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Plays of the Day
Value: Jaylen Brown filled the void left by Jae Crowder’s injury, scoring 19 points on 8-of-16 shooting with 3 steals and 5 rebounds to produce 37.25 DK points (35 FD points) and turn the tide in GPPs on Thursday. He’s still close to the minimum price tag and he draws a much easier matchup at home against Denver tonight, making Brown close to a must play in all formats.
Fade: Instead of carrying the Kings in the absence of Rudy Gay (ribs), DeMarcus put together a pedestrian first half and then allowed his team to get blown out last night. If that’s how he performs in a mouth-watering matchup against the Bucks soft defense, it’s hard to trust him at this price tag in Toronto, even if Gay remains out.
Games to Target
- Los Angeles Lakers (-2.5) hosting Phoenix Suns (Over/Under = 217.5)
- Boston Celtics (-8) hosting Denver Nuggets (Over/Under = 211)
Isaiah Thomas (BOS) vs. DEN DK:$7,500/FD:$8,100
Of the true point guards listed on tonight’s 4-game slate, Thomas has been the most consistent this season by far. He was rock solid during his all-star campaign in 2015-16, but he’s clearly taken on more of a leadership role with the Celtics looking to make the leap this year, and he’s had to take on more responsibilities with Marcus Smart out to begin the season and Avery Bradley (shoulder) currently banged up. The Celtics will likely be without Jae Crowder (ankle) and the expected return of Al Horford (concussion) should only improve the statistical prospects of Thomas by providing an excellent PnR partner. The Nuggets are fourth in pace while Boston is the third-highest scoring team in the NBA this year at 110.8 PPG, so this is definitely a game to target and IT4 is the best player to use in Green.
J.J. Barea (DAL) vs. MIL: DK:$5,500/FD:$5,100
While Deron Williams played through a groin injury on Friday night, Barea still drew the start with Andrew Bogut inactive, and it appears that D-Will suffered a setback during that contest, as he’s now “very questionable” to suit up on Sunday. Whether Williams plays or not, Barea appears to be under priced as one of the main cogs in a solid Mavericks offense and tonight he should find plenty of room to operate against Milwaukee’s 22nd ranked defense. The Bucks are giving up the third-most APG (10.0) and seventh-most SPG (2.6) to opposing PGs this season and their defensive communication is really lacking, so Barea should be able to exploit that unit in PnR sets with Dirk or other Dallas bigs.
Jameer Nelson ($3900/$4200) remains a low-upside punt play with the Nuggets shorthanded in the backcourt. Marcus Smart ($4600/$5100) is an even better cash game play, who should put together a better line against the Nuggets than he did against the Cavs on Thursday.
Kyle Lowry ($7700/$7500) is a great alternative to the chalk that should be Isaiah Thomas and he has just as much upside in a juicy matchup against the Kings.
DeMar DeRozan (TOR) vs. SAC: DK:$8,300/FD:$8,800
You can just call DeRozan “Easy-30” the way he’s scoring this year. It simply hasn’t mattered which team he faces, or what the extenuating circumstances might be on a given night, as he’s scored at least 32 points in each of his five starts and leads the NBA at 35.8 PPG this season. Now he’ll face a Kings team that is on the second half of a B2B set and was also the worst defense in the NBA against SGs last season, allowing a league-high 24.03 PPG to the position. So far this year, Sacramento is coughing up 24.83 PPG to opposing SGs (seventh-most in NBA) and the Kings are only giving up fewer points because they’re playing at a much slower pace under new HC Dave Joerger. DeRozan is one of the best halfcourt scorers in the NBA, so that’s not really a concern for his prospects tonight.
Avery Bradley (BOS) vs. DEN: DK:$6,000/FD:$6,800
There’s a pretty simple formula for tonight’s Celtics game involving using the opponent’s big men and Boston’s guards, which is a formula that might work all season given this team’s personnel. In any case, Bradley will be worth using in cash games until his price tag rises, because he’s one of the toughest players in the league and somehow one of the best rebounders on a Celtics team that’s been missing Crowder and Horford. Tonight, he’ll face a Nuggets team that’s giving up the sixth-most FPPG (41.98) to opposing SGs and should be without both of their top two guards in Will Barton (ankle) and Gary Harris. Bradley should be able to abuse rookie Jamal Murray or veteran Jameer Nelson.
Seth Curry ($3000/$3500) is playing well enough to earn more playing time for Dallas eventually, and that day may come soon with both Williams and Wes Matthews (knee) questionable tonight.
Of course Giannis Antetokounmpo ($9700 as PG on DK/$9900) is a GPP option, but I don’t love his matchup against the Mavs. If you need a true punt play, consider Bucks rookie Malcolm Brogdon ($3500/$3900 as PG on FD).
