NBA DFS: DraftKings Tip Sheet 10/28

Thursday night slates put the spotlight on a small number of games, and the stars showed up in a big way last night. Regardless of which direction DraftKings players went to anchor their lineups, it was tough not to find a stud who provided a nice number of points — unless you went with LaMarcus Aldridge.

Tonight’s slate offers eight games, but let’s recap last night’s DFS happenings.

About Last Night…

  • While the minutes in this game were bit weird due to the sudden blowout nature of the game, Markieff Morris showed well for the Wizards. He’s not always going to be reliable, but I’ll continue to go back to him when his price is as low as it was last night.
  • John Wall put up good fantasy numbers even though he shot the ball terribly (3-15 FG). His legs may just not be there yet after offseason knee surgery.
  • I was high on Dennis Schroder coming into this game, and he let me down with 20.5 DraftKings points in only 25 minutes. Coach Budenholzer doesn’t let his guys play much more than 30, and foul trouble coupled with the blowout killed Schroder’s chances at a good fantasy night.
  • Dwight Howard racked up 19 rebounds, a steal, and three blocks to go with only 11 points in his Hawks debut. He looks engaged defensively, and while I have my doubts that it lasts, he’s going to be in the conversation at center while it does.
  • The Bulls played well; Rondo, Wade, and Butler were all nice plays in this spot. Wade and Butler, in particular, are going to take threes, so it increases their upside a tad on DraftKings.
  • My love for Pau Gasol in DFS may need to come to an end this year. He’s played in less than a part-time role in both games this season, and Dewayne Dedmon is probably the only chance San Antonio has of not getting roasted by opposing centers every night.
  • Kawhi Leonard continues to be awesome. He’s averaging 32.5 points per game to go along with the absurd average of FIVE steals. It’s only two games, but he looks amazing so far.
  • The Kings look good, and DeMarcus Cousins absolutely feasted on the Spurs interior. He made a point to attack LaMarcus Aldridge and David Lee, leading to 37 points and 16 rebounds on the night.
  • An active Blake Griffin is terrifying: 27 points, 13 rebounds, three steals, and a block? He’s back, and he might be better than ever.
  • Good luck figuring out the Blazers on a game-to-game basis outside of Lillard and McCollum. Moe Harkless enjoyed 32 minutes and parlayed that into 23 points and eight boards, but this team has so many interchangeable pieces they have the luxury of riding the hot hand on any given night.

Slate Overview

We’ve got eight games tonight, and Rockets are among the teams playing. The lucky beneficiary this time around? Dallas, who is fresh off of a matchup with the uptempo Pacers. Any time a Mike D’Antoni team takes the floor, loading up on both sides isn’t a bad strategy.

Speaking of the Pacers, they play the Nets in a potentially overlooked hotbed for fantasy value tonight. Brooklyn is going to run, and you already know the Pacers have made that a focal point this season.

Top team totals:

  1. Golden State (@ NO), 115 implied points
  2. Dallas (vs. HOU), 111
  3. Indiana (@ BKN), 110.75
  4. Oklahoma City (vs. PHX), 109.5
  5. Houston (@ DAL), 109.5

Point Guard

Anytime Russell Westbrook and James Harden take the floor this season, point guard is going to be top-heavy. Both guys are backed by huge workloads and top-five team totals according to Vegas, and either make for a great play on tonight’s slate. If you need a tie-breaker between the two, Westbrook’s Thunder are favored by nine points at home whereas Harden’s Rockets are two point underdogs on the road, so Harden would seemingly carry less blowout risk.

Golden State has the highest implied point total on the slate, but I can’t get behind playing Steph Curry outside of tournaments, even at his juicy $9,300 price tag. The Warriors weren’t clicking in their first game, and a blowout is extremely likely in this contest. With viable alternatives in the mid-tier (Kyle Lowry, Jeff Teague, Jeremy Lin), and much better options at the premium prices, I feel okay about passing over the two-time MVP this go around.

Of the budget options, Tim Frazier is the guy I want to focus on. He’s only $5,400 after a monster first game, and he should see a good amount of minutes even if the Pelicans get demolished in this one. His game has an over/under of 219 — New Orleans is implied 104.5 points — so there’s an opportunity for him to back up his awesome opening night.

  • Russell Westbrook, OKC ($11,800)
  • James Harden, HOU ($11,300)
  • Kyle Lowry, TOR ($7,600)
  • Jeff Teague, IND ($6,200)
  • Jeremy Lin, BKN ($6,000)
  • Deron Williams, DAL ($5,700)
  • George Hill, UTA ($5,500)
  • Tim Frazier, NO ($5,400)
  • Ish Smith, DET ($4,900)
  • JJ Barea, DAL ($3,900)

Shooting Guard

We know about James Harden, who is the clearly the best option at shooting guard on any given night, but who else is worth a look?

