Tonight we kick off another week of fantasy basketball action. Six games on the schedule tonight. The highest Vegas totals come from Dallas, where the Mavs are a 9 point favorite over Boston with an O/U of 207.5, and from Los Angeles, where the Clippers face the Jazz and are an 8 point favorite with a 205.5 total.
Let’s take a look at the games. (note: Players salaries come from DraftKings)
Houston (-10, 201) at Philadelphia:
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Rockets: James Harden ($10,300) is the big money player here and is very enticing against the 76ers defense. The price tag just looks too high for my liking with some decent other plays available at SG tonight. Terrence Jones $6,300) is a very viable play tonight. He has had two of his three games go for 40+ DK points. Also, if Patrick Beverley sits out another game, Isaiah Canaan ($3,800) comes into play. Harden will control the ball, but Canaan should play enough minutes (35 vs. Boston Saturday night) to justify his price. A long shot punt play is Kostas Papanikolaou ($3,000). He has seen at least 20 minutes all three games so far and in a high paced game tonight should reach 20 DK points
76ers: Tony Wroten ($7,000) has seen his salary skyrocket with Michael Carter Williams out. If Beverley plays for Houston, then Wroten will be tough to use. Nerlens Noel ($5,600) sees his price drop from $6500, but he struggled vs. Chris Bosh Saturday and it doesn’t get any easier with Dwight Howard tonight. Hollis Thompson ($4,000) has been seeing around 30 minutes a night and has been consistently in the 20+ DK point range.
Oklahoma City at Brooklyn ( -6.5, 192.5):
Thunder: We await word if Reggie Jackson ($5900) will suit up for the depleted Thunder. Latest word has him playing and starting. If he does, he makes for a great play tonight. Perry Jones ($6,400) continues his NBA ascent, and should continue to be able to score. He has 46.25 and 35 DK points over his last two and will get the minutes to be in that range again tonight.
Nets: Brook Lopez ($6,900) is supposed to make his season debut tonight. I can’t recommend playing him until you see what you get from him minutes and production wise. Joe Johnson ($6,800) sees a price increase as he is off to a terrific start to the season, fresh off a 54.5 point effort in Detroit Saturday night. Even off a 41.5 point DK game his last time out, it’s hard to trust Kevin Garnett ($5,500) at his inflated price. Tough to find any great value tonight on the Nets
New Orleans at Memphis (-4, 187.5):
Pelicans: Of course you start with the one and only Brow. Anthony Davis ($11,500) has a crazy price tonight, where you need 57.5 points to hit value. Scarily enough he has hit that easily his first two games, going for 75.75 and 62.25 DK points. Tyreke Evans ($7,400) nearly triple doubled in his last outing, but might draw Tony Allen tonight. Jrue Holiday ($7,200) returned to form with a 44.5 point effort Saturday night. I’m not liking Omer Asik ($6,500) tonight, going up against Marc Gasol. The Pels’ bench outside of Ryan Anderson ($5,900) has been non existent, so you know you’ll get lots of minutes from their studs if you invest in them tonight. It’s a tough matchup in Memphis, but the stars will get their stats.
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Grizzlies: Zach Randolph ($7,500) has started the season with three straight double-doubles. After a big opening night, Marc Gasol ($7,700) hasn’t hit value in his last two games. Mike Conley ($6,700) has been one of the most disappointing players early on, putting up just 28.25, 27 and 25 point efforts to start the year). The Courtney Lee concussion opens up minutes elsewhere. Vince Carter ($3,700) saw his first 20 minute game of the season Saturday. With a tough battle up front against Davis and Asik, and a low Vegas total, I’m staying away from Grizzlies tonight.
