Welcome to our new DFS series which focuses on foundational plays to help you get started with suggesting some NBA core players to target. From their, we’ll update and augment our advice and lineups as inevitable news breaks, leading up to contest lock.
There is a wealth of information available on Awesemo.com and this series will highlight the many offerings that can help us stay ahead of The Masses!
Be sure to subscribe to the Awesemo.com YouTube Channel to get notifications when the primetime shows “NBA DeeperDive” and “Live Before Lock” go live (generally two hours before tip-off on weekdays and 60-90 before lock on weekends depending on slate size).
Use promo code PRIMETIME to receive 50% off any one-month premium subscription (including FantasyCruncher optimizer).
Premium subscribers click here for updated “Popularity %s”
Prime Time Player
Paul George – DK $9,700, FD $11,200, Yahoo $50 Popularity Rating (preliminary run): DK 27%, FD 26%
We’ll join The Masses with this selection, but it is hard to pass on Paul George who has been outstanding this season, save for his recent shooting slump which may or may not have been impacted by his should injury… depending on which source you believe.
This is not the most fantasy friendly environment as the Heat have the second slowest pace of play over their last dozen games and the 14th best defensive efficiency rating, but there will be all of that sweet, sweet Russell Westbrook production that has to be absorbed on Monday with him on the shelf after receiving his 16th technical foul this season and serving a mandatory one game suspension.
Teammates Dennis Schroder – DK $5,100, FD $6,000, Yahoo $22 Popularity Rating (preliminary run): DK 43%, FD 37% and Jeremi Grant – DK $4,400, FD $5,300, Yahoo $20 Popularity Rating (preliminary run): DK 17%, FD 11% should also see a boost in opportunity and if you are feeling frisky, then Raymond Felton – DK $3,000, FD $4,000, Yahoo $10 Popularity Rating (preliminary run): DK 7%, FD 1% is also in play at his near minimum price point across the board.
Right around the All-Star Break the NBA rotations and player news begins to get more and more unpredictable with teams tanking, premiere players resting under the auspices of “load management” generally cause chaos as we approach tip-off with more and more news being released by teams.
Often times this will result in players that we were considering as core plays, losing their luster as the bright new options pop up closer to tipoff and as THE MASSES abandon a perfectly fine play being swayed by the fear of missing out.
Pascal Siakam – TOR vs NYK – DK $6,800, FD $8,300, Yahoo $33 Popularity Rating (preliminary run): DK 35%, FD 21%
Both the Knickerbockers and the Raptors are playing back-to-back games and there could be several key pieces missing from Toronto on Monday night which will only serve to improve the opportunities and usage for our new favorite Cameroonian – apologies to Everyone’s Original Favorite Cameroonian Luc Richard Mbah a Moute who is in the midst of a lost season due to injury and of course Joel Embiid is not on the slates – side note: he has already been ruled out for Tuesday with load management as the reason) on his 11 back-to-backs this season.
Siakam has been right around his season minutes average at 31.7mpg. Teammate Kawhi Leonard has yet to play on a back-to-back and Kyle Lowry has missed the last two games with a sprained ankle.
Additionally, Fred VanELITE returned after missing over a month following a thumb injury, on Sunday in supposedly “limited” minutes though he did play 31 minutes off the bench in a game that went down to the wire. He also supplanted Jeremy Lin in the starting lineup to begin the second half. Keep an eye on the news, but Siakam is definitely a core play.
Depending on the moving parts, we could see increased workloads for Norman Powell, Danny Green and if both Lowry and Kawhi are out of action, then Marc Gasol becomes an excellent option as he will have to assume a heavy offensive load.
Marcus Morris – BOS vs DEN – DK $5,000, FD $5,600, Yahoo $20 Popularity Rating (preliminary run): DK 24%, FD 16%
Morris has topped 30 fantasy points in four of his last five games and Gordon Hayward is currently in the concussion protocol and listed as doubtful. If he is out, this is a nice matchup for the more versatile half of the Morris Twins.
Ante Zizic – CLE vs DET – DK $4,000, FD $4,300, Yahoo $12 Popularity Rating (preliminary run): DK 13%, FD 8%
It is a little tricky to predict “bad chalk” the night before, however, most early projection systems are fond of Zizic in the 25ish fantasy point range (13 points and 8 rebounds), just keep in mind he is facing Andre Drummond and he will be completely over-matched and a high foul trouble candidate. This will be updated in the morning when we have more information and see if there are any other suitable candidates for this category.
Game to Target
Chicago Bulls at Phoenix Suns -2.5 / 229.0
This is a back-to-back for the Bulls who were manhandled Sunday night in Sacramento and also their third and final game of there three-stop West Coast road trip.
Phoenix won an overtime thriller on Saturday in New Orleans after the Pelicans called a timeout that they did not have with 1.1 seconds left putting Devin Booker on the line for two right after Josh Jackson nailed the tying three-pointer.
Currently the Suns are tied with Cleveland for the second worst record in the league… at this point it is all about the lottery ping pong balls, so it will be interesting to see which team “wants” this more. Regardless, we should see an up-tempo game and not a lot of defense which means we have a target rich environment from a fantasy perspective. Chicago has the 28th ranked defensive efficiency rating and the 21st highest pace over their last dozen games and Phoenix counters with the 3rd highest pace and the 19th best defense over the same period.
Richaun Holmes and Tyler Johnson both missed Saturday’s game and they are listed as questionable with a strained quad and an ankle injury respectively. Our initial focus should be on the starters in this game and then look to pertinent bench players of consequence depending on who is injured and who is healthy.
FantasyCruncher Tip of the Day
Use promo code PRIMETIME to receive 50% off any one-month premium subscription (including FantasyCruncher options).
With the incredibly user friendly and flexible rules creation feature on FantasyCruncher, we can take our lineup construction to the next level.
Today’s highlighted feature is the ability to import data in our own customizable fields which can then also be utilized with rules for our Crunches.
By using the “Add/Remove” Column feature we can bring in different data elements to help inform our “Crunches” with just a little preplanning in Excel or Google Sheets. In the example below Awesemo Projections and Player Popularity have been added as new columns in the upload template and Awesemo Value Grades are being added.
As always, you can reach out to me in Awesemo.com Premium Slack or on Twitter @EMacDFS if you have any questions.
Good Luck Gamers! ~ EMac
NBA DFS Main Slate Ownership Projections (FREE TODAY)
NBA DFS Projections for No House Advantage | FREE
NBA DFS Projections for DraftKings, FanDuel, Yahoo and No House Advantage Daily Fantasy
Awesemo’s NBA DFS Rankings
NBA DFS Boom/Bust Probability
NBA DFS Ownership Projections: Showdown & Single-Game
NBA Betting: NBA Player Props Tool (FREE TRIAL)
NBA Data Central