Welcome back to another year of NBA DFS at Hoopscritic.com! I’m excited to get into this NBA season and hopefully make you readers some money along the way. The plan is to be far more consistent with daily slate articles every Monday, Wednesday and Friday while sprinkling in other content throughout the year.
This season, I want to focus in on a smaller player pool to choose from both cash games and GPP’s and having a better plan with roster construction. All plays will be Draftkings pricing. With that said, let’s get right into this 4-game slate!
Jeremy Lin ($6,300)
Lin is not only a top play at point guard this evening, he’s one of the best overall plays on the slate as his price has yet to adjust for the role he’s playing in the Brooklyn offense. His usage rate is 25.2%, only 2nd to Brook Lopez. The usage rate has a chance to rise as the season goes on with the Nets seemingly being careful with Lopez’s workload with Lopez already missing a game due to rest. The match-up against Rondo and the Bulls defense was an extremely profitable strategy last year and one we should be looking to target again. The Vegas lines are also favorable with the Bulls being a -6 in the highest total of the night at 212. Lin is a lock in cash games with Vazquez out and isn’t someone to go out of your way to fade in GPP’s. This isn’t “free square” territory, but it certainly lines up as one of the best spots of the night.
Ty Lawson ($5,600)
Lawson let me down on Saturday, but he’s been in my lineups every game this year and will likely continue to be for the next 5 games. $5,600 is just too cheap for a point guard we know will be getting 33-35 MPG with Lawson’s offensive capability. He’s struggled to start the year (8.0 PPG, 7.0 APG, 3.7 RPG, 2.0 SPG, 43.2% TS with 13% USG) but through sheer minutes and volume, he’s still putting up 27 DKP/game. There’s a high floor with Lawson for cash games and the upside is there for GPP’s if he can improve on his meager totals to start the year. On a slate without a lot of value, expect Lawson to be a popular cheap option in all formats.
Dennis Schroder ($6,600)
I’ll be curious to see where ownership ends up at PG tonight on a slate with Chris Paul, Kyle Lowry and Eric Bledsoe, but the mid 5-6k range is definitely where I’ll be looking to target. Schroder hasn’t completely taken over this team yet as the Hawks haven’t had to play a competitive game to this point, but an outing against Ty Lawson defense should do the trick. The early numbers for him look good (12.5 PPG, 6.5 APG, 2.5 RPG, 1 SPG on 60% TS with 21% USG in just 26.5 MPG) and we should expect all of these numbers to rise as the Hawks lean more on their starters in more competitive games. I’ll be on him in tournaments for sure and will work to fit him into the cash build with Lawson and Lin.
Will Barton ($5,700)
Will Barton saved me from having to recommend Kyle Korver in my first article of the season with the news that Gary Harris will be missing another game. The rest of the shooting guard position are just not places I want to target in cash; Jimmy Butler and Dwyane Wade will eat into each other’s production all season, DeMar DeRozan is someone I’m never looking to target on DraftKings, Devin Booker is dealing with a sprained toe on a B-B and the Nets shooting guard depth is a timeshare. Barton is once again in line for a ton of minutes and has been playing well to start the season (19.0 PPG, 5.5 RPG, 2.5 APG on 61% TS with a 17.7% USG rate in 38 MPG). He’s an easy plug and play in cash games and still has the 40 point upside we want for tournaments in this spot.
T.J Warren ($5,400)
Warren has been one of the early surprises in the NBA this season and looks like a completely different player from last year. He was always a talented scorer, but he’s now getting the minutes and opportunity to show what he can do. Everything about him looks positive in the early going (23.3 PPG, 6.7 RPG, 1.0 APG, 2.0 SPG on 60% TS with 23.9% USG in 37.7 MPG) as he’s putting up numbers of a $7k player rather than one priced at $5,400. It’s clear he’s taken ownership of the position from Tucker and should be seeing big minutes every night. The shot attempts and USG will regress at some point on a team with Booker, Bledsoe and Knight, but we can ride the Warren train while he’s still way too cheap. Similar to Barton, this is an easy “plug and play” for my cash games and will also make a majority of my tournament teams.
Rudy Gay ($6,300)
I’m not a big supporter of Rudy as a Kings fan as his effort and tendency to disappear when we need him to step up has been frustrating the last few years, but he’s off to a great start this season and looks locked in to the #2 role behind Cousins. The talent has always been there with Rudy; it’s always just been a matter if we could handle his volatility. His production to start the year (22.3 PPG, 5.0 RPG, 4.3 APG, 1.0 SPG, 2.0 BPG on 60% TS with 26.4% USG in 33.0 MPG for 37.4 DKP/game) is what we expect out of Rudy, but we don’t know if or when his production will start to dip again. I wouldn’t go here in cash games with Warren being cheaper with similar upside, but Rudy makes for a great tournament play that can easily fit with other expensive picks.
Paul Millsap ($7,900)
For some reason, Millsap’s production and consistency doesn’t get the respect it deserves on DraftKings. The guy is one of the most consistent fantasy stars in the game and yet, he’s almost never priced above $8,500. Which in the end, is good news for us because he’s in a dynamite spot against the Kings. He’s absolutely torched the Kings the last 2 seasons in 4 games (17.3 PPG, 10.8 RPG, 3.8 APG, 2.5 SPG, 1.8 BPG, on 62.3% TS in just 32.5 MPG for 43.5 DKP/game). His USG bump this season with Howard replacing Horford is certainly exciting too; he’s putting up 17 FGA/game this year and a 31.3% USG rate, both well above his career averages. The Kings just don’t have the personal to defend him with Boogie Cousins and Kosta Koufos being too slow, Matt Barnes dealing with a rib injury and WCS possibly regressing after a bad summer, preseason and start of the regular season. I’ll be all-in on Millsap today in both cash and GPP’s.
Blake Griffin ($8,800)
Blake Griffin looks like he’s put the 2015-2016 season behind him and is back to being one of the best players in the game. He’s been quick and confident in his offensive game and looks explosive as ever. This match-profiles well for what Blake does best; get in transition and run. And who do the Suns have to guard him? Jared Dudley? Marquese Chriss? Dragan Bender? Needless to say, none of these guys have a prayer of stopping Griffin.
The two concerns I have in this one are the blow-out risk, though the line isn’t horrible at -10.5 for the Clippers and Griffin being on a B-B. Still isn’t enough to get me off of him in this one though as I like him for the high raw point total of the night. Fire him up in all formats.
Nikola Jokic ($7,000)
Jokic finds himself in a great spot where he gets matched up with Pascal Siakam and Patrick Patterson at the PF spot tonight. He showed us his incredible upside against Portland putting up a 58 DKP performance in just 34 minutes. If the Raptors go small, he can easily slide to the C spot and match-up well against Val. The one downside with Jokic as always is his minutes; if we could predict him to be on the floor for 30 minutes every game, he’d be one of the top plays every slate. Still, I’m more than willing to take the risk in cash games and obviously GPP’s on a 4 game slate to get the tremendous upside Jokic has.
The slate isn’t bad at all for just 4 games as we have a lot of different avenues to potentially take. Boogie is the one big spend tonight, but on a night with little value and far superior match-ups in other spots, I feel fairly comfortable with the fade. He of course has 60 DKP against anybody, but I think you can find similar upside for much cheaper in guys like Jokic, Millsap and Griffin. I’m taking a similar stance on the expensive point guards tonight; while Chris Paul and Kyle Lowry can go off on anybody, I think we can find a similar floor and upside with the cheaper guys.
Please send me any questions @AsmusSports on twitter. Good luck tonight!