Here we go again with a huge slate of 10 games, and NBA is going to take center stage now that NFL is just about over. The best thing to do on slates like this is to try and block out the noise. Everyone has the same salary restrictions and player slots. There will undoubtedly be players that we want but don’t have in the lineup. Just stay with the decision you make and let’s talk about which we’re making in the NBA Cash Game Breakdown 1/25!
Philadelphia – Joel Embiid (Q)
Detroit – Derrick Rose (O)
Toronto – Kyle Lowry (Q), Pascal Siakam (Q)
Orlando – Aaron Gordon (Q)
Miami – Jimmy Butler (O), Tyler Herro (O)
Boston – Kemba Walker (O)
Chicago – Wendell Carter (D)
Minnesota – D’Angelo Russell (Q)
Oklahoma City – Al Horford (Q)
Steph Curry ($9,200 DK/$9,600) – I will never tell you that Damian Lillard and Luka Doncic aren’t in play at the high end. However, this is the perfect spot for Steph. The Wolves are terrible, and shouldn’t blow out the Warriors. Minnesota also has the mix we look for at a high pace and poor defense, top 10 and bottom 10 respectively. They also rank in the bottom 10 in three point field goal percentage given up. Steph’s 31.7% usage and 1.39 FPPM should shine in this spot, and with these teams third and sixth in pace Steph won’t be the last one we see. It’s a great late hammer and the price on both sites is quite low.
Dejounte Murray ($6,500 DK/$7,600 FD) – He’s priced wildly differently on each site, but Murray is a solid mid-range target on DK. I will not be surprised to see the Spurs sit someone on a back to back. Even if they do not, Murray only played 30 minutes and sports a healthy 23% usage rate and a 1.12 FPPM. Lonzo Ball has consistently gotten worse on defense every year and Murray can fill the stat sheet. He technically had a triple-double last night, even though it was just barely. Still, he’s the kind of guard we like that’s not totally reliant on points.
Goran Dragic ($6,200 DK/$5,800 FD) – Am I likely to use him? Probably not since Kendrick Nunn is right in the same price range but Dragic does bring some safety to the lineup. The veteran and Bam Adebayo both share the usage rate lead at 28% and only Bam has a higher FPPM than 1.09 for Dragic. He’s really more of a FD play but we all know how bad the Nets are at defending anything or anyone right now.
Eric Bledsoe ($5,700 DK/$5,500 FD) – I have to believe we’ll find some value (maybe from Boston specifically) but for now, Bledsoe is as close to low as I’d really like to go. He’s back to playing 32-34 minutes a night and that is very encouraging. Don’t expect the 40 FD again but the Spurs travel and play at the 10th fastest pace. That’s going to suit the Pelicans, who have run slow this season. Bledsoe sits at a 20% stage rate and a 0.87 FPPM. He and Lonzo Ball are mirror images of each other, but never Lonzo in cash.
Honorable Mention – Luka, Dame, Malcolm Brogdon, Cole Anthony
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander ($8,100 DK/$8,100 FD) – It’s astounding to me that James Harden is under $10,000 and I don’t have a big need to play him. Also, if the Raptors are short, Fred VanVleet is a smash play and the chalk at the high-end of the position. If it’s business as normal, consider SGA tonight. We always like targeting the Blazers (unless you’re the Knicks I guess) and that maintains tonight. They’ll be on back to backs, not helping the defense at all and the Thunder match the pace with 12 and 13 for each squad. The 1.12 FPPM isn’t exactly special, but the 27.7% is far and away tops on the team. SGA is fourth in average seconds per touch in the league and it’s only a mater of time before that translates to more fantasy points consistently.
Kendrick Nunn ($6,100 DK/$6,500 FD) – Rinse and repeat for Nunn. The Heat are still in the same spot and Nunn played another 32 minutes last game. He actually scored fewer than 20 real points for the first time in the last three games and playing 35 minutes or around that is going to work out well more often than not. Nunn does break our rule as someone who is very reliant on his real points but Miami needs a scorer with the absence of Butler and Herro. I’m still on board for the GPP fade but the cash games he is still a very strong option.
Note – This position really depends on Raptors. Not only does it have FVV, but Norman Powell is a SG as well. We could play both if Lowry and Siakam are out, but don’t know that yet. Marcus Smart is in the running as well, but let’s make sure Jayson Tatum is in (as he’s supposed to be). As always, I can get on board with Seth Curry on FD as a cheapie and he hit 24 FD last game without even hitting a three pointer. Updates will be coming tomorrow.
Jerami Grant ($7,800 DK/$8,400 FD) – On DK, I’ll likely gravitate here but FD will be the next player. Grant is really slightly underpriced for DK and he’s coming off putting up 32 DK with only 11 real points. Blake Griffin is in line to be back but Rose is still out and Grant took 19 shots last game. Everything flows through him when Rose is off the floor, with a 26.8% usage and a 1.11 FPPM. The matchup on the glass would get even better if Embiid winds up out, and Grant is ninth in the NBA in minutes.
