Ever since the NBA adopted a more balanced approach to the schedule a few years back, it’s become rare to see a two-game slate. However, with the entire league taking a backseat to football and turkey on Thanksgiving, think of this as your TNT doubleheader for the week, just without Chuck, Ernie and Shaq. It’s not like we’re lacking for star power. Despite only four teams being in action, we’ve got Luka Doncic ($11,400), Nikola Jokic ($9,800) and Bradley Beal ($9,300) all taking the court. Not to mention a pair of MVP candidates suiting up for the Clippers.
It should be a lot of fun, so let’s dive in from a DFS perspective.
StudLuka Doncic, DAL vs. LAC, $11,400 – For half a second, I considered fading Doncic on this slate. Los Angeles has numerous big-bodied defenders it can throw at the sophomore, and it just feels like the Slovenian is due for a clunker. However, despite his price point increasing by as much as $2K the past three weeks, Doncic hasn’t failed to hit 5x value in nine straight games. You have to respect that level of consistency, especially with the 20-year-old seeing fewer than 30 minutes three times within that span due to blowouts. Dating back to a Nov. 8 matchup with the Knicks, Doncic is averaging a mind-numbing 1.99 DKFP per minute played. He also has managed to produce a .671 true shooting percentage on a 40.0% usage rate across that same stretch. Let’s keep going back to the well until it runs dry. Other Option: Jamal Murray ($7,400)
ValueJordan McRae, WAS at DEN, $3,600 – One of the big reasons the Wizards have scored 120-plus points in five consecutive games is the unheralded performance of McRae. The 28-year-old only recently has settled into Washington’s rotation after missing time with a fractured finger in October, but he’s hit at least 6x value in three of his past four contests and is averaging 12.5 points, 3.5 assists and 24.5 DKFP specifically in his past two appearances. Ish Smith ($4,300) has been on a similar run within this span, but let’s save a few extra dollars with McRae.
Other Option: Isaiah Thomas ($4,600)
StudBradley Beal, WAS at DEN, $9,300 – Beal’s run of five straight 30-point games came to an end in Sunday’s loss to Sacramento, but the most important element of the All-Star’s DFS value endured. Beal just never leaves the court. For the season as a whole, the Florida product sits third in the NBA in minutes per game (37.4), yet that figure’s jumped to a league-leading 39.7 across Beal’s past eight contests — a span where he also is averaging 31.9 points a night. Denver represents the worst possible matchup a player could draw, as it leads basketball in defensive rating (102.6) and possesses the slowest pace (97.8); however, Beal’s overall volume should win out. Other Option: Lou Williams ($6,300)
ValuePatrick Beverley, LAC at DAL, $4,700 – I found myself debating between Beverley and the scorching hot Tim Hardaway Jr. ($5,000), yet, at the end of day, Beverley’s consistency won out. Where as Hardaway is virtually useless unless he drops 20 points, Beverley is the king of secondary stats. The veteran rebounds at an elite level for a traditional guard (11.4%), he’s second on the Clippers in steals per game (1.5) and he’s one of four Los Angeles players logging 30-plus minutes a night. Plus, with Doncic the Mavericks’ primary initiator on offense, Beverley hopefully can avoid foul trouble as an off-ball defender.
StudWill Barton, DEN vs. WAS, $6,100 – When you’re playing the Wizards, you’re just going to score a lot of points. That’s how life works. Five of Washington’s past six games have gone over the projected total and that trend carries over to the road, where the Wizards have hit the over in four of their past five opportunities. These are the things that happen when you own the league’s second-worst defensive rating (114.6) and play at the fifth-fastest pace (104.9). This is all good news for Barton, who already is averaging 16.0 points and 7.2 rebounds per game in the month of November with an impressive 46.5% 3-point shooting rate. Attacking Washington with mid-tier options seems like a decent route to take this evening.
ValueDavis Bertans, WAS at DEN, $5,200 – It’s impossible to ignore what Bertans has done for the Wizards in their past four games. In 29.8 minutes per night — the highest non-Beal mark on the team — the sharp-shooter is averaging an eye-popping 1.54 points per possession used with an otherworldly .739 true shooting percentage. Now, obviously it would be a pipe dream for that level of efficiency to continue happening; however, there’s enough volume elsewhere in Bertans’ game to sustain value even when his shot stops falling at such a clip. In this same four-contest stretch, Bertans has collected 6.8 rebounds and at least a steal in each matchup.
Other Option: Dorian Finney-Smith ($4,400)
StudPaul George, LAC at DAL, $8,200 – When deciding between George and Kawhi Leonard ($8,800), it feels like saving a bit of salary with the former is the way to go. The two have just been so similar from an output perspective in the three contests they’ve played together, you’re almost spending $600 less for the exact same person. Going back to the team’s OT win over Boston, George has averaged 42.0 DKFP per game and 1.25 DKFP per minute. As for Leonard, he’s put up 40.2 DKFP and 1.29 DKFP. Honestly, my only concern about George has been his shot spectrum since Leonard’s return, as 69.8% of his 53 field goal attempts have been beyond the arc. It’s hard to be efficient at that insane volume, though the All-Star is hitting 41.7% of his 3s in 2019-20, so who am I to judge?
ValuePaul Millsap, DEN vs. WAS, $5,400 – Millsap hasn’t always been the most consistent DFS asset since making his way to Denver, but the veteran is in the midst of a run that would challenge that notion. Do you need 30.0 DKFP from a guy with a salary below $6K? Well, Millsap is apparently your guy. In the Nuggets’ past eight games, Millsap has averaged 17.1 points, 7.1 rebounds and 33.2 DKFP. Sure, those numbers aren’t going to blow anyone away, yet this is a run that’s seen Millsap exceed 30.0 DKFP seven times, with his lone failure to do so still resulting in 29.5 DKFP. Considering Washington’s poor rebounding rate and the fact it’s conceded the league’s second-highest opponent field goal rate (48.3%), I don’t see this trend ending Tuesday.
StudKristaps Porzingis, DAL at LAC, $6,900 – It’s possible part of this is matchup-based and part of this is the quirky pricing we sometimes have to accept on small slates; but, after collecting 51.75 DKFP in Dallas’ win over Houston on Sunday, Porzingis’ salary inexplicably has fallen nearly $2K. It’s not like his performance against the Rockets was a blip on the radar, either. Going all the way back to the Mavericks’ Nov. 14 loss in New York, Porzingis has been averaging 1.30 DKFP per 60 seconds played and has recorded a double-double in every contest he’s had to log at least 30 minutes in. With so much upside at a reduced cost, Porzingis is hard to overlook this evening.
ValueMoritz Wagner, WAS at DEN, $4,500 – The bottom end of the player pool at center is pretty thin, but Wagner at least presents some upside. The big man has registered double-digit points in five of his past six games and is coming off a double-double performance against the Kings. On top of that, Denver’s allowed its opponents to shoot a respectable 64.0% within the restricted area so far this season, so Wagner will have the opportunity to attack the rim. I’d rather utilize his teammate Bertans, but Wagner is viable on this minuscule slate.
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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.