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Yesterday took a ton of energy out of me. There were a lot of fun games and some surprising outcomes. The New Orleans Pelicans looked out of their element without All-Star Anthony Davis to lead them. Marc Gasol showed me up and returned to form against a sad Orlando Magic defense.
It should be an exciting Saturday. NBA and NFL go hand in hand. So grab a beer and some wings, sit back and enjoy! I’m keeping it simple today.
If you have any questions, comments or concerns feel free to contact me via Twitter.
Studs – Chris Paul, Michael Carter-Williams and Ty Lawson - The Sacramento Kings are one of the worst defensive teams in the league. They also happen to play faster than most of the NBA, which works perfectly in Paul’s favor. Plenty of possessions and a solid matchup make for a great opportunity to score. The Kings will be at home and are competitive enough to keep this one relatively close so Paul should play the full game. He’s a bit expensive but worth every penny.
Carter-Williams, as long as Wroten is out, will continue to be a must start at his price. He’s going to see around 40 minutes with the highest usage on the team. It’s not a pretty matchup as the Detroit Pistons are strangely good at defending guards, but his last two opponents were just as stingy.
Lawson should see plenty of work in this game against the Minnesota Timberwolves. Zach LaVine and Mo Williams aren’t very good on ball defenders, so I expect Ty to shoot lights out. Both teams like to run the ball and the O/U is looking nice as well. I wish we he was cheaper but he’s a lock for 4X value. Double-double incoming.
Duds – John Wall and Jeff Teague - In last night’s meeting against Brooklyn the Wizards looked atrocious. Wall had a favorable matchup against the shallow backcourt of Brooklyn, but he didn’t do much with it. I’d suspect the Wizards will be looking for revenge, but Wall hasn’t hit 5X value since before Christmas. There is too much risk here.
Teague isn’t a terrible choice against the Chicago Bulls, but his usage has dropped significantly with everyone else stepping up. Guys like DeMarre Carroll and Al Horford are making more shots and passing the ball well. He’s likely to hit 4X value but if you’re spending over $7K you want 5X and I doubt you find it here.
Gold Mines – Jarret Jack, Beno Udrih, Marvin Williams, Mo Williams - I was pleasantly surprised with Jack’s performance last night. The game tonight is in Brooklyn so I had to put him here. There is still a certain amount of risk, but his upside looks nice.
If Conley remains out then Udrih is a good choice. I was expecting him to play more minutes, but at minimum price it really doesn’t make a huge difference. Nick Calathes can be taken here as well.
Mo is just money right now at his price. Similar to Lawson, he will get plenty of opportunities to rack up the points in this one.
Studs – James Harden - Even at his ridiculous price, Harden has reached 5X value in his past two games. He’ll look to continue that streak as the Golden State Warriors come to town. I’m not too worried about Klay Thompson being given the duty of guarding him. Harden is one of the best iso guards in the NBA and will have no problem getting around Klay or anyone else for that matter.
Dud – Klay Thompson, Jimmy Butler, Joe Johnson - None of these guys have given me a reason to want to play them. They’re all over-priced and under-performing. The only guy I’d consider out of these three is Klay but he is far too unreliable for me to do so. I typically avoid guys that rely so much on one statistic to score FP. Players that are more versatile are far more desirable.
Gold Mines – Arron Afflalo and Courtney Lee - Afflalo plays best in the high octane games where teams often find themselves in fast break situations. It’s easier for him to spot up and shoot, but he has no issue getting his own shot as well. He scored his season high in points (34) in his last meeting with the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Studs – Andrew Wiggins - To tell you the truth I wasn’t going to list any studs here. But as I looked a bit deeper it seems like Wiggins could be a nice pick. His price is a bit intimidating but he’ll see plenty of usage in this one. His scenario is more or less the same as Afflalo’s.
Duds – Everyone I don’t list
McDaniels didn’t need to show up last night against the Pelicans. He’ll be facing a Detroit Pistons team tonight, likely defended by Kyle Singler or Jonas Jerekbo. Yes please! He still has a lot of value and I’ll likely be taking him despite his no show last night.
