Now that NFL DFS action is officially over until next season, we can concentrate on NBA DFS full time. We have a nice 9 game slate to kick off the post-NFL schedule and it’s a good spot for those new players to hop on board. We have a lot of options to look at with this many games, so let’s break down the matchups and talk about some guys who make sense to take a look at.

Minnesota Timberwolves @ Cleveland Cavaliers

Over/Under: 201
Line: Cavs -13

Well the Vegas line pretty much says it all about this game. The Timberwolves have won 2 of their last 13 games. The Cavs have only lost 3 of the last 14 they have played. Both teams are relatively healthy here with Kevin Garnett’s status being the only issue. Even if he is out, the return of Nikola Pekovic to a crowded front court does not really help anyone much in terms of added minutes. Cleveland is a really solid defensive team, so it’s tough to look at many, if any, of the Timberwolves in this spot. Kyrie has never been known as a big time defender, so Ricky Rubio probably benefits the most from his matchup. His price has dropped, but so has his minutes, so that is not even a slam dunk. LeBron James and Kevin Love have been two of the best plays on Cleveland lately, but both could see less minutes here if the game gets ugly. Same goes for Karl-Anthony Towns on the other side who has been one of the best bets for the Wolves, but also may not see full run with Dieng and Pekovic there as well. If KG sits, he has played more minutes at the PF spot, but it’s tough to like anyone when the team total is only 94.

Targets

  • LeBron James ($9900)
  • J.R. Smith ($5400)
  • Ricky Rubio ($6600)
  • Shabazz Muhammad ($4500)


Boston Celtics @ Washington Wizards

Over/Under: 212.5
Line: Wizards -2

This is a low spread game with a high total featuring two hot paced teams. This is exactly the spot we like to target in daily fantasy. This game is one that could feature a ton of scoring and some nice stat lines that can win you a tournament, but the problem is figuring out where the production will come from. The Celtics have one of the tougher rotations in the league to figure out. Coach Brad Stevens is always trying out new things and looking for the right mix of guys on the court. He has everyone healthy, which means we are likely to see just shy of thirty minutes each out of Isiah Thomas, Marcus Smart, Avery Bradley, Evan Turner, Jared Sullinger, Kelly Olynyk, and Amir Johnson. In fact the only guy who routinely sees a few over 30 for them is Jae Crowder. Every one of the guys I just mentioned has been the top fantasy producer for the Celtics in one game or another this year, which is why despite loving this game, I have trouble finding my favorite plays from it. The Wizards side of the ball is much easier to nail down. Marcin Gortat has been playing well and has a solid matchup against a Celtics team that does not do well against centers. John Wall is expensive, so not much of a value for me, but easily the top projected scorer on his squad here. PGs have not done well vs. Boston this year, but IT2 is not known for his defense and with Beal Healthy I do not see where they can hide Thomas on that end of the floor.

Targets

  • Marcin Gortat ($7100)
  • Nene Hilario ($4500)
  • Avery Bradley ($5600)
  • Jared Sullinger ($5500)


Miami Heat @ Chicago Bulls

Over/Under:
Line:

We have some injury concerns with this game, which is why Vegas is slow to post a spread and total on it. Goran Dragic is definitely out, but Beno Udrih should be making his return. It looks likely Dwyane Wade will be back too, so that’s a boost for him and kills the value of guys like Tyler Johnson, Gerald Green, and Justice Winslow who they let play some guard minutes recently. Chris Bosh is good and healthy, but Deng and Whiteside are questionable while McRoberts and Anderson are likely out behind them. That could open up some more minutes for guys like Amare Stoudemire and Haslem who are the only healthy bodies left. Chicago has not only been healthy, but they have been pretty good lately. Joakim Noah is the only real injury concern, but Rose, Butler, and Pau have easily made up for his absence with their recent play. The Heat do play a slow pace though and the Bulls are coming off a good win against the Cavs after playing .500 ball in the 12 games before that. Chicago has the advantage here if the injuries on the Heat force guys to miss. At full strength it would be a more interesting matchup, but that question is not likely to be answered until later in the season.

