Another Brooklyn Nets defensive catastrophe led a lot of lineups to the top on Tuesday. So even though I luckboxed my way to Josh Hart‘s massive fantasy output in two of my three big FanDuel lineups, my lack of the early hammer plus Cole Anthony‘s early departure left me in shambles. And I don’t even know if I can talk about DraftKings with a straight face it was so epically bad. So for your sake and mine, let’s just get to work finding some useful NBA DFS picks for Wednesday’s beautiful nine-game slate.
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There’s No “D” in “Brooklyn Nets” For a Reason
For the Slate Starter podcast, Rynpak and I go position-by-position, giving our first impressions of the slate and highlight plays that stick out to us as overpriced or underpriced. I think it gives us and our viewership a great jumping off point for later research, as initial reactions to salaries can tip us off as to where ownership might be heading before things get chaotic with injury news the next morning. Certainly there’s so much about this slate I won’t know for a while, as value you could never imagine rostering in a million years come lock time could end up in 74% of your lineups soon after (looking at you, Devin Vassell).
That said, I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that regardless of salaries or opportunity cost at the position or any ownership considerations of any kind whatsoever, the Pacers will be massive chalk on this slate. And that’s because of one glaring, obvious reason: Their opposition, the Nets, are terrible at defense in an almost visceral way. Tuesday’s box score was an embarrassment of fantasy riches for all who overloaded on the Pistons. And despite the fast-paced, we-will-simply-outscore-you nature of Steve Nash’s team, Delon Wright was sub-20% and Mason Plumlee was sub-10%. I know hindsight is 20/20, but it’s hard to give myself a pass for whiffing so extremely on as blatantly good a spot as this. Sure, it was because it was the first game of the slate and I wanted late-swap flexibility, but never again with this Nets team.
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Let’s talk about Wednesday. We have a smorgasbord of sublime options to pick from down at the DFS deli, especially on DraftKings. A $7,400 Malcolm Brogdon? I don’t mind if I do. A $8,600 Domantas Sabonis? I’ll take two. Doug McDermott and Justin Holiday for 30-plus minutes? Just put them both in the grocery cart and let’s run to the checkout counter. I’ll even sprinkle in some T.J. McConnell and Jeremy Lamb for good measure because, let’s face it, anyone playing more than 20 minutes at a semi-reasonable salary should be in play against the Nets from this day forward.
If you don’t believe me, just look at the box score of this truly terrible Pistons team, courtesy of the DraftKings Live scoring app:
I rest my case.
They Call Him LaMelo Yellow
If I told you at the start of this season that we’d all be contemplating an $8,500 LaMelo Ball on DraftKings, you’d think I was high as a kite, wouldn’t you? Ball has set the NBA world on fire, proving anyone that put him at the top slot on their draft boards right. Here is what Ball has done in his first few NBA starts (courtesy of Basketball-Reference.com):
That’s the sort of transcendent start the youngest Ball brother is having to his career as a starter. I know $8,500 on DraftKings and $8,200 on FanDuel might seem insane, but we’re talking about a player averaging 1.2 fantasy points per minute who is in line for 38 to 40 minutes barring a blowout. That makes him legitimately one of my favorite plays on the slate, and he should be one of yours too.
Final Thoughts for Your NBA DFS Lineups
- We have another one of those star-studded slates with the likes of Nikola Jokic, Giannis Antetokounmpo and Luka Doncic on the super-high end. We’ll have to see which positions tomorrow’s unexpected value shows up at, as that will largely dictate which one of the three I rely most heavily on. I’m leaning Doncic, but I almost always do.
- I would say don’t play Fred VanVleet at $8,600 on DraftKings and an eye-popping $9,300 on FanDuel. But this is the Wizards we’re talking about here, another Nets-esque team in terms of pace and defensive ineptitude. If the ownership is right, there’s upside even at the high point of VanVleet’s tag.
- I can’t decide if Russell Westbrook‘s $8,400 salary on DraftKings is appropriate or insulting. Can it possibly be both?
- Just play the entire Pacers organization.
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