The NBA is fantastic and there are so many things to talk about each and every week. Whether you are a Fantasy Basketball fanatic or just a fan here is ten things about the NBA that I want you to know about as we head into week 13 of the NBA season!
Best NBA Games to Watch This Week
Tuesday January 9: Portland Trail Blazers at the Oklahoma City Thunder. This should be an exciting game between two of the best teams in the West.
Wednesday January 10: Chicago Bulls at the New York Knicks. Two young Eastern Conference teams battle in the Garden. Great start to a Wednesday night!
Thursday January 11: Cleveland Cavaliers at the Toronto Raptors. Playoff rivals on a Thursday night in “White Vegas”? I won’t miss this one and neither will you.
Friday January 12: Golden State Warriors at the Milwaukee Bucks. The best team in the West travels to Milwaukee to play Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Bucks.
Saturday January 13: Sacramento Kings at the Los Angeles Clippers. The Kings Zach Randolph and Clippers forward Blake Griffin renew their longtime rivalry at the Staples Center.
Sunday January 14: Indiana Pacers at the Phoenix Suns. This one should be a fast paced high scoring affair with plenty of Fantasy goodness to spread around.
You are a Happy Fantasy Basketball Owner If
You have players on your roster from the Brooklyn Nets, Denver Nuggets, Golden State Warriors, Indiana Pacers, Los Angeles Clippers, Milwaukee Bucks, Minnesota Timberwolves, New Orleans Pelicans, Portland Trail Blazers, Sacramento Kings and Toronto Raptors as each of those teams has four games on the schedule this week.
Dunk of the Week
Oklahoma City Thunder rookie shooting guard Terrance Ferguson used the Los Angeles Lakers as an audition for the Slam Dunk Competition with not one but TWO worthy Dunk of the Week rim rattlers!
You are an Unhappy Fantasy Basketball Owner If
You have players on your roster from the Memphis Grizzlies, Phoenix Suns and Utah Jazz as each of these teams only has two games on their schedule this week. You are also a very unhappy Fantasy Basketball owner if you have players on your roster from the Boston Celtics and Philadelphia 76ers as these two teams have just one game on their schedule this week.
Waiver Wire Pickup of the Week
Denver Nuggets point guard Jamal Murray has four games this week (@Golden State, Atlanta, Memphis and @San Antonio) and over the past five games is averaging 20.2 points, 5.8 rebounds, 4.4 assists and just over a steal per game on 34.6 minutes a night. This season Murray is knocking down 44 percent of his shots from the floor and 92 percent of his free throws as well as averaging nearly two triples per night. Murray has some very good matchups this week and is widely available across the Fantasy Basketball season long league industry.
Making Sense of DFS Value Plays
Whether you are new to Daily Fantasy Sports or a seasoned veteran we’ve all heard the term “value”. Heck, I even write a bi-weekly “value” column here at Creative Sports 2. Usually this refers to plays under $5000 bucks but oftentimes you will hear things like “at 12,500” such and such a player will need to reach 72 Fantasy Points to make value”. Now how often does a player hit 72 Fantasy points? Not very often but do they really need to reach six times value for you to win a GPP?
I have another way for you to look at this that might make these things easier for you to digest and possibly make your DFS experience much more enjoyable and hopefully more profitable.
Generally speaking, if you want to take down a large field GPP at FanDuel you will need at least 360 points. With a salary cap of $60,000 dollars that means you will need each player to average 40 Fantasy points each in order to reach 360 points. Now I understand it usually takes more than 360 points to win a GPP but if you get 360 points on a regular basis you will be profitable and that is what we are all looking fir, right?
That means at FanDuel you are looking for at least 80 points per position grouping and 40 points for the center position. So how does this all work?
On large slates of eight games or more you can probably fade the higher priced “studs” of $10,000 dollars or more and play a more balanced lineup always keeping in mind that you need 80 points per position grouping. You are looking for players who get 28-30 minutes or more a night with Usage Rates of at least 20 percent in great matchups. A great tool for finding these matchups can be found at Rotowire.
For smaller slates of six games or less you will probably need to have at least one of the higher priced “studs” with the best opportunity to go off in a big way. Then what you want to do is find some lower priced options who are also in great matchups and build your team that way.
For cash games the same system applies but instead of looking for 80 points per position grouping what you are looking for is more like 70 points per grouping. You want to lock in as many high priced “studs” as you can manage to fit in and some value plays with high Fantasy point floors and build from there.
Is this “system” foolproof? Heavens no. If it was I would be a billionaire. What it has done is make my DFS experience much more enjoyable and I think it will do the same for you.
Tweet of the Week
On Wednesday night former Boston Celtics point guard Isaiah Thomas returned to Boston with his new Cleveland Cavaliers teammates and had some post game fun with local reporters.
"I love Brad Stevens. I love Marcus Smart even though he flops all the time." 😂 pic.twitter.com/wysPeUs0FW
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) January 4, 2018
Widely Available Streaming Options for Week 12
I don’t know about you but I am a streamer. I’m one of those crazy guys that leaves one roster spot open and looks for the hottest hand in the best matchup possible. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. It’s best to do this in leagues where you are able to make moves daily but I have also had some success streaming in weekly leagues as well. Here are my streaming options for week 13.
