NBA DFS Rotations: Oladipo On The Rise
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 being given more opportunity. 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 went over some of the trades that went on in the NBA and their potential impact. After a week of hoops, we got to see how some of these players fit into their new teams and how some teams fared without those that were traded away.
After receiving 25 minutes in each of his first two games in Orlando, Jennings has not played more than 16 minutes in four consecutive games. Until we see more minutes from Jennings, he is not someone that should be on DFS radars. On the flipside, several players have benefited from Harris’ departure. Please note that Harris did not play in any game for the Magic as of February 7th so the numbers that I’m sharing with you will include those games he did not play prior to being traded. Oladipo has increased his production in just about every category. In the last nine games, he’s averaging more points, minutes, rebounds, steals, and fantasy points per game. He’s also turning the ball over less. His usage rate has been at 20.2 in the last nine games. Oladipo’s price on the 7th was $6,900 and has increased $300 since. He’s been as cheap as $6,400 in that span. Displaying his 42+ fantasy point upside several times this season, at this price, he remains a solid tournament option when the matchup is right.
Victor Oladipo last nine games (no Harris)
Fournier has also benefited from Harris’ departure. He has topped 30 DraftKings points in seven of the last eight games. The one game he did not exceed 30 fantasy points, he played just 25 minutes. However, prior to that one game, he was averaging 40.7 minutes per game. He’s improved in just about every stat category in the last eight games, and the chart below will break down the numbers. His price has increased $1,400, but at $5,900 he should still provide a solid return on investment so long as his usage and minutes remain at the current level. It is worth noting that Fournier missed the last game with a wrist injury. The severity of the injury is not yet known, but at this time it doesn’t appear that he will miss a significant amount of games. In his absence Mario Hezonja started and played 27minutes while scoring 22.5 DraftKings fantasy points. He is $3,500 on DraftKings Tuesday against the Mavs and would make a very good value play if Fournier can’t play. Hezonja is averaging 26.5 minutes and 23.1 DK points per game in his last two games. That’s .87 fantasy points per minute. Keep an eye on this situation in the immediate future.
Evan Fournier last eight games (no Harris)
Much like Fournier, Aaron Gordon has improved in stat categories across the board. He’s playing more minutes and that’s converting to more production and fantasy points. His price has increased more than that of Fournier, but Gordon does provide a higher/steadier floor and a bit more upside. He has become a focal point of this Magic offense and has been doing a very good job grabbing rebounds. I’d say that until he reaches the $7,000+ mark, he’s in play, especially in plus matchups.
Aaron Gordon last nine games (no Harris)
Harris has acclimated himself just fine with his new team, the Pistons. His fantasy rating per minute has increased on both FanDuel and DraftKings. His usage rate has gone up from 19.5 to 22.1 since being traded. Stanley Johnson is out indefinitely, which could have something to do with the heavy minutes for Harris. However, in the foreseeable future, Harris should continue to see plenty of minutes and a reasonable usage rate.
Tobias Harris Pistons game log
Morris finally got his first start as a Wizard on Monday night after Nene sat out with body soreness. Morris made the best of the opportunity as he finished the night with 16 points, 13 rebounds, one block, two steals, and five assists. That performance earned him 45.75 DraftKings fantasy points. What was more impressive is that he played 37 minutes. The Wizards are weak at the PF position and that’s why they brought Morris in. Let’s see if after this performance he starts to see more minutes. Prior to Monday night’s game, he was averaging 22 minutes per game as a Wizard. His price on Monday was $5,200 on DraftKings, which is also something we have to monitor for his next contest. Eventually, I believe that Morris will become part of the starting rotation and have a bigger role on this offense. Gortat, Wall, and Porter all played well and appear to jive just fine with Morris. Keep in mind this was against one of the worst defenses in the league, but the fact that Morris played so many minutes and carried so much offensive responsibility is promising for his DFS value moving forward.
Other Trades and Notes
The Grizzlies lost two wing players to trades and Marc Gasol is out for the season due to an injury. As expected, Matt Barnes has received plenty of minutes since they traded Jeff Green and Courtney Lee. Barnes is averaging 34 minutes per game in his last six games (including Monday night’s game). He remains a streaky shooter and that will not change, but his minutes should remain consistently high. Lance Stephenson who was acquired in a trade is averaging 23.6 minutes and 12.8 points per game since being traded to Memphis. His usage rate is at 22.7. As far as the frontcourt, Brandan Wright has been more involved and has been a good value play in recent games. Unfortunately he suffered a Grade 1 MCL sprain and will miss 1-2 weeks. The injury opened the door even more for the P.J. Hairston who the Grizzlies received in a trade. He played 31 minutes in Monday night’s game and scored 14 points. He’s been reasonably priced and could continue to see heavy minutes while Wright sits out. Surprisingly, JaMychal Green hasn’t benefitted from Wright’s injury as his playing time is actually trending downwards.
The Jazz received point guard Shelvin Mack from the Hawks in a trade and didn’t waste much time in getting him involved. He is averaging 27.8 minutes per game in Utah and already took over the starting point guard position. He had his best game in a Jazz uniform on Monday and could carry that momentum over to the next game. Mack lacks consistency in production, but should continue to see a respectable role and plenty of minutes moving forward. In plus matchups, he could be considered a value play.
Eric Gordon returned on Sunday for the Pelicans after missing a little over a month. In his first game back he played 33 minutes and scored 31 points. Ryan Anderson and Jrue Holiday both played 30+ minutes, so Gordon’s return did not make a big impact immediately. That’s also because Anthony Davis did not play due to a toe injury. Once he returns, let’s see how Gordon and some of the other players are moved around the rotation, and perhaps more importantly, how offensive responsibility is distributed.
Joe Johnson was waived by the Nets and signed by the Miami Heat. In his first game with Miami, he drew the start and played 30 minutes. One of his reasons for going to Miami was he felt he would receive an opportunity to play a good amount of minutes, and it appears he was right. It’s only one game, so it’s best to take the wait-and-see approach, but it seems like the Heat do have plans to have Joe Johnson in the starting rotation and to close out the games. His presence will possibly limit Deng’s and Winslow’s ceilings but only time will tell.
That’s it for this week. I’ll be back next week to break down more on NBA Rotations. Good luck to all.