When our National Basketball Association (NBA) experts have important information or updates on individual players, injuries, match-ups, positions, or other specific aspects of a sport, they share it in a Spotlight. These articles provide in-depth analysis on how to reveal hidden value in the world of daily fantasy sports. This is where you will find key advantages that can launch your lineups to the top of your contests.
This article is a breakdown of the three-stat contest on PlayLine tonight that includes the million dollar perfect line bonus. If you’re new to PlayLine, that means if you perfectly predict the stats of Anthony Davis, Draymond Green, and Joel Embiid, PlayLine will give you a million dollars. You can click here to go to the contest. Now let’s dive into the projections you should make to potentially win that jackpot.
We’ll start with Anthony Davis who has become the focal point of the Pelicans’ offense now that Demarcus Cousins is out for the season with a torn achilles. In the two games that Cousins has missed, Davis has taken 16 and 17 shot attempts as well as attempting 10 and 12 free throws. While Davis has been hitting above 75% of his free throws, he has been shooting under 50% from the field which has caused him to only score 23 and 25 points in these two games. Tonight, Davis faces off against an Oklahoma City Thunder team that just had their hearts broken by a buzzer-beater three from Gary Harris last night. It is likely that Anthony Davis will draw the defense of Steven Adams in this one, and Davis has absolutely dominated this matchup in the past. In 11 games against him, he averages an astounding 30.3 PPG, 9.6 RPG, and 2.4 APG. Out of 31 eligible centers on this slate, Adams ranks 3rd worst at defending the paint which should increase the upside of Anthony Davis as well. Due to his terrific matchup and likelihood of positive regression coming, research suggests Davis should score between 26-31 points in this matchup. As it pertains to rebounds, Davis has collected 13 and 17 in the two games without Cousins and while the Thunder rank third best in rebounding rate, we still like Davis to get 13-16 rebounds in this one as it will be fast paced with a lot of rebounding opportunities. Lastly, Anthony Davis has seen a recent surge in the assist column as he is averaging 5 per game over his last five games. Since his usage has increased without Cousins and the ball is in his hands more often, we believe pegging Davis for 4 or 5 assists today is the best way to attack it.
Next, we’ll move on to Draymond Green of the Golden State Warriors. Green is averaging a healthy 11.3 PPG, 7.9 RPG, and 7.3 APG this season. Tonight, he gets a matchup with the Sacramento Kings in a game with a massive 13.5 spread. The Warriors were just blown out against the Utah Jazz, so we expect a fiery Warriors team to come in with a purpose tonight and put a hurting on this grueling Kings team. With that said, we don’t want to overproject the stats of Draymond Green as he may not see his usual 32.5 minutes per games. Over the last two seasons, Draymond has played against the Kings five times and averages 12.8 PPG, 5 RPG, and 7 APG in 32.6 minutes per game. As you may have noticed, these averages are right among his season averages as the Warriors have not needed Draymond to play extra minutes in these games since three of them were double-digit victories. We believe we can safely project Draymond for 10-15 points, 5-7 rebounds, and 6-8 assists as we want to make sure we stay right around his season averages. It should also be noted that Sacramento may get Willie Cauley-Stein back in their lineup tonight and he will likely draw the assignment of Draymond Green. Cauley-Stein has Sacramento’s best DRPM which is another reason we don’t want to overproject Draymond tonight. Draymond is a player that is pretty easy to get some points from as he’s not a big scorer, so even if he only scores a few points you’ll get some of the bonus if you project his stats in the range we are recommending.
