I’ve had quite a few people ask me about my thoughts on the price discrepancies between DraftKings and FanDuel for NBA DFS. It’s an obvious take but DK’s pricing has been very soft to start the year while FD has made things a bit more challenging by pricing guys up. I personally prefer when guys are a bit overpriced, it gives the people doing research the advantage they deserve. FD should always be priced a bit higher than DK because of scoring and roster format but DK really needs to improve its pricing model especially between the $5,500-$8,500 range. With that being said let’s get started on tonight’s 4 game slate, enjoy!
Houston Rockets @ Oklahoma City Thunder (o/u 213, HOU -5)
Houston is 22nd in defensive rating, 23rd in pace.
Oklahoma City is fourth in defensive rating, sixth in pace.
It’s still very early in the season but seeing Houston 23rd in pace is a good indicator of how the rest of the NBA has been playing to start the year. Russell Westbrook is OUT.
Priced at $8,400 on FD and $8,200 on DK, Chris Paul is relatively cheap. For a small slate, PG is fairly loaded but I have some interest in Paul because his high floor carries some appeal, his price offers some upside.
On DK, Clint Capela priced at $6,900 is a bargain. Capela should see big minutes matchuped vs Steven Adams. This is a good spot for Capela.
He burned me the last time the Rockets played but if Eric Gordon doesn’t play Carmelo Anthony is too cheap priced at $5,200 on FD and $5,300 on DK. Mini revenge narrative?
With Giannis, Durant, Curry, and Harden on the slate, we have a lot of $10k+ options, especially on a small slate. Harden is my least favorite of the four tonight. I’d expect his ownership to be low, so Harden has some GPP appeal.
With Westbrook OUT, we can continue to target Dennis Schroder. Priced at $7k on both sites Schroder is a strong target. The Rockets haven’t played much defense to start the year, Schroder should exploit that. Expect him to be very high owned.
After disappointing many last night, I’d expect Paul George to be on the lesser-owned side tonight. On FD, PG13 is still too expensive priced at $10,500, I’d rather spend up elsewhere. On DK, PG13 is way more in play priced at $8,900. This is a good visual of the pricing discrepancies on both sites.
Steven Adams is an OK target on FD priced at $7,900 but once again a really strong target on DK priced at $5,800. A $2,100 price difference for a player that has consistent production is insane to me. That DK price is appalling, target Adams with confidence there. Another major pricing discrepancy.
Boston Celtics @ Phoenix Suns (o/u 212, BOS -9.5)
Boston is first in defensive rating, 19th in pace.
Phoenix is 27th in defensive rating, 21st in pace.
This game carries some blowout risk even though it is being played in Phoenix.
This is an elite matchup for the Celtics, and one of the first names I put into my lineup was Jayson Tatum. Tatum has been struggling a bit of late but this is the perfect spot for him to get back on track. I expect Tatum to be able to score at will vs a bad Suns defense — strong upside for Tatum priced at $6,400 on both sites.
Specifically on FD, on a small slate a guy like Marcus Morris makes a lot of sense to me. Morris offers a safe floor and cap relief. If this game gets out of hand that shouldn’t affect his playing time which could lead to upside. It’s not the sexiest pick but Morris helps fit some stars in your lineup. He’s a rare player overpriced on DK, under on FD player.
I don’t have much confidence targeting the other Celtics. Kyrie has been on fire and is awesome but with his price up and some blowout risk, I worry Kyrie sort of coasts this game. I’d rather spend up elsewhere.
With a lot of studs worth targeting on the slate, I don’t particularly love paying up for the Suns’ studs vs the top-ranked defense in the NBA. With that being said if you’re looking for a super contrarian GPP lineup, targeting Booker and/or Ayton is one way to go about it.
Isaiah Canaan continues to be a usable sub $5k PG. It’s a bad matchup and his production hasn’t been great but on small slates sometimes you just need cheap guys who get minutes.
Los Angeles Clippers @ Portland Trail Blazers (o/u 225.5, POR -5)
Los Angeles is 10th in defensive rating, ninth in pace.
Portland is fifth in defensive rating, 16th in pace.
With Gortat out of the rotation, we can still confidently target Montrezl Harrell and Boban Marjonovic. Both offer safe floors and good upside at their respected prices.
