I’m hoping for a little “kid’s birthday” narrative tonight as I’ve won fairly big money every time I played on either my sons’ birthdays or the actual day they were born (yes there are pictures of me holding my sleeping newborn while setting DFS lineups on my phone). Tonight we have a full 10-game slate to tackle, and the big question is how much we want to dabble in the Timberwolves who are in a wonderful spot, but coached by a guy who has been the bane of DFS players multiple times now. Make sure to check us out in FTA+ chat, and I’m on twitter @jac3600.
Mike Conley, MEM ($7300)
I’m not interested in the top tier of PGs with Westbrook out (maybe Kyle Lowry if Kawhi sits again). Conley rates as a safe mid-tier target for cash even though he doesn’t really offer that 50-point upside for GPPs. Recent shooting woes have brought his price down several hundred dollars, and he’s only shooting 29% from beyond the arc this season. Since his career mark sits at 38%, we can reason that there is some positive regression coming. Denver is a solid team defensively (fourth overall, 11th against PGs) but a close game (four-point spread) should keep Conley’s minutes in at least the mid-30s. It’s hard for him to bust at this price (unless he gets hurt).
Other options – Ben Simmons, Kyle Lowry
Mid-tier options – Trae Young, Goran Dragic, Ricky Rubio
Derrick Rose, MIN ($5500)
I know, we’ve been down this path before, but at Rose’s prices you really can’t let past experiences haunt you. The smart DFS player knows that (right now, at least) there are very few value plays on the entire slate that make more sense than Rose. Jeff Teague has already been ruled out, and Rose played 34 minutes last game, crushing value again. The Lakers rank third in pace and 23rd in overall team defense, and this game has a whopping 237 O/U. Remember, there’s always the chance Jimmy Butler sits, too.
Other options – Dennis Smith, Darren Collison, Fred VanVleet, Cameron Payne
DeMar DeRozan, SA ($9200)
We can go cheaper in cash games here as well (we’re paying for Anthony Davis – spoiler alert). However, DeRozan makes for an elite GPP play based on the magical season he’s had thus far. DDR currently ranks tenth in the league with a 31.2% usage rate and is sporting career highs in both defensive rebounding rate (15.5%) and assist rate (20.6%). San Antonio is getting a pace boost with the surprisingly fast Heat to start to year, and Miami ranks 21st against SGs.
Other options – Jimmy Butler, Zack LaVine, Jrue Holiday, Victor Oladipo
Mid-tier options – Tim Hardaway, Kent Bazemore, Dennis Schroder
Dennis Schroder, OKC ($6400)
Russell Westbrook has been ruled out for tonight, and the sites were not quick enough to adjust Schroder’s price tags. This makes him a near-lock on this slate, especially on FD where you need to play two specifically-rated SGs. Schroder opened the season with 48.6 FD points playing 34 minutes without Westbrook, and the Cavs rank dead last in overall defense and 29th against guards (with little hope of improvement). This is classic “opportunity meets matchup”, and Schroder may be the highest owned player on the slate. Don’t miss the boat.
Other options – Kevin Huerter (if Prince sits again), JJ Redick, Damyean Dotson, Rodney McGruder, Garrett Temple
Paul George, OKC ($10,200)
Unlike Schroder, FanDuel did catch the expected usage boost of Paul George in time, and popped him over 10k tonight. Still, I am more than willing to spend this price based on the fact that George sees one of the biggest usage boosts imaginable based on a teammate being out (26% with Westbrook on the court, 36.1% with him off). The latter number would rank second in the league (behind only Westbrook himself) if it was a consistent stat, and PG13 should put up massive numbers against the bottom-ranked Cavs team in defense. For what it’s worth, George took 50 shots (and 23 threes) in the first two games without Westbrook as well.
Other options – LeBron James, Kawhi Leonard, Nikola Mirotic
Mid-tier options – Josh Richardson, Jabari Parker, Andrew Wiggins
Davis Bertans, SA ($3500)
With Rudy Gay out for at least another game, Bertans rates as a fine FD “burner” punt at the minimum price. He started last game and played 25 minutes, and while the production wasn’t there it’s tough to identify any downside to a player priced at the minimum that will get near starters’ minutes. Miami is third in the league against SFs, but Bertans also shifts to the four a good deal, and this is more about price anyway.
Other options – Dante Cunningham (same deal), Joe Ingles, Kyle Anderson, Tyreke Evans, Mario Hezonja
Anthony Davis, NO ($11,800)
With no Westbrook on the slate, Anthony Davis is my priority spend, especially with guard values that have already opened up. Now, there are definite concerns (one being his elbow, and two being the enhanced usage of Nikola Mirotic and Julius Randle sharing the frontcourt with AD). He’s now failed to hit value in three straight contests which is not what you want to hear if paying this kind of salary, but this matchup can’t get much better. The Bulls rank 29th against PFs and 26th against centers while also allowing the second most blocks per game and ranking 27th in rebounding rate. They just let Enes Kanter post a 23-24-7 line on them, and if there was even a time for one of AD’s vintage 80-point performances, it’s this one. I’m saying he goes for at least 60.
Other options – Blake Griffin, LaMarcus Aldridge
Mid-tier options – Wendell Carter
Brandon Ingram, LAL ($5900)
After the consistency of LeBron, the usage carousel on the Lakers is tough to predict, but Ingram’s price has fallen enough to where I’m comfortable risking him being behind a couple of his teammates tonight. Ingram has averaged 33 MPG over his last three and is taking part in the top offensive environment on the slate. Minnesota ranks 26th against opposing PFs and is also 29th in rebounding rate (yes, JaVale McGee is coming later).
Other options – Serge Ibaka, Pascal Siakam, Jaren Jackson, Jerami Grant, Thaddeus Young, Noah Vonleh
Andre Drummond, DET ($9600)
How Drummond isn’t over 10k yet is beyond me. There have been six 20-20 games in the NBA this season, and Drummond has accounted for four of them (Enes Kanter has the other two, by the way). The addition of Mo Bamba has really helped control the interior for part of the game, and Orlando ranks sixth against centers after finishing 28th a year ago. However, they’re 26th in rebounding rate, and Drummond has an unreal 26.5% individual rebounding rate, good for second in the NBA.
Other options – Karl-Anthony Towns, Nikola Jokic, Rudy Gobert
Mid-tier options – JaVale McGee, Willie Cauley-Stein, Enes Kanter, Steven Adams, Julius Randle
JaVale McGee, LAL ($7500)
McGee makes a fine cash play on FD, particularly due to the fact that FanDuel awards three points per block. McGee leads the NBA in blocks with 34 (in ten games!) and is facing a Minnesota team that has been destroyed by centers (rank 21st in defensive efficiency, 29th in rebounding rate, and have allowed the third most blocks per game to the position). McGee’s 17 minutes were an anomaly last game, and his opponent then (Toronto) is by far the best defensive team against opposing centers. Look for a big bounceback tonight.
Other options – Myles Turner, Tristan Thompson, Mitchell RobinsonFantasy Basketball