Welcome to another NBA Fantasy Season! Before I give my cash picks for tonight’s games, I just wanted to make a couple points about NBA DFS strategy that you should know if you expect to win any tournaments – GPP or Cash.
- Make sure you monitor all lineups until they are confirmed. A simple last-minute lineup change can alter usage numbers creating a play that is cheap and obvious. For example, five minutes before lineup lock the Cavs confirm that Lebron is not playing, this is important not only because you’ll have to remove Lebron from your lineups but also because the game usage for Kevin Love will undoubtingly go through the roof! Adjustments like this take your DFS game to the next level.
- Correlations are important to recognize. Kill two birds with one stone, if you know two guys who play well off each other, play them together.
- Beware of the blow out! Just remember, teams sit their starters in games where they’re getting blown out. Your starters can’t get points if they’re on the bench!
- On two game slates like tonight make more than one lineup! You can limit your risk by investing in just a few extra lineups, hedging one lineup off another.
PG Kyrie Irving – 8,200 FD & 8,300 DK
Kyrie Irving is starting the 2017-2018 season against his old team the Cleveland Cavaliers – a team he demanded to trade him just a few months ago. Putting aside the fact that he’s matching up against an aging Derrick Rose, this is a spite game for Kyrie. This is a narrative play by all accounts but logical as well. Kyrie should benefit off assists and possibly some rebounds to along with 25+ points. I do think this game stays close and Irving will be a big part of that. Assuming Jaylen Brown and/or Marcus Smart are responsible for guarding Lebron James, Boston’s offensive production should really boil down to three main players: Kyrie Irving, Al Horford and Gordon Heyward. Out of these three players Kyrie would be my most confident pick, making him my lock of the day. Containing Lebron James will not be easy but that’s Brown/Smart’s problem, Kyrie’s responsibility is to keep the Celtic’s in the game, a task that I’m confident he completes tonight in a stadium full of Cleveland fans who will likely be fueling his rage by booing his name all night long. The Cleveland Cavaliers are favored at -3.5 with a 212.5 O/U.
Other Cash PG Option(s): Derrick Rose
SG Klay Thompson – 6,800 FD & 6,200 DK
Some might say this is more of a GPP play but I disagree. Klay Thompson will be guarding James Harden. Everyone know that James Harden kills it on the offensive end of the court but the fact is, he’s allowed a ton of points on the defensive end of the court. Klay Thompson will not only benefit from Harden’s inconsistent defense, he will also benefit from the guaranteed 35+ minutes he will see on the court as he should be guarding James Harden for the entire game. Assuming Klay Thompson stays out of foul trouble, I believe this matchup creates an opportunity for a big game from Klay as well as maintaining a solid floor for cash games. At such reasonable salaries around the industry, Klay’s chances of reaching value are very good. The Golden State Warriors are favored at – 9.5 with a massive 229.5 O/U.
** Draymond Green is dealing with back problems and is currently a GTD, continue to monitor! **
Other Cash SG Option(s): Dwayne Wade & James Harden
SF/PF Jae Crowder –4,500 FD & 4,300 DK
**This play is contingent on Jae Crowder starting**
If the projections are correct Jae Crowder will be starting tonight and matching up against Jayson Tatum – the rookie that ultimately replaced him. Similar to the Kyrie narrative, Crowder is going to want to show up and prove to the Celtics what they gave up. Also, similar to the Kyrie narrative, Crowder exhibits a favorable matchup in both size and skill. In his first game with the Cleveland Cavaliers look for some hustle out of Crowder and with Rookie Jayson Tatum guarding him, beware of a potentially big game for Jae Crowder. Not to mention, Crowder racks up a variety of stats, which is the best kind of fantasy player to roster for cash games. If this game stays close, I can see Crowder putting up 10/5+/5+ considering he should be heavily involved in Cleveland’s offense. The Cleveland Cavaliers are favored at -3.5 with a 212.5 O/U.
Other Cash SF Option(s): Lebron James, Gordon Heyward & Kevin Durant
PF/C Kevin Love – 7,000 FD & 7,800 DK
Regardless of if Lebron James suits up or not (I don’t see him missing this game), Kevin Love is in a nice matchup against the Boston Celtics. The Celtics had significant problems protecting the rim last season, ranking 26th allowing an average of 44.5 rebounds per game. Boston specifically struggled protecting their own basket allowing an average of 10.8 offensive rebounds per game, ranking the Celtics 5th worst in the league. Al Horford is a very talented Center but in my mind, is no match for Kevin Love. Current projections have Love playing Center and Jae Crowder playing the 4, either way I don’t think the Celtics have the personnel to hold down Kevin Love. I do think this is the game to target on tonight's two game slate – It should be a close, high scoring affair filled with emotion. The question is, what is the right combination of players to have full exposure to this game? Start by locking in Kevin Love at a very reasonable salary on both Fan Duel and Draft Kings. The Cleveland Cavaliers are favored at -3.5 with a 212.5 O/U.
Other Cash PF Option(s): Draymond Green & Ryan Anderson (more of a GPP play but plausible)
C Clint Capela – 6,000 FD & 5,600 DK
Clint Capela has always been a talented player despite his somewhat average numbers. Last season Capela was forced to split time with Montrezl Harrell and Nene but with Harrell playing for the Clippers now Clint Capela will have the time to show case his abilities. Clint Capela will also benefit off the pick and roll that Chris Paul brings to any offense that he joins. Capela should also benefit off the sheer amount of shots expected in this game. If Houston’s now primary Center Clint Capela gets the minutes he should be looking at double/double numbers as he matches up against the now 33-year-old Zaza Pachulia. The Houston Rockets are underdog’s at + 9.5 with a 229 O/U.
**Rostering Clint Capela or any Houston Rocket is risky due to the blow out factor, but on a two-game slate your options become limited**
Other Cash Center Option(s): Al Horford & Kevin Love (mentioned above)