Hello DFS community, welcome back to the DFS Narratives article. I’m going to highlight my favorite NBA narratives for this upcoming week. I am a believer that narratives matter, and even if there’s no scientific proof it impacts a player’s performance, they are just a fun part of DFS.
Let’s do a quick recap of how some of the narratives from last week panned out:
The Revenge of Enes Kanter – Unfortunately for Mr. Kanter, the Knicks’ coaching staff had other plans instead of giving him a chance at revenge. Kanter did finish with 16.25 DKFP against his former team, the Thunder, but played just 19 minutes and has fallen out of favor with the organization. In fact in their next game, he picked up a DNP-CD despite being told earlier in the day he would start. Sadly, it looks like Kanter’s tenure in New York is slowly coming to an end.
Along The Jordan River Flows A Stream of Vengeance – This one worked well, as DeAndre Jordan dropped 50.5 DKFP against his former employer, the Clippers. Jordan continues to torment the Clippers. So far this season, Jordan has scored 48 or more DKFP six times, and half of those games have been against the Clippers. It also helped that the Clippers ranked among the league’s worst at defending opposing centers.
Lauri Markkanen Getting His Bobblehead On – Markkanen wasn’t bad on his bobblehead night, finishing with 33.75 DKFP, which is roughly two more than his season average. I had hoped he’d finish with a better game, especially considering it was against a poor Clippers defense. Still, the output was serviceable and it wasn’t the worst outing at a $6,500 salary.
Khris Middleton Swag – Apparently, Middleton didn’t have much swag on his swag giveaway day. Middleton finished with a respectable 29.75 DKFP, which wasn’t awful but his salary was $6,400. It was an all-around tough game for the Bucks, as Eric Bledsoe and Brook Lopez also struggled and didn’t pay off their salaries.
Happy Birthday, Grandpa Carter – Vince Carter celebrated his 42nd birthday with a loss to the Trail Blazers. He played his normal 15 minutes, finishing with a normal 15.5 DKFP. I wasn’t especially high on this narrative considering Carter is getting up there in age and hasn’t been a huge fixture on this Hawks team, and sure enough, the results were as we expected.
Let’s now look at some of my favorite narratives for this upcoming week:
Monday January 28 – Shabazz Napier HomecomingWith Spencer Dinwiddie out for several weeks, Shabazz Napier should play a bigger role for the Nets in the near future. On Monday, Napier gets a homecoming game against Boston. Napier was born in Roxbury, Massachusetts, and went to college at nearby Connecticut. Napier actually had a homecoming game against the Celtics back on Jan. 7 and played a season-high 33 minutes while finishing with 29.75 DKFP. Maybe this is a stretch so I completely get it if you don’t want to reach for Napier, but the homecoming may give him some added incentive to ball out.
Tuesday January 29: The Collin Sexton Bobblehead Game
On Tuesday, Cavaliers rookie Collin Sexton will get his first bobblehead night against the Wizards. Sexton has had his ups and downs this season, but has started to finally see consistent minutes in January, averaging 30 minutes per game this month. As of this writing, Sexton has scored double-digit points in every January game and now gets to face a Wizards team that ranks 8th in pace and 23rd in defensive efficiency. In other words, this sets up to be a plus-matchup for Sexton. He doesn’t accumulate many blocks or steals and averages just 1.5 three-pointers made per game, so his ceiling isn’t high. I’m viewing him as more of a GPP play only.
Friday February 1: The Rise of Kenneth Faried
It’s been amazing what Kenneth Faried has done since joining the Rockets, becoming a fixture in their rotation. It took Faried just his second game in Houston to join the starting lineup, where he’s already playing heavy minutes due to the loss of Clint Capela. It was just a few games ago Faried was minimum price at $3,000, but he’s posted 33-plus DKFP immediately with the Rockets and has seen his salary spike. On Friday, Faried gets to face his old friends, the Nuggets, a team he spent 2011 to 2018 with. His tenure with the Nuggets ended a bit rocky, as he was sent to the bench for his final two seasons and watched most games from the sidelines. Faried’s matchup against Nikola Jokic isn’t ideal, but he’ll finally get a chance to show his old team what they missed out on.
Saturday February 2: The Vengeance of Blake Griffin, Part II
Earlier in January, Blake Griffin faced his former team, the Clippers, and dropped 70 DKFP in a revenge game. It was his first time facing the Clippers since they traded him, and he made them pay. There were rumors that he also left Clippers owner Steve Ballmer hanging when Ballmer tried to shake his hand. Griffin insisted he didn’t see Ballmer, but one would think there are some hard feelings considering Griffin found out he was being traded via Twitter. This game now takes place in Detroit, which lessens the appeal a bit since Griffin has actually shown better splits on the road this season, plus it’s unclear if Ballmer will be there at this game. Still, one would think Griffin would be motivated against his former team and I have no problem going back to the well with Blake.
Saturday February 2: King James Against The Reigning Champs?
It’s still to be determined how soon LeBron James (groin) returns to the court, but if he suits up on Saturday against the Warriors, you know he’ll want to make a statement. James did face the Warriors on Christmas Day, but finished with just 43.3 DKFP over 21 minutes before leaving with his injury. You know the Warriors bring out the best in him, and vice versa. This game will be nationally televised on ABC and assuming James is at full strength, it’s hard not to like him in this pace-up spot as he continues to seek vengeance after the Warriors won the title against his Cavaliers last season.
Thanks for reading, and good luck this week. Feel free to reach out to me on Twitter (@allanlemdfs) and let me know what your favorite NBA narratives are this week. May variance be on your side.
I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is fathalpert) 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.