Which players should you build around and which players should you fade in DFS as we tip off tonight’s NBA action? Our experts have the answers.
Today’s panel includes ESPN Fantasy’s André Snellings and Kyle Soppe, as well as DFS expert Renee Miller.
Players to build around
The Nuggets travel to Los Angeles tonight in what Vegas has as the highest scoring and closest game of the night. Not only has Denver been scoring an incredible number of points lately, tonight they get the additional pace bump from the Lakers, who rank first in the league. That’s a perfect scenario for a shooter like Harris, and it doesn’t hurt that the Lakers DvP against guards is seventh-highest either. The affordable Harris fits well with any type of lineup–one where you focus on tier two with guys in great spots like Kyle Lowry or Victor Oladipo, or go stars and scrubs with Anthony Davis, Russell Westbrook or LeBron James with a top center and some of the nice Chicago or LA Clippers‘ value. He should provide a solid floor, and we just saw his 40-fantasy point upside vs. the Lakers last week.
André Snellings — Nikola Jokic, Denver Nuggets
The Denver Nuggets and Los Angeles Lakers both enter this game playing well, with offense as each team’s primary calling card. Jokic has been a walking triple-double for the last month or two, and on Tuesday faces a Lakers team that has allowed the eighth-most fantasy points to opposing centers over the last 10 games.
Kyle Soppe — Kyle Lowry, Toronto Raptors
Despite averaging a career-high 12.3 rebounds-plus-assists, Lowry’s price remains very manageable, likely due to a weird run of limited shot attempts (9.8 per game in March). That is obviously a bit concerning, but I’ll take the elevated floor and target the upside that comes with facing a Nets team that ranks among the 10 fastest paced teams while also defending at a bottom 10 rate. Lowry has half a dozen 25-plus point efforts, so we know that the potential is there and the combination of price and matchup makes his ceiling an obtainable one tonight.
Players to fade
You’ll want a quality center in your lineup tonight, and the good news is that there are plenty to go around. Embiid has been underperforming his salary lately, and even though he faces a somewhat lax frontcourt defense vs. Indiana, it’s hard to spend $9-10K on this slate. Nikola Jokic, Andre Drummond, Dwight Howard, DeAndre Jordan and Rudy Gobert can all be had for less of the cap and I can justify them all tonight. It’s possible to go lower with Jonas Valanciunas vs. the Nets or even contrarian with Pau Gasol after his mega-dud last night when he was 50 percent owned, but I’m sticking with one of the five mentioned above. If I’m paying up for anyone in this Philly game, it’s Victor Oladipo and it’s not close.
André Snellings — Andre Drummond, Detroit Pistons
The last time that Drummond faced the Utah Jazz, he exploded for 30 points, 24 rebounds, 6 blocks, 4 assists and 3 steals. It was a monster night. However, this was earlier in the season before the Pistons made their trades. Detroit is a different team now, and more importantly the Jazz are much different as well. They are playing dramatically better defense lately, allowing the sixth-fewest fantasy points to opposing centers over their last 10 games. Rudy Gobert is also playing his best ball of late, and has the size and ability to slow Durmmond down.
Kyle Soppe — Donovan Mitchell, Utah Jazz
The rookie has impressed this season and his counting numbers are actually up in March, but I’ve got my concerns. We are obviously still early in the month, but Mitchell has taken more 3s than 2s thus far and given the sporadic nature of his jumper, that worries me at this price. The Pistons boast an above average defense and at this point in a long season, it’s worth noting that they have had the last three nights off. Given the cost, I’ll gladly take either of the Nuggets’ swing men in a potential high scoring affair with the Lakers instead of paying up for Mitchell tonight.