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.
“Tim Hardaway Jr. said the Knicks had a strong practice on Thursday. He's also not concerned about his poor shooting to start the season (9-for-37 from the field; 5-for-22 from beyond the arc). ‘The same thing happened to me last year and I overcame it,’ said Hardaway Jr., who went 5-for-15 in games two and three of Atlanta's season but otherwise shot well early on. ‘It turned out to be a great season for me.’” – Ian Begley, writer for (espn.com)
“@MKG14 (Michael Kidd-Gilchrist) will play more against the Rockets, but not a lot more. Steve Clifford wary of risking another injury.” – @rick_bonnell on Twitter
“He definitely wants it, 100% he wants it. Some people you feel like they say they want it but in their eyes you can tell they are saying it because they are supposed to say it. Brandon, he truly wants those moments.” – Coach Luke Walton when asked if Brandon Ingram can be the closer for the Lakers (latimes.com)
D’Angelo Russell figures to be a top play at PG should he return to action on Friday against the Knicks. Spike Lee’s favorite team is allowing the 3rd most pace-adjusted Fanduel points to opposing point guards this season. The Knicks and Nets met twice this preseason and Russell shot a combined 14-28 from the field in those matchups.
Outside of Russell, it’s the same story with the Nets – equal minutes, participation trophies, and sunshine and rainbows. Again, I’m struggling to find a reason to play any of the Nets’ three wings players in Caris LeVert, Demarre Carroll, and Allen Crabbe. At $6.5K, Carroll looks to be having a career resurgence but is probably too expensive. Crabbe finished last season second in the league in 3-point shooting but doesn’t do a whole lot else. LeVert is the most talented player of the trio and also a positive regression candidate as I mentioned in my article yesterday. I may have just talked myself into playing LeVert on Friday.
Rondae Hollis-Jefferson is a solid play against the Knicks and someone who’s averaging 1.4 blocks and 1.4 steals a game thus far. Porzingis has been pretty good on defense (we’ll see how long that lasts), and the Knicks are allowing opposing power forwards to grab the lowest number of rebounds in the league.
Frank Ntilikina is expected to return to action Friday, cutting into Ramon Sessions’ minutes and downgrading him as a dfs play. Even in an up-tempo match against the Nets, Ntilikina, Sessions, and Ron Burgundy Baker will split minutes and should not warrant dfs consideration.
Kristaps Porzingis is someone who thrives in pace-up games and will look to feast on the Nets Friday evening. Porzingis has faced Brooklyn six times in his career, putting up 35 or more Fanduel points in each matchup. In those 6 games The Unicorn has recorded 16 blocked shots.
Will Friday, October 27th 2017 forever be known as Tim Hardaway Jr. Breakout Day? I think there’s a real possibility. To be successful at dfs you must need to have a short memory sometimes. Let’s hope the majority of dfs players have already put THJ into the “never again” category. Playing Hardaway right now is like taking couch medicine: you just suck it up and do it.
On Thursday Hardaway told the media: “I’m not going to stop shooting. That’s what I’m here for” (inquisitr.com).
The Knickerbockers rank 29th in true shooting percentage, 29th in offensive rating, and 27th in defensive rating. If management was smart they’d at least bring Latrell Sprewell back to give the fans some excitement.
Friday marks Paul Millsap’s return to the dirty souf, where he spent the last 4 seasons as a member of the Atlanta Hawks. Millsap has struggled to get it going in the first week of the season but the Hawks are allowing opponents to grab the 4th most rebounds in the Association. Millsap is a bargain at only $6.6K on Fanduel and I’ll be taking a long hard look at him before submitting my lineups on Friday.
Another player whose price is plummeting faster than a blue-light special at your local K-Mart is Nikola Jokic, sitting at only $8.4K. We can expect him to turn things around soon, and the Hawks are allowing the 2nd most pace-adjusted Fanduel points per minute to centers. Atlanta is playing at the 6th fastest pace in the league and most of Jokic’s monster performances occurred in up-tempo games last season. The Joker dropped a 35 & 12 bomb on Dewayne Dedmon when the two faced off last season. Things could always change with late news and value opening, but as of now I’ll be trying hard to fit Jokic into my lineups.
Jamal Murray is starting to get it going and will have a better matchup if Dennis Schroder returns on Friday, especially on a slate where we want to fit in a lot of different high-priced guys.
Gary Harris finally shot the ball better in his last game against Charlotte, but isn’t doing much besides scoring right now. He already has a game this season where scored 17 real life points but only 18.5 Fanduel points, and another with 18 real life points and only 21.9 Fanduel points. Kent Bazemore can be a good defender when he wants to be, but at only $5K now is probably the time we want to hop aboard the Harris Express.
Opponents are averaging 36.5 3-point field goal attempts per game against the Hawks, the highest mark in the league.
Even if Schroder returns, he’d be a lot more appealing if he wasn’t priced at $8.3K. That said, we see players put up huge performances in their first game back after sitting with a minor injury all the time. Taurean Price has the best matchup on Hotlanta and will look to bounce-back on the second night of a back-to-back.
