The DFS schedule is busy again, with Early (two games) and All-Day contests closing at 3:30 EST, followed by Turbo pools at 5:00 (three games.) The largest payouts at DraftKings are in the 6:00 leagues that span seven of the nine games. That’s our focus in today’s sample lineup and Short List, then you can also play Late (8:00; three games) and Later (9:00; two games.)
Each of those start times is a unique opportunity to win. If you really like the Russell Westbrook $10600 vs. Damian Lillard $8800 confrontation in Portland, key on one (or use both) in as many as four different competitions. Kevin Durant $10100 and Enes Kanter $4900 should also post big numbers, while C.J. McCollum $7200 and Allen Crabbe $4400 are the other Blazers to consider.
The other late game is unlikely to be a classic. Gordon Hayward $7300 put the shorthanded Jazz on his back last night with 34 points, Rudy Gobert $5900 started — and blocked four shots — but the biggest fantasy surprise was Chris Johnson $3500. In a spot start for Rodney Hood $5800 (groin) he filled the stat sheet: 31 MIN, 14 PTS, 4 REB, 3 AST, 2 BLK, 2 STL, 2 3PM. Raul Neto $3100 and Trey Lyles $3900 also started, got 30+ minutes and earned their salaries.
In their most recent two losses, the Lakers have been entertaining. Lou Williams $6100 scored 44 points against the Thunder on Friday, all the more astounding because Kobe Bryant $6100 (shoulder) played. Jordan Clarkson $5700 was also sharp, as D’Angelo Russell $4800 (ankle) left early. The notoriously streaky Sweet Lou had an 0-for-7 three nights earlier.
Plays of the Day
The Early $30K Sharpshooter is only a $3 buy-in (FREE with your initial deposit at DK) where the top 2,302 finishers (from up to 11,495 teams) win cash. First place is worth $2,000. Enter before 3:30; you can make lineup changes until each player’s game begins. If you’re reading this after 3:30, that link redirects to the next similar $3 (or free) contest.
James Harden $9900 and the Rockets host Paul George $9100 and company in a more interesting real-life matchup. However, the Pacers have won two straight on the road by holding opponents under 90 points, a slight concern in DFS. Dwight Howard $7100 (back) is questionable; Clint Capela $5500 usually pays his way when the big fella sits but the fantasy bargain on Thursday was Terrence Jones $4200, who took advantage of a rare start.
Break up the Knicks! They beat Atlanta decisively in a home-and-home, won again in Miami the following night then almost handed the mighty Spurs their first home loss. Carmelo Anthony $8200, Kristaps Porzingis $6700 and Robin Lopez $4700 are all playing very well, with Arron Afflalo $4800 and Jose Calderon $4000 getting hot on occasion. There’s even a revenge motive after losing in Milwaukee last month. Khris Middleton $6800 generally leads the Bucks; Greg Monroe $6400 has cooled off a bit and backup John Henson $4100 is a stat monster whenever he gets minutes.
Don’t expect LeBron James $9900, Kevin Love $7200 or Kyrie Irving $7200 to play any more than necessary in Philadelphia. I’m on the J.R. Smith $5000 bandwagon — after 18 threes on just 30 shots over his last three, let’s see him in Toronto on Saturday night of All-Star weekend. It’s a home back-to-back for the Sixers after losing to the Raptors, though Ish Smith $6900 and Jahlil Okafor $6000 paid their way.
A difficult road trip continues for the Hornets, who lost badly yesterday to the Clippers, still missing Al Jefferson (knee) and Nicolas Batum (toe.) Now they play at high altitude against the rested Nuggets. Danilo Gallinari $7100 is a strong choice, Kenneth Faried $6000 (new baby) will be back and Jusuf Nurkic $4900 might throw a block party. For Charlotte, Jeremy Lin $5600 and Jeremy Lamb $4500 remain affordable.
Just a reminder that Mike Conley (Achilles) is doubtful, so Mario Chalmers $5400 will see heavy usage again. Isaiah Thomas $7500 (thumb) hasn’t shot well lately but the return of Avery Bradley $5200 (hip) will help the Celtics. Marc Gasol $7000 might dominate a low-scoring battle.
|PG||Russell Westbrook $10600||Damian Lillard $8800||Raul Neto $3100|
|SG||James Harden $9900||Khris Middleton $6800||Jeremy Lamb $4500|
|SF||Kevin Durant $10100||Danilo Gallinari $7100||Chris Johnson $3500|
|PF||Kristaps Porzingis $6700||Clint Capela $5500||Terrence Jones $4200|
|C||Marc Gasol $7000||Rudy Gobert $5900||Enes Kanter $4900|
The Fantasy Spin features DFS advice every day of the NBA season. Follow Kent Williams @SheridanFantasy for updates.