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! 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.
An absolute thrashing. I just didn’t get the right pieces in the OKC game.
Overall Record: 0-3
NamePriceDKPValueProj OwnReal OwnDiffMonk35007.252.1x7%1.3%5.7KCP470021.54.6x14.4%25%10.6!!Jabari360024.256.7x13.5%32.3%18.8!!!Ibaka650031.54.8x17.4%34%16.6!!Embiid1010058.255.8x12.2%13.1%0.9Lowry740042.255.7x8.6%29.9%21.3!!!Mason Plumlee440018.54.2x10.1%5.3%4.8PG13980054.755.6x26.6%25.7%0.9Total50000258.255.165x
Entry Fees: 27.75
This was a fun one. I say that as sarcastically as is possible. After settling on a lineup I was happy with, Toronto decided to announce that Lowry, who had been ruled out at like 10am, would, indeed, play and start. Which just put a spanner in all of the works for everyone today and left everyone scrambling. What wound up making things even more difficult was the status of Embiid which was also not revealed until about 20 minutes before lock.
I started with Lowry. I knew there was only about an hour between him being ruled in and only 90 min between then and lock. I knew FVV was going to be popular and people would pivot off of FVV, but I didn’t expect Lowry’s ownership to be anywhere near that much (neither did my ownership projections either). I would have played him, without Kawhi, against Phoenix, at that price, regardless. I was just surprised at how popular he became. I also locked in Ibaka with Lowry, thinking people also pivot off of Ibaka making him underowned. That also didn’t work. Again, this is something you do, every time, with Kawhi out. Just another bit of ownership projections being so wildly off, even given an hour to adjust. My MSC pick today was PG13, so I put him in next. I just love the way he matches up against the Lakers, given the difficulty Russ would see against Lonzo and Hart. This left me 5 spots. I had to decide if I wanted to pay up for Embiid, who was underpriced and should go underowned due to the Questionable tag. If I went up to Embiid, I was hoping for 60 DKP, and I would have to, somewhat, punt the last 4 slots. Working everything around, I found I would be able to fit KCP, Mason Plumlee, and Jabari Parker, all of who I wrote about in my analysis article, with 3500 left over. Looking through multiple sites projections, and really liking the matchup against SAC, I decided to take a punty shot with my last slot for Monk. For some reason, he was the 11th person in the game today, instead of the 6th man as per usual. I don’t know what happened, but that hurt. Thank god he was cheap, and I still have a chance to battle back with some good games in the late night games. (editor’s note- nope)
The Daily Slate:
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.
Vucevic - On a slate where there are games with projected totals of 241 and 233.5 (both of which are also projected to be close), I expect most people to spend up on someone from one of those games. Brow, Durant, and Curry are all going to be extremely popular, and rightfully so. I also expect Donovan Mitchell, whose price has fallen under 9k, to be exceptionally popular as well. This leaves not enough people on Vucevic (9400), who has a ceiling that can match anyone else on this slate with the exception of Brow. While this doesn’t have the highest O/U tonight, at 216, it is about as close a spread as we can get, at BK -1. We also all know that one of the best spots you can be in is as a Center going against the Nets. Well wouldn’t you know it, Vuc happens to be a Center going against the Nets. In terms of usage, Vuc is, by far, the leader on the Magic. Unless someone is going to get in Vuc’s way, the Magic’s offensive plan is to let Vuc go as nuts as possible. And, again, as we know, the Nets have no one even close to capable enough to get in Vuc’s way. He can reach maximum nuts tonight, and it should be fun to see. The Magic, who play at the 27th fastest pace, are in a pace up spot tonight against the 13th ranked Nets, as well. Vuc should be priced over 10k in this matchup. He could easily eclipse 60 DKP. I don’t think anyone is as safe, or will have the potential value, that Vuc will tonight.
