Welcome, to the Judge’s Verdict. We have a massive 11 game slate tonight with injury news creating havoc, but also opening up value. If you’re playing tonight, be sure to have pivots ready for when that late news trickles in a few minutes before lineup lock.
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.
WESTBROOK but also Elie Okobo (4.4, 3.0)
Russ faces off against Trae Young and the Hawks. I cannot think of a single reason to fade him except if you think OKC is going to blow them out in the first half or you want a star that will be lesser owned. I will have almost 100% exposure to Russ tonight, but I don’t want to insult you by writing a blurb about Westbrook. You guys already knew that he was an elite play.
Another name we can look to target is Elie Okobo (referred to as “Okie Dokie” on my podcast). I am insulted at the lack of respect for Okie. I saw one site project 27 other PGs ahead of Okie for tonight’s slate on FD. Our site, TQE, would not dare do such a thing. But in all seriousness, Okobo is on my radar tonight coming off his best game of the year (19 pts, 4 assists, and 3 steals in 32 minutes) and Warren is out. There were rumblings in the media that Okobo would be starting tonight, however, that will not be the case. Phoenix is still going to use useless Bridges in the backcourt with Booker. This is irrelevant to me, as one of the most overrated aspects of NBA DFS is who starts a game. Okobo is going to get at least 24 minutes, and I think he has a legit chance to play 30+ minutes tonight against Orlando. This kid can play, he is aggressive, Canaan has been waived, and the Suns are making it a priority to develop Okobo the rest of the year. And he’s the perfect pivot off of Tim Frazier on FD.
Note: On DK, Okobo is only 3K, making him one of the top punts on the entire slate.
Dennis Schroder (6.0, 5.7)
Smart and McGruder were the first two guys I plugged in to my cash games on FD, and we have to give a hard look at Oubre at SG on DK with Otto out tonight and Jeff Green questionable. However, one guy for tournaments that may go overlooked is Dennis in a revenge game against Atlanta. I’m not a huge fan of the revenge narrative, as it fails more often than it works (people just love to remember the times it works). But tonight, Dennis is in an elite spot vs. the Hawks. The Hawks were so disgusted with Dennis that they traded him away for (gulp) Melo! That is some blatant disrespect for a very talented player. Dennis has been playing excellent lately for the Thunder with massive usage: averaging 19 points and 17 shots per game over his last 8 games (not counting his most recent outing against the Cavs which was an outlier). I really do think Russ and co. look to get Dennis a few more shots tonight against his former team, which could mean fantasy bliss for us.
Monitor the Injury News
SF for me tonight will vary on each site and depend on the injury news. On FD, if Jeff Green plays for the Wizards, I will use him as my punt at 3.8K. If Green is out (remember Otto is already out), I may feel forced to play my arch nemesis Kelly Oubre. Who the hell else is Washington going to play? Oubre should see 40 minutes. I also will look to target Winslow in tournaments once again, as I know most DFS player are growing frustrated at him letting us down. He is due and in another prime spot vs. the Pelicans.
On DK, Josh Jackson and Marcus Morris are the two guys that jump off the page. With Warren out, Jackson will be popular but has massive upside (even though he has hurt us as chalk earlier this year), and Marcus has an elite matchup vs. the Cavs. Plus, the Celtics are short handed with Horford resting tonight. If Jackson makes you queasy, I understand it – so just go safety with Marcus.
Note: My top SF play on FD is actually Josh Richardson for Miami. The discussion above is really regarding who will be my 2nd SF on that site.
James Johnson (4.1, 4.0)
There is so much quality value tonight, so you do NOT have to roster a guy who has been atrocious the entire year. If you are too squeamish for this play, you should confidently roster Marcus, Blake, AD, etc. However, this is a tournament article, so I have no issue taking some risks. James Johnson has only played in 5 games so far this year, and he has looked putrid. However, talent-wise he is a 6K player, and he is going to break out of his funk eventually. And he’s going to bust out in a game that’s up-tempo and suited to his style of play. Tonight, he will certainly have that chance against the Pelicans. Is it really crazy to think that Johnson could outscore Josh Jackson tonight? Unlikely maybe, but certainly not crazy. So, I won’t go all in with Johnson tonight, but I will have limited exposure in case he busts out of his slump.
Joel Embiid (11.0, 10.9)
I cannot envision a scenario where Embiid doesn’t destroy the Wizards tonight. The Wizards options tonight for guarding Embiid are as follows: Bryant, Mahinmi, Markieff Morris. Embiid may foul all of them out in the first quarter. Embiid is a legit MVP candidate and is posting old school Shaq numbers this year. He is the only Philly guy we can truly trust as Simmons/Butler now each carry some risk. A lot of people will punt with Baynes on FD (with Horford out), but the opportunity cost of fading Embiid seems too great for me 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.
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