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.
“Nah, I’ll play. I don’t care what they say, I’m playing.” – Joel Embiid on Monday’s matchup against the Rockets (@PompeyOnSixers on Twitter). The Process is at his lowest price since opening night on Fanduel, at $8K. He’s also rocking a massive usage rate of 36.0 on the year.
“They have weapons at almost every position. We’ve got to put together a solid game. It’s got to be for 48 minutes. You see them go down early a lot and then fight their way back in it. It’s a full 48-minute thing.” – Blake Griffin on Monday’s matchup with the Warriors. The Clippers have lost 10 straight games to Golden State (latimes.com).
The OVER on the Vegas game total has hit on every Minnesota Timberwolves game thus far. Goran Dragic is next up in what has been a long line of point guards to have the best game of their season against Jeff Teague. On a night where a lot of the top-shelf point guards figure to be in good spots, Dragic, at a fair price of $6.9K on FD and $6.5K on DK, likely won’t be as highly-owned as he should be. The Dragon is shooting 57% over his last 4 and the T-Wolves rank dead last in team defensive rating as of Sunday night.
Jimmy Butler is a real bargain on both sites, especially at $7.2K on DK, and Miami’s young wings have had some trouble containing their opponents this season. El Heat rank 27th in opponent 3-point shooting percentage allowed.
The Nuggets will make the journey across the Hudson River to find themselves in another fantasy-friendly environment against the Knicks. Jamal Murray had his best shooting night of the season on Sunday, even going 8-8 from the line, and provides nice value at PG. Will Barton will try to bounce-back after his worst game of the season on Sunday.
Paul Millsap will again look to shine under the bright lights of Broadway, as he has scored 39 or more FD points in each of his last 4 games in Midtown Manhattan. All five of the Nuggets starters’ prices have come down since yesterday. Only Millsap (38) and Murray (31) played over 30 minutes on Sunday.
Tim Hardaway Jr. looks to have finally turned the corner after his monstrous performance against the Cavaliers on Sunday night. As one of the streakiest guys in the league and still costing only $4.3K on FD and $4.9K on DK, his high ownership on Monday’s slate will be well warranted.
For some reason, Kristaps Porzingis’ price actually came down on both FD and DK. The Unicorn draws one of the best matchups in fantasy basketball this season (PF’s against Denver), but will be playing on the second night in a row after logging 36 minutes in Cleveland. THJ played 41 minutes on Sunday night, Courtney Lee – 38, Enes Kanter – 33, and Jarrett “party like its 2007” Jack – 34 minutes.
After Clint Capela put up 16/20/4 blocks (56 FD points) against the Rockets last Wednesday, he’s had 2 down games in a row. Box-score readers will not necessarily realize that Capela was in major foul-trouble in both of those games. In each game, he picked up 3 fouls in the first quarter, limiting him to about 18 minutes per contest. His price fell a little bit and he’s looking to bounce-back in a big way against the Sixers, who surrender the most blocked shots to opponents at 7 per game.
Eric Gordon is expected to return after sitting out Saturday due to illness. Both he and James Harden will take on a huge workload again on Monday and for as long as Chris Paul remains out. The two have a jaw-dropping combined usage rate of 65.5 on the season, which essentially means that when they’re on the court together, either Gordon or Harden is taking the shot on 2 out of every 3 possessions. Harden is probably a better play on Fanduel than DraftKings, where he’s $200 cheaper.
Ben Simmons continues to do everything for his team, and is a serious threat to triple-double again on Monday night. His previous game may have been the best of his young career, shooting 10-15 from the field and sporting an 8:1 assist-turnover ratio.
J.J. Redick, if he returns, would be a nice pivot off Hardaway Jr. Houston’s opponents have been shooting the 3rd highest percentage in the league from beyond the arc.
