As our stomachs are still turning from the mass amount of wings and the visual of that “Chunky Milk” commercial we are back with a fun six-game NBA DFS slate. Here are my top targets…
Trae Young (FD $7600, DK $7600) vs WAS
Young has been balling of late going for 40+ fantasy points in four of his last five games and is back tonight in an elite spot vs a Wizards team that would struggle to contain me. PG is loaded with a lot of strong value so Young is strictly a GPP target, but an elite GPP target. The abundance of value will also keep Young’s ownership down. In DFS we need to get over our biases quick, two weeks ago this is an absurd price for Young. It’s not anymore, and it wouldn’t surprise me if his price continues to rise.
Darren Collison (FD $6500, DK $6200) vs NO
Darren Collison is a safe pick with upside. Collison is averaging .95 FD and .99 DK points per minute over the last 14 days with Oladipo OFF the court and besides for two blowouts, Collison has been right around the 32 minute mark in those contents. The Pelicans fifth ranked pace and 25th ranked defensive rating provides Collison with an elite matchup. Neither site has him priced him too cheap nor too high and Collison get’s a production bump because of the matchup. Tomas Satoransky is the other middle priced PG in an elite matchup, Tomas is a top target vs Atlanta but 1 vs 1 I trust Collison more.
Bryn Forbes – Patty Mills
Forbes and Mills are beneficiaries of Derrick White being ruled out and also happen to find themselves in an elite pace-up spot vs Sacramento. Forbes gets a 5.14% usage bump while increasing his per minute fantasy production by .16 points. Mills see’s a .3 FD and .33 DK fantasy point per minute increase with a 5.96% usage bump. I slightly prefer Forbes over Mills simply because Forbes will be in the 30-36 minute range.
Frank Jackson – Tim Frazier
Both Jackson and Frazier are products of the Pelicans injuries. Frazier has been the better and more consistent producer while Jackson is still priced under $4k and seeing strong minutes with decent production. The matchup vs Indiana isn’t great but at their prices I’m not that concerned over the matchup. I prefer Frazier, he’s just been super consistent producing across the board.
I’d rank the four: Forbes, Frazier, Mills, Jackson.
James Harden (FD $13800, DK $12900) vs PHX
I don’t have anything unique or good to say about Harden tonight, we know the deal by now. Harden is insane, he’s proven his price tag is justified even with Chris Paul back and he’s in an elite spot vs the 29th ranked defense in the NBA. Play or fade Harden at your own risk.
Bradley Beal (FD $9300, DK $9100) vs ATL
Beal has the luxury of facing my favorite team to attack in DFS, the Atlanta Hawks. This one is straightforward, Beal is priced fair and in an elite matchup. In three games vs the Hawks this year Beal is averaging 48.33 FD points and 50.33 DK points. There’s upside at his price.
DeMar DeRozan (FD $7800, DK $7500) vs SAC
After frustrating many his last outing vs the Pelicans I’m right back on board the DeRozan death train vs Sacramento. With Derrick White out we get first month of the season DeRozan tonight as he will be essentially the Spurs PG. Earlier in the season targeting DeRozan in pace up spots was a sound strategy and I continue to love attacking the Kings at PG. Per 36 minutes DeRozan averages 42.68 FD points and 42.92 DK points with Derrick White OFF the court. Considering the matchup and Derrick White’s unavailability DeRozan has legit 50+ upside at under $8k. It’s hard for me to pass on that, hopefully recency bias keep his ownership down.
*Note: SG is once again absolutely loaded. Devin Booker, Jrue Holiday, Khris Middleton, D’Angelo Russell, Monte Morris, and Malik Beasley are all strong targets. The three listed above are my favorites.
Giannis Antetokounmpo (FD $11600, DK $10900) vs BK
This is a smash spot to target Giannis as the Bucks head to Brooklyn. Stars typically produce incredibly well at the Barclay’s Center as the Nets are always in these close back and forth games which keep stars engaged. I love Giannis tonight and if you’re fading Harden I wouldn’t fade Giannis. The Bucks are this strange position-less team and while Brook Lopez is the “center” Giannis is their best rebounder. Giannis gets some of that beautiful “target centers vs BK” love in this spot.
Otto Porter Jr. (FD $6600, DK $5900) vs ATL
This is the ideal game environment for Otto as the Hawks provide him with +defensive upside as well as +rebound and +points. Porter is back in the starting lineup and producing fairly well from a per minute standpoint. I’d expect Porter to be heavily owned as this is just an elite spot for him with a great price. SF isn’t great overall, especially on FD, Porter is a strong target.
Darius Miller (FD $4800, DK $4800) vs IND
It’s a terrible matchup and he burned a lot of people his last outing but with all of the Pelicans injuries Miller remains a strong value worth considering. Do I love Miller and his skill-set? Not particularly, but Miller will play 33+ minutes and take 10+ shots, that’s appealing at his price. During this five game run of 30+ minutes Miller has been over 30+ fantasy points three times, the upside is there. This is a boring and sort of “chalky” pick but Miller remains a solid option at his price.
BONUS FD FREE PLAY GPP DART
DeAndre Bembry – $3600 vs WAS
Bembry appears to be coming off the bench now and has clearly been the Hawk most effected by Kent Bazemore’s return. With that, and his putrid performance last game, Bembry is priced near the minimum vs the Wizards. We’ve seen Bembry go on these massive runs in short minutes because of his defensive upside, he can still 10x his FD salary in 20 minutes. The Wizards play small which could potentially lead to a few more minutes for Bembry. He’s a good GPP dart throw.
