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bathrobeDFS here with your daily analysis.
I will work through every game, analyzing any and all relevant data I can muster with regards to how they will perform in a DFS capacity.
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Vegas Lines 💸
(Today’s Update in Parenthesis)
230 – WAS 116.25 – CHI 113.75
225.5 – LAC 113.25 – PHI 112.25
220.5 – OKC 113.5 – SA 107
– NO (-2.5) – POR
231 – HOU 116.75 – BOS 114.25
Advantage Spots 🔼
Wizards vs Bulls – Lock Spots Galore!
This game is going to be awesome. Hell, this slate is pretty awesome. Apart from the “meh” OKC/SA game, 80% of this slate should be pretty close games with a lot of action and pretty high scores. All of them have players we can count on and, most importantly, all of them should stay close and competitive. Here we see what could easily be the highest scoring game of the night.
The Chicago D is basically Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Against guards, they allow the fewest fantasy points of any team. They allow the fewest DKP a game to PGs and they allow the fewest DKP a game to SGs. That is not a joke. They reduce value the 3rd most to PGs, limiting scoring by 11%, rebounds by 5% and assists by 4%. They reduce value the 5th most to SGs, limiting scoring by 10% and 3s by 9%. While Beal was starting at the 3 for awhile, last game the Wizards rolled out a lineup of Smith/Beal/Bonga/Hachimura/Mahinmi to start the game. That puts Smith and Beal in very bad spots, as well as Shabazz Napier. Given the nature of this game, I expect all 3 to be very popular, but I think that, given the Bulls Guard D, the smarter play is to be cautious, regardless of how cheap Smith and Napier are.
Against Bigs, no one in the NBA is worse than the Bulls. Again, this is not an exaggeration. They allow the most DKP a game to both Centers and PFs. Not only is the defense bad here, but the defense against guards has been so good, it’s pushing production to these players every game. The only issue here is the question of minutes – last game Mahinmi (3600) got 18.5 (13.75 DKP), Hachimura (4800) got 25 (29.25 DKP), Bertans (5400) got 31.7 (27 DKP), and Wagner (4300) got 24.1 (33.25 DKP). This was Hachimura’s 2nd consecutive 30 DKP game and, 2 games ago, he got 29 minutes meaning he has room for even more upside. Before his injury he was 6400. When he came back he was 5100. He should be the safest choice, with Bertans and Wagner solid GPP plays and Mahinmi someone to barely even consider. If you play multiple lineups, make sure you have exposure to all 3 of these Wizards bigs.
On the other side of the ball, the Wizards are far worse than league average against every position. They are the only team that isn’t even middle-of-the-road anywhere. This means you can basically play whichever Bulls you want. Against SGs, the Wizards increase scoring by 10%, 3s by 11%, and FG% by 5% and against SFs, the Wizards increase scoring by 13% and 3s by 9% with a 5% increase in FG% as well. This sets up fantastically well for Zach LaVine to drop 40-50 real points. I’ll take that for 8200, especially when I imagine he will go under the radar for the most part. This also gives a boost to Coby White and the cheap, punt SFs the Bulls are forced to use.
The Wizards are best, if anything, against PFs where they only increase scoring by 6%, rebounds by 2%, assists by 6% and FG% by 4%. Yes, that is the best they got. So, while I don’t trust his usage, if you want to take a chance on the price of Thad Young, know he’s going to get the minutes, and he’s going to be in a great spot.
Cause that’s the thing, right, the Bulls will be missing Kris Dunn, Lauri Markannen, Wendell Carter, Otto Porter, and Denzel Valentine. They have a couple of mediocre plays you can’t really count on (like Felicio and Mokoka), leaving the burden of production in the hands of very few people. That means, again, you can load up. Particularly on the Lock Spots against Washington – PG. That means Tomas Satoransky, who is only 4900, gets slotted into a matchup against a team that increases scoring by 12%, 3s by 16%, rebounds by 6%, assists by 6%, and FG% by 8%. Those are insane numbers, and I expect Sato to pay off (or for that benefit to get pushed somewhat to LaVine, who will do some ball handling himself).
This game is going to be a fantastic basketball game, though I’m not 100% sure it’s going to warrant the massive ownership it will draw. These are two top notch defenses that should make it really hard to score points. I think that, assuming this is one of the highest owned batch of players on the day, the smart move is to play this game like it will finish with a 210 total – don’t fade people, but don’t think you are going to get the same production that you will from some of the other games going tonight. Still, it should stay close and I would imagine there’s still a decent amount of production for us to count on at pretty decent prices.
