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Daily Fantasy Basketball Strategy: October 30th, 2015

First off, happy Friday to everybody! Let’s make the most of it by trying to find the right plays to cash in on tonight’s 12-game NBA DFS slate on DraftKings. Note, that the majority of content here is directed at cash games aka 50/50s, double-ups, H2H, etc.. unless otherwise noted that it’s a better GPP (big tournament) play. I won’t bore you with anymore small talk, let’s get right to the good stuff for this big slate.

Vegas lines and totals
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Miami (+6.5) @ Cleveland – 198
Utah (-7.5) @ Philadelphia – 189
Oklahoma City (-8.5) @ Orlando – 208.5
Toronto (+2.5) @ Boston – 204
Chicago (-2.5) @ Detroit – 199.5
Washington (-2) @ Milwaukee – 196.5
Charlotte (+4.5) @ Atlanta – 196
Brooklyn (+14) @ San Antonio – 203.5
Minnesota (+4) @ Denver – 210.5
Golden State (-1.5) @ Houston – 214
LA Lakers (+7) @ Sacramento – 209.5
Portland (+4.5) @ Phoenix – 207.5

Oh my! Looking at those lines immediately makes you feel like there are going to be some really big DFS scores tonight. The first thing you’ll notice is the 189 total for the Jazz/76ers game, I’m scrapping that game and looking to the others. There’s too many big totals to try and pick the one or two guys who hit value in a low scoring game like that. Nets/Spurs and Thunder/Magic have the biggest spreads, but despite that still have lines over 200. I went and saw my Magic take on the Wizards on Wednesday, and while they matched up well with them, their offense isn’t going to keep them in a game against a team with the weapons OKC has. So, we’re left asking ourselves “Can Westbrook and Durant do enough in 30 minutes to hit value even with their big money price tags?” To that I say, sure, but with a monster slate like this, I’m probably risking it and fading both — if I played one it’d be Westbrook because young Elfrid nor backup vet Watson are going to be able to slow him down.

Wolves/Nuggets and Warriors/Rockets are the two games that I am drawn to the most. The Wolves and Nuggets put up over 100 points in their games on Wednesday and tonight there should be a really fast pace to the game. In the 2015 Western Conference Finals rematch between the Warriors and Rockets, you know you’re going to have a lot of scoring, it’s what these teams do. Houston will have center Dwight Howard back for this one after serving his 1-game suspension, and Andrew Bogut will be out due to a concussion he suffered Wednesday. As you’ll soon read, I really like a lot of options in these matchups.

Here’s a quick review of the DraftKings scoring settings:

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)

Update: With the news that Kyle Korver will be out tonight, PG Dennis Schroder ($4,900) and SF Thabo Sefolosha ($3,200) are now in play. Schroder gets a lot of shots up per minute played, and should have a healthy usage rate tonight playing around 25 minutes or more. Sefolosha becomes a solid punt option, Bazemore hasn’t been good and Sefo put up 23 DK points in just 19 minutes in the opener even with Korver active.

Now, for the top options and values at each position:


Stephen Curry ($9,900) – The reigning MVP is active and he loves going up against the Rockets. Even on a night with so many games and some really solid PG options for much cheaper prices, it so hard to fade Curry in a game that will be played at such a high pace and he’s already one of the best scorers we’ve ever seen. In nine games against Houston last season, Curry averaged a whopping 51 DK points per game against Houston. There’s only one top-shelf player that I like more than Steph of the elite options tonight — the picture gives this away. I love Damian Lillard and John Wall, but if I’m paying $9K+ for a PG tonight, I’m adding a few bucks to get Curry or even Russell Westbrook.

Reggie Jackson ($7,500) – More than likely, if I have any lineups where I fade Curry and Westbrook, one of these next two will be my go-to guys. Reggie Jackson is just super solid all around and I love players who rack up assists in daily fantasy because 1.5 per assist adds up quick. RJax should have his way on offense against Derrick Rose and Aaron Brooks. Look for Reggie to settle in right around 35-40 DK points with a floor around 28 and a ceiling of 50+.

Ricky Rubio ($7,000) – Stop it. Don’t for a second think that we’re going to get 55 DK points from Rubes tonight, may not even happen again the rest of this season. Good point guards will decimate the Lakers like that every night, but Rubio still was very impressive in the game and should carry over that confidence to a game where he’ll be going at rookie Emmanuel Mudiay on both ends, this is good news. Mudiay had 11 turnovers Wednesday night and Rubio is terrific at swiping steals, so he should take advantage of the young guns mistakes. While scoring 28 isn’t going to happen tonight, Ricky should put up around 15, have double digit assists and add in a few steals to hit around 40 DK points.

