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.
Despite playing at the 3rd slowest pace in the league, opponents are attempting the most three-point shots per game (33.3) against Sacramento. The only concern we should have when rostering Bradley Beal and John Wall on this slate would be the potential for a blowout. When the two teams met earlier this season in SacTown, neither of the Wizards’ starting guards saw any action in the fourth quarter. On both Fanduel and DraftKings, Wall’s and Beal’s prices are down a few hundred dollars and, even in the worst-case scenario of a blowout, can probably do enough damage in just 3 quarters to not kill your lineup.
The Cleveland Cavaliers are allowing opponents to shoot over 40% on three-pointers – tied with the Chicago Bulls for the highest mark in the league. In terms of most pace-adjusted Fanduel points per minute allowed, Cleveland ranks in the top 6 to the PG, SG, and SF positions. Tim Hardaway Jr. loves nothing more than facing off with Coach Tyronn Lue’s squad, dropping 56, 38, 34, and 40 Fanduel points in their last four matchups. Coming off his 4-real-life point dud against the Kings Saturday, I fully expect THJ to bounce-back in a big way.
Kristaps Porzingis has led the Knicks to a 7-5 record and has thrust himself into the way-to-early season MVP discussion. Sporting a usage rate of 32.5% on the season, PorzinGod also tied his season-high of 12 rebounds earlier this season against the Cavs. While he’s basically a lock to get you close to 30 real-life points every night, if he can again put up a double-double to go along with the 2.3 blocks he’s averaging per game, a 60+ fantasy point night is entirely possible.
What better place for LeBron James to bounce-back from two mediocre performances than his favorite arena, Madison Square Garden? Following his last game in Dallas, LeBron made some comments praising Dennis Smith Jr. and stating that he thinks the Knicks made a poor decision by passing on Smith Jr. and instead drafting Frank Ntilikina. Don’t think these comments by James weren’t calculated, as he very likely knew his next game was in New York and he sometimes likes to create a little extra motivation for himself. Especially if Derrick Rose misses again for the Cavaliers, look for LeBron to put on a show Monday in the Garden.
Even though the Knicks are 2nd best in the league in rebounding, and rank 2nd best against power forwards and 7th best against opposing centers, Kevin Love still has some value left at his price tag of $7.5K on both sites. He can probably project for between 30-40 fantasy points on Monday night.
The Atlanta Hawks rank last in the league in rebounding, 26th in offensive rating, and 27th in defensive rating. They travel down to NoLa to take on the unstoppable force otherwise known as Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins. Poor Luke Babbitt, who I’m sure is a really nice guy, probably just wet his pants thinking about this matchup. Again, you can’t go wrong with either AD or Boogie in this matchup, however if I had to pick, I like the fact that Davis’ salary on Fanduel is down to the lowest it’s been since October 20.
On the other side of the ball we can look to Dennis Schroder who’s seeing a usage rate of 30% on the season. Schroder’s price of $7K on Fanduel is $500 lower than it’s been at any point this year. There’s no guarantees with the erratic Schroder, but a price drop this significant means that a huge game is lurking somewhere in his near future.
Barring any injuries or late-breaking news, Giannis Antetokounmpo and Marc Gasol are really the only players we should be interested in when the Grizzlies invade Milwaukee (I’m surprised they haven’t made a movie about that concept already). Gasol has been solid, but not spectacular, this season and will be facing the team ranked 25th in rebounding. His price tag of $7.6K on Fanduel is also the lowest it’s been all year.
Anytime the Lakers and Suns share the court with each other, any player who sees significant minutes will be squarely in play for us. DvP would suggest that the Lakers are very bad against opposing PG, SG, and PF, while being very tough against SF and C.
Devin Booker has been very streaky to start the season, and will look to carry over the momentum after shooting 13-22 on fg’s and 5-9 on three-pointers in his last game. An up-tempo game at home with only a 2-point spread? You can book it! (I love dad jokes).
