Daily Fantasy Basketball Strategy: November 29, 2015
There are eight NBA games being played Sunday, but two of them are in the early time slots. With the big GPPs only including the late night games, today’s picks will also only include the games starting at 6 p.m. or later. There’s still a good amount of players to choose from, so let’s get right to it.
Vegas lines and totals
Phoenix Suns @ Toronto Raptors (-5) – total of 205
Detroit Pistons (-4.5) @ Brooklyn Nets – total of 194
Philadelphia 76ers @ Memphis Grizzlies (-11) – total 193.5
Boston Celtics (-1.5) @ Orlando Magic – total of 202
Houston Rockets (-1.5) @ New York Knicks – total of 199.5
Indiana Pacers (-9) @ Los Angeles Lakers – total of 201.5
No games come with an exceedingly high total tonight, with Suns-Raptors and Celtics-Magic looking like potential competitive and somewhat high-scoring games. Pacers-Lakers being in Los Angeles helps limit the blowout chances in that one, and Knicks-Rockets should be tightly contested game as well. Even the two lowest-scoring games of the night will have some appeal, as you’ll see below. Also below is our daily reminder of the DraftKings scoring system.
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:
Kyle Lowry ($8,500) – The Raptors have one of the top team totals of the night and get to play up in pace against the Suns, who haven’t been great defending point guards this season. Lowry has been a rock in the Toronto backcourt and hasn’t dipped below 35 fantasy points in any of his last 10 games, landing below 40 just twice. That’s a great floor for his price, which should only be raised by the matchup.
Isaiah Thomas ($7,500) – Thomas’ price has stabilized in the mid-$7,000s since his move to the starting lineup, and Sunday’s matchup with Elfrid Payton and the Magic should help him exceed that cost. Thomas has at least 35 fantasy points in four of his past five games, and he should push for a total in the low 40s in this matchup.
George Hill ($5,900) – Hill has been solid since his return from injury with 55 fantasy points in his past two games, and neither matchup was anywhere near as juicy as the one he gets Sunday against the Lakers. Hill may not be doing the same amount of ball-handling he was last year with Paul George back in the fold, but there’s no reason he shouldn’t be able to put up 30 fantasy points in this one.
Cheap risk option: Isaiah Canaan ($4,300) – Canaan was re-inserted into the starting lineup Friday and scored 23 points against his former Rockets team in a near-win for the 76ers. Brett Brown will probably stick with the lineup that worked Friday against Memphis on Sunday, whether Nerlens Noel plays or not, and Canaan has been averaging fantasy output in the high 20s over this past four games. If the Grizzlies give up points anywhere, it’s on the perimeter. Like any shooter, though, Canaan may be due for a dud soon.
James Harden ($10,200) – There is a huge chasm between Harden and the second SG on this list. With that out of the way, it’s time to go over why. The Knicks aren’t terrible defending shooting guards, but Harden is scorching hot of late and has at least 59.25 fantasy points in four of his last five games, including one game over 70 and another over 80. Arron Afflalo has a reputation as a decent defender, but he won’t be able to stop this train Sunday.
DeMar DeRozan ($7,100) – Like Lowry, DeRozan has a nice matchup against the Suns, but unlike Lowry, he hasn’t been playing his best basketball of late. It’s always safer to trust players in good form and avoid struggling stars, especially when they’re as reliant on scoring as DeRozan. If he suffers an off night shooting the ball, he’s unlikely to make up for it in other areas.
Jordan Clarkson ($5,000) – If Kobe Bryant sits out Sunday’s game, which seems like a greater than 50/50 proposition, Clarkson would benefit from the usage Bryant leaves behind. With more shots and more opportunities to have the ball in his hands, Clarkson should be able to beat his price even in an average matchup against the Pacers. He went for 20 points the last time Kobe sat.
Cheap risk option: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope ($4,700) – Caldwell-Pope gets a great matchup against the Nets, but the question is whether he can take advantage. Like DeRozan, Caldwell-Pope is struggling and hasn’t topped 25 fantasy points in any of his past nine games, but here’s hoping one of the best matchups on the board can get him going. Obviously he’s only in consideration for GPPs.
Paul George ($10,100) – George continues to look like a man on a mission to prove he’s back to pre-injury form, and he’s doing it with averages of 26.4 points, 8.4 rebounds and 4.6 assists per game this season. The Lakers struggle covering power forwards, which is where we’ll likely see George start the game, and they aren’t exactly great against small forwards either. Indiana has one of the highest team totals of the night, and George is the Pacers’ top dog. A fifth 55-point game in his last 11 is very possible Sunday.
