Happy Wednesday Karma Nation! We go from crazy scores on Monday night to some underwhelming ones last night. The playbook fared very well and almost all of my lineups cashed last night. We have a massive ten game slate to tackle tonight. Let’s dive right in. (Sorry in advanced for any typos or grammatical errors. . . I started working through this slate at 5am, ha!)
Knicks AT 76ers -12.5, 227.5
Courtney Lee & Markelle Fultz OUT
PACE (NYK): 16th Proj Poss: +1.9 Def Eff: 27th
PACE (76ers): 3rd Proj Poss: -0.7 Def Eff: 5th
The Knicks are on a back to back coming off a loss in Detroit. As I stated yesterday, the main problem with the Knicks is their muddied backcourt and unpredictable rotations. Trey Burke started off his night going 0/6 from the field. He was a complete miss. Emmanuel Mudiay also started off 0/5 which most likely led Fizdale to take a hot hand approach with Allonzo Trier. For the most part, on a ten game slate I am completely fine fading the Knicks backcourt. If you want a flier in a large field GPP, I’d side with Trey Burke in this fast pace matchup. My preferred target here on DraftKings is Enes Kanter. Kanter’s price has yet to reflect his role as a starter. Let’s not forget, Fizdale had him coming off the bench just a few weeks ago.
Enes Kanter, C, 6,800 -> Solid to Elite.
Tim Hardaway Jr, SG/SF, 6,600 -> Solid GPP.
Noah Vonleh, PF/C, 5,700 -> Solid.
Since acquiring Jimmy Butler, the 76ers have five wins and two losses. I’d love to attack the Knicks frontcourt with Embiid, but his price is way up on Draftkings and this a small pace down spot for the 76ers. Jimmy Butler’s usage jump up 7% in his last game against the nets. Jimmy really appears to be finding his role on this team. JJ Redick feels like a safe option to get you around 5-6x. If I’m paying up for other studs on this slate, I might consider Wilson Chandler as a punt value play. He’s been seeing 30+ minutes and the Knicks rank almost last against opposing PF’s.
Joel Embiid, C, 11,200 -> GPP (Price is a concern if this game blows out)
Jimmy Butler, SG/SF, 7,800 -> Solid GPP if you believe in the usage increase
Ben Simmons, PG/SF, 8,700 -> Fine GPP
JJ Redick, SG/SF, 5,200 -> Cash type of play.
Wilson Chandler, SF/PF, 3,600 -> 30+ min Punt value.
Hawks AT Hornets -12, 233
Alex Poythress Questionable, Tyler Dorsey OUT
PACE (ATL): 1st Proj Poss: +0 Def Eff: 29th
PACE (CHA): 13th Proj Poss: +5.2 Def Eff: 11th
Atlanta is on a back to back coming off a win down in Miami. As I stated yesterday, we were on the overs but I still didn’t like the Hawks for DFS purposes as their rotations are just insane. It’s like every player plays in 3-5 minute spurts. How is anyone supposed to get into rhythm with this strategy? I don’t get it but it worked last night for them. On the Hawks side, I’m only interested in one-offs from this team (when I say ‘one-offs’, I’m saying that in my lineup I’ll only want one player at most from the Hawks, no same team stacks).
Trae Young, PG, 6,600 -> Fine GPP. If I played Trae I’d also be playing Kemba as an opposing PG stack.
John Collins, PF/C, 6,100 -> Solid GPP. Collins had a lot of success against this small Hornets frontcourt a few games ago. He is probably my favorite target on the Hawks side.
Taurean Prince, SF, 5,100 -> Solid GPP. Prince can get you 15 or 40 and he’s 5,100.
Kent Bazemore, SG/SF, 4,900-> Fine GPP value.
The Hornets are pretty predictable. Everything tends to run through Kemba Walker. I also think this game could get out of hand. The Hawks are in a prime letdown spot coming off that win last night. Kemba’s price has come down slightly and the matchup is excellent. IF the game stays close he could put up a massive number. If this game gets out of hand, it would most likely be due to Kemba having a good game. I’m listing him as a solid all around play.
Kemba Walker, PG, 9,300 -> Solid play in all formats.
