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AP NBA Game Theory Decisions 11/7

Happy Wednesday Karma Nation! We have a massive TEN game slate to tackle tonight. I’ll attempt to get through each game with my thoughts and potential targets. As always for larger slates, I’ll post my AP’s Playbook around 5pm central. Let’s dive in.

 

 

Pistons AT Magic +2, 209

Notables; Jonathan Issac OUT, Evan Fournier Questionable, Bullock Questionable

 

PACE: Net -2.1 projected possessions

Pistons-> 7th

Magic-> 26th

The Pistons are an easy team to figure out. Their offense runs through Blake Griffin (32% Usage & 1.41 FP/min) and Andre Drummond (28% Usage & 1.37 FP/min). Reggie Jackson is coming off a big game but he is in a timeshare with backup Ish Smith. Both are GPP viable at best.

The Magic have been rolling out ten players who are all seeing at least 10 minutes. In their last game against the Cavs, three players barely saw over 30 minutes (Terrence Ross, Evan Fournier, and Aaron Gordon). This makes targeting the Magic fairly risky but they do have a few players we can consider GPP viable in this matchup.

Nikola Vucevic, C, 8,400 -> Vucevic has been volatile all season but has shown his elite upside abilities. They will need him on the court to match up with Andre Drummond. Vucevic has fared well in this matchup in the past, averaging close to 50 DK points the last three times he has faced Drum.

Aaron Gordon, SF/PF, 7,000 -> Gordon put up over 50 DK points last season when he was matched up against Blake Griffin. Given his minutes volatility, he is GPP viable only.

 

Final thoughts-> This is a net overall pace down spot with a good amount of unpredictability regarding Orlando’s rotations. I like Griffin but he is almost 10k. Hopefully we can find better spots to target on this 10 game slate.

 


Thunder AT Cavaliers +6, 218

Notables; Russell Westbrook is OUT, Sam Dekker OUT

 

PACE: Net +0.9 projected possessions

Thunder-> 5th

Cavaliers-> 28th

With Russell Westbrook OFF the court, Dennis Schroder, Paul George, and Steven Adams all receive massive usage and FP/minute increases. Paul George’s price hasn’t changed much and doesn’t at all reflect the current situation. DraftKings did a fine job at increasing Schroder’s price to 6,900 from 5,500. Steven Adams price has actually dropped by 400 to 6,400 on DraftKings.

Paul George, SF/PF, 9,100 -> Elite Play in all formats.

Steven Adams, C, 6,400 -> Elite play in all formats.

Dennis Schroder, PG/SG, 6,900 -> Elite GPP play given the massive price increase.

 

When Sam Dekker left the game against Orlando, JR Smith subbed in and Larry Nance only saw 13.7 total minutes. Cedi Osman played 42.60 minutes & Tristan Thompson had one of the best games of his career. I can’t see Tristan excelling in a matchup against Adams. Assuming JR Smith starts, Cedi would likely avoid Paul George defense and his minutes upside makes him a viable target tonight.

Cedi Osman, SF, 5,200 -> Cedi is an ELITE play if he is starting at the 4 tonight (if JR Smith starts). He will have increase rebounding upside to go along with all the shots he is going to take. Let’s just hope he can finally start making shots.

 

Final Thoughts-> Paul George will most likely end up as a priority play in my main lineup tonight. It’s really going to come down to roster construction. If I want to get LeBron James into my lineup, it might not be possible to fit Paul George, LeBron James, and one of theWolves studs.

 


Knicks AT Hawks +1.5, 221.5

*Update* -> Kevin Huerter is OUT. & Taurean Prince is Probable

Notables; THJ Probable, Taurean Prince questionable, Hawks on b2b

 

PACE: +3.1 projected possessions

Knicks-> 20th

Hawks-> 1st

This game is a pace up spot and is projected to stay close. However, both teams rotations are incredibly difficult to predict. Trae Young is priced up; sure, if you are multi entering, you might want to throw him into one lineup, as he does have upside. I won’t go that direction in my main lineup.

Final Thoughts-> If we knew exactly what the rotation and minutes would look like, this would make for a fantastic spot to find some plays. If Prince is ruled out, Kevin Huerter would make for a nice value play. Otherwise this makes for a pretty risky game to target.

