AP NBA Game Theory Decisions 11/21
Happy Wednesday Karma Nation! We have a massive 13 game slate to tackle. Things get very difficult around the holidays so the approach I’m taking in this article will be more player (or play) focused. Let’s dive in!
Pacers AT Hornets -3, 218.5
Q- Myles Turner IN, Victor Oladipo OUT
O- MKG, OUT- Hernangomez
Tyreke Evans, 5,400, SG/SF – Elite play.
Darren Collison, 5,200 – Solid
Cory Joseph, 3,900 – Fine
Myles Turner, 5,300 – Solid GPP
Domantas Sabonis, PF/C, – 6,500 -> Fine (Would be Elite if Turner was out)
Cody Zeller – Elite value.
Kemba Walker – GPP viable.
Pelicans AT 76ers, -4, 236
PACE: Pelicans +2.2, 76ers +3.7 *Massive pace up spot*
Jrue Holiday, PG/SG, 8,100 -> Elite all formats. With ELF OUT, Jrue owns a 27% USG and 1.24 FP/minute rate. He’s also locked into huge minutes.
Nikola Mirotic, SF/PF, 6,900 -> Solid to Elite GPP. With Jimmy Butler on the 76ers, on paper, this team should be an elite defensive team. That just isn’t the case yet. I love Niko’s price for this game.
Julius Randle, PF/C, 7,000 -> Elite GPP. I love Randle in pace up games. Randle just put up 60 in 25 minutes against the Spurs. He is slated as a GPP play due to his minutes and foul risk. Outside of those two things, he is elite.
Anthony Davis, PF/C, 11,400 -> Solid to Elite in all formats. In a game stack, pairing Jrue+Niko+Randle is easier due to their prices. However, Davis could log big minutes and a 70+ DK point day wouldn’t surprise me one bit.
JJ Redick, SG/SF, 5,200 -> Solid play in all formats. We have a high total, fast paced game. JJ should see big minutes and take a lot of shots in this game.
Ben Simmons, PG/SF, 8,600-> Solid GPP. Simmons has triple double upside but his main risk is that he doesn’t take a lot of shots. We need a high efficiency rate and the peripherals for him to justify his price. In this type of game, he could definitely do that. However, I like the savings you get with Jrue Holiday over Simmons.
Jimmy Butler, SG/SF, 7,100 -> Solid to Elite GPP. Jimmy hasn’t shown the usage or FP/min rate yet through his few games with 76ers. It appears as if he is feeling out his role on this team, which is actually pretty impressive considering how he has been in the past. However, this just feels like a Jimmy Butler game.
Joel Embiid, C, 10,800 -> Elite in all formats. The Pelicans have been good against Centers, but Embiid isn’t your traditional big. This could be one of those games where Brow and Embiid go at each other all game and put up a massive number. I have Brow ranked just ahead of Embiid.
Raptors AT Hawks +7, 224.5
D- Leonard, Q- CJ Miles, OG Anunoby
D- Poythress, Spellman
*TBD Waiting on confirmed injury/rest news*
Knicks (b2b) AT Celtics -14, 217
Game note-> Fizdale has been changing this rotation up on a nightly basis. This just isn’t good for DFS. Monitor the news here, I don’t hate the idea of a one-off CHEAP value play if we can predict they will be in line for decent minutes.
Lakers AT Cavaliers +9, 221
O- Sam Dekker, George Hill, O- Rondo
Lakers note-> Rotation is the biggest risk here as nothing outside of LeBron minutes is guaranteed.
Brandon Ingram, SG/SF, 5,900 -> Solid play. Ingram appears to be the trusted guy outside of LeBron. He has logged well over 30 minutes over his past three games.
Lonzo Ball, PG, 5,600 -> fine GPP. With Rondo out, Ball should be getting the minutes. However, solid play from Josh Hart has cut into Balls timeshare. He has upside, but not the kind of upside we saw last year. This is mainly due to LeBron running things on this team.
JaVale McGee & Tyson Chandler-> Neither stand out for me and each cut into eachothers production.
