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.
“So long as there is no setback at Wednesday-morning shootaround, (Michael Kidd-Gilchrist) will likely make his season debut against the Denver Nuggets. Coach Steve Clifford told the Observer there is "a good chance he’ll play" Tuesday afternoon.” (charlotteobserver.com)
“Washington coming in here Wednesday? They better beware. Because Lonzo ain’t losing again! Not in the same week!” – Lavar Ball, Founder of Big Baller Brand (washingtonpost.com)
“Certain matchups you really get up for … His dad has been talking … that makes me want to go out there and lead my team and play the best I can play.” – John Wall, Founder of the John Wall Dance (washingtonpost.com)
· The banged-up Rockets will be without Trevor Ariza, Nene, Tarik Black, and Chris Paul. Ryan Anderson is dealing some back pain (#dadprobs) but is expected to play.
· With Nene’s absence, Clint Capela will take on a larger workload. Philadelphia ranks 22nd in total rebounding percentage.
· Luc Mbah a Moute will start for Ariza, but the defensive specialist is much more valuable in real basketball than fantasy. P.J. Tucker will see big minutes off the bench but tends to have a usage rate in the single digits. Houston may turn to Tucker to guard Ben Simmons, the future 2018 All-Star and Rookie of the Year.
· Will coach D’Antoni unleash Zhou Qi? Demetrius Jackson and Bobby Brown (RIP Whitney) are the only other healthy guards on the roster, so Eric Gordon and James Harden could be looking at close to 40 minutes apiece.
· This almost feels dirty to say but we need to consider Jerryd Bayless for this slate. In fantasy basketball, minutes = money, and skills don’t much matter when you cost $4.1K.
· In Joel Embiid’s final game of the 2016-2017 season he laid 32/7/4 3 steals 2 blocks on the Rockets… in 28 minutes. He’ll likely play that same number of minutes again this time.
· Ben Simmons is good at basketball. He is a good dfs play. Now there’s the type of in-depth, analytical analysis you can only find on DGCourtroom.com!
· With Derrick Rose out again on Wednesday, Kevin Love should once again find himself back in his natural position at the 4. Aaron Gordon dropped a career-high 41 points against the Nets on Tuesday, so Love finds himself in an eruption spot. Tristian Thompson remains just above minimum salary, and last season had two double-doubles and a 10 point 9 rebound game in three matchups versus the Nets.
· Playing way up in pace against the Nets, Jae Crowder is enticing at only $5.5K. LeBron played 37 minutes on Tuesday and I don’t think Ty Lue wants to overwork his star this early in the season, especially on his 4th game in 6 days.
· Despite shooting 9-24 on Tuesday, D’Angelo Russell still mustered 39.5 Fanduel points. Rondae Hollis-Jefferson is in a good spot against the Cavs, but he and his backup, Trevor Booker, are seeing equal minutes (about 25 a game).
· Carroll and LeVert were solid Tuesday while Crabbe struggled, shooting 2-11 off the bench. The trio saw 27, 28, and 26 minutes, respectively, and each put up 11 shots on Tuesday. It’s hard to find anything that differentiates these guys right now, other than Crabbe being the cheapest of the bunch.
· Dion Waiters is dealing with a nagging ankle injury, and is not healthy enough to put up a fantasy relevant performance. One of the toughest guys in the league, don’t be surprised to see D Waiters play through it, as he’s already hinted he wants to appear in at least 70 games this season to claim a bonus in his contract.
· Hassan Whiteside remains out for Miami and Goran Dragic is banged up but expected to play. On an 11-game slate there’s really no need to play guys against the Spurs.
· Dejounte Murray is the latest in a long line of guards to come out of Rainier Beach High School in Seattle, a list which includes Nate Robinson, Doug Christie, and Jamal Crawford. When you watch Murray play you can’t help but see the semblance to Crawford in his offensive game. He’s playing like he wants to keep his starting job even after Tony Parker returns by averaging 13/10/5 and 1.5 steals per game.
· LaMarcus Aldridge sports a savage usage rate when Kawhi’s out (29.7 this season), but $8.9K is lot to pay and even without Whiteside, Miami is tough against opposing bigs. If you’re a fan of fundamentally sound basketball, San Antonio @ Miami is the game for you. Unfortunately for us, Fanduel scoring currently does not reward boxing out or setting solid screens.
· Kemba Walker gets the Nuggets at home, a tasty matchup for point guards despite Jamal Murray’s emerging defensive skills. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist’s return would send Dwayne Bacon to the bench and take a lot of value away from Jeremy Lamb at his $5.6K price tag.
· Jokic and the Nuggets, ranked 4th in total rebounding and 28th in pace, do not provide an easy matchup for Dwight Howard on the interior.
· Outside of Kemba, Frank Kaminsky is the only other Charlotte Hornet on my radar. Fresh off his highlight reel dunk in the face of Giannis Antetokounmpo, Frank the Tank has the hot hand and a salary of only $5.1K, making him an intriguing option for Wednesday.
· Let’s hope Monday’s performance can provide a spark for Nikola Jokic, who is the main Nugget you want to target on this slate. The Joker simply has a skillset that Dwight Howard cannot defend at this point in his career.
· Jamal Murray has not shot the ball very well thus far but accounts for one of the few sources of salary relief at PG on this slate. Denver needs to figure out what their identity is going to be this season, but I don’t expect they’ll be ranked in the bottom 3 in terms of pace for that much longer.
· Off to a hot start to the season, Reggie Jackson finds himself in a positive matchup. The Timberwolves allow the 3rd most pace adjusted Fanduel points per minute to opposing point guards this season. Tobias Harris has been an up-down-up-down player this season, and gets a boost if Jimmy Butler remains out with his “illness.”