Jazz AT Nets +3.5, 216.5
Donovan Mitchell IN, DeMarre Carroll Questionable
PACE (UTA): 23rd Proj Poss: -1.6 Def Eff: 17th
PACE (BKN): 22nd Proj Poss: -1.1 Def Eff: 24th
This is a pace down spot that really doesn’t look too attractive for fantasy purposes. D’Angelo Russell has been putting up monster numbers but I have a hard time seeing him pay off his price tag in this matchup. Jarrett Allen, only 5,500 on DraftKings, is a bit more interesting. The Nets will need Allens size to matchup with Rudy Gobert. Gobert is an elite big but Allen has been playing well all season. Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, 5,200 on Draftkings, has the better matchup between him and Allen. The main problem I have is very few Nets players see over 30 minutes on any given night.
Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, PF/C, 5,200 -> Fine to Solid GPP.
Jarrett Allen, C, 5,500 -> Fine to Solid GPP.
Allen Crabbe, SG/SF, 3,800 -> Punt GPP value
Joe Harris, SG/SF, 4,100 -> Raw scoring dependent, GPP value
Donovan Mitchell appears to be back tonight. I’m not too interested in him as I’ll be limiting my overall exposure to this game. I’ve been attacking the Nets Frontcourt all season, so I could see a guy like Rudy Gobert doing quite well. With that said, If I’m targeting a player like that, I’d probably want to spend a little more for a guy like Nikola Vucevic. Most of the Jazz players are off of my radar tonight. As always, if you have a good read on this team, I don’t mind a one-off play in GPPs.
Mavericks AT Rockets -6.5, 217.5
Dirk OUT, Dennis Smith, Dwight Powell, Luka Doncic Questionable, Chris Paul & Gerald Green Questionable
PACE (DAL): 19th Proj Poss: -4.0 Def Eff: 15th
PACE (HOU): 27th Proj Poss: -0.5 Def Eff: 22nd
Dennis Smith Jr and Luka Doncic are both IN tonight. That makes the Mavericks side very easy tonight. I am fine with a complete fade.
If Chris Paul is ruled out, James Harden will again become an elite play in all formats on this slate. Eric Gordon would also get a massive bump. . . As would Clint Capela. If CP3 is ruled IN, I am fine fading this spot and I am find with Capela in GPPs.
Cavaliers AT Thunder -13, 216
David Nwaba, Sam Dekker, George Hill OUT, Terrance Ferguson, Hamidou Diallo Out, Nerlens Noel Questionable.
PACE (CLE): 29th Proj Poss: +1.9 Def Eff: 26th
PACE (OKC): 10th Proj Poss: -3.6 Def Eff: 7th
The Thunder rank 7th overall defensively but their one leaky spot is against opposing power forwards. Larry Nance Jr’s price has not moved much and at 5,300, I think he is an elite play in all formats on DraftKings. Tristan has been a beast in the paint but I’m not a fan of attacking centers against Steven Adams.
Larry Nance Jr, PF/C, 5,300 -> Elite in all formats.
My only initial concern is the Cavs slow pace and if they will be able to keep this game close enough. Outside of that, Russell Westbrook’s price is very attractive in this favorable matchup. Paul George is also in play, even with westbrook back, he continues to put up solid numbers. With blowout being a real concern and with Westbrooks ankle (looked like he had a minor tweak again last game), Dennis Schroder becomes a very interesting tournament play at just 6,000 on Draftkings. If this game gets out of hand, Schroder will surely see an uptick in minutes. If Russ is hobbled at all and Schroder is playing well, I could see him being a focal point on offense. If none of this happens and we see a competitive game, I could see Schroder getting there on his normal 29-31 minute rotation.
Russell Westbrook, PG, 10,900 -> Solid play.
Paul George, SF/PF, 8,900 -> Solid Play.
Dennis Schroder, PG/SG, 6,000 -> Solid GPP.
Steven Adams, C, 6,700 -> Fine cash play.
Jerami Grant, SF/PF, 4,300 -> Fine to solid cash value.
