DraftKings DFS NBA Strategy Advice: Sunday (8/2)
Now that every team has played at least one game since the re-start, we have at least some understanding of how coaches want to run their rotations. We can do a lot with that information, but that doesn’t paint the entire picture. Salary changes play a big part in which guys we consider values or overpays compared to their expected production. Let’s dive in and take a look at some of the best value plays on Sunday’s six-game slate.
|Dejounte Murray (SA)||@ MEM||$6,000||⭐⭐⭐⭐||MEDIUM|
|Ish Smith (WAS)||@ BKN||$3,800||⭐⭐⭐||MEDIUM|
|Ricky Rubio (PHO)||vs. DAL||$7,200||⭐⭐⭐||MEDIUM|
DraftKings has done a nice job adjusting player prices based on their recent performances. That leads me to my first value play at point guard. Derrick White is now priced at $6,200 after putting up 26 points, eight rebounds, and five assists against the Kings. Throughout the earlier part of the season, White usually cost around $4,500. While he’s no longer a value, his backcourt teammate DeJounte Murray is. His salary dropped by $100 after playing just 21 minutes in the Spurs’ opener due to foul trouble. He now gets a Grizzlies team that gave up a combined 63 points to Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum on Friday. Additionally, the Spurs are listing Marco Belinelli as doubtful, and it’s unclear if Patty Mills will be available.
Ish Smith took 18 shots in 27 minutes off the bench for the Wizards in their first game back against the Suns. Without Bradley Beal, Washington is hungry for playmakers who can score, and Smith fits that bill. He finished with 17 points, four rebounds, and seven assists, but his price-tag dropped $200 to $3,800. He might be my favorite value play of the day in a pace-up game against a team that doesn’t defend the point guard position very well. Ricky Rubio faces off against the Mavericks, who gave up 153 points to the Rockets. On paper, it looks like they defend well against the guard position, but they gave up 80 points and 16 assists to James Harden and Russell Westbrook. Expect Rubio to have his way against Seth Curry in this one.
|Caris LeVert (BKN)||vs. WAS||$7,800||⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐||LOW|
|Lonnie Walker IV (SA)||@ MEM||$3,500||⭐⭐⭐||MEDIUM|
|Jamal Crawford (BKN)||vs. WAS||$3,000||⭐⭐⭐⭐||HIGH|
For all intents and purposes, the Nets got blown out by the Magic in their first game, leading to Caris LeVert only seeing 28 minutes. His salary remains unchanged at $7,800, and now he gets the Wizards, who are terrible defensively. Oddly enough, LeVert also put up a dud against Orlando back on February 24. The very next game, LeVert put up 62 fantasy points against Washington. If history repeats itself, LeVert is in for a monster performance against the lowly Wizards.
Lonnie Walker IV impressed in the scrimmages, scoring double figures in each game as a starter. Gregg Popovich rewarded the second-year swingman with a starting gig in the team’s first seeding game on Friday. Walker didn’t disappoint, going for 16 points (7-12 FG) with three rebounds and four assists in 32 minutes. For a guy expected to start and see 30+ minutes in a fast-paced game, Walker’s $3,500 salary isn’t nearly high enough.
Jamal Crawford didn’t sign with the Nets to take it easy and get up a couple of shots when on the court. He’s currently listed as questionable due to conditioning, but you could do worse than take a chance on a player at the minimum price who put up 51 points in his last NBA game. He’s high-risk since he may not play, but the Nets play the first game of the day. You’ll have all your options available should you need to swap him out.
|Jayson Tatum (BOS)||vs. POR||$8,200||⭐⭐⭐⭐||LOW|
|Buddy Hield (SAC)||@ ORL||$5,200||⭐⭐⭐||MEDIUM|
|Keldon Johnson (SA)||@ MEM||$3,000||⭐⭐⭐⭐||MEDIUM|
Jayson Tatum couldn’t get it going in Boston’s first game against Milwaukee on Friday, shooting just 2-of-18 from the field. He managed to play 32 minutes, but only finished with seven points and seven boards. Superstars like Tatum usually respond after putting up a dud, and he’s got a great opportunity to do so going up against either Carmelo Anthony or Zach Collins for the Trail Blazers. His salary has dropped to $8,200, so now is the time to take advantage of the incredible value.
Buddy Hield just has to get it going, right? He’s a certified scorer off the bench for a short-handed Sacramento squad playing with just an eight-man rotation. He shot just 2-of-13 from the field (1-8 3PT) in 20 minutes on Friday against the Spurs, but we all know Hield is more than capable of catching fire from long-distance and putting up 20+ points in a hurry.
