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NBA DFS Rotations: Johnson Deng’s Heat Production
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NBA DFS Rotations: Johnson Deng’s Heat Production

One of the key things I look at when creating my lineups is the amount of minutes a player has played in recent games and is projected to play on any given night. This is a very important stat because without minutes, opportunity is limited. Some players will receive more minutes due to injuries on the team or changes in the rotations. Others may just be playing really well and are being given more opportunities. Towards the end of the season, some of the worst teams in the league may also provide some of their young players with more playing time to get some experience under their belt. This is something we will cover for you the rest of the season.

Last week we recapped some of the trades that went on in the NBA and what kind of impact they made after a week worth of games. This week we will focus on some of the injuries in the NBA as well as some players that got waived, and how that will potentially affect rotations.

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Miami Heat

I’ll start off with a player that was briefly discussed in last week’s article, Joe Johnson. The Nets waived Johnson and as soon as he cleared the waivers, he agreed to terms with the Heat. The team wasted no time and immediately inserted him into the starting lineup. He’s averaging 30.2 minutes, 14 points, 3.2 rebounds, 2.4 assists, 1.6 three pointers, and 23.2 fantasy points per game as a Miami Heat. His price remains under $6,000, but his production has been inconsistent as he’s failed to hit value in four of his last five games. His DFS value has not increased, but his presence has affected some of the other Heat players. Justice Winslow is averaging 27.6 minutes per game since Johnson arrived in Miami. Prior to Johnson’s arrival, Winslow was averaging 31.4 minutes per game in the month of February. Fewer minutes has equated to less fantasy production across the board for Winslow. Another player who has regressed a bit since Johnson’s appearance is Luol Deng. In the last five games, Deng has taken fewer shots, scored fewer points, and grabbed fewer rebounds. In other words, his usage rate is down. This has converted to nearly two less fantasy points per game than his February average.

Joe Johnson‘s numbers since joining the Heat

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Justice Winslow’s numbers in the last five games and comparison of averages in the month of February to post Johnson.

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Luol Deng‘s numbers in the last five games and comparison of averages in the month of February to post Johnson.

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New Orleans Pelicans

Eric Gordon suffered a fracture in his right ring finger and the initial reports are that there’s a chance he misses the rest of the season. With Tyreke Evans already out for the season, this leaves the Pelicans with a thin backcourt. Jrue Holiday could be a busy man moving forward and chances are he will see more minutes and a higher usage rate. Eric Gordon missed 16 games in the months of January and February. In his absence, Holiday averaged more points, rebounds, and field goal attempts. In 11 games in the month of February during Gordon’s absence, Holiday averaged 38.7 fantasy points per game. In the last three full games that Gordon played, Holiday averaged 32.2 fantasy points per game. That’s a 6.5 point difference, which is significant. Holiday’s price on Monday was $7,700, which is the range we’ll likely see it moving forward. He’s displayed his 50+ fantasy point upside on several occasions this season. His minutes have fluctuated in the past, but I’m eager to see how many minutes he plays moving forward. Norris Cole, who is dealing with a low back injury, should also see more minutes and usage when he plays.

Holiday’s numbers with and without Gordon

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Other news and notes

Michael Carter-Williams has been ruled out for the remainder of the season. His absence directly increases Giannis Antetokounmpo‘s value. Prior to officially being ruled out for the season, Carter-Williams had missed the team’s last four games. In that span, Point Giannis has averaged nine assists per game and has double-digit assists in three of those games. He has displayed his ability to stuff the stat sheet and should be considered an elite DFS option moving forward. Jerryd Bayless should also see more minutes and a tad increase in usage. However, he is a streaky player and that will likely not change. He may be used as a value play (depending on price) in a good matchup. Other than that, he’ll remain off my DFS radar. Jabari Parker and Khris Middleton should continue to have a similar role with a potential minor uptick in usage and peripheral statistics. After all, Carter-Williams averaged nearly 11 shot attempts per game and was active in terms of assists and rebounds. That will likely be distributed amongst the starters.


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Jimmy Butler and Nikola Mirotic returned to the court for the Bulls. In his first game back, Butler played 34 minutes, scored 24 points, grabbed 11 boards, and dished out six dimes. That performance was good for 48.25 DK fantasy points. Mirotic played just 15.8 minutes and contributed 13.5 DK fantasy points. Mirotic is reportedly still underweight and chances are they ease him in. It’s only been one game, so we will continue to keep an eye on how their return affects the rotation. More to come on this situation next week.

Kevin Martin was waived by the Timberwolves and he has now agreed to terms with the Spurs. His departure does not do much for Minnesota as he really wasn’t playing much. What we can take from him leaving is that LaVine should continue to see a consistent amount of high minutes moving forward. Martin has not been added to the roster in San Antonio, so we will see what comes of this situation. If he does officially sign with the team, his role will likely be limited.

Ty Lawson was waived by the Rockets and signed with the Pacers. He is expected to make his debut in Indiana on Monday night against the Spurs. Talk about a rough way to start with your new team. Lawson has flashed his potential in past years, but was disappointing in Houston. It’s unsure how he will be used in Indiana or what his role will be, but it’s something to keep an eye on. Patrick Beverly now has no major threat behind him and should continue to see consistently heavy minutes. While he has limited upside, Beverly has been a solid value play in recent games and could be that moving forward in plus matchups.

That’s it for this week. I’ll be back next week to break down more on NBA Rotations. Good luck to all!

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