NBA Morning Thoughts 02.08.19

NBA Morning Thoughts 02.08.19

We wrap up the work week with a fun, eight-game NBA DFS slate, so let’s get right to it…

*Note: There is a lot of uncertainty at the moment with players on new teams. Some are intentionally left off until we have more information.

Denver Nuggets @ Philadelphia 76ers (o/u 229.5, PHI -4.5)
Denver is 14th in defensive rating, 27th in pace.

Philadelphia is 12th in defensive rating, 7th in pace.

We start with two of the NBA’s best teams squaring off in Philadelphia. This is a decent pace-up spot for the Nuggets, as the Sixers will likely try to control the pace at home. While the Sixers have above-average defensive metrics, I’m unconcerned about their defense for Nuggets players. Gary Harris remains out.

One of the more interesting player matchups we get tonight is Nikola Jokic vs Joel Embiid. Jokic has been unbelievable this year, and while he won’t get it, he deserves to be in the MVP conversation. We’ve seen skilled big men have huge games vs Embiid, as his “ego” keeps his opponent locked in all game. It’s not easy to pay up for Jokic on either site — $11200 on FD and $10400 on DK aren’t exactly cheap — but there is upside in this spot. Unfortunately there isn’t much historical data between these two, as Embiid missed his previous matchup vs the Nuggets this year, when Jokic exploded.

An interesting GPP target is Jamal Murray, and simply because of price. Murray is cheap on both sites at $6700 on FD and $6300 on DK, and played 31 minutes in his return to action in his last game vs Brooklyn. Murray averages 1.01 FD and 1.05 DK points per minute with Gary Harris OFF the court, with around a 2% usage bump. Shockingly, Murray had been somewhat consistent before getting injured, and he’s priced around his floor in a high-intensity game environment. I like him a lot tonight.

Paul Millsap is listed as questionable, so we will have to continue to wait and see whether we can unleash Trey Lyles and Mason Plumlee. Lyles is still cheap enough and would become an elite target. Plumlee at his elevated price is more of a debate.

Monte Morris remains a bit too priced up for me with Jamal Murray back. The minutes will still be there for Monte — it’s more so the usage that worries me at his price. Malik Beasley remains a strong target and is still too cheap on FD at under $5k.

The new-look Sixers are a bit of an unknown tonight, as this will likely be their first game with new addition Tobias Harris. In terms of the matchup, Denver has become a team we can attack, as they boast the 25th ranked defense in the NBA over the last 15 games.

The Tobias Harris move has made the Sixers less DFS relevant at their elevated price tags. While I expect we see an active Harris tonight, it’s tough for me to pay around $7k for him, as I do think there is potential for him to sit in the corner on offense a lot.

Joel Embiid is the safest of the Sixer studs simply because he has always been the most productive. Again, does Harris’ addition take away looks the way Jimmy Butler’s addition negatively impacted Joel? I think it may, but I still have GPP intrigue in Embiid.

On FD, Ben Simmons is a bit too pricey, but I like this matchup a lot and his DK $8400 price tag is very targetable. Simmons on DK is probably my favorite Sixer to target, as he’s the least scoring dependent of their new “big 4”.

I’m off on Jimmy Butler and JJ Redick. I think Butler can certainly get there, but I’m of the wait and see approach with most of the Sixer players. While they could all reach 5x value, I don’t see much of a ceiling for any of them except for Embiid and Simmons.