Keldon Johnson played just 10 games for the Spurs prior to the shutdown, but it seems like Popovich wants to see what he’s got in the young rookie out of Kentucky. He played significant minutes in the Spurs’ three scrimmages and was rewarded with 30 minutes in their first seeding game. Johnson rose to the occasion, going for eight points, six boards, two assists, and one steal. DraftKings didn’t adjust his salary after the solid performance, keeping him at the minimum price. Take advantage while you can.
|Jaren Jackson Jr. (MEM)||vs. SA||$5,200||⭐⭐⭐⭐||MEDIUM|
|Zach Collins (POR)||@ BOS||$3,400||⭐⭐||LOW|
|Brandon Clarke (MEM)||vs. SA||$4,200||⭐⭐⭐⭐||MEDIUM|
Jaren Jackson Jr. put up 33 points with just three rebounds and no assists in 43 minutes during the Grizzlies’ first game against the Trail Blazers. He took a whopping 15 threes and connected on six of them. JJJ is always a bit risky, as he’s clearly capable of not providing many peripheral stats (as seen by his most recent line), but his potential at just $5,200 — in what should be a high-paced game against the Spurs — is hard to pass up.
Collins put up 25.3 fantasy points in 37 minutes as Portland’s starting PF on Friday. Head coach Terry Stotts also went with just an eight-man rotation, leaving me to believe Collins will continue to see heavy minutes. Starters who can contribute in a variety of ways and are likely to see 30+ minutes in a great matchup should not be priced at just $3,400.
Brandon Clarke was heating up at the end of February, becoming one of the more consistent players on a young Memphis team. He picked up right where he left off on Friday, going 21 and seven off the bench in 34 minutes. After his solid performance, his price tag increased just $100. Get him in your lineup in what should be considered a four-star matchup against the Spurs sans LaMarcus Aldridge.
|Jusuf Nurkic (POR)||@ BOS||$7,700||⭐⭐||HIGH|
|Jarrett Allen (BKN)||vs. WAS||$5,600||⭐⭐⭐⭐||LOW|
|Jakob Poeltl (SA)||@ MEM||$4,000||⭐⭐⭐||MEDIUM|
Jusuf Nurkic went off for 50.8 fantasy points in 33 minutes in his first game of the 2019-20 season Friday. He fouled out with two minutes remaining in the fourth and missed the entire overtime session, so he could have done even more damage. While his salary has risen significantly, he’s still underpriced with his extremely high ceiling.
Jarrett Allen should have his way in a cake matchup against the Wizards. Deandre Ayton posted a 24-and-12 line against them Friday, and there’s no reason to believe Allen can’t do something similar in what should be a close, high-scoring affair.
Jakob Poeltl’s role in the Spurs’ offense looks safe after playing 32 minutes in the team’s first game against Sacramento. He should get plenty of playing time against a big Memphis team. For some reason, his price-tag dropped $700 after putting up 27 fantasy points. He’s a strong value.
5 Studs Worth Their Salary
- Giannis Antetokounmpo, MIL ($11,000): Who on the Rockets is going to slow down the Greek Freak? This game has an over/under of 242.5, and I expect the superstars for both teams to rise to the occasion.
- Luka Doncic, DAL ($10,800): Doncic put up 64.3 fantasy points Friday in 42 minutes against Portland and didn’t even play a great game. This one against the Suns has the second-highest implied total of the day and has the potential to be a shootout between two teams who want to play an up-tempo brand of basketball.
- Devin Booker, PHO ($8,600): Booker’s minutes are consistently in the upper 30s, and he gets a nice matchup against the Mavericks. DeAndre Ayton should face more resistance than he did from Washington on Friday, which could force the Suns to run their offense through Booker instead.
- Khris Middleton, MIL ($7,800): No Eric Bledsoe again for Milwaukee Sunday, so expect Middleton to once again see increased usage. He shot just 6-of-20 from the field Friday in 33 minutes on his way to 38.8 fantasy points. I’d expect a much better shooting performance against a bad Houston defense.
- Ja Morant, MEM ($7,300): Trust his minutes and usage in what should be a close, fast-paced game against the Spurs. Morant went for 22 points and 11 assists in 42 minutes in Friday’s return game against the Trail Blazers.
5 Notable Players to Fade
- James Harden, HOU ($11,100): Harden is always a “fade at your own risk” kind of guy, but he gets a much tougher matchup against the Bucks. While he’s always a lock for 40+ fantasy points, I’m fading him and looking at other superstars with better matchups.
- Jonas Valanciunas, MEM ($8,000): This is entirely too steep of a price-tag for someone who played just 14 minutes Friday. Granted, Valanciunas was in early foul trouble, but the emergency of Brandon Clarke and the potential for a fast-paced game has me fading at his cost.
- Aaron Gordon, ORL ($7,500): The return and emergence of Jonathan Isaac has me concerned about Gordon at his price-tag. This Magic offense runs through Nikola Vucevic and Isaac (when healthy), and I’d assume the latter is more involved after playing just 16 minutes in the opener.
- Rui Hachimura, WAS ($7,400): I get it, there’s no Bradley Beal to contend with for shots, but Hachimura’s salary should never be this high. Outside of the potential for 20 points, he doesn’t do much else and doesn’t even shoot threes. Easy fade here.
- Kemba Walker, BOS ($6,900): Brad Stevens said Walker’s minutes “will increase incrementally.” He played just 19 on Friday,so I’m not comfortable using $6,900 on a player who certainly won’t touch 30 minutes against Portland.
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