Robert Covington ($6,000) – Covington is averaging over 44 fantasy points per game in his last four outings, all of which have seen him clear 32 fantasy points. Memphis hasn’t been great guarding the wings of late, and the 76ers are really trying hard to end their winless streak to start the season. Covington is easily their best offensive player, and he has a good chance to push for another 40-point night as one of the top plays on the board.
Matt Barnes ($3,900) – Barnes has been starting in place of Zach Randolph, who seems likely to sit against the lowly 76ers unless he’s back to 100 percent. Keep an eye on the injury report here but if Z-Bo remains sidelined, Barnes is easily the value play of the day. Putting together a lineup with these three small forwards is a very viable strategy.
Cheap risk option: Jerami Grant ($4,400) – Many will be on T.J. Warren in GPPs after his big game against the Warriors, but much of that line was fueled by garbage time. Unless Warren enters the starting lineup, I’d roll the dice with Grant in a similar price range. Coming off an 18-point night, Grant contributes some nice defensive stats and can rack up fantasy production in a hurry. If he gets another start and 32 minutes of playing time, he should be good for 25 DK points or more.
Kristaps Porzingis ($7,500) – In Porzingis’ last outing against Houston, he put up 24 points, 14 rebounds and seven blocks. The PF position is a bit light on Sunday’s slate and Porzingis has a good opportunity to take advantage of a bad defense once again. Dwight Howard playing means he probably won’t push 60 fantasy points again, but hitting the low 40s is a solid bet for the Knicks’ newest toy.
Thaddeus Young ($6,900) – Thaddeus Young doesn’t have a ton going for him Sunday, but he also doesn’t have anything going against him, either. The Pistons defense is neither overly giving or terrible stingy, and Young has been playing well of late. I’m not sure why you wouldn’t find a way to get Porzingis for an extra $600, though, but Young won’t be a bust either.
Luis Scola ($5,300) – Scola struggled Friday night against the Wizards, but his first two games without Jonas Valanciunas are better barometers of what to expect from him in the starting lineup. He’s a solid bet for around 25 fantasy points, which won’t kill you at his price, but he’s far from a player you want to force into your lineup if you can help it.
Cheap risk option: Channing Frye ($3,300) – Frye has only been playing around 20 minutes in a starting role, but that was enough for him to put up 23 fantasy points in his last game against the Bucks. He busted against the Knicks two games ago, but Boston doesn’t have anybody with the length of Porzingis to bother Frye and contest his three-point jumpers. If he gets hot, it could be a nice night for the newly crowned starter, and it’s possible head coach Scott Skiles would extend his minutes a bit past 20.
Marc Gasol ($7,100) – Gasol against the 76ers frontcourt with Zach Randolph unlikely to play makes for a very tempting DFS option. He’s slowed down a bit since his triple-double in the first game Randolph missed, but Gasol shouldn’t have a problem staying on track and putting up a nice fantasy game against the 76ers. He could push for 40 fantasy points Sunday.
Jared Sullinger ($6,400) – Skiles has been unhappy with Nikola Vucevic‘s defense, even limited his second-half minutes of late, and none of this bodes poorly for Sullinger’s Sunday matchup. Sullinger has gotten back on track after a mini-slump by averaging 40 fantasy points over his last two games, and while expecting that kind of production would be steep, he’s a good bet to score somewhere in the mid-30s against Orlando.
Ian Mahinmi ($4,700) – Mahinmi is yet another Pacer is a great spot, along with Hill and George. Mahinmi’s play over the last couple season made Roy Hibbert expendable, and Mahinmi will likely outplay his ex-teammate in Sunday’s matchup. He provides nice salary relief with a solid floor, as he has at least 20 fantasy points in eight of his last nine.
Cheap risk option: Alex Len ($3,000) – With Tyson Chandler doubtful to suit up Sunday against the Raptors, Len should draw another start to match up against Bismack Biyombo. How many minutes he plays depends on whether the Raptors go small with DeMarre Carroll at the 4 and Scola at the 5, which is a possibility that could limit his minutes. If Len finds a way to find 25 minutes though, he could be a solid source of 25 or so fantasy points.
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 6 p.m. EST. I’ll also update this article as news breaks throughout the day if at all possible, but I will usually update via Twitter first.