Add Pelicans’ Darius Miller | Stash Knicks’ Willy Hernangomez
Boogie Can’t Dance isn’t the title of a forgotten disco hit that was popular with the Studio 54 crowd. In Fantasy Basketball, Boogie Can’t Dance means DeMarcus Cousins’ season-ending Achilles injury suffered on Friday night was a resounding shockwave whose impact will be felt well into summer.
Cousins was in the midst of a career year, averaging 25.2 points, 12.9 rebounds, 5.4 assists, 1.6 blocks and 1.6 steals per game while also shooting a respectable 35 percent from 3-point range. Ranked in the top three in both Roto and Head-to-Head formats, Cousins was more than worth the bang of his $10,900 salary at DraftKings as he had recorded seven games of at least 50 Fantasy points in his last eight contests (he had 49.75 FP in the other). That included his 2017-18 painting of the Sistine Chapel, last Monday’s 103.50 outing against the Bulls, in which he became the first player since Wilt Chamberlain to go 40-20-10 in one game.
Replace Boogie With Darius Miller
If you’re a Cousins owner, you’re still wondering where your heart beats now, because there’s obviously no one on the waiver wire that can replace that kind of production. However, the show must go on despite the pain. Someone in a Pelicans uniform has to fill the gap, and Darius Miller will be the one player who will most benefit from Cousins’ absence.
— New Orleans Pelicans (@PelicansNBA) January 27, 2018
Miller scored 20 points in Friday’s pyrrhic victory over the Rockets, continuing a recent run that has seen him shooting better than 50 percent from the field and 47 percent from beyond the arc. He’s gone from a mere two percent ownership to 20 percent in CBSSports.com leagues and will see his usage rate of 12.3 percent zoom closer to the 15-18 percent range in the near future. Scoring is his calling card, but Miller should also be able to grab a handful of rebounds along with an assist or two per night. At just $3,900 at Fanduel, Miller is going to present DFS players the potential of high-ceiling production at a low price. I’d also keep an eye on Dante Cunningham (nine percent ownership at CBSSports.com), but Miller is the younger player and has the better upside.
Streamers. Lots of Streamers
Mario Chalmers, G, Grizzlies: News of Mike Conley’s season-ending surgery on Saturday and Tyreke Evans’ illness opens the door for Chalmers, who swung said door wide open on Friday night with a 44 FP outing against the Clippers. Chalmers is going for $3,900 at DraftKings and is a great streaming option against the Suns on Monday night.
Willy Hernangomez, C, Knicks: He offers little DFS value right now, but traditional Fantasy Basketball owners should buy in while his ceiling remains low. Hernangomez is a hot name on the trade market, which is why his ownership has risen to 15 percent in CBSSports.com leagues. He’s been effective when given the chance to play (16.66 Player Efficiency Rating) and his 22.1 percent usage rate translates into strong production if Hernangomez is moved to a team that will give him quality minutes. Owners of Cousins may want to stash him now with hopes of benefiting later.
Ed Davis, F, Trail Blazers: Davis is averaging 10.7 rebounds in his last four games while playing just over 24 minutes per night. He a season-high 39 Fantasy points in Friday’s game against the Mavericks and has started to cut into the minutes of foul-prone Jusuf Nurkic. He’s priced at $4,100 at Fanduel and has sneaky good upside at the Clippers on Tuesday.
Jarell Martin, F, Grizzlies: With JaMychal Green’s return uncertain, Martin has become a steady stream of 20 FP over the last couple of weeks, including a 30 FP night against the Knicks on January 17. He’s sitting at $8,000 at FantasyDraft.com and with Memphis all but punting away their season, expect to see Martin become more involved in the offense. Dare I say it, Martin would be a nice play in a potential Grizz stack against the Suns on Monday.
Hip, Hip, Mur-ray!
