In the blink of an eye, we’re officially through a full month of the NBA season. James Harden leads the league in scoring, LeBron James leads the league in assists and the Knicks lead the league in dysfunction. Really, everything’s kind of how it should be. Tonight’s slate offers nine more games of basketball-related goodness and, as always, make sure you download the DK Live app to keep up to date with all the lineup changes and injury news right up until lock.
Let’s dive into it.
StudBen Simmons, PHI vs. MIA, $7,700 – While Simmons can definitely be a frustrating fantasy asset, he’s been on a nice little roll since returning from an early season injury. The All-Star is averaging 42.1 DKFP across his past six games and in his past two starts specifically, Simmons has produced 50-plus DKFP in each. I don’t think it’s random that those two performances have come with Josh Richardson sidelined, either. Richardson, who is questionable to play this evening with a hip issue, is a secondary ball handler in Philadelphia’s system and Simmons’ assist rate falls from 38.3% to 27.2% when the two share the floor. Knowing that, it’s not hard to understand why the former Rookie of the Year has dished out a season-high 13 dimes in both contests played in Richardson’s absence. Miami’s defense is stout, but if Richardson sits, I like Simmons’ upside at under $8K.
Other Option: Donovan Mitchell ($7,900)
ValueDeAndre’ Bembry, ATL vs. TOR, $4,300 – Bembry’s going to be chalky if Cam Reddish (wrist, $4,100) is once again unable to play, yet he’s earned that designation with his varied skill set and consistency when given a large opportunity within Atlanta’s offense. In fact, Bembry’s coming off a 22-point effort on Friday where the 25-year-old also added six assists, four 3-pointers and four steals. However, its more than a one-game sample. Going back to last season, Bembry’s averaged 28.5 DKFP the past 16 times he’s logged in excess of 28 minutes for the Hawks. Considering Atlanta might be without both Reddish and Kevin Huerter, I just don’t see how Bembry doesn’t reach that threshold.
Other Option: Markelle Fultz ($4,600)
StudFred VanVleet, TOR at ATL, $7,300 – You can definitely question his ceiling — though VanVleet did set a then career-high for points the last time he faced the Hawks — but, without Kyle Lowry (thumb), the Wichita State product is simply always worth his salary. Well, almost always. Including the Nov. 8 contest against New Orleans where Lowry got hurt, VanVleet’s averaged 42.4 DKFP as Toronto’s clear lead guard in seven games of action. Within that same span, VanVleet’s hit 5x value on five occasions, with his two “off” performances still checking in a 4.9x value. Heck, his worst showing of this run was a 33.5 DKFP output on the second night of a back-to-back versus the Clippers, an evening where VanVleet played 45 minutes and took 20 shots. You’re just not going to find many options with similar workloads. To that point, VanVleet leads all Eastern Conference players in average touches across that same seven-contest stretch (96.4). He’s under-priced.
Other Option: DeMar DeRozan ($7,800)
ValueRJ Barrett, NY vs. SA, $5,700 – Barrett’s too inconsistent as a rookie to be a cash game option tonight, but his archetype always works for a GPP. It doesn’t hurt his stock that the Knicks are facing the Spurs, either. San Antonio is in the midst of an eight-game losing streak, a stretch where they’ve allowed opponents to average a whopping 122.4 points. Actually, on that note, only the Hawks can claim a worse defensive rating than the Spurs’ mark of 121.2 within that same span of sadness. Barrett was quite productive against San Antonio the first time these two teams met in 2019-20 and it seems like if anyone’s going to break the former Blue Devil out of his slump, its the Spurs.
Other Option: J.J. Redick ($5,600)
StudGiannis Antetokounmpo, MIL vs. DET, $12,000 – There’s not much left to be said about Antetokounmpo. The reigning MVP has played in 15 games so far this season and he’s produced 15 double-doubles. Only once in 2019-20 has the Greek Freak failed to reach the 50-point plateau when it comes to DFS production. Essentially, you know the type of insane floor you’re getting whenever you put Antetokounmpo into a lineup. Still, at $12K you need more than floor, and that’s where the Pistons come in. For Antetokounmpo to bring back tournament-winning value, Blake Griffin ($7,200) has to be active to keep Detroit close in this matchup. It’s something you truly need to monitor. In the seven contests Antetokounmpo’s been forced to log at least 35 minutes, he’s averaged a jaw-dropping 72.1 DKFP and I’m not sure the Pistons can induce that type of workload without their former All-Star.
