On a quiet night with only four NBA games, DraftKings spices things up with a massive daily fantasy contest offering nearly 30,000 guaranteed cash prizes, including $50K for the highest score. Ironically, the game that matters least in the standings could be the best for DFS purposes. The 4-23 Lakers are in Denver, where the 11-16 Nuggets surrendered 130 points in Sunday’s loss. They also scored 125, including 74 in the first half.
In addition to both teams being terrible defensively, they are inexpensive. Danilo Gallinari $6700 (ankle) and Kobe Bryant $6400 (shoulder) might not be 100% if they play, but Will Barton $6600, Kenneth Faried $6100 and Jameer Nelson $5400 can pick up the slack for the home team. Joffrey Lauvergne $4400 is trying to hold off Nikola Jokic $4000 at center.
After losing by 40 on Saturday, L.A. can only be more competitive. Jordan Clarkson $5500 and Kobe — who is probable — lead the starters and Roy Hibbert $4700 can still double-double if he’s in the mood. Youngsters D’Angelo Russell $5500 and Julius Randle $6000 continue to come off the bench, to the frustration of their fantasy owners.
Plays of the Day
The $375K Tipoff Special is only a $3 buy-in (FREE with your initial deposit at DK) where the top 29,140 finishers (from up to 143,750 teams) win cash. First place is worth $50,000. Enter early; you can make lineup changes until each player’s game begins to take advantage of breaking news. Contests spanning the full slate close at 7:00 EST and offer the largest payouts. There’s also Late play on three games at 7:30.
Next up in terms of scoring potential, Dallas visits Toronto. Coach Dwane Casey warned his guards to be ready for the “quickness” of Deron Williams $6300 and Raymond Felton $5400, which sounds like he’s in stuck in a time warp. Felton will lose the starting SG spot to Wesley Matthews $5400, once Chandler Parsons $4600 is deemed ready to start. CP25 had a great game on Friday (16 PTS, 7 REB, 7 AST in a season-high 32 minutes) and three days’ rest won’t hurt any of the veteran Mavericks.
Kyle Lowry $8300 got ejected on Sunday in an ugly loss to the Kings; he and DeMar DeRozan $7400 will be determined to get off to a better start this evening. Jonas Valanciunas (hand) is getting closer to a return, but Bismack Biyombo $5200 will go up against Zaza Pachulia $5700. The Raptors need DeMarre Carroll (knee) even more. Defensive-minded James Johnson $3900 has been starting at SF, with Terrence Ross $4100 a much better fit as a scorer off the bench. Luis Scola $4900 and Dirk Nowitzki $6400 have faced each other many times internationally in addition to the last nine years in the Association.
Detroit at Miami hinges on the battle underneath between Andre Drummond $9400 and Hassan Whiteside $6800, with the PG matchup of Reggie Jackson $7600 against Goran Dragic $5500 also interesting . The Pistons haven’t played since that incredible 4-OT win in Chicago last Friday. The Heat may have been overconfident on Sunday but managed to beat Portland. When these teams last met on Nov. 25 at the Palace, Dwyane Wade $6900 and Chris Bosh $7000 did not play well, combining for just 11 points. I’m anticipating much more production tonight from both.
The 76ers have now lost ten straight since their only victory of the season and are highly unlikely to snap the latest slide against Memphis. However, there’s no incentive for the Grizzlies to ride their veterans any harder than necessary. If Mike Conley $6300 and Marc Gasol $7500 don’t play huge minutes, Matt Barnes $5500 and Jeff Green $5100 (both SF-eligible) could provide the best value among the starters, and Mario Chalmers $3900 figures to get extra run off the bench.
There are exactly zero superstars with 5-digit salaries to consider tonight. There’s also a shortage of ultra-cheap potential bargains. In other words, everyone can afford a balanced lineup. We also don’t expect anyone to score 60+ FPTS. Some nights it takes a score of almost 400 to win the big bucks; 320 should pay off handsomely this evening.
|PG||Kyle Lowry $8300||Reggie Jackson $7600||Jameer Nelson $5400|
|SG||DeMar DeRozan $7400||Will Barton $6600||Terrence Ross $4100|
|SF||Matt Barnes $5500||Jeff Green $5100||James Johnson $3900|
|PF||Chris Bosh $7000||Kenneth Faried $6100||Luis Scola $4900|
|C||Andre Drummond $9400||Hassan Whiteside $6800||Zaza Pachulia $5700|
The Fantasy Spin features DFS advice every day of the NBA season. Follow Kent Williams @SheridanFantasy for updates.