NBA Fire and Ice 3/6: Blocking Out the Noise
“Take out the trash!” “Do your homework!” “Clean your room!” We can all related to these unfortunate demands from our parents as kids. I personally, can’t even count the number of times I tried to ignore them or pretend like I didn’t hear them to be able to get out of doing these horrid tasks. I would much rather do hood stuff with my friends. Well, if you consider things like playing Xbox until the sun comes up, or going to the skating rink on Wednesdays (because that’s when the girls from school would go) to be hood stuff, then yes we did tons of hood stuff.
Since we have developed these useful tasks growing up of being able to ignore (or try to ignore) even the worst of demands from our parents, we can use them to our advantage once again. Who would have known that these skills would come in handy to be successful at DFS? On a big 12 game slate like we have today, there is going to be a ton of info thrown out into the DFS world from touts and regular citizens such as myself. We need to be able to sift through all of the information that is provided to us through our research and the voices of the people we follow.
Today, I challenge you to try to create your own listing of good plays for today’s slate before listening to anybody else’s opinion. Then, once you think you have a solid foundation of players, you can go to your favorite podcast or articles and take in your usual batch of information. I bet you will be surprised at your own vault of knowledge that you have acquired just from playing the game, and will find yourself agreeing with the pros more than you think you would. It helps to create an initial stance on a player or group of players and then to be able to have a respected individual also tout that same player after you have done your research reinforces your process was right on that player. It means you are onto something and can make a note to definitely include that player in your final lineup decision process. You can also use the voice of the pros to help put a player on your radar that you may have overlooked for one reason or another.
Again, I challenge you to not create your list of players just by listening to podcasts and reading articles because all of this information all at once can be overload and can just end up being noise. Instead, come up with your own pool of players and then have them reinforced that they are good plays. This also means that if you haven’t narrowed down at least some of the player pool yet, don’t read the rest of this article yet. Come back when you’re done and see where we agree or disagree. This article isn’t going anywhere, I promise. With all that being said, let’s get to it…
Jimmy Butler – As I am writing this, news just broke that Dwyane Wade will not play in tonight’s game. If there is one thing we have learned this season other than playing Kyrie Irving when Lebron sits out, it is to play Jimmy Butler when Dwyane Wade sits out. Sure, you may wonder if he’s going to be 50% owned. Probably, and for good reason. But on a 12 game slate, there are so many different ways you can make your roster construction different than everyone else who rostered Jimmy Buckets that I’m not worried about it. Using the Court IQ tool, which is one of my favorite and most productive tools to use, we can see that Jimmy averages 1.3 fantasy points per minute with D Wade off the court. Not only that, but there is a chance Rondo doesn’t play tonight either. He is currently a game time decision, and with both of those guys off the court, Butler jumps to an even higher 1.45 fantasy points per minute across a 435 minute sample size. He is priced at only $8.6K on DK and is still a reasonable $9.1K on FD. In the 6 games so far this year that Wade has missed and Butler played, Butler has averaged 38 minutes per game. If he sees 38 minutes and gets his average production of 1.3 points a minute with Wade off the floor, then we can comfortably project Jimmy for a 50 point floor tonight. That will increase if Rondo misses also because then the entire offense will go through Butler the whole game.
Ricky Rubio – Rubio has been on an absolute tear lately. He has flashed 50 point upside and did so by putting up a triple double against the Spurs. Even on nights where he doesn’t reach his ceiling, he has been reaching the 35-40 point mark on a consistent basis. Tonight he gets an uptempo matchup against Portland at home where he should have no trouble facilitating the offense to put up points. The Wolves currently have a Vegas team total of 109. In a high scoring game, I will gladly roster an underpriced point guard who will cause the offense to be able to reach their high total. This is a great spot for Towns as well, but I am not sure if paying up that high is needed just yet. There are some underpriced studs on the board tonight. Two of which I will mention shortly. Rubio is only priced at $6.7K on DK and $6.9K on FD, both of which are too cheap.
Chris Paul and Blake Griffin – These are two more underpriced studs that have just as high of ceilings as the 10K players do and they are both 9K or less. These two plays don’t need much explaining other than the fact that they are underpriced and in a great matchup against the Celtics. It is a home game for the Clippers where they tend to play much better and the Celtics just continue to not only score points on offense, but give up tons of points on defense as well, especially at the point guard and power forward positions. Not only that, but Paul and Griffin have burned owners recently, and on a 12 game slate, this could really lower their ownerships. Box Score hunters are a thing, and I expect that to be in effect here. Late night hammer? Yes please.
Terrence Ross – Ross will be my last recommended play solely because he too is too cheap for his new role. I have written him up about 3 times now as a top play because that is what he is. Not only are the minutes there, but he continues to have the most shot attempts for the Magic on a nightly basis and a big chunk of them come from behind the 3 point line. In a matchup with the Knicks tonight, I don’t think that changes.
Oh, and if Vucevic is out again, just eat the Bismack Biyombo chalk at minimum price.
Isaiah Thomas – At $9K, Thomas just doesn’t have the ceiling right now that he did earlier in the season. Especially with Bradley back in the mix now, Thomas feels less of a burden to take every shot on the offensive side of the floor. In his price range, I would much rather play the 3 studs I mentioned above as they all have higher ceilings but all have a similar floor. I think you can safely exclude IT from your player pool tonight.
Damian Lillard – The same thing goes for Lillard here. If I am paying Lillard’s price, I would just much rather pay for Paul, Blake, or Butler in the same range. Lillard has been known to perform much better at home than he does on the road, and tonight the Blazers take a road trip to Minnesota. I will be excluding Lillard from my pool tonight as well.
Robert Covington – I have been saying it for a few days now that Covington is due for regression and he finally put up one of his signature mediocre performances on Saturday. The 76ers are shorthanded, especially if Okafor is out, but with Giannis most likely guarding Covington, I think there are better spots to attack this slate in the $7K price range. I like Saric more than Covington for the 6ers.
Best of luck to everyone tonight, and I hope to continue to provide everyone with valuable insight. I hope you accepted my challenge to try doing some research on your own first for tonight’s slate. If not, there is always tomorrow.
Oh, and remember, don’t clean your room. Instead, block out the noise.