I hope you guys had a good outing last night and finished with more cash than you began with. I was lucky enough to place 92nd over on DraftKings $60k Layup. I have to give credit where it’s due and Tim Hardaway Jr. saved my butt. He hit over 9X value and, speaking for the 5% that took him, we are thankful!
There is some bad news, however, coming out of Detroit. As I’m writing this no concrete news has been released but Brandon Jennings’ injury looked bad. Really bad. I feel for the guy and wish him a speedy recovery. It remains to be see how his absence will affect the rest of the Pistons’ squad but I’ll get to some speculation later on.
There are 11 games on today! I know it’s not great timing. With the pro bowl on we’re going to miss our precious NBA because we absolutely cannot afford to miss seeing guys like Andy Dalton running up the score in what, apparently, happens to be the best entertainment the NFL can offer. Oh Pro Bowl how I hate you.
Let’s talk about the NBA, shall we? Allow me to explain what you’re about to read. If I list a player under ‘Take’ it means I like them. Doesn’t mean lock them in automatically. ‘Avoid’ means I don’t like that player because of the matchup, better value elsewhere, minutes etc. but that stance is subject to change. ‘Consider’ is pretty self-explanatory. Don’t love em’, don’t hate em’ so it’s up to you really. Next to each player is their price on DraftKings and FanDuel respectively.
So if I list LeBron James ($10.7k | $10.8k), the left value, $10.7k is DraftKings pricing. The other is FanDuel. So (DK $ | FD $)… Now let’s get going!
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FanDuel’s price for Bosh and Butler doesn’t really seem appropriate, so I’m probably going to fade them on that site.
Deng is returning to Chicago. They’ve already announced that they’ll play a video in his honor. He obviously isn’t the safest option when it comes to cash games but he sees enough playing time to hit value and then some. The narrative is good as well.
Whiteside has a great matchup. I feel that if he’s allowed to play he’s as close to 100% as he’ll ever be and there won’t be a minutes restriction. If that changes, however, don’t play him.
Gibson is back to a reserve role. His price will take a while to reflect his minutes with Noah back. Wade is going to have trouble with Butler and Noah has just been bad.
I feel like Pau’s price is a little high. Of course his floor/ceiling combo is desirable, but I’m not sure if I’m going to pay up for him yet. Bosh gets a great matchup but his best games come with Wade out. If Hassan plays I’m fading him but he’s a possibility for a few GPP lineups. Butler doesn’t get a great matchup but he should be a fine GPP play.
- LeBron James ($10.7k | $10.8k)
- Russell Westbrook ($10.3k | $10.7k)
- Timofey Mosgov ($5.2k | $5.1k)
- J.R. Smith ($5.1k | $6k)
- Dion Waiters ($4.9k | $5k)
- Kevin Durant ($10.7k | $10.8k)
- Kevin Love ($9.4k | $9.3k)
- Kyrie Irving ($8.9k | $8.8k)
- Serge Ibaka ($6.7k BOTH)
This looks to be my second favorite game to target only behind the Phoenix-LAC contest. The O/U as of right now is sitting at 211 points with a spread of 3.5 in favor of Cleveland
So here’s the short of it guys. You can only take one of James and Durant. I guess you could take them both but I really don’t think that would end well. Both of them have similar ceilings with Durant’s possibly being a couple of points higher. However James’ floor is much higher. Obviously both guys will be playing their butts off to show the other who’s boss, but I’m putting my money on LBJ. Literally.
I highly doubt Kyrie can handle Russell’s athleticism. Russell has the highest usage rate on the Thunder squad. In a high scoring affair like this one he’s not a bad PG to pay up for.
Timo doesn’t have a great matchup here against Adams but the pace makes up for it. He’ll have no problem getting 10+ rebounds in this one and his price is still fantastic. J.R.’s price isn’t so pretty on FanDuel so I may fade him there, but on DK he’s going to be in most of my lineups.
I am telling you guys to avoid Waiters for two reasons. The first is that he’s been terrible in his last three contests, shooting a cumulative 28% from the field. My second reason is that, in his return to Cleveland, he’ll try to do too much. Waiters just doesn’t seem like a revenge guy. I’m fading.
I like Durant just not as much as LeBron. Same story for Kyrie and Russ. Love and Serge both come with a desirable ceiling but their floor isn’t as intriguing – GPP only.