Last, but certainly not least (I would never speak bad about you Joel) we have Joel Embiid. Embiid has been an absolute monster in the games he has played for the Sixers this year as he has averaged 23.8 PPG, 11 RPG, and 3.3 APG as well as being selected as an All-Star starter. Embiid draws a tough matchup with the Miami Heat tonight in what projects to be an ugly game. The Heat rank 26th in offensive efficiency, 5th in defensive efficiency, and 27th in overall pace. In the only game that Embiid has faced off against Hassan Whiteside, he put up a line of 22/5/0 in 23 minutes of play. However, with Embiid’s minutes restriction being lifted, he has averaged over 30 minutes of play in his last nine games which increases his opportunity for production. While it pains us not to project Embiid for a stellar game, we will use the Spurs as a point of reference as they play at about the same pace as the Heat. Against the Spurs this season, Embiid has averaged 19.5 PPG, 12.5 RPG, and 3.5 APG in 32.5 minutes of play. A slow paced game is never attractive for projecting statistics, as we believe Embiid gets just under his season average of points as we are projecting him for 19-23. When it comes to rebounds, the Heat are allowing the fifth fewest to opposing centers with a healthy Whiteside in the lineup, so we also want to be cautious with this projection. Anywhere from 9-11 should put you in a good spot. Miami ranks 2nd best in assists per game to the center, so we are projecting Embiid for exactly 2 tonight so we can still get those bonuses no matter what he does on the low end. It seems highly unlikely that he wouldn’t record at least one.
Good luck tonight and enjoy the games! Hopefully one of you wins the million dollar prize!
This article is a breakdown of the three-stat contest on PlayLine tonight that includes the million dollar perfect line bonus. If you’re new to PlayLine, that means if you perfectly predict the stats of James Harden, Kevin Durant, and Lebron James, PlayLine will give you a million dollars. You can click here to go to the contest. Now let’s dive into the projections you should make to potentially win that jackpot.
We’ll start with James Harden, who is averaging 30.9 PPG, 4.9 RPG, and 9 APG. Since James Harden has returned from injury, he has taken between 15 and 26 shots in those six games. Four of these games have included him taking either 15 or 16, but last game, Agent James had his minutes restriction lifted and he dropped a line of 27/10/8 on 21 shot attempts. Tonight James Harden gets a matchup with the Orlando Magic who rank fourth worst in defensive efficiency and ninth in overall pace. The Rockets are favored by 12.5 even without Trevor Ariza and with Chris Paul questionable.Trevor Ariza’s unavailability hurts Harden’s assist rate as he only averages 8 per game when he doesn’t play. However, he averages about 33 points and 6 rebounds, so his other stats get a boost. If Chris Paul were to sit out alongside Ariza, Harden averages about 34 points, 6 rebounds, and 9 assists per contest. Since these averages are so close to each other, we believe we can safely predict Harden for 29-35 points, 6 rebounds, and 8-9 assists. Note that while he may not get exactly 6 rebounds, that is the optimal projection you can make to give yourself the best chance of scoring bonus points off of rebounds.
Next, we will move on to the small forward for the Golden State Warriors, Kevin Durant. On the season, Kevin Durant averages 25.8 PPG, 7 RPG, and 5.6 APG. However, Durant receives a brutal matchup with the Utah Jazz as they rank sixth best in defensive efficiency while playing at the league’s fifth slowest pace. In four games against the Jazz as a member of the Warriors, Durant’s numbers have definitely suffered as he averages 20/8/4. This is something we need to take seriously as every statistical category drops for him other than rebounds, which is likely coincidental. Due to his brutal matchup, we want to predict Durant under his season average of points and slot him for around 19-23. When it comes to rebounds, even though he has averaged 8 against them, Rudy Gobert is healthy for this contest and should clog up the paint, therefore we don’t want to overproject his rebounds. Anywhere from 6-8 rebounds should be a solid projection for Durant. Lastly, with a healthy Warriors team around him and Curry controlling the ball for the most part, we can predict Durant to get 4 or 5 assists which is about what he averages against the Jazz.
Last but definitely not least, we have Lebron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers who is averaging 26.8 PPG, 7.9 RPG, and 8.8 APG. Lebron and his Cavaliers travel to Detroit to face a Pistons team that will be without Avery Bradley, Tobias Harris, and Boban Marjanovic as they have been traded to the Los Angeles Clippers in a blockbuster trade for Blake Griffin. Not only will these players be unavailable for the Pistons, but Blake Griffin will also be unable to suit up for this game. This leaves us with a projected lineup for the Pistons of Ish Smith, Stanley Johnson, Reggie Bullock, Anthony Tolliver, and Andre Drummond. In other words, this one could turn into a blowout quickly, so we do not want to overproject Lebron’s stats. It is also important to note that Dwyane Wade will most likely be returning for this contest which will eat into some of Lebron’s minutes. While Lebron is averaging a massive 37 minutes this season, we feel we can safely project him for low 30s in minutes due to the potential blowout. Because of this, projecting Lebron a little under or right around his season averages is the best strategy here. Anywhere between 24-27 points, 6-8 rebounds, and 6-9 assists is where we comfortably slot Lebron James.