First and foremost, I want to mention that, with Patrick Beverly out, we see a massive hit to the effectiveness of the Clippers PG D. Assuming that Lou Williams replaces PatBev again, we are seeing one of the best defenders in the league replaced by one of the worst. Normally, that would make me recommend Ben Simmons wholeheartedly. However, with Kawhi and PG13 still playing, I think it would make more sense to assume that one of them will wind up on Simmons, and they should be successful at helping to limit his output. The question, then, is: who will see the majority of the LouWill D?
With Josh Richardson playing some limited minutes still, I’d wager on Alec Burks stepping up once again. For 4k, that’s not bad at all (especially since he got you 42.25 DKP last game). Burks is easily one of my favorite cheap plays of the day.
UPDATE: I LOOKED AT THE GAME LOGS WRONG. Burks has yet to make his debut with Philly. I incorrectly attributed that performance to his first game in Philly, but only Robinson debuted last game. Burks debut will come tonight, but I am not as confident that he will get 30+ minutes. He’s a decent play, but he should prove to gum up the works more than anything.
However, if we want the most steadfast way to attack the Clippers, you do it at Center, with what is normally the surest thing on the Sixers – Joel Embiid. When it all comes down to it, the Clippers are well better than average against every position except for C, where they are actually 8th worst in terms of DvP. In terms of value, they add 1% to scoring, 5% to 3s, 4% to rebounds, and 11% to assists. All of this adds up to a hell of game for Joel Embiid. If he can’t, this game just won’t stay close so, if you are going to target the Clippers pretty heavily, Embiid should be your first priority in terms of running it back. His 9100 price tag is just so much icing on the cake.
The Three Thunder Guards
By this, I mean Chris Paul, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, and Dennis Schroder in that order. As I often note, the Spurs get worse defensively the shorter the position. That means you want to prioritize guards against them. PGs first (which gives an underpriced CP3 priority), followed by an also underpriced SGA and Schroder. CP3 is the most expensive player on this team and he’s only 6800. The way the Spurs have been playing defense lately, he could easily pass 40 DKP, and push 50. The same can be said for SGA and Schroder. Looking at the value numbers backs all this up – the Spurs increase scoring by 2%, 3s by 9% and assists by 7% to PGs, while increasing scoring by 7%, 3s by 10%, and FG% by 4% to SGs. While this game is the worst of the 5 tonight, I also know the inadequacy of the Spurs D will continue to go under the radar. I think one of the smartest plays you can have is going over the field on these 3 guards and hoping for a shootout.
Pelicans vs Blazers – Lock Spots Galore!!
Another game, another huge batch of Lock Spots for us to take advantage of. Right now, this is the only game that doesn’t have a Vegas total as we await the status of Brandon Ingram, who is QUESTIONABLE. Otherwise, we can expect a full complement of Pelicans players (including Zion, who is probable), as well as most of the normal cast of characters on Portland, though they’ll only have 9 or so players available tonight.
First, the Blazers are a Lock Spot against PGs. They increase scoring by 13%, 3s by 21%, rebounds by 2% and assists by 6%. That sets up incredibly well for Lonzo Ball, even moreso if Ingram is out. Additionally, the Pels had previously been a Lock Spot, though they’re just hovering on the border now. Still, they increase scoring by 5%, 3s by 6% assists by 7% and increase FG% by 1% to the position. In terms of DvP, though, they are dead last against PG, giving up the most DKP per game to the position. This also dramatically increases the potential of Damian Lillard. This would be another game he can prove his 10300 price tag just isn’t high enough.
While I do expect this to be a high scoring, close, fast game, I understand if you go over the field on Lillard and then limit your exposure to other Pels players. New Orleans is basically league average against every position except PG. On top of that, Lillard’s usage dwarves the rest of the starting lineup. It’s possible that, given the defense they will see and the prices they carry, Whiteside and McCollum just don’t get enough chances to reach value tonight. I don’t mind taking some GPP chances on them, but I won’t go crazy. In terms of usage and opportunity, the same goes for the cheaper players like Carmelo (4900), Trent (4400), and Ariza (4300). All of these guys are cheap enough, though, so you can take as many chances as you want. Like I said, Portland is low on options. These guys are going to need to play some serious minutes, which means some serious opportunity.
While I won’t go too crazy with other Blazers, I do plan on having quite a few Pelicans (other than Ball). First and foremost, Portland is a Lock Spot against Bigs as well as PGs (which is quite a feat). They are near the bottom in DvP to both positions, and, in terms of value, they add 5% to scoring, 15% to rebounds, 6% to blocks and 2% to FG% to PFs which is good enough for 3rd worst. When it comes to Centers, they are 2nd worst – they increase scoring by 11%, 3s by 18%, rebounds by 5%, assists by 3%, steals by 5%, blocks by 2%, and FG% by 2%. That means that I will be over the field on not only Lonzo, but Zion and Derrick Favors as well. This is whether or not Ingram plays, though all 3 players get boosts if Ingram is out.