LeBron James, SF/PF, 11,600-> Elite Play. If you think this game blows out early, LeBron won’t make for a great play. Vegas has the side set at 9 points. If this game is within 12-15 points in the 4th, LeBron will get his minutes and could absolutely smash in his return home to Cleveland. Also, everyone outside of LeBron and Ingram is just too volatile to trust.
Collin Sexton, PG, 5,400 -> Solid play. Sexton has been a safe/cash type staple of mine for 4 or 5 games now. I’ve mentioned him on almost all the past few slates he has been on and he hasn’t disappointed. His price is slowly catching up to his consistency, but he should be able to get you between 25 to 32 fantasy points tonight.
Cedi Osman, SF, 4,300 -> I remember Osman stating last year that it was his dream come true to play alongside LeBron. Now he gets to face LeBron tonight. He makes for an interesting value play assuming he starts. *Looks like he isn’t starting, definitely downgrading him*
Rodney Hood, SG/sF, 4,400 -> Fine to Solid GPP value.
David Nwaba, SG/SF, 3,600 -> Elite Value. Given his price and that he is starting, I’ll be grading Nwaba as an elite value play.
Larry Nance Jr, PF/C, 5,600 & Jordan Clarkson, PG/SG, 5,200 -> We have a little triple revenge tonight with LeBron vs his former team and Clarkson & Nance vs the Lakers. Yeah, yeah, so many people laugh at the idea of ‘revenge narratives’ but I love them. And yeah, I’ve also heard, ‘I played sports at the highest level and I was motivated every night’. I could also say, ‘yeah, I go to work motivated every single day’. HOWEVER, certain things will push me a little bit more. Say a colleague offers up a challenge or contest of some kind, or talks crap, etc. I believe that a little extra motivation, whatever it may be, can have massive impacts. How can these guys not feel a little betrayed given the entire situation that unfolded? Sure, it may not pan out, but I bet Nance comes out fired up, same goes for Clarkson.
Suns AT Bulls -2, 212.5
PACE: Suns 22nd, Bulls 14th, Proj Poss; Suns -0.9, Bulls -1.8
DEFF EFF: Suns 29th, Bulls 30th
Game notes; Last year this would have been a pace up spot. . . This year, both teams are playing at a slow pace. On the other hand, both teams rank very poorly defensively. I wonder if a few shots go down early if the pace actually picks up in this game.
Devin Booker, PG/SG, 8,700 -> Solid GPP. Booker will dominate the USG for the Suns and he will have an easy matchup. If the pace picks up, he could have a big game.
TJ Warren, SF/PF, 6,700 -> Elite play. TJ has played over 37 minutes for six straight games. He continues to hit cash line values and he has an excellent matchup against Jabari Parker. He’s my favorite play on the Suns side. I love the savings we get when comparing him to Devin Booker.
Deandre Ayton, C, 6,900 -> Fine to solid cash. Ayton is a guy that continues to be incredibly popular in the DFS community. I haven’t bought into it as he just isn’t getting the looks in the paint. I think he should double double in this matchup, and he makes for a fairly safe play, but I like TJ Warrens upside a bit more.
Zach LaVine, PG/SG, 7,900 -> Solid play in all formats. Much look Booker, LaVine is doing everything on offense for the Bulls. I like the savings we get from taking LaVine over Booker. And I like the idea of pairing LaVine with TJ Warren as a way to get exposure to this game.
Jabari Parker, SF/PF, 6,000 -> I won’t talk you off playing Jabari, but I like the minutes consistency TJ Warren has for just 700 more.
Wendell Carter Jr, C, 5,500 -> Solid GPP. I love this rookie vs rookie matchup. The last few games have been blowouts, so don’t check game logs before clicking Carter’s name. If this game stays close, I love his chances of paying off his salary.
Ryan Arcidiacono, PG, 3,800 -> Fine Value (if starting). I’m not too excited about this play, but his price tag puts him into that value consideration.
