Eric Crain's Matchup Rundown: Monday, March 20th
In a one-off content special, million-dollar winner and GrindersLive personality, Eric Crain, goes through each game on tonight’s NBA slate, giving his condensed thoughts on every DFS-relevant player. This diary-like look at the matchups will give you a glimpse into the mind of one of the most successful DFS players in the industry.
Monday, March 20th
Hey guys, I won’t have much time to update this article after this, so I wanted to touch base about a few contingencies. If Vuc is out that makes Bismack playable, and gives a boost to Fournier and Elf. If Jahlil is out, I like Holmes a ton but don’t like the Orlando bigs quite as much. I’m also starting to believe that the Clippers may blow out New York. If you think that may happen, I don’t hate Kyle O’Quinn as a VERY deep GPP dart. I’m starting to like Faried more and more as a tourney option. Dwight is popping in my model a bit more than I expected him to. Gobert I still love, but he’ll be chalky. Robert Covington is also moving up my board, as is some of the Denver guys, even on DK. I may have been too quick to write off Jameer. I have shows and my own teams from now until lock, so any new that comes I doubt I’ll be able to provide context. I would suggest using the CourtIQ tool to see how late scratches effect a player you may be wanting to use. Good luck everybody!
Philadelphia/Orlando – 211.5, ORL -5
Both teams should be trying to lose for draft pick purposes. Beware of late scratches. Philly 1.5 games ahead of Orl in standings. Pace should be above avg.
Jahlil Okafor – If he starts and is going to get mins, has a nice matchup vs Vuc. Always unowned. Has flashed big upside if he’s going to get the minutes.
Robert Covington – Excellent matchup vs Ross. Price cheapest it’s been in a month. Cov has 50pt upside here.
Dario Saric – Also has 50pt upside but not as cheap as Cov. Probably won’t be popular. Good matchup with Gordon and can fill up stat sheet.
T.J. McConnell – Doubtful he has upside at his price. Decent matchup and should see 30 mins. Only hit value at his price once in last 10 games.
Richaun Holmes – Love him if no Jahlil. If Jahlil plays, matchup isn’t as good but still a big producer when he’s on the floor. 1.22 DK PPM over the last month.
Sergio Rodriguez – Has 10x upside on DK. Mins not secure but could see extra with Anderson out. 18 minute floor likely. One of my favorite value plays on the slate.
Gerald Henderson – Could potentially see extra minutes tonight, even though he isn’t really a good basketball player. Price is cheap and he can get hot.
Starters should all see 30+ mins. Phil defends 3pt well. Phi awful interior defense. Elf and Vuc gets bump if Jahlil in.
Nikola Vucevic – Should dominate this matchup. Scoring/Rebounding bigs vs Philly w/o Embiid. If Jahlil in even better.
Elfrid Payton – Should have his way driving to basket. Will be very underowned.
Aaron Gordon – Hasn’t flashed as much upside w/ Vuc in lineup. Nice matchup with Saric, but Vuc being back hurts him and, again, not as much upside as we normally associate with him.
Terrence Ross – He sucks, too expensive on DK, in play on FD. Cov good defender.
Evan Fournier – Phi excellent at defending 3pt line. Still seems too cheap for 40pt upside. GPP flier only.
Atlanta/Charlotte – 203.5, CHA -5.5
ATL trying to hold onto 5 seed, Charlotte playing for draft picks.
No Millsap/Baze. Fighting to hold onto 5th seed. Plays slower pace w/o Millsap/Baze. Takes 3pt shot 5% more often w/o those 2 on floor. Char allowing most 3pt attempts per game.
Ersan Ilyasova – was a point per min guy w/ Philly. Moves into big role vs team that struggles w/ bigs. Most play on FD at $4500 and near must play on DK $5k
Dennis Schroder – Usage bump w/ no Millsap/Baze. Still put up 29.75 DKP while going 2/14 from field last game. Should see 30+ minutes w/ shorter rotation.
Dwight Howard – Usage/reb% goes up a bit w/o Millsap. Should have his way with Cha frontcourt.
Tim Hardaway – Should see 30+ mins at very fair price on both sites. 5.3 3pt shots per game. See above.
Taurean Prince – Should see 30+ mins and has been a solid .85 PPM producer on DK w/o Millsap/Baze. Fine at his price.
Thabo Sefolosha – Should see solid mins but is a GPP – only play. Not a high reb%. Needs peripherals. Unlikely to get steals; Cha fewest TOs per game in NBA.
Malcolm Delaney – Backup PG now, saw 26 mins last game when Baze was in. Min price. Reasonable punt play.
Frank Kaminsky – Quietly back to getting 30 MPG and is chucking. Dwight won’t guard at 3pt line & Ersan not a tough matchup. Was priced over 7k less than 3 weeks ago pre-injury. $5500 now.
Kemba Walker – Schroder defense, price dropped a bit. Home favorite. GTD 32+ mins in non-blowout.
Cody Zeller – Crushed Dwight 2x this year, seeing over 30 MPG. Easier matchup w/o Millsap.
Marvin Williams – Playing great but very little upside at price w/ Kaminsky back.
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist – Mins dwindling, does very little. Hit value @ hit price 1x in last 10 games.
Nicolas Batum – Only saw 27 mins last game. Wasn’t looking for shot. Prob will see Thabo.
Jeremy Lamb – Uncertain mins, still priced up.
Marco Belinelli – Seeing 22+ mpg last 5, 28 last game. Too cheap for mins + upside if he gets hot.
Utah/Indiana – 193.5, UTA -2.5
Both teams playing for seeding.
Playing about 2 possessions faster over the last month w/o Favors. Playing to hold onto home court advantage in round 1.
