AP NBA Game Theory 10/30
Happy Tuesday Karma Nation! Let’s drive right into this slate. As always, check out my AP Playbook Player pool below;
Kings at Magic -4.5, 221.5 -> On the OVERS
Shumpert OUT, Fox Questionable
With Shumpert OFF the court, here’s how usage & FP/min shakes up
De’Aaron Fox, 27% USG rate, 1.08 FP/min, avg 33mins/game
Nemanja Bjelica, 18.3% USG rate, 1.37 FP/min, avg 31mins/game
Willie Cauley-Stein, 22.8% USG rate (Elite for a big), 1.15 FP/min, avg 32.5min/game
Marvin Bagley, 23% USG rate, 1.05 FP/min, avg 22min/game
Buddy Hield, 24% USG rate, 0.97 FP/min, avg 33min/game
*Justin Jackson, 14.4% USG rate, 0.68 FP/min
Shumpert was rested against Memphis and Justin Jackson started in his place. Jackson saw over 37 minutes & produced 23 fantasy points. This game was highly competitive and the Kings ran out a very tight rotation (Fox, Hield, Willie, & Jackson all saw over 35 minutes).
*My assumption; We have a lean on the Kings +4.5, with that said, we feel this game should stay competitive. I’m going to assume we see a similar rotation to the game against memphis.
*Best way to attack; Orlando continues to struggle against opposing guards & wings(29th v PG & 16th v SG, & 29th v SF). In all honesty, my preference in a spot like this (vs a poor overall defense) is to attack with the highest USG & FP/min players who have the safest minutes upside.
Willie Cauley-Stein, 6,300 -> Elite play. Willie’s almost 23% usgate rate for a big is very good. This essentially means he’s being fully utilized on the offensive side of the court. This has translated to three straight games with a double-double. He has also had to face a fairly traditional big in every game except the Wizards (Whiteside, Gasol, Jokic, Adams, Davis & Gobert). Despite all the difficult matchups he’s faced all year, he has held his own. I expect the same tonight.
De’Aaron Fox, 6,900-> *Questionable* Solid GPP. Fox is in an elite spot, his minutes should be solid, but he is still a 1.08 FP/min player and his price has caught up to him. If Fox is ruled out, Frank Mason, 3,200 on DK, becomes an absolute lock.
Buddy Hield, 5,500 -> Elite GPP play. Normally I’d fade Hield after an efficient performance. Last year, if you told me Hield had a 47 DK point night, 35+ of those would have been from raw scoring. Year to date, Hield has really picked up his overall usage rate and ability to stuff the stat sheet.
Nemanja Bjelica, 5,700 -> Elite play. Assuming this game stays close, like the past three have, Bjelica is massively underpriced.
Justin Jackson, 3,800 -> Fine Value. Look, Jackson could play up to 37 minutes like he did against Memphis. I don’t love it, but his price and pure minutes upside make him a relatively safe play to get 20+ dk points.
*The kings are not a team I’ve been comfortable targeting so I had to spend a little extra time on them as they are in an elite spot*
Nikola Vucevic has literally been carrying this Orlando Magic team. Aaron Gordon has been a ghost in his past few games. Two things regarding Gordon; his past three matchups have been as tough as it gets and he has been ice cold. With these two things being noted; for *GPPS*, I’m going to totally disregard his last three games. With that in mind, we have a high usage player who sees big minutes in competitive games.
Aaron Gordon-> Elite GPP play. Let me continue to make my point for GPPs. Last year, Gordon had a three game stretch against the Pacers, 76ers & Boston where he put up subpar performances and everyone was beginning to write him off. His next game was at home against the Thunder (11/29/17). Aaron Gordon put up 78.75 points & he was 2% owned across all sites. Gordon is the type of guy you play when two things are happening; (1) the matchup is good & (2) everyone is writing him off.
Evan Fournier, Jonathan Issac, & Nikola Vucevic will all make my player pool. However, I don’t want to be overly exposed to this game, so I will most likely have the most exposure to Aaron Gordon.
Hawks AT Cavaliers -4.5, 226.5
Notables; Kevin Love is OUT (for awhile) & these two teams just met on 10/21 and Trae Young broke the slate with 60 fantasy points.
Recency Bias is the most powerful force in the world of NBA daily fantasy sports. Let me illustrate;
Trae Young -> monster 60pt game vs Cavs
Trae Young -> 21.5% owned vs Mavs (Bust)
Trae Young-> 29.3% owned vs Bulls (Bust)
Trae Young-> 1.4% owned vs 76ers (Bust)
And now we have another matchup against the Cavs and Trae Young is projected to be around or under 5% owned. So, what’s happened? Is Trae Young all of a sudden trash? Or is the market overreacting?
Vs Mavs-> Shooters, especially young ones, always tend to cool off after an elite shooting performance. With this in mind, I’m not surprised by the poor performance against the Mavs.
Vs Chicago-> Trae starts the game with no made FGs in the first half & multiple turnovers. I guess we can’t be too surprised a few cold games were coming after his incredibly hot start.
