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If you played the last slate that had Miami on it and at least four players were 50%+ owned in cash…well, we’ll talk tomorrow. The Heat are still in the exact same spot as they were, and even with some pricing increases they just aren’t expensive enough. To add to that, the Rockets are missing John Wall and traded James Harden, so they need to replace a lot of scoring. This slate is likely to be very chalky with so many teams in a pinch so let’s start to figure out what we need to eat in NBA Cash Game Breakdown 1/14!
Malcolm Brogdon ($8,300 DK/$8,600 FD) – I mentioned earlier that this slate is likely to be chalky, and I don’t expect Brogdon to be a part of that at the moment. However, we know a lot can change. New teammate Caris LeVert won’t be there yet so Brogdon catches a Blazers team that will be on a back to back and is 10th in pace. He wasn’t anything to write home about on Tuesday but if your “down” game gets you 34 DK on a 5-18 shooting night, count me in. Brogdon gets an elite game environment and and least one more before LeVert is inserted into the mix. Don’t forget with Victor Oladipo off the floor, Brogdon has a 28.5% usage rate and a 1.23 FPPM.
Terry Rozier ($6,200 DK/$6,700 FD) – This play isn’t written in stone yet but Gordon Hayward was forced from last night’s game with a hip issue. At a guess, I would think the Hornets are cautious and he sits tonight. If that’s the case, Rozier is my first stop in all likelihood. He leads the Hornets in usage rate at 27.9% with Hayward off the floor, a bump of almost 4%. The Raptors sit just outside the top 12 in pace and Rozier would be too cheap on both sites.
Shake Milton ($5,200 DK/$5,400 FD) – Philly is starting to get right but they’re still missing Seth Curry. With him out, Milton steps into a role of either fifth starter or first man off the bench, and either way we need to pay attention. Milton is at a 25.9% usage rate and a 1.01 FPPM with Curry off the floor and he can shoot, so he likely fills Curry’s role in this spot. I probably won’t use him because I’ll be playing the much chalkier option below him.
Gabe Vincent ($4,200 DK/$4,500 FD) – With the Heat still down to either eight or nine players, we can expect another start and heavy minutes from Vincent tonight. He took 20 shots and 12 of them were from distance. There’s not a ton of angles to break down the Heat. They will almost surely have the exact same rotation they did last game and Andre Iguodala and Chris Silva played 22 and 18 minutes, respectively. I don’t think it’s wrong to go four Heat in cash again tonight.
Honorable Mention – Steph Curry
Tyler Herro ($7,300 DK/$6,500 FD) – FD didn’t even to pretend to price up Herro, which at least DK sort of did. This is an easy plug and play as he was on the court for 39 minutes last game, is their best offensive player left and he took 26 shots last game. I will take that style of volume at this price point all day long, and I can’t see any reason why he wouldn’t be a core piece to every single cash lineup.
Instead of going player by player, let’s talk about the position as a whole. Herro is a lock on both sites, and on DK it’s kind of easy to just be done with it for the most part. On FD, we need a second and I think there’s two routes that stand out. You can live in the Tyrese Maxey range, but with Tobais Harris back now for the Sixers that gets a little dicey. If Hayward is indeed out for the Hornets, Devonte’ Graham gets a small bump in usage as well. It doesn’t feel like the best idea to chase the Aaron Holiday ceiling game with Graham and Maxey there.
The only other option that I’d consider right now is Fred VanVleet. He’s coming off a terrible game, but we all know that FVV won’t score 10 real points very often. On FD, it’s Herro and then one of these three as we stand Wednesday night.
Tobias Harris ($7,900 DK/$7,600 FD) – He still feels a hair pricey to me since Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons are playing, but the high end of this position is basically non-existent tonight. With Curry off, Harris sits at a 26.3% usage and a 1.38 FPPM. That’s over an 83 minute sample, so that’s really not that bad. They need his shooting a bit more than normal tonight and since he didn’t have Covid, I don’t think we have to worry about that. He should slide right back to his normal role and very well could be the only spend-up option. He does feel like a luxury, since the Heat value pushes us towards a specific player in my eyes.
Eric Gordon ($5,100 DK/$5,200 FD) – Provided he plays (I think he might not have a choice), Gordon is going to be likely the chalkiest play of the slate. Houston is without both John Wall and James Harden tonight, and Gordon is going to have to take on the brunt of the offense with Christian Wood. Take it with a HUGE grain of salt, but Gordon is at a 35.5% usage and 1.60 FPPM with those two off the court. Now, it’s grain of salt because it’s a 16 minute sample and his true shooting is 79.4% but this team is so short right now. There’s 243 field goal attempts on the sideline or on their way to Brooklyn right now so Gordon is here to chuck tonight.
See Updated Thoughts at the end with the Core
Precious Achiuwa ($4,400 DK/$4,100 FD) – The rookie is only PF/C on DK, which honestly is fine but whichever site you’re on, he’s in the top 3-5 chalkiest of the night and that’s all we need to know. He only committed four fouls against Joel Embiid and the Sixers last game, fairly impressive for 36 minutes of court time. Achiuwa recorded a double-double and will play 30+ minutes again, so go ahead an hit the lock button. Especially on FD, this is why I think Harris is a total luxury and not needed. You’re probably playing Gordon and this man.