It’s clear that Coach Jay Triano is not committed to giving any of his big guys (Marquese Chriss, Alex Len, Tyson Chandler, Dragan Bender, and Jared Dudley) consistent minutes unless he’s forced to do so because of injury. As great of a spot as they’ll all be in, you’re still rolling the dice and praying whoever you roster doesn’t randomly get benched and can also stay out of foul trouble.
Tyler Ulis started the Suns’ last game over Mike James, and is again listed in their game notes as the starter. It’s possible that, because the Suns only have a few more weeks before they must decide if they want to sign James to an NBA contract, they’re wanting to take a longer look at Ulis. Despite starting the last game, Ulis only saw 25 minutes, making both Phoenix point guards a bit risky for Monday.
On the Lakers’ side, we can expect Lonzo Ball to be popular coming off his triple-double and returning to the spot where he dropped 55 Fanduel points earlier in the season. Jordan Clarkson is in a good spot and cheap at $4.3K on FD and $4.5K on DK. On a 9-game slate that’s loaded at every positon, it’ll be tough to roster Clarkson considering he’s only seen 20 minutes of action in each of his last two games, even in an exceptional matchup. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope is a value option at SG, and even though he’s only shown a ceiling of about 32 fantasy points this season, he probably won’t kill your roster at his sub-$5K salary.
After two horrendous shooting performances, Brandon Ingram is poised to bounce-back in an enormous way in this up-tempo matchup with the Suns. Ingram has logged over 35 minutes in every game since the Larry Nance Jr. injury.
Someone who I personally hope goes overlooked on this slate would be Brook Lopez. After going on a nice little three-game terror, Lopez has seen his minutes drop to around 20 per game over his last three – mainly due to bad matchups. Brook has recorded 2 or more blocks in 8 of his last 9 games. What’s most appealing is that his price is down to $5.7K on Fanduel, where it has already reached as high as $7.5K this season.
Kyle Kuzma would figure to be better suited to blow up in an up-tempo game than would Julius Randle, and Kuzma seems to be locked into a bigger workload – having played 34 or more minutes in every game he’s started this season.
With Rudy Gobert expected to miss a month of action, we can again turn to Derrick Favors when the Jazz play way up in pace versus the T-Wolves. Favors saw 39 minutes in his last game and would be expected to see minutes in the mid-30’s again. Even against Minnesota who has been very tough against opposing big men this season, Favors will be in play for us due to sheer volume. I’d love this play a lot more if he were facing a team like the Nets again. Don’t expect a repeat performance of 46 Fanduel points, but if he gets you 30 in this situation you should be happy with it.
Donovan Mitchell is expected to start his third game in a row for the Jazz with Rodney Hood again coming off the bench. The move seems to be benefitting both players. Mitchell’s price of $5.8K on both sites seems to be rising to match with his production. As long as he can stay out of foul trouble, Mitchell should still be a good play against Minnesota who’s giving up the 3rd most Fanduel points per minute to the SG position. So far this season, all of Donovan’s big performances of 30+ fantasy points have come in home games – which is typical for a rookie.
Opponents are shooting OVER 50% on field goals against Minnesota this year – by far the highest percentage in the league.
In one of many “revenge games” where players are facing their former squads on Monday night, Ricky Rubio draws the flow-chart matchup for point guards – a date with Jeff Teague and the Timberwolves. Minnesota is still allowing the most pace-adjusted Fanduel points per minute to the PG spot, and Utah is playing up 14 spots in pace. All the stars seem to be aligning for Rubio on this Monday night.
The Trailblazers are dealing with some injuries of their own as Damian Lillard sat out of practice Sunday with a finger injury and Jusuf Nurkic told reports he was dealing with a sore back after Friday’s game against the Nets. Both are expected to play and start on Monday, but we’ll keep need to double-check the news following shootaround.
Nurk did not play at all during the fourth quarter of their last game as the rest of his team collapsed and eventually lost to Brooklyn. If he’s healthy enough to play, The Bosnian Beast should be super motivated to have a bounce-back game against the team who shipped him to the Pacific Northwest in exchange for one of the 14 Plumlee brothers last year. When Nurkic’s Blazers met the Nuggets last season in a de-facto play-in game for the 8 seed in the Western Conference, he annihilated his former team en-route to a 33/16/3 block gem.
