bathrobeDFS – NBA Analysis for October 26, 2019

Hello, everyone! 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. I will start every game off with a shortened preview of both teams, and some relevant stats that will help you make your decisions.

It also should go without saying, this is just a preliminary analysis of the slate: everything can change throughout the day, so make sure you are staying on top of any and all injury news and change your lineups accordingly! Let’s get started with the Analysis!

Vegas Lines ?

  • 223.5 – MIL 117.25 – MIA 106.5 
  • 216.5  – PHI 110.5 – DET 106
  • 217.5 – ORL 110 – ATL 107.5
  • 215.5 – BOS 110.75 – NYK 104.75
  • 238.5 – HOU 124.25 – NO 114.25
  • 219.5 – TOR 111.25 – CHI 108.25
  • 213.5 – IND 109.25 – CLE 104.25 
  • 217 – SA 114.25 – WAS 102.75
  • 221 – UTA 115.25 – SAC 105.75
  • 229 – LAC 118.25 – PHX 110

Advantage Situations ?

The Injured Heat (Miami Side)

This is going to be a really thin Heat team, and we are going to get some absolutely fantastic value out of it. Jimmy Butler is OUT. Dion Waiters is OUT. James Johnson is OUT. And Udonis Haslem is OUT. That leaves 12 bodies left that could get in the game, which is how many got into game 1. That is also a game they won 120-101, so let’s take a look at where that production came from. 

First, there were only 2 players that saw over 30 minutes – Justise Winslow (37 min – 10-21/27p/7r/7a/1b/1s), the unquestioned #1 on this team in every way, and Tyler Herro (34 min – 6-14/14p/8r/1a/2s). Both are going to be underpriced for having such a massive role. Behind them were a handful of players that got minutes in the 20s, to varying levels of productivity. First, Kendrick Nunn, someone I tweeted about when Butler was declared out, went 10-18 for 24p/2r/3a/2s. He could have seen more time, but he had 5 fouls. Second, I should point out that Derrick Jones Jr, a mainstay from last year who showed decent production, only got 16 minutes because he got 5 fouls. Goran Dragic only got 25 minutes, and has ceded most of his work to Justise. Everyone under that is a GPP play at best. The two big men – Kelly Olynyk and Bam Adebayo – got 22 and 24 minutes, respectively. Adebayo in particular did exceedingly well in the time, but that is just not enough to make me feel he’ll be worth it. Meyers Leonard, one of the few big backups, saw 18 or so minutes and did almost nothing with it, literally. 

No one else for this team should matter. But, even when the Bucks destroy this team today, there are going to be some fantastic plays like Winslow, Nunn, and Herro, who should get serious minutes no matter what (and all the shots they can handle) 

Sixers vs Drummond

So this is one of those toomanycooks situations that we may need some luck to totally hit on. I will say this – Bruce Brown and Tony Snell are both very good defenders. I expect them to do a decent enough job on Josh Richardson and Tobias Harris

That leaves Ben Simmons, coming off an amazing game, matched up against Reggie Jackson, who is injured and one of the worst PG defenders; Al Horford, who also played a fantastic first game with the Sixers, matched up against Markieff Morris, one of the worst PF defenders; and Joel Embiid, the best player on this team, coming off a bad game and with a tougher matchup against Andre Drummond, who hates him. 

I think, if you want to talk safety, you go for Simmons followed by Horford followed by Embiid. But, while I often balk at narrative talk, we’ve seen a rivalry develop between Embiid and Drummond and there’s something to be said for having a lineup with both Centers, if possible. They both step up and try to outdo each other every time they face off. Sometimes it amounts to foul trouble. It’s also possible Horford, the superior defender, is on Drummond a lot as well. But I have no problem with a bunch of exposure to both – just understand Embiid and Drummond come with some additional risk. I just have a hard time seeing how Morris/Drummond can, in any way, combine to stop Horford/Embiid. 

One thing to pay attention to – Embiid is nursing an ankle sprain and it is possible he doesn’t suit up. If this is the case, expect Horford to slide over and downgrade both him and Drummond. Tobias Harris would see a lot more Markieff, though, so I’d love him a lot more.

UPDATE: Joel Embiid has been ruled out. Horford and Drummond will do worst against each other. Tobias Harris gets a big boost. Simmons gets a huge boost. The Game in general should stay closer as well.


