Welcome, to the Judge’s Verdict. I’m currently outside Kenny Atkinson’s house protesting last night’s inhumane treatment of RHJ (12 minutes!), so we have to get right down to business. We have a massive 10 game slate tonight, and there are tons of options at each position. My philosophy on large slates is simple: select 8/9 players that I love. There is no need to force any bums in your lineup tonight. You should feel giddy and confident about each player.
Let’s get right down to business with my top tournament plays for tonight.
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.
Cam Payne (4.4, 4.0)
Wait, didn’t I just say to love every single player in your roster tonight? Then, how the heck can we roster 4’9” Cam Payne? Well, I don’t want to be like every other article and say play Dennis Schroder with Russ out. You guys are too smart for that, right? Obviously in cash games, I would recommend Dennis (I will have Dennis exposure in all formats), but in tournaments there are still other viable options. I am targeting AD and PG13 as my two top players tonight, so I need to save somewhere. Cam Payne gives me the savings I need for the following reasons: (1) beautiful pace up matchup with the Pelicans; (2) Jrue will be hounding Lavine all night leaving a lesser defender on Cam; (3) Cam is still inexplicitly playing big minutes (41 last game); and double digit shot attempts last two games. So, to sum up – Cam is bad in real life but could be tournament worthy tonight.
Note: Play Dennis if you’re brain hurts and you don’t want to overthink the PG/SG position.
Donovan Mitchell (8.5, 7.4)
I’ve been waiting to pounce on Mitchell the last week or so, as I’ve watched him struggle with injuries on the court. I knew a big price drop was coming, and we got it on DK tonight (still a fine tournament option on FD too). Mitchell has been very mediocre to start the year and is still averaging 22 pts, 3 rebounds, 4 assists and 2 steals. His shooting has been AWFUL: 43% from the field and 32% from 3. Last year’s phenom is suddenly a forgotten man this year. He is due for an explosion soon, and even if he simply plays an average game – Mitchell shouldn’t be able to hurt us too much at this discounted price.
Paul George (10.2, 9.1)
With Russ out, PG13 sees a 5% usage bump all the way up to 35%. The Cavs are one of the worst teams defensively, and they have no way to contain PG13 on either end of the court tonight. My favorite aspect of playing PG13 is that even on off shooting nights, he can make up for it with peripheral defensive stats – and against the careless Cavs, he should be able to get us 4-5 blocks/steals. I’m hearing lots of arguments from tournament players today that the smart move is to fade PG13. Well, I hope they do fade him. I shall gladly have close to 100% exposure. The play might not work out, but on paper it’s an objectively wise move.
Note: I do agree that an interesting pivot is to fade PG13 and spend up a bit for Lebron tonight. Lebron has been very underwhelming lately and might be a tad overlooked on this slate. I also LOVE Winslow and realized I should have written up Justise instead. He can play the 1-5 positions, and Miami is going to do everything they can to develop him this year.
Anthony Davis (11.8, 11.5)
There isn’t a whole lot to say here, but I just cannot envision a scenario where AD doesn’t go wild tonight UNLESS he’s still not 100% healthy. The last few games he has been incredibly passive, and his 24% usage rate drives me insane (it should be 30%). However, the thought of Carter or JABARI PARKER trying to guard AD is laughable. Sixty fantasy points should be the floor tonight, and that’s a floor I want to be rolling around on all darn night.
Steven Adams (7.4, 6.4)
The center position is somewhat weak for a 10 game slate, and I don’t have the salary to grab a high priced guy. Adams keeps making my lineups, and I am perfectly fine with it. Russ normally steals 4-5 rebounds a night from Adams, so those are essentially free points we’re getting right off the bat. Also, Cleveland is going to use an undersized Tristan Thompson to try to keep Adams off the boards? That is not going to work out too well. Adams is probably the strongest guy in the league and Tristan’s hustle (his only real attribute) will prove futile tonight. Adams sees a ton of minutes, and I actually think the slow down pace of this game might help Adams get some additional points off of putbacks or in the pick n roll. I’m all in on OKC and Adams.
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.