In this article, I am going to throw out some of my first thoughts when looking at the slate. The “First Glance” article should be up by 10 AM ET every day, which gives you guys something to look at before doing your own research. A lot could obviously change throughout the day, but this article is just to get your mind churning! Hopefully you guys won some money this weekend and hopefully we can keep it going on Monday!!!
*Pricing is from DraftKings*
The first thing that sticks out to me on this slate is the injury situation. A few impact players are banged up/ill which could change the whole slate.
Kevin Durant – KD had to sit out last game, but is PROBABLE to play tonight. Against the 76ers, I’m willing to bet the spread will sit somewhere around -15. 76ers do play teams tough at home, but without Embiid, I really don’t see how they keep it close. If he gets downgraded and ultimately sits out, Steph + Klay are obviously elite plays. Even in a blowout, they have ability to put up numbers in 3 quarters.
LeBron James – LBJ had to sit out last game against the Bulls, which led Kyrie to being the lone playmaker for the Cavs. There hasn’t been any news that has came out quite yet, so we’ll call him questionable (even though I think he will return). If LeBron sits, then fire up Kyrie in all formats. If he plays, both LeBron and Kyrie are fine plays, even though Kyrie’s price is getting up there.
Kyle Lowry – Lowry has sat out the last 2 games and is listed day-to-day on Monday. If he’s out again, fire up DeRozan in all formats. DeRozan has an insane usage rate with Lowry off the floor, plus this is a great matchup. CoJo also comes into play in a solid matchup, but he does have limited upside.
Kristaps Porzingis – KP is listed as questionable, but I think he’ll definitely sit this one out tonight. This obviously helps out Melo, who has been playing his best basketball as of late. You could also take GPP shots on Lance Thomas/KOQ.
Ranking The Studs
This is a segment I want to add because a lot of times the slate comes down to which studs you decide to build your lineup around. So in this segment, I’ll be giving my rankings for the guys that are $9000 and above. These are the guys that I think will give you the most value for their salary!
- Giannis Antetokounmpo ($10,700) – This might come as a surprise on a slate that has James Harden, but I love Greek Freak tonight. 2 big reasons for this. First, I LOVE to target Giannis in up tempo games. He THRIVES in transition and there are usually more turnovers in up tempo games which should lead to a few steals. Second, I LOVE to target small forwards against LeBron James. Listen, LeBron is one hell of a player and is one hell of a defender…when he puts in the effort. The thing is, LeBron has been coasting for the last 3 months. He knows he’ll be in the NBA Finals this year, so he isn’t putting in full effort on the defensive end in the regular season. (For the people that are thinking he won’t be guarded by LeBron, that would make him an even better play.)
- James Harden ($12,000) – This should be a really fun game. It has an O/U at 234, which is just glorious for DFS purposes. He needs 60 to hit value, but Harden can do that any night he walks on the floor. He’s one of the best scorers in the game, leads the league in assists, and also gives you a lot of rebounds.
- LeBron James ($10,900) – As long as LeBron is playing, he should crush on Monday night. He’s obviously the best player in the league and gets an awesome matchup tonight. There isn’t anyone on Milwaukee that can contain LeBron and without KLove, his usage just goes even higher. He has tremendous triple double potential every night.
- Karl-Anthony Towns ($10,800) – The Kings best interior defender was obviously DeMarcus Cousins. Now that he is in New Orleans, they really don’t have anyone to play defense down low. Last game against the Hornets, Frank The Tank posted a 23/13 line and Marvin Williams posted a 16/6 line. Obviously those 2 players aren’t even close to the level that KAT is on. KAT is a tremendous play tonight because he has a high floor and has some nice upside, which he showed in his 73 point game the other night.
- Kevin Durant ($10,000) – I probably won’t roster KD in cash games tomorrow. If I’m paying up at SF it’ll be Giannis or LeBron. That being said, I don’t mind KD in GPPs. There’s huge blowout risk here, but if that game stays close, KD could easily burst open that 5x value mark and put up a 60-70 point performance. He’s one of the best scorers this world has ever seen and he has a tremendous matchup.
- Steph Curry ($9,900) – If KD is out, I’d probably bump Steph up to #4. His usage shoots up with KD out, plus the game would have a better chance at staying closer. But if KD is playing, I’ll probably go elsewhere in cash games. There’s too big of a blowout potential for my liking. Obviously he’s a solid GPP play (even though I’d rather go Isaiah Thomas), because of his upside.
- Kyrie Irving ($9,000) – If LeBron is downgraded and ultimately out, I’d bump Kyrie up to #2 on this list. His usage goes through the roof without LeBron AND KLove on the floor. He’ll have to do literally everything for this team. If LeBron plays though, I’ll probably go elsewhere.
After you pick your studs, you obviously need to fill out the rest of your lineup. Here are some other guys that stick out to me right now.
Lou Williams ($5400) – Absolutely loved this trade when I heard about it. Houston is such a good offensive team and it added one of the better pure scorers in the game. Lou Williams is going to get his shots, specifically the three-point shots. Also, because of all the shooters around him, he will also get an uptick in assists. I really do think Lou’s FLOOR is him hitting value at this price…and if he gets hot…watch out!!!!
Kyle Korver ($4800) – Korver has been on fire for the Cavs the last few weeks. He’s fairly cheap and in a solid matchup. I am only going to target him if LeBron is playing though. He’s already proven to be able to come in and knock down multiple threes. He’s also closing games for the Cavs and getting around 30 minutes.
Michael Beasley ($5200) – I really do love to target players facing Cleveland because they haven’t played defense since Christmas. Khris Middleton is resting tonight, therefore opening up more opportunities for Beasley. We all know Beasley is a great scorer, so I like him at this price.
Myles Turner ($6100) – We all know I love to target players facing Houston too. This game will be so up and down which creates more opportunities for every stat. The last time this team faced, Turner put up a line of 18 points, 10 rebounds, 4 blocks, and 3 steals. At this price and in this matchup, I don’t see a way of him not hitting 5x value.
Monte Ellis ($4000) – He’s dirt cheap. At this price, he only needs 20 DK points to hit that 5x value. He’s done that in 6 of his last 7 games, with a 18.75 in his last outing. We obviously love attacking Houston and Ellis is the perfect guy to do it with. Again, I think his FLOOR tonight is him hitting 5x value, with the potential of going off for 7-8x value in this up-tempo game.
That’s going to wrap up today’s First Glance article. I hope this was helpful in churning your mind this morning! If you have any questions or want to talk DFS, hit up my personal profile on twitter (@breeden_bryce) or hit up the Fantasy Forecast twitter page (@FanForecast). Good luck to everyone and happy grinding!