DFS NBA Bold Predictions for the 2016-2017 Second Half
We get back to the normal DFS NBA grind tomorrow, but for now, we’ll have some fun trying to guess what the last twenty-something games have in store for daily fantasy players at DraftKings and FanDuel. Nate Weitzer gives you his thoughts and Matt Brown gives you his commentary. And…we’re off!
1. Willie Cauley-Stein will routinely exceed value until his price tag rises to $6K on both main DFS sites.
The most immediate beneficiary of DeMarcus Cousins’ departure might be Kosta Koufos, but he’s a very uninspiring DFS play and a pretty boring player in general. Not only is Cauley-Stein more dynamic as a playmaker and scorer, he’s much, much younger and the Kings should be entering a full-blown rebuild now with Cousins gone and Buddy Hield apparently stepping in as one of their main offensive options.
WCS most recently went for 14 points, 5 rebounds and 4 assists with Cousins suspended during a game in Boston and he put up a great line in garbage time with Cousins sitting in a blowout at Golden State, so he could definitely be the next man up for Sacramento.
Matt’s Take: WCS is going to be quite popular for the next week or so. He’s $3600 on Thursday and will see every bit of 30 minutes. You just don’t get that type of run at that price regularly. I suspect Tyreke Evans will also be a popular play for a bit as well. He’s only $4200, will probably see 22+ minutes, and averages over a fantasy point per minute.
2. Derrick Rose will stay healthy and start to produce consistent lines for DFS owners
This is only really bold because of the reputation of the player in question, as Rose is known for sitting out games due to the slightest of injuries. Yet he looked great in his final game before the ASB with 25 points and 7 assists on 11-of-21 FG shooting against the Thunder.
He’s going to be able to excel in similar plus matchups throughout the rest of the season as long as he’s healthy enough to slash into the lane and finish, while you can expect Kristaps Porzingis to slow down due to his own injury issues.
Of course, Rose could be moved ahead of the trade deadline, potentially to the fast-paced Timberwolves, which would likely boost his stock as well.
Matt’s Take: I have not benefitted one bit from Derrick Rose this entire season. I’ve rostered him one time and, of course, it was the game he no-showed and I got a donut on 60% of my lineups. I have very little confidence Rose finds a way to stay healthy for the final two months, so I’ll take the other side of the fence. The injury risk player that I’ll say is going to help people down the stretch is Chandler Parsons. The Grizz are starting to let him get up around 24 minutes now, and if this continues, I wouldn’t be surprised to see him average something like 12/4/3 over the last month of the season at a very low cost.
3. Ish Smith will continue to outplay Reggie Jackson
Smith has already been out-performing R-Jax and that’s why it’s thought Detroit will move Jackson ahead of the trade deadline in hopes to get something back for the mediocre PG.
The speedy Smith is probably a better fit for Detroit’s offense, which revolves around big men such as Andre Drummond and Tobias Harris rolling to the rim, or on hitting shooters such as Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Marcus Morris off penetration. And HC Stan Van Gundy runs such a tight rotation that his starting PG would immediately become a great cash game play if he’s given the keys to the team.
Matt’s Take: I like Smith just fine and think he would be quite an asset to DFS NBA players if he were the guy getting all the minutes. That said, I’m not sure we’ll see that if Jackson stays in town, so he’ll have to get moved. I’ll go another direction with my point guard bold call. I’ll go ahead and predict that Emmanuel Mudiay basically falls out of the rotation for the Nuggets, if he’s still with the team through the trade deadline. With Jameer Nelson and rising star Jamal Murray, the team has no real need for the inconsistent play of Mudiay.
4. The Boston Celtics will make at least one key move and give the Cavs a 7-game series in the Eastern Conference Finals
While they might not land Jimmy Butler, Boston is seems like they’re going to add P.J. Tucker and/or Tyson Chandler from the rebuilding Suns and that will do wonders for the Celtics rebounding issues.
Tucker is one of the better individual defenders when it comes to matching up with a freak of nature like LeBron and along with Marcus Smart, he could do enough on that end of the floor to give Cleveland problems should Boston meet the defending champs in late May. If Kevin Love (back) isn’t healthy, all bets could be off about a guaranteed Cavs-Warriors rematch.
Matt’s Take: I agree on the Kevin Love take. If he’s not able to return at close to 100% this season, the Cavs are very vulnerable and them making the finals will be far from a lock. My team-based hot take is that the Pelicans make the playoffs and give the Warriors a real scare in the first round. With the addition of Boogie Cousins, the Pelicans now have two of three NBA players that are averaging 25 points and 10 boards per game. If the Warriors have a weakness, it’s size and rebounding. Should we have a couple of rare bad shooting nights from the Dubs, the Pels could put up a real fight against this superteam.
5. James Harden will start to slow down as the season comes to an end
Both Harden and Russell Westbrook are playing ridiculous minutes while carrying heavy loads for their respective teams. But it’s Harden that actually leads the NBA in minutes played and his personality is certainly less conducive to giving his blood, sweat and tears to each and every game regardless of it’s importance.
Houston could get locked into the three-seed in the Western Conference relatively early, or maybe even decide that they don’t mind getting the fourth seed to face a team like Utah instead of the seasoned Grizzlies. In any case, Harden’s lackadaisical attitude could make him a less desirable DFS play while his price tag remains this high.
Matt’s Take: That’s what I like. End on a real bold call. I actually agree, but I’ll not so much blame it on his attitude, as just the fact that he won’t need to do as much. I think the addition of Lou Williams will ease the scoring burden, even if ever so slightly, and that will be enough to make Harden a tough DFS fit at his current pricing. I think Russell Westbrook runs away with the DFS scoring title in the rest of the way, with The Greek Freak really asserting himself as one of the every night, automatic 50+ DFS point guys.