Welcome to the inaugural edition of the NBA DFS Plays of the Day. NBA has always been my best sport overall, and it’s neck and neck with NFL as my favorite. I’ve spent my entire life playing basketball, including through college, so it makes sense that basketball would be the easiest for me to break down and understand thoroughly.
This won’t be an every day article, but I will do my best to post as many days per week as I can. Even on days when I don’t have a ton of time to write something up I’ll still try to give you my favorite plays for the day.
The title says it all, but the goal here is to give you the five guys who I will be building around. Most days, these plays will not be site specific, but if there is a specific play on one of the main sites (Draftkings and FanDuel), then I will make sure to note that.
With that said, due to the nature of the slate today, all plays below will be Draftkings only. I’m not finding the right roster construction on FanDuel, so I’ll be taking the day off there.
Full disclosure: this is an ugly slate, so we’re going to have to try some different things in hopes of cashing big! Let’s get started with today’s plays.
C: Nikola Vucevic – $8,300
Vucevic has always been one of my favorite DFS players, but this season, it appears he has taken the next step. I’m not one to get too excited after three games, but you can’t ignore his output thus far. Vuc is averaging 52.2 Draftkings points per game so far with no fewer than 45.75 in any one of those games. On top of that, he put up 63 against this same Nets team just four days ago. What makes him a must play is his price. It’s almost a joke. He comes with a lot of safety and even more upside and will be locked in any and every lineup I make. The total on this game is almost 230, which is by far the highest on the board. Lock Vuc in as the play of the night.
PG: Damian Lillard – $8,400 & SG: C.J. McCollum $7,100
I like Lillard and McCollum to make value on this slate. Together, I’m hoping to get 85-95 points out of the pair and that’s very reasonable in this matchup. The Pelicans, while solid down low with Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins manning the paint, have been very generous to both guard positions. Last game, Lonzo Ball, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, and Jordan Clarkson scored 95.5 Draftkings points in roughly 93 minutes. The game before, Steph Curry and Klay Thompson put up 90.75 Draftkings points just under 72 minutes. In their first game, Mike Conley scored 43.25 DK points in just under 33 minutes.
Hopefully you see the trend. You could make a case that both of them are priced below where they should be, but McCollum is especially mispriced, so if you’re only going with one, I’d pick him for the value.
PG: Jameer Nelson – $3,000
This may come as a surprise, but I will be playing Nelson at minimum price before he has a chance to see his price rise. Hear me out before writing him off. Nelson was signed by the Pelicans on Saturday and ended up playing 24 minutes and closing out a close game on Sunday. That’s a lot of trust in a guy that you just signed. That tells me he’s going to be an important part of this rotation and for $3,000 I’ll take a chance on him to open up some salary on this tough slate. I think it’s reasonable he plays 25 minutes and has a solid chance to return 6-7x value.
Shelvin Mack is another $3,000 option at PG on this slate. He should see similar minutes in that Brooklyn/Magic game, but I’m leaning a bit more towards Nelson in this one. As always, if anything changes, I’ll update you on twitter.
PF/C: Enes Kanter $5,300 & Kyle O’Quinn $4,200
This may be another head scratcher, but due to the nature of this slate, we’re going to have to do some off the wall things to try and win a tournament. Let me give you a hypothetical situation. Player X is expected to play 45-48 minutes and has averaged 1.16 DK points per minute over the last three years. Player X’s Per 36 through two games this season is 41.96 (translates to 55.94/48). We could reasonably expect close to 55 points from Player X. Player X costs $9,500. That’s nearly 6X value.
If I gave you those stats, would you play that player? You’d be crazy not to! Well player X is Kanter and O’Quinn combined. Together, they are going to play nearly 48 minutes, as they have through the first two games. Knowing the stats above as fact, so we can reasonably expect somewhere around 50-55 fantasy points from these two combined, with upside for more.
Mark my words, Kanter is going to blow up one of these games soon for 35-40+ DK points. Seeing him first hand in OKC for three years, I am fully aware that he can have a 20/20 game from time to time. With these two guys, you can lock in some salary savings and again create a safe floor and provide your roster with upside.
C: Karl-Anthony Towns – $8,600
Towns has been very serviceable through three games so far this season, posting between 41 and 46 Drafktings points in all three. We have finally arrived at the game that he blows the ceiling off. His opponent, the Indiana Pacers, are hurting in the paint with Myles Turner out. They’re playing a small ball lineup with Domantas Sabonis playing the center position. That’s just not going to work against KAT. He will feast on this small front court and the only thing that will limit his fantasy production is how many shots the rest of the team takes.
Because he could literally score at will all night if they allow him to. We could see the first 60+ DK game out of him tonight. For what it’s worth, he posted 58 and 60 DK points, respectively, in his last two games against the Pacers.
That’s it for today. Be sure to follow me on Twitter at @mrclutchdfs so you can stay up to date on any changes to my plays based on late information.
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