Brandon Ingram ($8,000 DK/$7,700 FD) – The Pelicans have been disappointing and Ingram hasn’t been perfect…but under $8,000 in this spot? Sign me up. I think the Spurs will have trouble defending Ingram and he gets 35 minutes per contest. The pace suits BI and he leads the starting unit in assist rate. Ingram also takes about 20% of his shots from the 20-24 foot range and the Spurs are in the bottom eight in field goal percentage allowed. The price is just far too low on FD.
Michael Porter Jr. ($6,600 DK/$6,400 FD) – Denver kind of needs to get moving here as far as the standings go, and are coming off two big wins against the Suns. They are now fifth in the West but were 10th three games ago. For all of MPJ’s issues (defensively for sure), he needs to be in the starting lineup and given heavy minutes. Losing Grant has turned out to be a bigger deal than many thought. MPJ played 35 minutes last game and while it was double OT, he proved he can do it. Nobody on this team has more than MPJ’s 1.17 FPPM on the year past Nikola Jokic and his usage is 20.2%. Neither teams play at a high pace, but neither did the Suns.
Doug McDermott ($5,500 DK/$4,500 FD) – This is mostly a FD only pick, but Dougie McBuckets is logging some serious minutes right now. The past four games he’s been pegged between 32-36 minutes and has double-digit points in every single game. The Raptors allow the fifth-highest frequency of three pointers, which can lead to McDermott getting very hot from deep very quickly. We don’t get players that get this amount of minutes and can actually score very often.
Honorable Mention – Jaylen Brown, Gordon Hayward, Evan Fournier (if Gordon is out)
Bam Adebayo ($8,500 DK/$9,600 FD) – Let me stress this – play. Bam. Adebayo. Tonight.
Got it? Alright, now let’s talk about why. I already mentioned ad nauseam how bad the Nets have been. Where they’ve struggled to a frightening degree is in the paint. In the past two games, they have given up 134 points in the paint. ONE HUNDRED AND THIRTY FOUR. I get they had two overtimes mixed in but my sweet Christmas man. Someone get a hand up in the lane! Bam already is 12th in the league in points in the paint and carries a 27% usage and a 1.41 FPPM with Jimmy Buckets off the floor. I’ll say it again – play Bam Adebayo tonight.
Does that sound familiar? It should, because that’s what I wrote for Saturday. All Bam did was go out and drop 41 real points and 62 DK. They decided to not raise his price even $100. If DK had jacked him up to $9,800, I’d talk about fading. I’m not doing it at the current price on that site. On FD, it’s a much bigger discussion since he, Jayson Tatum and Damontas Sabonis are all the same price. I still lean Bam as the highest ceiling. Sabonis is more of a floor play on a back to back and Tatum hasn’t played in a hot minute (despite the goat matchup).
Anthony Davis ($9,200 DK/$10,100 FD) – I’ll have a tough time getting there on FD, but the DK price is still silly for AD. I know he’s been more floor than ceiling, but crushed the Chicago front court for 55 DK in just 28 minutes. As much as I love Sabonis, AD is the better play on DK given the salaries because Andre Drummond isn’t doing squat to stop AD. Neither is Jarrett Allen, nor anyone else for Cleveland. Davis should be able to score at will and they are only 19th in rebounding on the season.
Jarred Vanderbilt ($5,000 DK/$5,400 FD) – If you got some sticker shock from the Naz Reid price, consider Vanderbilt. I wish he had a few more minutes under his belt the past couple games but things seem to be clicking. He recorded a double-double last game out and this is a good spot to do it again. Golden State is 22nd in rebounding so he’s got chances on the glass and he’s taken a combined 23 shots the past two games. With KAT and Juancho still out, Vanderbilt should push for 25 minutes tonight in an excellent spot.
Daniel Theis ($4,800 DK/$4,700 FD) – I don’t think he posts another massive game like last night, but it’s another soft spot for the Boston big man. We target Chicago constantly with their high pace (second) and poor defense (third-worst). Both teams are mid-pack in rebounding numbers on the season and we know Theis does have some ceiling. The Bulls are 21st in points in the paint allowed and Theis comes awfully cheap.
Honorable Mention – Kristaps Porzingis, Zion, Draymond Green (FD), Isaiah Roby (if Horford is out)
Nikola Jokic ($10,800 DK/$11,200 FD) – Finally under $11,000 on DK, Joker gets another sweetheart spot tonight. Dallas doesn’t have the bodies to keep up with him unless Porzingis plays center all night. I suppose that’s possible but it still wouldn’t deter me. I thought MPJ might knock the ceiling for Jokic but he averages right about 1.70 FPPM and the same 30% usage rate with him on the floor through 131 minutes together. Frankly, having a player that talented helps with assists if nothing else. This is a marquee game and a big showdown in the West, and Joker is lower than he’s been.
James Wiseman ($5,400 DK/$4,900 FD) – He makes his first (I think) appearance in the cash article, but this is the spot. The young man has been difficult to peg, but not tonight. He’s getting around 24 minutes and Minnesota is 18th and 21st in paint points and boards allowed. Wiseman averages 4.4 paint touches and over four points per game in the paint, making this a solid spot for the rookie. He’s rocking a 1.10 FPPM so far with a 24.4% usage rate, second-best behind Steph. I’m either all the way up or punting center on FD, and looking strongly at Bam/Wiseman on DK.
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