Wizards AT Pelicans -6, 240.5
Dwight Howard OUT
PACE (WAS): 7th Proj Poss: +3.8 Def Eff: 25th
PACE (NOR): 4th Proj Poss: +2.1 Def Eff: 10th
Well, here it is, possibly the game of the night for DFS purposes. Let’s get the obvious out of the way, against the wizards weak frontcourt, Anthony Davis is an obvious top overall play on this slate. With that in mind, this game really comes down to, ‘what is the best way to get exposure to this game. . . Because we can’t fit all of these studs into our lineups’. Let’s try to figure that out.
The Pelicans have been weak vs opposing backcourts an strong vs front courts (3rd vs PFs, 5th vs C’s). This bodes very well for Washington’s two best players, John Wall and Bradley Beal. However, Beal is priced way up and if you are paying up for Brow, it is pretty difficult to fit all three into your lineup. With Howard out, Otto Porter has been averaging around 35 minutes a game and he is still priced under 6,000 on DraftKings. Markieff Morris, who has been coming off the bench, is the other player who has performed very well with Howard off the court. My preferred route at the moment is a John Wall + Otto Porter or Markieff Morris combo.
John Wall, PG, 9,100 -> Elite play.
Bradley Beal, SG, 8,000 -> Solid GPP.
Otto Porter, SF/PF, 5,900 -> Elite GPP.
Markieff Morris, SF/PF, 5,100 -> Elite GPP.
The Wizards rank 25th overall defensively and are specifically weak against all positions except shooting guards. With Elfrid Payton off the court, Anthony Davis leads the way with a 29.4% usage & 1.52 fantasy point per minute average. Next in line is Julius Randle, but with Anthony Davis back, Randle is tournament viable only. Jrue Holiday and Nikola Mirotic own elite rates of 28%/1.22 FP/M & 22%/1.16 FP/M. My main issue with Jrue is he has been turnover prone lately; he’s averaging 5.5 turnovers a game through his last 8. And with Anthony Davis back, his floor is still fine but his ceiling is lowered. My main interest is locking in Anthony Davis. In this same matchup a few days ago, Julius Randle put up a monster 61pt DK score against the Wizards. He did this with zero blocks and only one steal.
Anthony Davis, PF/C, 11,400 – Elite in all formats. Top play of the night.
Nikola Mirotic, SF/PF, 6,900 -> Solid to Elite. This is a price driven play, Mirotic is just too cheap.
Jrue Holiday, PG/SG, 8,400 -> Solid, but I’d much rather pay up for AD and combo it with John Wall.
Julius Randle, PF/C, 6,700 -> Solid GPP-> He’ll be coming off the bench but he can smash value in limited minutes.
Spurs AT Wolves -4.5, 216.5
Pau Gasol OUT
PACE (SAS): 25th Proj Poss: 0 Def Eff: 20th
PACE (MIN): 17th Proj Poss: -2.7 Def Eff: 19th
It’s a 10 game slate and I have no read on what Pop is going to do. He could literally bench all starters at any point in the game or he could let them all play max minutes. If you have a read on the spurs, then go ahead and fire them up. I’d much rather spend up in the Wizards/Pelicans game.
Teague and Rose are still in a timeshare. Teague has been consistently getting right around 30 DK points, he is probably more of a cash type of play. If I’m playing a 6k player, I want 45 point upside from him.
Long story short: most likely fading this game.
Bulls AT Bucks -14.5, 228
Markkanen, Dunn, Portis OUT, DJ Wilson OUT
PACE (CHI): 12th Proj Poss: +3.0 Def Eff: 30th
PACE (MIL): 5th Proj Poss: 0 Def Eff: 1st
The Bulls went into Milwaukee on the 16th of November and came out firing getting up to a 22 point lead at one point. In Jabari Parker’s round one revenge tour, the Bucks were the ones who got the last laugh. Parker came out firing and then he was held in check the second half. Since that game, Jabari Parker has been a machine. I get the feeling he has been perfecting his craft for this exact moment. . . Jabari Parker revenge round two. At 6,600, I feel like Jabari is going to go overlooked in this spot. Hopefully people forget about the 24-25 DK points he had by halftime on the 16th. Given the number of key injuries this Bulls team is dealing with, they have come up just short in games against elite teams. And tonight, I feel it is Jabari Parker who will put this team on his back and do everything he can to keep this game close.