Cheap Risk Options: Unless a starting PG ends up missing tonight’s game, I dont’t like any of the super cheap options at PG tonight. The only player under $5K that I would look at is Marcus Smart ($4,700) going up against the Raptors. George Hill found success going at Kyle Lowry and Smart has that potential, too. I am likely paying up at PG tonight though, so tread carefully here.


James Harden ($10,300) – I’ll admit that I probably won’t be rolling the dice at the Harden casino tonight, but I can’t tell anyone that they should fade him. He’s incredible and has had success against the Warriors plenty, but he has just been too one extreme or the other for me to invest this much in when there’s so many other options tonight. His last four games against Golden State here were his DK point totals: 29 – 73.5 – 26.75 – 74. So, if you run out multiple GPP lineups tonight, you should def have Harden in some of them, but for cash games, I’m fading. There’s no denying his upside compared to the other options at SG tonight though.

Dwyane Wade ($6,800) – Wade loves going up against his former teammate LeBron James and tonight will be no different. It’s possible that the Heat will shift LeBron onto Wade defensively some, but Wade will still manage to get his. In the opener on Wednesday night, Wade had a usage rate of 33.6%, so he is always highly involved on the offensive end. Look for Wade to come through at around 35-40 DK points tonight at a very fair price.

J.R. Smith ($4,800) – I legit tried to get myself to stop typing his name two or three times. This guy is one that I just can’t quit, because his price is always so reasonable and his upside so high because when he gets hot, he can blow up in a major way. JR lives for the spotlight and this game will be on ESPN and highly hyped as are all games when LeBron plays against the team he left after two titles and four straight NBA Finals appearances. Love it or hate it, I’m going to have several shares of Smith tonight looking for 30+ DK points.

Cheap risk options: Gerald Green ($3,800) is going to keep seeing a lot of playing time as the sixth man for the Heat, and until his price reflects his scoring ability, we should keep considering him as a cheap option. Green played 30 minutes Wednesday and scored 19 points with five 3-pointers on 15 shots. If you need a minimum guy here, think about the young Croatian sensation, Mario Hezonja ($3,000) who should see between 21-25 minutes on Friday. The Magic will need his shooting to have a chance at staying in this one, there’s a crazy low floor here, but you know the risks of a minimum priced player.


It’s the third game in four nights for the Cavaliers, and I am just not going to be paying up $9,700 for LeBron James tonight. Kevin Durant ($9,400) is a good GPP play after a quiet opener, maybe his ownership will be down and you can take advantage if he goes off before the game gets out of hand. In one game vs Orlando last year, KD put up 50.8 DK points in just 27 minutes of a blow-out affair.

Kawhi Leonard ($7,700) – Yes, I know this game is projected to be a blow-out but Kawhi is priced so well for all that he can do (see his 51 DK points in game 1 vs OKC), that I can’t fade him in cash lineups. Let’s just really hope that the Spurs don’t get up 30 before halftime, and Kawhi will see 30 minutes where he will load the stats sheet with fantasy greatness. His aggressiveness on Wednesday night — hopefully wasn’t only due to the big matchup vs OKC — was truly special to watch, and I think this is just Kawhi taking that next step in his game, the league should be terrified. Use him now before his price jumps up another $1K.

Danilo Gallinari ($6,300) – Gallo is still underpriced for what he brings to the table. Just like last game against the Rockets, the talented Italian will be in an uptempo game that suits his game so well. Don’t be overly concerned that Andrew Wiggins may defend him, as he did jus fine (47 DK points) against the good defending Trevor Ariza last game. Gallo should have a pretty high floor of around 25 and his ceiling is always vaulted.

Giannis Antetokounmpo ($6,000) – The Greek Freak returns after serving his one game suspension, and the Bucks couldn’t be happier because they desperately missed him on Wednesday when they lost badly to the Knicks. Giannis should be able to deliver a nice fantasy line against Otto Porter or Bradley Beal or Kris Humphries, I mean any position they put him at, he’ll have a plus matchup. I’m expecting around 30 DK points for the Freak tonight.