 


Spurs AT Heat -2, 217.5

Notables; Rudy Gay, Pau Gasol OUT, Whiteside Questionable

 

PACE: -2 projected possessions

Spurs-> 19th

Heat-> 10th

With Rudy Gay and Pau Gasol OFF the court, DeMar DeRozan owns a 42.7% usage & 1.47 fantasy point per minute average (85 minutes). The data is somewhat limited but these are massive numbers. At 9,200, he makes for an elite play in all formats. Marco Belinelli sees a 0.43 fantasy per minute average boost with Gay OFF the court. He makes for an elite GPP value play.

DeMar DeRozan, SG/SF, 9,200 – Elite play in all formats

Marco Belinelli, SG/SF, 4,200 – Elite GPP play.

LaMarcus Aldridge, PF/C, 7,900 -Solid GPP play.

Davis Bertans, PF/C, 3,200 – Punt GPP value.

 

With the Spurs ranked 19th in pace, this is ultimately a pace down spot for the Heat. With the Heat players all priced up & if Whiteside plays, I’ll most likely limit my exposure in this spot.


76ers AT Pacers -2.5, 216.5

Noteables; Robert Covington Questionable

 

PACE: -1.2 projected possessions

76ers-> 4th

Pacers-> 29th

The 76ers like to push the pace but they also play solid defense (10th total def efficiency). The Pacers are one of the slowest teams with one of the best defenses. Given that both teams are either priced up or priced fairly, I’ll be fading this game.

 

Final Thoughts-> Fade as this game should be a slower paced defensive battle.

 


Bulls AT Pelicans -10.5, 229.5

Notables; Elfrid Payton is Questionable.

 

PACE: +1.4 projected possessions

Bulls-> 17th

Pelicans-> 6th

Jabari Parker has been one of the most frustrating players for DFS purposes. He’s traditionally been a high usage & high fantasy per minute player. He finally gets the start and throws up two ‘duds’ in a row, so what gives? The Bulls are coming off games against Indiana, Houston and the Knicks. All of these games played at a pretty slow pace. Now we get a fast paced matchup, one that a player like Jabari Parker should thrive in. With Jrue Holiday most likely locked up on LaVine and Anthony Davis on Wendell. . . Everything aligns for a Jabari Parker game. With all of that being said, he is still GPP only. On the other side, we can also attack Jabari as he isn’t a strong defender. This game does come with some blowout risk and Anthony Davis just hasn’t looked right.

Jabari Parker, SF/PF, 5,800 -> Contrarian GPP

Pelicans-> GPP only as everyone is priced up. Also waiting on Elfrid Payton news.

 

Final thoughts-> When I look at the games on this slate, the Pelicans all feel a little overpriced. This game could also turn into a blowout. Jrue and Mirotic are in the 8k range but I’d much rather try to get Jimmy Butler, Karl Anthony Towns, Paul George, etc into my lineups.

 


Nuggets AT Grizzlies +3, 205.5

Notables; Paul Millsap probable.

 

PACE: -8.3 projected possessions

Nuggets-> 24th

Grizzlies-> 30th

 

Final thoughts-> this is a massive pace down spot that I’ll be looking to avoid.

 


Mavericks AT Jazz -9.5, 215.5

Notables; Donovan Mitchell probable, Mavs on b2b

 

PACE: -2 projected possessions

Mavericks-> 12th

Jazz-> 21st

Another pace down spot and with Donovan Mitchell back, both teams are relatively deep. These two teams just met on the 28th and Rudy Gobert put up 56 dk points. We were fully on Harrison Barnes last night and he did not disappoint. He continues to be underpriced and is a fine target in all formats tonight.

Harrison Barnes, SF/PF, 5,300 -> Solid play in all formats.

Dennis Smith Jr, PG, 5,500-> Fine play in all formats, but I’m not going to make a priority play. This is more of a price driven play, if that makes sense.

 

Rudy Gobert, C, 8,000 -> Fine GPP play. Gobert should be very low owned, so if you are multi entering, I don’t mind him as a play. However, I will most likely be avoiding this spot.