Jabari Parker, SF/PF, 6,600 -> Elite GPP.
Justin Holiday, SG/SF, 5,400 -> Solid in all formats.
Zach LaVine, PG/SG, 8,100 -> fine GPP.
Ryan Arcidiacono, PG, 3,900 -> Fine punt value. Feels like chasing.
Giannis is obviously in play on any slate in any matchup. The guy is a beast. However, sometimes situations arise that put other studs well ahead of him. This happened on Monday when Chris Paul was ruled out. This put Harden is one of the most elite matchups we will see all season. Tonight, I have Anthony Davis ranked ahead of Giannis. If somehow Chris Paul doesn’t suite up again, I’ll have both AD and Harden ranked ahead of Giannis.
Eric Bledsoe, PG/SG, 6,900 – Fine GPP.
Magic AT Blazers -8, 214.5
Aaron Gordon Questionable, Seth Curry & Jusuf Nurkic Probable
PACE (ORL): 24th Proj Poss: 0 Def Eff: 16th
PACE (POR): 15th Proj Poss: -1.3 Def Eff: 14th
If Aaron Gordon is ruled out, it would open up some obvious value on the Magic. I hope Gordon plays, which could lead to Jonathon Simmons going overlooked. SImmons is just 3,200 on Draftkings and was just recently bumped up to start over Wesley Iwundu. Simmons has seen back to back games of over 25 minutes and I like the matchup he has tonight. The Blazers are fairly strong defensively but tend to struggle against wings. Nikola Vucevic has been an absolute beast lately and makes for a great GPP play. However, I’d much rather pay up for Anthony Davis and probably won’t be playing Vucevic tonight.
Jonathon Simmons, SG/SF, 3,200 -> Elite GPP Value.
Jonathan Isaac, SF/PF, 3,700 -> Elite GPP Value.
DJ Augustin, PG, 4,300 -> Fine Value
Nikola Vucevic, C, 8,300 -> Solid to Elite overall play.
Mo Bamba, C, 3,500 -> Solid GPP Value.
This is a somewhat of a pace down spot for the Blazers. Lillard is priced in the same range as John Wall, and I prefer wall in the much faster paced game. Nurkic is interesting, but I’m not a big fan of attacking Vucevic. For me, this spot is pretty simple. I really want to limit my exposure to this game.
Evan Turner, SG/SF, 4,100 -> Solid value. Turner has been putting up great numbers all season running the second unit. The matchup is excellent tonight and he makes for a fine value play in all formats.
Suns AT Clippers -12, 229
No relevant injuries
PACE (PHO): 21st Proj Poss: +1.5 Def Eff: 28th
PACE (LAC): 6th Proj Poss: -1.1 Def Eff: 9th
The Suns have been giving big minutes to; Devin Booker (35+), TJ Warren (33+), Trevor Ariza (35+), and Deandre Ayton (30). Ariza randomly pops but tends to be a very low FP/M producer. He isn’t on my radar tonight. Tj Warren makes for a solid tournament play tonight. This game is projecting to play at a decent pace and we should see lots of points. Devin Booker is right in the same range as John Wall and Damian Lillard. Booker tends to be more raw scoring dependent which makes him a tournament option only for me. Deandre Ayton makes for a fine cash play, but at 7,300, I want someone with more upside in my lineups.
TJ Warren, SF/PF, 6,500 -> Solid GPP.
Devin Booker, PG/SG, 8,800 -> Solid GPP.
Deandre Ayton, C, 7,300 -> Fine.
I love this total, I love the matchup against the Suns, I just do not like the Clippers. They are a deep team, pretty sound defensively, with unpredictable rotations (at times). Tobias Harris is a great player, but at 8,400, he just doesn’t feel like the type of player that will win me a tournament. Shai is an awesome young player, but he hasn’t topped 30 minutes in 7 games. Avery Bradley isn’t viable. Dan Gallinari is priced the best but he hasn’t topped 40 points all season. Montrezl Harrell is a FP/M beast, but he is coming off the bench and rarely tops 31 minutes a game. I could play Julius Randle in a better matchup if I wanted to take a shot on a high FP/M player who comes off the bench.
Long story short; I will most likely be limiting my exposure to this game.