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.

Notes

Andre Drummond was disappointing as a chalk dfs play on Wednesday, especially after he was outscored by Joel Embiid by an astonishing 55 Fanduel points! Drummond will draw the 3rd best matchups for centers this season when he faces Indiana. Marc Gasol (albeit without Mike Conley in the lineup) just went off for 35/13 and 5 blocks against the Pacers, and Myles Turner has recently told the media that he is still not fully recovered from the concussion he sustained earlier in the season. Drummond has Friday night bounce-back written all over him.

Tobias Harris will also find himself in a good spot in an up-tempo game against the Pacers. Harris is seeing a usage rate of 23% on the season and is shooting 51% on three-pointers, 4th best in the league. About a week ago (week ago), Tobias hit 5-9 from long distance in a Pistons’ blowout victory over Indiana. 

The Wizards and Heat will meet again for the second time in three days, only this time in the nation’s capital. John Wall performed well in this matchup on Wednesday, finishing with 49 Fanduel points and getting to the free throw line 8 times. Teammate Brad Beal got to the line 14 times and finished with 39 Fanduel points despite shooting only 1-6 from three-point territory. 

The L.A. Clippers are expected to be without Pat Beverley, Milos Teodosic, and Danilo “The Italian String Bean” Gallinari once again when they take on the Cavaliers. Lou Williams has seen close to 40 minutes per game to go along with 19 field goal attempts a game in the trio’s absence. In response, Fanduel now has Sweet Lou listed as their 2nd highest-priced SG. 

A super-cheap and super-low owned PG play on Friday night will be Sindarius Thornwell of the Clippers. Thornwell has started three games in a row and has seen minute totals of 22, 31, and 30. The production hasn’t really been there for Thornwell, but a matchup with the Cavaliers can certainly change that. Thornwell is not really a threat to score more than 10-15 points on the offensive end, but if he can grab you a few steals and blocks, he will easily crush his value.

Blake Griffin has looked old, bloated, unaggressive and unathletic this season, but at least he will be happy to catch up with Tristian Thompson and gossip about the Kardashian family – as that seems to be the only thing he’s concerned with right now. If you roster Blake, at least you know that the opportunities will be there (an average of 24 field goal attempts and 8 three-point attempts over the last three games). Blake will handle the ball a ton and settle for dozens of nauseating bad-looks from mid-range, but still should have a very safe floor of 35 fantasy points thanks to pure volume.

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On the Cavs side, LeBron James is still a nice play at $11.4K and will draw an even better matchup with Gallo being out. The Clippers are giving up the 4th most pace-adjusted Fanduel points per minute to the SF position. 

While most of us have probably been let-down by Kevin Love this season, Friday might be the time to go back to the well with the Cavaliers’ starting center. If we can anticipate the Clippers running out DeAndre Jordan, or even Willie Reed, for most of the game, the Cavs will almost have no other choice than to counter with Love. K-Love has seen minute totals in only the mid-20’s in his last two contests. The Cavs best lineup right now consists of LeBron, Dwyane Wade, Jeff Green, and Kyle Korver. If Love gets the minutes and therefore the opportunities, he’s likely to give fits to Jordan or whoever tries to cover him on the perimeter. Opposing centers are shooting over 40% from three-point territory against the Clips.

Spencer Dinwiddie will likely be called on to start his second game in a row for the D’Angelo Russell and Jeremy Lin-less Nets. In Dinwiddie’s three starts on the year, he’s logged 31, 17 (at Denver in a back-to-back), and 34 minutes, and has scored 38, 10, and 33 Fanduel points. Ever since Rudy Gobert has been out, the Jazz have been a different team – specifically they have been much softer defensively. Dinwiddie did not play when these two teams met last week, but as long as Coach Kenny Atkinson plays him over 30 minutes again, he should be a safe value play that projects for 25-30 fantasy points.

No one who’s part of the DG Courtroom jury is sleeping on Donovan Mitchell of the Jazz, but the same cannot be said for the NBA dfs community as a whole. Mitchell, who’s from the greater NYC area, had a tremendous first half against the Knicks but struggled down the stretch en route to only 24 Fanduel points on Wednesday. “Spida” Mitchell now gets the team ranked 1st in the league in pace – the Brooklyn Nets. Last week in this same matchup in SLC, Mitchell shot 10-18 to finish with 34 Fanduel points. With or without Ricky Rubio, who’s questionable with an Achilles and is also losing some ball-handling duties to Mitchell, Spida is a near lock to record his 6th 20+ real-life point game of the season.

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In addition to playing at the fastest pace, Brooklyn holds the 6th worst true-shooting percentage, which makes it logical that they allow opponents to grab the greatest number of rebounds (49.5) per game. It won’t be fun rostering Derrick Favors at a price tag of $6.5K on Fanduel, but in doing so you can feel comfortable knowing that Favors will see big minutes (averaging over 30 in each game since Gobert went down) and can scrap his way to a solid 30 or so Fanduel points.

Rodney Hood has excelled in his new role off the bench, registering 9, 8, 6, and 12 three-point attempts in those four games. Now at a season-high price tag of $5.7K on Fanduel, he is no longer a value play but still a high-upside contrarian tournament play on Friday.

With Norm Powell listed as doubtful in the Raptors’ game notes, OG Anunoby should draw his third-consecutive start. Coach Dwane Casey told the media he’d be cautious with his rookie on the second-half of a back-to-back on Wednesday, as Anunoby is fresh off off-season knee surgery. With the Raptors not being on a back-to-back, I see no reason why we can’t go back to the well with OG – who’s priced only $200 above the minimum on Fanduel. The 6’8” wing also has the wingspan of a legitimate raptor, spanning 8’0”.

