Hello, everyone! bathrobeDFS here with your daily basketball article. First, I will breakdown my lineup for yesterday’s main slate. Then I will go over tonight’s slate from the perspective of a one lineup player 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! 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!
Yesterday In Review:
The Bathrobe vs. Pocket_Saand Head-To-Head Series:
He is Cash. I am GPP. Let’s keep track of how a daily head-to-head stack up.
Day 2: Pocket_Saand just ekes one out, winning 270-261
Overall Record: 0-2
NamePriceDKPValueProj OwnReal OwnDiffIsh Smith3300133.9x11.2%5.1%6.1Harden1300085.56.6x28.2%39.5%11.3!!!DeRozan810031.53.9x5.9%4.9%1Gordon7000263.7x3.8%7%3.2Looney4100348.3x15.3%23.9%8.6Powell360018.255.1x.6%1.4%0.8Turner4300184.2x3%2.75%0.25Klay650034.755.3x16.3%32.3%16!!!Total499002615.23x
Entry Fees: 25.75 Winnings: 0
Well, that didn’t exactly go how I wanted. When does it ever? I can do the research. I know how to write. But when it comes to picking a lineup, sometimes it just doesn’t work out for me. I faced the question all of us faced today - build around Harden or try to get away from the field. With the projected ownership under 30% and the price still not high enough for the matchup against the Nets, I decided to lock Harden in and then build around him. You wouldn’t know it, but the next person I locked in was Montrezl who I absolutely loved today. I’ll get to that later. Next, I wanted to get Gordon against the Pistons. Even with the OT game, he couldn’t even get to 4x. He had a history of playing well against Blake, and had been hot lately, but this time it didn’t work out. I loved the value Ish gave me. He has been a solid PPM producer and I thought he had a good shot of getting over 20 minutes. Again, something that didn’t work out. But for 3300, he is someone I will be playing a lot in the coming days. With all of the folks missing for the Raptors, and the fact I thought it would be a back-and-forth game, I wanted to get Powell in for his minutes at that cheap a price. That left me 3 slots. I wanted to get Seth Curry in there and Evan Turner, in case Dame and Harkless missed. That left me one spot left. I could choose between Doncic and DeRozan. Even with DSJ out, I loved the matchup and the ownership projections on DeRozan. Plus, the extra money I saved could be used in case Dame wound up playing (injured, against the Cavs. For some reason). Well, it turns out Dame was declared available when I only had 3 spots left to mess around with. If I got off Curry, the people I had left from 3600 and under were not people I was comfortable taking a stab on. So, moving everything around, I got Looney, Turner, and Klay in. The ownership may not be the best, but hopefully it would get me enough points to make up for some of the other shitty lineup choices I made.
The Daily Slate:
This is going to be a slate where we can do a lion’s share of the work before hand. This kind of analysis will be a lot more helpful, given the small number of games, and the lack of potential injury news. The following teams have no real relevant injury news we have to consider tonight: SAC, CHA, PHI, IND, LAL, OKC, and CHI (Carter is out, but no one is Questionable). That’s 7 of the 10 teams. The Nuggets only have Harris Questionable and the Suns only have Crawford Questionable. This means that, apart from Harris, the only thing we are waiting for is the news on CJ Miles, OG Anunoby, and Kawhi. This game goes off 30 minutes after lock, so hopefully we will know about them well before then. So, since this is a seemingly straightforward slate, let’s get into it!!
Matchup Specific Ceiling (MSC) Pick of the Day
Matchup Specific Ceiling is a “quasi-metric” I use to make decisions. If you haven’t read my explanation, please check out this link right here
The explanation begins in the “injury/lineup news” section about halfway down.
In this section, I will pick the player who has fewest factors preventing him from reaching his ceiling, considering spread, pace, O/U, defense, usage, teammate health, and other factors.
