Daily Fantasy Basketball Strategy: November 4, 2015
The first week of the NBA season has come and gone, but we’re back at it again like we are every day with strategies to help you win your cash games and hopefully place well in some GPPs as well. Wednesday gives us a nice 10-game slate, which provides plenty of viable options without overloading us with too many and keeping the new NBA schedule as balanced as it was intended to be.
Vegas lines and totals
San Antonio Spurs (-3.5) @ Washington Wizards – total of 202
Boston Celtics (-2.5) @ Indiana Pacers – total of 201.5
New York Knicks @ Cleveland Cavaliers (-9.5) – total of 201.5
Brooklyn Nets @ Atlanta Hawks (-8.5) – total of 196
Philadelphia 76ers @ Milwaukee Bucks (-10) – total of 195
Orlando Magic @ Houston Rockets (-8.5) – total of 208
Toronto Raptors @ Oklahoma City (-9) – total of 211
Portland Trail Blazers @ Utah Jazz (-6) – total of 190
Sacramento Kings @ Phoenix Suns (-8) – total of 205.5
Los Angeles Clippers @ Golden State Warriors (-8) – total of 218
Out of the 10 games on Wednesday’s slate, only one is really untouchable, and that’s Portland at Utah; rarely do we want to attack the Jazz defense. On the opposite side of the spectrum, that 218-point total in the Clippers-Warriors game means fireworks are on the way, and anybody starting in that game could be viable as at least a GPP option.
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:
Stephen Curry ($10,100) – This pick needs little explanation, but I’ll provide some anyway. Curry is the best player in the highest-scoring game of the night, and he’s averaging 10 more points per game than anybody on this slate not named Russell Westbrook, who played a double-overtime game to help pad his numbers. Meanwhile, Curry doesn’t even play every fourth quarter. The Clippers should keep this from being a laugher and a full slate of minutes from Curry is fantasy gold.
Dennis Schroder ($4,700) – Kyle Korver will rest Wednesday against the Nets, and Schroder saw 33 minutes of court time the last time Korver rested. Mike Budenholzer is not shy about playing Schroder and Jeff Teague together and with a nice matchup against the Nets, who don’t defend shooting guards well, Schroder is a good bet for 25-30 fantasy points at a sub-$5,000 price with the upside for more.
Jerryd Bayless ($3,800) – With Michael Carter-Williams doubtful to play against his former 76ers team Wednesday, Bayless looks likely to step into the starting lineup for extra minutes, along with extra usage that Carter-Williams’ absence brings. Philadelphia hasn’t been terrible against point guards this season and while this game doesn’t project as high-scoring, Bayless is can’t-miss value as long as he enters the starting lineup.
Cheap risk option: Matthew Dellavedova ($3,800) – J.R. Smith is set to miss at least two games and with the Cavs as thin in the backcourt as they are, Dellavedova will likely see around 30 minutes Wednesday against the Knicks. With reports indicating that Richard Jefferson is likely to start in Smith’s stead, however, it takes some of the shine off Dellavedova as a cash-game option. He’s still a fine GPP play, though.
Marcus Thornton ($3,500) – Terrence Jones does not seem close to returning to the court, and Thornton has been starting in his absence as the Rockets go small. An Orlando team that starts Tobias Harris at power forward certainly won’t prevent Houston from sticking with small-ball, and Thornton has played 68 minutes and taken 30 shots in his two recent starts. It’ll be difficult for him to hurt you at this price as long as he’s starting.
DeMar Derozan ($7,400) – With Kyle Lowry locked in a matchup with Russell Westbrook, Derozan may have more on his plate against the Thunder on Wednesday. He’s slowed down with two games under 30 fantasy points after topping 40 in his first two outings, but anytime Lowry faces a tough matchup, Derozan is in play if you want to pay up at shooting guard.
Nik Stauskas ($3,500) – Stauskas is arguably the 76ers’ second-best option on offense behind Jahlil Okafor, especially if Robert Covington sits Wednesday due to injury. A near-lock for close to 30 minutes, Stauskas should have no problem clearing 20 DK points, with the upside for 30. Shooting guard is a nice position for cheap value Wednesday.
Cheap risk option: Rodney Stuckey ($3,800) – Stuckey is coming off a big game against his former Pistons teammates, but he’s actually been pretty consistent off the bench this season, scoring at least 24 fantasy points in three of four games. Of course, he didn’t crack 10 points in that fourth game, which is where the risk comes in, but not that many players under $4,000 can put up a 30-fantasy point night. And if they can, they’re much more highly owned than Stuckey.