- Anthony Davis ($11k | $11.2k)
- Dirk Nowitzki ($6.4k | $7k)
- Chandler Parsons ($5.9k | $6.2k)
- Eric Gordon ($5.7k | $6.4k)
- Rajon Rondo ($7.1k | $7.5k)
AD is looking great since his return. The matchup on paper doesn’t seem all that great but Chandler has looked somewhat lethargic in a couple of games lately. His stats may say otherwise but he could be putting up some ridiculous 15-15 lines every night. Anyways, fast pace and lots of scoring in this one will be necessary for NO to keep close. I like AD if you pair him with a min. priced punt.
Dirk gets a great matchup especially if Anderson is ruled out. Parsons is one of my favorite cash plays. With Tyreke continuing to take some PG duties, Parsons can do what he wants. Gordon is on fire and his price on DK makes him a near lock.
Tyreke isn’t a bad play. Looks like his floor is a bit higher with AD back in the lineup. I’m not a fan of the matchup though. Ellis is streaky but he will try to outshoot Gordon who’s not a great defender. Chandler, as I said earlier, decides when and if he wants to show up. I don’t see a lot of upside with him battling AD for control of the paint but I can’t suggest you ignore him either.
- Nobody I really like in this one. Will discuss below.
- Nikola Vucevic ($8.8k | $8.9k)
- Victor Oladipo ($6.8k | $7.2k)
- David West ($6.2k | $6.6k)
- Elfrid Payton ($5.5k | $5.9k)
- C.J. Watson ($4.9k | $4.1k)
With Tobias Harris returning to the court in Orlando, Elfrid Payton dealing with a sore knee and C.J. Miles doubtful it’s hard to tell what the distribution of playing time is going to be for a lot of these guys. With the exception of a couple of guys, nearly everyone comes with a low floor that makes cash game plays too risky.
You just can’t take Hibbert after what we’ve seen the past two times out. If you want to throw him into a GPP for laughs then be my guest. Tobias’ minutes are still up in the air. He addressed a concern earlier in the week that he didn’t play coming off of the bench. I just don’t trust him at those prices.
Vucevic draws a great matchup here but we’ve seen him flop before. Proceed with caution. Dipo’s usage and minutes are declining. He’s a bit too pricey for me on FD but consider him a bit more strongly if Payton is out. If Payton plays, however, I’m going to shoe him into a few of my lineups. Same with Watson. In fact, I may play them interchangeably. Neither team is very proficient at defending PGs.
David West has typically been a great cash game play but he’s hit below value a bit more than usual lately. Still, he gets a good matchup here so I’d trust him to hit near 5X.
- Chris Paul ($9.6k | $9.8k)
- Blake Griffin ( $9.8k | $9.9k)
- DeAndre Jordan ($7.8k | $8.3k)
- Eric Bledsoe ($8.8k | $8.7k)
- Isaiah Thomas ($5.4k | $5.7k)
- Nobody. In a game like this one nearly everyone has potential value.
This will be my highest targeted game on the night. I will probably pair Paul with Griffin or DJ in a lot of lineups. The Suns don’t defend very well and we all saw what they did in limited time against the Nets.
Bledsoe has looked fantastic lately and he’ll likely be Phoenix’ primary source of points tonight. Thomas is great off of the bench for Phoenix and he’s shooting well. I look for that to continue here.
Dragic isn’t a bad look particularly for cash games. High floor and plenty of upside with this contest. Crawford has looked good lately but he doesn’t stand out all that much. Len is considerable purely because of the pace in the game. I’m likely fading him because his minutes continue to decrease.
- Al Horford ($7.3k | $7.8k)
- All T-Wolves. The spread on this game does not favor Minnesota in any way whatsoever. It’s highly unlikely that they’re in this game. With a blowout imminent, you can’t know the kind of minutes each guy is going to see. Not to mention the Hawks play some of the best defense in the NBA.
- Bench players
Horford is the only Atlanta Hawk that I trust to hit value in the limited minutes they’ll likely see. Teague could do it as well given his extremely favorable matchup, but there is better value elsewhere.
I would maybe consider Zach Lavine for a GPP. Dennis Schroder could be a nice punt at PG. I’m going to look into this game a bit more and I may include a couple of Hawks’ reserves in the ‘Take’ section. Schroder may be one of them.
- James Johnson ($4.3k | $4.4k)
- Greg Monroe ($8.4k BOTH)
- Andre Drummond ($8.3k | $8.4k)
- Jonas Valanciunas ($5.8k | $5.9k)
- Amir Johnson ($4.5k | $5.2k)
I’m a bit scared to take many players from this game. The only guy I feel truly confident about is Augustin. He will likely see 30+ minutes despite a probable blowout. There is definitely some value here but it could completely miss if Toronto takes a huge lead.
