NBA Morning Thoughts 11.28.18

NBA Morning Thoughts 11.28.18

It’s Wednesday and Trey Burke has officially made my list. After last night’s tricky and fairly gross NBA slate, we get a fun 10-gamer, highlighted by the DFS gift that is Wizards vs Pelicans. Let’s get right to it …

New York Knicks @ Philadelphia 76ers (o/u 227.5, PHI -12)

New York is 25th in defensive rating, 18th in pace.

Philadelphia is 16th in defensive rating, 7th in pace.

Dave Fizdale has proven time and again he’s not scared to mix up the Knicks rotation, and last night was another great example, which adds to the risk of targeting Knicks players. Philly has struggled a bit on the defensive end since the Jimmy Butler trade, so it’s an ok matchup for the Knicks.

Since returning to the starting lineup, Enes Kanter has done what Enes Kanter does: Rebound and score. He’s priced up a touch on FD at $8000, and still a bit low on DK at $6800. Kanter is a really strong target as long as he’s starting and playing around 30 minutes. He has some foul trouble and Fizdale risk.

I was fairly confident the one Knick who was immune to Fizdale’s in-game tweaks was Tim Hardaway Jr. I was wrong, as Hardaway sat for most of the fourth in last night’s game. I don’t think this is a trend that will continue, so Hardaway as always is a decent middle priced option at SG.

I’m fine with targeting any of Emmanuel Mudiay, Trey Burke, and Allonzo Trier, but I’d be lying if I told you I knew who would get the majority of the run. It seems as if Mudiay has the most stable minutes at around 22. Whichever of the two between Burke and Trier is scoring seems to get the majority of the run. But because of price, Trier is the safest.

There’s always foul trouble risk, but the upside remains for Noah Vonleh. His price is a little scary but the Sixers have been exposed by PF’s thus far in the year.

For the Sixers, they get a Knicks team who has been brutal on the defensive end. There is some blowout potential with the Knicks being on a second of a back to back, and the game being played in Philadelphia.

He’s the priciest but Joel Embiid remains a rock solid option at center in NBA DFS because of his high floor and decent upside. I do have some blowout concerns.

Although it’s a strong matchup, it’s hard for me to go with Jimmy Butler or Ben Simmons, as after a string of decent performances both are priced up. On an 10-game slate, I’d rather spend elsewhere.

Wilson Chandler continues to see really strong minutes at a very low price on both sites. His production from a per-minute basis has not been good, but Chandler is an ok value option because of the minutes he plays.

Atlanta Hawks @ Charlotte Hornets (o/u 233, CHA -10)

Atlanta is 23rd in defensive rating, 1st in pace.

Charlotte is 14th in defensive rating, 14th in pace.

The Hawks provide Charlotte with a pace-up opponent who play little defense and turn the ball over a ton. This is an elite matchup for Charlotte.

This will be the third game between these two and in the first two games, Kemba Walker was over 45+ fantasy points in each. I’m having trouble spending up on Kemba but there is no denying this is an elite spot for him. You can target him with confidence.

Although Jeremy Lamb is on a bit of a hot streak and this is an elite matchup I’m staying away from the rest of the Hornets, as Michael Kidd-Gilchrist’s return to the rotation adds risk to their price increases.

If you’re desperate for a cheap center, Cody Zeller is an ok option at $5k on FD and $4100 on DK. Zeller isn’t sexy but he’s cheap, seeing around 20-25 minutes with an elite matchup.

The Hawks many rotations are not conducive to NBA DFS. I have minimal interest in targeting any Hawks players.

Dewayne Dedmon remains a cheap GPP target at center. Since John Collins’ return, Dedmon has seen a production drop but his minutes have stayed the same. Dedmon is due for one of his monster, 25ish minute performances, and this isn’t a bad spot for it.

If Taurean Prince is going to play around 32 minutes a game as he’s done his last two outings, then Prince is a bit too cheap on both sites. Prince is a capable producer who is typically in the high $6k/low $7k range, but he’s priced at $5600 on FD and $5100 on DK. The Hornets struggle vs opposing wings.