Evan Fournier ($4,400) – Fournier went big Tuesday night, scoring 30 points in 43 minutes of action. He’s seeing minutes in the upper 30s and has taken 56 shots over his past three games, never scoring fewer than 28.75 DK points. He’s a chalk play in a solid matchup with the Rockets that should be somewhat high-scoring.
Giannis Antetokounmpo ($6,900) – The Greek Freak is another under-priced emerging star in a great spot Wednesday, as a matchup with the 76ers is on tap. Antetokounmpo hasn’t scored fewer than 35 fantasy points yet this year, beating value in every game. He should make it four in a row against Philadelphia.
Kawhi Leonard ($7,800) – Leonard has two 50-point games in four outings this season, and the Wizards are dead last in DK points allowed to small forwards this season. Otto Porter is a nice player, but he’s no match for Leonard. Sometimes, these articles write themselves. Play Leonard before his price reaches $9,000.
Cheap risk option: Bojan Bogdanovic ($3,800) – The bottom-barrel small forwards really aren’t very fun for GPP purposes. I’d be shocked if anybody topped 25 points, but Bogdanovic’s role has been slowly increasing and he may even move into the starting lineup eventually. You shouldn’t be this desperate for a cheap small forward but if you are, go ahead and take a flier on the Croatian.
Markieff Morris ($6,200) – Morris has a reputation as an erratic player with a volatile personality, which makes him a strange cash-game recommendation. After his opening-night stinker, he’s scored between 31 and 32 DK points in three straight games and gets a potential high-scoring matchup with the Kings, who couldn’t defend power forwards with DeMarcus Cousins in the lineup. Morris should be able to meet value and if his shot straightens out, a big night could be in store.
Greg Monroe ($8,100) – Michael Carter-Williams’ likely absence will create a ripple effect throughout the Bucks’ offense, but it won’t stop at Bayless and Antetokounmpo. Monroe went for 55 fantasy points on opening night with the Greek Freak sidelined, and a similar outing is possible with another key offensive cog missing. His 35-point floor is extremely safe for cash-game play as well.
Kevin Love ($7,600) – Love could catch a break if Kristaps Porzingis can’t play Wednesday for the Knicks, but he’s a good cash play regardless of Porzingis’ status. Love is excelling as the second option in Cleveland’s offense without Kyrie Irving, and his price has remained steady early in the season. The Knicks still struggle with perimeter shooters.
Draymond Green ($7,100) – Green’s style of play fits perfectly for a game with an over/under of 218 points. Blake Griffin continues to improve, but his defense is still far from elite and Green is the type of player who can top 30 fantasy points without a big scoring night. In a game that promises to put up plenty of stats, Green is most certainly in play.
Cheap risk option: Jon Leuer ($3,200) – Leuer’s upside isn’t much higher than 20 DK points, but the good options under $4,000 at power forward Wednesday are few and far between. Kyle O’Quinn is always fun, but the Cavs pose a tough matchup, he’s prone to foul trouble and his minutes have dropped the past two games. Kings-Suns has some blowout potential with an eight-point spread, which could also benefit Leuer.
Festus Ezeli ($4,100) – This play is 100 percent contingent on Andrew Bogut‘s status for Wednesday night. With Clippers-Warriors being the late game, some may not want to risk choosing Ezeli with Bogut listed as questionable. If news breaks either way during the day, this will become an easier choice. But if Bogut sits, Ezeli is my top play of the night at center. You get great value to pay up elsewhere and the Clippers, even with DeAndre Jordan, allow a lot of fantasy points to opposing centers.
DeAndre Jordan ($7,800) – If Bogut plays, Jordan will still likely be my second option at center, only he’ll be behind Tyson Chandler rather than Ezeli. But it’s easy to play on the assumption that Bogut won’t play since there’s been no word of him clearing concussion protocol, and the Warriors have been more than fine without him. Either way, Jordan could have a monster game in a fast-paced shootout with Golden State.
Tyson Chandler ($5,800) – Since a poor opener where none of the Suns starters showed up, Chandler has ripped off over 100 DK points in his past three games. A matchup against the Cousins-less Kings is far from imposing, making another 30-point night well in reach for Chandler.
Cheap risk option: Marreese Speights ($3,100) – Three of the four plays at center at the moment are from the Clippers-Warriors game, which I managed to avoid at SG and SF, but nowhere else. Speights is a top-notch per-minute fantasy producer and if Bogut misses the game and Ezeli finds himself in early foul trouble, there could be some extra minutes available.
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 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 @christripodi, where I’ll do my best to break down the implications of any late scratches or lineup changes.