We have a huge slate of 13 NBA games to look at today and there are a ton of different ways to go with it. It’s really hard not to find a line up you like with so many options to choose from and it’s not about making a good line up today, it’s going to be about making a huge line up today as 300 might not even cash for you on FD tonight with all the injury news opening up all the cheap plays for you to make. We have already redone our sheets twice and I’m not even done eating breakfast out here in Sin City. We likely got no Brow, no Joakim, no Kobe, no Jrue. Rondo was questionable and now he is playing and Kawhi Leonard makes his long awaited return to the rotation tonight as well. There’s also a ton of trade rumors swirling around that could throw a few more wrenches and help a few more value plays pop up. If ever there was a night for DFS Twitter today would be the reason to use it, so keep following the news wherever you do so as it should be a fast and furious pace all the way up to LU lock and beyond.
We had a pretty solid night on Wednesday with the sheets. Took down another Q ticket for the Aces final, won all the 50/50s we played on both Aces and FD and had a very good showing in the Fan Duel SuperSlam (Damn you Nic Batum, 2 points????? Come on man). Again the Screenname is BRich11 if you want to follow along. I always say the best way to learn this game is to see what those names at the top of the leader boards consistently are doing and try to emulate them. Even someone who has played this game for awhile can still glean some insight from those better then they are. This includes myself and most of you reading this. Never stop learning and improving your game if you want to be successful at DFS or anything else in life for that matter. Let’s take a look at the updated sheets and keep in mind this is going to change throughout the day as the trade and injury picture come more into focus.
PG projections today are not showing a ton of great plays, but the top guy I like is Kyle Lowry. I reran the projections through our formula cause I thought the numbers were coming in a bit high, but the calculations were correct and even though I had him on my short list before hand I did not feel as strongly about it then as I do now. Don’t get me wrong, I like Lowry a lot and think he needs to have a big game to keep the Raptors in this one. I guess I just though the Hawks D being solid and all would slow him down and see a lower number, but he is in line for a big game and I can’t argue against this. Across the board on all 3 sites he is showing as a top PG option and that is rare for a guy priced up like he is. On Aces especially I think his price is too low and he’ll be on my $109 Q team today.
The next guy is one that people love or hate and many have mentioned that he is not trust worthy enough to use in cash, but lately I would beg to differ. I’m speaking of course of the Pistons Brandon Jennings. His match up against the likes of CJ Watson and Sloan doesn’t really scare me and he is capable of putting up huge numbers as we have seen. The O/U in that one is not too high, but the bigs for Indy do play some solid defense so I think he will be asked to do a little more today. He is ok value on FD, Very solid on DK, and nearly elite on Aces tonight based off my projections. His price is slightly below some of the top studs and I think his production will be near enough to them to make him a better play on the APP (average points per $) scale we use. I’d be bold enough to buck the conventional thinking tonight about Jennings in a cash game and even tell you he is safe on Aces to roll out in one of those and not the worst option to do it on FD or DK either. He is still a highly volatile play so GPP usage is best, but he’s been changing my mind about his cash game status little by little ever since J Smooth was voted off Van Gundy island.
My cheapie at PG tonight is Isaiah Thomas. I see him getting a lot of run spelling guys like Dragic and Bledsoe in what is expected to be a blowout. His price is so damn cheap and it has way more to do with his minutes then with his production. When he is on the floor he produces at a very high clip and guys like that in the highest O/U expected to see an uptick in minutes make for good plays. I’m not even asking the guy to go nuts, but if he can see another 5-10 minutes today over his averages that means another 5-15 points are likely and that would make him a guy with a safe floor, low salary, and a high upside potential. That’s the cheap starter trifecta for me. If you need salary relief for a GPP and want someone with more upside and a chance to actual reach it, then he is my top dog to do so.
I love the SG spot tonight. I have a half dozen guys I want to roll out and not enough places to use them all in one LU. The obvious one and probably the highest owned is going to be Tyreke Evans. There’s no Jrue Holiday today so he gets to play the point a lot more often and have the ball in his hands. We also are likely to see no Anthony Davis today so Tyreke becomes the PG and top scoring option. I think @CrazyGabey summed it up best on twitter today when he said:
Tyreke Evans has been waiting his entire life for tonight.
— Gabriel Harber (@CrazyGabey) January 16, 2015
His usage rate should be through the roof tonight and the match up is not that bad. My biggest fear against Philly is guys sitting and getting less minutes because of a blowout, but how can that happen tonight with so few healthy players that can actually play? His FD price is solid, His DK price relative to others is very nice, and his Aces price is downright criminally low. Fade him if you want but I will be shocked if he has a bad game under the circumstances today.
Another Sneakier play for me is Demar DeRozan. He came back last game and amid all the talk of him being limited he went off for 30DK points. It’s not a huge haul for him as he has done better, but that is my point. He’s still only $6500 on DK, and $5000 on Aces. He is $7500 on FD which is too rich for my blood but I could see him paying off on Aces and DK today in a high scoring game which he slated to see Kyle Korver trying to defend him. It might switch to Demarre Carroll on him, but I still would be OK using him at that price. He seems like he was moving fine in his last game and the Raptors are going to need a second scorer besides Lowry tonight.
Tobias Harris is likely out again and last time that happened the Magic got huge games from Vucevic and Victor Oladipo. Vucevic has a tough DvP match up today so I think if anyone is going to have to pick up the slack it’s going to be Dipo. I was all set to use a lot more DeRozan tonight until I realized Dipo is cheaper on FD and only a few hundred more on DK and Aces. His price has not reached his usage rate without Tobias so he is still a great cash and GPP option tonight when you make your lineups.