DeMar DeRozan has scored 24 or more points in seven consecutive games, and has a usage rate of over 32% on the season. The Knicks’ big men have made their strong presence in the paint felt by their opponents this season – evident by the fact that their opponents are attempting a league-leading 34.0 three-point shots per game. 

With Delon Wright’s shoulder injury, Fred VanVleet should see an uptick in minutes as the primary backup PG. Per rotoworld.com, “Wright played 85 minutes next to Kyle Lowry, 140 minutes next to VanVleet, and those numbers include 11 minutes next to both. Wright was also first on the team in fourth-quarter minutes.”

Portland ranks 1st in the league in total rebound percentage, while their opponent on Friday night, the Kings, rank dead last. Sacramento is also the not-so-proud holders of the league’s 2nd worst offensive rating as well as the 2nd worst defensive rating. 

The one play I am intrigued by on Portland is center Jusuf Nurkic. After watching Dewayne freaking Dedmon look like Wilt Chamberlin against the Kings, Sacramento just might be the new “flow-chart” matchup for centers. Willie Cauley-Stein, who recently compared himself to Kristaps Porzingis (LOL), was benched last game after getting dominated by Dedmon. The good news for the Bosnian Beast is that he played the entire 4th quarter in his last game versus the Magic.

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C.J. McCollum is currently leading the league shooting 53% on three-pointers, but the Kings are limiting opposing shooting guards to the second lowest three-point percentage in the league (32%). McCollum’s price went up by $400 on Fanduel, and we don’t really need to play anyone from this game in cash. 

One of the most fun matchups to watch will be Nikola Jokic and the Nuggets doing battle with Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins and the Pelicans. It’s always tough playing too many guys on the road in Denver, and Davis only logged 23 and 28 minutes in his two matchups in the Mile-High City last season. Both Pelicans’ big men will still be top-plays, however, as AD’s price is the lowest it’s been since the 3rd game of the season and Boogie’s is its lowest since the 4th game. Davis also draws the 3rd best matchup for power forwards.

It was announced Thursday that Rajon Rondo will see between 20-24 minutes of action, after dishing out 8 assists in only 14 minutes of action in his past game. At only $4.2K on Fanduel, and even with the limited minutes, Rondo is one of the top values on the slate. Guess who’s back (into our dfs lives)?

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Rondo told nba.com: “Due to the schedule, we didn’t have a lot of time to practice (recently), so I’m using the game as my practice to get my rhythm and get better.”

With the Nuggets getting 3 days of rest, Gary Harris is expected to slide back into the starting lineup, sending Will Barton back to sixth man duties. If Harris is a full-go and not subject to any limitations, he figures to be a safe play with moderately-high upside. We see guys return from injuries and put up big performances in their returns all the time, so I like Harris in this pace-up spot at home.

Barton will shift back to the bench if Harris returns, but fret not because Will the Thrill is more likely to be chucking up shots in this role. Barton has a usage rate of 22% on the season, but recorded rates below 20% in each of his two starts.

Lonzo Ball will have a chance to bounce-back from his dreadful performance on national television Wednesday, a game in which he got benched down the stretch in favor of Jordan Clarkson. Coach Luke Walton indicated Thursday that Ball will remain in the Lakers’ starting five (at least for the near future). Out of 140 qualified players, Ball, with his cringe-worthy shooting motion, ranks dead last with a 23% three-point field goal percentage. The Phoenix Suns do hold the 5th worst team defensive rating when it comes to defending opposing guards. 

Fanduel finally decided to raise the prices of both L.A. shooting guards – Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Jordan Clarkson. Caldwell-Pope is still too cheap, at $5.3K, and has been as steady as they come this season. The true definition of a “3 and D” guy, KCP already drained 4 of 9 three-pointers in a game against Phoenix earlier this season. 

Devin Booker has crushed the Lakers twice already this season, averaging 23 field goal attempts and 46 Fanduel points in their two matchups. D-Booker even played some point guard down the stretch when the Lakers beat the Suns on Monday. It’s clear that he and T.J. Warren will be taking the bulk of the shots on any given night, so if Booker can pick up a few extra dimes it will only make him even more valuable in dfs. Booker was dealing with a little bit of an illness before Thursday’s game with the Rockets, so we’ll need to monitor the news prior to lineup lock on Friday.

Tyson Chandler will be out once again and Fanduel did not raise the price of Greg “Moose” Monroe – who started in Chandler’s place on Thursday. Moose looked fresh and better than ever Thursday against the Rockets, and at only $700 above the minimum on Fanduel, it will be hard not to plug him into your lineups.

Personally, I will be checking the news to see what Coach Jay Triano says in his post-game comments and again tomorrow before lineup lock, and then sprinting (although it’s not necessary) to get Monroe into my cash game lineups.

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Back2Back Watch

The Suns are playing on the second night of a back-to-back.

The Hornets, Clippers, Trail Blazers, Jazz, Mavericks, and Kings all play again on Saturday.

Let’s Talk About Pace, Baby

DET (23) @ IND (8)
MIA (18) @ WAS (13)
UTA (26) @ BKN (1)
LAC (17) @ CLE (12)
NYK (24) @ TOR (14)
CHA (9) @ CHI (28)
OKC (20) @ SAS (27)
MIN (16) @ DAL (19)
POR (22) @ SAC (29)
NOP (7) @ DEN (15)
PHX (2) @ LAL (3)
(League rank as of 11/16)

I’d love to hear any feedback in the comments section below.

You can follow Jeremy on Twitter @zinneDFS