NBA Daily Fantasy Matchup Analysis: Nuggets at Warriors

Only two NBA contests tonight and there are certainly great plays in both games, but I’m going to focus on the Nuggets and Warriors. Why? Well, the Nuggets are the team I follow the most since I cover them, and I’ve watched the Warriors more than almost any other team since I picked them to win the West in the preseason.

The Nuggets and Warriors haven’t played each other since mid January, which means there isn’t a ton of information to go off of in previous matchups. But we just can’t ignore it and we can draw a couple conclusions.

Dec. 23 – Warriors 89 Nuggets 81

This was back when the Nuggets played at a slower pace and Shaw was looking to play more inside-out. Denver lost eight straight during this stretch. Plus, almost every player who received significant playing time on the Nuggets is either injured or traded at this point. David Lee crushed for the Warriors, but he’s out. However, if there’s one performance worth noting, it’s Timofey Mozgov’s double-double of 14 points and 11 rebounds.

Jan. 15 – Nuggets 123 Warriors 116

Nate Robinson absolutely went off in the fourth quarter and led Denver to its biggest road win of the season. J.J. Hickson put up 13 points and an absurd 24 rebounds. Of course, both are injured. The point is though the Nuggets are dominant on the glass at center, and both games were against Andrew Bogut. And guess what, Bogut is back and David Lee isn’t.

As for Lee, he dominated in both games. Unfortunately, he’s out. He would have been a great play too. After that, you won’t find that any other Warriors players overachieved or did particularly well against Denver, which is somewhat weird. Klay Thompson went over 30 FPTS in both games, but he’s around $6,000 so it’s not like he’s a huge steal or anything.

Tonight’s Game: Warriors -12 O/U 213.5

Here’s the one important thing to note – the Nuggets are on the second of a back-to-back on the road. Furthermore, they are very shorthanded and just played the Rockets. Energy is not on their side and the Warriors (haven’t played since Sunday) are fighting to at least hang on to the No. 6 seed and maybe catch Portland for the No. 5 spot.

I think the over is a great bet here and I see the Warriors covering as well (although the spread is about right). Here are my favorite plays:

(all salaries via DraftKings)

Stephen Curry $9,900 – I know I didn’t mention Curry before, but Ty Lawson is out and he’s been a much improved defender this season compared to last season. Curry dropped 63.25 FPTS on the Jazz and honestly, Aaron Brooks isn’t a better defender than Trey Burke (and that’s saying something) and the Nuggets aren’t much better than the Jazz in this scenario (that’s also saying something). If you can get him in your lineup, do it.

Andrew Bogut $4,500 – I was going to say Bogut is a fade, but then I saw his $4,500 salary and couldn’t ignore it. Bogut will likely get around 25 minutes regardless of the score of the game. You can bet with the Nuggets frontcourt issues that he will at least flirt with a double-double and potentially better. Plus, Bogut blocked five shots vs the Nuggets in the two previous matchups in 55 minutes combined.

If Bogut is more expensive elsewhere though, don’t do it. His upside isn’t that great.

Harrison Barnes $3,800 – Assuming the Warriors blow out the Nuggets, I want the guy who plays the most minutes off the bench. Remember, the Warriors have had very comfortable leads their past two games going into the fourth quarter. Barnes has played 38 and 28 minutes the last two games and put up 21.75 and 29.25 FPTS. I get Barnes has somewhat of a limited ceiling, but he’s a fantastic 50/50 or H2H play. He’s also worth putting in your lineup if it means playing Curry.

Aaron Brooks $5,800 – Randy Foye is $5,500 and Brooks is a better play? Yes he is. Klay Thompson is a much better defender (GS is 7th in FPTS allowed to SGs) than Stephen Curry, although Curry has been better as of late. But it’s important to remember the Rockets are also 26th in FPTS allowed to SGs and Foye took advantage of not only James Harden, but the lack of guard depth Houston has right now. Brooks has also played 40, 47 and 37 minutes since Ty Lawson has gone down, and Brooks is the only true healthy PG on the team. Foye has also gotten bigger minutes, but if the Nuggets get dominated, they at least have Fournier to turn to at SG. Neither guard is a bad play since they are the only three active players Denver can play at guard unless Brian Shaw wants to get really creative and play Quincy Miller at the 2, but I highly doubt that since Golden State has Jordan Crawford and Steve Blake coming off the bench. Having said that, you want to fade Foye because he just had an absurd game last night (recency biased people overplaying him with only two games tonight), the matchup isn’t great and Foye has had two bad games against Thompson already. Brooks meanwhile, has tremendous upside, has a greater chance of playing 40 minutes regardless of the score and has a better matchup by position.

Timofey Mozgov $4,600 – He’s already proven he can handle Bogut, and Mozgov continues to produce on both ends of the floor. His numbers since Hickson’s injury have been fantastic, especially for someone at $4,600. Size hasn’t been an issue for Mozgov as he’s performed well against Omer Asik, Marc Gasol and Tiago Splitter all within the last three weeks. He’s great in all formats and could easily eclipse the 35 FPTS mark again.

Evan Fournier $4,100 – Should easily get 30 minutes regardless of the outcome of the game. Denver getting blown out could be better for Fournier, especially since Golden State’s garbage time lineup has two PGs. He had 26-4-4 two games ago and has shown to have tremendous upside at times this season. Not my top play, but a sneaky good one for GPP that helps fill a lineup to get Curry.

Kenneth Faried? – Faried didn’t play in the first matchup and was in foul trouble the entire second game. David Lee attacked him early and often, although two of the fouls were horrific calls. I have no doubt Faried will have a solid game given that Lee is out and he’s playing at a much higher level right now. However, I don’t like his $8,000 salary. The Nuggets have frontcourt depth tonight, and I mean that as if the Nuggets will get blown out and he won’t even play the fourth quarter. I have a strong feeling Faried will get a lot of plays tonight since there aren’t many guys around him with his salary, and those guys haven’t had great performances recently. There’s more risk than the reward here.

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View all posts by Nick Juskewycz
Nick Juskewycz

About the Author

Sked Nick is a Daily Fantasy Sports enthusiast and a former Bleacher Report Featured Columnist. Most of his time is dedicated to the sports world in front of several televisions, monitors and a projector. This involves researching, writing, watching games or simply keeping up to date on news.He graduated with honors from Bowling Green State University with a degree in sport management and journalism. Furthermore, Nick was a radio play-by-play and color commentator for Bowling Green football, men's basketball, women's basketball and baseball. He also has experience working with the BGSU athletic department.Follow @NickJuskewycz

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