Situations to take advantage of (in no particular order):
Justise Winslow - I don’t think, given the games on the slate today, I would be interested in playing Justise (6800) in GPPs. But if I wanted a safe play in cash, or didn’t mind someone who may not have the ceiling of other players, There is a lot not to like about this game. The 2nd lowest O/U on the slate at 207.5. The Heat and the Pistons are 30th and 25th in pace over the last 15 games. But there’s also a lot that we can grab on to. The game is expected to stay close, with a spread of DET -2, which means the starters should get their normal amount of minutes. He will be lined up against Reggie Jackson, who is one of the worst defenders in the NBA. Even though his price has come up nearly 1000 in the last week, it is because his last 3 games have been for 36.75, 43.75, and 40.25 DKP against much better defenses in the Bucks, Grizzlies, and Celtics in only 29, 34, and 32 minutes, respectively. If this game stays as close as it is supposed to, Justise will be the one handling the ball and the one racking up the counting stats. Additionally, Tyler Johnson is Questionable. If he misses, it would be a bump to Winslow as well.
Blake - Like I said about Justise, this is not really a game I will be targeting. There are a lot of better spots tonight, especially at that price. But, if you want to take advantage of how close this game is supposed to be, Blake (8700) is the one I would target. The Heat are weak against the position, and Blake is the only Piston in the top 50 in Usage (He is 15th). Where Drummond will be paired up against #4 DRPM ranked Whiteside (or also highly ranked Bam), Blake will be drawing J. Johnson and Olynyk, who aren’t exactly in the same class as the elite defenders at the position. Blake is one of the few players who pushes 40 minutes any given night, meaning his floor should be guaranteed, and his ceiling is steady every night (so long as the game stays as close as it is supposed to). Again, Miami is a slow, defensive team lately. This isn’t a spot where Blake is rivaling my play of the day. But if you like him, and you get to him, or wanna play a stack in this game, he is as good a choice as you are going to find here.
Joe Harris - The Magic are a solid, slow team. They are above average at every position, except SG. This is more a function of being weak against the perimeter, as I have discussed, than being weak against someone at a specific position. This means that, with Crabbe and LeVert still out, I will look at Joe Harris (4900) who was over 5000 for awhile, and has recently fallen below, even though he has put up 32.5 and 28.5 in his last 2 games (one of which was the OT game against Houston). While Orlando will be focused on Russell (and Dinwiddie), Harris will be able to take more open 3s. With the constant supply of rebounds and assists he gets, he should easily be able to pay this off tonight.
Spurs - I will start this off by pointing out this game has the 3rd highest O/U tonight, at 225, with a fantastic spread of MIN -1. I will also point out that, as of right now, KAT is the 5th worst starting Center in terms of DRPM. This means that LMA (7600) who has seen his price fall back under 8k after a couple of bad games, is going to be in a great spot tonight. The next thing I want to point out is that Andrew Wiggins is even worse at D than KAT (he is 3rd worst starting SF by DRPM). So we need to figure out who Wiggins is going to be on. It should either be Bryn Forbes (4400), DeRozan (7800), or Gay (5200). Whoever gets that privilege will have one of their easiest offensive games of the season. If I am going to pick one, I would probably take the risk with Forbes or Gay, since there’s no reason to put Wiggins on the other team’s best shooter, even if he’s the opposing SF. I do need to add that, with Covington out, there is no one on the Wolves who is considered an elite defender by any stretch, so, even if they stick someone else on DeRozan, he should be able to dictate his own game this evening.
