Well, if it isn’t the ol’ Friday Daily Fantasy Basketball Main Slate? I know that I’ve next-to-beaten this seemingly jolly and upbeat shtick half to death, but in all honesty, it’s not like I’m taking that tone to a dissertation about hobbyist gardening techniques (not that there’s anything wrong with that).
DFS is a pleasure and a privilege, at least in my opinion, so I’ll continue to treat it as such. Also in full disclosure: if you’re continuing to do something that never makes you this excited, perhaps you’re walking the wrong path in life and should reconsider your steps. “Do what you love and love what you do”, or so I’ve heard.
With that aside being stated, if you are as stoked for this nine-game slate as I am, then you’re assuredly in the right place. There are some intriguing matchups that make for versatile roster construction and, of course, our token Revenge Game of the Main Slate as the Miami Heat play a begrudging “Welcome Back!” matchup with LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers.
Let’s get to stacking some chips for the long DFS weekend ahead of us and start off on the right foot…
UPDATE (12/13, 11:24 AM):
I’m noticing a trend of players I highlight in my articles early the morning of who wind up being scratched by lunch time. Not the kind of “right foot” I intended to start off on, but I digress.
Alas, it will likely become Terance Mann Chalk Night (in parallel with Terrence Ross Chalk Night), but I’m not so sure how much exposure I want to get of a low-usage decoy as opposed to one of two (or both) of the dudes who will be soaking up all the usage in Kawhi Leonard (looks like he’s playing) and Paul George with Patrick Beverley absent from the Clippers rotation as well.
So, simply stated as my pivot to Lou Williams: Yes, I will get to Terance Mann. No, I will not be over the field if he becomes chalk. I’m all about Paul George and Kawhi here, as I would prefer to have at least one of the two in every one of my entries to mop up all that usage left behind by the sidelined backcourt of Los Angeles. And against the T-Wolves, it should be a smash spot for both players (don’t mind Harrell either).
Lou Williams, LAC ($7,100 DK/$6,000 FD) Besides the aforementioned shtick, another two things I will continue to beat into oblivion: Lou Williams’ confused, middling fantasy pricing throughout the Kawhi-Clippers era, and Guard play against the Minnesota Timberwolves. And would you look at that…I accomplish both of those feats here. With the status of Kawhi Leonard forever uncertain, especially when it comes to either leg of a back-to-back game for the Clippers, Lou Williams comes in consistently between the high $6k/low $7k tiers of pricing. While his recent performance and Usage has declined, he’s actually averaging over 31 minutes per game in his last three outings, which is up an average of seven minutes from his previous four games. If Kawhi plays in the first half of this back-to-back, I still believe Williams to have much value despite the fact that they share much of the time on the court together, are still correlative plays with Williams’ usage not really impacted by Leonard’s presence (being that he runs with the second unit part of the time anyhow). If Kawhi happens to sit, Lou Williams nearly becomes a must-play at the position.
Terrence Ross, ORL ($4,300 DK/$5,300 FD)
The Orlando Magic are down a man in the backcourt with Markelle Fultz sidelined due to illness. At the same time I’m very much a proponent of the D.J. Augustin card given these circumstances, I’m digging the matchup for Terrance Ross.
Houston is surrendering the fifth-most raw points per game to the Shooting Guard position in the past two weeks (27.6 OPP PPG) and the second-most DraftKings Fantasy Points per game on average to the position. Terrance Ross has the cheap shot-chucking I’m looking for in a matchup such as this one, with a 22.2 Usage percentage on the season and 26.1% over his last six games.
With Fultz out of the rotation for the evening, and playing a paced-up spot against the third-fastest team in the league, Terrance Ross is excellent salary relief in both Cash Games and Guaranteed Prize Pools (GPP).
Joe Ingles, UTA ($5,800 DK/$5,500 FD)
I’m going back to the well here and I’m not whatsoever ashamed of it. Joe Ingles is playing some solid basketball as of late, and until Mike Conley comes back to throw a wrench into the middle of it all, I will be getting in on the party until they shut it down.
Ingles scores a gift-wrapped matchup with the Golden State Warriors at home in Utah and they happen to be giving up the second-most opponent three-pointers made per game (13.7), which happen to be his specialty as he’s shooting nearly 50% from beyond the arc in his past three games.
Averaging 36 DKFP in that most recent three-game span during Conley’s absence, Joe Ingles is an optimal Cash Game play with noteworthy GPP upside potential, especially given the weak opponent.
Domantas Sabonis, IND ($8,100 DK/$9,000 FD)
Although he hasn’t been blowing the doors off his projection, Domantas Sabonis has hit value in five of his last six games, and the weekend looks that much brighter for him taking on the beleaguered Atlanta Hawks.
And not only is Atlanta terrible against the Power Forward position, which is Sabonis’ predominant starting position in rotation, but they’re also among the worst against Centers, which is where he also shifts over to when the second unit joins him. Sabonis, more the Cash Game play than GPP, has begun to solidify his minutes in the 4/5 rotation this season with the departure of Thad Young and Kyle O’Quinn and his production has been evidence of such. He’s averaging 1.35 DKFP per minute in his last six games, along with 34.66 minutes per game in that span.
Domantas Sabonis has close to 60-point ceiling potential, and if there were ever a night to scathe that spackle, tonight against the Hawks couldn’t be a much better chance at it. His lesser likelihood to do so (while having a much greater chance to simply hit value) is what deems Sabonis a better Cash Game play, however.
Alex Len, ATL ($4,300 DK/$4,600 FD)
Strictly a GPP play due to his lacking guarantee of anything over 20 minutes on the court, Alex Len is a salary relief play with a feasible 25-30 fantasy point upside. He’s averaging well over a fantasy point per minute in his last seven games played, and Indiana surprisingly (based on the previous player highlighted) is among the weakest in the league against the Center position.
The Pacers are surrendering the highest number of fantasy points per game to opposing Centers (45.38 DKFP per game) and Damian Jones is merely the resident Taj Gibson of the Hawks roster (in that he technically starts at Center but doesn’t do a damn thing).
Alex Len, much like Bismack Biyombo on this slate, is a value salary-relief option at Center rolled up with a promising matchup who allows for significant spend-up on an NBA Friday that calls for quite a bit of it at other positions.