Daily Fantasy Basketball Strategy: November 17, 2015
It’s been an interesting week for this New York DFS player. That sentence speaks for itself, but after a much-needed week away from the game, it’s time to get back on the grind. After a six-game Monday night, the NBA has treated us to a seven-game Tuesday, which is more than enough games to find some good plays but nothing overwhelming. Let’s get to the Vegas lines.
Vegas lines and totals
Milwaukee Bucks @ Washington Wizards (-4) – total of 201
Atlanta Hawks (-3.5) @ Brooklyn Nets – total of 197.5
Minnesota Timberwolves @ Miami Heat (-9) – total of 194.5
Cleveland Cavaliers (-5) @ Detroit Pistons – total of 193.5
Charlotte Hornets (-1) @ New York Knicks – total of 196
Denver Nuggets @ New Orleans Pelicans (-6) – total of 206.5
Toronto Raptors @ Golden State Warriors (-8.5) – total of 207.5
It’s a relatively tame night as far as totals, with just two of seven games eclipsing a 205-point projection and only three above 200. Most of the plays below will likely come from the top three or four games, as all six teams from the games at 196 or lower are in the bottom 10 in pace besides the Knicks, who barely miss the cut at 20th. The DraftKings scoring system is below.
Point = +1 PT
Made 3pt. shot = +0.5 PTs
Rebound = +1.25 PTs
Assist = +1.5 PTs
Steal = +2 PTs
Block = +2 PTs
Turnover = -0.5 PTs
Double-Double = +1.5PTs (MAX 1 PER PLAYER: Points, Rebounds, Assists, Blocks, Steals)
Triple-Double = +3PTs (MAX 1 PER PLAYER: Points, Rebounds, Assists, Blocks, Steals)
Now, for the top options and values at each position:
Dennis Schroder ($4,600) – Jeff Teague has already been ruled out for Tuesday’s game against the Nets, which means Schroder should start and see minutes in the low 30s. That generally means 30-plus DK points for the young point guard, and Jarrett Jack is unlikely to be able to keep up with Schroder’s quickness and penetration ability. On a potentially low-scoring slate like Tuesday’s, a value play like Schroder is a near-lock.
Kyle Lowry ($8,200) – Lowry has beaten his price in each of his past four games, and the Raptors are playing way up in pace against the Warriors. Stephen Curry is a solid defender, but Golden State’s overall defense has still been slightly friendly to opposing point guards and Lowry is underpriced. He should hit 40 fantasy points with the chance for more if Toronto keeps this one close.
Emmanuel Mudiay ($6,100) – Mudiay draws the best matchup of the night against the Pelicans, but he has almost as many games under 25 fantasy points (three) as he does above 33 (four). Those bad games came in tough matchups against the Suns, Jazz and Thunder, however, meaning Mudiay is a somewhat safe bet for production in the high 20s or early 30s as long as his minutes are there.
Cheap risk option: Cory Joseph ($4,100) – Joseph’s fantasy value has yet to evaporate with the return of DeMarre Carroll, as the former Spur has put up respectable nights of 19.25 and 28 fantasy points in two games with Carroll back in the lineup. He should see minutes in the high 20s and has a good shot at putting up a point total in the same range.
Garrett Temple ($3,200) – This pick is contingent on two things that are 100 percent related: Bradley Beal‘s injury status, and whether Temple starts. If Beal is out and Temple enters the starting five, he should see around 30 minutes of playing time and score anywhere between 20 and 25 fantasy points, which would be a great return on his price tag. Keep an eye on pregame reports.
Eric Gordon ($6,300) – Before struggling against the Knicks, who defend the position well, Gordon had six straight games with at least 29.5 fantasy points. He’s been very consistent this season, and the Nuggets have matched that consistency when it comes to allowing big nights to opposing shooting guards. Gordon isn’t necessarily a high-upside player at this price, but he’s a safe cash-game play if Temple is too risky.
Rondae Hollis-Jefferson ($3,200) – It’s Gordon or value at shooting guard Tuesday and, like Temple, Hollis-Jefferson will need to start to make this a wise investment. Even then, Lionel Hollins has shown the willingness to keep his minutes in the teens if he isn’t performing, so this pick doesn’t come without some risk. At his price though, Hollis-Jefferson has a good chance to meet value against an injury-ravaged Hawks backcourt.