The Collins price increase has me off of him. He’s not worth the risk at $7200 on FD and $6100 on DK. If you’re desperate to play him, his DK price is more reasonable.

Utah Jazz @ Brooklyn Nets (o/u 216, UTA -3)

Utah is 13th in defensive rating, 24th in pace.

Brooklyn is 24th in defensive rating, 21st in pace.

This is an interesting spot for the Jazz, as it’s a fairly good matchup vs a mediocre Nets defense. Still, Donovan Mitchell’s return makes it a bit harder to fit in Jazz players.

My favorite Jazz target on the night should come as no surprise to anyone who has been consistently reading this article over the season. Target centers vs the Nets! This is an elite spot for Rudy Gobert. His risk is his price, but still, target Gobert with confidence.

After Gobert there’s not much I love for Utah. He’s priced fairly on both sites, so there is some appeal, but I don’t trust Mitchell on a 10-game slate in his first game back. Ricky Rubio is priced as if Mitchell wasn’t playing. Both Joe Ingles and Jae Crowder are OK sub $6k SFs. Favors has some appeal because of the Nets matchup, but it’s impossible to trust him.

The Jazz aren’t the same threatening defensive team to avoid in NBA DFS as they have been in years past. It’s not a great matchup for the Nets, but it’s not the worst.

Since Caris LeVert went down both D’Angelo Russell and Spencer Dinwiddie have seen their production go up. Both are now priced up a touch, but I’d still be fine using either. Both are more GPP targets, but good GPP targets.

A middle priced center worth considering tonight is Jarrett Allen. Allen consistently falls under the radar in DFS, and I’m not particularly sure why. Opposing centers have had success vs the Jazz in DFS, so this is a nice spot for Allen.

I’d have some interest in Rondae Hollis-Jefferson if he’s in the starting lineup again.

San Antonio Spurs @ Minnesota Timberwolves (o/u 216, MIN -4)

San Antonio is 21st in defensive rating, 25th in pace.

Minnesota is 19th in defensive rating, 11th in pace.

This is a pace-up spot for the Spurs, but not as drastic as it looks on paper. Since the Timberwolves traded Jimmy Butler they have slowly seen their defensive rating improve and their pace go down. Pau Gasol remains OUT.

I’m not actively looking to plug them into my lineups, but I have no issue targeting either DeMar DeRozan or LaMarcus Aldridge. Both are essentially the Spurs offense, and they’re priced fairly. I prefer Aldridge because of positional strength.

Patty Mills and Bryn Forbes are two value PGs worth considering. At this very moment there isn’t a ton of value on this slate, and both Mills and Forbes provide some sort of safe cap relief.

He always carries some risk but this is an ok spot for Rudy Gay. I prefer to target Gay when San Antonio is playing a potential playoff team, and this fits that bill. Pop will look to lean on Gay for offense for stretches of the game to give DeRozan and Aldridge a break.

Since the Butler trade, Minnesota has become less of an appealing team to target, as they have a deeper bench now which cuts into their starters’ production.

The pace-down game actually benefits Karl-Anthony Towns a touch in my opinion. Towns should be around the basket all game, and he has an exploitable matchup vs whichever Spur is tasked with guarding him.

His minutes are phenomenal but Robert Covington is a bit too pricey for my liking. Still, I get the appeal of wanting to target him. He plays 35+ minutes a night and has a +matchup vs the Spurs who struggle vs opposing wings.

Jeff Teague vs Derrick Rose? Taj Gibson vs Dario Saric? It’s hard for me to pay up for either Teague or Rose in the $6k range, as both just eat into each other’s production. As long as they are both healthy I don’t think either are worth the headache unless in the 5.5k range. Gibson and Saric however are cheap enough to warrant considering. Taj Gibson at $4100 on FD and $4300 on DK feels too cheap, he offers some safe cap relief on this slate.

Chicago Bulls @ Milwaukee Bucks (o/u 227.5, MIL -14)

Chicago is 22nd in defensive rating, 17th in pace.