Rudy Gobert – Game total doesn’t affect him and he’s been a stud since Favors went out. Attack Indy via frontcourt and Gobert should have his way. Rebounding bigs been crushing.
George Hill – Usage and PPM bump. Mins very secure, especially if Mack is also out. PGs haven’t been great vs Indy though. REVENGE GAME!!!
Gordon Hayward – Usage and PPM bump. Very tough matchup w/ PG13.
Joe Ingles – Punt option if Hood out.
Alec Burks – People will ask, but hasn’t gotten more than 20 mins in any of his last 4 games and 1/8
Healthy, currently 6 seed, in 5 team battle for last 3 playoff spots. b2b. Utah excellent at defending 3pt line and rebounding.
Paul George – Interesting GPP option. Utah discount not as big as I hoped, but Jazz been smashed by Jimmy/LBJ last 2 games. Good SFs usually do fine vs this team.
Jeff Teague – Interesting GPP spot. Don’t love matchup, but he’s too cheap for talent level.
Myles Turner – Wanted to ignore but too skilled and plays too many mins for his DK price.
Washington/Boston – 216.5, BOS -3.5
Both teams battling for No. 2 seed in East.
John Wall – Has a perfect matchup against Boston. Doubt will be too popular due to Westy/Harden. Price has come down over $1000 over the last week. High usage PGs destroy Bos.
Markieff Morris – Probable and nobody will use him. GPP-only play that I don’t necessarily love. Price makes him somewhat attractive with 40pt upside.
Isaiah Thomas – Love to attack Wash with scoring PGs. Will have a few Wall/IT2 stacks. Despite his price, will be relatively unowned. Check on mins restriction.
Avery Bradley – Price creeping up to an uncomfortable spot. Probably can’t spend on him tonight.
Al Horford – Impossible to ignore what he’s been doing. Priced up compared to previous weeks but still underpriced based on production last 3 games. He’s had 3 good games in a row vs soft competition, but Washington struggling with centers as well.
Denver/Houston – 236.5, HOU -9
Denver trying to stay in playoffs; Houston nothing to play for.
Great matchup but players priced up a ton. Barton, Harris, Jameer, Murray too expensive.
Mason Plumlee – Probably too expensive and matchup isn’t as good as it looks. If game goes small could see fewer minutes than we expect.
Nikola Jokic – Viable due to 60pt upside, but blowout and foul trouble could absolutely be an issue. I doubt I go here.
Juancho Hernangomez – Viable punt in all formats with injuries. Should see over 26 minutes in pace-up game.
Kenneth Faried – Unclear how healthy he is and how many minutes he’ll get, but if he gets mins in the upper 20s he could win somebody a GPP. Undecided on whether can play he and Hernangomez together or not.
James Harden – Expensive but probably worth it. Perfect matchup for him. 55pt floor here with big upside in case game doesn’t blow out.
Patrick Beverley – Hasn’t played well but is too cheap for matchup.
Lou Williams – Too cheap for upside in case of a blowout. Will likely get minutes regardless. High ceiling and low floor. Don’t go nuts. Do not play with Beverley.
Eric Gordon – Too cheap for the minutes and matchup. Price depressed because of a shooting slump, but Denver is a great way to break out of a slump.
Trevor Ariza – SFs have struggled vs Den but that was w/ Gallo/Chandler. Ariza tends to disappear though and hasn’t been shooting much. Probably a fade to me.
Golden State/Oklahoma City – 222, GS -1
Both teams playing for playoff positioning.
Stephen Curry – GPP play and has owned Russ in the past. Usage goes up w/o Durant. 40pt floor with 55pt upside. Not sure he’s my favorite high-priced guy but seems like I have to have some of him. Biggest total and closest spread on the slate.
Klay Thompson – Oladipo defense and OKC does a good job at defending the 3pt line. Probably a fade.
Draymond Green – Love this spot for Draymond. Should be plenty of rebounding and steal opportunities vs OKC.
Russell Westbrook – He’s going to go nuts at home vs this team. Vegas is telling us it’ll be a close, high scoring game. His floor is probably 70 tonight with 90 point upside. Will be very popular, but tough to fade.
Victor Oladipo – He’s fine, but can probably do better at his price point. Not in love with the matchup.
Andre Roberson – Will be on a floor a ton in a pace up game. Need at least 25 from him, probably closer to 30 tonight. Not sure he can get there, but would play him if I needed that salary.
Enes Kanter – Fine at his price point. May get extra run if OKC needs his scoring to keep up with GS.
Steven Adams – Hasn’t produced vs GS, despite getting minutes. Not a good matchup for him and I prefer Kanter.
New York/LA Clippers – 215.5, LAC -10.5
LAC trying to hold onto 5th seed, NYK playing for what’s left of its pride.
Carmelo Anthony – Don’t love the matchup or the price.
Kristaps Porzingis – Huge upside, but probably too expensive on DK and I worry about him being limited coming back from an injury.
Derrick Rose – Don’t take PGs vs CP3
Guillermo Hernangomez – Don’t love the matchup or price, but if he sees 28 minutes he could go for 40+. Deep GPP option.
Chris Paul – Too cheap and will be underowned, but not sure he cares right now. Like the matchup but probably better options. GPP-only play.
J.J. Redick – NYK top 10 in 3pt shots against. Redick price about right, but there is upside if he gets hot.
Blake Griffin – Could easily get Porzingis in foul trouble. Knicks getting destroyed by bigs lately. Way too cheap for matchup on DK.
DeAndre Jordan – Centers been destroying the Knicks for a while now. Too cheap on DK. Has massive upside at that price