Pistons AT Rockets, -7, 215
*Most likely a fade spot*
Game notes-> The Rockets are arguably one of the best defensive teams in the league right now. Their defensive efficiency rating of 22nd really tells a different story. However, when I watch them play, they are slowing the pace down and are forcing teams to take contested jumpers. They also appear content to isolate and take contested jumpers themselves. Outside of GPPs, I feel fine fading this game.
Blazers AT Bucks -6, 226
D- Moe Harkless
Game notes-> This matchup reminds me of the Bucks vs Nuggets game. This could either go two ways; (1) we see both teams emphasize defense and attempt to lock up eachothers stars (Bledsoe on Dame and the Blazers have been nasty good vs opposing frontcourts) or (2) we see pace take over and this game gets into a shootout, or (3) both things happen and we see secondary pieces from this game hit value.
CJ McCollum, PG/SG, 6,400 -> Solid to Elite GPP. The bucks leaky spot on defense is to opposing shooting guards. McCollum put up a monster game when these two met on the 6th and I like his chances of paying off his salary again tonight.
Evan Turner, SG/SF, 4,100 -> Elite value in all formats. Evan Turner has been coming off the bench but he is running the second unit. I absolutely love him in this role and especially at his cheap price tag.
Jusuf NurkShow, C, 6,700 -> Solid to Elite GPP. Nurkic’s minutes are often volatile simply due to foul trouble. If he can avoid this, I love his matchup against the Bucks, who have given up some decent numbers to opposing centers.
Eric Bledsoe, PG/SG, 6,700 -> Fine GPP. Bledsoe is volatile but they will need him on the court chasing after Lillard. He put up a massive dud in this matchup last time. He’s been playing well as of late and makes for a fine GPP play if multi entering.
Khris Middleton, SG/SF, 7,000 -> Fine play. Middleton has been almost a lock for at least 30 DK points a game this season. At his 7k price tag, that won’t cut it for me in tournaments, but he has flashed some recent 50 point upside. He’s fine, but I’d rank him slightly behind a few others in his price range.
Giannis Antetokounmpo, SF/PF, 11,200 -> Solid play. This matchup is tough but Giannis has a very safe floor if we believe the game will stay close. I’m not sure if he will make my main build, but he is a guy I’d want exposure too if multi entering.
Nuggets AT Timberwolves -2, 216
PACE: Denver 26th, Wolves 15th, Proj Poss: Den +0.8, Wolves -3.0
Notables; Nuggets rank 4th in overall defensive efficiency. Wolves rank 23rd in def efficiency.
Game notes; Jeff Teague appears to be in a complete time share with Derrick Rose. Which really makes sense for this Wolves team. If I knew they would both see the same minutes (lets say 30), my preference hands down would be Rose.
Nikola Jokic, C, 9,700 -> Solid GPP. Jokic burned me, and many others, against the Bucks the other night. He has a low floor and incredibly high ceiling. He makes for a tournament only play is a great matchup against Towns tonight.
Gary Harris, SG, 5,800 -> Solid play. This is somewhat a price driven play. Harris came out firing against the Bucks and was a complete ghost in the second half. He has an excellent matchup against Andrew Wiggins and his price is finally under 6k. This looks like a hop on spot before his price goes back up.
Jamal Murray, PG/SG, 6,800 -> Solid GPP. Murray use to be a raw scoring dependent player. He’s shown us this season he has the ability to score and get the peripheral stats. However, he has been highly volatile which makes him a GPP only candidate for me.
Monte Morris, PG, 4,300 -> Solid GPP value. Morris comes off the bench but is locked into the main 6th man role. He should have a lot of court time against Derrick Rose. Pairing Rose and Morris is an interesting route in tournaments.
Derrick Rose, PG/SG, 6,300 -> Solid GPP. As stated above, Rose is in a timeshare, which is always going to put him on the GPP side for me. He has been a fantasy point per minute beast this year and I like his upside running the 2nd unit.
Karl Anthony Towns, C, 8,800 -> Elite GPP Play. The matchup is tough but what other player under 9k has mid 60 point upside? If the Wolves attempt to push the pace at all, Towns could have a big night.
Dario Saric, PF, 4,200 -> Fine GPP play. Saric has seen his minutes tick up each game. He’s a shooting threat on the perimeter and if he gets his shot going, I think he could easily pay off his price tag.
