This is by far the ugliest slate of the year for NBA DFS. Four of the six teams playing tonight (GS, UTA, MIA, MIN) are ranked in the top 6 in DEF efficiency. These are all teams I usually try to avoid when picking against, but there is still value to be had.
Trey Burke ($4500, 25.6 USG) – Burke has quietly had 2 solid back to back performances scoring 33.3 and 25.0 DK points. His PER is 19.4 compared to his previous years of 12.6. He’s averaging a career best 20.8 points per 36. No one is noticing this little breakout he’s having because of his role and playing time. He’s coming off the bench and only getting 23.3 minutes per game. He continues to outperform starting PG Raul Neto, yet doesn’t get the playing time he deserves. We always preach minutes in DFS but on slates like tonight, you’re gonna have trust talent over minutes occasionally.
Austin Rivers ($3100, 18.8 USG) – This is the game I’d like to have most exposure to tonight. A nice over/under of 207.5 and figures to be a close game (Clippers -2). J.J. Redick (back spasms) is doubtful meaning the Clippers are likely to fill that void with a combination of Jamal Crawford, Austin Rivers and Lance Stevenson. Crawford is only $400 more, so I wouldn’t blame you if you wanted to go that route but I like to save as much as possible and to me, that makes Rivers my preferred play. If you compare the two, the stats are nearly identical. Crawford is averaging only 1.7 more points per game than Rivers, but Rivers makes up for that with his ability to rack up steals. Other that that, it seems like a wash so I’ll go with the cheaper play.
Justice Winslow ($4000, 13.5 USG) – This is the time to go back to our love for minutes. The matchup isn’t ideal but Winslow has averaged 33.75 mpg over his last 4. This really is just purely a salary saver. He isn’t asked to do too much offensively but contributes everywhere else. There’s a big drop in talent at the SF position from Gordon Hayward to the next best option. I’m quite terrified of the blowout potential in Minnesota making Harrison Barnes a risky play but also making Andre Iguodala an interesting play so I wouldn’t mind that alternative. But at least I know the playing time Winslow will be getting and that makes me comfortable enough to roster him at only $4000.
Nemanja Bjelica ($4700, 12.3 USG) – The secrets out on our love for Bjelica. I’ve seen his ownership percentages grow and grow since we first wrote about him. Doesn’t mean you stay away. It just means you enjoy the ride while he continues to be priced so cheap. Averaging 32.8 DK points over his last 3, he’s going to get playing time whether it’s a blowout or a closely contested game. I still don’t know if this is a game where KG sits to rest but if he does, it makes me love Bjelica even more.
Festus Ezeli ($4600, 18.7 USG) – I would suggest 2 things. Pay up for center tonight because there’s very little value to be had anywhere under the $5000 range. And second, spend a little extra on Tyson Chandler for about $800 more if you do plan on saving money. If you’re desperate to go cheaper though, you’re gonna have to choose between Bogut and Ezeli. That’s just a headache to avoid. If you’re looking at matchup and game script (likely blowout), I’d prefer Ezeli only because he has the younger legs and more likely to play in that event. I really don’t want to even waste your time with this though, spend up at center or else you’re just doing it wrong.