Daily Fantasy Basketball Strategy: January 30, 2016
There’s seven NBA games tonight, but the primary DFS contests are set for the five-game slate, so that is what we will be breaking down in this article. It’s really only like we’re cutting one game out, because that Golden State at Philadelphia game is going to be like the curb stomp scene in ‘American History X,’ you just have to look away because it’s that bad. This five game slate is shaped up to be a pretty high scoring one, so there should be a lot of good plays out there, and we’re going to go through those as well as the best cheap value options. Then, at the end I will also dish out my positional rankings to help you when building your lineups to hopefully lead you to a finish in the green tonight. First, let’s check out the Vegas numbers.
Vegas lines and totals
Denver (+8) @ Indiana — 208.5
Brooklyn (+?) @ New Orleans — ???
Washington (+3) @ Houston — 218.5
Sacramento (+3) @ Memphis — 203.5
San Antonio (-2) @ Cleveland — 204.5
Those are some damn healthy totals on tap tonight. Still waiting on the Nets/Pels line as I write this, but I’d think it would be right about 200 or a tad shy. That Wizards/Rockets spread really stands out, but there are no games worth fading tonight by any means. So, the top plays will be an open season for sure. Let’s go ahead and get to those top plays and cheap value options for the slate.
Rajon Rondo – The guy has just been undeniably incredible this season. I mean, we all knew he’d be going hard this season since he signed just a one-year deal, so that he could get a long-term deal this coming summer, but DAMN! I still wouldn’t want my team to be the one to pay him, but he’s earned a pay day for sure. Anyways, tonight Rondo goes up against Mike Conley and the Grizzlies which used to be a scary thing, not so much this year. Rondo has hit above value for this price (36 fantasy points is the value line) in nine straight games. He’s racked up double-digit assists in 14 straight games, also averaging 1.5 steals in that span. He gets it done. I love John Wall tonight also, but I like saving a little bit on Rondo slightly more, Wall may be the better GPP (big tournaments) play though.
Jrue Holiday – Holiday has no choice but to step his game up, and step it up he has. The Pelicans are littered with injuries right now, and Jrue has had to bump his minutes up well passed the limits that their head coach was hoping to. If Tyreke Evans is out again, Holiday is almost a must use in cash, but either way he is a nice play. After going for 37, 58 and 44 fantasy points (FPs) the last three games, he’ll be very highly owned, so in the biggest of GPPs you may want to at least consider going contrarian and fading him in one lineup.
Cheap risk option: Patrick Beverley is the top cheap option tonight at PG, and he’s coming off a nice 29 FP night last night against the Thunder. 26, 30, 17 and 29 FPs over his last four games. He has a low floor, but he’s been on more than off lately, so I like him at this price. Shane Larkin is your guy if you need a total punt GPP play for even cheaper than Bev. He’s nothing great, but he’s went for 31 and 22 FPs the last two games playing just low-20s minutes.
James Harden – He goes from blowing up on his former team last night, to playing the team who allows the second most FPs to opposing shooting guards. I love Bradley Beal, but he nor Sessions, nor anyone else the Wizards have is going to be able to stop The Beard from tearing the box score to shreds.
Will Barton – A guy who was a fixture in these daily columns for a good bit of the first half of the season, Barton went cold for a bit in January after Danilo got healthy, but he’s looked more like the good Will the past three games. Barton sees a nice matchup against Monta Ellis tonight, which he should be able to exploit for a nice fantasy night. Paul George will be on Gallo, so the Nuggets may look to Will even more, and he’s been getting double-digit shots the last five games anyways. He’s a real nice mid-tier play if you don’t go Harden at this spot.
Cheap risk option: There’s two primary punt options at SG tonight, Wayne Ellington is the first, because he isn’t relying on injury news for his value to be known. Ellington is super cheap and starting for the Nets right now. He’s put up fair FP nights of 22.5, 17, 25 and 14 over the last four games. If Tyreke is out tonight and Bryce Dejean-Jones draws another start, he’s also in play here. We were all caught off guard on Thursday night when the Pelicans named BDJ the starter before tip, and we had no clue how the minutes would be dispersed. Well, he shockingly played 35 minutes and put up 26.5 FPs. He’s probably more of a GPP type risk play even if starting though because we don’t know that he’ll play that much again.
