Nick Steig | November 16th, 2019
Welcome back to the Saturday edition of my NBA DFS Picks. My goal with this article is to walk you through the games to find which places we should attack this seven-game slate. You will also pick up some research tips along the way. You will see me make reference to on/off stats as well as rotations. You can find those free tools at NBAWowy and PopcornMachine.net. Ice fishing was going to be on my list of things to do today but the weather warmed up here late in the week so you get my full focus on tonight’s NBA DFS slate. Let’s dig right in.
Bucks @ Pacers – Bucks (-7) – NBA DFS Picks
The Bucks stroll into Indiana as seven-point favorites tonight. They have a projected team total of 115.3 compared to Indiana’s 108.3. The Bucks will be without veteran sharpshooter Khris Middleton. He has been out since he injured his leg against the Thunder back on November 10th. With Middleton off the court, the beneficiaries have been Giannis Antetokounmpo and Eric Bledsoe. Giannis gets a boost that puts him over two fantasy points per minute. At his salary of $12,000 (DK) and $12,600 (FD), we need him to play about 34 minutes to hit his target value of 5.5x-6.6x. He should easily accomplish this if he keeps up his 2.1 DK and 1.98 FD points per minute.
Bledsoe falls into this same category with Middleton off the court. He gets a 0.3 fantasy point per minute boost in these situations. This may not seem like much but in his past seven games, he has not scored under 33.5 DraftKings points. He has not scored under 42 in his past three games. Add in the boost with Middleton not playing and Bledsoe should be a core play in your lineups tonight.
On the Pacers side of the contest, ex Buck’s guard Malcolm Brogdon is questionable with back spasms. As a Bucks fan, I am really hoping he plays tonight; you know, for the theater. However, the signs are pointing to doubtful. The Pacers will also be without Oladipo (not new), Lamb, and Myles Turner. If Brogdon is unable to go, statistics point us toward an uptick in minutes for TJ McConnell, Aaron Holiday, and Doug McDermott. Out of these three, McConnell has the best bump with a nice 1.13 fantasy points per minute. He is currently questionable with an injury that surfaced last night so monitor that closer to game time. The guy that most people may miss here for the Pacers is Goga Bitadze. With the guys out for the Pacers, he gets a half fantasy point per minute boost. He can put on a block party and grabs boards with the best of them. He returned last night from his concussion and played a very pedestrian 18 minutes. I love him as a gpp pivot at just $3800 (DK) and $3700 (FD).
The other obvious play here is Domantas Sabonis. He is priced at $8500 (DK) and $9300 (FD). I am seeing early ownership projections on him to be around 14-16 percent. If I am deciding to use him in tournaments I would use the following rationale. To reach 6x value he would need to score 51 DK points and 55.8 FD points. Can he do this 16% of the time? If Brogdon ends up being out, I think he can eclipse these odds pretty easily. I would go overweight on Sabonis in tournaments and roster him in over 16% of my lineups.
Hornets @ Knicks – Knicks (-3.5) – NBA DFS Picks
The Hornets go into New York tonight as 3.5 point underdogs. They should be getting Nicolas Batum and Dewayne Bacon back so it will be interesting to see the lineup they roll out. I assume Bacon will start and Batum will come off the bench. He has not played since the first game of the season when he was injured against Chicago. Easing him back into things at best will still keep him out of my lineups. On the useful side of the Hornets for my NBA DFS picks, I do not feel comfortable in rostering any of the starters here. The salaries are not inviting and the production is very split up between them. I am, however, taking a long look at Cody Martin for deep field tournaments. He has been carving out some sneaky minutes and he can fill up the stat sheet with his energy. He played 26 minutes last night and scored 28 DK points. At just $3,300 (DK) and $3500 (FD), he is worth a reach in a few lineups.
For the Knicks, there are a lot of GTD (Game-Time-Decision) tags to go around. Frank Ntilikina, Elfrid Payton, and RJ Barrett are all ailing with lower-body injuries. For Barrett, it is a quad bruise. If there is one thing that throws a shooter off it is not having their legs under them. He is going down the ranks for me tonight. The Knicks that I would feel more comfortable in my NBA DFS picks are Julius Randle and Mitchell Robinson. Randle will draw a cherry matchup with a very bad Hornets frontcourt that ranks 28th in the league versus centers. If you want to chase last game’s performance for Dennis Smith Jr., I would use caution. While he put up 32 fantasy points in 30 minutes, he got his run due to Ntilikina got in early foul trouble. This is a situation where the production was had due to another scenario. I would stay underweight on Smith Jr.
Pelicans @ Heat – Heat (-6) – NBA DFS Picks
Injuries continue to pile up for the Pelicans as they cha-cha into Miami tonight. There probably won’t be much dancing but this is a situation that we can use to our advantage tonight. Injuries create opportunity for value and we saw this the other night with New Orleans. I ran out of ink on my pen (no joke) earlier writing down the injuries. Ball, Hart, Redick, Okafor, Miller, and of course Zion are all out. Ingram was downgraded to questionable so it looks like he will be off another night.
While we do not have much of a sample size of this injury scenario, Derrick Favors has smashed at over 2.5 fantasy points per minute. At just $6,200 (DK) and $7,200 (FD) he is a fine play. He should play minutes in the mid-’30s so if you do the math, he could put up 85 fantasy points. Is this going to happen? Probably not. But I could easily see 50 out of him. I’ll be overweight here for sure. I also like Kenrich Williams and Jrue Holiday. I would not go more than three Pelicans in a lineup. That is where I would draw the line of it being sub-optimal.