Nets AT Mavericks -5.5, 216
O- Dirk, Matthews Q- DSJ, JJ Barea, Powell
Notables; Nets on B2b
PACE: Nets 21st, Mavs 17th. Proj Poss: Nets -0.5, Mavs -1.6
Game notes; This game really depends on the viability of DSJ and JJ Barea. If both of them are out, Luka Doncic would become one of the top plays on the board. However, I’m a huge fan of attacking this nets frontcourt, like we did last night (I told our discord group I was all in on Whiteside). With that said, I’ll be making DeAndre Jordan a solid to elite play. Elite if more players are out as that should just help his cause even more.
*I’ll return to this spot once more news breaks*
Grizzlies AT Spurs, *fade*
On a 13 game slate, I have no interest in attacking this game. Yes, given the price reductions, you can make cases for DeMar DeRozan and LaMarcus Aldridge. I just don’t want to mess around with these two teams on such a massive slate.
Kings AT Jazz, -9, 220
Game notes; I’m not excited about attacking this game, but the Kings are one of the fastest paced teams in the league and the Jazz haven’t been as elite on defense. Given the pace upgrade for the Jazz, this could be an interesting game to attack in tournaments.
De’Aaron Fox, PG, 6,400 Solid Play. – Fox put up 41 dk points the last time these teams faced each other. He’s coming off a poor shooting game, which makes this a nice rebound spot where he should be low owned.
Marvin Bagley, PF, 4,600 -> Solid GPP. Bagley is suppose to be seeing more court time. He was excellent against the Thunder and put up a massive number. With Bagley coming off the bench, I like that he should avoid Gobert in the paint. He makes for an awesome GPP value play tonight.
Willie Cauley-Stein, C, 5,700 -> Solid GPP. Gobert has given up some big numbers to opposing bigs this season; 36 to turner, 51 to gasol, 62 to Towns, and over 40 to Willie Cauley the last time these teams faced each other. I love Cauley-Steins price and he should see big minutes on the court if this one stays close.
Buddy Hield, SG/SF, 5,600 -> Fine GPP. Hield is taking lots of shots and I like him more in a very contrarian mini game stack that will be very low owned.
Bogdan Bogdanovic, SG/SF, 4,100 -> Fine to Solid Value. He isn’t getting full minutes yet but he has been very productive on a per minute basis. He will make my value player pool.
Donovan Mitchell, PG/SG, 7,200 -> Solid to Elite GPP. Mitchell is coming off one of the worst games of his career. Put that game out of your mind and think about how everyone will be avoiding him in massive pace upgrade spot. Also, his price is incredibly attractive. He could be one of the better tournament plays on this slate.
Gobert, Rubio, Favors, etc. . . I can see cases made for all of these players. However, in a fast paced game, I just see Mitchell taking over and taking 20+ shots.
Thunder AT Warriors -1, 220 ->
Draymond Green & Stephen Curry OUT
Russell Westbrook, PG, 10,700 -> Elite in all formats. Westbrook might be one of my favorite studs in all formats tonight. This might be a popular take; but pairing Westbrook and Durant, if the value opens up, could a great way to start a tournament build tonight.
Paul George, SF/PF, 8,900 -> Solid play. I love the price reduction for PG13. I think he is still capable of putting up big numbers alongside Westbrook. Against the Kings, he took 24 shots. With better shooting efficiency, he would have hit value even at his 10.4k price tag.
Kevin Durant, SF/PF, 10,600 -> Elite play in all formats. There is so much drama surrounding KD but he still owns a massive ceiling with both Curry and Draymond off the court. I’m hoping everyone forgets about his 70pt upside he showcased against the Clippers.
Klay Thompson, SG, 6,600 -> Solid to Elite GPP. Klay Thompson has averaged 25 FGA’s over his last two games. He is raw scoring dependent but I love the amount of shots he is taking. I think this game will be very competitive and I could for sure see Klay putting up 30+ raw points.
*Check back before lock as I’ll be updating this throughout the day*