Targets

  • Beno Udrih ($4000)
  • Chris Bosh ($7700)
  • Derrick Rose ($5900)
  • Taj Gibson ($5600)


Orlando Magic @ Memphis Grizzlies

Over/Under: 191
Line: Grizzlies -6

This game is pretty ugly on a nine game slate for fantasy upside. The total is low and both teams got back some injured players recently, so the minutes for value options have dried up. Oladipo’s return squeezes some minutes from Elf, Fournier, Harris, and Gordon who all soaked up a few extra minutes when he was out. Vucevic is the one guy not effected by it, but he has one of the toughest matchups in the league against Gasol. Gasol has played better recently, but was slowed by an injury that definitely bothered him in their last game. Conley has played well and is relatively cheap after coming off his injury, so that is probably the top target for the Grizzlies. The minutes and production for Barnes, Green, and Randolph has been erratic at best, although if Tony Allen misses, they should all see more time along with Chalmers and Lee. If you have heavy exposure to this game it is not likely to be a good thing, so try to steer clear of having more than one or two of these guys in your lineup.

Targets

  • Mike Conley ($6200)
  • Matt Barnes ($5200)
  • Victor Oladipo ($7200)
  • Aaron Gordon ($4800)


Houston Rockets @ New Orleans Pelicans

Over/Under:
Line:

This is another game Vegas is slow to post a line on due to the injury status of Dwight Howard. He has missed the last few games and it has really messed with the rotations of the Rockets. Normally With him and Motiejunas out, we look for Terrence Jones and Clint Capela, but neither has really been a slam dunk this time. Part of it has to do with the change in the style as guys like Brewer and Ariza are seeing big minutes in a small ball lineup. The Addition of Josh smith through trade also throws a wrench in the works here. The main beneficiary has been James Harden who looks really good lately. He is averaging 66 fantasy points per game in his last three, so it’s a good time to hop back on the Harden bandwagon. On the flip side, Anthony Davis has been consistently around 50 fantasy points. It’s not great tournament upside, but 50 for $10K is solid and consistent in cash. Jrue holiday and Norris Cole have benefited from Eric Gordon being out, so they would be the other two I look at from the Pelicans side. Tyreke Evans has upside, but he has underperformed too. He is strictly a GPP play for me if I use him at all.

Targets

  • James Harden ($10100)
  • Josh Smith ($4000)
  • Anthony Davis ($10000)
  • Jrue Holiday ($6400)


Atlanta Hawks @ Denver Nuggets

Over/Under: 205.5
Line: Hawks -5.5

This is not the highest total on the day or the lowest spread, which means it might go overlooked. It is a solid game for fantasy though, so it may be a sneaky place to look for some low owned plays that have upside. My favorite one is Paul Millsap. Millsap was out this weekend to attend a funeral, but is expected back here in Denver. He likely matches up with Darrel Arthur who will fill in for Kenneth Faried. Faried did suffer an injury which kept him out the last game and will likely keep him out here too. Denver does offer some interesting options though. Gary Harris and Nikola Jokic are both cheap and have put up games of over 6X lately. Each is below $5K and definitely worth a look if you are stacking this in tournaments. On the other side, guys like Korver, Schroeder, Bazemore, and Sefalosha are in the same boat. Some decent starts and some bad ones mixed in. All of them are relatively cheap though, so they can round out your stacks in you choose to go heavy on this game. I do expect this game to be the overlooked one with a lot of positives going for it. You would be wise to get exposure somehow in any game format.

