Yesterday, we had a mammoth NBA DFS slate, and today it is quite the contrast with a small three-gamer to contend with. In terms of general strategy, we will tend to approach these small slates differently from a larger one. It is more challenging to differentiate your lineups and make a unique enough roster to win a large field tournament.
While usually, I would recommend using most of your salary in NBA DFS tournaments, leaving considerable salary on the board can be in play on these small slates. Also, there isn’t much reason to dig past the absolute best options on a more extensive slate. It is a bit different on a three-gamer.
Almost every player is somewhat on the board, considering how unpredictable the NBA can be. A random bench player who usually sees a limited role could see an uptick in minutes and/or production due to many factors and break the slate at next to no ownership. I’m way more prone to take a chance on random players that don’t grade out as good plays but will be low-owned in the hopes of an outlier performance.
Let’s look at this slate and some of the best options we have for DraftKings and FanDuel.
GSW (109.5) @ BKN (112.5)
This matchup between the Golden State Warriors and Brooklyn Nets has the highest total on the day and a tight spread of just three. Despite this, we don’t have any absolute smash plays on the Golden State side from a point-per-dollar value perspective on DraftKings. The Warriors have a tendency to spread out their minutes considerably, and there aren’t any egregious mispricings. Steph Curry is playable every night for his immense upside regardless of price. Draymond Green and Jordan Poole grade out as decent mid-range values. It is about the same situation on FanDuel. However, Draymond’s price is higher, making him a worse option at his current minutes.
From a DFS perspective, we have some better plays on Brooklyn. Of course, Kevin Durant and James Harden are playable every night despite rarely grading out as great point-per-dollar options at their hefty price tags. On a more extensive slate, you generally wouldn’t want to play them together since it is hard for both of them to reach a ceiling in the same game. On a slate of this size, I’d be more prone to consider it. We have some excellent point-per-dollar value on the Nets here with Joe Harris out for the game. DeAndre’ Bembry, Blake Griffin, Patty Mills, and Bruce Brown are slated to log close to 30 minutes each at shallow price tags on DraftKings. As of the moment, these are some of the best values available on this slate. On FanDuel, Bembry and Griffin qualify, while Mills and Brown fall out of value territory.
PHI (103.5) @ UTA (113)
This game between the Sixers and Jazz has a decent total. However, it may be a somewhat one-sided affair, with Utah being almost 10-point favorites. Joel Embiid continues to sit, as does, of course, Ben Simmons, and Danny Green will also be out. Yet, DraftKings and FanDuel alike have priced up the Sixers’ remaining pieces. There isn’t any glaring value due to mispricing outside of a couple of players. Furkan Korkmaz remains a good value at $4600 on DraftKings, and Tobias Harris is too cheap for his now alpha role on FanDuel at $7700. After that, no one stands out at their current prices, but Tyrese Maxey, Andre Drummond, and Seth Curry are the other Sixers with solid projected minutes and production potential.
On the Utah side, Mike Conley and Rudy Gobert are the two players who present good value at their prices on both DK and FD. Donovan Mitchell is always an option for his extreme upside despite not grading out as a great value today. Bojan Bogdanovic, Royce O’Neale, Jordan Clarkson, and Joe Ingles all sit in a bit of a no man’s land. They aren’t outstanding plays for value or ceiling, but all have the potential to be in a winning lineup on this small slate.
SAS (106) @ LAC (113.5)
This late-night matchup between San Antonio and the Clippers has the second-highest total on the slate. However, the Clippers are decent favorites at -7.5. Gregg Popovich is notoriously difficult to predict regarding how he will handle his players and rotation. Still, Dejounte Murray has carved out a consistent alpha role with generally solid minutes in San Antonio. He won’t be a tremendous point-per-dollar value at his current price on either DFS site, but he’s always in play for his ceiling. Doug McDermott, Derrick White, Drew Eubanks, and Lonnie Walker IV are solid DK values. On FD, the only value really sticking out is Derrick White.
Terance Mann is questionable on the Clippers’ side, and if he were to sit, it would open up more value. Paul George is the definitive alpha in LA with Kawhi out. He doesn’t grade out as a superb point-per-dollar option as expensive studs usually don’t, but he’s always a top option. Interestingly, almost every player on the Clippers is too cheap on DraftKings and presents us with good value. Isaiah Hartenstein, Luke Kennard, Reggie Jackson, Nicolas Batum, and Ivica Zubac are all in play. As is Mann himself if he does suit up. Only Hartenstein, Jackson, and Mann present any substantial value on FanDuel.
We don’t have significant injury news on this slate leading to any extreme value pieces. It isn’t the worst idea to leave some roster optionality open in this game. If Mann does indeed sit, it will change the landscape of the slate. We likely won’t have the news until close to tip-off but could get some increased Clippers value at lower than efficient ownership if he were to be out. Luke Kennard would stand to benefit in particular.