It was almost a clean sweep yesterday, as FanDuel and Yahoo won handsomely, but DraftKings fell short (thanks Horford). Let’s look to win all around tonight, and we have a really fun six-game slate to tackle. We’ll be working hard for you in chat this evening, and make sure you follow me on twitter @jac3600. Good luck!
FANDUEL TOP POINT GUARD
Russell Westbrook, OKC ($12,000)
There are several really enticing superstars on this slate, but it’s going to be really tough for me to fade Westbrook unless PG becomes the position of value later on in the afternoon. Despite teammate Paul George catching Westy in usage rate over the past month, Russ is still averaging a triple-double on that season and gets a Hawks team that ranks first in pace (Thunder are fourth) and have allowed an incredible 53.2 FanDuel PPG to opposing PGs this season. Westbrook should be chalk, and rightfully so.
Other options – Stephen Curry, Ben Simmons
Mid-tier options – Kris Dunn, Jamal Murray, Lonzo Ball, Trae Young
FANDUEL TOP SHOOTING GUARD
Victor Oladipo, IND ($8300)
It’s going to to be tough to fit Dipo into cash if you’re shooting for the moon on the studs, but he’s definitely viable in a matchup that really can’t get much better for him. Phoenix is slowly creeping up in pace (they’re still only 17th), and they rank 25th in overall team defense and 27th against opposing SGs. Dipo has been incredibly inefficient lately but the rates are still there, and his struggles are reflected in a way-too-cheap price tag.
Other options – Devin Booker, Jimmy Butler
Mid-tier options – Khris Middleton, Andrew Wiggins, Zack LaVine
DRAFTKINGS TOP/MID GUARDS
The two aforementioned top plays are even better values on DK (Russ $11,600, Dipo $7800) and make for a solid core if building in cash. If you still don’t trust Oladipo’s production there are other ways to go, but it’s rare we see him at that much of a discount. Westbrook is a cash lock on DK where you also get double- and triple-double bonuses. Steph Curry ($9900) and Ben Simmons ($9400) are exciting GPP pivots of Westbrook at a fairly sizeable discount. Curry is particular is taking place in the marquee matchup of the night against Denver where the two top West teams will battle it out. It’s not often we can accurately predict heavy minutes for Warriors players, but tonight’s the night. In the mid-tier, Lonzo Ball ($6700) and Brandon Ingram ($6600) are still underpriced for their respective roles without LeBron James and Rajon Rondo, an both are cash viable against a Chicago team that is 28th against guards.
On both sites, Atlanta is where I’m looking for value at the guard position even though the matchup is tough (OKC is third against PGs and ninth against SGs). That aside, the game has an O/U of 234 and both teams are ranked in the top five in pace factor. Trae Young is a bit too expensive for my taste on FD, but his price tag of $6200 on DK is a lot more enticing. Jeremy Lin ($4700/$4400) is probably my favorite universal play of the group. He’s been playing nice minutes off the bench and has averaged 1.03 FPPM this season. OKC’s bench ranks 20th in the NBA in points allowed. Additional plays from Atlanta that can be used in any format are Kevin Huerter ($5500/$4800) and DeAndre Bembry ($5400/$4800). Bembry is also a SF on FD and is SF eligible on DK as well. If you’re looking to deviate from the Hawks, Josh Hart ($5200/$5200) is a nice floor play for cash, although he’s a better option on FD. Hart has averaged 32.3 MPG since LeBron went down, and the Bulls rank 23rd in overall team defense and 28th against guards. A final play that you have to consider in all formats is Dennis Schroder ($5300/$5400), especially on FD. He’s struggling from the field right now but is still posting a 26% UR off the bench, and the matchup against Atlanta can’t get any better for him.
Other options – Jeff Teague, JJ Redick, Dwyane Wade, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Darren Collison, Cory Joseph
FANDUEL TOP SMALL FORWARD
Paul George, OKC ($9700)
It’s a Giannis day, but I EASILY prefer Paul George to him, and a $2200 discount only makes the play that much better. PG13 is averaging over 22 shots per game over the past month and has actually MATCHED Westbrook’s usage rate since December 1. The matchup against the Hawks is just as good for him as it is for the guards, and OKC has the highest implied total on the slate at 121 points. Stacking Thunder players seems like a way to succeed tonight.
