NBA Analysis for August 23, 2020

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bathrobeDFS here with your daily analysis.

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Quick Analysis

PHI “at” BOS – 1pm – (BOS 3-0)


Vegas Total:   213 – BOS 110.5 – PHI 102.5

Injuries – PHI:    Ben Simmons – OUT / Glenn Robinson – OUT

Injuries – BOS:   Gordon Hayward – OUT / Javonte Green – OUT

Pace – PHI:   19th – 99.0

Pace – BOS:   17th – 99.5

Top 3 Usage (with NBA Rank) – PHI:   Joel Embiid (8th) / Tobias Harris (56th) / Josh Richardson (94th)

Top 3 Usage (with NBA Rank) – BOS:   Jayson Tatum (21st) / Kemba Walker (30th) / Jaylen Brown (48th)

Quick Hits

  • Unfortunately for us, every single bit of this slate will come down to the status of Luka Doncic in the 330pm DAL/LAC game. If he is injured, there are some really fantastic plays (and a ton of usage) that open up. That would mean I would have less of this game. Because rostering people is zero sum. If I have a bunch more players from Dallas, I will have less players from everywhere else. If Luka plays, that makes it harder to like as many people from that game, thus opening up some of the 2nd tier players from this game. 
  • 2nd tier, not 2nd string. 
  • I suspect that, with DAL only down 7.5 this morning in Vegas, that Luka is going to play. I am going to assume he plays. I am going to build my lineups assuming he plays. 
  • That means the one top tier player in this game, Joel Embiid, is someone I still like a lot. He hasn’t had that one breakout game yet, but he hasn’t gotten you worse than 5x, so it’s not like he’s performing poorly. It’s just a confluence of factors that will, hopefully, keep ownership on him low. There have been blowouts. There have been poor shooting days (Embiid is normally a 50+% shooter, and he went 7-20 last game). Philly desperately needs this win. That means as much usage as possible for Embiid, and I want to get on him again.
  • The second tier players in this game open up if Luka plays. Those are the guys I like, but don’t have a guaranteed path to 6x. For the Celtics it’s because, as we have seen, there’s only so much production to go around. And when so many players can score and shoot and do other things, and all of their prices are high, it gets harder to argue all of them will pay off, and thus that we can roster all of them. At that point, it becomes partially a function of luck.  Who is going to get 50 DKP and who is going to get 30-35? Cause Vegas thinks there’s only going to be 213 total points scored in this game. We know Philly will focus as much as they can on one player. For Boston, while Kemba and Brown probably line up the best, as we have seen in the first 3 games, it truly could be any one of these players. 
  • If you have to pick one, my favorite is still Kemba, who I think has the easiest path to success once again. He had his breakout game. He showed you the near 50 DKP upside. And he’s the cheapest option of the 3. Sounds great to me. 
  • Anyone else in this game is going to be a tougher ask, especially if you think that Luka isn’t 100%. If Luka isn’t going to be able to play a full complement of minutes, or won’t be 100% effective when he’s on the court, we are going to see some of that usage trickle down to other players, who will easily be in a position to outscore the 3rd tier (and worse) players from both sides of this game. If you want to go down here, I will continue to reach down for Josh Richardson, who has yet to fail to reach 5x value on his 5200 salary. He is even coming off a 30+ DKP game. He is underpriced and has the usage. But he’s also someone who’s shot may not fall, or may just be overwhelmed by Embiid trying to keep Philly alive.

DAL “at” LAC – 330pm – (LAC 2-1)


Vegas Total:   232 – LAC 119.75 – DAL 112.25

Injuries – DAL:   Luka Doncic – QUESTIONABLE /  Kristaps Porzingis – PROBABLE / Trey Burke – PROBABLE

Injuries – LAC:   Patrick Beverley – DOUBTFUL 

Pace – DAL:   18th – 99.3

Pace – LAC:   8th – 101.5

Top 3 Usage (with NBA Rank) – DAL:   Luka Doncic (2nd) / Porzingis (31st) / Tim Hardaway (86th)

