Greetings everyone, in this article I’m going to go over my thoughts on today’s NBA slate. I’m going to do my best to make this a regular article on Monday, Wednesday and Friday’s going forward for this NBA Season.
I want to share a quick backstory about myself and my DFS career. I, like so many others, struggled for a few years in DFS. Every day I would listen to various shows from around the industry, take notes and I was pretty much scatterbrained daily with no real solid “process” to follow. After a while, I realized something needed to change as I couldn’t simply keep doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. So, with that in mind, early in 2019 I decided to focus the majority of my play on Tournaments, rather than cash games. When I started focusing solely on Tournament play, my game took a dramatic leap forward and has helped me have good success over the past few years as you can see in the Rototracker graph below.
With that in mind, I’ll be writing this article from the perspective of a Tournament player. My goal will be to identify where we can gain an edge vs the field today in large field Tournaments.
Today we have a big 9 game slate and there are plenty of injury/covid situations that will likely lead to some very condensed ownership. I’ll highlight a few of the big ones here but I’m not going to go into too much detail here, as that is something we usually handle in our Free, Rise or Fall Discord
BKN – Kevin Durant OUT
CHA – Devonte Graham OUT
MIL – Jrue Holiday OUT
LAC – Paul George OUT
MIN – Karl Anthony Towns Doubtful, D’Angelo Russell Questionable, Jarrett Culver OUT
PHO – Chris Paul Questionable
LAL – Anthony Davis Questionable
OKC – SGA, Maledon, Hill, and Muscala all OUT
CHI – Markkanen, Carter Jr, Porter, Hutchison all OUT
CLE – Larry Nance OUT
MEM – Clarke, Melton both OUT
ATL – Hunter and Rondo both OUT
DEN – Harris, Dozier both OUT
The NBA Study Hub is where I go to research, strategize, and navigate the DFS landscape every single day. It is one of the Premium Member Only tools our Ronin members have supporting them each day. The NBA Study Hub includes ROF Projections, Player Ratings, Ownership Projections, Trending Data, and a Sims Model for various sports. It’s made with the idea in mind to “cut the fluff” out of your research. If it isn’t important or actionable information, it won’t show up in our Study Hub.
The main situation I’m going to be focused on today is the situation in OKC. With Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and others being out, the Thunder will only have 8 available players tonight. This is the last game on the slate as the Thunder will take on the Lakers in LA. We currently have Diallo, Dort, Horford and Roby as the 4 highest owned players on Fanduel, while on Draftkings we have Roby, Diallo, Dort in that order. All of these guys are going to be Cash Game staples today, and the chances of them “failing” are rather low. For example, we currently have Isaiah Roby with an 80% “Rise% on DK, meaning, we, expect him to reach 5.5x his salary 80% of the time in this situation. Even in tournaments, at 3.7k, he’s a player that I wouldn’t mind being 100% exposed to on DK. On Fanduel, with a 5k price tag, we should be able to find solid pivots if we chose
Hamidou Diallo is priced at 6.5k on both sites. He’s a fine play in a fine spot without question, but, can we find solid “price point pivots” for tourneys?
On Draftkings, I think we can go up in price slightly, and take a look at Malik Beasley for 7k and Norman Powell for 6.8k. Beasley has averaged 43.5 DK points per game over his last 3 games and should come in at 1/4th the ownership of Diallo. Norman Powell has averaged 31.5 DK points per game over his last 3 games, and gets a juicy, pace up matchup vs the Wizards where his team (Raptors) is projected to score 5.95 more points than their season average today.
NOTE – please understand, when we’re thinking about pivots like this, we’re not saying “These guys are better plays than Diallo” – what we’re saying is, In tournaments, they could match or hopefully exceed his production at much lower ownership, which, would then push us past all of the Diallo lineups (in theory) – if you’re looking for “the best play” it’s Diallo given the circumstances, but, in tournaments, we’re not building lineups for what we expect to happen, we’re building lineups for what could happen while we leverage against what everyone else “expects” to happen.
On Fanduel, it’s a little tougher to find price point pivots, with the restricted positions compared to Draftkings. That being said, at the PG position, there are a few players that stand out to me, in real nice spots, at much less ownership and just slightly more salary. Jamal Murray 7.0k vs CLE and Ja Morant 7.1k vs CHA. Murray has averaged 31.7 FD points per game over his last 3 games, but gets an elite matchup vs the Cavs who can’t seem to stop anyone this year. We have Murray projected just a hair below Diallo and while we have yet to see the same Jamal Murray that we saw in the Bubble to end last season, we know he’s got that ability to drop 50 fantasy points in a good matchup. Ja Morant has not flashed true upside in a while, but, like Murray, we know he’s got the talent to put up 50 fantasy points in nearly any matchup. The matchup today vs the Hornets is a good one and he’ll be virtually unowned
James Harden, with Kevin Durant out (and possibly Kyrie Irving) will be high owned. The easiest pivot would be over to Bradley Beal at the same price and sub 5% owned
Zach Lavine, will likely approach 20% ownership with the Bulls shorthanded. He’s 9.3k and the simplest pivot would be over to Fred VanVleet for the same price
Kawhi Leonard is going to be highly owned because Paul George is out for LAC. If you’re looking to pivot, you can look to LeBron James for 1k more (maybe without Anthony Davis) or you could pay $300 less for Pascal Siakam in a great matchup vs the Wizards
James Harden is priced at 10.4k and should be high owned with KD out. Trae Young makes a nice pivot at just 9.9k along with Bradley Beal at 9.3k around 5% ownership
Al Horford will likely be highly owned for the shorthanded Thunder today. A solid pivot off him would be Myles Turner vs the awful Nets defense, or, Chris Boucher vs the awful Wizards defense
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