AP NBA Game Theory Decisions 12/14 - DFS Karma
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AP NBA Game Theory Decisions 12/14

Happy Friday Karma Nation! We have an awesome slate tonight. Let’s dive in.

Hawks AT Boston -12.5, 222

Miles Plumlee, Alex Poythress, Omari Spellman OUT Jeremy Lin Questionable

Al Horford, Guerschon Yabusele OUT, Jaylen Brown Questionable, Gordon Hayward Probable.


Are we actually starting to see some consistency with the Hawks rotations? John Collins is finally averaging over 30 minutes a game but his price fully reflects this and his level of production. Dewayne Dedmon has seen his minutes hit 30 three out of his last four games. With Poythress and Spellman OUT, Huerter appears to have the highest minutes upside on this team. Kent Bazemore, a man of consistency? What, this can’t be real. . . Over his last three games he has played more than 32 minutes and has put up over 34 fantasy points. Lastly, Trae Young has been his usual volatile self. However, he has seen over 32 minutes over his past three games. If Jeremy Lin returns tonight, this could impact Young’s minutes. With all of that being noted, this matchup is not good for the Hawks and vegas thinks this one could be a blow out.

I’m much more interested in the Celtics side of this game as the Hawks play zero defense and play at the fastest rate in the league. With Al Horford out, Gordon Hayward (+0.15)and Marcus Morris (+0.11) see the most significant fantasy per minute bump. My main problem with Hayward is that he is priced appropriately and rarely sees over 28 minutes a game. Marcus Morris has been crushing value lately but we have to remember Baynes played limited minutes last game and against the Pelicans both Horford and Baynes were out. My only problem with Marcus Morris is he tends to have a pretty low floor and at 6,500 I could see multiple ways where he could sink your lineups tonight. Outside of large field GPPs, I feel we can find a much safer spot on this 9 game slate. On paper, Kyrie has the bench individual matchup. However, I highly doubt Trae Young will be guarding Kyrie. The Hawks will most likely stick Bazemore on him. Sure, Kyrie still has upside, I just feel this Celtics won’t have to rely on a ‘Kyrie takeover’ type of game to win. Moral of the story, I’d much rather play Kyrie in a spot against an elite team.


Kevin Huerter, SG/SF, 3,900 -> Value. His minutes upside relative to his price is pretty much the only thing that is attractive here.

Jeremy Lin, PG/SG, 4,500 -> GPP Value. If Lin is ruled IN and has no minutes restrictions, he makes for a very interesting GPP value play.


Aron Baynes, C, 4,200 -> Value. It’s best to watch for any minutes restrictions here. He only played 16 in his last game. However, this is an elite matchup for Baynes.

Terry Rozier, PG/SG, 4,600 -> GPP value. IF Jaylen Brown gets ruled out, I think Rozier makes for a great tournament value play. He would also get extra run if the game gets out of hand.


Knicks AT Hornets, -10.5, 225

Trey Burke & Allonzo Trier OUT. Lance Thomas Doubtful. Damyean Dotson Questionable.

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist Probable.


The Knicks are always a frustrating team to target. However, with the possibility of four players being out, they become much more viable. I have very little interest in the Knicks guards; that is the one position the Hornets have been tough against. I have more interest in their wings (Tim Hardaway Jr & Kevin Knox) and Front Court (Enes Kanter & Noah Vonleh). My main concern with these starters is if the game gets out of hand early. We could see Fizdale bench everyone and turn to the scrubs. I’ll most likely limit my exposure, but here are the players on my radar.


Kevin Knox, SF/PF, 4,800 -> Elite Value. (If Starting-> I assume he is)

Tim Hardaway Jr, SG/SF, 6,600 -> Solid.

Noah Vonleh, PF/C, 5,400 -> GPP

Enes Kanter, C, 7,100 -> GPP.


These two teams just met the other day in New York and the game was pretty much over at half time. Kemba saw just over 30 minutes in this game. No one else played over 28 minutes.

Kemba Walker, PG, 9,200 -> GPP ~> IF you think this game stays close he could put up a big number.

Jeremy Lamb, SG/SF, 5,600 -> Solid -> I like that his price has come down a bit, he has solid upside at his current price tag.