Top 3 Usage (with NBA Rank) – LAC:   Kawhi Leonard (7th) / Paul George (17th) / Lou Williams (22nd)

Quick Hits

  • All eyes are on Luka Doncic and whether or not he can play. Here is how I see this playing out, having seen Luka come back into game 3 even though he could barely walk, just long enough to finish off the triple-double.
  • Luke is proud. He is a fierce competitor. He doesn’t want to lose in any way – individually or as a team. So I would bet that he gives it a try and plays. That leads to even more questions:
  • Is he 100%? If not, what % is he? And what does production from 70% or 50% Luka look like? How much usage goes to other people as Luka’s ankle gets worse? Does he play a full complement of minutes? Or do they limit him to 30, knowing he could exacerbate the injury or, worse, pull a Durant and sustain a serious injury by overcompensating with another muscle. 
  • There are so many questions. I don’t think we are going to have answers until the game itself plays out cause I don’t think they are going to know. Even testing it pre-game, Luka will say he’s good enough to go. But, when he has Kawhi and PG13 in his face it’s a whole different story.
  • Personally, If Luka plays, I don’t expect him to be 100%. That means he is overpriced and will be doing a lot more work passing the ball when he’s on the court (more than normal anyway). That is a huge boost for other players even if Luka plays, and I am not sure the field is going to be heavy enough of some of these dudes.
  • I basically consider Kristaps Porzingis a lock today because of it. I am going to start my lineups with Porzingis first and foremost. I expect another 60 DKP game. 
  • The only thing I worry about is the blowout. But this game is so far ahead of the other 3 games on the slate from a production standpoint that it might be ok anyway. According to Vegas, it has a 15 point advantage on the next closest game. That’s pretty staggering. Even if it blows out, they could still get the minutes or exceed value anyway
  • Apart from Porzingis, I would try to be over the field on the rest of Dallas if Luka is in and I would consider locking in a bunch of them if he is out. Namely Seth Curry and Tim Hardaway, who would be the next in line for usage after Porzingis. Curry’s price has come up to 4600 but that’s still not enough if Luka is hobbled at all. He’s going to be asked to do more and have more usage. I know his last game was due to a big 4th quarter, which was due to Luka not being able to play. I am going to be fine with paying up and taking the chance he has to do it again. 
  • Hardaway is a much, much safer play. I like him more and I think he will be overlooked today. Hardaway has 50 DKP upside. He doesn’t show it often, but Luka and Porzingis don’t let him. If, again, Luka is forced to be in passing mode, Hardaway would be the 2nd biggest beneficiary of it (behind Porzingis). 
  • DFS is like Royce O’Neale – someone who puts up a bunch of stats across the board and could easily get you 30 DKP any day. His production will go up if Luka is hobbled which means, again, he is severely underpriced at 4500. If Luka doesn’t want to go up for as many rebounds, some of those will go to DFS.
  • If Luka is out, Trey Burke goes from GPP here to a near lock. I expect him to go under the radar. At least compared to how highly owned he should be. If Luka plays, I’ll keep him where he is, a meh GPP play who should be cheaper.
  • Boban gets 10 minutes a game. He could get you 25 DKP in that time or 8 DKP. That was ok when he was 3100. It isn’t when he’s 3800. 
  • Deep GPP play if Luka is out: Delon Wright. I would have a decent amount of him at 3500. If JJ Barea winds up starting (and getting his first playoff action), I’d take him instead. And, given the way Dallas did this in the regular season, it’s wholly possible Barea winds up starting if Luka is out.
  • I told y’all before game one, playoff Kawhi demands an 11-12k price point, ever game. He is still 9800 dropping 60+DKP performances. He’s going to do it again. He is, once again, one of my favorite plays on the slate.
  • PG13 doesn’t get enough usage with Kawhi doing this. He’s like CJ McCollum. Every once in a while, it will be his game but, for the most part, there’s a big dog that’s going to eat most of the time, and he’ll get whatever scraps he can handle. That 38 DKP isn’t going to cut it.
  • Lou Will is a GPP play. He will take shots, but he’s scoring dependent and his price is going up. Can he get you 40 DKP at 6k? Sure. Can he get you 18? Oh absolutely. 
  • Not that they play the same position, but I would rather have Marcus Morris at 5400. He has gotten 30 DKP every game by giving you production across the board. He shoots, he gets steals, he gets rebounds, and he even gets a couple assists a game. He is someone who should be 6k already. Take advantage of that slow correction on DKs part. 
  • Everyone else on this team is a GPP play at best, especially with how good some other folks look on other teams. 
  • I have no problem taking a chance on Montrezl. As I said on my last video, they keep ramping him up. It won’t be long before he puts up one of his 40 DKP games. He’s only 4000. That’s 10x. It probably won’t be this game. But I don’t think it’s crazy betting that it will. 
  • With Pat Bev out, Reggie Jackson has been doing nothing. He is cheap and doesn’t have to do much to reach value and he hasn’t gotten close. But, still, he could. I still won’t go there. 
  • Same goes for Landry Shamet who had one of his rare “good games” on the back of expanded minutes and excellent shooting. Could he get you 25 DKP again? Oh absolutely. But it’s much more likely he gets you around 10, like normal.