I don’t know if he’s going to be as popular as he should be, given the other Center options we have on this slate. But he has as much offensive upside as any other Center in the league, he is someone who was priced around 10k every game last season, he gets a matchup against the fast-as-anything/no-defense Atlanta Hawks, and he’s only 8300. Are you kidding me? What the sweet shit is that?? 

I should also add that the Hawks have some awful defensive pieces. While I love Vuc, I will also have a fair share of Aaron Gordon and Markelle Fultz.

Trae Young

While I worry about him being overowned due to his monster game a couple nights back, I also don’t care. He is a monster. I spent weeks upon weeks last season talking about how fantastic a player he is and how you need to play him every game you can. He is a legit threat at being a 10k player, and he’s still priced like a budding star. 8800 is not a joke, but it’s also not enough for someone who can score 40 real points on top of the assists and everything else. What’s more, he should face the easiest defensive coverage of any of the legit options on the team. 

While John Collins would be a smarter GPP pick, considering the price/ownership/ceiling, he does draw a tougher matchup against Aaron Gordon/Vuc, who are both decent enough defenders that he could be limited. 

I should also mention Jabari Parker, who is going to run the 2nd unit and who I said would be demanding minutes in the upper 20s before too long. He got 22 minutes and went 8-11 for 18p. He got only 1 rebound and no other stats, which is a fluke. He is cheap, and he is going to have the usage on this team against some bad backups. He’s a GPP play with a low floor, but I can’t get away from the shooting.

Celtics vs Knicks Defense/Pace

If you read my analysis yesterday, I talked about how the Knicks were a much better team this year, both in real life and for fantasy purposes. They not only were going to be able to keep games closer due to improved offense, but they also have some staggeringly bad defensive players that we are going to target against all season. Today will be no different. 

The Celtics, who were one of the best teams in the NBA for the last few years (and will still fight for the 3 seed this season), are projected to win a close game with the Knicks, and I expect them to score a whole bunch of points on the way, regardless of what Vegas says. Given the dumpster fire the Knicks have everywhere, we should look at the usage here as the simple glass pyramid – the usage will go to the top with very little resistance and work its way down in a pretty expected way. This means focusing on Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum, and Kemba Walker primarily, with some respect given to the fill in Centers, Daniel Theis, and the 2 Williams’ just based on price alone.

UPDATE: Daniel Theis has been ruled out, joining Enes Kanter. This means the only 2 possible Centers on this team are Robert Williams and Grant Williams. They are both going to eat. They are now 2 of the best value plays on the day, and it’s not close.

Pascal Siakam

With Kawhi gone, Siakam is the legit #1 on this team. He is the best player, he’s going to get the most looks, be the most consistent, and get us the most fantasy points on a nightly basis. 

If you watched game 1, you saw a Kyle Lowry that looked almost tired already. Fred VanVleet, on the other hand, looked as primed as could be. In game 2, the roles switched. Almost no one else either game did anything worth noting, and I don’t expect much to change in that regard (excluding the occasional crazy GPP performance brought about by a hot hand or an in-game injury.) If you want to take either Lowry or FVV tonight, I don’t blame you. Just know that, one of them is going to draw the top 5 D of Satoransky, and one will draw the bottom 5 D of LaVine. I would guess that Sato is tasked with Lowry, but you never know until you see how the coaches play it. What isn’t in question, though, is Siakam is king here. And he gets a Bulls team that is a shambles defensively against the front court, who won’t be able to do a damn thing to stop him. 

Lauri Markkanen

The Bulls are one of those teams that has two stars that seem to alternate outstanding performances. They’ve already started out the season this way, with Lauri dominating game 1 and LaVine dominating last night. Well, it’s Lauri’s turn. End of Science. 

What’s that? You need more? Oh fine. 

LaVine is going to draw the defense of both Lowry and FVV, two of the top 10 guard defenders in the NBA. They are going to make his life a living hell tonight. Markkanen, on the other hand, will see the worse defense of Siakam and Anunoby, for the most part. Though it’s also possible he seems some Ibaka, who is awful. There’s not much else you can trust here, though I understand chasing those sweet Cody White points, since this is the 2nd fantastic game he’s had. I would bet on that continuing, though I think the 25p from last night is a bit high for tonight’s expectations.