Dejounte Murray sliced, diced and seasoned the Cavaliers for 49.50 Fantasy points on Tuesday night before adding a 31.75 FP performance against the 76ers on Friday. Murray ($5,400 at DraftKings) is beginning to tap into his immense upside and will see a greater role now that he has replaced Tony Parker as the Spurs’ starting point guard. No longer a secret in standard Fantasy hoops, Murray is now owned in 71 percent of CBSSports.com leagues.
Another Day, Another DFS Play
Monday: Josh Jackson, F, Suns (at Grizzlies, $4,200/Fanduel): Has three 30-plus FP games this month. J2 came into Sunday’s game at the Rockets shooting nearly 47 percent from the field in his last six games.
Tuesday: Andre Drummond, C, Pistons (vs. Cavaliers, $9,900/DraftKings): At least 30 FP in 15 of his last 16 entering Sunday’s game against a 29th-ranked Cleveland team defense.
Wednesday: Dennis Smith Jr., G, Mavericks (at Suns, $6,600/Fanduel): Defensively, Phoenix makes Cleveland look like the Bad Boys-era Pistons. Smith has 30-plus FP in seven of his last nine.
Thursday: Khris Middleton, F, Bucks (at Timberwolves, $8,000/Fanduel): Entered Sunday’s game at the Bulls having tallied at least 32.60 FP in his last five games, including a 54.80 FP work of art against the Knicks on January 20. Minnesota’s 3-point defense is suspect, which plays into Middleton’s strength.
Friday: Spencer Dinwiddie, G, Nets (vs. Lakers, $6,400/DraftKings): He’s struggled in the last three games of a four-game road swing, but a return home combined with the Lakers’ defense makes for a healthy tonic.
Saturday: Clint Capela, C, Rockets (at Cavaliers, $7,800/Fanduel): Opponents click on 68 percent of their field goal attempts against Cleveland between 0-3 feet of the basket. Capela had 43.10 FP against the Cavs in their previous meeting on November 9.
Sunday: Al Horford, C, Celtics (vs. Trail Blazers/$7,100/DraftKings): A combined 86.25 FP against the Lakers and Warriors despite missing last Tuesday’s game against the Magic due to a head injury.
TEAMS PLAYING FOUR GAMES THIS WEEK
Hawks, Nets, Celtics, Hornets, Nuggets, Pacers, Grizzlies, Heat, Bucks, Timberwolves, Knicks, Thunder, 76ers, Suns, Raptors
TEAMS PLAYING THREE GAMES THIS WEEK
Cavaliers, Mavericks, Pistons, Warriors, Rockets, Lakers, Pelicans, Magic, Kings, Spurs, Jazz, Wizards
TEAMS PLAYING TWO GAMES THIS WEEK
Winner: The Thunder entered Sunday night’s game against the 76ers with a seven-game win streak and should be able to maintain that momentum with a slate that features potential track meets at the Wizards (Tuesday) and Nuggets (Thursday). Then they have home games against the Cousins-less Pelicans on Friday and a Super Bowl Sunday gift of the Lakers and their 27th-ranked scoring defense. Center Steven Adams is a strong play this week. Currently going for $7,300 at Fanduel, Adams came into Sunday’s game averaging 14.3 points, 9.1 rebounds and 1.3 blocks per game while also shooting 63 percent from the field. He’s getting good mileage out of his career-best 15.9 percent usage rate.
Loser: Ranked 26th in points per game and in offensive pace, the Jazz face the Warriors (Tuesday) at home before roadies at the Suns (Friday) and Spurs (Saturday). Phoenix is fourth in offensive pace while San Antonio’s defense is airtight at home. Donovan Mitchell has shown signs of hitting a wall as he’s averaging just 40 percent from the field in his last five. Rudy Gobert ($7,000 at DraftKings) has a pair of 40-plus Fantasy point outings in his first five games back from injury and is the only Utah player I’d have faith in DFS formats.
Darius Miller Photo Credit: AP Photo/David Zalubowski
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