Paul “John Ringo” George - As I finished putting together all my notes for today, I looked over the games and thought to myself, “Well, obviously the MSC pick will be Brad Beal today. End of story. Moving on.” Then I realized that Beal was playing in London at 3pm and wouldn’t be on the, now, 5 game main slate. While no one is in as good a spot as Beal, PG13 (9800) is my pick for being in the best spot of the players on this slate. First, in terms of things that are not quantifiable, everyone will remember that the general consensus this past offseason would be that PG13 would wind up in LA playing with Lebron. He decided, instead, to stay in OKC with Westbrook and try to push for a championship there. This doesn’t really mean anything (unless you believe he will get “psyched up” for this matchup), except PG13 got 53 DKP the last time these teams met up, with similar personnel. He did put up a staggering 29 shots in that game, which is the most he has put up on the entire season. Next, PG13 has shown an 80-90 point ceiling this year so, while he doesn’t have as high a raw ceiling as a Westbrook, he is in a much better spot against Ingram then Russ will be against either Lonzo or Hart (who are 11th in DRPM for PGs, and 2nd in DRPM for SG, respectively). I will also add this- I update my main batch of statistics once a week (or so). This week, I decided we are far enough into the season that I was going to start running everything on more recent samples. So instead of looking at season long pace (which may be radically different with injuries/trades, etc.), I am now looking at pace over the last 15 games played for a team. Well, if you look at the last 15 games, the Lakers are 2nd in pace and the Thunder are 1st. So that’s about as good as you can possibly get. This game also features the 2nd highest O/U on the slate, at 226, which means there is going to be a ton of production going around. The only area of concern is the spread of OKC -10, which is right on the border or when I start worrying about a blowout. However, when looking at a 5 game slate we really can’t get cute and worry about that kind of thing (unless it’s, like, the Warriors playing the Cavs). Another metric I updated is all the DvP stuff I look at. Now I look at the last month of games, which should account for the lack of Lebron in this situation. This is evident because the Lakers, who had been stronger against SFs, are now (by far) weakest against Cs but also weak against the SF/SG position. In other words, Adams (7200) is in an incredible spot as well. All in all, if this game stays close, given the personal defensive matchup Russ will see, I expect PG13 to take another 29 shots. Given the weakness of Lakers bigs, PG13 also has a great chance to get the double-double bonus. It just all looks good today for PG13. While everyone else will probably be on Russ, I will start my lineups tomorrow with Paul “John Ringo” George.
Situations to take advantage of (in no particular order):
Kemba/Lamb - Over their last 15 games, the Kings are 3rd in pace and the Hornets are 22nd in pace, so Kemba (8700)and Lamb (5700) will be in massive pace up spots today. This game also has the highest O/U tonight at 230, with a really small spread of CHA -3. The Kings have been playing really well lately, but most of those big wins have come at home (they’ve played 8 of their last 10 at home). It’s going to be interesting to see how a poor defensive team matches up against another poor defensive team on the road. Kemba is 8th in the NBA in usage now, coming off a game that might mark the end of his slump (his 2nd 30 real point game in a row, putting up 52.5DKP on 13-27 shooting). Lamb is 115th in usage, which is not that great, but puts him around players such as Aaron Gordon, Jeff Teague, Paul Millsap, and Rudy Gay. He is also coming off a great 34.25 DKP performance, shooting 8-15 in a much more trying matchup in San Antonio. Obviously Kemba is in a better spot in terms of how many times he is going to shoot, and how much ballhanding he is going to do, but Lamb has the best matchup tonight, going against Buddy Hield who is the 5th worst starting SG in the NBA according to DRPM. This game has a high enough total you are probably going to need to get a good chunk of it tonight., If you don’t want to spend all the way up for Kemba, Lamb should be a fine play to get you some access to this game without breaking the bank.
Philly - I can never remember who gave me certain suggestions, or where, but someone suggested I start calling them the Philly TooManyCooks too, and I think that is a pretty accurate assessment. Much like teams like the Warriors and Pelicans, there are a lot of people here who need to eat, and the prices aren’t necessarily reflective of that fact. Like the Pelicans, the Sixers have one high priced usage monster, Embiid (10100). While he is in a tough matchup against the 5th ranked Center in DRPM, Myles Turner, Embiid is one of those matchup proof players. While that price will stop you from getting some other folks you may want tonight, Joel Embiid is ALWAYS underpriced if he is under 11k, and he’s almost 1000 under that. Philly has had a couple blow outs, and Embiid had one poor shooting day (9-24) which has caused his price to fall, but in a close game, against the team directly above them in the standings, Embiid should easily exceed that price. The next part is more of a question: Simmons (9200) is also in a tough spot, but the question is how tough is it? Will the Pacers have Oladipo, the 5th best DRPM SG, guard Simmons or Butler? Then does Collison, the 10th ranked PG, guard the other person or does he go on Redick (this would leave Thad Young, the 10th ranked PF to guard Butler, which is perfectly feasible)? The one thing we should note: whoever is guarded by Bogdanovich (who I would guess will be Chandler), will be in the best spot though, if it is Chandler, it won’t matter. That being said, Simmons has triple-double upside very few players have on this slate, this game will have a lot of scoring, and it will be close. While I will have a hard time paying for a Butler (6800) or Redick (5400) in this matchup, given how little usage there will be to go around, Simmons has also proven himself to be a serious threat every time he steps on the court.