T.J. Warren (PHO) @ LAL: DK:$6,700/FD:$6,300
Warren is the best option at this injury-riddled position by default, but he’s actually a great cash game option regardless of who else you could consider. The talented young wing is scoring at will against the toughest of defenses, and tonight he faces a Lakers squad that ranks 27th in opponents FG shooting (.469%) and 24th in PPG allowed (108.5) this year. The Lakers are much more competitive and they’re playing at the third-fastest pace in the NBA under new coach Luke Walton, which makes this a premier game to target, while Warren is playing a team-high 36.4 MPG this year and seeing a substantial 24.3% Usage Rate.
Jaylen Brown (BOS) vs. DEN: DK:$4,000/FD:$3,800
Perhaps the most exciting reason to play NBA DFS on an NFL Sunday, Brown is on the verge of breaking out and proving that Danny Ainge was not crazy for passing up on Kris Dunn to take him third overall this year. The Cal product stood his ground in a brutal matchup against LeBron James on Thursday as he filled the void left by Jae Crowder’s injury, scoring 19 points on 8-of-16 shooting with 3 steals and 5 rebounds to produce 37.25 DK points (35 FD points) and turn the tide in GPPs. He’s still close to the minimum price tag and he draws a much easier matchup at home against Denver tonight, making Brown close to a must play in all formats.
Tony Snell ($3800/$3800) was on pace to exceed value as the Bucks starting SF, but Milwaukee blew the Kings out and rested their starters.
Terrence Ross ($3600/$3800) came alive with 20 points on Friday and he’s now exceeded value in B2B appearances.
Julius Randle (LAL) vs. PHO: DK:$6,200/FD:$6,300
Randle is essentially the only Lakers player that I want to target in this matchup because of how deep their rotations are right now. He’s only averaging 27.5 MPG, but Walton is willing to give the talented young PF more playing time when he gets rolling in up-tempo games. So far, Randle has exceeded value against the Rockets, Thunder and Warriors, and now he’ll face a Suns team that plays at the fifth-fastest pace in the NBA this season. Phoenix is also woefully undermanned at PF with Jared Dudley starting at the four and slow-footed centers Alex Len and Tyson Chandler rotating over, so Randle should give the opposition fits tonight with his versatility.
Omri Casspi (SAC) @ TOR: DK:$3,900/FD:$3,900
There’s a great mix of elite plays and value options on this short slate, as Casspi should remain a great source of salary relief if Rudy Gay (ribs) is ruled out on Sunday. With Gay inactive and Matt Barnes extremely limited, Casspi started and produced 15 DK points (12.25 FD points) during the first half of a plus matchup against the Bucks. Of course, then Milwaukee ran away with the game, robbing DFSers of any more production from the popular punt play, but as long as the Kings can keep this game somewhat close on the second half of a B2B set, Casspi will have plenty of chances to improve on that showing.
Larry Nance Jr. ($4200/$4100) is producing in a steady role for the Lakers and he's a safer play than Randle at this price tag.
Patrick Patterson ($3800/$3800) is an intriguing tournament play as per usual and a contrarian pivot off Casspi in the same game if you think Toronto will roll at home.
Jusuf Nurkic (DEN) @ BOS: DK:$6,400/FD:$6,000
Frustrating Nikola Jokic stockholders everywhere, Nurkic has emerged as the Nuggets preferred big man and he’s earning that distinction with averages of 16.5 PPG, 10.3 RPG and 2.3 BPG to open the season. Tonight he’ll face a Celtics team that’s long been vulnerable to opposing big men because of their weak Rebounding Rate (29th in the NBA this year) and Boston is giving up 21 PPG and 14 RPG to opposing centers this season. Even with Horford scheduled to return, Nurkic is a great cash game option at this mid tier price tag and he has tremendous upside given his current role as Denver’s rim protector.
Tyson Chandler (PHO) vs. LAL: DK:$4,600/FD:$4,700
Chandler is a bit of a risky option, but we saw on Friday how easily he can exceed value if he stays out of foul trouble and feels healthy enough to log heavy minutes. The veteran scored a season-high 12 points in a fantasy-friendly matchup against the Pelicans and pulled down 18 boards for the third time over his last four appearances. He’s still one of the best rebounders in the game and we’ve mentioned several times how this tilt at the Staples Center should be played at a blinding pace.
Timofey Mozgov ($3600/$3800) will do his best to contain Chandler and control the boards for the Lakers tonight.
If you think Chandler could struggle in a track meet, consider teammate Alex Len ($4000/$4800) as a contrarian option.