If I had to go cheap today and I normally am not a fan of either of these two, but injuries make me think Eric Gordon and Wayne Ellington are solid value plays. Gordon should see plenty of minutes at the 2 with no Jrue and Tyreke sliding over to play PG tonight. He has done a nice job since returning from injury and while I don’t like his ceiling he does have a safe cash game floor on FD and DK. Same can be said of ellington who actually has a better ceiling not based on raw points but on the APP scale at a min salary of $3K on DK. If you want to fit Cousins in today he is the route many will take to get there. He probably has the safest floor needing only about 16 DK points to reach it and he does and has done that before when he has the starting job with no Kobe.
I feel like I say this everyday but I am still riding with Andrew Wiggins in this spot. His price is a tick below other elite SF options still and he is the no doubt #1 option for Minnesota in games where Mo Williams does not go for fifty. This season is about getting experience for the youngsters on Minny and whether they are close or get blown out as is expected he is going to get minutes and shots. He is usable on FD at a square price, a decent option on DK, and an elite value on Aces today so roll him out there.
Further down the list I also don’t mind KJ McDaniels again here today. Philly is still without Wroten so KJ is getting the minutes and has produced when he gets them. His price has risen a little bit on DK and he doesn’t have the ceiling I like on Aces, but he is a good option on FD tonight for salary relief and upside.
If you need to save salary at SF on DK I would go with Wes Johnson of the Lakers. Another $3000 special and a guy who put up some sneaky good numbers when Kobe was out. He gets the minutes so that is not a concern and should see a few more tonight. At his low price with plenty of upside I think he is safe for your cash or GPP lineups if you need a low cost guy who can get to value.
If you really need a punt, Derrick Williams is listed as SF/PF in different spots and should get the start at SF with no Rudy Gay and Omri Casspi questionable. His price is incredibly low and he had a huge game last out when he finally saw the minutes. Could be a sneaky source of points and salary relief, but more a GPP play with the volatility in his game. He is going to need to put up more than one game like that before he makes his way into a cash line up of mine.
Joakim Noah is also out tonight and that has been announced already so Pau Gasol will be sliding over to center and should see more minutes and a higher usage rate. Pau ain’t cheap but if you remember last week he was putting up 50 and 60 burgers and that pays off his salary nicely if he can repeat that effort. Boston is dreadful against Big men so I am confident he should have a nice game today. He makes sense across the board, but is elite value on Aces.
With Pau sliding over to the C spot it also means more minutes for both Taj Gibson and Nikola Mirotic. It’s even better for both as no Dunleavy might also mean minutes at the 3 for Mirotic. Mirotic, Gibson, and Pau could actually all be on the floor together today so that should help alleviate all the minutes concerns those guys usually come with. Any of the three when given opportunity and minutes produce so this could be a great spot for all of them.
There’s other non Bulls I really like today as well and Greg Monroe tops that list. I have always liked his game back since his Georgetown days and am glad to see he is finally getting a chance to prove he can play big minutes and produce as a starter. Getting rid of the log jam that Josh Smith created has helped both him and Drummond really shine through and I expect to see him have another nice game today. He is very cash game safe as he normally gets a lot of points, rebounds, and assists as a very solid passing big man. His ceiling is pretty tough for him to smash through at his price, so more cash than GPP for me today.
If you need to save across the board the guy to use for me today is Ryan Anderson. This comes with the caveat that I am assuming from what I read that Anthony Davis is out and if that is the case you have to love RAnderson. $5500 on FD, $5300 on DK with the 3 point bonus to boot, and only $4500 on Aces. He could pay off all those salaries on a decent game and without Jrue if he can get enough passes from Tyreke for open shots he could pay those numbers off and then some. Cash games he is a no brainer if for nothing else but salary relief and to block others, but for a GPP he is a high upside guy at a low price getting extra minutes and usage with two top scoring options on his team sidelined. A perfect recipe for a huge day and a nice floor even on a sub par game.
Up top there is one player and one player only worthy of the nod tonight and he is so good right now that I will be working my lineups hard and even taking a flyer or two to make sure I can fit him in. That is DeMarcus Cousins. This guy is a man among men. He makes other really big strong athletic players look less big, strong, and athletic. When you add in his skills also make them look like scrubs it is easy to see why I and many others love him tonight. His sky high price is a valid concern, but let me counter with the cherry on top that Rudy Gay is also out tonight meaning Boogie will be asked to do more. More usage on a guy who already is dominate is a good thing. The only way he does not have a big game today is if he gets tossed for technicals, fouls out, or an act of god prevents him from making the game. Any of those are possible, but more likely Boogie will dominate tonight, so get him in line ups anywhere he can fit. If you can’t fit him, then rework the lineup somewhere else so you can. Dude is that good and has played that well recently.
If you need a second center since we are all going to be playing a lot of boogie there’s a few more guys I would use where I can. Let’s go site by site. On FanDuel you got guys like Alex Len, Hassan Whiteside, Omer Asik, and Jonas Valanciunas who I think are very nicely priced. All 4 should be good options to return value and make solid cash game plays there in my opinion.
On DK I really think they underpriced Al Horford as well. Whiteside is pricey over there now so I would try to use Horford, Len, or Asik over here. Remember with no Brow and Ryan Anderson living the stretch four life on the perimeter either Asik grabs a few more boards today or they will lose badly.
At Aces I am still using Cousins a lot, but the price on Nikola Vucevic over there is dirt cheap. This guy is an offensive force and will be asked to do a little more scoring and rebounding in Tobias Harris absence, so he makes an elite value option over there. I like him less on FD and DK, but he is viable on both. For a GPP I could be on board but not for cash anywhere but Aces. Hassan Whiteside and Alex Len are both criminally cheap on Aces again and are great sources of salary relief so you can fit in the Boogie’s of the world.