Kawhi Leonard – He’s too scary to use most nights because we aren’t sure if the Spurs will be able to bench their starters throughout the game due to a blowout, but tonight against the Cavs, you know it’s going to be a close game and Kawhi will play all he can handle. These two team just recently played in San Antonio and Kawhi put up a big 46.5 FP performance. I think he breaks 40 FPs again in this one as he once again fills up the stat sheet. I much prefer him over LeBron James and Paul George, especially in cash games.
Trevor Ariza – Another player featured in the game with the highest projected total on the slate, Ariza had a nice showing agains OKC last night and played a team high 41 minutes. He matches up really well with the Wizards the way the Rockets have been playing small-ball with him at the four the past couple games.
Cheap risk option: Corey Brewer drew another start at the three for the Rockets last night and delivered 23 FPs. No matter if the Wizards have Otto Porter or have to go with Jared Dudley as the starter tonight, the matchup is beneficial for the Rockets starting SF. Look for Brewer to put up around 20-25 FPs again if he’s again listed as a starter as expected.
Ryan Anderson – IF Anthony Davis doesn’t play tonight, Anderson is the sure top option at PF tonight. While he’ll be super chalky in cash and GPP contests, it wi=ould be very tough to fade him after his 55 FP showing Thursday with Davis out against an equally bad defending Sacramento team. On the flip-side of this situation, if Brow is out, Thaddeus Young also gets a nice boost in value.
Tristan Thompson – It sounds like the Spurs will be without Tim Duncan again tonight, so this benefits Tristan nicely, who should have a much easier time grabbing boards against West and Diaw than he would have Duncan. This is just a spot that I like to save some money tonight since Boogie is in a non-ideal matchup at a super high price. Thompson should get close to 30 minutes and put up a low-end double-double for around 25-30 FPs. He somehow went bananas the last time they played the Spurs for 39.5 FPs, don’t expect THAT big of a game.
Cheap risk option: I can’t believe that I have to use this guy here after he pissed on so many of my lineups last night, but Josh Smith as of now is the lowest priced PF that I would be thinking about rostering tonight. It’s all about the minutes for Smoove, when he gets mid-20 minutes he’s a nice DFS option, but when he plays only 15 like last night, he’s worthless. We have no way of knowing which way tonight will go, but he’s worthy of a GPP punt thought if you mix in a few lineups.
Myles Turner – The kid is in the process of going legend. For seasonal leagues, we here at the Fix were the highest of any site that I saw on Turner coming into the season, but that was derailed when he missed over a month due to injury. Well, now the time has come for this 19-year-old (yeah, that’s not a miscue, he’s 19!) to show the world what the Pacers stole in this past draft. Turner will start at PF again for Indiana tonight and probably see 25-30 minutes of court time. His FP game log the past handful of games is, well, just see for yourself: 42 – 27.5 – 46.5 – 30.5 – 25 – 30. He’ll be very highly owned tonight, especially with the plus matchup, but can’t say that I’d fade him in cash games even if I knew he’d be 90% owned.
Brook Lopez – The better of the Lopez twins has really put on an offensive big man clinic around the league this season, and that show will continue in a big way tonight against the poor defending bigs of Nawlins. He will be an even better play if Davis is out, but I like him to go for over 35 FPs regardless.
Cheap risk option: Lavoy Allen is the punt option here tonight, but I don’t advise punting at this spot tonight. Allen should net 17-21 FPs though in his backup role.
Cash game rankings:
This isn’t necessarily an order of who will score the most DraftKings points. Rather, the rankings are aimed to find the best price, value and production combo to help you win cash games, also taking into account potential ownership levels for each player.
As always, stay locked to Twitter and Rotoworld for any late-breaking news the hour before the first game tips at 7 p.m. EST. I’ll do my best to update this article as news breaks throughout the day, but the best way to get the latest is always to follow me on Twitter @BigZack44, where I’ll do my best to break down the implications of any late scratches or lineup changes.