Milwaukee is 6th in defensive rating, 4th in pace.

This is a pace-up spot for the Bulls, vs an elite Bucks defense. Blowout potential doesn’t really affect the Bulls starters unless the Bucks are up by more than 30.

Jabari Parker was lost in a Burger King parking lot before these two teams met on 11/16. I’m not sure if it was the sight of his old teammates, but since then Parker has been balling. His price is way up on both sites, but I still don’t mind targeting him. Parker is seeing huge minutes and has a narrative on his hands.

I’m not particularly sold on Justin Holiday and Zach LaVine tonight. Holiday has been awesome of late but this isn’t the best matchup for him at his increased price tag. For LaVine, I love the usage but I’d rather spend elsewhere tonight on a 10-game slate.

Wendell Carter Jr’s price is down enough to warrant using him in GPPs on both sites. He’s a little more cash game safe on DK, but the matchup isn’t great.

This is a strong spot to target Milwaukee players, but I have serious blowout concerns in this one.

Starting with the Bucks big 3. I have no issue targeting Eric Bledsoe, Khris Middleton, or Giannis Antetokounmpo but on a 10-game slate with massive blowout concerns I’d rather spend elsewhere. All three are strong GPP targets, as they carry big upside if the Bulls stick around.

A lower middle priced center on my radar is Brook Lopez. We get a Lopez brothers narrative for Brook vs Chicago’s week interior defense at a low cost. Brook hasn’t been great, but he has shown his upside at times this year. This is a decent spot for him to produce.

Washington Wizards @ New Orleans Pelicans (o/u 241.5, NO -6)

Washington is 29th in defensive rating, 6th in pace.

New Orleans is 27th in defensive rating, 3rd in pace.

Here it is. You’ve made it to the crown jewel of NBA DFS tonight: Wizards – Pelicans. Look at that implied 241.5 total! I don’t need two team bios for this game, as each bio is the equivalent of the Spider Man pointing meme. In NBA DFS, the teams I want to ATTACK ideally have HIGH pace and LOW defensive ratings. Both of these teams fit that bill. These two played last week, and while Anthony Davis did not play in that game, he is playing tonight. Expect the Wizards to be down by 20 in the first quarter, and then come back and potentially win. Dwight Howard is OUT.

John Wall disappointed in the previous game vs the Pelicans, but still put up 40+ fantasy points. Wall is underpriced on both sites at $9300 on FD and $9100 on DK. Targeting PGs playing the Pelicans is usually a sound strategy, and this is an elite spot for Wall with an appealing price. Wall is an elite target at PG.

While Dwight Howard has been sidelined, the two biggest benefactors have been Otto Porter and Markieff Morris. Porter has seen his minutes stabilize with the Wizards closing games out with Wall, Beal, Oubre/Green, Porter, and Morris. In this game environment, Porter is an elite middle priced SF to target. Morris has seen a usage bump coming off the bench and a minutes bump with Howard out. He’s priced up on FD so he’s no longer a must for me, but there is still appeal at his $5100 DK price.

Since the Wizards have started to show some life Bradley Beal has produced well. He’s a bit too pricey for my liking. That being said, this is an elite spot for Beal, I don’t mind targeting him here at all.

Kelly Oubre and Jeff Green are usable punts at SF.

I understand the risks of targeting someone as pricey as Anthony Davis on a 10-game slate but I’m not fading him tonight. This is a dream matchup for Davis, who is in a pace-up environment vs a terrible defensive team. My lineups are starting with Davis and then I’ll figure out the rest. He’s normally the top player on any slate, and he’s even more so today.

Jrue Holiday has seen a slight drop in production his last two games, but Jrue remains about as solid of an option as they come. He’s not cheap but his high floor carries tons of appeal in cash. And this matchup vs the Wizards offers some upside.

When Davis is in it’s always a toss-up picking between Nikola Mirotic and Julius Randle. I continue to prefer Mirotic when Davis plays, and Randle when Davis sits. Both are usable, Randle is more of a GPP target.

