Day 2 of this new article. I see that yesterday's piece had over 100 readers. Not bad! The lineup suggestions went OK. Of course Jalen Green and KCP exceeded value. Harden and Embiid both looked sharp but I didn't anticipate a blowout in Minnesota. That limited both Harden's and Embiid's upside. Don't give up on that dynamic duo. When they are in a close contest, expect them to combine for 120 - 140 DK/FD points. Doncic underperformed and I might keep a close eye on him. Perhaps he has cooled down from his torrid pace right before the NBA All Star Break. The other guys I suggested did not hit 5 or 6x value. We just dust ourselves off and try again!
Now that I am done recapping yesterday's slate, check out the spreadsheet below for today's NBA DFS outputs based on my model. Remember these outputs can be used for both DK and FD.
Also, here are the top 5 optimal lineups for DK and FD using my model.
Now, it's time to share some of the finer details at each postion. My focus will be on FD when discussing fantasy scores and salaries but my analysis can also be applied to DK.
PG: Trae Young and Tre Jones
Young is an easy choice. He is under $10K on FD which we rarely see and the matchup is juicy. Toronto just got destroyed on the road last night to Charlotte (one of the worst defenses in the league) and they might be without VanVleet and Siakam. Plus Toronto had to travel. BTB, road game, and potential inactive status for the starters. I think Young is ready to slice and dice the Raptors to the tune of 40 points and 10 assists. Throw in a handful of boards and a couple of steals to offset whatever turnovers Young might commit. That adds up to a 60 point night on either DK or FD and gets us more than 6x value for a high priced player. Sign me up!
As for Jones, that is easy too. No Murray so Jones will start. True, San Antonio has to be exhausted having played a double OT game in our nation's capital and then boarding a super late flight down to South Beach. However, that is precisely why the normal starters for the Spurs are not playing tonight. Jones logged just 15 minutes last night. The last two times Murray sat, Jones did well. On January 30, he had 32.1 FD points at a salary of $4.1K and on February 3, he had 27.7 FD points at a salary of $4K. Not often do we get a player who will hit 6x value at such a low price. Yes, Jones will be chalky but it's worthwhile chalk since he will hit value and it allows us to roster more star players. Do not fade Jones!
SG: Will Barton and Justin Holiday
We will need some salary savings. SG is typically a tough position since we are the mercy of how well players at that position shoot the ball. I expect a fast paced game between Sacramento and Denver so I will take the starting SGs on the both teams. Barton was awesome in his last game (which was against Sacramento) shooting 11 for 17. There is a good reason why Sacramento ranks near the bottom with fantasy points allowed to SGs as well as FG% allowed. They just don't play any defense. For someone who lives in Sacramento and watches a lot of Kings games, I can say that with confidence. Barton should have a repeat performance and this time Sacramento will probably be gassed by the 2nd half once the elevation kicks in.
Holiday is a tricky player and I am open to suggestions here. What I like about him is that he is cheap and will shoot the ball at least 10 times, grab a couple of boards, dish it out 2 - 3 times, and get a couple of steals/blocks. He is not a ball handler (those duties belong to Fox) so don't expect too many turnovers. As long as Holiday can shoot 40% from the field (which he usually does and most of his FG attempts are 3 pointers) then Holiday can get us somewhere between 20 - 24 FD points. That is 6x value which works for me.
SF: DeMar DeRozan and Doug McDermott
Is anyone not paying attention to DeRozan's historic run?! He now has EIGHT straight games of scoring at least 35 points while shooting at least 50S% from the field. That is AMAZING! Michael Jordan or Kobe Bryant never did that for even 7 straight games. The Bulls will find themselves in a tight matchup against Memphis which could potentially be an NBA Finals preview but something tells me that we will see either Milwaukee or Philadelphia come out of the east and either Golden State or Phoenix out of the west. Still, the Bulls and Grizzlies game should be high scoring and might come down to the wire. You will want a piece of that action and DeRozan is the piece you need. There are other Bulls and Grizzlies players we can roster but why not go with the hot hand?
McDermott is much like Jones for San Antonio. He gets a usage bump and should get more FG attempts with the other starters for San Antonio sitting tonight. On January 30, when Murray rested, McDermott had 34.8 FD points at a salary of $3.7K. McDermott should start and get close to 30 minutes of playing time with 12 - 15 FG attempts, and a usage of north of 20%. Rostering McDermott will enable us to roster studs such as Young, DeRozan, and Jokic (more on him later).
PF: Bobby Portis and Kevin Love
Milwaukee should win tonight by 15 - 20 points, maybe more. I don't think I have seen a title contender fall as fast and as hard as Brooklyn has. They are very soft in the middle and will miss a lot of shots. That means more boards and more points in the paint for Portis. Of course Giannis is always enticing but the blowout potential is real. I would rather have a 15 point and 12 board night from Portis than Giannis at just 25 minutes of playing time and barely cracking 4x value. Portis could reach 6x value as long as makes 50% of his shots from the field and boxes out the undersized Nets.
Love is tricky (literally and figuratively!). He disappointed big time last time we rostered him but I think that was a total anomaly. Why he played just 16 minutes and attempted just 5 shots is beyond me but he typically dominates in the paint even when he is coming off the bench. His usage% significantly increases when the other starters are out and Cleveland is definitely shorthanded with Garland, LeVert, and Rondo out. Don't give up on Love. He is cheap at $4800 and can easily score 35 - 40 FD points off the bench, especially against a very tired Wizards team. You will be thanking me later when he does so tonight at sub 5% ownership.
C: Nikola Jokic
By now you should know that I don't think much of Sacramento's defense, especially in the paint. While the trade for Sabonis was a step in the right direction for Sacramento, Sabonis only provides a strong interior presence on offense, not defense. Jokic will feast again and could have a 70 or even 80 FD point night. On January 7, Jokic has 65.5 FD points against Sacramento. Two nights ago he had 65.9 FD points against them. Last year he clobbered the Kings. Check out these stat lines.
Dec. 23, 2021: 29 points, 15 rebounds, 14 assists
Dec. 29, 2021: 26 points, 10 rebounds, 12 assists
Feb. 6, 2021: 50 points, 8 rebounds, 12 assists
That is complete dominance. Jokic will probably have 50% or higher ownership but there is no reason why you should fade him. The matchup is as good as it gets and on a small slate with no other studs except Giannis (with blowout potential being very strong there), you will need the raw points Jokic will give us.
I will share some DK and FD lineups right before lock. Good luck and enjoy your Saturday afternoon beverage while reading this analysis.