Jeremy’s Daily Jewels
Throughout this NBA season I’ll be sharing some interesting notes and quotes I come across while doing my research for the upcoming DFS slate in a new DGCourtroom.com feature called: Jeremy’s Daily Jewels.
“Aaron (Gordon) practiced and looked fine, so I’m expecting him to play” – Magic coach Frank Vogel on his high-flying power forward (orlandosentinel.com). Vogel also told the paper that Elfrid Payton will remain out on Tuesday night.
Takeaways: D.J. Augustin will remain in the starting lineup and rookie Jonathan Isaac will head back to the bench. Isaac has got some real talent, but is a fouling machine. What is it with these rookie power forwards who can’t stay on the court because they’re always getting in foul trouble? (See Marquese Chriss from last season).
“Yeah, it’s indefinite. It’s just one of those injuries that’s going to take some time and we just got to make sure we manage it right because that’s really important for us” – Doc Rivers on the extent of Milos Teodosic’s foot injury (latimes.com).
Takeaways: From a non-fantasy standpoint, this was disappointing news because Milos is absolutely one of the most fun players to watch on the court. In the short term, Patrick Beverly, Austin Rivers, and Lou Williams all can be expected to split the share of Milos’ 20+ minutes. Don’t be surprised if Doc still wants to keep Beverly around 25 minutes a night, handing Rivers and Williams an even larger workload. The Clippers figure to be on the short list of potential destinations for Eric Bledsoe.
"I just decided, earlier than later, just to get to the unit where I'd be more comfortable in and can probably better with this team in that lineup" – Dwayne Wade on requesting to come off the bench (cleveland.com).
Takeaways: J.R. Smith will replace Wade in Tyronn Lue’s starting five. The Cavaliers are using the early part of the regular season to experiment with different lineups and combinations. Expect Wade and Iman Shumpert to split ball handling duties with the second unit. Wade is simply an awesome dude and great teammate, however he’s not someone who’s playing good basketball right now.
The Chicago Bulls, owners of both the league’s lowest offensive rating as well as true shooting percentage, opened with a Vegas projected team total of only 96.75. Even if the Baby Bulls (can we call them that again?) manage to keep this one close, don’t expect a high-scoring barnburner between two teams ranking in the bottom 10 in pace. Lauri Markkanen is averaging 15 & 10 through two games. The Cavaliers have had trouble defending opposing guards, but J.R. Swish is certainly a defensive upgrade over Wade at this point. It’s too bad Justin Holiday, who played like Michael Jordan in the preseason, and Jerian Grant aren’t cheaper on Fanduel.
Outside of LeBron James and Kevin Love, the Cavaliers have looked old and decrepit so far this season. Will either Love or LeBron see enough minutes Tuesday to pay off their salaries? At $10.7K LeBron should be relatively low-owned in tournaments and I don’t hate that play at all. Look for Jae Crowder to have a bounce-back game at only $5.5K. Raise your hand if you think D Wade can turn it around and put up a big game against his former team on Tuesday. Anyone? …. Anyone?
The Nets (2nd in pace) beat the Magic (6th in pace) last Friday 126-121 in Brooklyn and the teams will get together for a rematch Tuesday in sunny Central Florida. Opening at 229, this is far and away the highest Vegas game total of the night.
At an inflated price of $5.9K, D.J. Augustin isn’t nearly as good of a play as he was on Saturday night. While he has a pretty decent shot at reaching 30 Fanduel points, I can’t envision his ceiling being much higher than that. Evan Fournier is now priced at $7K, and full $1,000 more than his most expensive tag all last season ($6K). The Frenchman did put up 44 Fanduel points in the first matchup between these teams, falling one rebound short of a double-double. Aaron Gordon’s price is up to $8K, but if healthy he should eat inside versus the Nets.