Dejounte Murray would have had a better matchup if Elfrid Payton were playing on Friday, and while D.J. Augustin does play solid defense, Murray will have at least a 6-inch height advantage in this matchup. Even after shooting 0-7 and finishing with only 7.1 Fanduel points on Wednesday, if you’ve read my previous columns you’ll know I’m a big fan of Murray’s game. The Magic, playing at the 4th fastest pace in the league, could be just what the doctor ordered if Murray is to have a bounce-back performance.
Danny Green, possibly a distant cousin of The Judge Daniel Green, has put up four solid performances to start the season. But at $5.5K, there are probably better plays at SG than the former Tar Heel sharpshooter.
LaMarcus Aldridge is thriving while Kawhi Leonard remains sidelined, scoring over 20 points in each game with usage rates of 32, 36, 23, and 30. He’s pricey but another 50+ fantasy point performance is well within LMA’s range of potential outcomes against the Magic.
Although Danny Green and Klay Thompson are both known as premier individual defenders, the Spurs are allowing the 4th most pace-adjusted Fanduel points per minute to opposing shooting guards and the Warriors are allowing the 3rd most. This anomaly can probably be chalked up to matchups, where on a lot of nights Green and Thompson are tasked with defending the opposing team’s best player, sometimes a PG or SF.
D.J. Augustin, Evan Fournier, and Aaron Gordon are just too expensive to roster against the slower-than-molasses Spurs. And while Terrence Rozay (Ross) is cheap at $4.1K, I’d also look towards Jonathon Simmons for a tournament play. Simmons, of course, made his mark in the league playing for the Spurs and is being asked to take on a larger roll with Payton sidelined.
James Harden, playing without Chris Paul, is garnering even more usage than last season. Committing 15 turnovers across his last two games are a reason to be concerned, but Harden is a nightly triple-double threat and probably should be priced higher than $11.5K on Fanduel. He’s yet to have an eruption game, or at least by Harden standards. Will The Beard want to put on a show in front of Michael Jordan on Friday?
Harden’s backcourt partner, Eric Gordon, has been arguably playing just as well as James. Frankly, I’m surprised his price hasn’t risen above $7.1K. Gordon, like Harden, should continue to see close to 40 minutes a night. In his last game, Gordon attempted 16 3-pointers and 15 in the game before that. He should be in consideration for all lineups on Friday.
Luc Mbah a Moute remains cheap for a starter at $4K, and will give you some defensive stats to go along with a usage rate in the mid-teens. Clint Capela was a beast on Wednesday at Philadelphia, but the Hornets are 5th in the league in total rebounding percentage. Don’t expect a repeat performance.
Ryan Anderson’s game is reminiscent of that guy you can probably find at your neighborhood YMCA running pick-up games right now: double knee braces and all. He’s very much a hot/cold shooter, will grab you a few boards, and kind of just stands around for most of the game. He does seem to be heating up after going 4-9 from downtown in his last game. The White Rhino shot 47% from 3-point land on the road last season, compared to just 33% at home. Mbah A Moute won’t shoot much and Capela only shoots on lay-ups and alley-oops, so someone other than Gordon and Harden needs to shoot occasionally, right?
While we like to play bigs against the Rockets, Dwight Howard shot 0-9 from the charity stripe in his last game on Wednesday. Coach Steve Clifford may be weary of leaving D-12 in games down the stretch. Hack-a-Dwight? He instead may turn to Frank Kaminsky to play the 5 even more than usual, and Frank the Tank finds himself in a dreamy matchup against the Rockets.
Kidd-Gilchrist returning to action will probably deter people from playing Jeremy Lamb, but it shouldn’t. Lamb’s price, at $6.4K, is what we should be weary of. He’ll see plenty of minutes in a fast-paced matchup against the Rockets.
We’re all waiting for Kemba Walker to have a monstrous game while Batum is out, but it’s yet to happen. Could Friday be the day? If you’re making multiple tournament lineups he belongs in a few.
Karl-Anthony Towns’ price ($9.5K) is the lowest it’s been since January 17th of last season. Steven “Scissor-hands” Adams is playing very well to start the season, but could struggle with KAT if he’s playing out on the perimeter.
Power Forward is the position where we like to attack OKC, and in last Sunday’s matchup Taj Gibson put up 11/10. At only $4.3K, Gibson provides for a source of salary relief.
Andrew Wiggins and Jimmy Butler can always be considered tournament options, but OKC will counter with two premier wing defenders in Paul George and Andre Roberson. With that said, PG-13 seems allergic to avoiding foul trouble and Wiggins did drop 27 in their matchup last Sunday.
Despite playing at a moderate pace, Jeff Teague and the Timberwolves have really struggled against opposing point guards this season. They’re allowing a league-leading 26.8 assists per game. As long as Russ Westbrook doesn’t eat too much of that Oklahoma seafood, he’s in prime position to put up his 3rd triple-double of the season. Both Westbrook and Harden are in great spots and I really want to play both in my lineup on Friday.