Cheap risk option: Tyler Johnson ($3,600) – Johnson has at least 15.75 DK points in four of his last five games, including a 31-point outburst Thursday against the Jazz with Dwyane Wade out. Wade isn’t going to miss Tuesday’s game but Johnson got almost 30 minutes in the prior game against the Lakers, and a matchup with the Wolves has the best chance of the night of turning into a laugher. Johnson is worth a GPP shot.
Harrison Barnes ($5,300) – Even with DeMarre Carroll in town, the Raptors have struggled to defend opposing small forwards so far this season. Barnes’ low usage rate makes him unappealing to many, but he’s been under 20 DK points just twice in his past seven games while clearing 31 points in three of those contests. Those two bad games came against Brooklyn and Detroit, two teams in the top-eight defensively against small forwards. Expect a nice game from Barnes, especially if Draymond Green sits, opening up minutes for Barnes as a stretch-four.
Thabo Sefolosha ($3,500) – With Kent Bazemore out Tuesday, Sefolosha should slide into the starting lineup and see upwards of 30 minutes of playing time against the Nets. An expectation of 20-25 DK points is very reasonable, which would pay off his price tag nicely and allow you to pay for some higher-priced players elsewhere. Sefolosha doesn’t need his shot to be falling to hit value.
Giannis Antetokounmpo ($7,000) – Don’t trust Barnes in the mid-tier and don’t want to go cheap with Sefolosha? Antetokounmpo will be playing up in pace against the Wizards, who are likely to be thin on the wings without Bradley Beal. His athleticism fits well in an open-court style of play, and the Wizards have struggled to contain small forwards all season.
Cheap risk option: Bojan Bogdanovic ($4,000) – Bogdanovic has played 103 minutes over his past three games and while he isn’t a great per-minute producer, the ample playing time is enough to give him some upside. If his shot is falling, Bogdanovic is the kind of player who can hit for 25-plus DK points, although the matchup with the Hawks isn’t ideal.
J.J. Hickson ($4,300) – Hickson continues to start at center with Joffrey Lauvergne out, and Lauvergne won’t be returning Tuesday. The Pelicans have the ability to run small with Anthony Davis at center if they want to, which could limit Hickson’s playing time, but New Orleans also struggles to defend opposing centers and Hickson is slightly underpriced even if he only sees 25 minutes. Beware of some bust potential here, though, especially if he doesn’t come out of the gates hot.
Thaddeus Young ($5,900) – Young has played well of late with three 30-point games in his last four, including a 50-spot in his last outing. Paul Millsap is a great player, but the Hawks do allow power forwards to accumulate stats. Young is in a good spot to produce yet again tonight.
Chris Bosh ($7,300) – Bosh was a recommended play here last week against the Lakers and responded with 44.75 DK points. He gets another good matchup with Minnesota and has beaten value in each of his past six games. The upside isn’t crazy in a low-scoring game, but he should pay off his price tag with around 40 fantasy points.
Cheap risk option: Cody Zeller ($3,500) – Zeller is set to start in place of P.J. Hairston
Al Horford ($7,200) – Horford has been outperforming his price tag all season without a true breakout game, which is why his price has remained steady. A great matchup with the Nets should allow him to continue producing, and Horford shouldn’t have much trouble reaching 40 fantasy points if he gets his full complement of minutes.
Brook Lopez ($7,100) – On the other side of the Hawks-Nets matchup, Lopez is in a very similar spot to Horford. Both are underpriced and both have great matchups. While Horford does the dirty work and has few plays run for him, Brooklyn’s offense runs through Lopez often as its best player. Flip a coin as to who you want to use, or be like me and use both.
Cheap risk option: Andrew Bogut ($4,800) – Bogut isn’t truly cheap, but his upside is very good for this price point. He may not see the 32 minutes he saw against Brooklyn, but all Bogut needs is playing time in the mid-20s to have a shot at 30 DK points. His 49-point outburst Saturday against the Nets won’t happen again, but it shows what Bogut can do when healthy.
Cash Game Ranks
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 follow me @christripodi, where I’ll do my best to break down the implications of any late scratches or lineup changes before the first game tips at 7 p.m. EST. I’ll also update this article as news breaks throughout the day if at all possible, but I will always update you via Twitter first.