NBA DFS: DraftKings Tip Sheet 10/27

Russell Westbrook or James Harden? If you guessed Anthony Davis, you’re absolutely right! We’ll get to Davis’ performance for the ages in the next section, but last night’s optimal DraftKings strategy ended up being either using Davis or firing up one of the many cheap plays that went absolutely off, allowing the flexibility to play Westbrook and Harden together without penalty.

The cash line in 50/50s and double-ups was extremely tough this time around — especially for those of us who played it safe by using only one superstar — and you probably needed a score in the high 290s/low 300s to sneak in the back door and cash. Plays like Harden, Julius Randle, Tim Frazier and Hassan Whiteside allowed me to do that in more cases than not last night, but sweating out those value plays wasn’t fun.

About Last Night…

  • Hassan Whiteside went off for 46 DK points, but he still only played 32 minutes. I was hoping for a leap this season as the team’s unquestioned star. I’ll be keeping an eye out over the start of the new season.
  • Frank Vogel made the Magic players very valuable by playing all of his starters 35+ minutes. He used an eight-man rotation — this will expand to nine when Bismack Biyombo returns next game — and it looks like Elfrid Payton’s job is safe after some speculation that he was on a short leash.
  • The Mavericks heavily used Dirk Nowitzki at center, and after watching him labor around the court it might be their best bet against most modernized NBA teams. Harrison Barnes benefits from extended run at power forward, and J.J. Barea enters the lineup alongside Deron Williams (who looked awesome last night) in this scenario.
  • MYLES TURNER. The Pacers are going to score this year (115 points in regulation), and so is Myles Turner. He ended up playing 37 minutes with the overtime period and racked up 30 points, 16 boards, two steals and four blocked shots. Some of the explosion undoubtedly is due to squaring off with a defenseless Dirk, but if Turner is going to receive such a heavy workload he’s going to rise in price quickly.
  • The Nets are going to run, but the minutes last night were all over the place. The game wasn’t as close as the 122-117 score indicates, however Brook Lopez playing just 21 minutes is troubling.
  • Lost in the insane performances last night: DeMar DeRozan dropped 40 points and Jonas Valanciunas added 32 and 11 rebounds. If JV is going to play 35 minutes like he did last night, he’s going to be on the fantasy radar more often than not this season.
  • A pair of surprise values emerged from Charlotte: Roy Hibbert and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist. Hibbert was the more surprising of the two; he looked lost with the Lakers last year, and I definitely didn’t think he was getting 32 minutes. MKG was likely to be locked into big minutes, and even though he was at a good price, I didn’t have a ton of interest in him in the lowest projected scoring game of the night.
  • The Nuggets’ depth is going to drive us crazy this season. Nikola Jokic still played only 21 minutes last night, while Danilo Gallinari and Will Barton were the only players to see over 30 minutes on the Denver side.
  • As long as he’s healthy, Anthony Davis is an every night consideration regardless of format. I’ve never seen a performance like what he just put on: 50 points, 16 rebounds, five assists, seven steals and four blocks.
  • Joel Embiid’s usage is going to be massive. He put up 16 shots and took eight free-throws in 22 minutes. He’ll be in consideration depending on his price.
  • If the Rockets are playing, target them. Every. Single. Time. They allowed 120 points to the Lakers, who look better, but shouldn’t be scoring at will against anyone quite yet.

Slate Overview

Another short slate greets us here tonight. It’s a four-game docket that features a few teams to target with the Kings (on a back-to-back) and Trail Blazers in action tonight. And, while I’m not high on them by any means, the Bulls could be interesting given they will take on a Boston team already playing its first back-to-back.

Top team totals:

  1. Bulls (vs BOS), 105.75 implied points.
  2. Spurs (@ SAC), 105.75
  3. Clippers (@ POR), 105.25
  4. Celtics (@ CHI), 104.75

Point Guard

Even on a short slate there are a ton of options at point guard. Damian Lillard sits atop the player pool coming off a massive 59 DK point contest. Plenty of people will be on him, but I don’t see the need for it with a matchup against Chris Paul on the horizon and plenty of alternatives.

Speaking of Paul, he’s one of the top expensive plays on the board tonight. The price is fair at $8,800, and for all of Damian Lillard’s offensive prowess, he’s not very good defensively.

