DraftKings DFS NBA Strategy Advice: Saturday (8/1)
The first-weekend slate is upon us, with five games scheduled to run today. Nobody is operating on a back-to-back of any sort, so there won’t be any need to pay extra attention. One thing to note: it’s an all-day slate with lineup locks at 1:00 p.m. EST. Ensure your late-game choices are certain to play, though it will certainly require some projection with such an early lock.
|Monte Morris (DEN)||vs. MIA||$3,500||⭐⭐||MEDIUM|
|Malcolm Brogdon (IND)||vs. PHI||$5,800||⭐⭐⭐||HIGH|
|Mike Conley (UTA)||@ OKC||$5,400||⭐⭐⭐||MEDIUM|
There is a bevy of options at the point guard spot on today’s slate. The first thing to note is the Denver Nuggets’ list of injuries, which includes Will Barton and Gary Harris and their “out” statuses for today’s game. While Monte Morris probably won’t draw the start, he could be in line for significant minutes and a strong role off the bench, particularly if Jamal Murray is sidelined with a minor leg ailment. Fred VanVleet is as consistent as they come, and even though he plays the Lakers’ third-ranked defense, he has the potential to go off any given day. Malcolm Brogdon could potentially miss the game today due to a neck injury, so ensure he’s a go if you’re inserting him in your lineups. One thing to note is that the Pacers are missing Domantas Sabonis and potentially Victor Oladipo — both of which could severely increase Brogdon’s usage rate.
|Torrey Craig (DEN)||vs. MIA||$3,000||⭐⭐⭐||LOW|
|Aaron Holiday (IND)||vs. PHI||$4,000||⭐⭐⭐||LOW|
|Dion Waiters (LAL)||@ TOR||$3,100||⭐⭐||HIGH|
The shooting guard position is one that offers fewer value plays than others, but there are still players to be found. As I mentioned previously, the Nuggets are currently banged up, particularly at the wing positions. With that being the case, Torrey Craig will draw a start and potentially significant playing time, which is very intriguing at his price point. Aaron Holiday — like Craig — is expected to enter the starting lineup, according to head coach Nate McMillan. If that goes as planned, he could provide value at such a cheap price, but it could prove tough with one of the better defensive teams across the court in the Philadelphia 76ers. Lastly, Dion Waiters is a true buy-low option for a Lakers team that just played a day or two ago. With not that much to play for, the Lakers could look to lessen the load on their starters, making way for guys like Waiters to come on and produce.
|Michael Porter Jr. (DEN)||vs. MIA||$3,000||⭐⭐⭐||LOW|
|Paul George (LAC)||vs. NOP||$7,900||⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐||MEDIUM|
|Joe Ingles (UTA)||@ OKC||$5,500||⭐⭐⭐||MEDIUM|
Michael Porter Jr. is one of the more fun options on this slate, especially if he finds his way into extended playing time. With both Barton and Harris sidelined, that should certainly be the case, and at such a cheap price tag, MPJ doesn’t need to do a ton to reach value. Paul George was downright electric in his first game back against the Los Angeles Lakers — he managed 47.25 DraftKings points on 30 total points. PG13 is still offered at a discounted price tag and could pay off in a major way because of it. The Indiana Pacers are currently slated for the second-least implied points on the day, so approach their roster with caution. T.J. Warren is probably an afterthought unless either of Brogdon or Oladipo is sidelined by way of injury.
