Chris Giordani | December 6th, 2019
Holiday shopping season has come into full stride for 2019, and with the first weekend in December upon us, I’m certain that a number of us will be out in Winter [foot] traffic trying to compile a multitude of gifts for a number of different personalities and preference-types. This is despite the fingertip-driven, Amazon-same-day society we currently live in that requires we go outside of our typical comfort zone of online orders and pause buttons.
“What might this have to do with Friday NBA Daily Fantasy, Chris?” you may be asking.
We’re forced by the simple science of laziness prevailing over all else to make the easiest pivots and secondary options in life. And when forced outside of our realm of tortoise-paced timeliness and 21st century First World conveniences, we’re immediately befuddled with indecision or haphazardly hair-trigger reactions.
Apply this general thought to larger slates, such as every NBA Friday. When given larger numbers of players with pieces in question who are rapidly shifting around leading up to the time before lock, Daily Fantasy Sports gamers of all playing capabilities have moments of lazy decision-making due to the number of players to manage and lineups to keep track of (depending on your style of play).
Essentially, let’s target a handful of players to potentially build around and allow me to provide some suggestions in this avenue with the latest Factor Five (Holiday Shopping Edition, apparently)…
Zach LaVine, CHI ($7,800 DK/$8,400 FD)
The gift-giving time of year doesn’t mean you can’t be treating yourself as well, and that means occasionally spending a bit more but not too much in order to be satisfied and afford enough for others. Given tonight’s matchup at home in United Center with the quasi-Golden State Warriors, Zach LaVine has an excellent matchup with a high ceiling for his price tag and makes for a solid Cash Game play and an even better Guaranteed Prize Pool (GPP) option.
LaVine has been showing signs of consistency as of late and he’s within a manageable price range that allows you to accomplish a couple more spend-up options at other positions. He’s commandeering the most usage on the Chicago Bulls offense with a near 30 percent usage rate and facing a lackluster Golden State Warriors defense that ranks dead last against the Point Guard position on the season from a fantasy standpoint.
When many opt to spend up here, given the adversary and salary flexibility, Zach LaVine will be among my top player exposures on Friday’s slate.
Jimmy Butler, MIA ($8,100 DK/$9,100 FD)
The Washington Wizards are dreadful on defense, they play at the fastest pace in the league, and Jimmy Butler is on fire this season. With a usage rate north of 25% and leading the Miami Heat in said category (among others), Butler is another concrete play at the guard position on all sites and stuck in a price vicinity from yesteryear.
Butler is averaging 58.87 DraftKings Fantasy Points in his last two games, and those were against hard-nosed Boston and Toronto, who rank sixth and seventh against the Shooting Guard position respectively for the season. On the other side of the coin, there’s Washington, who is in the bottom seven teams against the position and play at an average pace of nearly 106 possessions per game (ie: more usage and defensive opportunities for both sides).
My only concern for Jimmy Butler is his potential of being pulled from the action during blowout run for Miami, should the event occur. But I feel this would likely come on behalf of a noteworthy performance by him and, if anything, should be able to pay off his price tag with some ease.
Harrison Barnes, SAC ($5,600 DK/$5,600 FD)
As middling and boring of a play as this may seem, there are four key elements drawing my attention to Harrison Barnes: price point, minutes per game, potential ceiling, and weakness of the San Antonio Spurs against the Small Forward position.
While he doesn’t have the highest usage rate of the Sacramento Kings by any means (18.3%), Barnes is playing an average of nearly 37 minutes per game over his last six games, just under 30 DraftKings fantasy points per game in that time frame (29.75 DKFP), and has 40+ fantasy point upside. For $5,600 on both major sites, Barnes is somewhat of a bargain and particularly considering this Spurs opponent that allows the second-highest average number of DKFP per game to Small Forwards (51.27 DKFP).
Harrison Barnes allows for plenty of elasticity in your roster construction combined with a frugal price point and significant upside given the inept Spurs defense.
Eric Paschall, GS ($6,200 DK/$6,400 FD)
While there isn’t a great deal to get excited about for Golden State Warriors fans this season, rookie Eric Paschall has provided much promise not only to the future at the Power Forward position for the Warriors but as a solid-floored lineup staple with moderate upside in the Daily Fantasy realm as well.
Paschall has the third-highest usage (21.5%) on the Golden State active roster, behind D’Angelo Russell and Alec Burks, and the beauty of that is that Russell and Burks negatively correlate in that regard especially. This means Paschall should be the second option in the offense in most rotations, which with Russell back in the mix he shares about an equal amount of floor time with both of them (between him and Burks).
In his last three games, Paschall has averaged close to 36 minutes and is now facing a Chicago Bulls team who has shown a prominent weakness against Power Forwards, allowing an average of 55.44 DKFP per game to the position (second-worst in the league).
Slightly better suited toward Cash Games, Eric Paschall provides stability and even further financial relief to accumulate toward any of the top-priced options to fill the remainder of your roster out with.
Andre Drummond, DET ($9,400 DK/$10,600 FD)
And then there’s the gift that keeps on giving: Andre Drummond. Averaging 51.1 DKFP in his last five games (and that’s including a 38-point dud against San Antonio), Drummond has been an absolute beast so far this season and receives a gift of his own as the Detroit Pistons play host to the visiting Indiana Pacers at Little Caesars Arena (which has a much different ring to it than The Palace).
Indiana is surrendering the highest amount of fantasy points per game to opposing centers, averaging over 44 points allowed per game on both DraftKings and FanDuel. Drummond leads all Centers in fantasy points thus far in 2019, with a massive 1,005.3 total DKFP, which surpasses the next in line by 128.4 (Karl-Anthony Towns).
With the number of affordable options at other positions, there’s no reason I won’t be getting to an exposure percentage far greater than the field on Andre Drummond on a slate that has much to be desired at the Center position despite the vast number of options (so it appears).
Questions and comments?
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