· Speaking of Jimmy Buckets, he’s expensive but should be low owned if he’s able to give it a go on Wednesday. KAT should always be in your player pool, while Teague and Wiggins will both look to bounce back from poor games on Tuesday. There’s not a lot to love in this matchup.
· There is a lot to love when Russ Westbrook and the boys (apparently they’re referring to themselves as “The City” now?) welcome Paul George’s former team – the Indiana Pacers. George, Victor Oladipo, and Domantas Sabonis will all have something to prove in this game.
· Indiana has the 28th highest team defensive rating to go along with the 6th fastest pace. With an 11-game slate and plenty of spots to fit in some cheapies, it’ll be hard not to play Westbrook and/or George. I am a little concerned that, playing the second of a back-to-back, Indy may not have the juice to keep this one close. Regardless, only 3 quarters may be enough for Russ and PG to exceed 5x value.
· Coach Nate McMillan told the Indy Star that Myles Turner remains in the first stage of the concussion protocol, making it unlikely he suits up for this one (indystar.com). I already mentioned Dipo and Sabonis, but Thaddeus Young is in the best spot of all the Pacers. Young is not a scorer but gets his fantasy worth from rebounds, steals, and blocks. With a matchup against Carmelo Anthony, Young is positioned to put up a solid, well-rounded game on Wednesday.
· Memphis @ Dallas should not be considered a fantasy friendly environment, but it is worth noting that Dallas is dead last in the league in rebounding. But even then, $8.8K is more than we want to pay for Marc Gasol in this matchup. Dennis Smith Jr. is a supreme talent, and Memphis is letting opposing point guards shoot 54% thus far.
· Fresh off a pathetic 84 point showing against the Clips, the Jazz find themselves in the best possible matchup against the Suns. The only position the Suns defend well is the SF, but all Jazz starters will be in play for us. Ricky Rubio provides a nice mid-range player to target on a night where everybody will be on the high-priced point guards.
· Donavan Mitchell showed potential in summer league but it hasn’t yet translated to the regular season, although he did get hot in the fourth quarter against the Clippers. Opponents are shooting an otherworldly 48% (forty-freaking-eight) from 3-point range against Phoenix.
· Mike James (who? Mike James!), not to be confused with Mike Jones, is the Suns’ best player right now. In almost any matchup other than the Jazz he’d be worthy of cash game consideration at his low salary. Let’s hope he struggles against Rubio so that his price will remain low going forward.
· The defending champion Warriors are 2nd in team offensive rating and 24th in defensive rating. Combine that with the 7th fastest pace in the league, and you’ve got the recipe for a high scoring game.
· Jonas Valanciunas has already been ruled out and if Lucas Nogueira, who’s currently questionable, doesn’t play, Jakob Poeltl should draw the start at center. Now fully healthy, look for the Warriors to turn to their “death lineup” (small-ball lineup) against the Raptors. This would mean big minutes and a big opportunity to put up fantasy points for Serge Ibaka. Ibaka carries a very moderate price of only $5.9K.
· DeMar DeRozan could potentially sit this one out, and if so, Kyle Lowry at only $7.1K becomes very intriguing with an expected bump in usage. At a time when Fanduel is handing out price increases like Oprah hands out cars, Lowry has not been this cheap in over two full NBA seasons. Coming off a 3-11 shooting, 13.9 Fanduel point outing against the Spurs, Lowry is primed for a bounce-back game. If DeRozan sits that gives a boost to Norm Powell as well.
· The downside to DeRozan sitting is that it likely means Golden State will run Toronto out of the gym, making it risky to play any Warriors. Draymond, at $7.8K, is the best play on Golden State.
· In the most anticipated middleweight bout since Mayweather-McGregor, John Wall and Lonzo Ball will finally square off with one another in Tinseltown. Surprisingly the Lakers account for only the 26th best matchup for point guards this season, but sometimes numbers just don’t matter. John Wall is a man on a mission and should put on a show Wednesday.
· Even at $8K, don’t be afraid to stack Bradley Beal with Wall in your tournaments. Now that his price has risen to $7.5K, Otto Porter is just too expensive for us to play on this slate. Kelly Oubre is worth consideration if he draws another start. Marcin Gortat is crazy (in a good way), but only a low-ceiling, but consistent, dfs player.
· According to The Orange County Register, Coach Luke Walton threw bouquets of praise at Kentavious Caldwell-Pope at practice yesterday. KCP is locked into 30+ minutes a night and will be called upon to contain Beal in this game.
· Jordan Clarkson should still get his, but on this big of a slate I’m not sure the upside is there. Although I can envision a scenario where Wall gets inside of Lonzo’s head and Clarkson is forced to step up and play big minutes.
· Kyle Kuzma saw 28 and 30 minutes off the bench in his last two contest for the Lake Show. If you want to stack up a few players from this game the Kuz isn’t a bad option. Him and Clarkson are even garbage-time safe.
· Julius Randle is too busy pouting about having to come off the bench to even bother being good at basketball. Until he settles into a defined role for the Lakers, it’s wise to just say no.
Brooklyn, Indiana, Utah, Cleveland, and Minnesota are playing their second game in two days.
Memphis and Dallas are playing their first game in two nights.
Let’s Talk About Pace, Baby:
What’s your take on this slate? Is there enough value to jam Westbrook, Wall, and Harden all into a lineup? I’d love to hear any feedback in the comments section below.
You can follow Jeremy on Twitter @zinneDFS