NBA DFS Strategy – Cousins Trade Effect

Hey Guys, I’m checking in today to discuss the breakdown of the biggest trade so far of the 2016-2017 NBA season. The Kings finally traded DeMarcus Cousins to the Pelicans for what seems like absolutely nothing. The Kings received a first and second round pick in the upcoming NBA draft, along with Langston Galloway, Tyreke Evans who was drafted by the Kings, and the man who just got ejected for grabbing Cousins in the nuts Buddy Hield. The Pelicans received Omri Casspi along with Cousins from the Kings. Lets get into the DFS breakdown of the Kings front court and how each player could benefit from the additional minutes and usage from Boogies absence.

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There are 3 names this article will specifically be looking at, and that is Willie Cauley-Stein, Koufos, and Tolliver the main big’s for the Kings.

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Above is a statistical look into the two games the Kings have played this year without Cousins. I will break down each player than discuss  DFS strategy for which player I see benefiting the most.

Sacramento Kings

The first player we will touch on who I think will see the least amount of usage is Kosta Koufos who has has performed decent in his spot starts this season. Koufos got the start at Center in both games that Boogie was out this season, against the Rockets and Celtics. Koufos averaged 8 points, 9 rebound, and 1 assist on 26 minutes per game. Those performances gave Koufos a very respectable .9 FP/Min and an average of 23.8 FD/PPG which is just over the 5 times salary per game if you look at his average salary of $4300. Although he drew the start in both of those games, Koufos had the least amount of usage with a usage rate of 17.3. I think Koufos will start this Thursday against the Nuggets but in the coming months I think he will be supplanted to the bench.

Willie Trill as some like to call him is my favorite big left in Sacramento, I loved his raw talent at Kentucky and you are now seeing glimpses of him learning to play the position. In Boogie’s two games WCS has scored the most FD/PPG with 27 even though he saw the least amount of minutes. WCS is sporting a very nice 1.2 FP/Min which puts him with the likes of KAT and Drummond, when Cousins is out. The Kings know they are in a rebuilding phase and need to let the youth play and grow together. I think this starts with WCS playing more minutes and being more involved in the offense. We all know he has the potential to have multiple block games with his athletic ability and long reach. Looking at the slate right now I think WCS has the highest floor and ceiling of the 3 big’s on the Kings.

The last play who is sure to go overlooked is the journey man Anthony Tolliver, who is the starting PF for the Kings. As you see from the above image with Cousins out Tolliver is a lock to play 30+ minutes a night, and averages 25.4 FD/PPG. If you look at Tolliver his FP/Min are relatively similar with (.6) or without Cousins (.7), neither of which are very enticing. His usage rate does spike from around 12 to 17.5 without Cousins which makes him somewhat tournament viable with his stable minutes, low ownership, and price. It will be interesting if the Kings start to adapt to playing small ball if they do not offload Barnes and play him at the 4 off the bench. Tolliver is a guy you want to keep your eye on, but is not someone I’m looking to roster outside of a GPP.

Be sure to follow the Kings roster moves and injury updates in the coming weeks.