Bucks AT Cavaliers +10.5, 218.5

No new injuries


These two teams just faced each other and Giannis was ruled out of the game after lock (I believe). The Bucks won easily without Giannis and I imagine the same thing will happen tonight. The Cavs played 11 different players in their win over the Knicks. With their roster filling up they aren’t as attractive to target.


Matthew Dellavedova, PG/SG, 3,500 -> Punt GPP Value. Della is probably capped at around 21 minutes but he is active when he is on the court.

Larry Nance Jr, PF/C, 6,200 -> GPP.

Ersan Ilyasova, PF/C, 3,500 -> Punt GPP Value.


Pacers AT 76ers -4, 219

Mike Muscala & Jimmy Butler Questionable


The Pacers are coming off a blowout win over the Bucks. In Oladipo’s return he played just under 30 minutes. The 2nd unit was playing very well and he wasn’t needed until late in the 2nd quarter. I’m assuming had the game been closer he might have checked in sooner. The reason I bring this up is because he is only 8,400 on Draftkings and this is a major pace up spot for the Pacers. Unless we hear anything about a firm minutes restriction, Oladipo is one of my favorite GPP targets tonight.


Victor Oladipo, PG/SG, 8,400 – Elite GPP.

Domantas Sabonis, PF/C, 6,500 -> Sneaky GPP. I could see a scenario where Sabonis sees an uptick in minutes if Turner gets into foul trouble battling it out with Embiid. The pace should be excellent here and in any case, he should see his normal allotment of minutes.


On the 76ers side, we just need to monitor the Jimmy Butler news. If Jimmy is out, I really should just go back and copy and paste everything I wrote on Wednesdays slate.


Joel Embiid -> (Elite if Jimmy is OUT) -> Elite GPP if Jimmy is in.

Ben Simmons -> (Elite if Jimmy is out) -> not as high on him if Jimmy is in.

Furkan Korkmaz -> (Elite if Jimmy is out AND if he is starting) -> no interest if Jimmy is in.


Wizards AT Nets -1.5, 225

Otto Porter & Allen Crabbe Questionable.


The last time these two met the game fell way below the total that is set tonight. If my memory serves me right, I believe the Nets just couldn’t get anything going on offense. Assuming we see a competitive game tonight, we could see multiple players from each side hit value. The Wizards side becomes even more viable if Otto Porter sits.


Bradley Beal, SG, 7,900 -> Solid play. Even with Wall on the court, Beal is locked in to massive minutes. Wall also tweaked his ankle at the end of the Boston game. . . He isn’t on any injury reports, but with that in the back of my mind, I have no problem going Beal over Wall.

Markieff Morris, PF/C, 5,100 -> Elite GPP. Markieff’s shot has been off but I love attacking this nets frontcourt. Due to his recent shooting performance he should fly under the radar tonight.

John Wall, PG, 9,500-> Playing Wall feels like chasing. If I’m paying up, there are other PG’s I’d prefer over him.

Oubre/Green-> TBD due to Otto Porter questionable tag.


With LeVert out, D’Angelo Russell leads this team with a 33.6% usage rate and 1.16 fantasy point per minute average. With that being noted, Russell has a very low floor as his FP/M rate is strongly correlated with raw scoring. In other words, if he’s hot he does well and if he is cold, he usually ends up sinking your lineups. I could see many chasing Dinwiddie’s 39 real point game against Philly on Wednesday. However, his price has caught up to him and he rarely sees more than 30 minutes a game.


I’m really waiting to see if Crabbe plays. If he misses, it will open up minutes and should tighten the rotation.


Nets -> TBD


Heat AT Grizzlies -4.5, 196.5

Dwyane Wade Questionable, Dion Waiters & Goran Dragic OUT, Justise Winslow, Tyler Johnson Probable, Hassan Whiteside IN. Mike Conley Probable.


This is a massive pace down spot against a great defensive team in Memphis. The main interesting thing here is the Heat players are priced way down.


Josh Richardson, SG/SF, 5,600-> He’s played very poor recently but 5,600 for a guy who has traditionally has had a very safe floor AND multiple key players could end up being out (Wade & Dragic already is).


