Welcome, to the Judge’s Verdict. Tonight’s five-game NBA slate is going to be very tricky, as we have some of the scariest teams in all of NBA DFS in play tonight. Indiana, Atlanta, and Miami (New York too) all have inconsistent rotations, they play too many guys, and their coaches are insane. So, be smart with your bankroll tonight.
Here are some of my top tournament plays for tonight’s scary slate.
Note: The numbers in parenthesis refer to the salaries of that particular player. The first number is the FanDuel (“FD”) salary, while the second number is the DraftKings (“DK”) salary.
Darren Collison (4.9, 4.4)
My roster tonight may feature several guys I loathe watching and rostering. I can already see myself screaming at the television, as Collison slowly waddles up the court, winks at me, and then dribbles the ball off of his leg. He commonly gets benched down the stretch for the corpse of Cory Joseph, and if he sees 30 minutes, it would be a minor miracle tonight. However, with all of that said, he still is a solid play because of price and matchup. Phoenix has been a hot mess defending point guards all year (third-worst in defensive efficiency), and Collison will do enough in 26 minutes to pay off his salary. He actually has been playing well lately without Oladipo and improved his playmaking abilities averaging seven assists in his last four games.
Note: I like this play more on FD where I have to roster two PGs. On DK, I will absolutely take a shot at guys with higher ceilings like Lonzo and Murray.
Tim Hardaway, Jr. (7.0, 6.5)
THJ is another guy I loather rostering and would never consider in cash games given his streaky shooting and his maddening inability to get peripheral stats. However, he hasn’t played less than 36 minutes in his last four games, is averaging 19 shot attempts in his last six games, and the Pistons backcourt commonly gets torched defensively. So, given THJ’s minutes, usage, and matchup he has the ability to put up a big number tonight and help us win a lot of money.
LeBron James (11.2, 10.9)
This is not an ideal matchup for LeBron, as the Laker are playing way down in pace against a solid defensive team in Denver (fifth in defensive rating, 26th in pace). However, on a small slate with traps everywhere, LeBron provides some well-needed safety for our lineups. Plus, LeBron is essentially matchup proof. If he comes out aggressive, he will get us 60+, and if he decides to sip some wine tonight and chill for most of the game, he will still find a way to get us around 50.
Note: J-Rich is another guy I will look to tonight, as he should play a lot of PG for Miami with Dragic out again, as one of the juiciest matchups in all of DFS is attacking the Atlanta point guard spot (and attacking Atlanta in general, mostly due their insanely fast pace).
Paul Millsap (6.4, 5.9)
Millsap is a guy I’ve watched closely this year, as I’ve been waiting for him to regain his all-star form. However, that does not appear that it is going to happen. Father time has taken its toll on Millsap, as he has lost a step on both ends of the floor. He also has acknowledged in the last few days that his chronically bad knee is bothering him yet again. So, we will have to be careful picking our spots with Millsap this year. We also should temper our expectations a bit, as he is no longer the guy capable of playing 35 minutes a night. In fact, he hasn’t even played 30 minutes in his last seven games. However, tonight is an elite spot for Millsap to come through playing way up in pace against the Lakers. He still does stuff the stat sheet and has made me money a few times this year with his keen ability to rack up steals and blocks. If he gets his usual 28 minutes tonight against the Lakers, his all-around game is capable of producing 35+ fantasy points with relative ease.
Andre Drummond (10.6, 9.6)
Jokic has been wildly inconsistent lately and Whiteside got ran off the court the last time he faced Atlanta, so my favorite center tonight is Drummond versus the Knicks. He has been quietly smashing teams lately averaging 21 points, 17 rebounds, two assists, one steal, and two blocks in his last eight games. He’s even earning the praise of the stoic Dwane Casey, who never remotely came close to saying a nice thing about his former center Jonas the previous few years. As Stefano mentioned in his “Morning Thoughts” article, the Knicks rank 28th in the NBA in true shooting percentage, so there will be rebounds galore for Drummond to grab tonight. He is simply too big for Enes or any of the Knicks’ bigs to handle in the paint tonight.
Alright, the Judge’s Verdict is in and it is final. Good luck tonight!
If you have any comments/feedback, I’d love to hear it. You can find me on twitter @DanielAGreen1. Also, be sure to check out my NBA DFS podcast DG Courtroom every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday during the NBA season.