400) well, though I imagine he will be the chalk today so the play would be to get on Delon (5200), who is too expensive to get cute with so, actually, nevermind. Let’s eat that chalk.
If Noah misses, you have to lock in JoVal (6800) again as well. Doesn’t matter how popular he is. KAT is not a good defender. Not nearly as good as Vuc anyway.
Speaking of which, KAT (10500) might be the play of the day regardless. He is this offense. He’s top 5 in the NBA In usage now. He gets an incredible matchup against a Grizzlies team that gives up a ton of points to Cs since they traded Gasol (except to Vuc last night, for some reason). He may have one of the best shots at a 3x2 tonight. I would also go all in on Wiggins (6100) who is a little riskier, as he is scoring dependent, but he still is asked to do a lot more shooting when everyone else is out.
Since the Grizzlies don’t really have a PF that can do any attacking anyway, I think if Taj is out, this is a game Saric (4700)could get 30+ minutes, since his poor defense is less of a liability, and he could crush that price. Especially since he would be lined up against Bruno most of the time.
Justin Holiday (4000) will also be a great play again, especially if Conley is out. But, honestly, he will get a big boost considering the injury situation in general, especially with Bradley and CJ and Anderson out. Conley out is the cherry on top.
Ok, that’s it. It’s 3:30am. I need sleep. Love you all. Best of luck tonight!