I would like to say the Heat are in far better shape injury-wise, but that is not the case. They will be without the services of Winslow, Waiters, Jones Jr., and Okpala. There is also news surfacing that an illness is sweeping through the Heat’s locker room so they could be without Jimmy Butler and Goran Dragic. So what does this do to the lineup? Minutes-wise this would benefit Nunn and Robinson the most. Kelly Olynyk‘s usage doubles from 17.5 to 35 percent. He will definitely make some of my lineups. Nunn, Leonard, and Bam all get boosts here. The most upside goes to Nunn while the highest floor is Bam. Value-wise, Leonard and OIynyk are priced real nice if all of this injury news shakes out. Leonard and Butler run the same rotation so if Butler ends up sitting, we could see Olynyk thrust into the starting lineup. Plenty of value to go around, but I would use only two of them max in lineups.
Rockets @ Timberwolves – Timberwolves (-1.5) – NBA DFS Picks
This is the highest implied total on the night at 232 points. If you want to roster James Harden at $12,200 (DK) and $12,700 (FD) you will need some of the value plays I mentioned earlier in the article. To put things in perspective, Harden takes up 24.4% of your total salary on DraftKings. In order to stomach paying up for him, he needs to hit at least 6x value or 73.2 DK points. Can he do this? Russell Westbrook, Clint Capela, Danuel House Jr., Eric Gordon, Nene, and Gerald Green are all out tonight. I need another pen. In these scenarios, Harden’s usage jumps up to 42.5 percent. Insane. Fade Harden at your own risk. Other looks for the Rockets go to Ben McLemore and Thabo Sefolosha. I can’t stomach 40 minutes of PJ Tucker at his price for doing next to nothing. I’ll have some exposure but will be underweight.
For the Timberwolves, Karl-Anthony Towns is in a smash spot. Fast-paced, close spread, and he doesn’t have to deal with Capela. The T’Wolves will be without Shabazz Napier and possibly Andrew Wiggins. Outside of Towns, we can look to Robert Covington and Jarrett Culver to provide us with solid outings. Jeff Teague is dealing with an illness but is expected to suit up. I would temper expectations for him but his salary has not caught up with the lack of bodies for the T’Wolves. Honorable mention for Minnesota is Josh Okogie. He will eat all of the second unit usage so he’s a nice play at just $4,500 (DK) and $4300 on FanDuel.
Raptors @ Mavericks – Mavericks (-4) – NBA DFS Picks
Welcome to the game that will mostly go forgotten. If you want to differentiate your tournament lineups from the field, this is one of those games to pick a player or two. Kyle Lowry is out for the Raptors tonight along with Serge Ibaka and Patrick McCaw. In the past five games, it has been Siakam and VanVleet as the benefactors in usage. They are sporting a 40.6 and 39.2 percent usage, respectively. They will be the two I have in rosters tonight from the Raptors. At mega-low ownership, you can try to snag Terence Davis from the second unit. He should see around 30 minutes at sub $4k pricing on FanDuel. I just don’t think the upside is there for him. It’s Siakam and VanVleet stacked together for me tonight.
The Mavericks are as healthy as it gets. Wait, a team that is healthy? What do we do with this? We can play this straight up. The rotations should stay as-is and the value is off the chalk. To keep this one short and sweet, it’s Luka Doncic. Tim Hardaway continues to rule the second unit. He just hasn’t had upside so he is a worthless mention here.
TrailBlazers @ Spurs – Spurs (-1) – NBA DFS Picks
At a total of 226, this is a game on the slate that I want some shares from. On the Portland side, They are not without any major pieces that they have had so far this season. It’s a regular rotation setting for them tonight. Heading up the usage for Portland are Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum. They are both near 40 percent usage in the past five games. Those are the only two players I would touch on the Blazers side.
For the Spurs, DeJounte Murray is on a load management rest day. DeMar DeRozan steps into 30 percent usage with Murray off the court. Not a lot of people are going to turn to DeRozan as I see his ownership projections around 9-11 percent. He has a very nice path to 40 fantasy points tonight and I will surely be overweight on him at just $7200 (DK) and $7600 (FD). Other players I like to succeed here are LaMarcus Aldridge and Trey Lyles.
Hawks @ Clippers – Clippers (-10.5) – NBA DFS Picks
If you have made it this far, I commend you. Let’s make the final push through this last game on the slate. The Hawks have been making their way around the West Coast for the past week. The play tonight as well as tomorrow. Sometimes we can attack these situations for lower ownership. However, tonight will not be one of them for me. I think the minutes and the travel are getting the best of Trae Young. At $9400 on DraftKings he becomes a full fade for me with the Hawks’ road trip schedule. I’m not really liking anything on the Atlanta end other than De’Andre Hunter seems to be immune to blowouts.
Kawhi Leonard is questionable for the Clippers tonight even after sitting out last game against the Pelicans. Most of the pricing on the Clippers roster is inflated due to Paul George being out until their last game played. The Kawhi load management has also played a factor in this. Everyone here is too high priced for me to touch unless Kawhi ends up sitting. Then I could feel good about using Paul George, Lou Williams, or even Harrell.
In NBA DFS late news can pop up out of nowhere. I will update this article with notes at the bottom if any of this news affects the slate. Stay tuned!
Questions and comments?
Follow Us on Twitter @thescorecrow
Follow Us on Reddit at u/TheScorecrow
Follow Us on Facebook at The Scorecrow
Follow Us on Instagram at The Scorecrow
Facebook Group where you can read and post articles at The Scorecrow
Reddit Group where everyone can post without fear of being banned at The Scorecrow
Follow Nick Steig on Twitter at @SconnieDFS
Main Credit Image: Embed from Getty Images