DeMar DeRozan was awesome against the Pistons, but I don’t love the matchup with the Cavaliers for him, and I’m not counting on another performance quite like what we saw on opening night. Victor Oladipo and Klay Thompson looked out of sorts in their respective openers, and it would be tough to pull the trigger on either.

Rodney Hood is the top option I’m considering other than Harden. He gets a soft matchup with the Lakers, he played massive minutes in the opener (38), and he’s going to be relied upon offensively. He doesn’t do a whole lot more than score, which is concerning, but that shouldn’t be a problem at this price tag in this matchup.

  • James Harden, HOU ($11,300)
  • Rodney Hood, UTA ($6,200)
  • Monta Ellis, IND ($5,300)
  • Eric Gordon, HOU ($5,200)
  • Dion Waiters, MIA ($4,100)
  • JJ Barea, DAL ($3,900)

Small Forward

Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James (23) drives against Chicago Bulls guard Jimmy Butler (21) during the first half of Game 5 in a second-round NBA basketball playoff series Tuesday, May 12, 2015, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)

(AP Photo/Tony Dejak)

Small forward offers a nice choice of studs at the top of the player pool with Kevin Durant, LeBron James, and Paul George all looking like great plays in good spots. Durant is my favorite Warrior to use tonight and with Golden State implied to score 115 points on the night, he needs to be under strong consideration in lineups. LeBron isn’t in a dynamite spot when you consider pace, Vegas totals, and things of that nature, but I love targeting him in matchups where he may need to exert himself; this tilt against Toronto qualifies. George is underpriced in what should be an uptempo meeting with the Nets; he’s the most affordable of the three with all the other talent on the board tonight.

If you’re going with the high priced guards, getting a value small forward is going to be important. There are plenty of options to consider, but I like the forwards from Detroit on this slate. Tobias Harris is locked into a huge workload and gets the revenge game factor against Orlando. Marcus Morris is a volume play, and at $5k you could do a lot worse if you’re shopping on a budget for your forward slot.

  • Kevin Durant, GS ($9,600)
  • LeBron James, CLE ($9,400)
  • Paul George, IND ($8,400)
  • Harrison Barnes, DAL ($5,900)
  • Tobias Harris, DET ($5,600)
  • Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, CHA ($5,400)
  • Justise Winslow, MIA ($5,100)
  • Marcus Morris, DET ($5,000)

Power Forward

It would be a mistake to not at least mention Anthony Davis after an absolutely historic performance last time out. He’s priced up there with the elite, but I can’t fault anyone for wanting to build their lineup around him after dropping nearly 100 DraftKings points in the season opener. I personally prefer Westbrook and Harden, though, there isn’t a wrong answer here.

Myles Turner is going to garner some extra ownership tonight after his monster showing against Dallas. I like him in this matchup, but he’s no longer priced at a discount and will have to prove he can guard a post presence like Brook Lopez without getting into foul trouble. I wouldn’t force Turner into your lineup tonight.

The mid-tier is where power forward shines on this slate. You can make a strong case for Ryan Anderson, Thaddeus Young, or the aforementioned Tobias Harris. Anderson has the most upside of the three, and if he’s chased around by Dirk Nowitzki to start the game he could get hot early.

  • Anthony Davis, NO ($10,900)
  • Kevin Durant, GS ($9,600)
  • LeBron James, CLE ($9,400)
  • Myles Turner, IND ($7,100)
  • Ryan Anderson, HOU ($6,300)
  • Thaddeus Young, IND ($5,700)
  • Tobias Harris, DET ($5,600)
  • Marvin Williams, CHA ($4,800)


For all the talk that the center position is fading from the real-life NBA, the player pool tonight offers up some pretty appealing options. Davis and Turner are dual-eligible, so they’ll headline here as well. As far as studs we haven’t highlighted yet; Hassan Whiteside is at a nice price, but the matchup with Charlotte isn’t great, and his minutes still aren’t where I want them to be. I’ll stick to tournaments for the big guy.

Dropping down into the mid-tier, Steven Adams looks very appealing at a mere $5,800. He took 16 shots and played 36 minutes against the 76ers, impressive workload statistics that should serve him well if duplicated against the Suns. The fact he only grabbed five rebounds and didn’t reject a shot bode well for some positive regression in his direction.

One of the more popular plays will be Roy Hibbert, believe it or not. He started at center with Cody Zeller working back from injury and offered 39.75 DraftKings points in 32 minutes of action. It’s likely that Zeller will start to even the playing time gap after seeing a mere 14 minutes in the opener, but Hibbert is still cheap and will likely be called upon to slow down Whiteside.

  • Anthony Davis, NO ($10,900)
  • Myles Turner, IND ($7,100)
  • Steven Adams, OKC ($5,800)
  • Roy Hibbert, CHA ($3,600)

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