Welcome, to the Judge’s Verdict. After yesterday’s brutal NBA slate, we have a glorious 10-game NBA slate tonight. Let’s get right down to business.
Here are some of my top tournament plays for tonight’s 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.
Colin Sexton (4.8, 4.9)
With John Wall out tonight, the entire NBA DFS world will be playing Austin Rivers, me included. However, you guys already knew to play Rivers, so I shall not insult your intelligence by writing about him here. Another guy we can look to roster is “Sexy Sexton.” He was 6.2K on FD six days ago and now is down to 4.8K on FD. What changed? Actually, not much. Sure the corpse of George Hill came back and is now starting alongside Sexton. However, Hill provides defense and basically nothing else. He certainly is not going to steal usage from anyone at this stage of his career. Sexton is still playing 30+ minutes a game and taking 14 shots a game with Hill back in the lineup. In a pace up matchup vs. the Warriors tonight, Sexton is a sneaky tournament play with upside. A lot of people will be fearful of a blowout here, but Sexton has been getting blowout minutes – so that is not going to deter me from rostering Sexton tonight.
Note: Rivers is an SG on FD and a PG/SG on DK. On FD, another wacky Wizard, Satoransky will be a popular punt tonight at PG.
Bradley Beal (8.5, 8.4)
As mentioned above, John Wall is out tonight, so most will flock to Beal tonight with glee against the wondrous pace and putrid defense of the Hawks. I will be playing Beal in cash games, but I do think it’s an interesting fade in tournaments. Beal sees a four percent usage bump without Wall, but his fantasy points per minute barely go up at all. Last year, Wall was out for a large portion of the season, and Beal was very underwhelming in a lot of those games. The biggest beneficiaries were the secondary players on the Wizards (Otto, Markieff, Oubre). I still have nightmares of watching Beal last year without Wall be very passive for large stretches of games. Remember, there was lots of chatter about how happy the Wizards were without Wall last year because everyone was getting a chance to touch the ball and taking lots of shots. While this might be good for the Wizards in real life, this is not what we want if we roster Beal tonight. So, to recap: Beal in cash games, yes. Beal in large tournaments, I do not mind the fade.
Robert Covington (7.0, 6.6)
I do not envision many people rostering Covington tonight, but small forward (especially on FD) may be my least favorite position. Covington is playing close to 38 minutes a night since being traded to Minnesota, and he has six straight games of at least three steals/blocks, and in five of those games, he’s had at least four steals/blocks. So, on a site like FD, you’re basically starting off the night with a free 9-12 fantasy points. He is stuffing the stat sheet, and if he can just make a few shots, he is going to get close to 40 fantasy points. Covington can be a frustrating guy to roster, as he may only take eight shots and stand in the corner for LONG stretches each game – however, his usage has increased since being traded, and his minutes alone put him in play for me every night as long as his price stays at or below 7K.
Aaron Gordon (7.3, 6.8)
Gordon is always a tournament option for me, and his price is close to 1K too cheap on all sites. He was dealing with a lingering back issue early in the season, but that finally looks to be behind him. He was terrific last night against Miami, putting up 20 points, 13 rebounds, five assists, one steal, and one block in 35 minutes, and recency bias may make him a popular play tonight. However, I’m hoping most people will stay away due to the low over/under against Denver and Paul Millsap defense. Hell, I will be staying away for this reason in cash games. But, a superior talent if playing well can overcome any defense, including the balky knees of an aging (yet crafty) Paul Millsap.
All The Centers!
Center is loaded tonight, and I probably will look to roster several on DK. Dedmon’s price makes almost no sense to me at 3.9K against the Wizards. He is by far my favorite punt center on the slate. If spending up, I think Jokic will smash again tonight against Vucevic. And if you want a midrange play, I will continue to roster John Collins, who should be flying up and down the court against the Wizards.
On FD, it’s tougher, as we only get to roster one center. If I can find the salary, I’ll plug in Jokic at 9.4K. For a punt, I am strongly considering Jonas against Embiid tonight, as Toronto will need his big body to combat Embiid down low. My sneaky tournament play in the mid-tier range is DeAndre Jordan against the Pelicans. In that fast pace game, I’m hoping he can somehow stumble into 5-6 steals/blocks. So, to recap: there are so many glorious center plays, I would build the rest of my lineup first – and plug in a center towards the end, as you can find a solid one at any price.
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.
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