Gary Harris led the way with 8x value, reaching 49 points on DraftKings and 47.3 FanDuel!
Wilson Chandler, Trey Lyles, and my “shame on me” pick Mason Plumlee also did extremely well returning great value on both DraftKings and Fanduel.
However, I do to take the wins with the losses because I sorely missed on Jamal Murray and Nikola Jokic who gave way to Gary Harris and his 36 point outburst!
If you are a first time reader of my articles, I will focus on one game on the NBA Wednesday slates that I find most appealing for the evening.
This may deter from some of the big games you normally see discussed on other sites.
I will also give you in-depth analysis backed by data.
The teams I discuss should help make some money in your DFS lineups!
Will I be 100% right? Absolutely not!
Will I try my best to be as accurate as possible? Scouts honor!
So here we go!
Tonight’s NBA Slate
- Miami Heat Indiana Pacers 7:00 PM ET
- Dallas Mavericks Charlotte Hornets 7:00 PM ET
- Utah Jazz Washington Wizards 7:00 PM ET
- Detroit Pistons Brooklyn Nets 7:30 PM ET
- Chicago Bulls New York Knicks 7:30 PM ET
- New Orleans Pelicans Memphis Grizzlies 8:00 PM ET
- Portland Trail Blazers Houston Rockets 8:00 PM ET
- Oklahoma City Thunder Minnesota Timberwolves 8:00 PM ET
- Orlando Magic Milwaukee Bucks 8:00 PM ET—“GAME OF THE NIGHT”
- Atlanta Hawks Denver Nuggets 9:00 PM ET
- Los Angeles Clippers Golden State Warriors 10:30 PM ET
On this slate there are so many big names to be considered:
- Russell Westbrook
- Giannis Antetokounmpo
- Demarcus Cousins
- Steph Curry
- Anthony Davis (Questionable-Ankle)
- Kevin Durant
- Chris Paul
- Karl-Anthony Towns
- Victor Oladipo
- Andre Drummond
- Nikola Jokic
- John Wall
- Jimmy Butler
- Draymond Green
- Kristaps Porzingis
You will see these names all over other sites as topics of discussion, as to be expected. They will be highly priced and highly owned, and you will have to find a way to get some of them into your lineups in one way or another.
Unless it is for my “game of the night”, I will not normally discuss a high price player as it takes away from the point of my articles.
However, I am playing Demarcus Cousins ($11,000 DK/$11,600 FD), in my lineups for cash games and tournaments, IF Anthony Davis is out.
Cousins has averaged 65.9 (DK) and 63.62 (FD) points in the five games Davis has been out, with two games pushing 80 fantasy points among both sites.
In his two most recent games against Memphis, he has averaged 34.5 points, 13 rebounds, 4.5 blocks, and 2 assists.
He is also averaging a career best 5.1 APG, so expect that assist number to be higher. His primary defender, Marc Gasol, a savy, offensive player in his own right, currently sits 156th in the NBA in overall defensive efficiency rating.
He will be highly owned, but play Cousins with confidence.
Expect a 50-point floor, with an 80-point ceiling.
Now onto my game of the night, Orlando Magic vs Milwaukee Bucks.
A lot of great value from this game with a Vegas line “over/under” scoring total of 218, currently one of the highest-projected totals of the night.
Orlando has been a part of a scoring total that has gone “over” in two of their last five games.
Milwaukee has done this in three of their last five games.
Orlando is coming off a game Tuesday night in which they just lost to the Dallas and missing the total “over/under” of 216, by only two points. Their defensive struggles have projected them for high scoring games all season long. Of their last six games played, the total score was projected under 213 points only one time.
It was a projected score of 206, which they scored the “over”, at 228 points in a loss to Miami.
Miami is a strong defensive team that ranks 13th in overall defensive efficiency. They now play Milwaukee, who currently sit 23rd in overall defensive efficiency. I expect easier scoring opportunities for them.
Milwaukee now faces a struggling Magic team on a “back-to-back” who currently are 26th in overall defensive efficiency.
You may think “blowout” for this game, but I see a close game with two struggling defenses, an Orlando team who has faced a myriad of injuries to key players, and a Milwaukee team who is still trying to tweak their first and second team lineups.
Time to breakdown the key players for this matchup from the Orlando Magic.
You will see pricing for DraftKings (DK) and FanDuel (FD).
Elfrid Payton ($6800 DK/$7400 FD)- If only the man could play defense! We would see him at a consistent 35 MPG and 35-40 FPPG! His salary is high because of his ceiling. If he is playing well, he has James Johnson like numbers. When he is not playing well, “boom goes the dynamite”.
A perfect example of this is his recent minutes dip. After scoring over 60 fantasy points December 23rd against Washington, he started seeing an average of 38 MPG over the next week.
Once January started, he has not eclipsed 32. Now one of these is due to a blowout loss to Houston, the others are because he does not play defense.
Amongst guards that play over 20 MPG, he sits dead last in overall defensive efficiency.