Areas of Caution ⚠

The Injured Heat (Milwaukee Side)

One of the best teams (if not the best team) in the EC going against a injury-plagued shell of a mediocre team. If the Heat had Jimmy Butler and maybe one of the other veterans they’ll be missing, I could see this game staying close enough to necessitate exposure everywhere. As it is, I expect this game to get out of hand in a hurry. As such, I will stick my exposure to the bench players that are going to get some extra run at the end of the game, namely George Hill and Ersan Ilyasova.

The Thick Knicks

Thick in the sense of roster depth, as crazy as that sounds. The Knicks have a couple of really good players, but mostly a bunch of slightly better than mediocre dudes who are going to be stuck in a season-long battle for minutes and usage. It was a little easier in their first game when Mitchell Robinson was injured. But it all went to hell in game two, Sure they kept the game close with a better Nets team until the end, but there was one major problem – they ran an 11 deep rotation with Alonzo Trier, who played 7 minutes in game one, the only one to do anything of note. The minutes were split, the shots and usage were split. I mean, it was a great game in real life, as the Knicks stormed back in the 4th quarter to overcome a 10+ point deficit and take a late lead before losing to Kyrie, but, like I always point out, just because a game is good, doesn’t mean it’s worth anything for fantasy. If you want a prime example of that, go check out the Knicks boxscore from yesterday.

Rockets vs Pelicans

Like I always try to point out at least once per article, being “careful” of a situation doesn’t mean fading it or ignoring it. It doesn’t mean every play in it is bad. Far from it. It just means that, in DFS, there’s a lot of limiting factors as I often talk about. The one thing you need is minutes. Minutes and then usage. If you get less minutes, you are not going to do nearly as well as an equivalent player that gets more minutes. It’s just math. If you have several players you are interested in with similar upside in a similar price range, you are going to try to take the one who will play 36 minutes more often than the one that will play 29 minutes. Well, one of those limiting factors is whether or not a game blows out. Take a look at yesterday’s T-Wolves game. KAT finished with an astounding 82.25 DKP, but he didn’t play the entire 4th quarter. He only got 27 minutes. His PPM was insane but, if this game hadn’t blown out, he would have topped 100 DKP. On a lot of slates, someone’s PPM isn’t going to be able to make up for playing 10 fewer minutes. It will be a lot harder if there’s more than one superstar on the team, unlike Minnesota who has KAT and then players that are not KAT. 

So, when you look at a matchup between a Rockets team with James Harden and Russell Westbrook, who should serve to continue to eat almost all the usage on this team, and a Pelicans team that is going to struggle to be a top 10 seed in the Conference this year, you run into a possible limiting factor – what are the odds that Russ and Harden are limited to under 30 minutes because the Rockets are really that much better than the Pelicans? I don’t think there’s any way you’re fading them, You’d be crazy to fade them, especially when you look at their projected total. But everyone will be on them today. Everyone. And there’s plenty of ways they split the production until neither need to play anymore. I just want you to be aware of the downside here. 

On the Pelicans, after a couple of games we can see with a little more clarity where the usage is going to go – Brandon Ingram and Derrick Favors in the first unit, with Josh Hart getting a serious amount of run and a potential 2×2 every night at almost no price. It looks like Jrue Holiday and Lonzo Ball well get the minutes most of the time, but will cannibalize each other in a fantasy sense. There is really no one else who gets the minutes to warrant consideration. Until we start seeing injuries, that is.

UPDATE: JRUE HOLIDAY has been ruled out, this changes everything. First, the game is more likely to blow out. Second, Harden/Westbrook see considerably worse D. Third, Ball won’t fight Jrue all game for ballhandling. Four, Josh Hart goes from my sneaky play of the day to chalk. Fifth, Nickeil Alexander-Walker becomes the sneaky play of the day, especially considering the blowout risk.

Pacers vs Cavs

There are two main problems with this game to consider before selecting someone from it over a similarly priced player in a better environment tonight – First, there is a huge discrepancy in talent between the two teams. It’s not as bad as when the Bucks or Sixers come to town, but this is a really good Pacers team, even with Oladipo on the shelf for the next few months. The reason why they are so good ties into reason 2 – they are a slow-paced, defense-minded team. The Cavs are also a slow-paced, defense-minded team. They are just awful at it. 