Priced at $5,400 on FD and $5000 on DK, E’Twaun Moore remains in play as a lower middle priced option at SG/SF. Moore had 6 steals vs the Wizards last week, and it will be hard to replicate that, but this is a good game environment for Moore.

Cleveland Cavaliers @ Oklahoma City Thunder (o/u 216, OKC -13)

Cleveland is 30th in defensive rating, 28th in pace.

Oklahoma City is 1st in defensive rating, 8th in pace.

This is a pace-up but tough matchup for the Cavs. David Nwaba is OUT.

The only Cav I’m confident in targeting is Larry Nance Jr, as coach Larry Drew will likely go big again and insert Nance in the starting 5 with Nwaba out. IF Drew decides to go small and start Cedi Osman at the 4, then Osman would be a really strong value SF worth considering.

The rest of the Cavs? Not much interest from me. Rodney Hood is ok. Tristan Thompson is a bit too pricey for me on FD, but he’s ok on DK. Still, the matchup isn’t ideal. Colin Sexton is priced out for me. Jordan Clarkson has SOME GPP appeal.

It’s always a good matchup when you play the worst defensive team in the NBA. I’m very worried about a blowout here for the Thunder, especially playing at home.

Because of my blowout concerns I’m surprisingly off of most Thunder players. It’s hard for me to justify paying up for Russell Westbrook and Paul George, both are GPP targets only. The same can be said about Steven Adams, but to a lesser extent.

Dennis Schroder is an interesting target. He will see around 30 minutes regardless of the score, and he could see added usage and production if the game gets out of hand. I don’t mind targeting Schroder here at his price.

Jerami Grant remains way too cheap on DK. Priced at $4300, he’s a great source of cap relief there.

Dallas Mavericks @ Houston Rockets (o/u 217, HOU -8)

Dallas is 8th in defensive rating, 16th in pace.

Houston is 26th in defensive rating, 29th in pace.

The Mavs face a Rockets team that is really struggling defensively. The issue with targeting Mavericks players is that none are particularly cheap and there are a plethora of offensive options. Both Luka Doncic and Dennis Smith Jr are QUESTIONABLE, but I fully expect them to play based off reports.

If Luka Doncic plays he’s a really interesting target here. Doncic is overpriced but the Rockets carelessness with the basketball should lead to added defensive upside for Doncic. And his scoring, rebound, and assists already provide him with a high floor.

Harrison Barnes is a fine middle priced target at SF. I don’t love him, and I don’t hate him either. My issue with Barnes is sometimes he’s engaged and active, and other times he’s pensive, which dramatically affects his production. If Doncic can’t go Barnes would see a nice bump.

DeAndre Jordan is a center who could get overlooked. I don’t love his price but the opportunity is there for him tonight vs a Rockets team that likes to get to the basket, which could lead to +blocks and +rebounds.

I’m staying away from the Mavericks backcourt for the time being. I don’t particularly want to get involved with the three-headed JJ Barea, Devin Harris, Dennis Smith Jr monster. This could change, however, if Doncic is ruled out.

The Rockets get a dramatically improved Mavericks defensive team from earlier in the year. Chris Paul is QUESTIONABLE.

IF Chris Paul plays, I don’t have any interest in any Rockets except for Clint Capela. Capela has been great of late, and I’m not overly concerned about his price.

IF Paul is OUT then we can once again look to target James Harden and Eric Gordon. Gordon would become an elite value on the slate. Harden would rival Anthony Davis as the top target on the slate. Expected usage and minutes would outweigh the tough matchup.

Orlando Magic @ Portland Trail Blazers (o/u 216.5, POR -7.5)

Orlando is 17th in defensive rating, 23rd in pace.

Portland is 15th in defensive rating, 14th in pace.

The Magic head out west to face a Blazers team that is middle of the pack in terms of defensive rating and pace. Aaron Gordon is considered QUESTIONABLE, and I like to consider him “Super Questionable.”

Gordon’s status is the most important factor when it comes to breaking down Orlando. Since it’s a late game, I’m not sure we get an update on his status before FD lock.

