Written by: Greg Bunch – AKA the Daily Fantasy Hitman
Are you ready for some basketball?
We have a value packed 10-game slate tonight starting with OKC @ CLE (4PM) and finishing with MIN @ LAL (7:30PM).
Russell Westbrook will be OUT for the Thunder giving Dennis Schroeder a start. And Jeff Teague will also be OUT for the Timberwolves likely giving Derrick Rose another start.
But some of these other games are not as clear as where the value lies. For example, in the NY @ ATL game I find myself shuffling through a lot of the same players. In NY we had standout performances from Enes Kanter, Damyean Dotson, Allonzo Trier and Emmanuel Mudiay. But with coach Fizdale’s rotations being so unpredictable it is hard to recommend anyone besides maybe Kanter.
On ATL we are getting Taurean Prince back into the starting lineup for a team that has no clear offensive leader besides maybe Trae Young. Trae Young has record double-digit assist totals in his last 3 games (10,15,10) to lead this Atlanta Offense.
Since we have 10 games I am going to list them out with their over/under and projected point totals. Then I will highlight the 3 games I like and talk about them in more detail. Sound good??
All 10 Games
OKC (112) @ CLE (106) – O/U: 218
DET (107) @ ORL (104) – O/U: 211
NY (113) @ ATL (112) – O/U: 225
SA (107) @ MIA (110) – O/U: 217
PHI (107) @ IND (110) – O/U: 217
DEN (105) @ MEM (100) – O/U: 205
CHI (109) @ NO (119) – O/U: 228
DAL (102) @ UTA (112) – O/U: 214
TOR (120) @ SAC (112) – O/U: 232
MIN (117) @ LAL (122) – O/U: 239
So the first game I want to talk about a little bit more is CHI @ NO which has a ton of value on both sides.
CHI @ NO
The Bulls are going to be led by a combination of young talent. Zach LaVine is the starting PG while Kris Dunn is still out for an extended period of time. The other youngster who has been balling out is Wendell Carter Jr. who now has a stranglehold on the starting center position with Christiano Felicio being the only backup big man on the Bulls who is healthy. Robin Lopez has received a few healthy DNPs in a row cementing Wendell Carter Jr. as the Bulls future center.
Carter Jr. has been delivering in dfs with 30+ fpts in his last 6 games and he is only $6,200 on DK. Now he does have a tough matchup with Anthony Davis tonight which may get him in foul trouble and he did foul out last game. But even after only playing 22 minutes he still delivered 11 points, 13 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 blocks. Now that’s efficient.
Zach LaVine is the same story. 30+ fpts in his last 6 games, and over his last 4 he has averaged 40.25 minutes per game. LaVine is explosive and will put up a lot of shots, people know him for scoring. But he has truly developed into more than just a scorer. His counting stats are unreal over his last 4 games: 4.75 RPG, 5 APG, 1 BPG & 1.5 SPG. Then you add in his 27.5 PPG during that same span and you see what I mean. LaVine is a really good guard and his role on an offense has never been larger. Look for him and Carter Jr. to keep putting up insane stats versus a Pelicans team allowing 120 PPG this season.
Now the Pelicans may be terrible defensively but they make up for that with an insanely good offense which averages 118 PPG this season. This all goes out to the big 3 of Nikola Mirotic, Anthony Davis and J’Rue Holiday. And they may be getting back their fourth tonight with Elfrid Payton being ruled as Questionable. Their head coach did say he wouldn’t play so check his status closer to the game, but if he does play then J’Rue Holiday will take a slight hit in value moving off the ball to SG.
Anthony Davis is coming off his worst game offensively leaving me to wonder if he is still hurt. After three sub-par performances I find myself heavily questioning whether I want to play him at that ridiculous price point. I would have to say no, but the matchup does look like a juicy one so play him at your own risk.
The guy I like in this one is Nikola Mirotic who has been filling up the stat like no other over his last 4 games. I am talking about a stat line that looks like this – 20.5 PPG, 14.25 RPG, 1.25 APG, 0.5 BPT, 1.25 SPG. Okay I know the stats other than rebounds and points can be a lot better but he is still doing a mighty fine job at making a point for minutes. And this has resulted in 34 MPG, even with the mighty Julius Randle on the bench breathing down his neck. I love Mirotic in this matchup versus his former team in the Bulls. I can also can see a world were J’Rue Holiday is played but only if Payton is ruled out.
TOR @ SAC
Let’s talk about the Raptors who seem to have wooed Kawhi Leonard in too actually being happy in Toronto. Now the head coach said he expects Leonard back from a 2-game absence due to a foot injury. Check closer to their 7:00 PM PST tip-off to see if he will play. Hopefully they mention something about his status earlier but honestly who knows.