Paul George and Melo, both priced over $8K, have only shown ceilings of about 5x at their current salaries. Coming off a horrific game against his former team, PG-13 would be my preferred play of the two, although for less than $2K we can just pay up for Durant or get Westbrook for $3K more.
In what should be the most exciting game of the night, the Wizards will continue their west-coast swing in the 510 when they face-off with the Warriors. Bradley Beal is playing out of his mind right now and he’s just as involved in running the offense as John Wall. I mentioned previously how the Warriors are struggling to defend the SG position so far this season.
Wall, off his major let-down performance against the Lakers, is expensive but still in play for us in tournaments. The Warriors average the 9th most turnovers per game and are still only ranked 23th in team defensive rating. If you’re playing Wall, you can only hope he thrives after hearing Stephen A.’s criticism on ESPN’s First Take Thursday.
Otto Porter’s price has come down to $7K after not making a single 3-point shot against the Lakers. The Warriors do allow the 4th most 3-point attempts per game from their opponents. The former Georgetown Hoya could make sense in a game stack, as the Wiz will need big games from him, Wall, and Beal if they’re going to keep it close.
My favorite play on the Warriors, also one of my favorite high-priced guys on the entire slate, is Kevin Durant. The Durantula has caught fire, shooting 50% or better from 3-point land in each of his last two games. He’s also due for one of those signature 5-block games. Plus, who can forget when the Washington D.C. native got injured last season against his hometown Wizards (I promise this wasn’t written by Durant using a burner account).
Neither Steph Curry nor Klay Thompson are bad plays on Friday. In fact, Curry, and Wall for that matter, both make solid contrarian pivots off Westbrook. Like Daniel says on the podcast, we know what we’re getting with the Splash Brothers. Draymond Green’s price has risen to over $8K again, but he’s put up 45, 49, 52, and 50 Fanduel points in his last 4 against Washington.
Brandon Ingram played arguably the best game of his young career in the Lakers’ overtime upset win over the Wizards on Wednesday. As long as the lanky SF can stay out of foul trouble you’re looking at a solid 20-Fanduel-point floor.
During Thursday’s practice Luke Walton was quoted as saying, “I think he (Julius Randle) is a little pissy with me” (clutchpoints.com). Now I like Luke, but can I get a Cris Carter “C’mon Man!” I thought that language was only used by the Mean Girls at their slumber parties.
Randle is still a matchup based, high-risk high-reward dfs play. Larry Nance Jr. put up 18/10 on 8-10 shooting in only 24 minutes in his last game. Kyle Kuzma, on the other hand, played 34 minutes off the bench and finished with only 15.6 Fanduel points. No bueno.
Jordan Clarkson is worth a look at only $4.2K on Fanduel. JC has had up-down-up-down performances to start the season, and as I wrote about Tobias Harris in Wednesday’s column (who scored 48 Fanduel points), is due for a better game on Friday. At that price tag, Clarkson can have a bad game and still hit 5x value. We’ll see if Coach Walton is serious about giving Josh Hart more tick.
Last but not least, Lonzo Ball is proving to be a triple-double threat every night out. Coach Walton clearly trusts him with minute totals of 39, 36, and 37 over his last three. Toronto is middle-of-the-pack against point guards and Ball should be in the discussion for both cash games and tournaments.
Jakob Poeltl, a college teammate of Kyle Kuzma at Utah, will be looking to follow up his 36 and 34 Fanduel point performances with another solid outing against the Lakers. If Bebe Nogueira does return then Poeltl is no longer a strong play.
Serge Ibaka is down to $5.5K and could finally find himself in a breakout spot. Last season he recorded two 19-point double-doubles against the Lakers. We want to attack the Lakers everywhere in dfs, but especially at the SG and PF position.
Norm Powell is down to only $3.8K on Fanduel although he seems to be losing minutes to Delon Wright off the bench who, in the Raptors’ last game, played 29 minutes compared to Powell’s 16. Delon Wright is a taller PG in the mold of a Shaun Livingston, so you can probably chalk that up to the matchups against the Warriors. Both Powell and Wright can help you fit more studs into your tournament lineups.
DeMar DeRozan, fresh of his 52-Fanduel-point explosion, will be returning to his hometown to take on the Lakers. I’m not sure I want to play DeRozan in cash games but he is certainly in a juicy spot on Friday.
Kyle Lowry is still too cheap at $7.5K, but thanks to Lonzo Ball the Lakers have been sneaky-good against point guards this season, ranking 20th in pace-adjusted Fanduel points allowed. You can probably get a Lowry/DeRozan stack (or even Lowry/Ball) at fairly-low ownership in tournaments.
The lowly Atlanta Hawks are the only team playing their second game in as many nights.
The Rockets, Lakers, and Thunder are all on the first leg of a back-to-back.
Let’s Talk About Pace, Baby:
What’s your take on this slate? Who will you be paying up for? I’d love to hear any feedback in the comments section below.
You can follow Jeremy on Twitter @zinneDFS