Note: Conley is questionable with an ankle injury, if he sits this one out Beno Udrih ($3,000) becomes an intriguing value play
Boston at Dallas (-9.5, 208):
Celtics: The C’s are basically not a DFS friendly team. Brad Stevens can be quirky sometimes with his player usage. One usual safe play is Rajon Rondo ($7,900). His lack of scoring his made up in his ability to fill up the score sheet elsewhere. Generally I don’t use Rondo much because if I am going to play a premium price for a PG, I like to know he is one he scores. Jared Sullinger put up 35.75 DK points in just 27 minutes in Saturday’s loss to Houston. He is a nightly double double threat who can hit three’s. I’ll have him in my lineups tonight. I don’t love anybody else here, Kelly Olynyk ($5,000) is intriguing, but Stevens jerks with his minutes too much to play him in cash games.
Mavericks: The Mavs are the highest team total on the board tonight. For DFS players, the problem is as a team they have spread the wealth out too evenly. Monta Ellis ($7200) is the high point man so far, but he gets tough defender Avery Bradley tonight. Dirk Nowitzki ($7,100) has yet to hit value this season. Chandler Parsons ($6,500) struggles in his first game with his new team, but has bounced back with consecutive 30+ point games. He’s the one I’d target tonight. Brandon Wright ($4,100) has been one of the best per minute DFS options so far with 63.75 points in 56 minutes over his first three games.
Sacramento at Denver (-7, 202):
Kings: Boogie Cousins $9,700) finally exploded yesterday for 34 points and 17 rebounds, on his way to a monster 68.25 DK day. Denver struggled mightily vs. big men last year. The mercurial Cousins will most likely be the center (literally) of my cash game lineups tonight. Rudy Gay ($7,600) has exploded for 100 DK points over his last two. He is averaging 36 minutes a game and could also make a solid play tonight. Darrren Collison ($7,000) had his first sub par game yesterday after back to back 40 point outings to start the year. Going against Chris Paul had a bunch to do with that, tonight he gets a hobbled Ty Lawson. There has been absolutely zero value on Sacramento elsewhere so far this season besides those three.
Nuggets: Denver, and specifically Coach Brian Shaw, is another team not DFS friendly. Ty Lawson ($7,000) has struggled a bit in his first two games and is hobbled by a sore ankle. Reports have him starting tonight, plus its his birthday for those liking playing guys on their birthday. Kenneth Faried ($7,500) is usually a solid option and looked like gold after his first outing with 49.25 DK points. But the starting unit struggled in OKC Saturday night and Faried flamed out to 18 DK points. Aaron Afflalo ($5,300) is the only Nugget to post at least 20+ in Denver’s first two games.
Utah at LA Clippers (-9, 205.5):
Utah: It’s been a big start for Derrick Favors ($7,900) and his salary sees an increase from the $7,300 level it was at for Utah’s first three games. He put up a career high 32 points on his way to 52.75 DK points in Saturday’s win vs. Phoenix. Favors has dbl-dbl potential every night. Gordon Hayward ($7,600) also sees a season high in his salary after a 45.5 DK performance Saturday. Hayward is one of my favorite plays usually as a stat sheet stuffer ( the no % counting on DK is a huge advantage). Value wise, Trevor Booker ($3,600) went for 14 points and 9 boards in 24 minutes in Utah’s last game. Enes Kanter ($3,500) looks like a lost cause and Booker could see more time.
Clippers: Chris Paul ($9,500) is off to his usual self, averaging over 44 DK points per game so far. He has one the safest floors out there. Blake Griffin ($10,100) has two sub 40 DK point games in his first three, which at his salary is not helping lineups. With Jamal Crawford ($5,600) sitting out yesterdays game, it doesnt help him being doubtful tonight. Lots of people went JJ Redick’s ($4,800) way off that news yesterday and were burned with a 18.5 point performance. Those might stay away from him tonight and he could be a good play.
Some players I’ll be targeting tonight:
Terrence Jones, Isaiah Caanan ( If Patrick Beverley sits), Hollis Thompson, Reggie Jackson, Perry Jones, Joe Johnson, Jared Sullinger, Chandler Parsons, DeMarcus Cousins, Darren Collison, Gordon Hayward, Trevor Booker, JJ Redick
Good luck tonight