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Daily Fantasy Basketball Strategy: November 18, 2015

After some nice six and seven-game slates the past two days, it’s time for a big night, with ten games tonight. There are a few injuries we need to watch for updates on, Anthony Davis, Jeff Teague, Victor Oladipo and Derrick Rose to name a few. A lot changes depending on if those guys are in or out as far as DFS values go. Their replacements rise/fall depending if they’e starting or coming off the bench, so keep tabs on them as a guy like Aaron Brooks could get you 20+ fantasy points if he starts, but he’d be irrelevant if Rose played. OK, let’s move on to the breakdown.

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Vegas lines and totals

Minnesota (+7.5) @ Orlando — 196.5
Indiana (-7.5) @ Philadelphia — 191
Brooklyn (+7.5) @ Charlotte — 196.5
Dallas (+4.5) @ Boston — 205
Sacramento (+4) @ Atlanta — 210
Portland (+6.5) @ Houston — 209
New Orleans (+8.5) @ Oklahoma City — 213.5
Denver (+14) @ Denver — 195.5
Toronto (+4.5) @ Utah — 189
Chicago (+2.5) @ Phoenix — 200

Five games really standout here, three in a good way and two in a bad way. The Pelicans/Thunder, Blazers/Rockets and Kings/Hawks are the ones with the highest totals and as we all know, those teams are loaded with talent. It’d definitely help if Anthony Davis can play, but after leaving last night’s game holding his shoulder again, I would be surprised if he is active tonight. The Raptors/Jazz and Pacers/Sixers games will be ones that I mostly avoid except for maybe one or two players due to being projected at such low totals.

POINT GUARD

UPDATE: George Hill is OUT tonight.

Russell Westbrook ($12,200) – Don’t even think about it. Stop it! No, it doesn’t matter if it could be a blow out! No, it doesn’t matter if you can get Lillard for over $3K less. Start your lineup with Westbrook locked in your PG slot and go from there. Don’t over-think this, guys. Even if he were only to play three quarters, Jrue Holiday is out, so he’d be going up against Ish Smith and Toney Douglas for 30 minutes. DO. NOT. FADE. Especially in cash games.

Damian Lillard ($8,800) – What? I didn’t say that I didn’t think Dame was a nice play tonight, I just simply said that I wouldn’t be fading Westbrook under any circumstances. I will definitely have a lineup that features both of the top PGs on the board though. The Rockets have been awful against opposing point guards this season and whether the Rockets had a good players meeting or not, Lawson isn’t going to become a lock down defender overnight. A high scoring game like this, give me the big scorers with high usage rates.

Cheap risk option: Toney Douglas ($3,600) will get a boost in minutes with Holiday out tonight, up to around 25. The last three games that he played minutes in the mid-20s, he averaged 22 fantasy points. So, there’s not a ton of upside here but he should hit value as a punt play. Also, Aaron Brooks ($3,600) makes for another nice punt option if he starts for the Bulls tonight with Rose out. He should hit between 20-25 DK points as a starter.

SHOOTING GUARD

Jimmy Butler ($7,800) – So, let me get this straight. Derrick Rose is out, Butler’s usage rate jumps up 7% when Rose is out and they’re playing an uptempo opponent? Sign me up! Yeah, Butler hasn’t been near “safe” this season as for DFS production, but he always seems to step it up when the team needs him to most. I expect a 40+ DK point performance from the Butler, on the hardwood, with a dagger.

Andrew Wiggins ($6,600) – I think this is the first time that I have written up Wiggins as a top play this season. While I’d rather spend a little more to use Jimmy, Orlando has struggled stopping high scoring wings like Wiggins. DeMare DeRozan and Paul George both scored over 23 points against this Magic team recently, and I expect Andrew to do the same tonight, after dropping 24 in Miami last night. Feel confident riding this hot hand and together we’ll all be gettin’ Wiggy wit it!

Cheap risk option: I don’t really like any of the SG options under $4K today, so I’m cheating a bit and saying Manu Ginobili ($4,300) as the cheap option. 25+ DK points in three of his last four games, 20+ in five straight, and they have a soft opponent tonight.

SMALL FORWARD

Paul George ($9,500) – I think this has just become an automated answer whenever Indiana is playing on a night I do the DFS write-up. I love Paul George and until they bump him up to over $10K, I’m going to keep using him, especially in matchups like this one versus Philly. George has scored 26+ points in seven straight games, yeah, sizzling hot. I think he’s the most sure thing on the board tonight aside from Westbrook. Now you know the duo that will head most of my lineups, now you just have to figure out what cheap guys to use to make a strong group of 8 despite using $21,700 on two players.

