There’s a 10-game NBA slate on Monday, topped (for daily fantasy purposes) by Sacramento visiting Oklahoma City. DraftKings features the $450K Tipoff Special, an enormous contest that new DK users can enter for free, with a minimum $5 deposit. For the rest of us, it’s only three bucks per team.
There are many misconceptions about daily fantasy sports, not the least being that you have to finish first to win. In fact, the top 20% of finishers get paid. $50K for the top score is definitely enticing, but there are nearly 35,000 other guaranteed cash prizes and no better time to sign up.
Russell Westbrook $10700 and Kevin Durant $10000 are always among the best players in DFS, and priced accordingly. Tonight they play the Kings, who not only allow more points than any other team, they just scored 142 in regulation. DeMarcus Cousins $10100 did a lot of damage (32 PTS, 9 REB) in just 27 minutes, Rajon Rondo $8400 double-doubled (15 & 15) in 30 minutes and Darren Collison $5300 chipped in 21 off the bench.
The Thunder are 11-point favorites and the over/under is a sky-high 218.5, so everyone’s numbers should be inflated. The second unit for OKC — especially Enes Kanter $5000 and Cameron Payne $3200 — might be the best bang for the buck.
Plays of the Day
The $450K Tipoff Special is only a $3 buy-in (FREE with your initial deposit at DK) where the top 34,940 finishers (from up to 172,500 teams) win cash. First place is worth $50,000. Enter before it fills; you can make unlimited lineup changes (even after the 7:00 EST deadline) until each player’s game begins.
The other headline game is the nightcap. Stephen Curry $10600 (bruised shin) is questionable but Harrison Barnes $5600 (ankle) is probable to return from a 16-game absence. Draymond Green $9900 put up a vintage Larry Bird line on Saturday after Curry lasted just 14 minutes — 29 points, 17 rebounds, 14 assists, 5 triples, 4 steals in an overtime victory. Klay Thompson $7800 will also get more touches if the MVP sits out.
The Hornets are ravaged by injuries; Al Jefferson (knee) and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (shoulder) are out, Nicolas Batum $7500 (toe) didn’t play on Saturday and Jeremy Lin $5600 (ankle) is now questionable with a sore back. Kemba Walker $8200 will try to prevent a fourth straight loss but is up against it.
James Harden $9800 and Dwight Howard $7100 were no match for San Antonio on Saturday but should fare better in Utah, especially if Derrick Favors $7300 (back) misses a sixth game. Jeff Withey $4300 is a double-double threat and Trevor Booker $4700 remains playable until Favors returns, while Rodney Hood $5500 has become a dangerous scorer since Alec Burks (ankle) went down. Gordon Hayward $7500 deferred to Hood on Saturday after a 23-point, 10-rebound New Year’s Eve.
Last night the Raptors blew a 15-point lead on their home court. Tonight they face a rested LeBron James $9500 in Cleveland to begin a long road trip that concludes ten days from now in London, England. Kyle Lowry $8100 will be a good test for Kyrie Irving $6000 and DeMar DeRozan $8200 deserves to be an All-Star, but this is an uphill battle.
Love the young talent on display as Minnesota visits Philadelphia. Karl-Anthony Towns $7300 should bounce back from a rare off-night and Gorgui Dieng $4700 will start if Kevin Garnett $3200 rests, while the Sixers counter with Nerlens Noel $6700 and Jahlil Okafor $6400. I’m expecting Andrew Wiggins $6400 and Ricky Rubio $7100 to have big games, while Shabazz Muhammad $3400 has been hot off the bench recently .
The two highest-salaried centers square off, with Andre Drummond $9200 defending his home court from Nikola Vucevic $7600. Foul trouble ended a string of great games for the Magic star, who may also have landed in the roomy Scott Skiles doghouse.
Boston at Brooklyn is custom-made for Brook Lopez $7500, but the Nets have lost Jarrett Jack (knee) for the season. While Shane Larkin $4400 is a decent pickup in deep traditional leagues, he’s in trouble against Isaiah Thomas $7800 tonight.
You can fashion a stars-and-scrubs lineup by using multiple low-cost, high-risk players. I’m not predicting that all (or any) of the 5-digit superstars will have bad nights, just settling for my second choice at four positions and hoping to get enough productions from the bargains. As always, breaking news can change everything.
|PG||Russell Westbrook $10700||Isaiah Thomas $7800||Cameron Payne $3200|
|SG||James Harden $9800||Andrew Wiggins $6400||Rodney Hood $5500|
|SF||Kevin Durant $10000||Gordon Hayward $7500||S. Muhammad $3400|
|PF||DeMarcus Cousins $10100||Draymond Green $9900||Trevor Booker $4700|
|C||Andre Drummond $9200||Brook Lopez $7500||Gorgui Dieng $4700|
The Fantasy Spin features DFS advice every day of the NBA season. Follow Kent Williams @SheridanFantasy for updates.