Barnes has been consistently good and somehow stays at the same price. As long as Rudy Gay is out again he’ll be worth a look.
Studs – Blake Griffin, Greg Monroe, David West - Griffin is a little expensive and has been disappointing for the price in many of his games this year. But he has a beautiful matchup tonight and is probably my favorite play. The Kings are dealing with a lot of injuries and are one of the worst teams at defending the PF position even when they’re healthy. Griffin’s usage % and versatility combine to make him the perfect pick.
Monroe is one of my favorite DFS plays lately because he’s so reliable. You know he’s going to go out and work his butt off to get you, yeah YOU, a double-double. I think he does that tonight against Philly. The 76ers are scrappy but they won’t be able to out-rebound the Detroit bigs.
David West is similar to Monroe in that he is quite reliable but his floor is a bit lower. Nonetheless, he finds himself in a nice matchup. He’s a good choice for cash games.
Dud – Paul Millsap - Millsap isn’t listed here because I think he’ll play poorly. He’s listed here because he costs way too much for what I expect him to do. It’s the same story as yesterday – Horford and company are playing too well to give him many opportunities.
I’d like to expand upon this position a little bit before I move on. I don’t dislike any of the power forwards tonight. I’ve taken some time to analyze what happened to ZBo last time, and I’m afraid it could happen again. ZBo found himself defending Channing Frye, a big man that can stretch the floor and knock down treys. For that reason Randolph was never near the basket and lost out on plenty of rebounds he would have in most other matchups. Tonight he will be defending LaMarcus Aldridge, one of the best shooting forwards in the league. He isn’t the same kind of three-point shooter that Frye is, but Randolph won’t be under the rim for the majority of the game.
I’ll reiterate – there are no bad power forwards tonight, but some are better than others.
Gold Mines – Robert Covington, J.J. Hickson, Donatas Motiejunas - Covington played well yesterday knocking down plenty of shots. His price has risen a little bit but he’ll be able to hit value against the likes of Monroe and Drummond.
Hickson gets plenty of minutes as Nurkic and Faried can’t be on the floor for too long. Minnesota is quite bad at defending big men, so he should continue to hit around 5X value.
D Mo should have a lot of fun with Draymond Green tonight. Green is athletic for a big man, but isn’t a great post defender. Motiejunas will likely continue his trend of hitting 5X+ value and may even flirt with a double-double.
Studs – Al Horford, Mason Plumlee, Marc Gasol, Andre Drummond, DeMarcus Cousins - Yeah this position is loaded. Horford is really hard to pass up. He’s still the cheapest stud here tied with Plumlee. He’s been hitting 6X+ value lately like a mad man and he gets to take on the Chicago Bulls, a team struggling on the defensive end. With Noah out they’re even worse.
Plumlee looks matchup proof. The Washington Wizards are typically a proficient defensive team, especially on the interior, but he finds a way to get it done.
Gasol’s value is reliant on a couple of things. The first being the health of Mike Conley. If he’s out again, Gasol’s stock goes up. The second is ZBo’s matchup. We saw Gasol go off last night because he was the only big frame inside to pull down rebounds. I expect something very similar in this one.
Drummond has been a tough nut to crack this season. He’s quite unreliable for his price but if I’m ever going to trust him it will be tonight. Detroit and Philadelphia are both bad shooting teams. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him drop a 20/20.
Cousins is an obvious choice. Like Harden, he’s been hitting value despite a hefty price tag. The Clippers allow plenty of FP to big men so this is a nice option if you find your pockets overflowing with money.
Gorgui Dieng is a decent pick as well.
Duds – Dwight Howard - I’m not even going to explain this one. Just don’t take him. Seriously.
Gold Mines – Jusuf Nurkic, Bismack Biyombo - Nurkic won’t see a lot of playing time but he’ll do a lot while he’s out on the court. If you feel the need to trade down at center tonight take him. He’ll get you 25-35 no problem.
Biyombo is an interesting play tonight. I’m concerned with his small sample size, but his last two games are difficult to ignore. If he can achieve a double-double he instantly becomes worth the money.
I know this wasn’t as in depth as usual guys. Friday night was a bit rough so I need some rest. Good luck out there today!
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