Good luck tonight and enjoy the games! Hopefully one of you wins the million dollar prize!
This article is a breakdown of the three-stat contest on PlayLine tonight that includes the million dollar perfect line bonus. If you’re new to PlayLine, this means that if you perfectly predict the stat lines tonight for DeMar DeRozan, Andre Drummond, and James Harden, PlayLine will give you a million dollars. You can click here to go straight to this contest. Now let’s dive into the projections you should make to potentially win that million.
We’ll start with DeMar DeRozan, who is one of the more consistent players in the league. DeRozan has taken between 15 and 19 shot attempts in his last four games. In two of the three games before that, he took over 29 shot attempts, but it’s important to note that Kyle Lowry was out. When Lowry plays, DeRozan’s stat lines are quite consistent. Projecting him for 5 assists is a must. He’s had 4, 5, or 6 assists in 8 of his last 9 games played with Lowry. If this continues, you’ll get at least 100 points from his assist total. It simply does not make sense to project him for any other number than 5. When it comes to rebounds, he’s more volatile. Sometimes he snags as many as many as 7 and sometimes he only grabs 1. A safe projection that is most likely to hit would be in the 3-5 range. Lastly, we want to project DeRozan’s points. With Lowry playing and a pretty average matchup, we’d recommend projecting DeRozan between 21-27 points. If your projection is within 5 points, you pick up a +150 bonus, which is equal to the bonus you get for nailing rebounds or assists precisely. Projecting DeRozan for a total like 25 points gives you the entire range of 20-30 and upside to hit it spot on if he has a perfectly average game.
Next, we’ll move on to the center for the Detroit Pistons, Andre Drummond. Drummond has been an absolute monster this year, averaging 14.3 points per game and 15 rebounds per game. Drummond has at least 17 rebounds rebounds in six of his last eleven games, but his point scoring is much more volatile. He has failed to score double-digit points in two of his last four games and combined for only 15 shot attempts in those games. One trend we have noticed is that Drummond tends to excel in games against opposing teams whose big man stays in the paint. He was able to put up 25, 21, and 22 points against the Raptors, Bulls, and Nets, but only scored 16 and 10 points against Joel Embiid and Demarcus Cousins who stretch the floor. Tonight, Drummond has a matchup with Rudy Gobert, who lives in the paint, which should benefit Drummond. The Jazz rank about middle of the pack in the NBA in rebounding rate to centers and this has held true even with Gobert in the lineup. One thing to take note of here is that Drummond has shown via social media how upset he is about not making the All-Star team and it is likely that he will be playing with a chip on his shoulder tonight. We believe he is likely to get more rebounds than his season average tonight as we are projecting him anywhere from 16-20. As for points, we like the range of 15-19 as research also suggests he will produce above his average rates. Keep in mind that this is a narrative that most people are aware of, so you could go contrarian by just predicting him for a very average game. In predicting his assists, a safe number to choose is 4 as it is right in line with his season average and he has produced between 3-5 assists in six of his last 11 games. While extra effort can lead to more rebounds and sometimes more points, it rarely leads to more assists as they are very dependent on teammates getting open and making shots.