Richaun Holmes - I will keep playing Holmes (4200) every day until either his price comes up, or people get onto him enough. With Booker (7800) coming back from an injury and failing to get to double digit points in 27 minutes (yeesh), I am hesitant to go with Booker who will be facing the #1 ranked defense of Danny Green. TJ Warren (6000) is in a great spot, but at a terrible, terrible price. If he was 4500 I’d be all over him today. 6000 is almost as big a joke as Pat McCaw being priced over Klay on FD yesterday. The other player on the Suns I would be interested in taking a stab on today is Oubre (5200), especially if there’s no chance he sees a Kawhi defense. He has shown his ability to get to 50 DKP and, if Booker stays rusty, Oubre will be a large part of why this game manages to stay close (if it, indeed, does). Mikal Bridges (3700) is also someone the Suns play for his defense, meaning he can easily fall into 20DKP in the 30 minutes he gets every game. It’s not really a safe GPP play, but if you need a cash punt, look no further.
Kuzma and KCP:
You down with KCP (4700)? Yeah you know me. You down with KCP? Yeah you know me. You down with KCP? Yeah you know me. Who down with KCP? Every last homie.
KCP how can I explain it
we’ll take it game by game if
They weak against SGs then you can play him
K is for Killer, C is for Chuckin-ball-practitioner
The last P man that means perimeter.
It’s sort of like, you know, another way to say he’s an assassin
The man is a shooter- that’s what happenin.
You ever seen a player shine given a starter’s spot
He goes against a team that’s weak and then that shit gets hot
He puts up 10 behind the arc and he keeps hitting shots
There’s no one there that’s gonna stop him, they like it or not.
You know it’s not a punt a P to the U to the N to the T
It’s “Terrence Ferguson is home.” Ain’t that shit so scary?
It’s KCP time there is no need to regret it
There’s no time for Josh Hart now, it’s just time to hit it
How many DFSers know just what I’m getting at
They think it’s wrong that I won’t stick, and I will pivot that.
Well if you do play KCP then you’ll take down some shit
And if you don’t, enjoy the consequence
You down with KCP? Yeah you know me! You down with KCP? Yeah you know me! You down with KCP? Yeah you know me! Who’s down with KCP? Every last homie
Also, Kyle Kuzma (6900) is in a really great spot against Jerami Grant.
Situations to be careful of(in no particular order):
The Kings - The Kings have been spreading the minutes around a lot lately. In their last game against the Blazers, they played 10 players (which is fairly normal). What isn’t normal is that no one passed 32 minutes and no one got LESS than 16 minutes. In the game before it, against the Hornets (again), the Kings played 10 players. No one had more than 32 minutes (again), and no one had less than 17 minutes. In the game before that, against the Pistons (which was a bit of a blowout before the PIstons brought it back late), they played 12 players. Apart from 2 guys that got 4 minutes, among the normal 10 players, no one got more than 29 minutes and no one got under 20. I mean, read through that again. In something like DFS, minutes are key. Everything hinges on the ability for someone to get as many minutes as possible, and produce as many points per minute as they can in that given time. Even just FIVE MINUTES can mean the WORLD in a game like this. 5 minutes can be the difference between someone being a terrible play and someone exceeding value. So, while, again, this is a game with a 230 total and a really close spread of CHA -3, it’s gonna be hard to pick someone from the Kings without looking at trends and weakness, and being aware of the inherent risks (which I have tried to alert you to) that come from a team spreading minutes in a pace down spot. There are a couple of plays I really like on the Kings, though. The Hornets have been, by far, weakest against the PF and C positions in the last month (especially since Zeller went down). Biyombo and Willy Hernangomez are at the bottom of DRPM rankings for Centers, and Marvin Williams is towards the bottom for PFs. When DvP and DRPM coincide so strongly, it means I want to look at the people in those spots. In this case, we have WCS (6500), who had put up 40 DKP in 4 of his last 6 games (one of the last 2 was a blowout, the other was against Nurkic). We also have Bagley (5200) who has seen his minutes climb into the mid-20s and could see extra run tonight. Even if he only gets 25 though, he should be able to exceed 30 DKP in this environment, against a poor defense.