At PHI-> 76ers are nasty vs the PG position. They grade out as one of the best at limiting fantasy production to opposing PGs.
Trae Young -> Solid GPP play. He’s already proven that he has 60+ point upside. He’s also the type of player that’s going to keep shooting when he’s hot. Lastly, he’s probably going to be 5% owned and he has the best matchup on the board. This is the spot to be loading up if you want to put yourself in a position to take down GPPs.
Kent Bazemore, Taurean Prince, Alex Len, and Dewayne Dedmon will also make my player pool as viable GPP options.
On the Cavaliers side of things; well, Tyronn Lue was let go and Larry Drew will be acting as interim head coach, or as the ‘voice’ as he calls it. Drew took over for Lue when he took a leave of absence last year winning six out of seven games. Given the matchup, this is an excellent spot. Given the situation, it is highly unpredictable. Let’s try to figure this spot out~>
with Kevin love out*
Larry Nance Jr -> leads this team with an elite 1.35 fantasy points per minute rate. Even with Love out, Nance only saw 22 minutes last game. If you told me Nance would see no less than 28 minutes tonight, he would grade out as an elite play.
Cedi Osman -> Ice cold Osman has only been reliable from a minutes perspective. He saw 33+ minutes in each of the first three games of the season. Since that point, he has been ice cold. Given his talent & minutes upside, Osman makes for an excellent GPP play tonight.
Rodney Hood -> Hood holds a 23% USG & 0.72 FP/min rate. My guess is that this number will start to increase as the Cav’s are going to need Hood to produce on the offensive side of the court. However, I’m not a fan of his matchup against Bazemore tonight.
. . . The story is going to be similar for each player. My hope is that we get some lineup news prior to lock to see if Drew will be shaking things up. If Larry Nance is announced in the starting lineup, I’ll be grading him as an elite play. If it is announced he will continue to come off the bench, I’ll be grading him as a GPP play given the minutes risk.
Game Notes (rest of the games)
Heat AT Hornets -4, 223 ->
This spot is fairly transparent so I’ll keep my notes brief. Kemba is by far the best play between both teams. He grades out as an elite play in all formats given his insanely high usage and FP/minute rate. One interesting thing to note; the last time these two teams played, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist played 29 minutes with much of that at the 5 position. Going small limited Whitesides playing time to under 25 minutes and appeared to be somewhat effective. However, the heat were incredibly dominant when Whiteside was on the floor. The Hornets built up an 18 point lead in the first half while Whiteside logged less than 9 minutes due to foul trouble.
Kemba Walker-> Elite play in all formats.
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist -> GPP value punt. Viable if you think the Hornets play small ball again.
Hassan Whiteside-> Solid GPP play. Could easily smash value again if he stays out of foul trouble.
76ers AT Raptors -6, 227 ->
This game could really go either way as both teams are sound on offense and defense. Ben Simmons is a triple double threat nightly and I won’t blame anyone for putting him into their lineups. If the game is going to go over this total, he will for sure be dishing out dimes and a high rate. It appeared as if the 76ers were monitoring Embiids playing time, with the Hawks matchup being the easier of the two in this back to back situation. Given the tough matchup, I’ll be grading both Embiid & Simmons as solid GPP plays. Leonard is arguably priced appropriately; I do feel he has 60 point upside in him, which makes him a fine GPP target. Lastly, Pascal Siakam absolutely feasted last night with Leonard and OG Anunoby ruled out. With Leonard in, his upside is definitely capped, but he is in play since his price did not change.
Pistons at Boston-> I’ll most likely be fading this game.
Wizards at Grizzlies-> Markieff Morris is OUT & Kelly Oubre is QUESTIONABLE. I have Jeff Green tagged as an elite play as he should gobble up all of Markieffs minutes. If Oubre is ruled out, I’d upgrade Bradley Beal & John Wall to elite plays. Mike Conley & Marc Gasol are priced appropriately, most likely a spot I stay away from. Jaren Jackson Jr is the guy who has my interest from Memphis.
Blazers at Rockets -> I got lucky on the previous slate when Chris Paul was going up against his former team. I ended up pivoting off of him and getting my exposure through Carmelo Anthony. However, everything I said in regards to Chris Pauls elite usage and FP/min rate with Harden off the court holds true. The only thing different is we get a massive matchup upgrade from Patrick Beverly to Damian Lillard. Chris Paul is arguably one of the best plays on this slate. Also in play-> Carmelo Anthony, Eric Gordon & Gerald Green.
Clippers at Thunder -> Russell Westbrook was on pace for a solid game against the Suns but ended up sitting most of the 4th as they were ahead by 25+ points. Westbrook has a tough matchup against Patrick Beverley, but I just can’t get over his cheap price tag of 10,500. Westbrook is an elite play tonight. One of the top value plays on the slate is Jerami Grant, whose price has yet to be adjusted given his new role and uptick in minutes.