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.
Occasionally I want to throw in a little DvP (defense versus positon) rankings for the teams on the upcoming slate. These numbers should not be taken as “plug and play” advice, but rather as another tool or a guide to help you confirm plays you already like. The following rankings are in terms of pace-adjusted (per 100 possessions) Fanduel points per minute allowed. The positions are as defined by Fanduel.
A ranking of “1” indicates that a team has allowed the most Fanduel points to that position, and a ranking of “30” indicates a team has allowed the fewest.
Detroit center Andre Drummond should feast on the glass when the Atlanta Hawks, the team with the 2nd lowest rebounding percentage in the league, visit Mo-Town on Friday. Drummond is averaging 15.3 rebounds per game and has also averaged 0.34 more Fanduel points per minute when playing at home this season.
As I go to check Drummond’s price on Fanduel, I notice that the Detroit–Atlanta game isn’t on the main there – but it is on DraftKings. Not sure what the logic behind this could be.
Moving on, we have Charlotte visiting Boston with the biggest news being that Al Horford will sit this one out with a concussion and Jayson Tatum is listed as questionable. Aron Baynes should draw another start after a solid 21/8 performance against the Lakers. Now at $4.8K on Fanduel, Baynes, who has not seen more than 24 minutes of action despite starting 8 games this year, loses some of his value due to the price hike. The same can be said of Marcus Morris. Whether or not Tatum gives it a go, Marcus Smart and Jaylen Brown would indirectly benefit the most in Horford’s absence. Both Smart and Brown should soak up some of the usage vacated by Big Al, and Smart will handle the ball more and Brown should see more opportunities for rebounds.
We like to attack Boston’s big men and Horford’s absence further solidifies that idea on this slate. Dwight Howard is a better value on DK where he’s only $6.8K as opposed to $7.7K on Fanduel. Frank Kaminsky’s playing time and production has really taken a hit with the return of Cody Zeller for Charlotte. I still think we’re getting a bargain with Marvin Williams at only $4.2K on Fanduel. Against the team allowing the 5th most rebounds to the PF position, you have to think Marvin can improve his rebounding numbers after posting only 3 in each of the last two games.
As we’ve discussed here previously, point guards do not score an extraordinary amount of points against Chicago but they do accumulate all other peripheral stats at a rate well-above the league average. Darren Collison is in a good spot on Friday after his price dipped to $5.7K on Fanduel and is more expensive over on DraftKings. Collison is not a big-time scorer as he only has two games on the season where he posted a usage rate of over 20%. In his previous game, he tied for his season-low of only 3 assists but I think that can improve in the Windy City on Friday.
Ever since Myles Turner returned to action against the Knicks, Victor Oladipo has seen his production dip quite a bit – despite posting a usage rate between 32-33% in each of those games. Oladipo is the most expensive SG on the slate.
Because Chicago will be playing way up in pace versus Indiana, the Bulls side should warrant some consideration on Friday night. A play I really like that could fly under the radar is Lauri Markkanen (pronounced like Lowry). The young Fin has been consistent all season, even leading his team in points (15.8) and rebounds (8.1). Bobby “Bad Temper” Portis will probably garner much higher ownership after putting up a 40-fantasy point game in his return to action.
We can also look to Justin Holiday who carries a fair price of $6K on FD and $5.8K on DK. The 11 field goals and 5 three-pointers Holiday attempted in his last contest were both season lows. Holiday has played less than 30 minutes only once and should have plenty of opportunities to score all sorts of fantasy points in an up-tempo battle with the Pacers.
The Miami at Utah game opened with a game total of only 196.5, and when you consider the other options we have on this slate, you should JUST SAY NO (for cash games). This obviously can change if anyone is ruled out.
The dry heat of the Sonoran Desert should provide for one of the most fantasy friendly environments of the night when the Orlando Magic and their 6th fastest pace visit the Phoenix Suns and their 3rd fastest pace. Fanduel has caught wind of this and appropriately raised the prices of all Magic starters, with the lone exception of Aaron Gordon. The high-flying former Arizona Wildcat should cause matchup nightmares for whoever attempts to guard him.
Whether you want to stack Gordon with Nikola Vucevic or just play one, grabbing a piece of the Orlando front court on Friday will provide a solid building-block for your dfs lineups. Vuc has put up 46 & 47 point Fanduel performances in the two full games he’s played alongside Elfrid Payton this season. Last season Nikola dropped 18/17 and 21/13 on the Suns.
Speaking of Elf, Payton is priced at $8.1K on Fanduel – more expensive than he was all last season. If you exclude the Brooklyn game in which he got hurt, Payton is averaging 10 assists per game this season. As someone who always seems to let us down in spots where on paper he should excel, at that price he’s out of consideration for cash games but the Elf is still a solid tournament option against Phoenix. Tis the season?
Evan Fournier snatched 5 steals in his last game against the Knicks and they all seemed to come in that second quarter. When you’re scrolling through his game logs and looking at his average of 20.5 points per game on the season, keep in mind that most of that production was without Payton on the court. Still though, his shooting percentage of 51% on field goals and 48% on three-pointers is something that can’t be ignored. French Fournier is a top-notch play in all formats.
Orlando is middle-of-the-pack in DvP against point guards but this reflects mostly on a period where Elfrid Payton was out. D.J. Augustin, although he’s much shorter, is still a better defender than Payton so you can probably assume their ranking is a bit “inflated.” Mike James, as long as he stays in the $5K-range, will continue to provide solid value.