Other options – Giannis Antetokounmpo, Kevin Durant
Mid-tier options – Brandon Ingram, Justise Winslow, Josh Richardson
FANDUEL TOP POWER FORWARD
Kyle Kuzma, LAL ($7300)
I feel like a good amount of people will flock to Damontas Sabonis against the Suns if Myles Turner is ruled out again, but I prefer Kuzma for the $600 discount. Kuz is clearly over his back injury that cost him a few games, and he’s played 36+ minutes in three of the last four games for the Lakers. Kuzma is the primary scorer on the team without LeBron, and he has a 27% usage rate since the King went down. The Bulls are 19th against PFs and 29th in rebounding rate.
Other options – John Collins
Mid-tier options – Damontas Sabonis, Draymond Green, Paul Millsap
DRAFTKINGS TOP/MID FORWARDS
I’m going to have to make sure to find values I like, but Paul George is an even better play on DK at $9200, and I want a Westy/George core to headline my cash lineups tonight. Giannis ($11,200) is underpriced on DK for his rates and PER, and is an elite GPP play as people flock to the OKC players (and maybe Embiid). Kuzma ($7300) is also an elite value for all formats on DK. Kevin Durant ($9700) is a really interesting play at under 10k. With the Warriors healthy he’s not producing the elite rates we saw when Steph and Dray were out, but this game has a one-point spread and a 228 O/U, and the outcome could be huge. Expect the stars to get extra run, and game stacking in GPPs is a good idea. Jimmy Butler ($7600) looks a tad underpriced in a “revenge” game, and John Collins ($7500) is massively underpriced with Dewayne Dedmon out again.
With Dedmon out last game, Omari Spellman ($3500/$3800) started and played 30 minutes. It’s not safe to project that many again, but I think 25-27 is reasonable if he starts again, and he’s a solid way to get some studs in there. Spellman is especially valuable on FD where you can drop his score, and I’d lock him in there even if he was coming off the bench. Jerami Grant ($5400/$5100) is another solid way to get cheap exposure to OKC. With Nerlens Noel remaining out, Grant is locked into minutes in the 30s and he gets a Hawks team that not only ranks 29th against PFs but has the highest TO rate in the league. Grant is able to rack up defensive stats, and I would make him a priority if somehow you can’t (or won’t) put in both OKC studs. Draymond Green ($6300) is priced out for me on FD, but I don’t mind him at all as a last piece on DK. He’ll be needed to slow down the Jokic train, and Dray has a 24.2% assist rate the last ten games, and that’s with Golden State healthy.
Other options – Bojan Bogdanovic, Tyreke Evans, Kelly Oubre, Taj Gibson, Wendel Carter, Lauri Markkanen, Thaddeus Young
FANDUEL TOP CENTER
Joel Embiid, PHI ($11,100)
The matchup tonight between Embiid and Towns is going to be super fun, but I’m picking Embiid to come out on top. Minnesota has really picked up the pace and abandoned defense altogether, and Embiid’s Sixers have the second highest team total tonight at 119 points. Minnesota ranks 19th in overall team defense and 20th in rebounding rate, and Embiid is rocking a 32.5% usage rate and a 20.3% rebounding rate. He also leads the league in FT attempts.
Other options – Karl-Anthony Towns, Nikola Jokic
Mid-tier options – DeAndre Ayton, Steven Adams, Myles Turner
DRAFTKINGS TOP/MID C’s
The two sites have both done a nice job of pricing the top three centers, as their similar tags make it tough to pinpoint one. I still take Embiid ($10,500) on DK over the other two, as his rates are the most consistent and the matchup is better, but all three are amazing GPP options. If you want to dip to the mid-tier, Steven Adams ($7000) is someone you can consider based on our overall love for the Thunder tonight. The Hawks rank 20th against centers and 17th in rebounding rate while allowing the third most blocks per 48 minutes.
I wish JaVale McGee ($5900/$5300) was playing the 30 minutes we saw at the beginning of the year, but this is matchup he could still crush value in 22-24 minutes. The Bulls are ranked 28th against centers and 29th in rebounding rate, and have allowed the fourth most blocks per 48 minutes to opposing centers. McGee already has two games this year where he racked up five blocks while only playing 20 minutes, so this upside could easily be realized. He’s an amazing GPP option, and in play for cash if you’re in a pinch. Alex Len ($4300/$4100) would really need to start to be viable, but keep in mind he’s averaged 1.21 FPPM over the past three seasons, and has 50-point upside if he can keep himself out of foul trouble (a big risk, as he averages 5.2 fouls per 36 minutes).
Other options – Brook Lopez, Kevon Looney, Mason PlumleeFantasy Basketball