Players who have stepped up in his absence would be none other than Kyle Lowry who is still a beast but then we have some other slightly new faces. Pascal Siakam has been patiently waiting on the Raptors bench for his moment. And after balling out in the preseason he has taken hold of the starting PF spot. At that $5,200 price point on DK I think rostering him makes a lot of sense. He’s averaging 15.8 PPG, 9.6 RPG & 2.0 SPG over his last 5 games while playing 31.8 MPG. I love those stats and his role in the offense, even if Leonard plays I think he is a must start.
The Kings have actually been a pleasant surprise this year after spitting out a starting lineup that looked extremely iffy. Bogdan Bogdanovic will be making his season debut tonight for Sacramento which will likely take away minutes from Iman Shumpert and Buddy Hield. Since Shumpert is usually the first guy out of the rotation I think it will likely be him taking the biggest fantasy hit. Listen, a lot of players on this team are very streaky and this causes a lot of headaches when trying to recommend them. Like Nemanja Bjelica or Willie Cauley-Stein both of which were completely nonexistent in their last game versus Milwaukee.
The only guy who really gets me excited is De’Aaron Fox who has been on fire as of late, his price on DK is only $6,300 and his usage is insane. Two games ago he posted his first triple-double of this campaign and followed that up with 15 points, 6 rebounds and 6 assists in a blowout loss to Milwaukee. It definitely could be the same story tonight versus a really good Raptors team. But Sacramento is 2-1 at Home and will likely be looking very fresh coming off a 3-day break.
MIN @ LAL
Our final game of the day just so happens to be the last game of the 10-game slate. These two teams have already met this season and MIN won with the score being 124-120. Now, Jeff Teague has already been ruled OUT so look for Derrick Rose to pull another start at PG. The Timberwolves are absolutely stacked at every position besides PF where Taj Gibson will be forced to guard Kyle Kuzma. That will be a tough one as Kuzma is a beast on the offensive end and is much more athletic than Gibson who plays like a more traditional PF.
The Wolves will look to Karl-Anthony Towns, Jimmy Butler, Andrew Wiggins & Derrick Rose to shoulder the load as their bench players usually don’t play a whole lot. Towns was struggling early on in the season but that story has changed with him scoring 20+ points in 4 of his last 5 games. His rebounds, blocks and steals have all been through the roof as well as Towns will look to take advantage of this Laker defense that’s allowing 120 PPG this season. When these teams met previously, Towns went off for 25 points, 16 rebounds, 6 assists, 4 blocks and 1 steal. Another guy on the Wolvers who went off that game was Jimmy Butler who posted 32 points and led the team in shooting going 12/20 from the field. Now, Andrew Wiggins was not playing in that game so this opened up more shots for Butler. Still, Butler is priced nicely at only $8,200 and he holds a large role on this offense.
Finally, we need to talk about Derrick Rose if he is going to draw another start. He will likely score a lot of points which is kind of his MO right now with the whole comeback story and all. I really like how he has been performing this season and tonight should be another chance for him to put his name back on the map.
Finally, lets talk about these Lakers. In their last meeting with the Timberwolves players like LeBron James and Brandon Ingram had huge days while guys like Lonzo Ball and Kyle Kuzma slightly underperformed. And this shows with the price points tonight, we have LeBron James at $11,000 on DK while Lonzo Ball is only $5,200. There is no way I can recommend playing LeBron because he is going to destroy your lineup. But, I also do not want to recommend Lonzo Ball because he has been so inconsistent this year and hasn’t even scored more than 15 points in a single game this season.
The guy I like is Kyle Kuzma and maybe JaVale McGee if you are feeling really lucky. Kuzma posted one of his best games of the season versus Minnesota and will look to take advantage of his matchup with Taj Gibson who can not hang with him. Kuzma shot the lights out last game versus Toronto going 10/16 with 24 points and will look to continue his shooting success tonight versus Minnesota.
Finally, we have to at least talk about JaVale McGee a little even if I still can’t get that “shaqtin a fool” out of my head. McGee played 31 minutes last time out versus Minnesota and this was likely to try and keep Karl Anthony-Towns under wraps. Now it did not work at all but hey he has a second chance at greatness tonight on primetime TV. But with McGee only being $2,200 cheaper than Towns I find myself saying no more likely than yes on putting him in my roster.
Thank you all for reading the NBA DFS Cheat Sheet!
My name is Gregory R. Bunch aka The Daily Fantasy Hitman.
Follow me on Twitter @DailyHitman