On a small slate, I think Patrick Beverley and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander are interesting targets to consider. With Avery Bradley OUT, both should see strong minutes. Because this game is being played in Portland, I prefer Beverley over Shai, Shai has struggled a bit on the road which makes sense for a 19-year-old rookie.
No Avery Bradley also should lock in some added run for Lou Williams. If Sweet Lou is seeing added minutes, I’m interested. Good floor and upside for Williams.
If you’re looking to go with a more balanced approach tonight, Tobias Harris is a fine target. Not particularly high on Danilo Gallinari.
Although the Clippers are a fairly good defensive team, you can ATTACK them at the center position. Jusuf Nurkic is a really strong target on DK priced at $6,600. The Clippers rank dead last vs opposing centers. $8,100 on FD is a bit steep for this particular slate, that being said there is still upside at that price.
Evan Turner is a middle priced target worth considering. I don’t love Turner here, but we need to find some cap relief somewhere. Turner has played really well to start the year, he carries a high floor.
I don’t have much interest in Damian Lillard or C.J. McCollum. Dame is a stud and is always capable I just prefer to spend elsewhere tonight.
Milwaukee Bucks @ Golden State Warriors (o/u 234.5, GS -7)
Milwaukee is third in defensive rating, fifth in pace.
Golden State is 12th in defensive rating, 10th in pace.
A common theme of this morning’s article has been “I’d rather spend elsewhere.” Well, here is elsewhere. Take DFS out of the equation, and this is just a really fun game to watch as we have the up and coming Bucks, who have surprised the league to start the year, vs the defending champs. This is a real test for Milwaukee, and I’m sure they view this game as a bit of a “statement” game to the rest of the league. Draymond Green is OUT.
Starting with Giannis Antetokounmpo. There isn’t much to say here, to be honest. He’s an absolute stud and should thrive in the sort of pace this game should be played in. The Bucks have shooters all over the floor, which makes it a risky strategy for Golden State to double Giannis, that should give him space to attack the rim. Giannis is a fade/play at your own risk.
I really like Khris Middleton in this matchup. Middleton quietly puts up 35-45 fantasy points a night and remains priced under $8k. I don’t expect a lot of people to pay up for Khris, but I think we see him approach his ceiling in this contest. If you’re fading Giannis, I would not fade Middleton. I’m fine with playing both. Middleton feels a bit too cheap on DK at $6,700.
Eric Bledsoe has struggled to produce in his last six games and has seen a bit of a price drop. I don’t love Bledsoe, but I do think he has some GPP upside as he should be able to produce a bit more across the board because of the pace of this game. He will be low owned. He’s a high risk/high reward.
This is not the spot to target Brook Lopez as the Warriors will look to exploit Lopez on the defensive end which in turn will affect his minutes. Ersan Ilyasova and Malcolm Brogdon could see slight minutes bumps. Brogdon is interesting, he’s very cheap.
With Draymond Green OUT, my top overall play on the slate is Steph Curry, who will see more ball-handling duties, which usually leads to +assists. The points will be there. Curry also has the most exploitable matchup vs Eric Bledsoe and Malcolm Brogdon. While this game is more important for Milwaukee then it is for Golden State, the Warriors are 100 percent the type of team that wants to assert their dominance. Curry will be a big part of that.
No Draymond also benefits Kevin Durant, who sees added defensive responsibility on top of his normal offensive production. KD shows up in high profile games. Not many will pair him with Giannis, could be an interesting GPP strategy.
With no Draymond, some values open up for Golden State. Expect Jordan Bell to be a fairly popular play. Bell is the main benefactor when Draymond doesn’t play as Steve Kerr likes to keep his second unit together. Bell will likely get most of Draymond’s minutes.
Alfonzo McKinnie is another Golden State value worth considering. McKinnie is a great story as I’m sure you will hear A LOT about during tonight’s broadcast. The fact is McKinnie has been seeing strong minutes with decent production, he offers cap relief and upside.
Klay Thompson is always a bit of the forgotten man on Golden State in NBA DFS and that will likely remain tonight. Klay is a GPP target if looking to go a bit contrarian. I don’t think Draymond’s absence hurts or helps him, he’s just always capable of getting hot.
Good luck tonight!
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.