Tonight’s NBA schedule brings us a six-game slate of action, including a fascinating game for both real-life and for DraftKings purposes: the Golden State Warriors taking on the Los Angeles Lakers.
On the surface, this should be a nearly unwatchable blowout, but the Warriors are going for the best record to start a season. All they have to do is demolish the dumpster fire that is Byron Scott’s Los Angeles Lakers, but it will still be intriguing to watch this group chase history.
For DFS, the projected blowout makes us reevaluate the options on Golden State. There is a very real chance that the Warriors play none of their key guys in the fourth-quarter, and that isn’t built into their prices. Guys like Stephen Curry ($10.9k) and Draymond Green ($7.5k) may be unable to pay off their salaries despite having nice real-life games.
That will be a big key to tonight’s contests, especially in GPPs, where the playing time of the Warriors studs could shift the standings.
Here is today’s news and notes before we dive into my picks:
- Zach Randolph (knee) is a game-time decision for the Grizzlies. JaMychal Green is an excellent play at only $3,400 should Randolph sit.
- Marcus Smart (leg) remains out tonight, giving Evan Turner and Avery Bradley a boost in value.
- Kent Bazemore (ankle) is out tonight, which bodes well for Thabo Sefolosha.
- Kenneth Faried (ankle) is expected to sit tonight, making Darrell Arthur one of my core plays. Nikola Jokic is another good play; more below.
- Derrick Rose (ankle) will play tonight. I won’t use him in fantasy, and I don’t think it hurts Jimmy Butler’s value all that much.
Make sure to check the news up until tip:
BUILDING BLOCKS – Studs and Must-Have Values to Build Your Core Lineup
Paul George, SF, IND ($9,900): George has been phenomenal so far this season, and projects as the safest play of the elite-level players given his matchup. He also offers a $1k discount from the likes of Stephen Curry and carries very little blowout risk.
Darrell Arthur, PF, DEN ($3,500): Arthur looks like the best bet to be a value play tonight with Kenneth Faried doubtful for tonight’s contest against the Clippers. His role is not solidified, so expecting 30 minutes could lead to disappointment, but the Nuggets are running out of options in the frontcourt. Look elsewhere if Faried gives it a go, though.
More studs to consider: Damian Lillard, PG, POR ($9,000) – Jimmy Butler, SG, CHI ($8,100) – Blake Griffin, PF, LAC ($9,400)
BARGAINS – Complementary Players and Punt Plays
D’Angelo Russell, PG, LAL ($4,500): Feeling lucky? Russell is a great value if the recent trend of him playing 30+ minutes continues. He has shown the ability to contribute in points, rebounds, assists, threes, and steals, and a matchup with Golden State offers a fast pace and garbage time potential. It all comes down to whether Byron Scott is letting the kid play for real.
Chris Paul, PG, LAC ($8,500): Paul is priced too low for his usual production, even though he has been inconsistent so far this year while dealing with injury. I love him in this spot where his team is trying to turn things around against a bad Denver defense on the road. Add in the fast pace this game is likely to bring, and this becomes one of my favorite plays of the night.
Gary Harris, SG, DEN ($3,800): Denver has all of your punt options tonight. This one is a little risky because of Harris’ lack of across-the-board production and short track record, but he has been hot lately. I am not sure there is more upside at this position in relation to price.
Klay Thompson, SG, GS ($6,300): The Lakers have actually done fairly well against shooting guards compared to point guards and small forwards, presumably because Jordan Clarkson is their best perimeter defender. Still, Thompson could have his way with this matchup if he shoots well, and he is priced well below his high ceiling.
Harrison Barnes, SF, GS ($5,600): If you don’t want Paul George, getting Barnes isn’t a bad second option. He gets you some exposure to a fantastic matchup and has dropped 30 DraftKings points in three-straight.
Ed Davis, PF, POR ($4,200): I would much prefer to go with Darrell Arthur in this spot, but Davis is another punt option at power forward if you need it. His ceiling isn’t all that high, but his ability to grab a double-double pretty much any night gives him a decent floor for a player this cheap.
Jared Sullinger, C, BOS ($6,300): The Hawks have not been able to slow down opposing centers, despite adding Tiago Splitter this offseason. Sullinger should be able to have himself a solid game, especially considering the aforementioned Splitter will sit this one out.
Nikola Jokic, C, DEN ($4,000): The trendy punt play at center is Jokic, though, he has not been very consistent despite a wealth of opportunity down low for the Nuggets. Still, if you want to punt, he is the move.
LOTTERY TICKETS – 5 Tournaments Options
John Wall, PG, WAS ($8,400): Wall has not performed well for fantasy this year, but the matchup with the Pacers could be extremely fast paced. George Hill is an awesome defender, but the upside with Wall is obvious if he gets back on track.
Will Barton, SG, DEN ($5,800): Barton has massive upside, but is regulated to GPP-only status with his minutes constantly in a state of flux.
Thabo Sefolosha, SF, ATL ($4,000): Sefolosha is in line to play a bit more with Kent Bazemore out, and he can help open up money at other spots. His ability to accumulate defensive stats gives him a little upside for GPPs if his shot goes down.
Amir Johnson, PF, BOS ($4,200): If you want to swing for the fences, Amir Johnson is your guy. I like him for the same reasons I like Sullinger, but Johnson’s production (and minutes) are much more volatile.
Zaza Pachulia, C, DAL ($5,700): Pachulia has been on a tear recently, and I don’t mind using him in GPPs for that reason, paired with his pricing.
BUYER’S REMORSE – Reasons for Skepticism
Stephen Curry, PG, GS ($10,900): I am not telling you not to play Steph Curry, but I won’t be in cash games. The blowout factor scares me too much here, and he needs 45 DraftKings points or more to be a worthwhile play before he sits. It’s certainly possible, but that is too much risk for me given his price.
Monta Ellis, SG, IND ($6,600): The Pacers have their full complement of guards back for this one, and Ellis’ price reflects his play with a much higher usage rate.