Be sure to read this great fantasy column by Jan Hubbard, who founded the Larry Bird League when the Legend was still playing. We’ve all traded a few superstars, but damn few of us break the bad news to them in person.
On a four-game Thursday, there are only two high-priced superstars to consider in daily fantasy contests at DraftKings. The tired, banged-up Jazz will have trouble slowing down James Harden $9600, while DeMarcus Cousins $10300 can do whatever he wants against the Lakers. We’re building a lineup around Boogie, because so many other Kings are hurt that his usage rate will be off the charts. Rajon Rondo $8400, Omri Casspi $6500 and Ben McLemore $3200 are all battling sore backs and Willie Cauley-Stein $3300 (finger) is doubtful.
This means more Darren Collison $6000, Rudy Gay $7000 and Marco Belinelli $4400 — all of whom rewarded fantasy owners in the double-OT loss on Wednesday. If Kobe Bryant $6300 (shoulder) misses another game, you can at least consider Jordan Clarkson $5700 and Lou Williams $5900, but D’Angelo Russell $4800 will be back from an illness to share minutes.
Condolences to anyone who used C.J.McCollum last night. Add “victim of a clerical error by coach” to the list of bad-luck outcomes in DFS. Congratulations to “vicplumber” who won $25,000 for three bucks using LeBron James, Kyrie Irving, Anthony Davis and Brook Lopez as his core four. He pounced on Mario Chalmers and Dwight Powell when starters were scratched and got enough from Mirza Teletovic to make up for Iman Shumpert.
Plays of the Day
The $325K Sharpshooter is only a $3 buy-in (FREE with your initial deposit at DraftKings) where the top 26,263 finishers (from up to 124,582 teams) win cash. First place is worth $25,000. Enter before it fills; you can make unlimited lineup changes (even after the 7:00 EST deadline) until each player’s game begins.
After losing by 25 in San Antonio last night, Utah should be no match for the Rockets, who haven’t played since a second-half rally to win in Salt Lake City on Monday. Harden scored 30 and Dwight Howard $7100 double-doubled (16 & 13) for the fourth straight game, continuing a heavy workload. Trevor Ariza $5200 is probably the third-best player on an underachieving team with a 17-19 record; Ty Lawson $3900 (ankle) had been showing signs of life but is questionable. Trey Burke $4900 and Jeff Withey $5100 are at least affordable for the visitors. Gordon Hayward $7400 and Rodney Hood $5800 can score in bunches when they aren’t worn down.
In the early game, Philadelphia hosts the Hawks. They lost in Atlanta on December 16 by a lopsided 127-106 score. Since then, Ish Smith $6900 has led the Sixers to a 3-3 record, thanks to pick-and-roll chemistry with Nerlens Noel $6700. It’s never easy to predict their rotations but at least Jahlil Okafor $6000 is starting again. Carl Landry $3300 and Richaun Holmes $3200 are hot and Nik Stauskas $3500 is a bargain on his good nights.
The Celtics lost at home last night despite all five starters scoring in double figures. The bench shot 5-for-23 and managed just 15 points. The Bulls are rested, with a five-game win streak and Jimmy Butler $8200 in beast mode. Pau Gasol $8000 double-doubled as usual, while Taj Gibson $5900 (11 PTS, 14 REB, 6 BLK) was the best DFS value in a confident win over Milwaukee. Derrick Rose $5800 returned from a three-game absence (knee, hamstring) and looked surprisingly good. In other circumstances, this could be a dandy matchup but I’m steering clear of Boston tonight. Amir Johnson $4400 is currently between ankle injuries and might be their safest player to use.
Having committed to four Kings, using Butler over Harden is strictly a salary-cap decision in my sample lineup. It means my third-worst player is Belinelli, instead of the inconsistent Sauce Castillo. Landry is my favorite cheap play of the evening and I’ll use multiple lineups with different longshots in the Util spot.
|PG||Ish Smith $6900||Darren Collison $6000||Trey Burke $4900|
|SG||James Harden $9600||Jimmy Butler $8200||Marco Belinelli $4400|
|SF||Gordon Hayward $7400||Rudy Gay $7000||Trevor Ariza $5200|
|PF||DeMarcus Cousins $10300||Nerlens Noel $6700||Carl Landry $3300|
|C||Pau Gasol $8000||Dwight Howard $7100||Jeff Withey $5100|
The Fantasy Spin features DFS advice every day of the NBA season. Follow Kent Williams @SheridanFantasy for updates.