Al-Farouq Aminu ($6,000) – Loving Aminu in this game at this price. He can fill the stat sheet up and the Rockets have been brutal against small forwards. With so many options tonight and AFA not having any big nights recently, I expect him to be under-owned despite all the signs that he should be a great play. Feeling a low-30s DK night here.

Cheap risk option: Dante Cunningham ($3,000) should get another start if Anthony Davis is out tonight as expected, especially if Asik misses the game as well. Nothing to get excited about here, but if Cunningham gets 24+ minutes at the minimum price, he should hit you with around 20 DK points.

POWER FORWARD

DeMarcus Cousins ($10,300) – I believe this is the first game that Cousins has been listed as a PF on DK this season, and it’s such an amazing thing. It allows so much more flexibility than when he’s a center and can only be used in one of two spots. DMC has put up 60+ DK points the past two games and looks to be in his groove now. Yet another stud that I’ll be using alongside Westy tonight. The Hawks have had real troubles this season stopping upper-tier bigs and this is one of, if not thee, best in the league.

Terrence Jones ($6,200) – He’s on fire! OK, moderately speaking… With 40, 39 and 32 DK points the last three games, it’s safe to say that Jones is both 100% and tamed his role in this offense. Between his solid rebounds and scoring he’s a nice bet anyways, but he also can rack up fantasy points via blocks. He should have a field day with those against Ed Davis and Noah Vonleh type bigs. Update: Jones has now been deemed questionable for tonight due to a hand injury.

Thaddeus Young ($6,100) – He may see a significant boost in ownage tonight after his last to games where he’s gone for 50 and 40 DK points, but Thad has another great matchup tonight and it’ll be hard to ignore him at this price.

Cheap risk option: Pick your poison out of guys like Taj Gibson ($3,800), Boris Diaw ($3,300) and Trevor Booker ($3,200). ALl of them tend to get around 20 minutes give or take and all inconsistently hit value, but none of them usually give you a total dud. So, if you really want to fit in a couple huge money guys tonight because you feel they’ll both go off huge, it’s ok to have one of these cheapos to net you around 17-22 DK points.

CENTER

Nikola Vucevic ($7,400) – Vucci Mane was an $8K+ player the majority of last season on DK, and while I understand the drop off, it makes it tough to look away from him knowing what kind of a player he is. The Magic are coming off of three nights off and the Wolves have had two games in that span, one last night in Miami where Hassan Whiteside put up a trip-dub of points, rebounds and blocks. The Magic should look to Vooch to lead their offense tonight, and I would be stunned if he didn’t put up 40+ DK points.

Rudy Gobert ($6,700) – I think this is just the second time that I have wrote up my boii as a top play, so you know I’m not bias to the guys I have a history with. I just feel Gobert is looking more like himself after their last game, and his price and matchup are hollering for us to use him. Look for Rudy to make a push towards 40 DK points tonight.

Cheap risk option: Steven Adams ($3,900) is always a decent cheap target if you’re basically punting at center. New Orleans will have nobody to bang with the Aussie in the paint tonight if Brow is gone, so we should see Adams hit just above his 19 DK points average.

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.

PG
1) Russell Westbrook
2) Damian Lillard
3) Ish Smith
4) Brandon Knight
5) Aaron Brooks
6) Emmanuel Mudiay
7) Isaiah Thomas
8) Jarrett Jack

SG
1) Jimmy Butler
2) Andrew Wiggins
3) Monta Ellis
4) C.J. McCollum
5) James Harden
6) Eric Gordon
7) Manu Ginobili

SF
1) Paul George
2) Al-Farouq Aminu
3) Gordon Hayward
4) Joe Johnson
5) Kawhi Leonard
6) C.J. Miles

PF
1) DeMarcus Cousins
2) Terrence Jones
3) Thaddeus Young
4) Nerlens Noel
5) Serge Ibaka
6) Derrick Favors
7) Ryan Anderson
8) Taj Gibson

C
1) Nikola Vucevic
2) Rudy Gobert
3) Dwight Howard
4) Jared Sullinger
5) Enes Kanter
6) Jahlil Okafor
7) Steven Adams

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.

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