10 Definitely Interesting, Possibly Helpful NBA Notes for January 8th, 2016
Every day while doing NBA DFS research, I invariably stumble across some unexpected nuggets of information that are occasionally helpful, but always interesting in one way or another. Here are 10 for Friday, January 8, 2016.
1. Russell Westbrook has faced the Lakers three times this season, and he’s yet to exceed 30 minutes or 50 FanDuel points in any of those contests (although, there’s some fun with arbitrary endpoints going on – he was at 29.9 minutes and 49.9 FD points 3/24/2015). With the Thunder favored in Los Angeles by 13.5 and Friday (Covers.com), and with Kevin Durant in the lineup, it’ll be difficult to pay a premium for Westbrook in this matchup.
2. Chris Paul had 19 assists on January 6th against the Blazers. It was his highest total of the year, and he’s hit double figures in assists in four straight contests. That’s impressive, but he’s got a long way to go before hitting his longest streak of games with 10+ assists. In 2013, he went 15 games without falling in single digits in assists, which happens to be the longest streak in the NBA during that span. In games without Blake Griffin this year, Paul’s assists per game jump from 8.9 to 12.2.
3. In the past two games, Marc Gasol has had two of his five lowest-scoring FanDuel totals of the past three years (minimum 24 minutes played). On Monday against the Trail Blazers, Gasol shot 3-for-12 from the floor, turned the ball over four times, and ended up with 17.2 FD points. Two days later, his struggles continued against the Thunder, who held him to two field goals in 11 attempts and 15.8 FD points. His price has come down across the industry, but even so, it’s tough to trust him given his recent struggles.
4. One Memphis player you can trust on Friday is Mario Chalmers, presuming Mike Conley sits again (he’s currently listed as doubtful). Chalmers scored 49.1 FanDuel points on Wednesday, the second-highest total of his career. He only needed 38.5 minutes to reach that total, though, compared with the 49.1 he needed to reach his career-high mark of 53.4 on January 5th, 2012.
5. Even with Eric Bledsoe, the Suns weren’t exactly a defensive stalwart this year. Without him, they’ve been a disaster. In 31 games with Bledsoe, their defensive rating was at 106.6, which would put them just outside the bottom third of the league. In the seven games since Bledsoe’s injury? 114.4, nearly five points higher than the Bucks, who own a league-worst 109.9 defensive rating this year. The Miami Heat visit Phoenix on Friday.
6. Michael Carter-Williams has been as steady as they come recently. Over the past five games, MCW has averaged 38.7 FanDuel points per contest, sixth-most in the NBA among point guards during that stretch. He trails only Russell Westbrook, John Wall, Kemba Walker, Chris Paul, and Kyle Lowry. The 6’6” point guard clearly knows how to use his height to his advantage – he leads all point guards with 6.0 rebounds and 1.4 blocked shots over the past five games.
7. Carter-Williams and the Bucks host the injury-depleted Dallas Mavericks on Friday, and MCW could see a slight uptick in fantasy output as a result. This year, he’s averaged over six more FanDuel points at home than on the road (31.4 FD points at home, 25.0 away).
8. The return of Danilo Gallinari to Denver’s lineup has really put a dent in Will Barton fantasy value. Barton averages 36.1 FanDuel points per game without Danilo Gallinari on the floor. When Gallinari plays, Barton’s total drops to a far more pedestrian 27.1 per game. He also loses 5 minutes per game (34.3 to 29), nearly 8 points per game (22.8 to 14.9), nearly 6 shots per game (18 to 12.2), and he sees his usage drop by 3 percentage points (26.2% to 23.2%). He’s played 25 and 26 minutes in the past two games. Until his price falls, it’s difficult to roster the talented shooting guard.
9. Kyrie Irving might just be back to form. On Wednesday, he played a season-high 34 minutes, scoring 18 fourth-quarter points i the process. Over the past 5 games, Kyrie Irving has averaged 1.3 FanDuel points per minute, which trails only Draymond Green, Chris Paul, Russell Westbrook, and DeMarcus Cousins, all of whom are tied for most FD points per minute during that span with 1.4. If he gets anything close to a full allotment of minutes over the next few games, he’s worth scooping up at his still-depressed price tag.
10. Twelve different centers on thirteen occasions have scored 20+ points against the Brooklyn Nets this season (Greg Monroe did it twice). The Nets allow 49.8 FanDuel points per game to centers, the most in the NBA. Nikola Vucevic of the Magic takes them on on Friday, and although he doesn’t seem to be the super-safe cash option he was a week ago, given Brook Lopez ineptitude on the defensive end of the floor, Vuc might have the highest floor of any center on Friday’s slate.
Thanks for reading! For those of you who read my blog often, I apologize for the week-long hiatus – apparently the Bubonic plague decided to visit my family this week, and we’ve all been sick as dogs.
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Research for this blog was pulled from NBA.com, ESPN.com, Basketball Reference, StatMuse, RotoWire, and RotoGrinders’ own player pages.
Be sure to check back on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays during the NBA season for more notes!