Honorable Mention – Will Barton but don’t get too cute if Gordon is active.
Domantas Sabonis ($9,500 DK/$9,200 FD) – We likely have a slate where Sabonis isn’t highly owned either. Last game, he was about 80% on FD and 50% on DK, so regardless of the results he was the right play. Especially on FD, he didn’t hurt you in cash in the slightest. He gets another excellent spot here. Portland has been solid in paint production given up, but Sabonis has more to his game than just paint touches.
It starts with raw touches, which Sabonis leads the entire NBA at 105 per game. While Jusuf Nurkic can at least hang with him, Sabonis on Enes Kanter for any amount of time is going to end poorly for the Blazers. We saw in the Golden State game that Sabonis had some issues with Draymond Green but ate up rookie James Wiseman. He’ll do the same with Kanter, probably touches the ball about 110 times tonight and has a 1.32 FPPM with Dipo off the court.
Christian Wood ($7,700 DK/$8,100 FD) – We don’t need Sabonis because Wood is far cheaper and is going to be WAY more popular. His sample without Harden and Wall is pretty tiny too, at just 22 minutes but the 26.9% usage rate is encouraging. The Spurs are 11th in pace, so that’s a nice bump for Wood as well. He’s siting at 15th in rebounds per game and Harden won’t be jumping in now either (although in fairness his effort surely wasn’t there lately). Either way, San Antonio is 29th in rebounds allowed in the paint and Wood was pushing 70 touches already. That’s going to skyrocket tonight and he’s pretty much a lock on both sites.
Kelly Olynyk ($6,400 DK/$5,300 FD) – I never thought I’d see a day where I didn’t hesitate on a $6,400 Kelly O but here we are. He was a TANK last game, playing 45 minutes and racking up 37 DK points. I would say that he’s the “least” likely to lock in member of the Heat for me on DK, but turning away from 40 minutes seems foolish. He only took 12 shots all game and still flirted with 40. On FD, the price is simply laughable. PF can be a difficult position to find and they just didn’t bother to price up anyone. We’ve consistently seen these short-handed teams get four players used in cash game settings. It’s against our normal rules but like the quote in Moneyball, “Adapt or die”.
Honorable Mention – Draymond Green, Pascal Siakam, P.J. Washington
Nikola Jokic ($11,000 DK/$11,200 FD) – One thing that we’ve learned on these with short-handed teams is the field is willing to play four from that team and then go studs the rest of the way. Let’s say you plug in the four members of the Heat that we’ve mentioned on each site. On DK, that leaves you with $6,925 per player left. FD leaves you with $7,920 per slot leftover. The way this slate shake out, I think Joker is going to be heavily owned in cash on both sites because there’s not another player like him available. You can argue for Embiid (and aren’t totally wrong) but the Warriors interior is so soft. Joker will go Godzilla on Wiseman, and I’m not sure Dray has the size to really give him much of an issue. Jokic still is over 100 touches a game and has a phenomenal chance at a triple-double, 60+ point DK game tonight.
Joel Embiid ($10,000 DK/$10,200 FD) – On FD, you’re going to have to choose but on DK you could eschew the Wood chalk and go Joker/Biid. That of course is NOT THE CASH play, but it would be an interesting route to travel. If there’s one player who can match Joker’s ceiling, Biid has to be in that discussion. Embiid has been a monster with Curry off the court, with a 34.9% usage rate and a 1.76 FPPM over 115 minutes. That’s skewed a bit because Simmons and Tobias were missing for some of that too, but still. It’s noteworthy because Simmons has a 112 minute sample and sits under a 20% usage and just a 0.96 FPPM. He has been the clear loser of the big three with Curry off the floor. Embiid is the man on this offense and he has no opposition from the Heat missing Bam Adebayo again.
DeMarcus Cousins ($4,700 DK/$4,600 FD) – Cousins is another player who the Rockets might need a little more out of tonight, and if he gets around 22-24 minutes I would be very interested. He would get the same matchup in the paint that Wood does and if the Rockets opt to play Wood and Cousins together, I feel like that could really give the Spurs fits. This is really more of a DK play and you would have to fade Wood or Joker, which likely isn’t the optimal route to take.
*Note* – This article was not exactly the most loaded with stats and options, but for cash this slate seems SUPER cut and dry. We need a lot of the Heat value, and then the Rockets main two pieces. After that we only have a couple roster spots to fill. Unless some crazy news hits, I can’t find reasons to veer off this path today. Don’t overthink, don’t get cute and let’s get after it.
*UPDATED THOUGHTS* Well, the NBA loves to mess with us. The Rockets lost Eric Gordon for the night, and that is a game changer. We need to be on the Rockets more than the Heat tonight for two reasons. One, everyone locks to new news. Brian hits on this all the time and he’s dead on. Secondly, the Rockets are cheaper than the Heat. We talked about Miami being almost impossible to fail the other night because they were all near minimum price. That’s the way the Rockets are tonight.
You can go three Heat, three Rockets and two studs but my path is four Rockets, two Heat and two studs.
DK Core – David Nwaba, Ben McLemore, Domantas Sabonis, Tyler Herro with a bonus of Jokic as the fifth
FD Core – Christian Wood, Herro, McLemore, Precious Achiuwa
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