At $7K on FD and $7.2K on DK, C.J. McCollum is still cheap compared to where his salary’s been most of the season. If Lillard plays but isn’t 100%, C.J. would handle the ball more and try to improve on his season average of 2.6 assists per game, down from 3.6 per game last season.
If Gary Harris misses his second consecutive game for the Nuggets, Will Barton would again start in his place. Harris is listed as a game-time decision and we hope to have word on his status before 7:00 pm ET lineup-lock on Monday. Barton was electrifying in his start on Saturday, finishing with 26/9/5 and 49 Fanduel points despite only a 19% usage rate.
With Pat Beverley and Danilo Gallinari likely to miss for the Clippers, Sindarius Thornwell and Wesley Johnson are slated to draw their third and fourth consecutive starts, respectively. Against a Philadelphia team with the highest turnover percentage and second most blocks per game allowed, fitting some Clippers’ players into your dfs lineups on Monday would be a wise strategy.
Lou Williams will continue to come off the bench and has averaged over 37 minutes and 19 field goal attempts in the two games Beverley has missed. Even at a loaded shooting guard position, Sweet Lou, one of the smoothest offensive players in the game, is the first player I’m locking into my lineups on Monday.
Without a true point guard on their active roster, Blake Griffin has been initiating the offense more than anyone else for the Clippers. As long as he’s not out there daydreaming about what he’s going to text to Kendall Jenner after the game, Blake should be the next big man to dominate the Sixers. He’s getting plenty of opportunities, averaging 23 shots per game with Beverley and Gallo out, but he’s really struggling, only making an average of 7 of those shots across the two games they’ve been absent.
Monday will mark J.J. Redick’s return to Staples Center, where he spent the last four seasons as a member of the Clips. For some reason, the hype surrounding Redick’s return is not quite the same as it was for Durant’s first game back in OKC or LeBron’s return to Cleveland. Redick has gotten into a groove on this west-coast road swing, quietly recording over 25 Fanduel points in each of his last four games.
Even though the Sixers will be playing down in pace to the Clippers, T.J. McConnell and Dario Saric are each priced nicely at $4.6K on Fanduel ($4.7K and $4.5K on DK) and are almost a lock to see 30 minutes of action which could very easily net you 5X value. Robert Covington saw his price drop on both sites and could be in play against the Clippers without Gallo – who is a sneaky-good defender.
The Warriors opened as 14.5 point favorites over the Magic, an indication that anything less than a Herculean effort from the Orlando squad would likely result in a blowout. As its been for the past few years, rostering Golden State Warriors in these types of games carries a ton of unnecessary risk. After defeating five straight opponents by 17 or more points, none of the Warriors starters are even seeing the court in the fourth quarter, aside from the occasional Klay Thompson, or the even less common Draymond Green or Kevin Durant, stint with the second unit.
If this game, which has a total of 232, does stay close, then the starters for both teams would find themselves in a great spot to win you a tournament. Either way, with D.J. Augustin already being ruled out and Elfird Payton still questionable, Jonathon “Juice” Simmons would make for a solid play on the Magic side. At a fair price of only $4.4K on Fanduel, Juice is no stranger to facing the Warriors, starting and performing well against them last season in the playoffs as a member of the Spurs.
For what it’s worth, the Orlando Magic’s game notes do have Elfrid Payton listed as a starter for this contest. Game notes, however, are about as trustworthy as that person on the other end of the phone who’s promising you a free Caribbean cruise if you just pass along all your credit card information.
No teams are on a back-to-back (lots of clubbing going on tonight).
Let’s Talk About Pace, Baby:
SAC (28) @ WAS (8)
CLE (15) @ NYK (26)
MEM (30) @ MIL (22)
ATL (10) @ NOP (7)
LAL (4) @ PHX (2)
MIN (11) @ UTA (25)
DEN (16) @ POR (20)
ORL (6) @ GSW (5)
PHI (3) @ LAC (19)
(League rank as of 11/12)
I’d love to hear any feedback in the comments section below.
You can follow Jeremy on Twitter @zinneDFS