3 NBA FanDuel Tournament Plays to Target on 12/26/19
"One cannot be betrayed if one has no people."
- Kobayashi (The Usual Suspects)
When it's time to start building DFS tournament lineups, especially for NBA tournaments, the fundamental choice to make is whether or not to buy into the chalk plays of the slate. More than any other sport, the popular plays in NBA are popular for a reason. Where we often get into trouble in tournaments, however, is when we begin to blindly trust a slate's chalk.
This regular piece will focus on tournaments looking through the lens of the projected chalk plays -- the usual suspects -- of that night's games. The Usual DFSuspects, if you will. In an attempt to understand the context of the slate, we will look at lower-owned plays that help you gain leverage against the competition.
Let's look at plays for Thursday's FanDuel main slate.
Chris Paul ($7,000) - While everyone assumed this young team would just be handed to Shai Gilgeous-Alexander this season, Chris Paul had other ideas. Despite there being questions about whether or not Paul would even open the season with the Oklahoma City Thunder once he was traded, all he has done is lead the team in fantasy points per game (34.5), including an astounding 40 FanDuel points per game over the last two weeks.
The Memphis Grizzlies continue to play at a top-six tempo in the league, something not seen from them in more than a dozen years in the rise and grind era. Their weak defense against guards, plus the fast pace of their games, have contributed to the Grizzlies allowing the fourth-most FanDuel points per game to the point guard position. As a much cheaper alternative to Damian Lillard and Spencer Dinwiddie, Paul has the matchup and opportunity to far outpace his more expensive counterparts in fantasy points per dollar tonight.
Joe Ingles ($5,300) - Ingles continues to serve as the de facto point guard for the Utah Jazz with Mike Conley battling injury. What this means for tonight is managers can roster a starting point guard in their small forward spot who costs less than Elfrid Payton, for example.
No starter on tonight's slate has increased their fantasy output more than Ingles over the last two weeks. He has scored 11.7 more fantasy points per game during that span, including scoring fewer than 30 FanDuel points only once in his last eight games. During that time, Ingles is averaging almost six assists per game in his new role and now has a top-10 assist rate among all forwards with at least 25 minutes per game.
No matter how you view Ingles from a positional standpoint, the matchup is a solid one. The Portland Trail Blazers are bottom-12 in FanDuel points allowed to both point guards and small forwards.
Mitchell Robinson ($6,500) - Robinson's increased playing time under the New York Knicks' new coaching regime has given him opportunity to pile up defensive stats no matter who his opponent is. Tonight, the foe is the Brooklyn Nets.
On the season, Robinson only averages 22.7 minutes per game, but that number has climbed up to almost 26 per game over his last 11 contests, and the fantasy production has followed. Robinson has scored more than 30 FanDuel points seven times in those 11 games, including averaging eight rebounds and two blocks per game. All these defensive stats contribute to more than four FanDuel points per game over his season average the last two weeks.
With Robinson, it's always about how long can he stay on the floor due to foul trouble, but the risk is much easier to stomach in GPPs.