One of the top overall plays for me will be Devin Booker in this fast-paced matchup. I wouldn’t necessarily call it a shooting slump, but Booker has been a little cold since returning home from the Suns’ east-coast trip, making only a single three-pointer in each of his last 3 games.
If you’re completely deprived of all other options and are forced to roster Alex Len on Friday, you’ll just need to pray that he finishes with more fantasy points than he does turnovers or fouls. Until the 4th quarter on Wednesday, this was not the case.
The Clippers have just been decimated by injuries this season and are expected to be without Pat Beverley, Milos Teodosic, and Danilo Gallinari with Austin Rivers being listed as questionable with an ankle injury.
Given the injury situation, you have to love Louis Williams who’s holding a usage rate of close to 30% on the season. Coach Doc Rivers has been hesitant to give Sweet Lou more than 20 minutes when everyone is healthy, but that should change when the Clippers only other options are fringe G-Leaguers.
If Austin Rivers can’t take the court on Friday, then the name you’ll want to keep an eye on would be rookie Sindarius Thornwell. Thornwell is the minimum price on Fanduel. Though he isn’t a sure-shot to get as many minutes as Thornwell if Rivers is out, Jawun Evans would be next in line off the Clippers bench. Evans proved he can play in the Association when he got the start in the Clips final preseason game and put up a smooth 22 points and 8 assists.
Blake Griffin is shooting 40.1% from three-point range which is the highest in the league for all players 6’10” and taller (nba.com). Still chillin’ down at $8.4K on Fanduel, I wouldn’t be surprised at all to see Blake finish with a usage rate of close to 40% in this game. OKC is coming off a tough defeat last night in Denver – a game in which Steven Adams left in the fourth quarter with an injury.
There’s not a ton to love in the turtle-emoji Milwaukee @ San Antonio game, but any time Giannis Antetokounmpo is on the slate you’re faced with a tough decision to make. Just as was the case with Milwaukee this past Tuesday in Cleveland, anytime a star player goes on the road in a big game you should expect he’ll be taking a few extra shots as long as the game is close. I’ve mentioned here how I’m sometimes a little weary to play a team’s best player against Gregg Popovich and the Spurs, but The Greek Freak breaks all the rules.
The flowchart would lead us to LaMarcus Aldridge and Pau Gasol on this slate, however each of these players recently saw their Fanduel prices jump by $600 after their last game. The Bucks still rank 26th in the league in total rebounding.
It’s fitting that the track meet of the night will occur in Oregon – the same state in which Nike is headquartered. Dame Lillard had a real off-night while C.J. McCollum took control and shot 14-26 in the Blazers’ last game. Dame has been playing as well as any PG to start the season and I fully expect him to scrap his way back for a bounce-back performance against the Nets. After all, on his album Confirmed, Lillard raps: “I’m Dame Dolla, check my blue collar.”
C.J. McCollum is entirely too cheap on Fanduel right now at only $7.3K. Since the Wizards are off this slate, Friday’s edition of Beal or BookerÔ could very well be McCollum or Booker (also ÔÒÓ all rights reserved). 3-J’s mouth must be watering in anticipation for a matchup with Brooklyn at home – an opponent which he’s dropped 31, 33, and 34 real-life points against in his last 3 matchups.
After 3 very solid fantasy performances in a row, Jusuf Nurkic came back down to reality in his last game versus Memphis where he finished with only 13 fantasy points in 20 minutes. Picking up 3 early fouls put a damper on his night and Nurk was never able get in a groove after that. Against the team ranked 24th in total rebounding, The Bosnian Beast would figure to be in a good spot on Friday, although Brooklyn’s run-and-gun style is not the type of game where he’s traditionally dominated. $8.5K on Fanduel is a steep price to pay when you can grab him for only $6.8K on DraftKings.
It’s typically not a good strategy to try and anticipate what moves Coach Terry Stotts may make during a game, but if he does decide to play small-ball or if Nurkic gets benched, Maurice Harkless could play some PF while Ed Davis gets run at center. Evan Turner has seen his minutes increasing ever since Al-Farouq Aminu got injured and is the safest play of all the cheap PDX guys.
D’Angelo Russell is the only guy on the Brooklyn side you can really feel good about, and Russell is coming off a poor performance in Denver where he only saw 21 minutes. We want to attack Portland at the PF position, so Rondae Hollis-Jefferson will be in play if it’s announced that he will return from his 1-game absence.
Alan Crabbe will be making his return to Portland where he spent the first 4 years of his career. Perhaps as a welcome-home gift, Coach Kenny Atkinson will play him for 25 minutes as opposed to his season average of 24.5 minutes.
The Thunder are on the second night of a back-to-back.
The Hawks, Nets, Clippers, Bucks, Magic, Bulls, Jazz, Spurs, and Suns all play again on Saturday night.
Let’s Talk About Pace, Baby:
ATL (8) @ DET (20)
CHA (11) @ BOS (21)
IND (9) @ CHI (28)
LAC (24) @ OKC (18)
MIL (25) @ SAS (27)
ORL (6) @ PHX (3)
MIA (17) @ UTA (26)
BKN (1) @ POR (19)
(League rank as of 11/9)
Will you be paying up for Giannis or going with a more “fair-and-balanced” lineup? I’d love to hear any feedback in the comments section below.
You can follow Jeremy on Twitter @zinneDFS