We have a loaded nine-game NBA DFS slate with a ton of appealing targets, let’s get right to it…
New York Knicks @ Cleveland Cavaliers (o/u 209.5, PK)
New York is 28th in defensive rating, 16th in pace.
Cleveland is 30th in defensive rating, 29th in pace.
Welcome to some terrible basketball. Knicks versus Cavs features perhaps the two worst teams in the NBA but that doesn’t mean we can’t attack this game. Both teams are horrid defensively with the Knicks providing some much-needed pace to this game environment. I’ve always said NBA junk can turn into DFS gold and this has the potential for that. Frank Ntilikina and Emmanuel Mudiay are both expected to remains out.
Since arriving in New York, Dennis Smith Jr. has played big minutes and produced well averaging 35+ fantasy points in his first four games. Smith is priced at $6900 on FD and $6400 on DK, an argument can be made he’s priced at his floor. Smith is an elite target facing the worst defense in the NBA — he won’t remain under $7k for much longer. I’d expect him to be a fairly heavily owned target. If Mudiay plays, I’d still consider Smith an elite target but there would just be a touch of added Fizdale risk.
Two usable SFs are Mario Hezonja and Kevin Knox, who is CHEAP on FD at $4600 and priced appropriately on DK at $5000. While Knox has taken a usage hit with the arrival of DSJ, he is still playing elite minutes and tasked with a matchup vs the worst defense in the NBA should lead to more scoring opportunities for Knox at a down price. I like him in this spot.
I don’t trust the Knicks frontcourt rotation and the Cavs have a been a surprisingly good team at limiting opposing bigs. I’m not forcing DeAndre Jordan into my lineups, but I understand the appeal, he’s cheap on both sites.
Damyean Dotson and Allonzo Trier are usable punts, but I’m not particularly sure either are worth the Fizdale risk. I prefer Trier simply because he has seen more minutes of late.
The Cavs have some injury news we must monitor heading into this contest as Kevin Love and Cedi Osman are questionable. Osman is said to be “closer to doubtful.”
This game screams Jordan Clarkson 20+ shot attempts and priced at $5800 on FD and $5200 on DK vs 28th ranked defense in the NBA Clarkson is a borderline elite target. With Hood and Burks gone – and Osman likely unable to play – the minutes are there for Clarkson. Clarkson is a .95 FD and .99 DK per minute producer, 30ish minutes vs a bad defense should lead to a ceiling game for him at his price.
If Kevin Love can’t go, we can look to target Larry Nance Jr, who is priced up at $7100 on FD but remains priced way down on DK at $5900. Simply put, Nance is a production monster averaging 1.14 FD and 1.12 DK points per minute with Thompson, Love, and Osman OFF the court. That equates to 41.05 FD and 40.06 DK points per 36 minutes, which is where I think Nance will end up vs the putrid Knicks defense. Nance is an elite target tonight on both sites and arguably a lock at his DK price, I’d expect him to be high owned on DK.
Marquese Chriss and David Nwaba are usable values tonight depending on how injury news goes. Chriss is very usable priced at the minimum on DK.
I get the Colin Sexton appeal but if Brandon Knight is going to get minutes, I don’t particularly like paying up for Sexton. It’s a great matchup so I have no qualms with targeting him.