Warriors AT Kings -7.5, 235

Livingston OUT and Andre Iguodala Questionable.

When the Warriors are fully healthy, I usually want to just avoid them all. They just have so many mouths to feed and they have historically been involved in many blowouts. On Wednesday, they were on the losing end of a blowout against a Raptors team without Leonard. Yeah, the Raptors are really good this season. However, I just don’t think we are seeing a Warriors team that is playing even remotely close to what they are capable of. With that in mind, this is a really interesting spot. The Kings are 15-12 and have won 5 out of their last 6 games. If the Kings can keep this game close, we could see many pieces from this game hit value. I think the Warriors side is much easier to predict. Here are the USG & FP/M numbers this season->

(usage & fantasy points per min)

Kevin Durant-> 34.4% , 1.44/m

Stephen Curry-> 33.3% , 1.44/m

Klay Thompson-> 31% , 0.99/m

Draymond Green-> 14% , 1.03/m


If Jimmy Butler ends up playing, I could see myself just stacking up Kevin Durant AND Stephen Curry in my builds. Given the projected pace of this game, and the fact that their prices have come down a bit, I could see many scenarios where both guys smash value.


Stephen Curry, PG/SG, 10,200 -> Solid to Elite GPP

Kevin Durant, SF/PF, 10,300 -> Solid to Elite GPP

Draymond Green, PF/C, 6,800 -> Solid to Elite GPP

Klay Thompson, SG, 6,200 -> Solid -> he’s raw scoring dependent but the pace should be solid.


The Kings are a bit trickier to figure out. My prediction is that we will see a team effort to keep this game close. Meaning we could see all the starters plus maybe Marvin Bagley and Bogdan get between 26 & 32 minutes. The problem is pegging the right player who will get the minute upside. While this strategy should work to keep this game close, it isn’t as friendly for fantasy purposes.


Buddy Hield, SG/SF, 5,800 -> GPP -> He should take a lot of shots in this game.

Bogdan Bogdanovic, SG/SF, 6,000 -> GPP -> Much like Hield, they will need these two on the court to keep pace with the Warriors.


Thunder AT Nuggets +1.5, 218.5

Jamal Murray probable.


This is a pace up game for the Nuggets. They are also still dealing with some major injuries; Will Barton, Gary Harris, and Paul Millsap are out. With this trio out, Nikola Jokic owns a 31% usage rate and averages 1.65 fantasy points per minute. I hope people are afraid of the matchup, much like they were when Denver played Memphis, because Jokic is in another smash spot. He is also at home and I just think Jokic is too sneaky for Adams. I’m not concerned about this matchup at all given the Nuggets current situation. I’d also bet that the Nuggets start Trey Lyles tonight (make sure to confirm this). Plumlee just wouldn’t make sense from a matchup standpoint.


Nikola Jokic, C, 9,400 -> Elite play in all formats.

Trey Lyles, SF/PF, 4,400 -> Elite value (IF STARTING)

Juan Hernangomez, SF/PF, 4,700 -> Solid

Monte Morris, PG, 4,000 -> Elite GPP -> I think Morris will play alongside Murray if Schroder finishes the game alongside Westbrook.

Jamal Murray, PG/SG, 6,900 -> Elite GPP.


The Thunder aren’t dealing with any injury issues but they are one of the most DFS friendly teams from a usage and rotations standpoint. The usual suspects are on my radar (despite this being a slight pace down spot against a defensively sound team).


Russell Westbrook, PG, 10,800 -> Elite. Westbrook is playing an insane amount of minutes and has 70 point upside.

Paul George, SF/PF, 9,100 -> Elite. If you are playing on FD I would for sure lock Paul George in tonight.

Dennis Schroder, PG/SG, 5,600 -> Elite GPP. Schroder is finishing the game alongside Westbrook and Paul George. I just love everything he brings to this team. He racks up peripherals and he is taking a ton of shots. The only risk is he is playing around 28-31 minutes a game.


Raptors AT Blazers +2, 216

Kyle Lowry & Kawhi Leonard Questionable.


*TBD – I’ll update this spot closer to lock, waiting for more news on this situation*

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