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 Shaun Livingston Bobblehead Game – I wasn’t especially high on the Shaun Livingston bobblehead game, and Livingston finished with just 10.5 DKFP against the Spurs on his giveaway day. Livingston’s role continues to shrink with the Warriors fully healthy and with no need to push their veterans.
The One-Two Punch – Nikola Mirotic sat out his matchup against Bobby Portis due to injury, so this former teammate narrative didn’t come into full fruition. Additionally, it was a smash spot for Portis but he ended up getting traded that day to the Wizards. Sadly, we’ll have to wait for another game where we can have this rematch.
The Reunion – Former teammates LeBron James and Kyrie Irving faced off last week and it was a nice battle. James led the entire slate with 72.5 DKFP and a triple-double, while Irving had a respectable 48.25 DKFP. It was also a revenge game and nationally televised narrative game for Rajon Rondo against the Celtics, who finished with 42.25 DKFP and the game-winning shot. Nice! <Borat voice>
Let’s now dive into a few of my favorite narratives for this upcoming week. Keep in mind it’s All-Star Weekend, so we have a shortened week:
Sunday, February 10 – Pacey’s Birthday
Okay, sorry for the Dawson’s Creek reference, but Sunday is Josh Jackson’s birthday (the Phoenix Suns player, not the actor). Jackson gets a juicy matchup against the Kings, a team ranked third in pace. Jackson has excelled recently with T.J. Warren out due to injury. He’s now routinely seeing 34+ minutes nightly and has upped his scoring output. This is a spot where I’d be fine getting exposure to him in GPPs given his upside.
Sunday, February 10 – Nationally Televised Rondo
Rajon Rondo and the Lakers take on the 76ers in a nationally televised game on ABC. Much has been made about Rondo’s narrative of balling out on nationally televised games. I wish I had some stats to back it up, but it does seem like he shines the most when the spotlight is on him. This is not a good matchup against a good 76ers’ defense, especially one that has size and defends the guard position well. But if you buy into Rondo being a better player when he’s got the spotlight, roll him out there.
Monday, February 11 – Double Narrative
It’s a double narrative for Nikola Mirotic of the Bucks on Monday. Not only is it his birthday, but it’s also a revenge game against the woeful Bulls. Mirotic’s new role with the Bucks is still to be determined and he’s working his way back from an injury, but this is an exploitable matchup considering the Bulls rank among the bottom third of the league in defensive efficiency. Even if there are blowout concerns, Mirotic could find himself out there in garbage time against his former team now that he’s playing in the second unit. Just monitor the news whether Mirotic makes it back in time from his calf injury as he may miss this game or be on a minutes restriction if he does suit up.
Tuesday, February 12 – Cry Me A River
When Rudy Gobert talked about his mom and his All-Star snub a few weeks ago, he was led to tears when discussing it with reporters. That led to a number of players mocking him on Twitter, including Draymond Green and Andre Iguodala. On Tuesday, the Jazz face the Warriors and this will be Gobert’s chance to get back at those two. Green had Tweeted, “I guess I should cry too…no Charlotte?” with three crying face emojis. Iguodala Tweeted, “He gone cry in the car?” I have interest in Gobert in this spot, and to a lesser extent Green (I’m not on Iguodala). I’m expecting some tears to be shed here — tears of revenge, that is.
Wednesday, February 13 – Holiday Celebration
On Wednesday, Justin Holiday and the Grizzlies face his former team, the Chicago Bulls. I realize Justin Holiday revenge probably isn’t the most exciting event, but he spent two seasons with the club and if you recall last season, both he and Robin Lopez were benched simply because the Bulls wanted to play their younger players. It got so bad that the league had to warn the Bulls against this practice because Chicago would just make them inactive without any real justification. The Chicago management eventually brought them back into the rotation. I don’t know how vengeful Holiday is, but this is his chance to show them what they were missing. This is a deep GPP-only play for me.
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.