November 20 NBA DFS Picks: Shake’n Blake
I’ll start you with a quote:
“You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.”
- Michael Scott or Wayne Gretzky
The NBA season is off and running and there is nothing that should be stopping you from cashing in every single night. Below I’ve included some picks for the games tonight, don’t be afraid to take a shot!
Note: Be sure to monitor the news that is released throughout the day to identify other value plays that emerge.
Point Guard: Kyle Lowry
In DFS we’re constantly trying to reuse pertinent matchup information. Evan Longoria is good against left-handers, the Chargers run defense is awful and the Lakers are bad against everyone. Luckily for us, the last bit of that information is relevant for Kyle Lowry tonight as he and the Raptors will travel all the way to Los Angeles to destroy the Lakers. You shouldn’t need much prodding on Lowry, who has blossomed into one of the most fantasy relevant point guards in the league thanks to his ability to fill the stat sheet. Lowry has scored more than 40 points on DraftKings in five of his last six games and is priced well below the “top tier” of point guards tonight at just $8,100. The Raptors are seven point favorites on the road, but this game should feature some decent scoring and the Lakers aren’t “Sixers bad,” there is chance they could hang around long enough for Lowry to do a lot of damage.
Second string: Emmanuel Mudiay
Shooting Guard: Eric Bledsoe
Bledsoe, much like Lowry, is a guy that can fill the stat sheet in multiple categories. In his third year in Phoenix he’s seen his usage rate rise up to 28.5% as he’s taking over 18 shots per 36 minutes of play. Again, the allure of using someone like Bledsoe doesn’t vary much from matchup to matchup as he’s going to be playing big minutes and is capable of scoring in many different ways. Tonight the Suns will travel to Denver to play in a game with a total nearing 207 points and a close spread (the Suns are 2.5 point favorites). At a position with not much depth, it’s really just Eric Bledsoe and James Harden fighting for the top spot, and Bledsoe is significantly cheaper.
Second string: Rodney Hood
Strong Forward: Nic Batum
As a fan of the Portland Trailblazers, I was sad to see Batum go. However, his time in Charlotte has been better suited for fantasy results. Now that he isn’t playing third fiddle to Damian Lillard and Lamarcus Aldridge, Batum has been producing consistent fantasy results and getting shots. In his time in Portland, Batum averaged nine shots per game and so far this season in Charlotte he’s averaging 12 shot attempts per game. For the sake of comparison, consider that his usage rate has also increased from 14% last year in Portland to over 21% thus far in Charlotte. Any time a team is playing the Sixers, you can guarantee a couple things: the Sixers will lose and the other team will have no trouble being efficient. Be wary as Charlotte is almost an 11 point favorite, but I still like Batum for his price tonight.
Second string: Danilo Gallinari
Power Forward: Blake Griffin
Blake Griffin reminds me of some barbaric, alpha male that only speaks in the third person. He’s always been awesome, but he’s been even more awesome so far this season. The Clippers suffered a pretty devastating defeat on national television to the Warriors last night and while Chris Paul did suit up, I’d expect he might be limited a tad tonight on a back to back. I’ve spouted some nice usage statistics already in this piece, but Blake’s is over 30% so far this season. I’ve not seen any indications that Paul will or will not play tonight, but if he’s limited in any capacity, the Clippers will rely heavily on Blake who is already averaging 26/8/4 per game this season. Those sound like good numbers.
Second string: Derrick Favors
Center: Jonas Valanciunas
After zooming through this piece looking at nothing but stars, it’s fitting that I ended with a salary relief option. As I mentioned in the blurb about Lowry, Valanciunas will be taking advantage of a porous Lakers’ defense, one that we are always trying to take advantage of. I won’t say this is a slam dunk, because there is some risk associated with Valanciunas’ minutes, but his per 36 numbers suggest he should be out there more. Despite averaging less than 30 minutes per game, the young center is still averaging nearly a double-double in points and rebounds on the year. He definitely won’t break the bank, but at the same time, he does come with a limited ceiling. On the season, Valanciunas is yet to 35 DK points. While that is terrifying, note that he hasn’t played the Lakers yet, and is price is just $5,700. It’s a risk, but one that might be worth it in tournaments.
Second string: Brook Lopez