I wanted to let at least 3 games play out post the All-Star break to validate the analysis provided below. I've outlined a handful of NBA players that you should keep an eye on when building your Daily Optimal lineup:
Dario Saric - Philadelphia 76ers - Dario will be in Philly for a long time. They played Ersan İlyasova ahead of Dario. Just when you thought Ersan brought real value, Philly dealt him, Well played Philly They did this, because Dario proved to Brett Brown that he can more than fill that PF position and compliment Embiid when he returns. We will experience Dario's value to increase much like Nikola Jokic's did in mid December. In his last 3 games he has averaged 39.9 Fpts. while averaging nearly 36 mpg. This is almost 11 more minutes above his previous average, prior to his last 3 games.
Robert Covington- Philadelphia 76ers - Is a solid player all around, but has always just needed the minutes to perform. Now that Ersan and Nerlens Noel are out of the picture, he will get the minutes he deserves. His numbers will translate, because his game is so well rounded. Plus he shoots a nice 3 ball. In his last 3 games he has averaged 41.4 Fpts. while averaging nearly 37 1/2 mpg. This is around 6 more mpg above his previous average, prior to his last 3 games.
Richaun Holmes - Philadelphia 76ers - He is long, athletic, rebounds, and has a nice jump hook around the basket. His numbers will decline once Embiid returns, but in the meantime look to fit him in as a solid value player. In his last 3 games he has averaged 28.9 Fpts. while averaging right at 23 mpg. This is around 7 more mpg above his previous average, prior to his last 3 games played. As long as his cost stays down, he is a Great Value Pick!
Willie Cauley-Stein - Sacramento Kings - For Cauley-Stein it will be a bit of a roller coaster. He plays with what I call the "Robin Lopez Crouch". It's like he is lurking in the bushes. To me, he will be more of a defensive guy. Some nights he will go off offensively if he has the right match-up. In his last 3 games he has averaged 26.9 Fpts. while averaging right at 32 1/2 mpg. This is around 18 1/2 more mpg above his previous average, prior to the last 3 games. A huge increase in minutes that will definitely stick, due to Sacramento not having any other choices! He will be solid in the long-run.
Guillermo Gustavo "Willy" Hernangómez Geuer - New York Knicks - I'm loving Willy's game. It's hard to say how his minutes will be affected upon Joakim Noah's return. He just seems to be that guy to get a cool 30 Fpts. He displays an even keeled approach to the game. In his last 3 games he has averaged 26 Fpts per game and has averaged just 1 second shy of 28 mpg. This is around 12 more mpg above his previous average, prior to the last 3 games. Like I said it's hard to make the determination on his playing time, due to Noah's current injury and Kristaps Porzingis' previous injury. The other major wildcard is Kyle O'Quinn.
Buyer Beware of the following guys:
James Harden - Houston Rockets - Listen....I am a huge fan of James Harden. The thing that Harden has realized with the recent acquisition, is you must share the ball in order to build team chemistry, He is not reluctant at all to pass the ball to the newly acquired Lou Williams. It looks like he has bought into coach D'Antoni's philosophy. Be sure to factor his value when selecting him for your Daily Lineup (Value / 1,000 x 4 + 10). In his last 3 games he has averaged 46.1 Fpts. while averaging right at 34 1/2 mpg. This is around 13 Fppg & around 3 1/2 less mpg below his previous average, 5 games prior to the last 3 games. My point is don't get caught up with the name. Factor his value as you should do with all of your picks.
Nikola Jokic - Denver Nuggets - Holy Shnikeees! Jokic's numbers have tanked since acquiring Mason Plumlee. Jokic is a free spirit when he is on the court, which I think is why he and the Denver Nuggets were previously so successful. He breeds chemistry when he is on the court when a TRUE center is absent. Michael Malone figured this out with Jusuf Nurkic and basically benched him. I thought it was because of Nurkic's bad attitude and always playing with a frown. Then Denver starting rolling, but made the mistake of going out and acquiring Mason Plumlee. I like Plumlee's game, but he is a true well rounded center. Malone has realized almost instantly that you can't play these 2 guys at the same time. Just look at Jokic's numbers. He was absolutely killing it and getting all of his teammates involved. In his last 3 games he has averaged 23.6 Fpts. while averaging right at 24 1/2 mpg. This is around 26 Fppg less and 12 mpg below his previous average, averaging his 5 games prior to his last 3 games. Malone had a good thing going and he screwed it up big time!
I hope this helps you as a DFS player going forward. Our goal is to keep guys consistently in the money. We currently offer free picks, which we post on our Facebook and Twitter page. Use a tool! Whether it's ours or someone else's tool. You will never maximize your full potential as DFS player if you are not utilizing a daily tool. A strong strategic approach with a little luck = Consistent Success!