Devin Booker benefits from this spectacular matchup.
We’ve been relatively lucky to avoid COVID craziness in the first two weeks, but that came to an abrupt end this weekend. It seemed like half the league missed games because of COVID protocols, and it’s only going to continue to get worse with the contact tracing. The only thing we can do as DFS managers is to take the information given to us and try to profit off of players missing games. What it does do is open up minutes for everyone else, and we need to capitalize on this mispricing. With that in mind, let’s get into this slate!
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- Doncic is starting to feel it, and that’s why he’ll find his way into our studs section later on.
- CP3 isn’t quite the fantasy producer we remember, but a matchup with the worst defense in the NBA might be the thing to get him going.
- Seemingly every Sixers rotation player is dealing with COVID protocols, and that should force Maxey into a huge role. That was certainly the case when he had 39 points, seven rebounds, and six assists on Saturday.
- Beal is easily one of the best plays on the board. Not only is he averaging 62 DK points per game over his last three fixtures, but Beal should also see more usage here in the absence of Russell Westbrook.
- Much like CP3, Booker benefits from this spectacular matchup.
- Doston is regularly playing 30 minutes a night for this shorthanded Cavs team, and that puts him in play below $5K.
- With Kristaps Porzingis, Dorian Finney-Smith, Josh Richardson, and Maxi Kleber all out, THJ could be looking at 35 minutes and 20 shots. That’s big for a guy who has at least 45 DK points in two of his last three games.
- Osman has played a de facto point guard for the Cavs and remains in play until Darius Garland returns.
- Green could be playing huge minutes for this shorthanded Sixers team, and we love that against Atlanta.
- Randle and Sabonis will both be in the studs section.
- Boucher has over 50 DK points three times this season, and that’s a tough upside to find from a $6,000 player. Facing a 24th-ranked Portland defense is a good way to duplicate that.
- Embiid and Drummond will be in the next section as well.
- Robinson is playing a career-high in minutes, and we want to keep riding him until he gets to the $7,000 price tag we anticipate.
5 Studs Worth Their Salary
- Luka Doncic (DAL) $11,300: After getting off to a slow start, Luka has really hit his stride over the last week. Over his last four games, Doncic is averaging 29.5 points, 12.5 rebounds, 10.3 assists, 1.3 steals, and 1.0 blocks per game. That happens to be a 58-point floor and a 60-point average, making him the most dangerous player in DFS.
- Joel Embiid (PHI) $9,800: With the Sixers playing extremely shorthanded, Embiid is probably the best play on the board. He was one of the best plays before Ben Simmons, Tobias Harris, and Shake Milton all landed on the COVID protocol list, but that should skyrocket his already sky-high usage. Not only has the big man scored at least 40 DraftKings points in all eight games this season, but he’s also averaging 49 DK points per game. That doesn’t even take into consideration that he faces a lackluster Hawks defense.
- Julius Randle (NYK) $9,600: Randle has taken a similar leap to our next recommendation, leading the Knicks with 22.6 points, 12 rebounds, and 7.3 assists per game. That’s really no surprise when you see that he’s playing 37 minutes and taking 17 shots a night. As long as that continues, Randle is hard to fade because of sheer volume. Not to mention, Charlotte is surrendering the most fantasy points in the NBA to opposing power forwards.
- Domantas Sabonis (IND) $9,300: It’s crazy just how good this kid has become this season. Sabonis is now averaging 21.6 points, 12.6 rebounds, and 6.1 assists per game, dropping a season-best 62 DraftKings points in his most recent outing. That looks even better when you consider that the Kings rank 28th in points allowed and 29th in defensive efficiency.
- Andre Drummond (CLE) $9,200: With Darius Garland, Collin Sexton, and Kevin Love all injured, Drummond has found himself the top option in Cleveland. That certainly appeared to be the case on Saturday, when Drum provided 26 points, 24 rebounds, and three assists in an absolute fantasy gem. Most importantly, he took 23 shots and played 41 minutes, solidifying his role. We love all that against a subpar Grizzlies defense,
5 Notable Players to Fade
- Russell Westbrook (WAS) $10,300: Westbrook is currently dealing with a dislocated finger, and his first performance with it is certainly not a promising sign. He committed seven turnovers in that game and went 4-of-16 from the field. That’s a huge red flag, and it’s terrifying when you consider that he faces the best defense in the NBA right here. UPDATE: Westbrook has been ruled out!
- Trae Young (ATL) $9,400: Much like Westbrook, Young is dealing with an injury of his own. His is a wrist issue, holding him to just 48 combined DK points over his last two games. That’s nearly what he averaged last season, and it’s scary that he’s shooting just 25 percent in those games while averaging 5.5 turnovers per outing. Not to mention, Philly owns the second-best defensive efficiency in the NBA.
- C.J. McCollum (POR) $8,800: It’s hard to argue with what C.J. is doing on the court right now, but this price is crazy. He’s never played at a $9,000 level at any point in his career, and I’m going to keep fading him until he gets back below $8K.
- Gordon Hayward (CHA) $7,900: This one saddens me because Hayward is one of my favorite players, and he’s been amazing this season. What worries me here is the fact that he’s been taking a backseat to LaMelo Ball the last week or two. While he’s had a few great games, scoring 20 or fewer DK points in three of his last seven games is concerning. That low floor worries us against a Knicks team that ranks Top-5 in both points allowed and defensive efficiency.
- De’Aaron Fox (SAC) $7,900: The Kings are in a terrible slump right now, and Fox is a major reason why. In the two games since his hamstring issue, Fox is averaging just 23 fantasy points per game. That makes us believe he still might be hampered, and facing a sixth-ranked Pacers defense could hamper him even more.
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Joel Bartilotta is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Joel, check out his archive and follow him @Bartilottajoel.