As we reach the middle of the week today is the first time this season that two games have fell victim to COVID-19. It really shouldn’t come as a surprise but we still have a robust eight game slate which offers plenty of options as you build your lineups.
For those who have yet to subscribe, what are you waiting for? Until then you will get our three lineup core picks to whet your appetite. DFS is not simply about knowing how to pick which players will perform the best but you also need to fit them into the constraints of a salary cap. Our core plays will get you started in the right direction in that endeavor prior to digging into some other players of interest.
Let’s begin by following the points. With an over/under of 235.5 points there will be a plethora of offense tonight as the Kings face off with the Trail Blazers. That means to start I want a piece of Portland’s backcourt and it shouldn’t be a surprise that C.J. McCollum ($8,600 DK, $9,200 FD) is going to kick off my lineup build. While Damian Lilliard ($9,500 DK, $9,200 FD) is expected to play he will also at least be dealing with an ankle injury and McCollum is coming off back-to-back games of greater than 30 points which brings his average for the season up to 28.2. From an offensive perspective he has brought a killer instinct to the table while also adding 5.2 rebounds and 4.2 assists and you could argue he is having a better season that Lilliard even when taking out cost savings.
Staying in Portland it appears that the Trail Blazers will be without Jusuf Nurkic due to a quadriceps injury as the center played just nine minutes on Monday. That brings Enes Kanter($4,800 DK, $5,300 FD) who is holding his own off the bench averaging 12.2 points and 10 rebounds per game in 17.6 minutes. On its own that production offers a good return on value but if Kanter’s role increases tonight things become even more attractive. When Kanter faced the Kings two games ago all he did was score 11 points while grabbing 15 rebounds so even based on that he would be in my lineup.
Depending on your source Nickeil Alexander-Walker ($3,100 DK, $3,800 FD) will be in the starting lineup tonight but either way the guard offers massive upside and cost savings. As the guard’s minutes go up the obvious and natural thing happens as his offensive production follows suit. Overall he is averaging 8.2 points per game in 15 minutes of play so far this season but that is weighted towards some of his higher usage games such as last week when Alexander-Walker scored 13 points and grabbed five rebounds in 27 minutes.
I want to be clear that while these core plays can be used in both GPP and cash games you should have different variations of your lineups to match each contest. McCollum and Kanter translate across both contests but Alexander-Walker is a GPP target which is where the majority of our attention is generally focused.
Subscribers can now expect us to continue digging into today’s slate and the players under consideration with three players in each salary tier to form your lineup. So, keep on going and take a look at what we have to offer. This is just the beginning though. For a one-time fee of $99 per year we have all sports covered here including NFL, NBA, NHL, MLB, PGA, NASCAR, and League of Legends. We know how profitable these picks can be so you can even try it out for one month for free.
Now that we have our core lineup plays let’s dig into three players from each of the three salary tiers; expensive, moderate, and value priced.
Luka Doncic ($10,800 DK, $11,300 FD) is the most attractive option on the slate to me as he is playing what is expected to be a close game (four point spread) against Charlotte. You can never go wrong with Giannis Antetokounmpo ($10,600 DK, $11,000 FD) but the Bucks are favored by 10 points against Detroit and my fear is that they take the opportunity to limit his minutes. Doncic has had three days off in a row and the guard is a walking triple-double 29.5 points, 12.8 rebounds, and 10.3 assists per game. He always has the ball in his hands and is also Dallas’ number one scoring option and playmaker. What more could you want?
With Kyrie Irving still sidelined we are going to use this opportunity to target his two teammates left to pick up the slack. Kevin Durant ($9,400 DK, $10,100 FD) is a superstar and the best player on Brooklyn even when they are at full strength but eliminating Irving from the mix only serves to benefit him. That was on full display last night as Durant missed a triple-double by just one rebound while scoring 34 points. The area where we really saw the benefit of no Irving was in the playmaking department as Durant handed out 13 assists while also getting some help from Caris LeVert ($8,000 DK, $8,000 FD) who scored 20 points, in what was a down offensive game, while adding five rebounds and six assists. Brooklyn takes on a struggling Knicks team tonight and I would expect them to lean heavily on their two best players.
While he did play 30 minutes in his last game Jonas Valanciunas ($6,900 DK, $6,900 FD) is only averaging 25 minutes per game which limits his upside. The center is a viable and dependable option though with 12.8 points and 8.4 rebounds per game while offering minimal risk at the center position.
Mikal Bridges ($5,700 DK, $5,700 FD) isn’t going to score 34 points a game as he did two nights ago but it is nice to know that he is capable of doing so. The forward followed that up with 14 points in his next game but it is really his strength as a defender and all-around contributor that keeps him in the lineup for Phoenix playing an average of 32 minutes per game. Don’t fall into the trap of expecting a big offensive performance from Bridges every night but he does average 15 points per game while adding 5.6 rebounds and two assists which gives him a solid floor of production along with some upside.
It has been a slow start to the season for Blake Griffin ($6,200 DK, $6,100 FD) but when he is healthy and on the court we know what he is capable of. Two games ago we saw the forward play 40 minutes and deliver with 16 points and 12 rebounds while adding five assists. Griffin followed that up with just 10 points and six assists but he continued to be a facilitator handing out five assists. Detroit will be playing from behind tonight and they will need Griffin to try and keep pace.
Even with the potential return of Kristaps Porzingas, Dallas’ depth has been compromised as of late. That led to James Johnson ($3,900 DK, $4,200 FD) playing 26 minutes in the Mavericks last game. Johnson came through with 12 points and five rebounds while also chipping in a few assists, blocks, and steals. At the price we will certainly sign up for a repeat performance.
Anytime I can get a starting guard for less than $5,000 it is always a viable option to complete my roster. George Hill ($4,500 DK, $4,500 FD) isn’t going to wow anyone with 9.2 points and 3.4 assists per game but he does play 26 minutes a game while providing salary relief.
On Monday Carmelo Anthony ($4,200 DK, $4,500 FD) reminded us what he is capable of from an offensive perspective as he scored 20 points in 35 minutes. So far this season he is averaging 12.8 points in 27 minutes of play and we know that there is going to be a lot offense tonight against the Kings. Anthony fits right into a potential Portland stack with McCollum and Kanter.
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