This article last updated 10/31/2018 – Featured image from Scott Threlkeld/Associated Press
Happy Halloween folks! I didn’t have an opportunity to post anything yesterday because I’ve just been completely covered up at work. I’ve got another busy day today, but holidays always represent bigger prize pools in DFS, and tonight’s 7-game NBA slate is no exception. I will try to come in and update the article in advance of the 7:30 PM tip-off if there is any breaking news or information that changes my thinking throughout the day, but here are my top targets by position for tonight!
Top Overall Play At Position: Stephen Curry
Why? Most people saw Klay Thompson break Curry’s single-game record with 14 3-pointers the other night, including 10 in a first half that left the Warriors up 92-50 at halftime against the hapless Chicago Bulls. Prior to that blowout against the Bulls, though, Curry also broke a record himself, with 7 consecutive games of at least five 3-pointers. Had the Warriors not completely obliterated the Bulls and Curry gotten more than 24 minutes in that game, he probably would have extended that streak to 8 games. Either way, he’s on pace to break his own complete season record of 402 3-pointers, and the Warriors have an implied team total of 123.5 tonight. I’m actually MORE interested in Steph tonight if Anthony Davis plays for the Pelicans, as his presence on the court will make the Pelicans more competitive and make it more likely that Curry gets his full complement of minutes.
Top Value Play At Position: Dennis Smith Jr
Why? Smith Jr has had an up and down season, with a couple of duds on his resume to begin the year, but the Lakers are a good team to target for fantasy this year because of their pace of play. This game features an O/U of 234, and the Lakers are 7.5-point favorites. I expect the Mavericks to keep the game competitive and Dennis should see about 32 minutes. At his $6500 salary, he should easily return 5x value with a great chance at 6-7x.
Others to consider:
- Ish Smith
- Isaiah Canaan (Game-time decision, check injury status before lock!)
- Jamal Murray
- Frank Ntilikina
- Darren Collison
- Spencer Dinwiddie
Top Overall Play At Position: Zach LaVine
Why? LaVine is one of the only sources of offense for the Bulls to start this season, and he has really elevated his overall game. He is now rebounding the ball with some regularity and getting a few steals and blocks to compliment his scoring. I’d like to see more assists, but I think that will come as his game evolves. He’s averaging 28.1 points per game this season, which is 6th in the league. He also offers some salary relief from the highest-priced guys at the position tonight. DeMar DeRozan was nearly the guy I wrote up in this section. He is averaging about 6 minutes more per game than LaVine, is slightly higher in points per game at 4th in the league, and has better peripheral stats. The only reason I didn’t put DeRozan as the top overall play is the salary difference, but if you can afford him, I do project DeRozan for more raw points and consider them 1a and 1b this evening at Shooting Guard.
Top Value Play At Position: Wesley Matthews
Why? Matthews is another Mavericks player against the Lakers tonight who should play big minutes at a low salary. He’s not the most efficient fantasy producer out there, but at $4900, is a good bet for 5x in the 33-35 minutes he should see tonight.
Others to consider:
- Reggie Bullock
- Tim Hardaway Jr
- Monte Morris
- Justin Holiday
- Gary Harris
- Klay Thompson
- Frank Jackson
Top Overall Play At Position: LeBron James
Why? James edges out a guy like Kevin Durant because he is the guy for the Lakers. He is going to get his 25-35 points, 8-12 rebounds, 8-12 assists, and a block or two with a steal or two pretty much every night. The Lakers aren’t good enough right now to consistently blow people out, so James is going to play 34-40 minutes most nights and he’s going to put up 50-point fantasy outings as his floor, with upside for much, much more. Durant is pretty significantly cheaper than James, and has the same ceiling, but is also much more likely to put up a 30-35 fantasy point night than James is because there are so many other weapons on that Warriors team. James is unlikely to be the best point-per-dollar play tonight, but he could definitely put up enough raw points that you can’t win without him on your squad.
Top Value Play At Position: E’Twaun Moore
Why? This call hinges somewhat on AD’s status tonight. Moore has been getting more run with Davis out, playing as many as 37 minutes in a game during that stretch. He doesn’t have huge upside, but as we know, in the NBA minutes = opportunity, so if you can get a guy at $4400 who is likely to see 33-35 minutes, you’re generally going to be smart to plug him in. If Davis plays tonight and it looks like Moore will be in the mid-20’s as far as minutes are concerned, I would probably downgrade him and pivot to a guy like Bojan Bogdanovic, who will probably only see 28-30 minutes but is a more efficient fantasy producer than Moore. Trevor Ariza is a third guy in that general price range that should see minutes and has upside for fantasy production.
Others to consider:
- Jabari Parker
- Harrison Barnes
- Rudy Gay
- Nikola Mirotic
- Andrew Wiggins
Top Overall Play At Position: Anthony Davis (if he plays)
Why? You’ll need to pay attention to Davis’s injury status before the games start tonight because a lot of decisions hinge on whether he plays or not. If he does play, he should see 37-40 minutes in a huge matchup against the Warriors, and he is a slate-breaking kind of player. He’s only played 4 games this season, but has an 80.2 FD points game, a 70.6 FD game, a 65.3 FD game, and his season-low of 54 FD points in a game in which he only played 26 minutes. His production is ridiculous, and if he plays, you probably want him in your lineup. His playing will also significantly downgrade some of the other potential Pelicans value out there. He is my favorite stud to pay up for on this slate if he plays.
Top Value Play At Position: LaMarcus Aldridge
Why? I doubt you’re going to have the money to pay up for both Davis and Aldridge at power forward tonight unless you really pay down at other spots, but that may be the thing to do here. Aldridge’s price dropped to $8500, but he has a plus matchup against the Suns and should see 35 minutes tonight. I think 34 points (4x) is his absolute floor tonight barring injury or foul trouble reducing his minutes, and a 50-point fantasy outing is definitely not out of the question here.
Others to consider:
- Noah Vonleh
- Josh Jackson
- Domantas Sabonis
- Paul Millsap
- Blake Griffin
Top Overall Play At Position: DeAndre Jordan
Why? While he doesn’t quite project out for as many points as Nikola Jokic tonight, he comes at a $1900 salary discount and should put up similar minutes and numbers. As I’ve mentioned several times already today, the Lakers are a team we like to target for fantasy production, and Jordan is a bargain at $8300. I think he has a similar floor/ceiling combo at a very similar price to Aldridge mentioned above at PF.
Top Value Play At Position: Mason Plumlee
Why? Plumlee will probably only see about 15 minutes of action tonight, and I don’t like targeting guys with low minutes projections, but the Bulls are terrible and susceptible to giving away production in the post. Plumlee is almost bare minimum on FD, so if he manages to get that 15 minutes of playing time with a bit over a point-per-minute, he could get you an ~18 point fantasy night for 5x. Worst-case scenario, maybe this is your dropped score and the salary savings allow you to plug someone in that you like at another position. I think this is one of the more decent punt plays on the slate this evening, but I wouldn’t expect a 10x explosion out of him.
Others to consider:
- Andre Drummond
- Rudy Gobert
- Karl-Anthony Towns
- Enes Kanter
- Julius Randle (only consider if AD is out and it is confirmed Randle is playing)
- Ed Davis
And that’s it for today! Once again, have a fun Halloween tonight, keep an eye out on injury news. Even though the Warriors Pelicans game is a 10:30 PM tip, I think we’ll know early on in the day if Davis is going to play or not. That status will have a huge impact on all other decisions tonight.