TOR “at” BK – 630pm – (TOR 3-0)


Vegas Total:   217 – TOR 115 – BK 102

Injuries – BK:    Joe Harris – OUT / Jamal Crawford – OUT

Injuries – TOR:   Patrick McCaw – OUT / Hollis-Jefferson – QUESTIONABLE

Pace – BK:   9th – 101.4

Pace – TOR:   12th – 100.9

Top 3 Usage (with NBA Rank) – BK:   Caris LeVert (18th) / Joe Harris (123rd) / Garrett Temple (144th)

Top 3 Usage (with NBA Rank) – TOR:   Pascal Siakam (24th) / Serge Ibaka (54th) / Kyle Lowry (68th)

Quick Hits

  • I do not want to spend up in this game. As I said in my video last time, a lot of people are going to be on Caris LeVert but losing Joe Harris meant even more defensive focus on him. And Toronto’s defensive focus is serious. He wound up with 33 DKP in 34 minutes. At 8100 that was not acceptable. And his price went up 100. While he obviously has 50 DKP upside and will have most of the usage here (if he wants), I think the ownership will be too high and I will hold off.
  • With yet another blowout, we saw some limited minutes for some of the stars. Instead of the 40 they had gotten, Lowry and FVV saw 35 and 32 minutes respectively. I still think that, given the matchup, they are fine plays, but we run into the Boston problem. Like Kemba/Brown/Tatum, here you have Lowry/FVV/Siakam, all of whom will be fighting each other for production (metaphorically). Last game, all 3 of them got between 40-45 DKP. With all of them 8k, that means all of them would have gotten you between 5x-6x. I think that’s great but might not be high enough value to win you the tournament. In addition, if they are up 3-0 and keep the minutes closer to 30 than 40, we are going to see a more limited upside. 
  • I had been a fan of taking Toronto before this game. But this is the game I am going to get off the train. I think they still win handily, but I also think production will be split.
  • That means the plays I want in this game, if any, are the midpriced/backup/blowout guys. 
  • If Serge Ibaka gets 25 minutes again, as a backup/blowout player, he could top 40 DKP easily. This BK team is just awful against Centers. They have been for years. 5800 is a lot to pay for him, though, so I will probably wind up under the field.
  • Garrett Temple and TLC both had one of the worst shooting days of their career. Temple went 2-12, including 1-9 from 3 point range. That was 13.5 DKP in 36 minutes. Awful.
  • TLC was even worse – 3-18 from the field and 2-11 from 3. That’s 19.25 DKP in 35 minutes. He was also surprisingly poor at rebounding. 
  • This has kept their prices down and, hopefully, will keep their ownerships down too. I absolutely love both of them today, again, with Joe Harris out. This is a must win game. These two guys proved they are going to take a fuckload of shots, regardless of if they are hitting them. If this is a game they shoot their average, they are both going to crush value. 
  • If Tyler Johnson starts again, I don’t mind taking a chance on him at 4600, but I expect his usage to go down, and I expect his shooting success to go down as well. I don’t think 25 DKP is out of the question, but I wouldn’t bank on 30 again.
  • I think Chris Chiozza is a sneaky GPP play. 3700. Got 23 minutes. WIll get the blowout run. Shot his average and wound up with 28.25 DKP. That was buoyed by 4 steals, which he probably won’t get again. But, regardless, he should be able to get you some minutes today and has a chance at exceeding value at low ownership. Plus, he’s gotten 4 steals in 2 of his last 4 games. 
  • The only other person I’d really consider on Toronto is Norm Powell. He hasn’t shown you his upside and his ownership went up too high with RHJ out. But he does have upside. He is too cheap for the 10x he could put up, but I worry he will not get blowout run here, as Toronto has plenty of 3rd stringers to throw out there in the 4th quarter, who won’t put up enough points in that time to be relevant
  • Basically, I am worried about every single Raptors player due to price, minutes, ceiling, and upside. Cause I don’t think this game stays close. Again.