Nikola Vucevic, who’s putting up Shaq-esque numbers this year, now costs a whopping $9.8K on Fanduel - only $300 less than KAT. If he is to pay that salary off, Vuc will need a repeat of his 41-point (56 Fanduel point) performance of last Friday against these same Nets. Terrence Ross is the cheapest of the Magic starters, and the Nets have struggled defending the SG position thus far. Keep an eye out for Jonathon Simmons off the bench, who will handle the ball just as much as back-up PG Shelvin Mack with the second unit.
Despite the great matchup and high game total, it’s hard to trust that Coach Atkinson will give any of his guys big minutes. Despite that, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson is someone I will be targeting at only $6.2K. RHJ will look to bounce back from his 9-point (19 Fanduel point) showing on Sunday where he only played 19 minutes after spending some time in the locker room with an ankle injury before eventually returning.
Caris Levert, DeMarre Carroll, and Allen Crabbe are all seeing 25-30 minutes a game at the wing positions for the Nets, and each are worthy of consideration when constructing your dfs lineups for Tuesday. Even if he comes off the bench again, I probably like Crabbe the best out of that bunch. D’Angelo Russell, with a usage rate of over 30 on the season, is worthy of consideration, even though he performed much better in the first match when facing Elfrid Payton defense than he did against D.J. Augustin.
The New York Knickerbockers are allowing a league-worst 1.23 Fanduel pace-adjusted points per minute to opposing point guards, and Kyrie Irving will be looking to put the Celtics on his back after the Gordon Hayward injury. If you like money, you’ll want to have Kyrie in your lineups on Tuesday. Marcus Smart, who’s listed as questionable at the time this article was written, and Terry Rozier are both now listed at SG on Fanduel. If Smart does give it a go I like him more than Rozier, but both are squarely in play.
The Knicks are much better at defending the SG position than they are at defending SF’s, so I like Jaylen Brown a lot in this matchup. Jayson Tatum is now a PF on Fanduel and, with a price tag of $6.9K, we can probably find better value elsewhere. Al Horford averaged 0.15 more Fanduel points per minute at home last season, and the Knicks do not defend opposing centers well, especially a guy like Horford who’s an away from the basket, pick-and-roll, type of player.
Frank Ntilikina has already been ruled out for Tuesday’s tilt, so Ramon Sessions makes for an excellent source of salary relief at the PG position. As a member of the Charlotte Hornets last season, Sessions was called upon for a spot-start at Boston Garden and delivered with a line of 13/6/6.
Boston is really struggling to stop opposing bigs, ranking dead last in pace-adjusted Fanduel points per minute allowed to opposing power forwards, and second to last versus opposing centers. I don’t think we can trust Kanter, O’Quinn, or Hernangomez for cash, but Kristaps Porzingis should be in consideration for every lineup you make on Tuesday. The Unicorn sported a stellar usage rate of 34.7 in his first game, only to follow that up with a rate of 34.9 in his second. The young Tatum will have his hands full on Tuesday, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he gets into some foul trouble attempting to guard Porzingis.
Timothy Hardaway Jr. is ripe for a bounce-back game at some point, but has traditionally been one of the toughest players in the league to predict. THJ seems to be in a bit of a shooting slump, going only 5-17 from beyond the arc to start the season. Even at only $3.4K on Fanduel, it’ll be tough to pull the trigger on Michael Beasley. B-Easy has dropped Fanduel scores of 33, 26, and 29 in his last 3 games versus Boston.
With Myles Turner already ruled out for the Pacers, Karl-Anthony Towns should feast on Arvydas Sabonis’ son Tuesday. Perhaps the Pacers turn to old man Al Jefferson to stop the bleeding, but it shouldn’t even matter. With three straight double-doubles to start the year, expect nothing less from KAT on Tuesday.
Jimmy Butler has gotten off to a rough start in the Gopher State, shooting 5-12, 5-14, and 7-17 from the field in his first three games. He’ll look to turn things around against the Pacers, who are playing at the 6th fastest pace in the league. Minnesota ranks 20th.
