NBA DFS Picks: Serging Into the New Year
NBA DFS Picks: Serging Into the New Year
In my time as a DFS player, I've always been focused on cash games. I crave building balanced lineups, with high floors and low ceilings. It's just what I've always done. But hey, this is a new year, right? New year, new me. This week, I've compiled a list of players that can win you a GPP or lose you all your money (with the exception of Steph). We've all got to take a chance sometime.
PG: Steph Curry
You: “Hey, great start to the year. Focusing on being original? Recommending Steph Curry is hard, isn't it?”
Me: “Please don't harm my self-esteem.”
I know I don't have to reason with you about selecting Steph. He carries probably the highest upside in the NBA on any given night thanks to his freakish ability to put the ball in the basket from beyond the arc, but because everyone knows that, his price reflects it. The Warriors tilt with the Portland Trailblazers carries the highest total on the board tonight, and while the Warriors are almost double-digit favorites, I'll take my chances with Steph. With Damian Lillard recently returning from injury we have two positives for Steph. First, the Blazers stand a better chance of keeping this game close. And secondly, Steph gets to matchup with Lillard and should have no problem scoring on him at will. At a position with so much depth, it often makes sense to eat the value at the point guard position, tonight though, I like Steph as a “lesser owned” tournament option. Crazy, right?
SG: Lou Williams
You're going to have to be able to afford Steph, right? So we're going to have to go in some different directions at the other positions. Sweet Lou has actually been pretty solid for the Lakers when playing consistent minutes. His usage rate is way down (he's playing alongside Kobe) this year per and while that's affected his shot attempts per 36 minutes, he's still averaging nearly 18 points a game with three boards and three assists in those 36. That doesn't sound like a super enticing player, but given that his salary falls in a very “rosterable” range and the scarcity of his position, I like him as a complement on GPP teams. Furthermore, if Sweet Lou gets hot from beyond the arc, no one knows how high he might climb.
SF: Paul George
I've already committed this week's piece to the GPP, so I'm going for it all. Paul George is the ringleader of GPP only guys, especially this season. PG has burned me so many times in cash games that I don't know if I could ever trust him again, but his upside is one of the best in the league, and as a result he makes for a solid guy for tournaments. I think given some of his recent dud games in great matchups, recency biases might push players off of him and you'll get some nice ownership levels to go with his “depressed” salary. Keep in mind, while I've written this with a negative tone, PG is still averaging nearly 25 points per game to go with close to eight rebounds, four assists and two steals. Couple that with a usage rate over 30% and you've got yourself a tournament winning player.
PF: Serge Ibaka
You: “What are you doing, why are you recommending all of these guys?”
Me: “Just give me a chance.”
This should be how our exchange would happen if we were actually conversing. I know Serge shouldn't get you super excited on a normal night, but tonight he's playing the Lakers. Yes, this will probably result in a blowout, but someone is going to have to be producing in order for that to happen. Serge is priced just above the “Lou WIlliams Level” which means that he won't cost you much (allowing you to grab both Steph and PG) and yet, he still has plenty of room for upside. Given his propensity to block a ton of shots, as well as grab boards and the fact that he should have no trouble against the Lakers front court, he'll work just fine.
C: Marc Gasol
Gasol rounds out this GPP piece quite well. His salary fits right in with the rest of the team and his upside does as well. He's a do-it-all center, capable of putting up great assist totals and picking up points and rebounds as well. The unfortunate part of Gasol's game is that he plays for the Grizzlies who will drown you in a slow tempo, low scoring game. With Mike Conley out of the loop, Gasol should be leaned upon to do a bit more of the scoring for the Grizzlies as they'll be fighting to slow the pace against Denver. The game has opened with a 4.5 point spread, keeping it close enough for Gasol to eat plenty of minutes while being the focal point of the offense.
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