Welcome everyone to the NBA Switch and Hedge, the only daily fantasy sports column on the internet that breaks down every angle of every NBA game with both childlike enthusiasm and success. Sure I wrote that Terry Rozier was a great play yesterday and that he had a good shot to break out of his slump versus Sacramento. And sure he looked like an even better play when Marcus Morris was ruled out. But did I play him? Of course not! In many ways that’s the joy of DFS, questioning yourself so much that you end up making the wrong choices.
But that’s what this column along with all of the other resources on Awesemo.com are here for. Look at Awesemo’s personal rankings and later the Slam Dunks and ownership projections. Keep an eye on Vegas totals and injury news. Use all this information to tweak and improve the fringes of your lineups, not to take you off of research you’ve done on your own and conclusions you’ve landed on. The Terry Roziers are going to be there every night, guys who have all these factors lining up for them that you can capitalize on with low ownership. It’s up to you to identify them early and stick with them as all this new information unfurls. Do it for Scary Terry:
We’ve got five interesting games with some surprisingly decently priced players in good spots. So let’s break it down starting….now:
Los Angeles Lakers (104.25 implied points, -4.6 on their last 10 games) at Detroit Pistons (109.25 implied points, +7.2 on their last 10 games)
The Lakers have been a great fantasy team lately, in part because Luke Walton has finally given these guys a steady rotation thanks to all of their injuries. Kyle Kuzma has been a popular play lately and that should continue on both sites tonight after a 25 point 10 rebound game versus Memphis in which he put up 21 shots. He looks solid to me. As does Brook Lopez, who was down last game but has a more favorable matchup versus the Pistons than he did versus Memphis. Lonzo Ball hasn’t flashed the upside he’s capable of lately but he’s been getting an insane 40+ minutes per game lately so he’s still got to be a consideration. As should Julius Randle who has the toughest matchup by DVP, besides Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, but should be a formidable matchup for the Pistons’ front line in the rugged kind of matchup that Randle tends to love.
The Pistons get a big boost on their scoring, likely due to the Lakers playing at the top pace in the league, and Blake Griffin is likely to be the biggest beneficiary. He didn’t do much versus Chicago in a game the Pistons ran away with but the Lakers’ pace and style of play fit what Griffin does best. Andre Drummond did all the dirty work versus the Bulls and notched his second straight 20-rebound game. The Lakers have limited center production but if Andre keeps beasting on the glass, they won’t be able to stop him. That said, his price is super high for him given how much usage Blake soaks up so there is a viable case to be made to fade him despite both Griffin and Drummond receiving A grades in fantasy points for the day. The Lakers have allowed the most production to point guards lately, something that benefits Reggie Jackson the most. He took some minutes from Ish Smith last game and his minute limit is expected to get raised to around 25 minutes. Jackson is not a great play but he’s a play worth considering. Smith has shown more upside than Jackson lately but the margins are getting narrower with slightly less minutes and his price rising. Luke Kennard has been a great source of value lately. His price is starting to get to a less appealing point but he looks good for now.
New York Knicks (104.7 implied points, -0.2 on their last 10 games) at Charlotte Hornets (116.25 implied points, +2.3 on their last 10 games)
Tim Hardaway Jr came back to Earth after shooting the lights out in his previous game. His price, particularly on DraftKings, sucks baaaaad though. The matchup versus Charlotte should fit him pretty well, besides the blowout risk, but at that price, you can’t trust him with any certainty. Trey Burke picked up the start for the Knicks yesterday and should be back in the starting lineup again tonight. He’s been a great value lately and will be a very popular play tonight. Emmanuel Mudiay was much more effective with the demotion and had his best game in weeks despite only playing 20 minutes. One would assume if the game does blowout he’ll get the minutes, making an interesting pivot to fade the likely highly-owned Burke. Enes Kanter didn’t make the most out of Kyle O’Quinn sitting but a matchup versus Dwight Howard may be a better one to do the things he does best. If O’Quinn is ruled out again, Luke Kornet is a great near-minimum salary punt to help you fit more expensive guys in better spots and also one of Awesemo’s few A values in his rankings, along with his teammate Burke.
