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Matchups To Exploit In NBA Games


With the All-Star break and the trade deadline behind us, now is a good time to take another cursory look around the NBA at situations that have changed and will have an effect on us DFS players. The goal here is to highlight possible DFS upgrades and downgrades based on player movement and/or injuries over the last couple weeks.

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Boston Celtics

The Kelly Olynyk injury seems to have helped a couple Celtics quite a bit. Jared Sullinger has seen his playing time solidified and is a strong play on a per minute basis most nights. He currently makes for a great tournament option. Jae Crowder’s playing time has also taken a little bump and he’s getting some time at power forward, increasing his value.

Chicago Bulls

The Jimmy Butler injury has really invigorated Derrick Rose. He is playing fantastic ball right now and I expect that to continue for as long as Butler is sidelined. Pau Gasol has also benefited some, as Butler left quite a hole in the offense that needed to be filled. Both Rose and Gasol are very strong plays right now most nights.

Cleveland Cavaliers

While it’s hard to say exactly what happened, the switch from David Blatt to Tyronn Lue at head coach seems to have coincided with some fantastic play from Kevin Love. That said, all three of Cleveland’s stars (Lebron James and Kyrie Irving as well) are playing great right now and the over/under totals for Cavs games have seen a bump with Lue as well.

Detroit Pistons

The Pistons acquired Tobias Harris a couple days before the deadline and Monday night he saw his first start with the team. While I’m inclined to think he won’t be an impact DFS play, he will be a solid contributor playing heavy minutes at a small forward slot that’s always tough to fill.

Los Angeles Lakers

Byron Scott appears to have had a rare moment of clarity, as he recently stated that D’Angelo Russell will get the starting job back for the rest of the season. The Lakers have nothing to play for aside from evaluating their young core. Russell can play, and that should translate to him having a good amount of DFS value while he remains cheap.

Memphis Grizzlies

Marc Gasol will miss the rest of the season with a foot injury. Zach Randolph and Mike Conley stand to benefit the most from a DFS perspective. Randolph has been rock solid since Gasol went down and should be an 18-8 guy at worst for the rest of the season. Conley had a clunker in a rough matchup at Toronto over the weekend, but should be a high floor high upside point guard option for the rest of the season.

Miami Heat

Chris Bosh is having another scare with blood clots and it’s unclear when or if he’ll be able to make it back on the court this year. Given his role, there will be some big shoes to fill in Miami. Goran Dragic is an absolute must play in the games Dwyane Wade will inevitably miss, as is Luol Deng. Hassan Whiteside has also been a monster off the bench lately. If he reclaims his starting spot, which I think he will sooner rather than later, look out.

Milwaukee Bucks

All of a sudden, things seem to have clicked for Jabari Parker and Giannis Antetokounmpo. The most likely cause is the lineup change the Bucks made recently, which has ball dominant former starters Michael Carter-Williams and Greg Monroe now coming off the bench, leaving Giannis and Jabari as two of the main threats on offense to start games now.

New Orleans Pelicans

Anthony Davis had 90 fantasy points on Sunday. Just thought I’d put that here. Also, Jrue Holiday is really good.

Orlando Magic

Scott Skiles is really leaning hard on his starters after the Tobias Harris trade and the rotation is now super predictable. Victor Oladipo, Nikola Vucevic, Aaron Gordon and Evan Fournier are all DFS relevant for the time being.

Phoenix Suns

Tyson Chandler is battling an injury to his shoulder. Though it doesn’t appear likely to keep him out long, DFS players should be itching to fire up Alex Len anytime the second year man draws a start. The rest of the Suns, alas, are a trainwreck.

Utah Jazz

The under the radar Shelvin Mack trade could have some ripple effects on the whole Jazz squad. Adding a ball dominant point guard to the Rodney Hood Gordon Hayward wing duo could hurt both of their value. This is a wait and see situation for me, as there’s no way of knowing how much Mack will actually play until we see a few games play out.

Washington Wizards

The Wiz unloaded a first round pick to acquire Markieff Morris at the deadline. Thus far, Morris has come off the bench and hasn’t played more than 22 minutes in either of his games with Washington. The Wizards have a flexible and interesting roster, so I’ll be curious to see if Markieff turns into a full time player for them at any point this season.

Keep an eye on these situations if you’re playing DFS. Figuring out how these changes are affecting DFS value before the masses do could give you a leg up.

Thanks for reading. Find me on Twitter @IanJ300 with any questions.

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