|Jerami Grant (DEN)||vs. MIA||$4,000||⭐⭐⭐||MEDIUM|
|JaKarr Sampson (IND)||vs. PHI||$3,000||⭐⭐||MEDIUM|
|Pascal Siakam (TOR)||vs. LAL||$8,400||⭐⭐⭐||MEDIUM|
|Brandon Ingram (NOP)||@ LAC||$7,800||⭐⭐⭐||MEDIUM|
Like most of his teammates, Jerami Grant could provide significant value on today’s slate as a starter in place of Harris and Barton. The game is expected to operate at an extremely slow pace, but Grant’s price tag remains very fair. JaKarr Sampson — like Grant — could enter the starting lineup by way of injury (Sabonis). Sampson doesn’t offer much of a ceiling, but he’s an interesting option if you’re looking to pay down at the position and who’ll likely get a decent amount of run. Pascal Siakam and Brandon Ingram headline this group, but both guys should have relatively tough matchups opposing them — which doesn’t mean cross them off, but to instead approach with caution.
|Serge Ibaka (TOR)||vs. LAL||$6,400||⭐⭐⭐||MEDIUM|
|Myles Turner (IND)||vs. PHI||$6,200||⭐⭐||MEDIUM|
|Derrick Favors (NOP)||@ LAC||$5,000||⭐⭐⭐||MEDIUM|
|Steven Adams (OKC)||vs. UTA||$5,300||⭐⭐||MEDIUM|
The center position offers unlimited options on today’s slate, with a significant amount of choices across the board at differing price ranges. Arguably, the two most interesting players are Serge Ibaka and Myles Turner. Ibaka may have a tough time seeing enough usage rate to hit his value, but Turner shouldn’t have the same issues. The Pacers are banged up by way of injury and are missing fellow big man Sabonis, allowing for Turner to apply himself even more than usual in the paint. New Orleans Pelicans center Derrick Favors has a decent matchup against Ivica Zubac — one which he could exploit, even if the Clippers are a solid team defensively.
5 Studs Worth Their Salary
- Paul George, LAC ($7,900): The Clippers are in a battle for the second seed in the West, meaning they have no breathing room with the Denver Nuggets barely trailing. Expect another strong performance from George in the juiciest game on this slate.
- Fred VanVleet, TOR ($6,200): The Lakers are likely to focus on stopping the Siakam’s and Kyle Lowry’s, leaving VanVleet with optimal matchups all night. In his one game versus the Lakers this season, FVV scored 52.8 DraftKings points.
- Brandon Ingram, NOP ($7,800): The Pelicans have everything to play for, in addition to this game receiving the highest implied total of the day. Lastly, with Zion Williamson playing in limited minutes, the Pelicans will rely on Ingram’s offensive ability even more than usual.
- Ben Simmons, PHI ($8,600): Simmons has a tough matchup in Brogdon and the Pacers, but he’s had plenty of success against them this season — he’s averaged 45.3 DraftKings points in three previous matchups.
- Donovan Mitchell, UTA ($6,900): Mitchell comes in at a discounted price tag, which is noteworthy because he’s averaged 46.0 DraftKings points against the Oklahoma City Thunder in two contests this season.
5 Notable Players to Fade
- Zion Williamson, NOP ($7,500): As good as he is, Zion isn’t playable until he can get some extended run by way of his minutes. It seems head coach Alvin Gentry will once again deploy him in short spurts.
- Jimmy Butler, MIA ($7,600): Butler is a fantastic player, the only issue is he’ll oppose the seventh-ranked defense in the Pacers. I’d look elsewhere, even if Butler’s price is relatively fair for a player of his caliber.
- Nikola Jokic, DEN ($9,000): In only one game against the Heat this season, Jokic scored a measly 25.3 points. This game has the lowest implied total of the night, which is why you’ll want to limit your exposure between these two teams.
- Victor Oladipo, IND ($6,400): Not only is Oladipo currently listed as questionable, but he’ll have to oppose a tough defense in the 76ers, even if he does suit up. This situation feels like a good one to avoid altogether.
- LeBron James, LAL ($10,900): The Lakers really have no reason to keep trotting out the “Washed King” for extended periods of time, they’ve all but locked up the first seed in the West. The Lakers just played a night or two ago, and LeBron played extended minutes in that contest — it wouldn’t be a surprise to see his workload reduced moving forward.
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