LaMarcus Aldridge (FD $9500, DK $8000) vs Blake Griffin (FD $9400, DK $8800)
Both are arguably elite targets – but in similar price ranges, who is preferred? Right off the bat, Aldridge is the stronger target on DK. He’s too cheap, especially in an elite matchup vs the Kings. While Aldridge has actually played better WITH Derrick White in the lineup we can still target him with confidence at his DK price. On FD, I prefer Griffin. With Derrick White OFF the court Aldridge sees a 3.22% usage drop and a very slight .03/.04 per minute production drop. The PPM numbers are irrelevant in my eyes and the Kings pace make up for it. The usage drop is interesting and makes sense. DeRozan is more of a scorer than a facilitator and with the ball in his hands more Aldridge may have less opportunities. Blake is facing a Nuggets team that continues to regress defensively ranking 22nd in the NBA over their last 15 games. While Millsap is a capable defender, Blake is stronger and more athletic than him. That’s a matchup Blake can exploit. To recap, take the savings on DK and go Aldridge, on FD I prefer Blake. Both are strong targets. If salary cap is a non-issue and you just want to know who scores more points, I think Blake slightly outscores Aldridge.
Kenneth Faried (FD $8000, DK $7000) vs PHX
An argument can be made that Faried is now slightly overpriced on both sites which could keep his ownership lower than it should be vs the Suns. This NBA game will feature a lot of missed shots and turnovers which will lead to strong production for Kenneth Faried. While Ayton poses a problem on the offensive side of the ball, defensively Faried’s activity will likely give him fits. This is an interesting spot for a monster outing for Faried. Faried has shown a great floor with mediocre upside, this is a spot where I think Faried hits his new ceiling.
Marvin Bagley (FD $6200, DK $5500) vs SA
It’s happening. Slowly but surely the Marvin Bagley era is happening. Over his last five games Bagley is averaging 29 minutes per game, that includes a 19 minute game and a 37 minute game. In his last two games Bagley has gone from 28 to 32 minutes. I expect Bagley to stay in that 30-33 minute range and he’s at a price we can exploit. Over those five games Bagley is averaging 33+ fantasy points and around 1.16 fantasy points per minute. That is great production at his price and the Spurs poor defense and slow footed front court should give Bagley a decent production bump. He won’t be in this price range for too much longer.
BONUS PELICANS VALUE SG/SF/PF
Kenrich Williams (FD $4900, DK $4300 vs IND
Williams’ position across all sites seems to be an unknown, on FD he’s listed as a PF on DK he is SG/SF eligible. For starters, Williams is a SF. I’d consider him more of a small-ball PF then a giant SG but that is irrelevant. Williams continues to impress and even in a pace-down spot I’m interested in him. Williams hasn’t been below 25 fantasy points since joining the Pelican rotation and I fully expect another 30+ minutes from him. He’s a strong value.
Andre Drummond (FD $9300, DK $8200) vs DEN
I’m breaking my rule of targeting centers vs Jokic here and I’m fully aware of it. This is more of a gut and price call than anything else. First, Drummond will be low owned as most will rightly not want to pay up for a big vs Jokic. I like Drummond here simply because he has actually looked good and engaged on the court since returning from his concussion. His per minute production has been outstanding, he’s averaging 1.43 FD and 1.38 DK points per minute over the last 14 days. Per 36 minutes that equates to 51.55 FD points and 49.64 DK points. His price is down where we don’t even need a huge ceiling game from Drummond to hit strong value. Again, I typically would run for the hills at this matchup but Drummond has just looked the part of late, I think he’s a great GPP play.
*Note: Nikola Jokic remains an elite target too.
DeAndre Ayton (FD $7400, DK $6800) vs Jahlil Okafor (FD $7500, DK $7100)
Another tricky 1 vs 1 with two borderline elite targets tonight. This one is fairly straightforward for me, I’m leaning Ayton. Ayton is in the better matchup facing an undersized Rockets team that lacks defensive talent. Okafor gets the Pacers who will likely regress defensively without Oladipo but still remain a strong defensive unit. Okafor is arguably safer, while his production his last two games have been underwhelming the minutes are still there as well as his defensive upside. Something Okafor can do is score, and he should be able to do that. I worry about his defensive upside matching up against Myles Turner who likes to float around the perimeter. Ayton should have no issues dominating the offensive glass against Kenneth Faried. I really like the price and spot for Ayton who wasn’t limited in his first game back.
BONUS ALWAYS ATTACK THE NETS AT CENTER
Brook Lopez (FD $6400, DK $5400) vs BK
While some people will talk about the revenge game narrative, that is the least of my intrigue with Brook Lopez. It’s simple, target centers against the Nets. Brook is priced fair on FD, arguably cheap on DK. If Eric Bledsoe is forced to sit this game out Brook will see a slight production and usage bump. Brook went for 32.4 FD and 34 DK points in their previous meeting, he’s just a safe and reliable middle priced center worth considering.
Stefano Vaccarino is the NBA Product Manager for The Quant Edge. Formerly known as Rotodamus NBA on Twitter, Stefano provides consistently accurate NBA insights and predictions. His perception of the game and understanding of analytics allows him to identify profitable NBA situations.