Jonathan Isaac is on my radar regardless of Gordon’s status. Isaac played 30 minutes last game vs the Warriors, which is extremely important considering this is the first time he has done so since returning from injury. If Gordon is ruled OUT before lock, Isaac offers really strong upside and will likely become chalky.

I have no issue going right back to the well and targeting Nikola Vucevic. He’s been straight up balling. His FD price tag of $9500 isn’t great, but on DK at $8300 Vucevic remains firmly in play.

On a slate with not much value as of yet, DJ Augustin provides some safe value with a touch of upside at PG.

If Gordon is ruled OUT, Jarell Martin could end up getting the start again. My concern with Martin is Isaac also did not play the game Martin started in Gordon’s absence. He’d be an ok punt but still with a good amount of risk.

This isn’t an exciting matchup from a Blazers standpoint, as Orlando provides a slight pace-down game with a middle-of-the-pack defensive rating. Jusuf Nurkic is PROBABLE.

If for some reason Nurkic can’t go, Meyers Leonard would provide elite value at PF. It would be tough to fade Leonard, as his low cost would be the perfect complement to Anthony Davis on FD. This is more of a pipe dream though, as it appears Nurkic will play.

I’m not particularly high on Damian Lillard or CJ McCollum, but I’m not harshly opposed to using them. I’d just prefer to spend up elsewhere.

The same goes for the rest of the Blazers, I have very little interest.

Phoenix Suns @ Los Angeles Clippers (o/u 227.5, LAC -11)

Phoenix is 28th in defensive rating, 20th in pace.

Los Angeles is 11th in defensive rating, 9th in pace.

The Suns are on a second of a back to back in a pace-up game vs the Clippers. The Clippers are a team with good defensive metrics, but are very exploitable in NBA DFS, as their high pace usually leads to increased production.

I love Devin Booker in this spot, I just wish he was a touch cheaper. The Clippers have given up HUGE games to opposing PGs and SGs, and Booker fits into both those categories as the Suns starting PG. I hate his price ($8800 on both sides) but love his matchup.

The Clippers are like the Nets, as you can ATTACK them at center. Tonight, Deandre Ayton gets that honor. Ayton is in an elite spot. He’s an elite target at center priced under $8k on both sites.

Priced at $6500 on both sites, TJ Warren is also usable. Warren has burned me many times in the past, but he has been somewhat consistent with his production of late. He’s priced fairly.

This is also an elite spot for the Clippers facing a bad Suns defense. There is some blowout concern but I think the Suns are able to stick around for most of the game.

I really like Shai Gilgeous-Alexander in this spot. Shai is blowout-proof, so that risk is out of the equation. The Suns are 29th in the NBA in turnover percentage, turning the ball over 16.5% of the time. That should lead to +steals opportunities for Shai. The minutes and matchup are there for him. His $6k price puts Shai firmly on my radar.

Our good friend in the TQE chat, Montrezl Harrell, is firmly in play priced at $7200 on DK. On FD, Harrell is a bit rich at $8300. That minimizes a lot of his upside. Still, this is an elite spot for Harrell, who continues to see around 30 minutes a game.

I’m not forcing them into my lineups, but Tobias Harris and Lou Williams are fine to target, as I don’t think the Clippers run away with this game until late in the fourth quarter.



Knicks, Hawks, Pelicans, Wizards, Rockets, Suns, Clippers

BLOWOUT POTENTIAL(in order of most likely to not, in my opinion)

Thunder vs Cavs, Bucks vs Bulls, Sixers vs Knicks, Hornets vs Hawks, Clippers vs Suns


PG: John Wall, Kemba Walker, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander

SG: James Harden(if CP3 out), Jrue Holiday, Devin Booker, Eric Gordon(if CP3 out)

SF: Otto Porter, Johnathan Isaac(if AG OUT)

PF: Anthony Davis, Montrezl Harrell(DK), Markieff Morris(DK), Larry Nance Jr, Meyers Leonard(if Nurk OUT)

C: Nikola Vucevic(DK), Rudy Gobert, Deandre Ayton, Enes Kanter

Good luck tonight!