 

Final Thoughts-> Barnes went off on a 4 game slate, sigh. We were all over him at sub 10% on his last larger slate. I like the idea of going back to the well tonight. . . 5,300 is just too cheap.

 


Raptors AT Kings +8, 232

Notables; Leonard Probable

 

PACE: +6 projected possessions

Raptors-> 14th

Kings-> 2nd

We have a massive pace up spot but things get muddied with Leonard back in the rotation. Leonard makes for an elite play in this matchup but we will have to make some decisions. Leonard is priced right there with Paul George, Blake Griffin, and DeMar DeRozan, all of which are solid plays on this slate. I’ll do my best to prioritize these players before lock.

Kyle Lowry’s price is arguably boosted due to his performance with Leonard off the court. Assuming Leonard plays, I’ll most likely be fading Lowry due to his massive price tag. Pascal Siakam has been putting up very efficient numbers, but we should expect some regression in his performance with Leonard on the court. This can be said about most of the Raptors players, which has me treading lightly in this spot.

Kawhi Leonard, SG/SF, 9,400 -> Solid GPP.

 

De’Aaron Fox, Buddy Hield, Nemanja Bjelica, Willie Cauley-Stein -> All solid GPP plays. I do worry about blowout risk with Leonard probable to play.

 

Final Thoughts-> Another GPP spot. If the Kings can keep this close, it’s quite possible stacking this spot could win you a tournament. If I was only building one lineup, I’d prefer the next game I’m about to discuss over this one.

 


Timberwolves AT Lakers -5.5, 237.5

“Game of the Night”

Notables; Jeff Teague OUT

 

PACE: +5 projected possessions

Timberwolves-> 13th

Lakers-> 3rd

 

These two teams just played on the 29th and here’s how things looked;

(using 10/29 pricing)

LeBron James, 11,400, 36mins, 62 DK pts, 31% USG rate

Brandon Ingram, 5,800, 25mins, 38.75 DK pts, 35% USG rate

Kyle Kuzma, 6,600, 32mins, 32 DK pts, 22% USG rate

Rajon Rondo, 5,900, 32mins, 31 DK pts, 15% USG rate

JaVale McGee, 6,000, 31mins, 27.75 DK pts, 14% USG rate

Lonzo Ball, 5,600, 24mins, 6.25 DK pts

 

(No Wiggins)

Karl-Anthony Towns, 8,400, 32mins, 64.5 DK pts, 32% USG rate

Jimmy Butler, 8,200, 37mins, 54.50 DK pts, 22% USG rate

Josh Okogie, 4,200, 35 DK pts, n/a

Derrick Rose, 5,100, 29.25 DK pts, n/a

Taj Gibson, 4,400, 25 DK pts, 13% USG rate

Jeff Teague, 5,300, 23 DK pts,

 

Last time these two teams played we saw multiple players hit value. I expect the same to happen tonight. Lonzo Ball and Rajon Rondo are in a complete timeshare, which really makes them easy fades. Kyle Kuzma is raw point dependent and at his current price, he is arguably a GPP only type of play. Brandon Ingram had an excellent usage rate the last time these teams faced each other. His minutes have been consistent and I feel he makes for a solid play in all formats tonight. LeBron James has the safest floor and most upside for the Lakers. He is an elite play in all formats tonight. Here is how I am prioritizing the Lakers tonight;

LeBron James (1st), Brandon Ingram (2nd), Kuzma/McGee/Rondo/Ball all a few places behind Bron & Ingram.

I like the idea of having heavier exposure to the TImberwolves side of the game. With Teague OUT, I could see Derrick Rose, Jimmy Butler, and Karl Anthony Towns hit value relative to their current price. Wiggins is typically pretty shot dependent but his price firmly puts him in play as this will surely be a high scoring game. Here’s how I’m prioritizing the Timberwolves players;

Derrick Rose *if he’s confirmed starting* (1st) Karl Anthony Towns (2nd), Jimmy Butler (3rd), Andrew Wiggins (4th)

 

*I didn’t spend a ton of time talking through value plays. I plan on doing this in the play book.

Good Luck!

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