Tonight’s NBA main slate features six games on FanDuel and seven games on DraftKings. In this preview for tonight’s NBA DFS slate, we will cover notable stories and statistics regarding players, teams, rotations, etc. and see how it effects the strategy that goes into building a NBA DFS team.
From injury news, advanced statistics, and random lists, this is a preview that is a bit all over the place, so hopefully you can pull out some of this information and use it when you’re building your lineups tonight.
Damian Lillard – Russell Westbrook Beef Narrative
In Damian Lillard’s only game against the Thunder this season (he was injured for their matchup in January), he hung up 62.5 FD points and had a 32.1% usage rate (+2.0% compared to his season average).
This is also the first time we’ll see Russell Westbrook go toe-to-toe with Lillard since his comments about “guys complaining about getting snubbed” – seemingly a direct shot at Lillard. Lillard has since said that the two of them laughed about the issue, but it’s hard to imagine he won’t be playing with a bit of a chip on his shoulder in this game.
It also doesn’t hurt that Lillard has been playing excellent basketball since the All-Star Break. In four games, he has averaged 47.4 FD points per game and went for 51+ twice. At a price tag of $9,700 on FanDuel and $9,400 on DraftKings, he’ll be a chalky pivot off the top-tier price tags of Lebron James, James Harden, and Westbrook.
Who is Playing for Memphis Tonight? (Luckily, a DraftKings Problem Only)
This is becoming a difficult question to answer on a nightly basis – but as we saw last night, figuring out this situation could be key for taking down tournaments. The winner of the $6 Jab Step on DraftKings last night took it down with Jarell Martin, Mario Chalmers, and Ivan Rabb in their lineup. Had to see that coming.
Here is the news we have so far about the Grizzlies tonight:
- Marc Gasol: Out (rest)
- JaMychal Green: Tentatively questionable? (illness)
- Andrew Harrison: Tentatively questionable? (wrist)
- Deyonta Davis: Day to day (ankle)
- Tyreke Evans: Day to day (ribs)
- Chandler Parsons: Day to day (illness)
Yikes. Let’s just run Court IQ and take every single one of these guys off the floor:
Based on the minutes, this basically just represents last night’s game. With the Grizzlies getting a matchup against the Magic tonight, two things are going to happen.
- The Grizzlies value is going to be chalk in tournaments, which is probably warranted. The key here will to avoid over-exposure.
- With everyone hopping on the Grizzlies value, the Magic could possibly go a bit under-owned in this spot. There are a ton of stars on this slate, so it will be interesting to monitor the ownership levels of guys like Aaron Gordon, Nicola Vucevic, and even Evan Fournier tonight. If they’re not picking up a ton of traction, they are great options to fire up.
Dwayne Wade is Back (Sort Of)
Wade has been playing some great basketball over the past two games, averaging 35.9 FD points across 25.3 minutes per game. With Wayne Ellington and Tyler Johnson both doubtful for tonight’s game, Wade should push for 25+ minutes again. If we take both players off the floor for the Heat, Wade has an insane 39.2% usage rate and averages 1.44 FD points per minute across 50.5 minutes.
Wade County, people. The usage spike represents a 7.3% bump, while the FD point increase is +0.34 per minute. While the matchup against the Pistons is average at best (12th in defensive efficiency rating) this season, Wade’s projected usage makes him too strong of a play to pass up at his current price tag of $4,800 on FanDuel. While he’s $5,500 on DraftKings, Wade still deserves consideration for tonight’s slate.
Is Paul Millsap Too Cheap Tonight?
To start, Millsap is priced at $5,200 on DraftKings and $5,900 on FanDuel tonight. Now, let’s look at what we can make of this:
The Nuggets are playing on the second half of a back-to-back set tonight, but as of Saturday morning there hasn’t been any news regarding any sort of limit on Millsap’s minutes. He is coming off a game where he played 27+ minutes and put up 15 points, 7 boards, 1 assist, 4 steals, and a block. Good for 37.9 FD points and 34.75 DK points. It was a vintage Millsap game, one that we’ve seen countless times before. So, now the question – is he too cheap?
Based on his first two games back in the lineup and his production – yes. 100%. He has played 24 minutes and 27 minutes since his return. So, if you told me he would play 30 minutes tonight against the Cavaliers (28th in defensive efficiency rating and 25th in fantasy points allowed to PFs) , Millsap is a guy I would consider paying $7,000-$7,500 tonight.
But – the Cavaliers defensive stats are misleading! If we look at their defensive efficiency rating from the trade deadline to now, they are actually ranked 10th in the NBA. So now, if you asked me the same question, it’s not so easy. The production through two games has been great, but if Millsap is trending to be one of the highest owned players on the board, I think I have to fade. Even if he’s too cheap right now.
Now let’s get in to some rankings for tonight’s slate. I’ll be ranking players at the top of the board, the mid-range, and value plays. I will also give one lock and one fade.
Ranking Tonight’s Star Players in Terms of Who I Would Want to Build Around
- LeBron James $12,200 DEN
- Damian Lillard $9,700 OKC
- Nikola Jokic $10,000 at CLE
- Russell Westbrook $11,200 at POR
- James Harden $11,200 BOS
- LeBron James $11,500 DEN
- Damian Lillard $9,400 OKC
- Nikola Jokic $9,6000 at CLE
- James Harden $10,700 BOS
- Russell Westbrook $11,200 at POR
Three Mid-to-High Range Plays ($6,000-8,500) that I Love for Tournaments
- Julius Randle $7,500 at SAS (Matchup against the Spurs should keep ownership down.)
- Chris Paul $8,300 vs. BOS (Russell Westbrook and Damian Lillard should be more popular.)
- Josh Richardson $6,100 vs. DET (LeBron James and Paul George should soak up ownership.)
- Aaron Gordon $7,200 vs. MEM (Should be able to dominate a depleted Grizzlies frontcourt.)
- Julius Randle $7,300 at SAS (Matchup against the Spurs should keep ownership down.)
- Josh Richardson $5,900 vs. DET (LeBron James and Paul George should soak up ownership.)
Three Value Plays ($5,000 or Less)
- Dwayne Wade $4,800 vs. DET
- George Hill $4,800 vs. DEN
- Ed Davis $4,300 vs. OKC
- Jarell Martin $4,700 at ORL
- D.J.Augustin $4,600 vs. MEM
- Bam Adebayo $3,900 vs. DET
Lock of the Night:
Dwayne Wade ($5,500 DraftKings, $4,800 FanDuel)
Fade of the Night:
Paul Millsap ($5,200 DraftKings, $5,900 FanDuel)