What’s up guys (and girls)! We have a nice seven game slate on tap, which is a bit smaller than we are used to for a Friday. That being said, I’m going to stick with the format I’ve been using this week, as tonight sticks out as the perfect night to go balanced with our cash game build, rather than stars and scrubs, something we haven’t really done this season.
Donovan Mitchell (FanDuel)- We really don’t have the usual dilemma on this slate, as there really is only Anthony Davis to spend-up for. I think he’s a fantastic play as always, but not necessarily someone I will be looking to 100% jam in my cash game roster. As for Donovan Mitchell, he comes in at $9,000 on FanDuel and $8,900 on DraftKings in a supreme matchup with the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Jazz are installed as 15 point favorites, which is definitely worrisome for Mitchell’s ceiling, but I constantly talk about not attempting to predict blowouts in today’s NBA, and that holds true tonight for Mitchell against the second-worst team in the NBA against opposing guards according to defensive efficiency.
Jeff Teague- I’m wondering if Teague is going to end up with the chalk treatment, and I can only hope that we get him as low-owned as possible against the San Antonio Spurs. The Spurs have not been the same defensive team this season, ranking bottom-ten in defensive efficiency against point guards, and people are under-estimating the absence of Tyus Jones. Jones being out secures Teague’s minutes load, and it also quietly bumps him up to over 1.2 fantasy points per minute. I want to lock in Teague, and I could also see a scenario where you pair him with Derrick Rose for a Timberwolves PG stack.
Ante Zizic- I will get to why this isn’t as easy as you think in the next section, but I am going to be locking Zizic into my cash game lineup across all sites. Larry Nance and Tristan Thompson are both out for the Cavs tonight, which leaves us with Ante Zizic and Channing Frye. Now, I want to warn you 100%, do not under-estimate Larry Drew’s inept ability to start Channing Frye in this game. You may ask yourself, why the hell would anyone start Channing Frye against Rudy Gobert, but I’m telling you, with Drew…it’s not out of the question. I mean, he already started Frye against Hassan Whiteside once this season. Anyways, Zizic has seen 20+ minutes in three of his last four games including 26 in the last game against Portland. He should get to that 20+ threshold again tonight against a big frontcourt, and even if the matchup is tough, he isn’t going to kill you at this price and that’s why I want to just lock him in across all sites for cash.
DeMar Derozan (DraftKings)- While I’m locking in Mitchell as a building block on FanDuel, I want to focus on DeMar Derozan on DraftKings, as he is all the way down at $7,800. He’s had a string of pretty meh games recently, but the minutes are still there and I don’t really think it warrants that big of a price decrease. I’ve tagged him as an elite DK play, but I could also see pairing him with Mitchell on FanDuel since we like more of a balanced build tonight and we need to play two shooting guards.
Nikola Vucevic (DraftKings)- On FanDuel, we don’t have this luxury because you can only play one center, but on DraftKings where you can roster two, I find myself locking in the Zizic/Vuc combo for my C and UTIL spots. I really wish Mo Bamba was out again tonight, because I think that would move this from a great play to a can’t miss play, but Vuc is easily still able to feast on this Nets team in 28-30 minutes of action. If Bamba was out, we could confidently project 30+ minutes for Vuc, but either way, he’s playing the best basketball of his career right now and this is our go-to matchup of a center vs the Nets. Don’t get too cute!
Steph Curry vs Damian Lillard- This has been my biggest dilemma in early roster builds, particularly on FanDuel where we have Steph Curry at $10,400 and Damian Lillard at $9,800. On DraftKings, it’s a bit easier to side with Lillard given that you are saving $1,400 compared to only $600 on FanDuel. Both have insanely good matchups, with Curry sitting in another 240+ total against a fast-paced Clippers team and only a 7 point spread, and Lillard in a pace-up spot against a poor Pelicans defense. Ultimately, if you have the money, I would narrowly lean Curry but I have no issues with either and I would 100% want one of these guys in addition to the players above, you could also throw Kevin Durant in this conversation as well at SF.
Montrezl Harrell- Whether or not to play Montrezl Harrell is a big decision for me tonight in cash games, because I think we will have the money to get up to him over a Tobias Harris or Draymond Green should we choose to do so. I got sucked into playing him on Wednesday night despite me writing up Draymond, mostly because I had the money left over and he fit in so perfectly with my build. He responded with a 32 fantasy point performance, not bad, but put me firmly behind the teams that went with Dray. I broke my cardinal rule of playing Harrell in fast-paced games, and that’s where he finds himself tonight against the Warriors in the midst of a 240+ O/U.
Potential Value Plug-Ins
Boogie Cousins- Look, I don’t care what anyone says about Boogie, he’s probably my favorite player in the NBA, and I could not be more excited that he is back. I will personally guarantee you that we have no idea on his minutes limit given how Steve Kerr typically handles things, but I do think he is in play on DraftKings, where he won’t clog up your only center spot. If he hots 18 minutes, it’s easy to think he will smash his price tag.
Josh Richardson (watch MIA news)
Lou Williams (If you don’t stack Mitchell + Derozan)
Written by Ben Hossler (Follow @BenHossler on Twitter)