What’s up everybody! Hopefully you already got a chance to listen to Sean’s “Lineup Logic” podcast on today’s NBA slate and have a head start coming into this article. If you haven’t, I strongly recommend you give it a listen when you get a chance, as he produces very high quality content on a daily basis.
Tonight, we’ve got a nice 5-game slate on tap for NBA, with two teams on a back to back (and playing each other), and a rash of players that have already been ruled out or deemed questionable. As opposed to last night, there are only a three players priced higher than $10,000 and the question tonight is whether or not any of them are actually worth their price tag.
Like always, I will be giving you two of my favorite plays at each position and a short list of others to consider. In addition to this, moving forward I will also review the previous article’s plays in the following article, to show how my reasoning for each player actually pans out.
Here are today’s preferred plays:
Eric Bledsoe ($8,000)
The upper-tier of the point guard position today is somewhat rich with options for a small slate, with several directions that are cash viable. My personal favorite option at the position tonight is Suns’ point guard Eric Bledsoe. Bled has enjoyed quite a nice season thus far and has really enhanced his play over his last five games. Over that stretch, he has averaged 23.3 points. 7.8 assists, 4.6 rebounds and 1.2 steals over 34.4 minutes per game. The Suns have also faced the Jazz and Spurs over that span, two teams which are extremely far from pushovers defensively. Bledsoe gets to face the Cavs tonight in a game with an over/under of 220 (highest on the slate). Both teams rank in the top half in the league in pace and the Cavs are actually a bottom third team in DvP against the point guard position, surrendering an average of 45.6 FD points per game. In a game in which the Suns are likely going to need a ton of scoring to keep up, look for Bledsoe to be the go-to option.
Ricky Rubio ($6,700)
Hopefully you’ve taken advantage of Rubio at least once over his past 5 games, as he’s topped over 40 Fanduel points in four of those games and still posted a respectable 29 Fanduel points against the Mavs in the other game. Over that span, he’s averaged 13.2 points, 14 assists, 3.8 rebounds and 2.8 steals over 35.3 minutes per game. He gets to face the Clippers’ backcourt that, without Chris Paul, is far from menacing. Rubio will likely draw Raymond Felton’s defense and while it’s above average, it is not the same as Chris Paul. With so many weapons on offense, Rubio should have no issues cracking double-digit assists and be a shoe in for a double double, something that he’s doing with regularity lately.
Other preferred plays: John Wall ($10,200), Kyrie Irving ($8,400) – Lock if Kevin Love is out, Austin Rivers ($5,600), Raymond Felton ($5,500)
Devin Booker ($6,400)
Everyone knows that in NBA DFS, minutes = production and Devin Booker is a player that sees more minutes per game than anyone on the Suns’ roster. He’s been on a ridiculous scoring stretch as of late, scoring 25, 39, 39, 28, 22, and 27 over the Suns’ last five games. While he’s a one-trick pony for the most part (literally never gets more than 4-5 assists/rebounds in a game…ever), he’s priced rather accordingly on Fanduel and in a game that’s going to need a lot of Suns’ scoring, Booker is a fantastic option.
Jamal Crawford ($3,500)
Yes, he’s averaged 7 Fanduel points per game over the last three games, but he’s minimum priced in a plus matchup without Chris Paul. Crawford carries a 25.5% usage rate with Paul and Griffin off of the court, and with Austin Rivers expected to start at the three tonight, Crawford will be the anchor of the offense in the second unit. The Timberwolves are a scary DvP matchup for opposing shooting guards, but are much worse against point guards (allowing 44 FDP per game), which bodes well for when Crawford acts as a backup point guard. At $3,500, Crawford only needs 18 Fanduel points to eclipse 5x value, and the chance that he scores 18 raw points is very high, so consider 5x more of a floor for him tonight.
Other preferred plays: Bradley Beal ($7,200), JJ Redick ($5,200)
Kawhi Leonard ($9,400)
I feel like a lot of people will be riding LeBron James tonight with a pace-up matchup against the Suns and Kevin Love carrying a questionable tag, but give me Kawhi over LeBron today. Leonard has been going ballistic lately, averaging 30.4 points, 4.4 rebounds, 3 assists and 1.4 steals per game. Now I’m going to warn you, whenever I roster Kawhi, no matter how hot he is, he seems to dud, so I hope that I don’t jinx him tonight. There is a very high chance that the Spurs blow the depleted Nuggets out of the water tonight, putting a dent in Leonards chances at big minutes, but even in blowouts he’s still topped 30 minutes in 5 of the Spurs’ last 6 games. The Nuggets have nobody that can contain him and play at the fifth fastest pace in the NBA (100.9 possessions per game) in a HUGE pace-up game for the Spurs. Expect Leonard to thrive in this game environment and lead the Spurs to a comfortable win.
