Welcome, to the Judge’s Verdict. We had an excellent six-game NBA slate for a Thursday before we saw a blockbuster trade between the Knicks and Mavs. Now, almost all sites have five Mavericks as the top projected point per dollar plays on the slate. Yikes! So, let’s be careful tonight, as we try to make sense of the Mavs’ depleted roster. Also, let’s not forget we still have some warp speed games that now may go overlooked.
Here are some of my top tournament plays for today’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.
Steph Curry (9.2, 8.9)
Brunson is going to be crazy chalk now with Doncic doubtful and DSJ traded, so feel free to plug him in your lineups. However, I’ve been targeting Curry ever since I saw his price late last night. The Warriors should have a somewhat competitive game tonight against Philly in a massive over/under of 240, and his price is very reasonable or even a tad low on DK. The addition of Boogie has impacted GS more than I anticipated, as I did not expect Boogies to have a 30% usage rate right out of the gate. However, Embiid should humiliate an out of shape Boogie tonight, so I envision the true Warrior stars like Curry and Durant getting the opportunity to flourish once again.
Demar DeRozan (8.0, 7.8)
Demar’s price also caught my eye when I started doing research last night. He has been dealing with some nagging injuries and missed a few games, so there is some risk here. However, around 8K, I am willing to take a chance on Demar tonight against a Brooklyn team that always stays competitive without ever playing solid defense (it is befuddling). Also, the SG position may be the weakest one on the slate tonight, with Lou and Klay being the two most popular plays. So, I will gladly take Demar at under 20% ownership at his current price.
Harrison Barnes (5.4, 5.0)
Rick Carlise is the smartest man alive, and he will put his true genius on display tonight. He might play guys off the street in this game against Detroit as the Mavs traded away DSJ, Wes, and Jordan – and Doncic is doubtful. The one guy we know that is going to get big minutes is Barnes. Now, Barnes is AWFUL. One of the most wasted talents of the last 5 years along with Jeff Green. But, he is so cheap and has to see 30+ minutes with a high usage barring a massive blowout. Barnes still can score the ball at a somewhat effective rate. So, I will eat this horrible tasting chalk for one night and move on with the rest of my lineups.
Draymond Green (7.2, 6.2)
I am trying to grab GS pieces tonight against Philly, as I am hoping (as stated above) that Boogies gets neutralized by Embiid. Draymond should excel in this warp-speed game, and I envision a triple-double in a competitive game. He could be under 10% owned on DK, and I am going to pounce on the pace and over/under of this game. Obviously, the Mavs’ players like Max and Powell will be popular and in play – but remember, we have lots of solid options besides Mavs tonight. Plus, we cannot play 8-9 Mavericks in our lineups!
Joel Embiid (11.6, 10.1)
This one was foreshadowed throughout all of my picks in this article. Boogie has looked great so far, but he has always been a lazy defender. Now, he has to defend the best center in the league…and he’s still not in game shape and a step slow on defense. I will target Embiid hard tonight, as I think he is going to annihilate Cousins. I have been wrong on Cousins so far in his return for the court, as his play and usage has caught me off guard after coming back from such a gruesome injury. So, we’ll see if he proves me wrong once again. Either way, it will be interesting to watch this Philly/Lakers game.
Alright, the Judge’s Verdict is in and it is final. Good luck tonight!
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