While, this is a great reason for playing Eric Bledsoe, it does not help Elfrid Payton’s prospects of seeing my lineups.
Elfrid Payton can make or break a DFS lineup, we have seen this before, but tonight I do not expect it.
He will be guarded by Eric Bledsoe, who amongst guards for the same defensive efficiency we just discussed, sits in the top half of the league. Also, when Payton has one of his big games, he rebounds OK for a guard.
For the season, he averages 4 rebounds per game, and sits in the top 40 in rebounding % for his team. Just behind him, Eric Bledsoe. With Eric Bledsoe being a better-than-average, physical defender and solid rebounder, I am probably not using Elfrid Payton in cash for either site.
He has the potential for a 40+ point game, but on a back-to-back with a solid defender, I do not see it happening. In tournaments, he is a high risk/high reward with a 6.5X ceiling.
Evan Fournier ($5700 DK/$6300 FD)
Fournier is a mystery to me. He averages almost 33 MPG. At his price on either site, you love to see that. Even with the string of losses and a blowout to Houston in the past week, he has not seen below 30 minutes. Yet, he has failed to score over 27 fantasy points on either site in his last four games. I think this is a bounce back game for him.
Instead of being guarded by the decent defender that is Tony Snell, he now gets Malcolm Brogdon. Brogdon is 87th out of 107 eligible guards in overall defensive efficiency. Fournier is also a top 35 guard in Effective Field Goal % and a top 30 guard in 3-point %.
Effective field goal % is important to consider because it adds value to 3-pointers. 3-point shooting naturally lowers someone’s field goal % because it is easier to make a layup than it is a 3-point shot, (except for Steph Curry).
This advanced metric is more important than people will give it credit for. The last seven NBA Finals have had teams no worse than top 5 in effective field goal % for the season. To put that into more prospective, five of the champions during that span, were 1st or 2nd.
I would play Fournier with decent confidence in cash games on both sites, as I expect him to get out of his minor slump playing a mediocre defender. I would throw him in a tournament lineup as well since he has the 35-40-point ceiling which can return close to a 7x value on either site.
Jonathon Simmons ($5200 DK/$5800 FD)
Simmons stat lines the past couple games have not been great because he has been battling back spasms. Those can flare up at any time, not a good situation for us considering him in our lineups.
However, his price is very good, and he will be guarded by Khris Middleton. Middleton is a below-average defender who sits 78th out of 101 eligible forwards that play over 20 MPG. Simmons can exploit that because of his PACE and his usage rate. PACE is a calculation of possessions a team has per game. His PACE sits at top 30 in the league, while his usage rate is top 20 in the league.
He gets the ball a lot, and has a lot of chances. His price while cheap, is worrisome for cash games as his floor has been 7 FPPG in three of his last five games. However, he has great upside that can push him into 7-7.5X category.
In cash for both sites, I most likely stay away, but he is cheap for DraftKings. In tournaments, I play him knowing he has great upside, but that he can give me an absolute dud as well.
Mario Hezonja ($5100 DK/$4200 FD)
Mario has come on recently in a big way! He is still very cheap on FanDuel while garnering great minutes for the team. In his last three, he has played no less than 27 MPG, and scored no less than 27 fantasy points for both sites. He will see some of Khris Middleton, and possibly Tony Snell, who does not scare me.
I think Hezonja has found a strong role for this team. I think he continues to see close to 30 MPG, and has a floor of 20 FPPG with a ceiling that can reach 35+ with injuries to the team.
On both sites I like him for cash and tournaments. For FanDuel, I am playing him in my cash and tournament lineups with a lot of confidence because he is so cheap. Not often do you see someone cheaper on FanDuel than you do on DraftKings.
Aaron Gordon ($8000 DK/$7600 FD)
Aaron Gordon has been shooting it lights out. He is 28th in the league amongst eligible forwards in effective field goal %. And leads his team in 3-pointers made per game at 2.2. However, he runs into “The Greek Freak”, Giannis Antetokounmpo.
Giannis is an above average defender ranked in the top 55 in defensive efficiency amongst eligible forwards. He also rebounds very well for the same eligible forwards. He is currently 11th overall in rebounding percentage in the NBA. Gordon, who needs a lot of rebounds to help his fantasy cause, sits behind him just inside the top 20. This hurts Gordon’s case for my lineups.
In cash games, I would stay away on DraftKings, but could see you want to use him for FanDuel. As for tournaments, he is a play with his high floor that has exceeded 50+ points on numerous occasions this year. However, Giannis will slow him down. High risk/high reward for tournament play.
Bismack Biyombo ($5800 DK/$5600 FD)
Bismack has played admirably for Vucevic. He is not going to shoot outside of the paint. He is made to rebound, set a screen, and dunk. That is exactly why he was given $18 million a year. How is a backup center not worth that!? I think he is worth every penny!
On a serious note, he has been OK in his time as a starter. He does lose some minutes to Marreese Speights if the latter is playing well, but in a game like this, he carries some upside for his price.
