Three-game slates are meant to be uneventful, but last night was anything but. Jimmy Butler left sick, Anthony Davis got hurt, and Derrick Rose created one of the weirder stories in sports (which is still ongoing). Tonight we get back to normal and we have nine games to tackle this evening. You’re immediately looking to the Bulls for value as Dwayne Wade and Jimmy Butler are already out, so you should be able to build a studs-and-duds lineup with relative ease.
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For those of you following my weird streaks right now, I have currently won nine straight days on DraftKings, and lost seven straight days on FanDuel.
Bulls represent top values on FanDuel 1/10
Damian Lillard, POR
The ability to play multiple Bulls at 5k or below today really gives you carte blanche to play whatever studs you want. Harden obviously has to be your first choice, but I actually think Lillard is a strong second even with opportunity cost at the position super low (see the Bulls values below). Lillard ranks tenth in the league in usage rate and is taking on a Lakers team that ranks sixth in pace, 29th in overall team defense, and allows the seventh most FPPG to opposing PGs. The spread of this game is one point and the O/U is a whopping 223 which is tied for the highest of the night.
Other options – John Wall, Isaiah Thomas, Kyle Lowry
Mid-tier options – Goran Dragic, Dennis Schroder, D’Angelo Russell, George Hill
Michael Carter-Williams/Jerian Grant, CHI
Assuming Rajon Rondo remains out of the rotation, these two Bulls guards are going to log major minutes and see huge usage boosts with the Bulls’ two biggest usage players (by far) out of the lineup. The matchup against the Wizards is largely neutral, but this play is more about price and opportunity cost. One of these PGs should be locked into your cash, and both are viable if you want to load up elsewhere.
Other options – Darren Collison, Ty Lawson, Tony Parker
James Harden, HOU
Will all the Bulls values (and Jeremy Lamb who we’ll discuss momentarily), Harden is a lock for cash. His price is still a value at $11,700 as his baseline is 53.64 FD points and his value threshold sits at right about 51 points. There is mild blowout risk (Rockets favored by 9) but Harden’s usage and efficiency rates are so high that he hits value long before the game ends anyway. Nicolas Batum is not around to help guard him and the Hornets rank 25th in defensive efficiency against guards. Lock him in.
Other options – Giannis Antetokounmpo, DeMar DeRozan
Mid-tier options – Bradley Beal, Klay Thompson
Jeremy Lamb, CHA
You could argue that Lamb is a better value than all the Bulls players tonight. It was predicted that he would start in Nicolas Batum’s absence and play major minutes. Both came true last game and Lamb posted 28.1 FD points in 29 minutes against an incredibly tough opponent in the Spurs. Tonight he gets a much easier time with the Rockets who are much faster in pace and rank 24th in defensive efficiency against SGs. Lamb averages over a FanDuel point per minute, and his price of $4000 is flat-out wrong.
Other options – Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Tim Hardaway Jr, Sean Kilpatrick, Rodney Hood, Marco Belinelli, Garrett Temple
Kevin Durant, GS
It’s doubtful that I’ll be spending too big at the SF position but I do prefer Durant over LeBron of the top two guys, and I’m fine if you want to use him in cash. Miami ranks 22nd in pace and fifth in overall team defense (plus GS is favored by 15.5) but losing Justise Winslow has really compromised their wing defense and Durant’s elite efficiency has him hitting his value thresholds even with minutes in the upper 20s. He’s more of a GPP play to me, but is definitely cash viable.
Other options – LeBron James, Kawhi Leonard
Mid-tier options – Rudy Gay, Otto Porter
Doug McDermott, CHI
McDermott was the first guy that popped into my mind last night when the Bulls ruled out Wade and Butler. He is only $4000 on FD and should easily be looking at 30+ minutes tonight. He is a chucker, and you’re likely going to see a massive amount of shot attempts from Dougie McBuckets. His cheap price makes up for any defensive inefficiencies you may be concerned with.
Other options – Jae Crowder, Kent Bazemore, Thabo Sefolosha, Maurice Harkless, DeMarre Carroll
Paul Millsap, ATL
Millsap is a sweet pick tonight at $8100. He has definitely lost in the usage and rebounding department with Dwight Howard in town, but both rates have been back up towards normalcy in the last five or six games and he gets a date with the Nets which is always a prime target for DFS. The Nets rank first in pace, 28th in overall team defense, and 28th against PFs and also allow the most blocks per game (Millsap has a nice floor from defensive stats). I would actively look to roster him tonight if you can, and there is another Bulls value that makes it possible.
Other options – Draymond Green, Kevin Love
Mid-tier options – Julius Randle (elite cash as well if you can’t afford Millsap, but Millsap is safer)
Nikola Mirotic, CHI
Our Bulls run continues with Mirotic, who really carries the most upside of anyone else on their team tonight. He is only $4500 and has the best positional matchup of all his teammates (the Wizards rank 25th in defensive efficiency against PFs). Even if he doesn’t start, Miro is looking at 30 minutes easily and he carries a per-minute average of 0.95 FD points per game.
Other options – Taj Gibson, Markieff Morris, Al-Farouq Aminu, Derrick Favors, Jon Leuer (GTD)
Hassan Whiteside, MIA
DeMarcus Cousins and Andre Drummond matching up with each other scares me a bit, as they are (forgive me) two of the more unintelligent figures in the NBA. I can see foul trouble issues, and possibly some technicals in the future here, so I’ll reserve both for GPPs. This leaves Whiteside at the top who is underpriced at $8200. He carries his own risk and Golden State likes to play small but I still don’t envision a scenario where Whiteside doesn’t play 30 minutes, and the 22nd ranked Heat will be getting a major pace boost against Golden State who ranks second (and also 18th in overall team defense). There is blowout risk for Whiteside, but his elite 1.24 FD points per minutes can get him to value even in limited time.
Other options – DeMarcus Cousins, Andre Drummond
Mid-tier options – Mason Plumlee (best value), Dwight Howard, Al Horford, Pau Gasol, Marcin Gortat
Mason Plumlee, POR
I knew I’d be writing about Plumlee today, but I admit I was a little disappointed to see that his price had climbed all the way to $6700. I still think he’s a solid value at that price but there’s a little less margin for error. Plumlee gets an elite matchup with the Lakers who rank 29th in overall team defense and 26th against centers, but here is the added bonus for him: The Lakers allow the most assists per game to the center position (overall as well), and Plumlee leads all centers in assists per game at 4.4 (and he’s averaged six per game in January).
Other options – Greg Monroe, Jonas Valanciunas, Cody Zeller, Robin Lopez, Cristiano Felicio