I want to apologize to those daily readers that were expecting a Shootaround article yesterday, but I could not do my usual research due to some personal technical difficulties.

Also, I want to introduce a new indicator in our DFS Shootaround series that will help you understand better how I feel about each game on the card. I call this indicator “Game Status”. A game’s status can be “stack”, “value plays”, or “under your own risk”; they are quite self-explanatory but I will offer a brief description of each. If a game is in “stack” status, it means I feel confident stacking multiple players from that one game in several of my lineups; if a game is in “value plays” status, it means I will only take certain players from that game based on matchups or pricing; and if a game is in “under your own risk” status, it means I would rather not take any players from that one game but you can do it if you feel lucky. Hopefully, this will immediately give you a clue of where I stand regarding each game.

With that in mind, it is time to once again start our week with the right foot and make some cash playing NBA DFS. Are you ready? Here is your daily breakdown:

Oklahoma City Thunder at Detroit Pistons +2: Total 220


The Thunder have the best defensive rating in the league, so you might want to think twice before drafting Pistons today. OKC does offer a bunch of interesting options, headlined by Mr. Triple-Double himself, Russell Westbrook ($11,200) and Paul George ($8,500). Both play very well off each other and make for a very nice two-man combo. We have targeted Andre Drummond’s terrible defense before, and tonight will not be the exception; Steven Adams ($6,400) has a full green light. Finally, Dennis Schröder ($5,800) deserves a lot of credit for being valuable both with and without the ball in his hands, as his presence has decreased the playmaking workload for Westbrook while allowing him to be a more efficient off-ball scorer and vice-versa.

TOP PICK: Paul George. He will light up the Pistons tonight on both ends, as Detroit lacks the personnel to contain PG13.

Golden State Warriors at Atlanta Hawks +10.5: Total 236

GAME STATUS: Under your own risk.

It is the last time these two teams will meet this season. After a relatively close game in Oakland, the setting changes to Atlanta but the result should be very different this time with Stephen Curry back from injury. This game will be over early thanks to one of the Warriors’ three deadly scorers. I will not try and guess who is it that will shine, so I prefer to stay away from this one. The only play from this game I plan on having in multiple lineups is John Collins ($5,300), as the trend of good big men having nice games against the Warriors should not stop.

TOP PICK: John Collins. He is the only play but is here because he has proven capable of scoring even against some of the best defenders in the league. His job should not be too complicated against a Warriors team missing both of their starting big men.

Cleveland Cavaliers at Brooklyn Nets -6: Total 211


Neither of these teams is known for their outstanding defense, and some players can provide value across multiple categories. From the Cavs, I have my money on Jordan Clarkson ($5,000), Alec Burks ($3,800), and Tristan Thompson ($6,500). TT is an especially intriguing play because the Nets have allowed the most center fantasy points in the league. From the Nets, I am looking for Spencer Dinwiddie ($6,500), DeMarre Carroll ($3,900), and Allen Crabbe ($3,700). The latter two have high ceilings at this price, so you may want to try them out at the end of your bench.

TOP PICK: Tristan Thompson. He should see plenty of minutes against a team that runs a traditional center rotation. And with how bad the Nets’ centers have done this season, I will not hesitate.

Washington Wizards at New York Knicks +2: Total 229

GAME STATUS: Under your own risk.

I heavily dislike the pricing in this one. The salaries are too high for the matchup and I do not want to take a big risk in this one. Perhaps Noah Vonleh ($5,300) and Tomas Satoransky ($3,700) are the only players worth a look at their current prices, with everbody else being a coin toss. David Fizdale runs very inconsistent lineups while the Wizards are one of the most toxic and unpredictable teams from night to night.

TOP PICK: Nobody.

Denver Nuggets at Toronto Raptors -6.5: Total 218.5

GAME STATUS: Value plays.

This figures to be a very interesting game between two teams atop their respective conferences. I expect both Kawhi Leonard ($9,700) and Nikola Jokic ($8,200) to star, as their teammates provide some help. For Leonard, his value helping hands should be Pascal Siakam ($6,000) and Danny Green ($4,500), both multi-category contributors. For Jokic, Gary Harris ($5,100) and Juancho Hernangomez ($4,400) should be it, as both are very affordable today and should make the game competitive.

TOP PICK: Kawhi Leonard. He has put together a couple of consistent and impressive performances in a row, and tonight should be no different.

Houston Rockets at Minnesota Timberwolves +1.5: Total 222

GAME STATUS: Under your own risk.

I feel reluctant to spend big here. The only big play I would pay up for is Karl-Anthony Towns ($9,000); I expect him to run Clint Capela off the floor, as Towns is a much better performer at home. Other than him, I might look at James Ennis III ($3,700), P.J. Tucker ($4,400), or Taj Gibson ($4,300) as cheap forward/big man options.

TOP PICK: Karl-Anthony Towns.

Los Angeles Clippers at New Orleans Pelicans -2: Total 237


Both of these teams love to play fast and rank second and third in points per game, so you can feel safe taking a couple of players from this one. Pelicans options include the unstoppable Anthony Davis ($11,500), Nikola Mirotic ($7,200), and E’Twaun Moore ($4,100). From the Clippers, Tobias Harris ($8,100), Danilo Gallinari ($6,600), and the defensive specialists Patrick Beverly ($3,700) and Avery Bradley ($4,400) hold the most value. These two teams had a previous matchup this year already, so you can check that game’s stats to get an idea of how tonight might look.

TOP PICK: Anthony Davis. This man averages 60 FPs per game and is the definition of unstoppable.


You can follow me on Twitter @CantuNBA for more NBA and DFS content!

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Jorge Cantu

Jorge is a passionate Miami Heat fan and an NBA DFS player. You can follow him on Twitter @CantuNBA for all things NBA and DFS.