Cheap risk options: Rodney Hood ($3,900), and no, this isn’t just an excuse to talk more about the guy that I hyped up all off-season as a season long sleeper, I just really do think this is a good spot for him. I know I mentioned this as a game that I would mostly ignore because of the super low Vegas total, but with Hood starting and the 76ers looking like they have no idea how to stop guards from doing whatever they want, Hood or Alec Burks are going to go off, my money is on Hood. Jerami Grant ($3,700) and Jakarr Sampson ($3,100) will both continue to play over 25 minutes for the 76ers and at their prices, they may be worth a GPP punt dart.


Nikola Mirotic ($6,600) – Until DraftKings comes to their senses and makes the price tag on Mirotic a more intimidating number, you really have no choice but to roll him out there. We’ve already seen his new role as a starter and his talented skill set, and let’s face it, Ersan Ilyasova isn’t going to be doing anything to stop Miro from having another big fantasy night.

Kenneth Faried ($6,600) – The Manimal had a fantastic opener for the Nuggets with 18 points, 9 boards, 3 blocks and a steal for 38 DK points. We just saw rookie Julius Randle drop a grown man double-double on the Wolves a couple of days back, and Faried should do the same in this high paced game.

Cheap risk options: Kris Humphries ($4,000) is really the only cheap play I see at PF tonight. He’s got a slow, ugly game but has double-double potential as a starter. You can do a lot worse than Humphries tonight when choosing cheap options to fit in bigger priced players elsewhere.


DeMarcus Cousins ($10,200) – The Boogie monster is in play tonight and he has a buttery matchup against the Lakers. There are a lot of centers that I like tonight, but DMC is the only one with 60-point upside. I will more than likely have Cousins in all of my lineups GPP or cash, tonight. I do understand if you feel it’s better to go big $ players at other spots and take a solid cheaper C, I just feel owning Boogie gives me the top player of the night, and I always like that advantage no matter the price.

Brook Lopez ($7,100) – I really want to use both Boogie and BLo tonight, because I feel they both are destined for huge nights. I saw what Enes Kanter was able to do in the paint against the Spurs and I haven’t stopped salivating at tonight’s matchup for Lopez since. The Nets will get Lopez all the looks he can handle, and I’d be stunned if he didn’t roll out a 20 point, 10 rebound game. I’ll have a hard time not rolling with a center in my utility spot tonight.

Jonas Valanciunas ($6,200) – Oh my God, who would have known that if you played Jonas 30+ minutes, that he’d put up a huge stat line? Well, everybody on the planet not named Dwane Casey apparently. Finally, Casey played JV 32 minutes on Wednesday and the 23-year-old came through in a mega way with 21 points, 15 boards and 1 rejection. Tonight Jonas has another favorable matchup against the Celtics, and plain and simply put, if he gets the minutes, he’ll get the stats.

Cheap risk option: With Andrew Bogut sidelined tonight, Festus Ezeli ($3,100) is someone you have to consider based on price and opportunity alone. The one setback is he could easily find himself in foul trouble against Dwight Howard who the team would definitely rather send to the line than allowing free dunks. For that reason, Marreese Speights ($3,200) is in play for big backup center minutes. Speights has always put up high fantasy point per minute numbers, so if he plays 20+ minutes, he will easily hit above value at this price.


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.

1) Stephen Curry
2) Reggie Jackson
3) Dennis Schroder
4) Ricky Rubio
5) Emmanuel Mudiay
6) C.J. McCollum
7) Russell Westbrook
8) Brandon Knight
9) Damian Lillard

1) James Harden
2) Dwyane Wade
3) J.R. Smith
4) Gerald Green
5) Alec Burks

1) Kawhi Leonard
2) Danilo Gallinari
3) Giannis Antetokounmpo
4) Rodney Hood
5) Kevin Durant
6) Thabo Sefolosha
7) Jerami Grant
8) Rudy Gay
9) Jae Crowder

1) Nikola Mirotic
2) Kenneth Faried
3) Greg Monroe
4) Kris Humphries
5) Nerlens Noel
6) Derrick Favors

1) DeMarcus Cousins
2) Brook Lopez
3) Andre Drummond
4) Jonas Valanciunas
5) Marreese Speights
6) Roy Hibbert
7) Enes Kanter

As always, stay locked to Twitter and Rotoworld for any late-breaking news the hour before the first games tip at 7 p.m. EST. I’ll do my best to update this article as news breaks throughout the day.

For more fantasy hoops analysis and to have any questions you may have answered, follow Zack on Twitter @BigZack44.


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