Mindaugas Kuzminskas ($3,900)
I expect Kuz to be the chalk play of the day, but I see no reason not to roster him tonight. With Kristaps Porzingis, Lance Thomas, and Joakim Noah all unlikely to play or already ruled out, the Knicks’ frontcourt has some gaping holes and Kuz has done what he can to fill them. He’s fresh off of 17 point, 6 rebound, 2 assist performance in 29 minutes against the Celtics last night in an unexpected Knicks’ win. The 29 minutes were nice, but two games ago he received 38 minutes against the Hawks and has averaged 30 minutes per game on the dot over his last 4. It’s safe to say that Kuz has carved out a significant role in the rotation, especially with the frontcourt players out, so expect a healthy workload against the Wizards tonight.
Other preferred plays: LeBron James ($10,500), Carmelo Anthony ($7,700), Danilo Gallinari ($5,900)
Markieff Morris ($6,100)
Power forward is kind of ugly tonight, as I personally am not willing to pay $9,400 for Nikola Jokic with a GTD tag, and Aldridge finds himself with a lot of blowout potential while the other top PFs are all hurt. That led me to Markieff Morris (as frustrating as he can be to roster), who’s actually coming off of two straight double-doubles against the Blazers and Grizzlies, and fell one rebound short of two more double-doubles in the two games before those. His play has really improved as of late, along with the Wizards’ offense in general. Morris is a lock to see 30 or more minutes per game with virtually no depth at the power forward position for the Wizards and faces the Knicks without Porzingis tonight. Over their last 10 games, the Knicks have allowed an average of 41 Fanduel points per game to opposing PFs, and with Morris tallying at least 37 FD points in consecutive games, expect him to go for a third in a row tonight.
Kenneth Faried ($5,600)
Faried is another play that I expect to be rather chalky. The Nuggets are going to need all the size they can get to try and grab any advantage over the Spurs, and Faried’s play as of late is what we were accustomed to a few years ago. He’s topped 30 minutes in consecutive games, averaging 20 points, 6 rebounds, 2 assists and 1 steal over an average of 31.5 minutes. With all of the injuries to the Nuggets’ frontcourt, I fully expect Faried to draw another start and I can see his athleticism giving LaMarcus Aldridge some problems. The Spurs are a stout defensive team all around, but Faried should be able to get his stats in a matchup where they’ll desperately need him to be on his A game.
Other preferred plays: Nikola Jokic ($9,400) – GTD, LaMarcus Aldridge ($7,800), Gorgui Dieng ($5,700) – Birthday narrative
Hassan Whiteside ($8,700)
I’m currently having a difficult time choosing my center, but right now I lean Whiteside. The Mavericks are without Andrew Bogut tonight, so if you want to tell me that Salah Mejri can guard Hassan Whiteside, then go ahead and throw whatever device you’re reading this on out of the nearest window. Whiteside is an absolute animal and I consider him underpriced any time he’s under $9,000. He’s a walking 20/20 threat and even though the over/under of this game is under 200, Whiteside is the very last person that this will affect. The Mavericks have surrendered 50.3 Fanduel points per game to opposing centers over their last 5 games, and I think that’s a very reasonable, if not low, expectation for Whiteside tonight.
DeAndre Jordan ($8,200)
Jordan has been feasting lately and it’s too bad that Fanduel has caught on (luckily he’s still only $7,700 on Draftkings). Jordan has FOUR 20 rebound games over the Clippers’ last seven contests and he’s topped 15 rebounds in their last four. With Chris Paul out, we’ll likely see the scoring numbers become rather erratic, but a matchup with the Timberwolves is quite enticing. Surprisingly, the Wolves struggle against big men, allowing 44.6 Fanduel points per game on the season, and Jordan will also have to play a hefty load of minutes to try and contain Karl-Anthony Towns. In his first meeting with Towns and the Wolves this season, DeAndre Jordan posted 18 points, 16 rebounds, 2 blocks and 2 steals in 34 minutes of action – a stat line that I wouldn’t be surprised if he replicates, or even improves on tonight
Other preferred plays: Karl-Anthony Towns ($10,100), Marcin Gortat ($5,800), Kyle O’Quinn ($4,900)