Week 11 NFL is basically behind us. The NBA season is almost a month old. NHL is…. well, who cares what is going on with NHL. Thanksgiving is a couple weeks away and soon thereafter we will all be caught up in the Christmas season. It is that time of year where we must face harsh realities, whether we like it or not. Perhaps you are a Bears fan and are finally waking up to the fact that your team stinks and a 4-6 record isn’t what you expected back in late August. Or maybe you are a Golden State Warriors fan and you have gone from the penthouse to the outhouse in just 4 months. Plus, you just gave Draymond Green a 4 year $100mm extension and he is a role player that is incapable of stepping up to be a leader on the court now that Steph Curry, Klay Thompson and Kevin Durant aren’t around to make him look good. Seriously, Draymond had 7 points against the Pelicans swiss cheese defense yesterday. 7 stinkin’ points! Maybe you played Brian Hill yesterday as massive chalk and watched him do absolutely nothing. After thinking about it, you may now realize that you never would have played Devonta Freeman at $4800 on DK. Or, and maybe worst of all, you spent two hours watching the god awful Charlie’s Angels movie this weekend and realize that you thought it was 1) either the original show or 2) it was actually Twilight Part 4 given that vampire girl was in the movie. Harsh realities are present in all of our lives. It is also part of the DFS landscape. Let’s explore a few harsh realities and see how they may play out in tonight’s 9 game NBA slate.
1) Carmelo Anthony will completely ruin the Trailblazers’ season. Portland has started this season 5-8, which is clearly not the results the franchise and fanbase were hoping for. But, it is early and the team still has the talented threesome of Dame Lillard, CJ McCollum and Hassan Whiteside. So, the fact that they just signed Carmelo Anthony is a HUGE red flag. Anthony is 35 years old, has been out of the league for about a year and is a locker room cancer. He WAS a good scorer, but isn’t anymore. And since he doesn’t pass the ball (averaged 1 assist per game in his past two seasons), rebound heavily or play any defense, this move is almost guaranteed to tank. My prediction is that the Trailblazers results don’t improve markedly and Anthony doesn’t see New Year’s with this team. One silver lining for the Blazers is that Melo won’t play tonight so they actually have a chance at winning this game.
2) Play Giannis every night until Middleton comes back. Play Giannis tonight. And every night until Middleton gets back on the court. Giannis averages 2 fantasy points per minute without KM. And tonight the Greek Freak gets the Bulls who have NO ONE who can cover him. He just went for over 70 DK points against this same team and I expect another 60+ point outing this evening. He is the best high-end play on the slate this evening. This is one of those harsh realities that is actually a good thing.
3) A healthy Celtics team is a crappy fantasy team. Don’t get me wrong. The Celtics are a very good NBA team. They should handle the Suns tonight and could even score 115+ points. That being said, absent any late day injury news, I will fade the entire Celtics team tonight. Even without Heyward, there are too many guys playing too many minutes and spreading out the stats too much. As such, I can’t see paying up for any of the main cogs (Tatum, Brown, Kemba) or paying down for guys like Kanter, either of the Williams’ or Mr. Thies. Too many legitimate players playing too many minutes equal bad fantasy plays.
4) Regular season James Harden is an alpha. Russell Westbrook is a beta. While I am not currently playing any Rockets tonight, if I did I would 100% go with Harden. Harden’s usage is slightly above last year’s at this point even with the addition of Westbrook. And Westbrook’s usage is down. Harden is the man on this team and Westbrook is a lower end complementary piece. This may not be the case for the entire season (I expect these two to get in a fight sometime during the regular season), but for now Westie is being outplayed and out-alpha’d by Harden and at $8+k on DK, I don’t see the value in Westbrook tonight versus the Trailblazers.
Good luck in your contests tonight and make sure to take stock of your harsh realities before they come back to bite you.