The rest of the options on this team are a result of the status of Ingram. If he is in, I will have some exposure to him (though not nearly as much as the other 3 players in Lock Spots). If he is out, I am going to be pretty high on Josh Hart, JJ Redick, and Nicolo Melli, though I wouldn’t consider them absolute locks at their prices.
With the Rockets acquiring Robert Covington and committing to this weird small-ball game, they have, shockingly, become insanely good against PFs and Cs. Over the last couple of weeks, they’ve reduced value against PFs the 6th most. Against Cs, they’ve reduced value the 2nd most – including reducing scoring by 34% and FG% by 32%. Granted, it’s a very small sample size, but it shows that they are not even close to walkovers. In fact, I am going to try to stay away. That means avoiding Theis and Kanter and Hayward.
Additionally, the Rockets continue to play PGs incredibly tough. This puts Kemba Walker in a worse spot. I will still have some exposure to him given the nature of this game and his upside/price, but I don’t like him nearly as much as I do the wing players.
The Rockets have been awful against the Wing all season and, with them taking away production from Bigs, I expect the production of Wing players to keep going up. That means, in what should be a close, high scoring game, giving most of your Boston exposure to Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown. Tatum’s 8400 price tag should keep ownership away, as should Brown’s Questionable tag. They come with some risk for sure, but they are, by far, my favorite plays on this Boston team, and I expect them to go largely overlooked tonight.
I don’t have to tell you that Harden under 12k and Russ Westbrook under 10k are basically automatic entries into your player pool. Both dudes are capable of exceeding value on those salaries, regardless of the D they are going against. This game, though, is expected to stay very close, and have the highest total of the night (according to Vegas so far, though I expect NO/POR to surpass it). So yeah, play Harden and play Russ even though they’ll be popular.
However, the one play I want to point out to you is Covington. As I have been telling you since the first week of the season, the loss of Horford has transformed a solid Boston D to a fantastic D with one weak spot – PFs. They just haven’t been able to stop PFs all season. So when we have RoCo taking control of his starting role, playing 35 minutes a game, you better believe I’m going to be all over him. His first game with Houston, he was 6100 and put up 38.5. He had one fluke game and one game against Utah and his price fell to 5200. I expect him to push 40 DKP again today, and, at 5200, that makes him one of my favorite plays on the slate for his price.
Caution Spots ⬇️
I don’t want to avoid the Clippers completely, but I just don’t like them tonight. Kawhi Leonard is clearly the best play at 9100. He is going to command control of this game and, if anyone is going to be able to pay his salary off and thensome, it’s going to be him. He will be my highest owned Clipper, and it won’t be close. Still, I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s still owned just too high for the game situation. I mean, the Sixers are one of the best Ds in the game. They give up the fewest fantasy points to opponents. They remove value from every position at one of the highest clips. It’s just an absolutely terrible matchup for anyone.
As far as everyone else goes – PG13 is 8k and only playing 25 or so minutes a game. Hardly something you can count on. Lou Williams will be playing in the first unit. Although he’s still a light’s out shooter, his usage will absolutely plummet playing next to Kawhi and PG13. Montrezl will be coming off the bench and playing significant minutes without LouWill. If you don’t know, know you know – do not play Montrezl unless he is partnered with LouWill when he’s on the court. Anyone else would be a GPP play – Marcus Morris, especially, could get hot for 5100, and he should be able to match up nicely with Glenn Robinson most of the game.
Situations to Monitor 🌀
DeMar DeRozan QUESTIONABLE?
DeRozan was a surprise scratch yesterday with back spasms. His status is going to make a significant difference in terms of who we play from this team tonight. If he is in, the usage will be spread out enough among fairly priced players against a fantastic defense that’s going to make scoring tough. That would put the Spurs in the “situations to be careful of” pile. If I were to go anywhere, it would be to LaMarcus Aldridge, who would line up at Center and face the position against which the Thunder are worst (though still above league average).
If DeRozan is OUT, it’s a whole different ballgame. A ton of usage gets pushed to LMA, making him a much more attractive play at his price. It also forces you to give a serious look to all these crazy cheap Spurs – Lonnie Walker (3000) would start again at min price, and you’d see increased minutes and usage go to Patty Mills (3100), Bryn Forbes (3500), and Derrick White (4000). While I normally try to stay away from attacking the Thunder on the wing (or with PFs), for those prices, I’ll make an exception.