Monday: Detroit Pistons point guard Ish Smith has a great opportunity on Monday night against a New Orleans Pelicans defense allowing point guards to average 21 points per game. Smith is currently averaging 27 minutes a night so don’t be afraid to plug him in against the Pelicans on Monday night.
Tuesday: Miami Heat SG/SF Josh Richardson travels to Toronto to take on a Raptors defense allowing small forwards to average 19 Fantasy points per game. Richardson knocks down nearly two three pointers a night and could go above that as Toronto allows just over two triples a night to small forwards like Richardson.
Wednesday: Utah Jazz SF/PF Joe Ingles travels to Washington to take on a Wizards defense allowing small forwards to average 18 Fantasy points per game and 1.5 triples per night. Ingles is averaging 9.8 points per game and 2.4 triples and if Ingles gets hot he could knock down 4-5 triples against the Wizards on Wednesday.
Thursday: Boston Celtics PG/SG Marcus Smart has a great matchup on Thursday against a Philadelphia 76ers defense allowing shooting guards to average 23.53 Fantasy points per game. The 76ers also allow shooting guards to average nearly three triples a night. This game begins at 3pm EST so be sure to plug in Smart early.
Friday: Brooklyn Nets PG Spencer Dinwiddie has a terrific opportunity on the road against an Atlanta Hawks defense allowing point guards to average 21.35 Fantasy points per game. I don’t think Nets PG D’Angelo Russell will be returning this week and if he doesn’t plug in Dinwiddie with confidence on Friday.
Saturday: Chicago Bulls SG/SF Denzel Valentine has a very good opportunity on Saturday against a Detroit Pistons defense allowing small forwards to average 20.30 Fantasy points a game and 2.33 triples a night. This bodes well for Valentine as he’s knocking down nearly two triples a night this season.
Sunday: New Orleans Pelicans PG Rajon Rondo has a great opportunity on Sunday against a New York Knicks defense allowing point guards to average 22.59 Fantasy points and 8.41 assists this season. Rondo is averaging 8.2 assists and seven points this season and if you need assists let Rondo be your Sunday hammer!
Replacing James Harden
Houston Rockets shooting guard James Harden has a hamstring strain and is out for at least the next two weeks. Replacing his type of production is impossible but rather than take a zero why not consider the following widely available options that should be sitting on your waiver wire?
At the time of this writing Brooklyn Nets SG/SF/PF Caris LeVert has an injured groin but should be returning to action in time for week 13. Over the past five games LeVert is averaging 13 points, 4.4 rebounds, 6.6 assists and one steal on just 22.4 minutes a game. LeVert is also good for at least one triple a night and shoots 44 percent from the field and 69 percent from the line. LeVert has four games this week (Toronto, Detroit, @Atlanta and @Washington) and should help in several categories this week.
New York Knicks shooting guard Courtney Lee averages 34 minutes a night and over the past five games Lee is averaging 13 points, 2.6 rebounds, 3.4 assists, 1.2 steals and two triples. Lee is shooting 45 percent from the floor and 95 percent from the line and with three games this week (Chicago, @Minnesota and New Orleans) and would make a good addition to your roster this week.
Miami Heat SG/SF Josh Richardson averages 33 minutes a night and over the past five games is averaging 16.8 points, 3.4 rebounds, 3.8 assists and 1.4 steals while also knocking down 1.4 triples a night. Richardson is shooting 46 percent from the floor and 83 percent from the line for the Heat this season. Miami has three games this week (@Toronto, @Indiana, Milwaukee) and would be a good addition to any Fantasy Basketball roster.
Widely Available Three Point Leaders
The NBA has changed and darn near everyone is launching three pointers. If you are in need of triples why not consider these widely available snipers probably sitting on your waiver wire?
Miami Heat shooting guard Wayne Ellington is knocking down 2.8 triples per night and with the Heat injury troubles has averaged over 30 minutes a night. With three games this week (@Toronto, @Indiana, Milwaukee) Ellington might be just what you need while also offering you points (10.2) and rebounds (2.6) with solid shooting percentages from the floor (42 percent) and the line (84 percent).
Toronto Raptors SF C.J. Miles averages just 17 minutes a night but makes the most of his time on the court knocking down 2.8 triples a night. The Raptors have four games this week (@Brooklyn, Miami, Cleveland and Golden State) and is also a decent source for points (9.8) and is solid from the line (90 percent). Miles would be a great addition to rosters in leagues of 12 teams or more.
Dallas Mavericks SG/SF Wesley Matthews is knocking down 2.4 triples a night on 34.3 minutes a game for the Mavs. The Mavericks have three games this week (Orlando, @Charlotte and Los Angeles Lakers) and is also a good source for points (11.9), rebounds (3.1), assists (2.9), steals (1.1) and shoots 40 percent from the field, 80 percent from the line and is good to go in any Fantasy Basketball league format.
Enjoy the NBA this week!!
Follow Phil @flashtennis31 and The Phil Naessens Show.