Both Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins, who did not see their prices increase on Fanduel, will look to stay hot against Orlando. The Magic are allowing the 3rd most Fanduel points per minute in the Association to power forwards and the 6th most to centers. In what should be a fast paced, up-and-down game on a 10-game slate, a Boogie-AD stack should still be pretty low-owned and comes with 130+ fantasy point upside.
Orlando is giving up the 3rd most points in the paint per game to opponents this season, as well the 6th most rebounds and 7th most blocked shots. Boogie Cousins is rocking a 35.9 usage rate on the season.
Now that the Magic’s starters prices aren’t so inflated, everyone will be in play on Monday. In fact, everyone in this game should be in play for us. Aaron Gordon played 36 minutes on Sunday night and figures to have his hands full against the Pelicans’ versatile big men.
The Magic currently rank 4th in the league in pace, due in part to Elfrid Payton’s absence.
Dallas-Utah, Charlotte-Memphis, and San Antonio-Boston all opened with a Vegas game total of 196 or below.
Dallas, still dead last in total rebounding percentage and 28th in defensive rating, is nevertheless a good matchup for Utah center Rudy Gobert. Gobert’s price dropped by $800 on Fanduel after a let-down performance against the Lakers.
Brad Stevens’ Celtics are 2nd best in team defensive rating and are allowing the least Fanduel points per minute to both point guards and shooting guards. The C’s are vulnerable to opposing bigs, however, so we can look for LaMarcus Aldridge to continue carrying the team on his back.
Though he’s not in that great of a matchup, Kyrie Irving is still at his lowest price of the season on both sites. Gregg Popovich, similar to Bill Belichick in the NFL, will often scheme to take away the other team’s best player, making this a scary matchup for Kyrie.
Despite shooting only 7-21 from the field on Saturday, Dame Lillard nearly put up a triple-double, finishing with 25/7/9. Dame Dolla is on a roll to start the season, and we need to be taking advantage of his moderate pricing ($9.3 FD / $8.7 DK) before it begins to rise.
I also like both power forwards in this game, Al-Farouq Aminu and Serge Ibaka, as solid, high-floor cash game plays. Jusuf Nurkic seems to be getting into foul trouble almost every game this season. There’s a 50-fantasy point game in his near future, but Toronto, especially without Valanciunas, is not the type of opponent Nurkic usually excels against.
Portland ranks 1st in total rebounding percentage, 2nd in team offensive rating, and 7th in team defensive rating.
Kyle Lowry, another guy who’s cheaper on Fanduel than he is on DK, is fresh off a triple-double and has registered three straight 40+ Fanduel point performances against the Blazers. I’m really starting to warm-up to the idea of a Lillard-Lowry stack.
Golden State will be traveling down to L.A. after an embarrassing home loss to the Pistons on Sunday night. Chris Paul sat out three Clippers-Warriors contests last season and in those three games, Steph Curry went off for 61, 51, and 55 Fanduel points.
Pat Beverley and Austin Rivers continue to see heavy minutes after the Milos Teodosic’s injury while Lou Williams is barely seeing 20 a night. That could change against the Warriors, where the Clips are going to likely need more of Sweet Lou’s instant offense off the bench if they want to keep up. Williams’ two good games this season (29 & 30 Fanduel points) both came in up-tempo games against the Suns and Lakers. He’s struggled versus the Jazz, Blazers, and Pistons - games where more half-court sets were run.
Both sides are in play if you think this game stays close. The Clippers side may be more appealing with the value they offer in Beverley, Williams, and Gallinari.
As it stands, there doesn’t appear to be much value on this slate. We’ll be monitoring the news and hoping for some cheap options that’ll allow us to jam all the stars into our lineups.
The matchup in the Garden features two teams, the Nuggets and the Knicks, both playing their second game in as many days. The Hornets, Magic, Spurs, and Warriors are also on the second night of a back-to-back.
Let’s Talk About Pace, Baby:
What’s your take on this giant Monday slate? I’d love to hear any feedback in the comments section below.
You can follow Jeremy on Twitter @zinneDFS