Other Option: Brandon Ingram ($8,400)
ValueCarmelo Anthony, POR at CLE, $5,000 – I’m still not necessarily giddy to use Anthony, but his price point continues to dictate his viability and he looked far better against Milwaukee than he did versus New Orleans. Anthony’s averaging a robust 19.7 field goal attempts per 36 and a 30.6% usage rate through a pair of contests in Portland. That level of inclusion is likely to drop off a bit should Damian Lillard ($8,900) return this evening; however, Anthony’s cheap enough where he would be able to afford the hit, so long as his minutes keep steadily rising. It also doesn’t hurt that Cleveland comes into tonight’s matchup with the NBA’s fifth-worst defensive rating (112.4). Let’s keep riding the veteran in his return.
Other Option: OG Anunoby ($5,300)
StudJonathan Isaac, ORL at IND, $7,500 – We don’t have a huge sample for Isaac playing without Nikola Vucevic (ankle) and Aaron Gordon (ankle) so far this season; however, in the 129 possessions the former sixth-overall pick as seen under these conditions, he’s produced. As you would expect, Isaac’s mostly benefitted from the reduced competition on the glass. The 22-year-old’s total rebounding rate jumps from 11.1% to 15.1% when on the court minus his two front court teammates, while that trend helps explain Isaac’s leap in fantasy point production. In fact, Isaac goes from averaging 0.95 DKFP per minute to a far more impressive 1.20 DKFP rate without the services of Vucevic and Gordon. Look for the forward to build on his 45.8 DKFP effort against the Raptors on Wednesday.
Other Option: Pascal Siakam ($9,100)
ValueMiles Bridges, CHA vs. CHI, $5,300 – The Hornets’ rotation feels very precarious outside of Devonte’ Graham ($7,100) and Terry Rozier ($6,300), but Bridges does bring a certain level of floor to the table as one of only two members on this Charlotte squad who has started all 16 games this season while averaging more than 30 minutes per contest. He’s also on fire. Bridges is coming off a career-high 31-point performance on Friday against Washington; and while no team can quite match the Wizards’ combination of pace and defensive lapses, Chicago’s not totally dissimilar. The Bulls rank eighth in the league in pace and have surrendered over 110 points per game to opponents so far in 2019-20. Bridges has a nice opportunity to hit value on back-to-back nights.
Other Option: Khem Birch ($4,300)
StudKevin Love, CLE vs. POR, $8,000 – Love’s production has been all over the map the past couple of weeks, but I’ll buy into a little narrative street for his matchup tonight with the Blazers. Not only is Love from Oregon, but his name has been constantly connected with Portland as a hypothetical trade partner for as early as December. Maybe Love will want to show out for his (possible) future teammates? Well, the conditions are certainly right for a big game. In the Blazers’ past five contests, the team has conceded an embarrassing 118.1 points per 100 possessions, while Portland’s also managed to grab just 46.6% of available rebounds. It’s not exactly difficult to see why this team’s surrendered the most DKFP to power forwards so far this season, is it?
Editor’s Note: Love (back) is listed as questionable for tonight’s game.
Other Option: LaMarcus Aldridge ($7,200)
ValueSkal Labissiere, POR at CLE, $5,600 – It would be crazy for Labissiere to repeat his performance from Thursday night where the big man notched 56.0 DKFP in just over 28 minutes, however Hassan Whiteside (hip) is set to miss this evening’s meeting with Portland. On top of that, this is simply a good matchup for Labissiere. In the team’s past five games, Cleveland possesses the league’s second-worst defensive rating (124.1) and its lowest overall rebounding rate (45.8%). He definitely won’t be as efficient, but Labissiere should have little trouble racking up the fantasy points versus the Cavaliers’ soft interior.
Other Option: Brook Lopez ($5,300)
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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is theglt13) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.