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.
"This is like the twilight zone. Every time he's in a new uniform you're like, 'OK.' But not that team. It will never seem right. For me, I hate it." – Heat Coach Erik Spoelstra on Dwyane Wade suiting up for the Cleveland Cavaliers (bleacherreport.com).
It shouldn’t come as that big of a surprise (at least not to any of us) if LeBron James were to sit out the second night of the Cavaliers back-to-back. While this is just speculation on my part, LeBron did take a hard fall in Monday’s night came where he appeared to land on the same elbow that had been bothering him in the off-season. After that fall in the third quarter, LeBron only attempted 1 or 2 more jump shots, didn’t drive to the basket, and was throwing cross-court passes with his left hand (which normally wouldn’t be notable since he is left-handed off the basketball court). He also has a history of sitting against Miami, having “rested” 3 out of the last 6 times the Cavs have met his former team. It is notable that all 3 times he sat were during games in Miami, never in Cleveland.
If LeBron does happen to sit, both Wade and Jeff Green become unbelievable value plays. Either way, Wade is currently playing like it’s 2006 all over again and is one of the top SG plays on the slate.
The Cavaliers are as hot as anybody in the league right now, and suddenly not a team we love to target for dfs purposes. Over the past week, they’re giving up the 4th fewest Fanduel points per minute to their opponents.
Coach Spoelstra told the Palm Beach Post that Hassan Whiteside’s sore knee wasn’t the reason he was benched for the 4th quarter of the Heat’s last game. While he’s probable to play on Tuesday, now we not only have to be concerned about an injury but also because he’s at risk of being benched for Kelly Olynyk again. The Heat closed their last game with Olynyk, James Johnson, Wayne Ellington, Tyler Johnson, and Goran Dragic.
You’ll be rolling the dice with any of the Heat players outside of Dragic, but Tyler Johnson could be the one worth betting on for Tuesday. Tyler has seen over 25 minutes in three out of his last four games, and last season he averaged 32 Fanduel points and 30 minutes a game against Cleveland – all coming in his role off the bench.
Tim Frazier draws another start in place of the injured John Wall, and the dfs industry has taken noticed and raised his price to $4.9K on FD but only $4.1K on DK. Minnesota has slowly but surely been improving their defense, specifically against point guards, but Frazier should see over 30 minutes again and will remain one of the top PG plays.
Brad Beal benefits the most in Wall’s absence, where he is seeing a 4.9% bump in usage with Wall off the court this season. Otto Porter sees a 3.5% increase in usage, but after his 51-Fanduel point game he’s seen his price rise by a full $1K on Fanduel to $7.3K. Porter is a better play on DK, at only $6.4K.
Markieff Morris is shooting only 24% this season without Wall on the court.
We’ll need to keep an eye out for Jeff Teague’s status for Tuesday, because if he’s out Tyus Jones would again step into the starting lineup. In his last two games filling in for Teague, Jones has recorded a startling 11 steals, which obviously cannot be maintained. Even if you take away the fantasy points he’s received for those steals, Tyus is still getting 25-30 when he starts in Teague’s place.
If Teague’s out, Jimmy Butler would be called upon to run the offense more and stands to benefit as much as Jones would. Butler, at $8.8K, is not cheap on Fanduel, however, he’s a much more affordable $7.6K on DK.
Andrew Wiggins sees a usage increase of 2.3% when Teague is off the floor this season.
On only a five-game slate, we can feel safe about putting Taj Gibson into our Fanduel lineups for the price of $5.3K. He’s not as good of a play at $5.8K on DraftKings, but Gibson has been steady all year long and is tied with teammate Karl-Anthony Towns for 11th in the league in offensive rebounds per game at 2.8. Washington is only ranked 22nd in team defensive rebounding.
They should recommend wearing solar eclipse glasses not to cause any damage to your eyes if you plan on watching the ugliness that is Phoenix at Chicago. If Devin Booker returns for the Suns, he should be in a good spot. Booker is a player that traditionally has performed better on the road.
If Booker’s out again, theoretically T.J. Warren should benefit the most, although this wasn’t the case during the last game. Mike James actually came through with the best performance.
Lauri Markkanen and Denzel Valentine have been playing better than anyone else on the Bulls, but both saw large price increases on Fanduel that make me a little hesitant of rostering either. The rookie Markkanen has proven he’s not afraid to let it fly anytime he touches the ball outside of the arc.
The real sneaky play on the Bulls side is Antonio Blakeney – purely because of the nature of this slate. Blakeney doesn’t do much besides score, but he’s got crazy hops and is an elite athlete who loves to shoot when given the opportunities.
Donovan Mitchell’s price has risen to $7.3K on Fanduel, which is well-warranted thanks to his recent performance. He has failed to reach 30 fantasy points only twice in his last seven games. The rookie, “Spida”, shot 6-10 from long distance in his last game and now has the chance to shine on national television.
Wilson Chandler is again listed as questionable for Denver and if he can’t go, Will Barton becomes a near plug-and-play. It’s unfortunate that on this five-game slate the SG position on Fanduel is so loaded.
Juancho Hernangomez also comes into play if Chandler sits. Hernangomez is near the minimum salary on Fanduel.
Milwaukee (27th in pace) against Sacramento (28th in pace), with a game total of only 198.5, will not be a game we want to target heavily, even on only a 5-game slate. This, of course, could change with any late news we receive.
Giannis Antetokounmpo, fresh off giving his assistant coach the business, could very easily be the highest scoring player on the entire slate. While it is somewhat concerning that his game logs show 4 sub-par performances in a row, last season the Greek Freak came into Sac-Town on a string of 7-straight 44-or-below fantasy point performances and broke out of his slump by dropping 63 Fanduel points.
Sacramento will be playing on the heels of a back-to-back, which is also the club’s 3rd game in 4 days. Typically in this situation, Coach Dave Jaeger likes to do funky things like rest veterans such as Zach Randolph, George Hill, or Kosta Koufos. If both Z-Bo and Koufus happen to be out, Willie Cauley-Stein becomes a near lock.
Cleveland and Sacramento are on the second night of a back-to-back.
The Heat, Suns, Wizards, and Timberwolves play again on Wednesday.
Let’s Talk About Pace, Baby:
MIA (21) @ CLE (12)
PHX (2) @ CHI (18)
WAS (14) @ MIN (16)
DEN (11) @ UTA (26)
MIL (27) @ SAC (28)
(League rank as of 11/27)
I’d love to hear any feedback in the comments section below.
You can follow Jeremy on Twitter @zinneDFS