Targets

  • Paul Millsap ($8300)
  • Kent Bazemore ($5600)
  • Emmanuel Mudiay ($5800)
  • Danilo Gallinari ($7000)


Detroit Pistons @ Utah Jazz

Over/Under: 193
Line: Jazz -2

I try to steer clear of most teams that play the Jazz because of the slow pace and low totals they tend to see, especially on a large slate like this and Detroit is not one of the exceptions. On the flip side, I do not think the Jazz are in a great spot against the Pistons either since they are pretty solid on the defensive end. Both teams have actually been playing games above their totals lately, so you can hang your hat on that if you are feeling frisky, but the likelihood is for a lower total game without a ton of fantasy upside. The guards would be where I looked for the Pistons. Reggie Jackson and KCP have both been playing really well lately, so they are the top targets. On the Utah side, Gordon Hayward has a tough matchup but is clearly the top scoring option and the guy who makes that Utah offense go. Rudy Gobert will likely see big minutes trying to corral Andre Drummond and his shot blocking and rebounding could pay off his reasonable price tag. I like a few guys here who have been paying off their salaries, but this game does not shape up as one with a ton of upside or a high pace, so be careful not to overexposure yourself to it with multiple players.

Targets

  • Rudy Gobert ($6400)
  • Gordon Hayward ($7500)
  • Reggie Jackson ($6900)
  • Kentavious Caldwell-Pope ($5700)


Charlotte Hornets @ Sacramento Kings

Over/Under:
Line:

This game is another one without a line yet and injuries are the reason. Charlotte is the walking wounded currently. Zeller and Big Al are out, Batum and Lamb are banged up, and that creates a lot of questions. Kaminsky and Hawes have done well filling in for the bigs. Marvin Williams is seeing a ton of minutes in that role too. Jeremy Linn has upped his production and Kemba has been a man on a mission. PJ Hairston and Troy Daniels have also chipped in at min price, so if Batu and Lamb are out, they are viable too. On the Kings side, we are still wondering about the status of Rudy Gay. He has missed a few games recently and Omri Casspi has stepped into added minutes along with Willie Cauley-Stein who just returned from injury and has done well. Cousins and Rondo are still the two guys carrying the load for the Kings and doing it well. They are the top targets and guys who you have to include on a stack if you want to use one for this game. It’s a good game to stack up as we have a nice mix of value guys and studs here in what should be a hot pace and high scoring game. The biggest question is how much is too much for Cousins? The matchup is lovely for him here and he has gone for at least 48 fantasy points in 11 straight with 5 of those being in the 60s and one in the 70s. $11000 is expensive, but can you really fade a guy who has been that good in a matchup this juicy?

Targets

  • DeMarcus Cousins ($11000)
  • Willie Cauley-Stein ($4500)
  • Kemba Walker ($8600)
  • Spencer Hawes ($4100)


San Antonio Spurs @ Golden State Warriors

Over/Under: 209
Line: Warriors -5

No Tim Duncan definitely takes some luster off this matchup of top teams in the west, but would it even matter with how well the Warriors have played against other top tier teams recently? The Warriors have won 11 of their last 13 which included blowing out two of the top teams in the east (Cavs and Bulls) by over 30 points each last week. They are one of the hottest teams in the league right now if you do not include their opponent today.

The Spurs have reeled off 13 straight wins themselves and it’s amazing how little they are discussed, despite how good they have been. Just because Duncan is out, really does not mean they will lose here. Duncan is a key piece, but they have always found a way to compete and win games with or without a full roster. David West is likely to see the bulk of the minutes here, but guys like Diaw and Boban will get some run too. LaMarcus Aldridge has actually been one of the better players in the league recently, despite flying under the radar and still being reasonably priced. Kawhi Leonard is a monster and will need to be here for the Spurs too, so those guys have the best chance to reach value and see upside against a Warriors team that has been playing at break neck speeds.

The Warriors have played recent games in the 230 range. Steph Curry has been the catalyst as he is putting up godlike numbers recently and is so fun to watch. He has averaged over 30 points, 6 3s, 6 rebounds, 7 assists, and a few steals and blocks in his last 8 games. He is getting pricey, but he is still not expensive for the production he gives you.

Targets

  • Stephen Curry ($10600)
  • Harrison Barnes ($4900)
  • David West ($4000)
  • Kawhi Leonard ($8000)