Just about the entire sports world has been put on hold all over the world as we try to come to grips with the spread of the coronavirus. As a result, sports bettors are having to take a little hiatus of their own.
There’s just not a whole lot going on out there from a sporting perspective these days. As a result, Daily fantasy sports sites have had to get creative due to the shortage of options out there at the moment.
For the past few days, FanDuel has been running a new “NBA Sim” contest. It’s free to enter, and those that win will earn some cash that can be used to play in paid contests on the site. Players will fill out a 9-man NBA lineup, just as they would for a normal NBA DFS slate.
Last night’s slate was a bit of a mixed bag. We surprisingly got burned by Malcolm Brogdon, who inexplicably racked up 12.4 fantasy points. Zach LaVine, Luke Kennard and Bam Adebayo were fine enough, while Deandre Ayton was a bit underwhelming (33). Hopefully we’ll get a more favorable draw tonight.
Let’s break down a few potential targets for the “6-game” slate that starts at 7pm ET.
Kyrie Irving, PG ($9,700)
Kyrie Irving looks like a worthwhile spend right off the bat. Kyrie only played 20 games this season due to nagging injuries, which obviously gives us a smaller pool of potential outcomes than you’ll find with most options. Irving averaged about 46 FanDuel points per game, and he managed to accrue at least 30 fantasy points in 18 of his 20 outings.
Irving went over 40 FD points in 13 of his 20 games, which means you have a 65 percent chance of getting at least 40 out of him here. Kyrie also comes with quite a ceiling, as he recorded over 73 fantasy points in a game earlier this season against the Timberwolves. You’re obviously paying a premium, but I think Irving is a worthwhile spend tonight.
Caris LeVert, SG ($6,000)
Keeping the Nets theme going, Caris LeVert looks like a reasonable midrange play at $6,000. He’s another guy that has dealt with injuries, and he had only appeared in 39 games at the time the NBA season went on hiatus. Shooting guard looks like a generally thin position tonight, so LeVert gives you a pretty solid amount of upside at a decent salary.
LeVert failed to crack 20 FD points 9 times in his 39 appearances, so there is a decent amount of risk here. There’s a 23 percent chance he winds up busting, so it’s not the safest play in the world. However, he’s gone over 40 points another 8 times and he’s topped 50 3 times. A 20 percent chance of topping 40 points is solid at his current price point. Ownership figures to be high considering he was tearing it up right before the NBA shut down, but LeVert seems to be a solid option overall.
Jonathan Isaac, SF ($6,400)
Jonathan Isaac has been limited to 32 games so far this season. Are you sensing a trend here yet? He was in the midst of a breakout campaign for the Magic before sustaining a knee injury back in January. Isaac is a menace on the defensive side of the floor, and FanDuel’s scoring system (3 points for blocks and steals) suits his game nicely.
Isaac scored 30 or more FanDuel points in 16 of his 32 games, so you have a 50 percent shot at getting at least 30 from him. 10 of his 32 games resulted in at least 40 fantasy points, which comes out to 31.3 percent. Small forward is another position with a slew of questionable options, so Isaac at $6,400 offers some rare stability.
Kawhi Leonard, PF ($9,400)
The only player on the slate priced over $10,000 is Karl-Anthony Towns. I like Towns quite a bit, but you can get a high-floor, high-ceiling combination with Kawhi Leonard for a $1,200 discount. Leonard has missed quite a few games for “load management” this season in his first year with the Clippers, which means he gives us our coveted limited range of outcomes. He’s played in 53 games, while most players have played around 65. Kawhi has also played in a number of games without Paul George, which means he benefited from a usage boost for a big chunk of his outings.
Kawhi has topped 50 fantasy points in 20 of his 53 games, so you have a 38 percent chance of getting a stellar showing from him tonight. He’s topped 60 FPs another 9 times, including a season-high 68.2-point effort against the Pelicans. Kawhi makes for a smart way to spend your extra salary tonight.
Thomas Bryant, C ($5,000)
Center isn’t a position I typically love to pay down at, but we have limited options tonight. Getting Towns is obviously a perfectly fine strategy considering he’s only played in 38 games this season, but I think Thomas Bryant is a decent source of salary relief. He’s only $5,000 and he comes with a decent ceiling. Bryant topped 50 fantasy points in a game in October against the Thunder. Bryant has topped 40 fantasy points 5 times in his 38 games, so you have about a 13 percent chance of him absolutely smashing his cheap price tag.
Bryant has topped 30 fantasy points 12 times in 38 games (32 percent), and he’s gotten to at least 20 in 28 games (74 percent). He’s very unlikely to completely tank your lineup, and it’s not like there are a lot of other centers in this same price tier about which you can say the same. Bryant looks like one of the more reasonable cheap centers available in the player pool tonight.
Stay safe, and good luck!