It was again a very successful night on FD and Yahoo while DK left something to be desired. Overall the night was a win, but smashing on all three is something that needs to be a thing tonight. Harden and AD are back in action, and the GS/NO game looks awfully tasty. We’ll have to see whether or not we’re willing to spend on Harden who is FINALLY starting to be at least close to appropriately priced. For more info, read on, and follow me on twitter @jac3600.
FANDUEL TOP POINT GUARD
Stephen Curry, GS ($10,000)
First of all, let’s look at the amazing game environment that is the GS/NO tilt. The Warriors are only favored by six points, have the highest implied total at 123, and the game’s O/U is 240 which is the highest on the slate by 18 points. You NEED exposure to this game in cash. It doesn’t necessarily have to be Curry, but if you choose to fade Harden at 14k, I would lock Curry into cash at 4k less. Both these teams are top ten in pace and New Orleans also ranks 26th in defensive efficiency against PGs. Curry has made 44% of his threes over the last five games and should see a full complement of minutes tonight.
Other options – Damian Lillard, Kyrie Irving
Mid-tier options – Kyle Lowry
FANDUEL TOP SHOOTING GUARD
James Harden, HOU ($14,000)
Harden is on a run like no one has ever seen before. His usage rate has been at 45% without Chris Paul and Eric Gordon, and now Clint Capela is also out, and Danuel House has been sent to the G-league. What else is there to say? At least the sites are making you question it because of the price tag, but I really don’t know how you can fade Harden right now. The Nets are also a good matchup, as they rank 18th against guards and allow the fifth highest 3PT% in the league.
Other options – Donovan Mitchell, Luke Doncic, DeMar DeRozan, Jrue Holiday
Mid-tier options – D’Angelo Russell, Klay Thompson, Lou Williams, CJ McCollum
DRAFTKINGS TOP/MID GUARDS
DraftKings at least attempted to price up Harden accordingly, but $13,000 is actually still too cheap. Since Paul and Gordon went down, Harden has averaged over 70 DK PPG and his value threshold for 13k sits right at about 60 points, leaving plenty of room for value. You’d think he’d be exhausted by now, but we’re not seeing it, so keep plugging him in. The same thing exists for Curry ($10,100) who is a better play on DK where 3-point bonuses count. You won’t be able to get both into cash unless some serious punts open up, but there aren’t really any to speak of yet. Damian Lillard ($9000) is virtually unplayable on FD since he’s more expensive than Curry, but at $1100 less on DK you could really make the case for playing him as the Cavs rank dead last in defensive efficiency against opposing PGs. Don’t forget Donovan Mitchell either at $9100. The Jazz are getting a big time pace boost against the Clippers, and the Clips also rank 22nd against opposing guards. Mitchell is playing minutes in the upper 30s as the primary ball-handler while the other three PGs remain out. D’Angelo Russell remains one of my favorite GPP plays on the slate at $7300, and Houston’s guard defense is garbage without Paul or Gordon.
There is not much to speak of from a punt perspective other than Jalen Brunson on FanDuel ($3700). Brunson is a terrible per-minute player (0.74 FPPM) but he played 29 minutes last game and should see the same again tonight if Dennis Smith sits again (JJ Barea is lost for the year). Brunson is valuable on FD where you can drop his score if he busts, but he holds almost no value on DK at $4400. For pure punts there’s really nothing else to speak of yet. Elfrid Payton ($5600/$5700) falls down the usage pecking behind at least three, and maybe four, other players, but he’s at least a way to get cheap exposure to the top game of the night. Golden State is tenth against PGs, but the game pace mitigates that a bit.
Other options – Evan Fournier, Collin Sexton, Bryn Forbes, Derrick White, Reggie Jackson, Austin Rivers, Kyle Korver, Garrett Temple
FANDUEL TOP SMALL FORWARD
Kevin Durant, GS ($10,400)
Small forward is actually a spot that offers some value so we’re likely going to have to pass on Durant tonight. I gotta say, though – that hurts. KD is playing in the top game of the night and is facing a team that ranks sixth in pace and dead last against opposing SFs. Durant popped in 45.9 FD points last night in only 29 minutes against a much tougher Denver defense, and the thought of E’Twaun Moore and Nikola Mirotic attempting to cover Durant is hilarious. Make sure he’s in boatloads of your GPP lineups.
Other options – Giannis Antetokounmpo, Kawhi Leonard
Mid-tier options – Danilo Gallinari, Joe Ingles
FANDUEL TOP POWER FORWARD
Anthony Davis, NO ($13,700)
I was expecting AD to be $1000 cheaper than Harden which would’ve made the decision easy, so Kudos to FanDuel for getting it right. Even super-Harden can be bested by Davis’ raw scores on any given night, but if you’re paying THIS much for one player it’s Harden right now, and it’s not close. AD will be the main usage player in the fastest and most likely highest-scoring game of the night, but he’s a GPP play for me this evening, and I feel very comfortable saying that.