DEN “at” UTA  – 9pm – (UTA 2-1)


Vegas Total:   216 – UTA 109.75 – DEN 106.25

Injuries – UTA:    NONE

Injuries – DEN:   Gary Harris – DOUBTFUL / Will Barton – OUT

Pace – UTA:   24th – 98.6

Pace – DEN:   29th – 97.1

Top 3 Usage (with NBA Rank) – UTA:   Donovan Mitchell (13th) / Rudy Gobert (147th) / Joe Ingles (159th)

Top 3 Usage (with NBA Rank) – DEN:   Nikola Jokic (32nd) / Jamal Murray (45th) / Jerami Grant (126th)

Quick Hits

  • I am so tired I am not proofreading this section. Sorry for any and all errors.
  • Utah has scored 124,124, and 125 points in the 3 games of this series. Denver, without Harris and Barton, can’t stop them. I don’t expect that to change here. 
  • With Mike Conley back, the Jazz absolutely demolished the Nuggets last game. Conley, in his return, put up 38.5 DKP in 25 minutes. I expect him to get 30 minutes today regardless of blowout, as they try to get him up to a normal minutes load. He is finally getting to a more fair price – 6300 – but it’s still far too low for what he could do here. He got 6x that salary last game in only 25 minutes. 
  • His return makes Donovan Mitchell just too expensive. 9500… i’d rather go for Kawhi or Porzingis or Embiid or Tatum or even Jokic.
  • Rudy Gobert is also fairly priced. I don’t think he’s a bad play, cause you can count on his points. And 7800, if he has one of his 50 DKP games, you’re rolling. I’d still rather have Embiid and Porzingis and Jokic, though. 
  • Ingles and Clarkson saw usage hits with Conley back. Their prices have stayed the same, though, so I consider them GPP plays only, at best. They still shoot. They still have usage. But it will be spread out among a lot of people, and Conley will have the ball in his hands most of the time. 
  • Royce O’Neale is still underpriced at 4k. He may get you 20DKP, but, barring a crazy foul trouble game, that is right around his floor. I’ll take the chance this is a 30 DKP game again.
  • If you think this blows out again, feel free to go down to the cheaper dudes like Niang and Mudiay. Otherwise, nope.
  • On Denver, I still love Murray, especially at 6800. Utah has done a good job limiting his output the last 2 games, but he’s shown you the 50 DKP upside. If he plays a good game, he could get you enough points to win you some serious money. The only question is whether or not he’s feeling it today. Unfortunately, I can’t do that for him. 
  • Jokic should also be good for 50+ DKP at 9300, which is great. Again, there are other Centers I like better, in better spots, at similar prices, not facing the D of Gobert, though. 
  • There is no one else on Denver that looks like a great play at their price. If anyone, I like Jerami Grant but we are talking deeper GPP here. Even Porter, like I have been saying in videos, is a longshot here. He needs to get hot and stay hot all game to pay off. Even then, he only got 40 DKP the other day when he was hot all game. Last game he got you 12.5 DKP.

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