Lastly, we have James Harden. Since coming back from injury, Harden has yet to see over 34 minutes and we have him projected for exactly that tonight. Harden averages 31.4 points per game, 8.9 assists per game, and 4.8 rebounds per game on the season. However, when Harden plays alongside Chris Paul, his stats drop to 30.7 points per game, 7.8 assists per game, and 4.5 rebounds per game. While this isn’t a substantial drop, it is definitely something to take note of as Harden does not have as high of a ceiling playing alongside Chris Paul. Over the last two years, Harden has averaged 27 points per game against the Mavericks in 35 minutes of playing time. Vegas has the Rockets projected for 112 points in a relatively close 6 point spread. We like Harden to score between 26-32 points tonight. Even though we just told you some negatives about Harden, Dallas ranks fourth worst in defending shooting guards over the past five games and with the high projected game total we don’t want to go much lower than 26 for Harden’s points. As for his assist total, we feel it is safe to project 7 or 8 here as he has consistently been right around his season average of 7.8 since coming back from injury with Chris Paul active. When it comes to rebounds, Dallas ranks dead last in rebounding rate which makes things interesting for Harden. He has only recorded 2 rebounds in each of the three games he has played since returning from injury, but we like projecting 4-6 for him tonight as this is a superior matchup for him on the glass and his season average is 4.8.
Good luck tonight and enjoy the games! Hopefully one of you wins the million dollar prize!
We’re very excited to be hosting a free contest on PlayLine today where all 750 entries win free money! We want to help you set your lines, so this article will detail how we plan to set ours. With this in mind, we will jump right in to analyzing the three players on this slate: Giannis Antetokounmpo, John Wall, and Lebron James.
The first player we will dive into is Giannis Antetokounmpo. Giannis, also known as the Greek Freak, has been nothing short of incredible this season as he is averaging 29.8 PPG, 10.5 RPG, and 4.5 APG. Giannis has proven to be one of the most matchup proof players in the NBA as he excels no matter who is guarding him. For a normal player, a strategy of ours would be to analyze their individual matchup. However, because Giannis essentially plays every position on the court, his individual matchup often proves to be irrelevant in predicting his statistical performance. One thing we did take note of in our research is how much success the Greek Freak has had when going against Lebron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers in the past two seasons. He’s averaged 27 PPG, 9.3 RPG, and 5.6 APG in an eight-game sample size. Giannis has come out and said he loves the challenge of facing Lebron which draws our attention to his stellar history against him. Milwaukee is projected to score three points higher than their season average, and we believe Giannis to contribute anywhere from 28-35 points. For his peripheral statistics, the only true big man on the Bucks roster is John Henson who has only averaged 24 minutes a game this season, opening up ample rebounding opportunities for the Greek Freak. We would project anywhere from 10-13 rebounds for him in this fast-paced game. Lastly, we’d project 4-6 assists, but they are harder to project due to the reliancy on his teammates to hit their shots.
Moving on to John Wall, we have a tricky situation. Since coming back from an injury three games ago, Wall has yet to eclipse the 32 minute mark and record over six assists. Your average PlayLine user may see Wall’s season statistics of 19.4 PPG, 3.7 RPG, and 8.5 APG and project him around his averages against the Pelicans. However, Wall has looked very rusty since returning to the court as he hasn’t been as aggressive and he is yet to shoot over 40% from the floor. It appears that the Wizards are still monitoring his minutes in order to work him back slowly, so we don’t suggest projecting him over his season averages in points and assists. The Wizards do get a +2.5 uptick in pace as the Pelicans play at an incredibly fast speed. This is perfect for Wall’s game as he thrives in transition. We project Wall to see a maximum of 35 minutes, limiting his upside, but the pace certainly helps. The Pelicans have struggled guarding the shooting guard position this year, so we believe Bradley Beal may take this game into his own hands. It is also important to note that one of the Wizards’ lock down shooters, Otto Porter, is questionable with a hip injury at the time we are writing this article. If he is unable to go, Wall’s assists will likely take a hit. Our strategy here would be to peg Wall anywhere from 12-20 points, 3-5 rebounds, and 5-9 assists. Generally, the crowd projects players too high, so if you want to differentiate yourself you should project Wall in the lower range of each category.
Last but certainly not least, we have Lebron (I get better with age) James. Lebron has been an absolute monster this season with averages of 27.8 PPG, 8.6 RPG, and 9.3 APG. Without Derrick Rose and Isaiah Thomas available, Lebron has taken on the role of point guard for the Cleveland Cavaliers, and as you can tell, he has thrived. Lebron has recorded a triple double in four of his last five games and we believe this is likely to continue tonight as he should eclipse the 37 minutes mark today due to the close projected spread of 1.5. If you want to go highly contrarian, you can project Lebron for 6-8 rebounds and assists. However, given Lebron’s correlation of racking up a triple double when he plays above 37 minutes as the primary ball handler, this is not a strategy we recommend. Our projection for Lebron is 25-32 points, 9-12 rebounds, and 9-12 assists.