So what does that translate into? Well, for one, betting the under in Vegas. 213.5? What the fuck is Vegas smoking. This is a game that, when these teams match up after the all-star break, when Oladipo is back, will still see a total barely above 200. I would expect this game to be a lot more likely to finish 105-90 than 115-100. So I am going to take that bet as soon as I’m done writing this. Then you look at the general defensive matchups – Malcolm Brogdon and Jeremy Lamb, two legit scoring threats, matched up against a rookie and the 2nd worst overall defender in the NBA.  TJ Warren, a veteran with fantastic upside, against Cedi Osman, the 2nd worst defensive SF in the NBA. The Pacers also have Domantas Sabonis and Myles Turner who will see a mix of Kevin Love, a really good defender, and Tristan Thompson, one of the bottom 5 defenders in the league. Again, one of them is going to have a great matchup most plays, and one is going to have a really hard time.

All this adds up to a team full of good options with none that really stand as must plays. In addition, as I mentioned above, this is a battle between two slow teams, which should greatly limit the number of possessions (chances) all players have. That’s not even factoring the massive blowout risk from a matchup between these two. You also need to consider the fact that, if you reverse it, almost every single player on the Pacers is a plus defender. No one on the Cavs is going to have a really great matchup, where you can trust them to help keep the game close. 

I think it’s safe to keep some of those Pacers starters in your GPP pool in case one of them does get a majority of the work and this game stays close, but I think there’s plenty of better options at their prices. This is one of those games I will be looking more at backups that get some blowout run, namely Jeremy Clarkson, Edmond Sumner, and TJ McConnell.

Spurs vs Wizards

I think you are seeing a theme tonight – a whole ton of games with a really good team facing a really bad team. Some of these games are going to blow out, some are going to stay close, a couple may even turn into upsets. The question is where do we think the games will be close, or who could put up KAT’s 82 DKP in 27 minutes production from yesterday (or, less likely, who’s time won’t change regardless of a blow out). 

The Spurs played an improved Knicks team in closer game than many expected, and ran almost exactly the same way they did last year. – LaMarcus Aldridge leading the team in minutes in the mid 30s, DeMar DeRozan right on his heels, and everyone else seeing minutes anywhere from the mid-teens to the low-30s. Here we saw Bryn Forbes get some extra minutes and perform well with them (20p/5r/1a), but that kind of run can’t be counted on again in any game. It’ll happen again, sure, but the nature of the Spurs usage hierarchy is one with the two studs at the top and everyone else fighting for scraps. 

Again, think about it like the glass pyramid I talked about a couple days ago – theoretically, when the glass overflows, it will equally fill all the glasses in the next tier down. Realistically though, chaos exists, and where that liquid goes is going to be more random than most professional analysts will admit. But I am always trying to be truthful with you. There is a reason it’s a tier, because anyone on it could get the usage any given day – last game it was Forbes, tonight it could be Derrick White, or Rudy Gay, or Dejounte Murray. The game could blow out, as even Vegas expects, and the studs could be Trey Lyles and Patty Mills

The point is that, under DDR and LMA, everything on this team is really equal. Barring some kind of massive defensive mismatch, you have to play the season focusing on the top 2 and then leave the rest for GPPs.
The Wizards, on the other hand, look a lot more set – Bradley Beal is the only one on the top. He will face the impressive defenses of Murray and White, so I don’t have absolute trust in him, but, as I always explain, the ceiling remains the same. His glass is the same size no matter what, it’s just how much we think will be in there versus how much he actually is. Under him, Thomas Bryant and Rai Hachimura will be the 2nd tier options. They will also be getting the minutes that make them legitimate plays almost every night. Everyone under them, though, is a collection of GPP-at-best plays. If you want to get some cheap exposure today, I would count on the blowout and seeing some extra Moritz Wagner and Davis Bertans.

