We’re back! Wow, that was a long All-Star break, almost too long. I actually had to spend time with my kids (kidding, not kidding). I did enjoy the All-Star game and played a few Showdown lineups that hit the cash line. Unfortunately, I did not roster Stephen Curry, who displayed one of the best shooting performances I’ve ever seen on his way to 50 points. Curry is playing tonight vs. a depleted Portland team but he is pricey. I like Steph tonight but my favorite play is Devin Booker. Book’em Danno (Hawaii Five-o reference)! I’m ready to get back to the grind, are you? Let’s get it.

If you’re new to this article, I break down tonight’s seven-game NBA slate and give you my starting five for both FanDuel and DraftKings.  These will be my core plays (guys I’ll be playing in my lineups with my money) for hitting the cash line.  Due to all the protocols, injury management, and general rest of players a lot can change from now until tip-off.  There’s a good chance I’ll use a player or two not listed here so make sure to follow me on Twitter for any important player swaps closer to lock.  At the end of the article, I’ll have a pool of three to five players I like that you can use to fill in the rest of your lineups. It’s important to have a process in DFS so let’s review the strategies I use.

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Strategies

  • Focus on teams with high game totals and a high pace of play. On tonight’s slate, Minnesota runs at the third-fastest pace while their opponent Memphis is eighth-fastest in the league.This game has the highest total of the night at 239.  Using some Grizzlies and Timberwolves in our lineups should is a good idea.
  • Select players who play a lot of minutes, have high usage rates, and/or produce a high FP/M (fantasy points per minute).
  • NBA may be the toughest DFS sport to play for a few reasons. Number one is time. Throughout the season players will get ruled out for rest, injury, or health and safety protocols. This tends to happen shortly before lock or even after lock as we experienced in the past. It’s imperative that you make yourself available for the 15 minutes before lock or you may lose some money for a simple user error.   

OK now that you know the basics, it’s time for tonight’s slam dunks.

Tonight’s seven-game slate (totals courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook):

Game CLE @ DET BOS @ BKN PHX @ OKC ATL @ CHI MEM @ MIN GSW @ POR DEN @ SAC
Time 7:00 PM ET 7:30 PM ET 8:00 PM ET 8:00 PM ET 8:00 PM ET 10:00 PM ET 10:00 PM ET
Total 209 214 219 240 240 226 234

The Starting Five

Brandon Goodwin, PG, CLE (DK $4000, FD $3500) 

Cleveland is coming in hot. They are fourth in the Eastern Conference, just hosted the All-Star game, and the team of Jarrett Allen, Evan Mobley, and Darius Garland took home the skills challenge title. Not sure when, but Darius Garland hurt his back at some point over the weekend and isn’t playing tonight. Caris LeVert has also been ruled out leaving the ball handling duties up for grabs. We recently saw Brandon Goodwin get the start when Garland missed time and he should be in line to start tonight vs. Detroit who is second-worst against distributing guards.  Goodwin is averaging .92 FP/M when he plays and, if he gets 30 minutes, at min price on FanDuel we can lock him in. If for some reason he doesn’t start, I like Rajon Rondo also.

Devin Booker, SG, PHX (DK $8800, FD $8800)

Coming off a 20-point outing in Sunday’s All-Star game Devin Booker is going to have to carry the load for the Suns for a while. Chris Paul is slated to miss 6-8 weeks with a hand injury.  Cameron Payne is also out for this game leaving Elfrid Payton the only true point guard on the roster.  With Paul off the court, Booker is averaging 1.3 FP/M with a 34% usage rate. Phoenix has played Oklahoma City twice this season and Booker recored 56 and 60 DraftKings points. He’s also scored at least 30 points in each of his last five games vs. OKC. I don’t see a scenario where Booker gets less than 40 fantasy points tonight on either site.

Bogdan Bogdanovic, SG/SF, ATL (DK $5400, FD $6700)

Since John Collins went down, Bogdan is the guy who’s absorbed his fantasy production. Without Collins, Bogdan is averaging 1.15 FP/M and 8.6 more fantasy points per game than his season average. Over the last four games he’s averaging 37.7 DraftKings points per game. This game is tied for the highest total on the night at 240 making Bogdan a great mid-tier play.

Cameron Johnson, SF/PF, PHX (DK $4300, FD $4200)

When Chris Paul got hurt early in the 3rd quarter, Cam Johnson was the guy who got his minutes. We’ll see Aaron Holiday get an increased workload but I like Devin Booker to run the offense and Johnson to get close to 30 minutes tonight. Oklahoma City is worst in the league vs. shooting wings and that’s just what Johnson does. In two games vs. OKC this season Johnson is averaging 32 DraftKings points. At this price Cam is one of my favorite value plays.

Nikola Jokic, C, DEN (DK $12500, FD $11400) 

The joker is projected to score 10 more fantasy points than the next guy (Trae Young) tonight. He’s averaging 1.76 FP/M on the season with a 31.6% usage and is the best raw point play of the night. Sacramento is terrible against bigs and they have the second worst defensive rating in the league. In his last four games vs. Sacramento Jokic has recorded at least 60 DraftKings points in all, including an 88-point gem. Jokic will be very popular tonight but we’ll need his points to compete.

Other guys on my radar:

Before you go, do me a favor and leave a comment or question today. Much appreciated.

– Cousin Timmy

@TimmySperos