The Hornets may have Nic Batum back from an Achilles injury but he feels like a risky play with the injury and two duds versus New York this year. Kemba Walker will also likely recede to the background a bit if Batum returns since an active Batum takes a substantial chunk of Kemba’s usage away. Dwight Howard looks like the best play of the trio, albeit with a tough price to stomach. Marvin Williams is worth a closer look after two solid games in a row and a plus matchup versus the Knicks but the upside isn’t really there for him with all of these guys healthy. If Batum sits, Jeremy Lamb seems more playable on DraftKings than his substantially higher price on FanDuel.
Denver Nuggets (109 implied points, -8.1 on their last 10 games) at Philadelphia 76ers (114.5 implied points, -0.3 on their last 10 games)
The Nuggets are facing down a big drop on their recent scoring, which is sort of troubling given that they should be getting a big pace-up with the Sixers currently fifth in the league at pace. Will Barton’s been a strong play with Gary Harris sidelined and that looks to be the case here tonight as well. Paul Millsap is coming off a quiet game but the Sixers have given up solid performances at power forward lately. He looks like the a sneakily strong option to me. Jamal Murray will draw a lot of ownership after a big last game versus Washington and he also has one 50 DK point game versus Philadelphia this year. He’s posted the highest usage rate of any player on the team in 4 out of the last 5 Nuggets games so it’s entirely possible he’ll shoot himself into the game despite an unappealing matchup. Nikola Jokic can excel in bad spots or good spots so while the matchup with Joel Embiid isn’t a stellar one, particularly with the down point total, but I wouldn’t run away from rostering him if he fit your lineup build.
The Nuggets funnel usage to the front court but have given up plus fantasy performances to almost every position lately. They’ve also given up a ton of threes, something that can benefit basically the entire Sixers roster besides Ben Simmons. Joel Embiid’s minutes lately are troubling though with the big man not notching over 23 minutes in his last three games, seemingly a deliberate choice to save him as we head toward the playoffs. This particular matchup may get him closer to his usual minutes load and the Sixers have had leads in their recent games that contributed to the minutes cut but it’s a risk to note. Ben Simmons’ minutes are a little more secure in a competitive game and he’s an interesting play versus a turnover prone team who’ll be into playing at a fast pace. JJ Redick has been part of the Sixers’ rotation minutes chop lately but he’s shot the ball a ton and can put up a lot of threes versus this Nuggets squad who’s allowed a 50% boost in threes to his position over their last 10 games. Robert Covington and Dario Saric do more on the court than Redick and should also have a shot to bomb threes too, though I’d be more inclined to look Covington’s way than Saric’s tonight.
Memphis Grizzlies (100.25 implied points, +2.8 on their last 10 games) at Minnesota Timberwolves (114.25 implied points, +4.2 on their last 10 games)
Tyreke Evans is ruled out for “rest” and I wish the Grizzlies had better reporters covering what’s going on down there because they’re having some personnel issues even by tanking team standards. That said, Tyreke being out means it’s the Andrew Harrison show and the Andrew Harrison show is kind of awesome:
— Memphis Grizzlies (@memgrizz) March 25, 2018
People HATE playing Andrew Harrison because he has a knack to bust at the most inopportune times. Point guards versus Minnesota have seen a 11% decrease in usage over their last 10 games but Harrison could yield some shots to other positions and still come away with a very solid performance. Harrison is a B value in Awesemo’s rankings for the slate. The matchup versus Minnesota isn’t the best one for Dillon Brooks but he’s shot so much lately that you can roster him knowing that at least he’s going to get the opportunity to miss 14 shots a game. Jarell Martin had one of his best games this year versus Los Angeles and Minnesota has been weakest versus his position lately. They’ve also had some defensive holes at power forward and, with JaMychal Green having some solid performances lately, I’m interested in him a little tonight. The blowout risk here is very real but with both teams playing at a bottom 10 pace, maybe not as much as it seems?
