Greetings ladies and gentlemen! As long as there’s sports being played, there’s also DFS to add another element to our degeneracy. Approaching a DFS lineup can be challenging, and with only roughly 1/4 of the entries being paid, you need to know who the best plays are.
The difference between cashing for $5 and $5,000 can be as simple as finding a “diamond in the rough” (or your “Tarik Cohen” as Sean would call it). The beauty of the NBA is that there is always a low-ownership bench player that randomly decides to go off for 25 points which translates into a nice DFS score.
If you’ve been struggling to cash your NBA lineups or if you’re a DFS veteran just looking for a second opinion, you’ve come to the right place. I’m going to take a look at some of the best players available on the NBA slate for Thursday, August 13th on DraftKings.
As these seeding games are coming to an end, there is another element being added. This element that I speak of is motivation. Some teams are at the point where they don’t have to win and winning won’t change their seed. There are others today that must win however, and this adds a whole new level.
Expensive Must-Plays ($8,000-$11,400)
Damian Lillard – POR ($11,200)
Dame Dolla doesn’t need any introduction. If you’re going to eat the chalk with any of the three players priced above $10,000, then I highly recommend rostering Dame. All Portland has to do is win to lock up the eighth seed, and I don’t know if you caught Dame’s post-game interview after dropping 61 against the Mavericks, but the Trailblazers didn’t come to mess around. Lillard has scored at least 45 points in three of his last four games, and he’s going to do anything he can do win. Don’t overthink this one, just play Dame and watch the points roll in.
Ja Morant – MEM ($9,000)
As I mentioned earlier, motivation is going to be a huge factor today. There probably isn’t any player on the board more motivated today (aside from Dame) than Ja Morant. His Grizzlies took a major setback with the loss of Jaren Jackson Jr. and they haven’t been playing good since the return. Morant has been outstanding however despite his team only winning once. Morant is averaging 43.04 fantasy points per game since the restart and he’s now registered back-to-back double-doubles. He’s a big reason that Memphis is competitive in any game, and I expect big things from Morant today.
DeMar DeRozan – SA ($8,100)
I would keep an eye on the two 4 PM ET games featuring Memphis and Phoenix before loading up on DeMar DeRozan, but if things fall right he will be the steal of the day. The Spurs still have a chance to make the play-in game. albeit a small chance. San Antonio needs a loss from two of three in the group of Portland, Memphis and Phoenix, but they also have to win their game. With the Grizzlies and the Suns going before them, the Spurs will know what they need to do beforehand. If they get a loss from one of those two, then you can expect DeRozan to have a HUGE game as he looks to carry the team to the play-in game.
Mid-Level Must-Plays ($5,000-$7,900)
Lonzo Ball – NO ($7,200)
It makes sense to pick up Lonzo Ball for today’s slate. New Orleans has been eliminated from the playoffs and I’m sure they’re just ready to get out of the bubble and go home. The team is sitting Jrue Holiday, Brandon Ingram and Zion Williamson, and this means that Lonzo’s usage will be through the roof. Ball hasn’t been able to find his shooting stroke since the return, but there will be no shortage of opportunities with the majority of their starters out. I don’t know if Lonzo has one last 50+ fantasy point game in him before the end of the season, but I expect him to at least put up 30 fantasy points.
Derrick White – SA ($5,900)
I’m dipping back in to the Spurs pool to play Derrick White today. San Antonio will be without the services of Bryn Forbes, and we’ve seen that White has been the man to step up in his absence in the past. After scoring 20+ points in three straight games, White’s shooting percentage has dipped some as did his playing time. The most attractive thing about White is that he is young so he will get extended playing time today regardless of the playoff situation for the Spurs. White regularly pulls 30+ minutes of playing time when Forbes is out, and he has been known to be effective when given the extra time.
Long-shots and Value Plays ($3,000-4,900)
D.J. Augustin – ORL ($4,600)
Playing D.J. Augustin today just has late anchor written all over it. He’s a career 39.2% shooter as well as he shoots 34.8% from three in his career, and although Augustin has been shooting unusually bad since the return, I expect him to figure things out. Orlando will be without Aaron Gordon, Evan Fournier and Terrance Ross as well as Jonathan Isaac and Michael Carter-Williams. What this means is there will be no shortage of touches available for Augustin. For the pricing, you can’t beat the opportunities here.
Jaxson Hayes – NO ($3.600)
With Zion Williamson on the bench and Derrick Favors most likely playing somewhat shorter minutes, there should be plenty of work left to fall in the lap of Jaxson Hayes. He drew the start over Favors last game as coach Alvin Gentry looked to get the rookie more playing time. With New Orleans out of playoff contention, I expect the team to approach this last game with the same strategy. I like what this rookie brings as far as athleticism and although he’s not normally the highest scorer, he will surely flirt with 30 minutes today and he can be a very sneaky, low-ownership play.
Tony Bradley- UTA ($3,400)
Load up on Tony Bradley and make sure you have him in most if not all of your lineups. The Jazz are already somewhat short-handed, and they will be without Mike Conley and Rudy Gobert. Bradley drew the start a few days ago while Gobert was resting, and he didn’t disappoint at all. Bradley notched a double-double with 15 points and 11 rebounds which was somewhat expected. He does a good job of contributing some even with his normal playing time of around 15 minutes, and Bradley can fill the stat sheet rather quickly when given the time on the court.