Jeff Teague and Andrew Wiggins, both hovering around the $7K range, make for intriguing mid-range options on a slate where most people will be paying up for the top-tier stars. It’ll be Teague’s first matchup against his former team.
Likely to be out-manned and out-matched, the Pacers do provide a few potential sources of value, namely in Domantas Sabonis and Al Jefferson. With Turner out, Sabonis has logged 29 minutes per game, while Jefferson, a Fanduel point-per-minute legend, is at 15 minutes per contest.
Victor Oladipo bouned back nicely from his 5-17 shooting performance against Portland to lash out for 28/4/5/4 steals in his last game at Miami. Darren Collison draws the best matchup for the Pacers, where opposing PG’s are shooting 55% from the field and 56% from beyond the arc in this young season. Collison makes for a sneaky, solid play on Tuesday.
As of Monday night, the Portland Trail Blazers lead the league in offensive rating as a team, as well as overall rebounding percentage. Jusuf Nurkic has gotten off to a so-so start, and is sure to have his hands full versus the Pelican’s twin towers on Tuesday. This one could be a spot where the Bosnian Beast finds himself in foul trouble, so approach with caution.
Dame Lillard has been playing as well as any point guard in the league, and accordingly his price tag has risen to $9.9K. Even at that price, Dame Dolla is still a legitimate threat to put up 5x value in the Blazer’s home opener. Priced much lower at $7.8K, C.J. McCollum has been on fire since returning from his one-game suspension. 3-J is shooting 21-36 from the field, but the problem is he only has 2 total assists. With Portland, typically either C.J. or Dame gets hot and starts to take control of ball-handling duties from about the second quarter on. The key is figuring out who that’s going to be. Tuesday feels more like a McCollum game.
Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins. I don’t know what more needs to be said. They’re both absolute beasts who are each averaging over 20 shots a game this season. If I’m forced to choose I’ll take Boog in this matchup, mainly because he’s coming off a “down game” by his standards of only 47 Fanduel points against the Lakers, and is $800 cheaper.
E’Twaun Moore probably isn’t going to ever get you more than 25 Fanduel points, but still holds value with Rondo out and the cheap price tag of $4.2K. As a member of the Warriors, two times last year did Ian Clark go off for 30+ Fanduel point performances against the Blazers, albeit both of those games were blowouts.
To no one’s surprise, only the Sacramento Kings are playing at a slower pace this season than the Utah Jazz (prior to Monday night’s games). The Clippers are playing at the 4th fastest pace in the league. Despite that, Pat Beverley, Austin “Daddy’s Boy” Rivers, and Lou Williams are all playable due to their expected minutes and cheap prices. Sweet Lou is my favorite play here, especially if Doc starts his son and keeps Lou in his sixth man role.
Blake Griffin is in line for a monster year, but at $10.2K against the Jazz he is not a cash game play. Gallo and DeAndre Jordan both figure to have limited upside in this tilt.
Rudy Gobert has not disappointed in real life basketball, but he has failed to live up to his salary on Fanduel in each of his first three games. For Rudy to really pay off at a price of $8.5K, he needs to have one of those 5 block, 15 rebound games, and the Clippers are second in the NBA in total rebounding percentage.
Utah is another team that’s thin in the backcourt and desperately needs a healthy Rodney Hood to return. We’ll have to check the news to see if he plays, but if not Donovan Mitchell and Alec Burks become top value plays. Joe Ingles and Derrick Favors will get a boost in this up-tempo matchup, and both should be on your radar in cash games and tournaments.
Brooklyn, Indiana, Utah, Cleveland, and Minnesota are on the first leg of a back to back.
Don’t expect Tyronn Lue to log heavy minutes for his starters if the Cavaliers are blowing out the Bulls.
You can follow Jeremy on Twitter @zinneDFS