Lowry, however, gets a fantastic matchup with Jennings OUT. Again I’m worried about him seeing a full amount of playing time but he’s a good GPP play. Williams is good for cash, he’ll hit value with no worries.
James Johnson is too unreliable to roster any more. DeRozan ruined any remaining potential we hoped he had.
Monroe doesn’t get a great matchup here as Amir Johnson is a solid defender, but he still gets the job done. Drummond gets a beautiful matchup. I’m expecting both guys usage % to increase. I’m probably going to wait a game or two and see how the Pistons work without Jennings before I deploy these guys.
Jonas is a fantastic play for cash and GPP. Good matchup and cheap price. I’m not really looking at Amir on FD. His last game worries me as he only saw 17 minutes, but I guess you could look at Patrick Patterson in his place.
- Probably most of the Spurs. I was hesitant to list Kawhi above. Popovich just doesn’t care anymore.
Not a huge fan of this game but I can’t exactly tell you why. Kawhi is a good option if you know Pop will get him minutes but obviously we don’t know that for sure. So GPP only unless you’re feeling lucky. Knight gets a good matchup and I like him in both formats. Middleton’s matchup on paper isn’t all that great, but I like him to slide down to PF and score enough to hit value.
Ginobli will likely hit value despite an unfavorable matchup but his upside is very limited. Giannis is an interesting play on DK but he’s way to expensive on FD. Mayo took advantage of some additional playing time last night. I’m not too worried about his legs in this one, he’s cheap enough and makes a good cash play.
- Klay Thompson ($8.1k BOTH)
- Evan Turner ($5.3k | $6k)
- Brandon Bass ($4.4k BOTH)
- Tyler Zeller ($3.6k | $4.3k)
This game isn’t going to be close, so I’m fading most GS starters. You gotta start Klay though. Well, you don’t have to but he’s been on such a tear lately. With a probably high ownership %, he won’t hurt you.
With the Celtics being shorthanded (Smart and Olynyk OUT) Turner will likely get a lot of minutes. I like him quite a bit for cash games and GPP plays. Bass doesn’t get a great matchup and neither does Zeller, but their price, especially on DK, is very desirable.
I’m a bit worried about Sully and I think I’ll end up fading him, but he could see additional minutes with Olynyk out. If that time comes against the GS reserves I like his chances. Lee is a good bet to hit 5X on DK and Bradley is a great GPP play, particularly on DK.
- Nobody in particular that I’m really excited about. I may fit one of these guys in, but we’ll talk about that in a bit.
- Ty Lawson ($8.8k | $8.7k)
So the Wizards play pretty good defense and Denver just doesn’t match up well with them. Despite Washington playing a late game last night, I like them to win this one.
Lawson is going to play but I don’t trust him to see a full amount of minutes. Even if he does, John Wall won’t have much trouble defending him. On the other side of the ball, however, Wall will have fun with Lawson. He likes to run and so do the Nuggets so I expect plenty of assists and a few steals to help boost his value.
Nene and Kris both get good matchups. I like Kris a lot for a true punt at PF but I think I’m fading everyone else from this game. That could change though so stay posted!
- Dwight Howard ($7.7k | $8.1k)
- Trevor Ariza ($5.6k | $5.2k)
- Jordan Hill ($5.6k | $5.8k)
- Donatas Motiejunas ($5.4k BOTH)
- Joey Dorsey ($3.4k | $3.7k)
- Tarik Black ($3k | $3.6k)
Harden should beast tonight, especially if Dwight is out. With no Kobe on the court he’ll likely be guarded by Wayne Ellington or Wesley Johnson. Yes please! Beverley is going to cash in on plenty of assists and he should also knock down his fair share of shots.
Howard’s ankles worry me too much even if he plays.
Ariza, Hill and DMo are all considerable options for cash games. I don’t see enough upside to merit a GPP play from any of them. Dorsey is only really valuable if D12 misses. Black may not play but there’s a good narrative there – revenge the team that released you for none other than Josh Smith.
That’s all for this slate, folks! If you have any questions or comments come see me on Twitter! My handle is @Steven_Royalty_ and I try to answer all of your questions. Good luck tonight and be sure to check out the rest of SportingCharts as we have a lot to offer!
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