For power forwards and centers, Milwaukee is 26th in the league in rebounds allowed, and in field goal %. Bismack will not take many shots per game, but is very close to the basket when he does shoot, (normally a dunk). From a rebounding standpoint, he carries some upside.
If all goes well, and Speights doesn’t syphon 5-10 minutes away from Bismack, look for Bismack to see around 28 minutes for the game.
As for his counterpart, John Henson is an underrated defender. Henson is currently top 30 amongst eligible forwards and centers. Henson also rebounds at nearly the same rate Bismack does.
For his price, I think there are too many options on the slate to consider him for cash. Tournaments he is a possibility because of the overall poor rebounding allowed by the Milwaukee team as a whole.
Eric Bledsoe ($7000 DK/$8300 FD)
Eric Bledsoe gets the worst rated guard in defensive efficiency in the NBA. I repeat, the WORST guard. I do not need many other stats here, you play him with confidence in cash and tournament lineups for DraftKings. In Fanduel, his price is much higher, but the ceiling and matchup says he should be fine. I think his price is a hair high for cash, but I would not be upset if you played him. I like his upside for tournaments as he can get to 50+ points.
Malcolm Brogdon ($5000 DK/$5600 FD)- I love seeing Malcolm Brogdon starting on the court instead of Tony Snell. It provides another level of offensive firepower to the already great starting five.
This was a much better decision than Jason Kidd saying Jason Terry deserves playing time in the month of December. Jason Terry should accidentally end up in front of a Lebron alley-oop very soon.
Same answer as for Bledsoe, Fournier is not a great defender, currently sitting at 100th out of 139th amongst eligible guards.
Brogdon is a very safe cash game play for both sites averaging 25 FPPG amongst both sites in his last two weeks, and almost 25 for both sites the whole season.
For tournaments, I would not play him as I am hoping for more upside at a similar price point.
Kevin Middleton ($7100 DK/$8000 FD)
Middleton is in a great spot here. He is facing two of the worst defensive efficient forwards for their team and for the league in Hezonja and Simmons. Middleton can create his own shot, and can score at will. Neither will slow him down.
He is a safe play for both sites averaging 35 FPPG with a ceiling that can reach 45+ in this poor defensive matchup.
Giannis Antetokounmpo ($10700 DK/$11700 FD)
Giannis gets an interesting matchup with Aaron Gordon. Will Aaron slow him down, absolutely not. I say interesting because Giannis is a streaky player at a high price for his value. While 53 FPPG amongst both sites shows a 5x return on DK and a 4.6x return on FD at his current value, his numbers are streaky. Here are his last nine games in fantasy points on amongst both sites:
At his highest game under 50 points, which happened 6/9 games, at a price point pushing $10500/$11500 on both sites, he got no higher than 4.5x value. I will say it again, for 67% of these games, arguably your most expensive player in your lineup, did not surpass 4.5x. I understand that can be OK for cash games. I just cannot get on his bandwagon.
With this matchup and a lackluster defender, he has the propensity for a 55+ outing. I do not trust him in cash, but understandably could gamble on him for tournaments. I personally will not play him.
For his price point and position availabilty on DK, I would much rather play Demarcus Cousins than I would him. As for FD, I don’t mind him for tournaments as the only other top options are a questionable Kevin Durant, and Jimmy Butler, who will see a lot of Paul George.
John Henson ($4900 DK/$5400 FD)
For my reasons mentioned above with Bismack. Very similar styles of play, but Henson is at a cheaper price while seeing minutes in the mid 20’s. I like him for cash games more than I do tournaments as he has a very safe 4.5-5x floor.
Contributing Players Rapid Fire
Matthew Dellavedova ($3800 DK/$3500 FD)
Minutes hover around 15 per game. Floor is awful at 3-5 fantasy points. Ceiling can be great as he has hit almost 30 fantasy points twice in the last week and a half. You could do worse in tournaments.
Tony Snell ($3600 DK/$3500 FD)
Plays great minutes per game, averaging 28 in his past week, but he does nothing with them having not surpassed 20 fantasy points in that same time. Very cheap on both sites, but a complete dart thrown in my opinion unless you are looking for that very minimal 15-18 point value.
Marreese Speights ($3500 DK/$3700 FD)
Double-digit fantasy points in his last seven games while never eclipsing 21 minutes of playing time. In the game he played 21 minutes, he had 34 fantasy points among both sites. Another considerable option for tournaments, especially with his ability to hit the from 3-point range. I like him as a risky option for tournaments that will still manage low double digit points as a floor and 20+ for a ceiling.
Wesley Iwundu ($3000 DK/$3700 FD)
In his last four games, he has seen no less than 17 minutes and 10+ FPPG, with a 26+ point outing amongst both sites when he played Cleveland. Bottom of the barrel price for both sites makes him a solid option if you are looking to stack a tournament lineup.
Once again, I hope this information helps you in your lineups. Thank you to everyone who has helped me with this opportunity. I look forward to having more, valuable information for everyone all season long.
Please feel free to offer any feedback you by reaching me at my email, DrakePFSA@yahoo.com