Jazz lack of depth - Normally, if you see a game with a ridiculous spread of UTA -15, you would think “oh shit, that game is going to blow out. I better be careful.” But this still isn’t normal. Rubio, Exum, Neto, and Sefolosha are all going to miss yet another game. This means that, even though a lot of people are going to avoid this game due to blow out risk, the people who play for the Jazz are going to get the minutes if they win by 3 or if they win by 30. It should also be noted that Collin Sexton has ousted Trae Young as worst overall defender in the NBA. That means Donovan (8900), whose price has fallen under 9k for some reason, is in as good a spot imaginable, with no one to really back him up. His Usage has been skyrocketing, for obvious reasons, and he is about to enter the top 10 overall in the NBA. Similarly, much like his matchup against the Clippers, Gobert (8800), whose price has gotten pretty damn high, will be matched up against Zizic, who is not equipped to handle a Center of Gobert’s caliber. Either Ingles (5800) or O’Neale (4300) will be matched up with Cedi, who is the 2nd worst SF in terms of DRPM. What i’m trying to get at here is the Cavs are fucking awful defensively, both as a team, and individually. Anyone who you want to play has a good chance of performing, but I will put what I can on Donovan (and, to a lesser extent, Gobert).
Zizic - Kevin Love, Larry Nance, Tristan Thompson, and John Henson are all Out tomorrow for the Cavs (not that Henson has been anywhere since the trade). This means the only Centers the Cavs have are Frye (3100) who isn’t the type of Center to match up against Gobert, and Ante Zizic (3700) who has the potential to get 30+ minutes tonight. This game is probably going to blow out, and it won’t matter because he is a backup anyway so his minutes will be secure. As of right now, there is no one else on the roster who will be there to back him up (unless, again, they let Frye or Blossomgame (3300) play the 5). We are going to need value and Zizic should be a lock.
Warriors vs Clippers - This game has a 241 total, which is the highest projected total I’ve seen so far this year. What’s more, since the game is in LA, the spread is only GS -6. The Warriors and Clippers are both top 10 in pace. But I’ll be damned if I am liking a lot from this game. I will have to make a choice to either stack this, or guess right, because the TooManyCooks situation is finally coming to a head tonight, with Cousins (5500) entering the starting rotation, and playing for the first time this season. That means the starting 5 will be Curry (10000), Klay (6600), Durant (10100), Dray (6900), and Cousins. Who is going to get the usage? The Assists? The Rebounds? How is the rotation going to work? Who is going to play with who and who will be staggered after the opening run? How limited will Cousins be? Is there any way the all-star team masquerading as the Warriors don’t blow this game out completely? There are just far, far too many questions here. Getting a Cousins at 5500 is going to be difficult to pass up, but I will be waiting to see just how limited he will be. If he is under 20 minutes, I would have a much harder time taking a stab, but if he is going to get upwards of 30, he may be the steal of the slate. Additionally, the Clippers, again, are so fucking horrible against Centers, meaning that Cousins will be in the best spot on the entire slate, from a matchup perspective. The Clippers are 2nd weakest against PG, meaning that, if you want to take another stab at it, I would go with Curry, but you really can’t go wrong. Both are in great spots against this porous Clippers D. If it comes out that Cousins will be really limited, I would like to take Looney (4000) who could still produce if given the minutes, and people will finally be off him. Additionally, this is one of the rare games I look at Iguodala (3900) who will still be doing a lot of ballhandling, against an incredible bad Clippers squad, and at a fast pace. I don’t think he’s gonna drop you 40 DKP, but I wouldn’t rule out a 6-7x value game in this environment. On the other side of the ball, it is, again, hard to know what to attack with Cousins returning. Before he got injured, he was having a hell of a good year, defensively and offensively (last season, obviously). This also moves Dray, one of the best defenders in the NBA, over to PF. The one thing that has been consistent is the way to attack the Warriors is at the guard position and at the perimeter (Klay is the 4th worst SG in terms of DRPM). If I am going to go anywhere near the Clippers, it will be with the perimeter attackers. Namely LouWIll (6700) who is so expensive, Gallo (6700) who would theoretically see the D of either Durant or Dray, but will still stay out for perimeter shots, and Bradley (3600) who I hate playing, but is only 3600 and put up 8 3s against the Pelicans a couple games ago.