Diving into more value territory, I’m looking at Dennis Schroder, Rajon Rondo and Ty Lawson. Schroder is primed for a big jump in production this season as the unquestioned starter, while Rondo remains an elite point guard…for fantasy. Lawson is an option to consider based on volume alone, as he should continue to see 30+ minutes in place of Darren Collison.

  • Chris Paul, LAC ($8,800)
  • Isaiah Thomas, BOS ($7,200)
  • Dennis Schroder, ATL ($6,500)
  • Rajon Rondo, CHI ($6,200)
  • Ty Lawson, SAC ($5,600) – starting for the suspended Darren Collison

Shooting Guard

How do you feel about the “Three Alphas?” Jimmy Butler is the best option in terms of raw point production, and he’s eligible at both shooting guard and small forward. Dwyane Wade is always intriguing given his usage, and he’s at an affordable price ($6,300), but his minutes will likely go no higher than 32 on the night.

The route that looks the most appealing right now is to spend down at the position. There are a few cheap options that are locked into sufficient minutes, and should allow for more superstar talent in the lineup. Kyle Korver is the option I’m most interested in. He was absolutely miserable last season, but he lit up the preseason with his shooting and finished the last outing with 16 points, six assists, four rebounds, four threes and a block in 30 minutes. At his price point, he needs 15-20 DK points to do his part.

  • Jimmy Butler, CHI ($7,400)
  • Dwyane Wade, CHI ($6,300)
  • Avery Bradley, BOS ($4,900)
  • Allen Crabbe, POR ($3,700)
  • Jamal Crawford, LAC ($3,600)
  • Kyle Korver, ATL ($3,300)

Small Forward

Aside from the aforementioned Butler, Kawhi Leonard is the only other stud at small forward on this slate. He’s certainly worth consideration after a massive opening night performance, but his price has jumped $600 and I’m looking else where for my high priced plays.

Bargain hunting at small forward looks to be profitable tonight, with the majority of the player pool checking in under $5,500. Two players stand out in this range in Markieff Morris and Jae Crowder. You can’t really go wrong with either, but I lean Morris given his usually high usage and Crowder playing on the second night of a back-to-back.

  • Jimmy Butler, CHI ($7,400)
  • Markieff Morris, WAS ($5,400)
  • Jae Crowder, BOS ($5,200)
  • Otto Porter, WAS ($4,500)
  • Allen Crabbe, POR ($3,700)

Power Forward

The high-priced stud to build around tonight is DeMarcus Cousins. He’ll get the Spurs, and while I still respect the sorcery of Gregg Popovich, there’s not a player on this roster that can stop Boogie. He’ll see plenty of time matched up against LaMarcus Aldridge, and he should annihilate Pau Gasol should that be his matchup. The Kings did play last night, but Cousins only registered 25 minutes due to foul trouble and a blowout.

The one value play that stands out to me is Taj Gibson. He’s only $4.1K and makes fitting in the studs much easier. He appears to have won the starting job, though he’ll cede time to Nikola Mirotic — who is worth consideration of his own — and possibly Bobby Portis. Still, Gibson is coming off a strong preseason and should have a good shot at meeting value at this low price.

  • DeMarcus Cousins, SAC ($10,300)
  • Markieff Morris, WAS ($5,400)
  • Nikola Mirotic, CHI ($4,800)
  • Taj Gibson, CHI ($4,100)


The center position is absolutely loaded tonight. Cousins is center eligible, but DeAndre Jordan, Dwight Howard and Pau Gasol are all studs with value tonight.

Jordan draws an awesome matchup with Portland, though his price is a little higher than what I’m willing to pay. Dwight is going to be in some of my tournament lineups for sure; he looks rejuvenated in Atlanta and he hasn’t even played a regular-season game yet. I think Gasol is in a nice bounce-back spot after being eliminated from the game plan rather earlier in the Spurs’ romp over the Warriors. Cousins should dominate him offensively, but there are cracks there defensively to put it lightly.

Marcin Gortat is a key value play at a bizarre price of only $5,300. He’ll see at least 30 minutes with Ian Mahinmi out for the beginning of the season, and he could see more than that if Scott Brooks calls on him to check Dwight Howard.

  • DeMarcus Cousins, SAC ($10,300)
  • Dwight Howard, ATL ($7,500)
  • Pau Gasol, SA ($6,600)
  • Marcin Gortat, WAS ($5,300)
  • Mason Plumlee, POR ($4,300)
  • Taj Gibson, CHI ($4,100)

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