NBA Today - February 12
I am taking a new approach to NBA DFS in 2020. More analytics, less instinct and slightly broader player pools. I remain almost exclusively a single lineup per night player; however, I realize that I have hurt my results by not at least considering every game on the slate. I will continue to cross out games and players, but only after giving that game environment and most likely game script serious consideration. This blog will attempt to capture my thought process and new robust analytical approach to every day’s NBA slate. My natural humor and cynicism can’t be contained, so that will remain a hallmark of my writing. That being said, numbers win the day. Please ping me with any comments you may have on the blog.
I love NBA DFS. But, I have to tell you that I am happy that the All Star break is here. Oh no, not because of the All Star Game and its festivities. I won’t watch a single minute of the weekend’s contests, games, concerts, stupid interviews, etc. I just like the idea of a week’s break to recharge my brain and regain the enthusiasm for the various NBA slates. Now, I like tonight’s slate quite a bit, so we’ll get into that shortly. But first, allow me to talk politics. Oh no, not in that way. Just a couple observations from last night’s Democratic New Hampshire primary. Straightaway, I have to say the following – New Hampshire 1, Iowa 0. No issues with the results and they were even presented in a timely manner. Iowans still haven’t been able to properly explain what went wrong last week. I’m going with either 1) Iowans are on balance stupid or 2) they put the Children of the Corn in charge of the caucus. And then we have the results themselves and what they tell us. Elizabeth Warren is like the Phoenix Suns – lots of optimism at the start of the season, but then a quick crash and burn such that the season is over less than halfway through it. Joe Biden did even worse than Warren and reminds me of every player ex Mr. Glass that Lebron James has enticed onto his team over the past three years. Old, tired and about 4 years past their prime. And then there is Amy Klobuchar. Just like the Kansas City Royals. Year after year, there is nothing special or memorable about them. Yet they compete and always seem close to being in contention. And no one knows why. So clearly I’ve watched/read more than 5 minutes of news content on the primary today. Enough of that. Let’s get to the NBA slate.
Some people won’t play Bledsoe and/or Middleton tonight. One lesson we all should have learned here in the first half of the season is as follows. If Giannis sits out, you play Bledsoe and Middleton. With Giannis, Korver and Hill off the court, Bledsoe has a 33% usage rate and averages 1.53 fppm. Middleton has a 31% usage rate and averages 1.49 fppm. Both of these players will likely play 32-37 minutes tonight. Play them. I’ve heard/seen some people doubting their prices and/or the matchup today. The Pacers are good defensively, but did you realize that the Pacers have given up 106, 124, 115, 119 and 112 points in their past five games? And none of those games were against the Bucks. With Giannis out for 5 games this year, the Bucks put up 127, 112, 111, 151 and 123 points in those contests. And I think that Bledsoe even missed two of those games. What I am saying is that the Bucks will score tonight (implied team total about 112) and Middleton and Bledsoe will garner the bulk of the production. I don’t care that projected ownership right now is north of 50% on FD for both of them. I will have 100%. Sure, it is only a single lineup, but it is 100% nonetheless.
The Portland Trailblazers don’t play defense. We saw this last night as the Ingram-less Pelicans hung almost 140 points on the Blazers. The Grizzlies are fresh and are waiting on Portland tonight. I think Memphis could also put 140 up tonight. My favorite plays here are JJJ (did you see what Zion did last night?) and Ja Morant. Both are mid-$6k range on FD and have 40-50 point upside tonight.
Play bigs against the Nets. This is something else we all know. Play big men against the Nets. Ibaka is questionable, but he is very playable if he suits up. If he doesn’t then fire up Pascal Siakam for sure. He has had two big games against the Nets this year and would be in line for a third ex Ibaka tonight. Also, RHJ becomes a tasty option below 4k at power forward as he clearly is the preferred choice over Boucher.
Target the terrible Warriors. You know what to do when the Warriors are on the slate. You play players against them. Tonight, that would be Devin Booker ($8.1k on FD) and Chieck Diallo (below $4k on FD) as Ayton looks like he will be out again. Expect both of these players to go off and the only worry would be that the Suns beat the Warriors by 30 tonight.
Minnesota is playing fast and not playing any defense. Fire up from Hornets. The Timberwolves are playing at the fastest pace in the NBA since the Wiggins trade. They also aren’t playing any defense. The Hornets are in a great spot tonight and I really like Terry Rozier ($5.8k on FD), Graham ($6.8k I think) and Miles Bridges (under $6k) as the Timberwolves are very weak against shooters.
That will do it for now. As usual pay attention to the injury news. And I’m begging you, play both Bledsoe and Middleton tonight. Good luck in all of your contests.