I am a known Jeff Teague hater but after two dud games and with a high team total in a matchup versus Memphis, I’m going to look his way tonight. Andrew Harrison is a better defender than the flotsam in the backcourt Memphis has had lately but Teague is at a price, particularly on DraftKings, that can have some nice low-owned upside on this mid-sized slate. Jamal Crawford and Andrew Wiggins should also see a boost thanks to Memphis’ mediocre wing defense and the former is still extremely cheap despite flashing some upside just a few games ago. Nemanca Bjelica’s been more off than not lately with Crawford taking some shots away from him but he too can excel in this matchup. The guy I’m least into here is Karl-Anthony Towns. He can transcend matchups and all that but Marc Gasol is still one of the most effective defenders in the Western conference and during Towns’ last matchup versus Gasol he was only able to muster seven points, 11 boards, and a godawful nine percent usage rate. There are better options for the price and at center tonight, even if Towns somehow performs more in line with his recent games.
Boston Celtics (109.5 implied points, +4.2 on their last 10 games) at Phoenix Suns (100.5 implied points, +0.2 on their last 10 games)
Terry Rozier FINALLY had a good game last night and it seems like maybe Jaylen Brown was all he needed to return to his torrid fantasy pace from when Kyrie Irving was out earlier this season. That, plus Marcus Morris being out, helped Rozier shoot his way into 33 points versus Sacramento at an insane 75% field goal percentage from the floor. He likely won’t be able to recreate that specific performance versus Phoenix despite their faster pace and elevated point total but he should be able to get more peripherals and get his teammates more involved in an even easier matchup. Brown returned to a 33% usage rate and, although he didn’t smash value, he may be able to do more with that against a worse defensive team tonight. Greg Monroe seems like a fine bounceback candidate tonight, and I’d be interested in Al Horford as well if Morris sits again.
The Suns will not have as fun of a time versus the Celtics. Elfrid Payton finally played kind of well but possibly only because he was in a revenge spot back in Orlando. I don’t see how you play him with any confidence in this matchup. If Devin Booker returns, he could be an interesting place to look given that he’s put up one 50 DK point game versus Boston already this year. It’s not an easy matchup but Booker would get the usage to overcome the situation as best he can. Josh Jackson really hasn’t excelled with Booker and TJ Warren out; he’s more interesting to me if Booker plays, less so if Warren plays, and currently of mild interest if they were both to be out. Alex Len has been one of the Suns’ lone bright spots over their last few games but the matchup versus Boston is super unfavorable to a marginally talented big like him. I might actually be interested in TJ Warren if he’s active given that his $5900 price on DraftKings is extremely low for what he can do. And if Booker sits, Troy Daniels is worth a look again although a lot of people saw the downside in rostering a scoring dependent player like him with his dud versus Orlando. Boston is a much worse matchup so Daniels is no lock if Booker sits. Marquese Chriss was a popular pick last time out and, oddly, the matchup with Boston may be a better opportunity for him in terms of matchup and likelihood of seeing less Alex Len. We’ve seen now that he’s still not a lineup lock but he should be looked at for a slate this size if Warren is ruled out since he’s currently an A for value in Awesemo’s rankings.
And there we have it, another NBA slate fully analyzed and in the books. Follow me on Twitter, let me know how your lineups are doing after you read everything I have to say. Check out Awesemo’s rankings, Slam Dunks, and ownership projections as they come up later to make the best lineups you can. I’ll see you guys tomorrow for some more steamy NBA action.
Single-Game & Showdown NBA DFS Ownership Projections
NBA DFS Ownership Projections: Night Slate
Yahoo! NBA Ownership Projections
DraftKings NBA DFS High Stakes Ownership Projections
NBA DFS Ownership Projections: Main Slate
FanDuel NBA Ownership Projections
NBA DFS Boom/Bust Probability
NBA DFS Projections for No House Advantage