Good luck and enjoy our free DFI PlayLine contest tonight!
The NBA season has been great to us so far at DFI, and Monday night offers us a fun slate with a star-studded main slate on PlayLine. Unfortunately, the big GPPs on PlayLine are filling more than 24 hours in advance lately, so I reached out to PlayLine to see if they’d make a new GPP for DFI users. They said yes, and you can access that by clicking here. As usual, it’s completely free to join and your winnings are withdrawable right after the contest. I’m glad I found this site as it’s not only a fun sweat to follow this type of game mode but it’s much easier to research in-depth since you only need to worry about a few players rather than the entire field. With that in mind, let’s jump into analyzing the three guys on this slate: Giannis Antetokounmpo, James Harden, and Kevin Durant.
First up we have Giannis Antetokounmpo. The Greek Freak has been absolutely dominant so far in 2017, justifying his first overall average draft position in season-long fantasy leagues. Coming off a career-high in points (44), Giannis has been scoring at will in every contest this season. His individual matchup is almost irrelevant on any given day as it’s a team effort by the opposing defense to try and slow him down. He’s hardly a guy who plays a specific position on offense, and the way he plays is unlike many other guys. The reason that matters is because it allows you essentially throw out the specific metrics of that team’s defense vs. a specific position and just consider the overall game flow. The Hornets are collectively a pretty solid defense, and we think it makes sense to project Giannis for a moderate scoring game by his 2017 standards. If you want to go contrarian you could project his point total on the lowest end of the following range: 22-32 points.
Here’s a look at how the scoring breaks down for a 3-player 3-stat slate like this:
Ideally you’d like to be within five points, so we think the highest you want to go is 35 as we’re not expecting another 40 point game from Giannis in this contest, and to go any higher than that means you’d completely miss out on any type of bonus if he were to put up 25 points which is still two points more than he averaged last year. He’s an improved player, but don’t expect him to average 38 points a game like he’s done so far. His shooting percentages are unbelievable and this matchup is a good regression spot for him.
Now we need to project his rebounds and assists, and this is an area where he isn’t due for much regression. His averages are right inline with last season’s averages, and if you watch the games you don’t see him getting particularly lucky or unlucky. Projecting him for 7-9 rebounds and 4-6 assists seems like the correct decision.
Moving on to James Harden, his stat lines have been incredibly consistent so far this year. He’s not that consistent of a player, so he provides us with a chance to differentiate ourselves from the crowd. Against Memphis, many people will either project Harden for an average or below average game. You should consider projecting him for an above average game and hope that he can still perform in a slower paced game. If you just want to play it safe, put Harden for a stat line around 26/7/3. If you want to differentiate yourself with a calculated risk, consider projecting him 32/9/6. With Chris Paul out, Harden should be taking over the game if it’s close until the end. The only thing to consider against that tactic is that the field is not particularly sharp on PlayLine right now, so you might not have to go very contrarian. Projecting Harden slightly below his averages to account for the downgraded matchup with Memphis could pan out just fine as it’s possible that most people will just see the name James Harden and project him over 30 points.
The last player on the slate is Kevin Durant, who hasn’t gotten off to a hot start in 2017 as he’s yet to shoot over 50% from the field in any game. His most recent performance culminated in an ejection while arguing in favor of his teammate Stephen Curry whose actions did not deserve to be defended in any way (and I’m a Warriors fan). The upside for Durant is that his shot attempts have gone up every game, and his matchup at Dallas could finally be his breakout game. His rebounding stats have been all over the place so far in just a three game sample, but a reasonable projection for him would be 7-9. His assists usually hover around 3-4 so if you predict him right around there you’ll very likely be spot on or claim a nice bonus. The difficulty with Durant is often predicting his point totals, and in this game we think you should project him on the high end relative to his performances this season. We’d go with a total between 28-35 with a lean to the upper end and hope to capture a nice bonus if he goes over other people’s projections.
Good luck and enjoy the games!