Pacers - As of right now, the Sixers are one of the few teams in the NBA who, according to DvP/DKPPG numbers are above league average against every position. This means we are going to have to also look for production from the Pacers. This is going to prove even more difficult since the highest usage player on the Pacers, Vic Oladipo (7600) has been in a slump so bad it goes beyond description. Roughly one month ago, on December 18th, Oladipo's price was 9100. As you can see, if has been tumbling steadily since then, culminating in the embarrassment of last game where Oladipo played 30 minutes against the defensively pathetic Suns team. Even though this game blew out 131-97 and Oladipo saw run against backups (presumably to help get him right), he still could only manage to shoot 2-11, including 1-5 from 3, on his way to EIGHT real life points. He couldn’t even get to double digit points! Against the SUNS. IN THIRTY MINUTES. Now he has to deal with either 4th ranked Jimmy Butler or 2nd ranked Ben Simmons guarding him. I’m sure he will try to take some shots, but in a career slump, I will not take that risk tonight. As is often the case, the pricing for everyone else has not yet adjusted to the return of Myles Turner from his injury. Turner (6700) would be priced fine, but I am still worried his minutes will be limited to under 30, at which point he is far too expensive. Speaking of which, Sabonis (7100) is still priced like the starter. Thad Young (5800), however, is priced fine. I consider him to be one of those medium floor, cash-type guys so I won’t be on him, but I can understand if you think that price is too low in what should be a matchup against Old Man Chandler.
Bulls vs Nuggets - A game between the 28th and 25th teams in terms of pace, with a spread of DEN -12 are two of the immediate causes for concern. Not only is this game going to be slow, it’s going to be over quick. The Bulls have one player in the top 10 in DRPM at any position, Wendall Carter, who sprained his thumb and may miss a few weeks. What this means, for me, is that this is a game where I will be looking toward the lower end of pricing, because it will be hard to commit that much cash to Jokic (10600) if he only needs 25 minutes to beat this Bulls squad by himself (and he really might be able to just Bugs Bunny this thing). I will need to get down price-wise to Markkanen (5900) who will get extra run now that Carter is out, and should be pretty safe to get the minutes, even if the score pulls away. Similarly, Portis (4600) and Jabari Parker (3600) are in great spots, and should see a lot of extra run due to Carter’s absence. We should wait for the news about how the rotation is going to shake out, but all 3 of these guys are in the conversation tomorrow. On the other side of the ball, even if Harris plays, I expect he will be severely limited, meaning I want to get all of Beasley (4900) who will get significant run, whether Denver wins this game by 5 or 50 points. He has shown the propensity to shoot and, while he is one of those “scoring dependent” plays, he should be matched up against Zach LaVine, the 4th worst PG defensively, which should help him land a few extra shots. Similarly, Mason Plumlee (4400) should be able to get some extra run today and easily capitalize on it against what will be terrible Bulls bigs defensively.
Situations to monitor:
Kawhi - So, yeah, the coaching staff said that they would start playing Kawhi (9600) on both ends of back-to-backs starting in January. Wait, that doesn’t sound right. Not nearly cynical enough. I need to accent it differently. The coaching staff said they would start playing Kawhi on both ends of back-to-backs in January. I will believe that when I see it, especially when Toronto has to travel from a whole other country after last night’s game. If he plays, he is always a good play. He’s expensive, and this game may blow out, but he is always a hell of a play, especially matched up against anyone Phoenix plays. If he is declared out for tomorrow, this whole game becomes a whole lot more interesting. First, we need to wait for the status of CJ Miles and OG Anunoby who missed yesterday’s game in Boston. Miles has been nursing a hip injury and Anunoby is away on a personal matter, so it’s no guarantee either will play. If all 3 miss (and I assume that will be the case), Lowry (7400) becomes one of the plays of the day. We’ve seen him all but disappear when Kawhi is in full swing but, when Kawhi is rested, the old Lowry (and his usage) come back and treat us all to DFS goodness. It should also be known that the Raptors ran a 9 man rotation last night (including a 12 minute, 0-3, 0p/0r/0a/0b/0s/0to performance from Delon Wright, whose price went up 300 for this game). If Kawhi also misses, this would reduce the rotation to 8 meaning they would most certainly add McCaw (3700) to the rotation, as well as giving the extra run to Powell (3900). As is often the case when a high usage player is out, the other starters Siakam (7000) and Ibaka (6500) would see significant increases in potential usage (and both, though especially Siakam, have done a good job picking up the slack with Kawhi out). It should also be noted the Raptors (17th in pace) will be in a pace up spot against the 10th ranked Suns. Also, according to DvP, the Suns are weakest against PG and C, giving a bigger boost to Lowry and Ibaka in the case of a Kawhi absence. Lastly, if you look at the bottom of the DRPM rankings, Booker is the 2nd worst SG, Warren is the 4th worst SF, and Ayton is the 3rd worst C. There’s going to be plenty of scoring here, and, even without Kawhi, I think the Raptors are easily good enough to blow this game out.
Alright! It’s only 5 games, but this should be a fun slate! And we get a 3pm game from London where Beal will score 50 real life points and the Knicks will leave the court crying.
Hope you all like Naughty By Nature, cause that’s what you got tonight. And I hope it propels you to the top of the leaderboards later on. Best of luck everyone! I will be back this afternoon with a good chalk/bad chalk.