Jazz vs Kings

Let’s be clear – the last 3 games of the night are all serious blowout risks. We are talking matchups of top 5 seeds vs bottom 5 seeds, and the mismatches are dire. So, like I will keep telling you, that doesn’t mean we need to avoid everyone, it means we need to be more cautious. There are going to be a lot of studs tonight who risk not breaking 30 minutes. We have to find the ones for whom it doesn’t matter if they do, or where Vegas is wrong about the blowout risk. For this game, though, I think it doesn’t matter. 

There are two ways I think this game plays out more often than any – either the Jazz control the game, which means it’s a much lower scoring affair where the Kings keep it relatively close, but the production isn’t nearly high enough to justify pricing; or, the Kings control the pace, the Jazz are forced to speed up, and this just exacerbates the differences in skill, allowing the Jazz to rack the score up. I think it’s more likely that the Jazz bring the pace down significantly and we see enough of a split in production, there’s just not a lot we are going to want to use.

Donovan Mitchell is the most dominant player on the Jazz offensively. He has already proved Mike Conley’s game 1 wasn’t a fluke. Rudy Gobert is a great player, but has really struggled to start the year. He has an easy matchup, but so does everyone else. Emmanuel Mudiay seems to be eating an overwhelming amount of the usage in the 2nd unit. Other than that, there’s not much to hang your hat on here.

On the Kings side, I still think the loss of Marvin Bagley is going to prove insurmountable. Sure Buddy Hield is a great player, but it will be tougher for him when the defenses have no other real stars to draw them away. That being said, De’Aaron Fox and Bogdan Bogdanovic both filled in admirably last night in what proved to be an easy loss anyway. Richaun Holmes and Nemanja Bjelica pretty much split Bagley’s minutes, and both exceeded value. They both saw their prices jump to 4k though, making them a lot less attractive, especially in this matchup. Both are decent GPP plays, though, without question.

Clippers vs Suns

Well, I had this transcribed wrong for today, and thought it was Lakers/Suns, so bear with me for a minute while I redo the analysis real quick

The Clippers have shown through a couple of games that our expectations for them coming into the season were completely reasonable – Kawhi Leonard is going to be the overwhelming mom-bucket of usage on the top of the glass pyramid, and everyone else will struggle to remain relevant and achieve value all year. In their last game, they put up a flukey 141 points, though the Suns’ pace could serve to help them get back in the same territory. In that game, we saw Kawhi only play 21 minutes due to the blowout, so it’s hard to ascertain anything about tonight. That is, unless you think that this game, between one of the 2 best teams in the NBA and one of the worst, is going to be a blowout as well?

You do!?

Well, Ok, then!

We saw Lou Williams and Montrezl Harrell get a ton of the usage when Kawhi was resting. LouWill put up 21p/3r/8a/1s in 29 minutes and Montrezl put up 18p/6r/3a in 24 minutes. Both would have been used more if the game had been closer.

We saw Patrick Patterson and Moe Harkless come out. Patterson, who is still starting for some reason, went 6 of 10 from 3, for a total of 20p with little else. Harkless was his typical “fill up the stat sheet” producer, getting 10p/2r/3a/1b/1s.

Even though Montrezl is going to dominate the C minutes, we saw Ivica Zubac put up some crazy PPM numbers – he played only 18 minutes and still managed 16p/10r/1a/2b. That’s insane. It’s also not sustainable in the long run. Especially if he gets only 17 or so minutes a game, something that is wholly resonable.

All credit due to the Suns – last night’s game against Denver was one that also shouldn’t have been close at all. They managed to hang on until the end, losing 108-107 to a team that will fight for the #1 seed. They did it by effectively moving the ball around and having 4 people produce. One of those, Devin Booker, didn’t produce like the 10k a night player he normally would be, but he still put up 18p/7a/5r. He was, rightfully, smothered by Gary Harris, though, as I predicted. This meant someone else would need to step up, and they did. Kelly Oubre went for 23p/8r/2a/2s, Aaron Baynes and Frank Kaminsky, filling in for Ayton, went 15p/7r/3a/1s, and 19p/11r/1a respectively. Needless to say, regardless of blowout risk, all 3 of these are fantastic options, as I expect LeBron to spend most of his time guarding Booker, which means another bad game for him

Situations to monitor ⏰

Jeremy Lamb’s Status (IND)

Joel Embiid’s Status (PHI)

Reggie Jackson’s Status (DET)

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Check out the Preview I did on ALL 30 TEAMS.