Other options – Blake Griffin, LaMarcus Aldridge
Mid-tier options – Tobias Harris, Montrezl Harrell, Draymond Green, Jayson Tatum, Pascal Siakam
DRAFTKINGS TOP/MID FORWARDS
So Anthony Davis ($11,800) is a MUCH better value on DK but he still falls down the cash priority list as Kevin Durant’s price is just silly on DK at $9800. At no point (even with the Warriors healthy) should Durant even be under 10k, and you can make a strong case that he belongs in your cash lineups alongside Harden, even if you have to make major sacrifices to the rest of your team to make that happen. If you’re looking for some solid mid-tier plays, Tobias Harris ($7400) is incredibly stable, but just look at that price on Montrezl Harrell ($7200). I don’t think DK really gets what Harrell is doing lately. He’s played 33 minutes in each of his last two games, and over the last ten contests Harrell has a 24% UR, 15% RR, and 11% AR. The Clippers have finally dispensed with the nonsense they have at center and just given Harrell extra run. Ordinarily we don’t like to attack the Jazz frontcourt, but they actually rank 19th against centers, and Harrell’s athleticism is a problem for Rudy Gobert. Luka Doncic ($8400) also strikes me a touch too cheap on DK.
The Jazz once again have some good cheap guys to look at for cash. Joe Ingles ($6600/$5900) hasn’t put up the big numbers we’d hoped for in the three PGs’ absences, but he’s playing heavy minutes and running the backup PG duties for Utah. They get a major pace boost against the Clippers, and L.A. has allowed the sixth most 3PA which elevates Ingles’ game. He’s a much better value on DK. Jae Crowder ($4400/$4300) is the cheaper alternative. He isn’t likely to get as many minutes as Ingles, but Crowder is the better per-minute producer (0.82 FPPM) and he has a 20% UR and 10% RR over the last four games. The Clippers rank 23rd against SFs and 24th against PFs. If Maurice Harkless remains out, Evan Turner ($4500/$4300) is someone I really like for cash. Portland has the third highest implied total behind the two juggernauts from GS and NO, and the Cavs rank dead last in overall team defense and have the second highest TO rate in the league. If Harkless happens to play, you can slot him into this conversation too, but I’d prefer Turner with his ability to rack up defensive stats. Finally, Maxi Kleber ($4600/$4600) is someone you’ll want to give a long look at in cash games. He’s started the last three games for Dallas and averaged 30 MPG, so it looks like it’s a real thing. The Spurs are stout defensively, but PF is their one bugaboo where they rank 28th in defensive efficiency, and they’re also 16th in rebounding rate.
Other options – Nikola Mirotic, E’Twaun Moore, Joe Harris, Gordon Hayward, Royce O’Neale, PJ Tucker, Gerald Green, Derrick Favors
FANDUEL TOP CENTER
Rudy Gobert, UTA ($9900)
Gobert’s price on FD is gross, but I still think he’s the best overall play there and worthy of a spend in GPPs (DK is a different story, where he’s still too cheap). Gobert has an 18% UR and a 22% RR over the last four games, and he’s facing off against the fast-paced Clippers who are 29th against centers and allow the fourth most blocks per 48 minutes to the position. Gobert has gone ballistic on the boards over the last few games, and this is a matchup where that should keep going. It’s just so hard to justify playing him when Stephen Curry is only $100 more, even in GPPs, but you want some exposure here.
Other options – Andre Drummond, Nikola Vucevic, Jusuf Nurkic
Mid-tier options – Marc Gasol, Julius Randle, DeAndre Jordan, Tristan Thompson, Al Horford
DRAFTKINGS TOP/MID C’s
DK is a totally different story for Gobert, as his $8500 price tag is far too cheap, PLUS you get a bonus for the double-double that is inevitably coming. Where he’s a fringe GPP play on FD at best, on DK he’s one of the elite tournament options and is also cash viable depending on whether you spend top dollar on Harden or not. Nikola Vucevic ($8900) is also a much better value on DK at $8900. People shy away from the Drummond matchup a lot but there’s really no need to. Detroit ranks 20th in defensive efficiency against centers and allows the second most FGA between 6 and 12 feet from the hoop. Vuc is dominating the Magic offense and should continue to get a few more minutes with Mo Bamba likely out again. If you can’t fit these guys in cash, I love dipping down to Marc Gasol ($7100) or just playing Harrell (see above) in the center spot.
Tristan Thompson ($6400/$6200) is probably the best high-end value. The matchup is tough as Portland ranks eighth against centers and fourth in rebounding rate, but their sheer size should ensure TT gets a lot of minutes, especially with Larry Nance continuing to be out. I would pay a little more for cash (at least up to Gasol), but Thompson can be considered in all GPPs. Another value (albeit a boring one) is Kevon Looney ($4800/$4100). His time is about to come to an end as DeMarcus Cousins looks like he’s joining the fray on Friday, but Looney has been starting and is good for 25 minutes. As a cheap play in the best game environment, I’ll take it (moreso on DK).
Other options – Jarrett Allen, Marcin Gortat, Pau Gasol, Ante ZizicFantasy Basketball