Dame - This is the 2nd best game environment on the slate, with a high total of 233.5 and a close spread of POR -3. POR, 18th in pace, is in a nice pace up spot against the Pelicans who are 9th. Additionally, Dame Lillard (8600) is 11th in usage in the NBA. This comes while CJ, who used to be in the 30s, has almost fallen out of the top 50. NO is weakest, by far, against guards (specifically PGs), so Dame is already in the best spot on the team. When the usage and the environment match up, that is someone I want to get all over. Additionally, Dame has been flirting with 50 DKP the last few games. In a blow-out limited 32 minutes, he put up 46.5 DKP last game. In the game before, he put up 47.25 DKP in 37 min. While Nurkic (8200) has taken over the mantle of #2 producer on this team from CJ, he is in a tougher spot against the #2 DRPM ranked defense of Brow. Not that Nurkic won’t get his run. He will be needed this game against the size of Randle/Brow, and he should be able to easily produce. I just like him less than Dame here. Harkless (4000) is Questionable for this game. If he plays without restriction, he would be a great value today. If he is limited, he removes value from him and his backups. If he is out, Evan Turner (4300) becomes a decent punt, but never a spectacular play.
Brow - Portland is one of the few defenses in the NBA that is above average against every position (according to DvP and DKPPG). They are also a slight pace down spot for the Pelicans. On top of that, Brow (11700) is 1600 more than the next closest player on the slate. None of that matters, though, because AD goes beyond that. When the matchup is difficult for everyone else, he just puts the team on his back and runs with it. All of the other starters are either too expensive, or don’t get enough usage. I do, however, want to point out that Mirotic (5900) came off the bench and got 29 minutes against the Warriors, going 9-14 (including 6-10 from 3), scoring 29 real points and 46.75 DKP. If he is starting to get hot, and the Pels are going to start giving him the run (and a spot to finish games), his price is far too low.
Situations to be careful of(in no particular order):
Grizzlies vs. Celtics - The lowest O/U on the slate of 205.5, with a blow-out worrying spread of BOS -10.5, this is a game where we are going to have to hunt for a play to like. No one at the top of price spectrum is cheap enough, given the fact these teams are 28th and 20th in pace. These are also 2 of the strongest defenses in basketball, meaning, unless people are priced down, it’ll be even harder to justify the prices. Kyrie (9000) is priced around Vuc, Mitchell, Gobert, Griffin, and Lillard, all of whom are in better spots tonight for various reasons. If I am going to play anyone from here, it’ll almost definitely be punts (though I doubt I’ll go anywhere). The best of which is Casspi (3700) who just got 36 minutes and put up 27.5 DKP on 7-13 shooting. With Anderson out, it seems Casspi has stepped into a scoring role he used to show flashes of when with the Kings. While, again, it is risky to take anyone in this game, I don’t mind looking at some punts who would get blowout run.
Wolves - Over the last month and a half or so, the Spurs have been the best D in the NBA. White has been climbing up the DRPM rankings. Gay is back now, and he is also ranked in the top 10 at his position. On top of this, while no one can deny the ability for KAT (9700) to go nuts, his usage is limited when Rose and Teague are healthy. This is a fine matchup against LMA, but there are plenty of people around that price range that I would rather spend that money on. He’s not someone I would fade, mind you, just someone I will not focus on in my single lineup. Similarly, even with Tyus Jones as Questionable (but not expected to play in the next couple of games), we can’t count on Teague (5900) and Rose (5900) when both are priced as if they are still the only healthy option. This is going to be a close game, with a lot of points. With how many options there are on the Spurs, I would want to find a way to run it back, but I am finding that difficult with the way DK has everything priced here.
Situations to monitor:
Tyler Johnson injury status
That’s it. There’s not a lot to monitor. I pretty much laid it all out there.
This should be a fun slate. There are a couple ways to attack this, and I can’t wait to see how I decide to go. This has a good chance of being one of the rare times I don’t play my MSC pick, but there’s just so many ways to go, I may have to straight stack expensive folks that make that impossible. I can’t wait to see!!
Best of luck tonight, everyone!!