We’re rolling along, and the return of the Boogie was a success in GPPs! I hope everyone followed my “unhealthy obsession” with him, as @dmc04005 calls it, as he crushed his first value price tags. Tonight we have eight games on the main slate (luckily don’t have to deal with Embiid’s nonsense unless you’re playing early), and an ever-rising price tag of Harden. I may miss chat tonight before lock, but follow me on twitter @jac3600.
FANDUEL TOP POINT GUARD
Kyrie Irving, BOS ($9500)
All top spends revolve around Harden once again, so any others are going to be an “if you can fit him” situation. Kyrie has savaged two tough defenses in Toronto and Memphis the last couple of games, and now gets the easiest matchup for PGs in the Hawks who rank first in pace and have allowed over 53 FanDuel PPG to opposing PGs. Trae Young is possibly the second-worst defender of PGs, and he ranks ahead of only his backup, Jeremy Lin. Young is questionable for this one, and Kyrie will have his way with whichever player guards him. I’d think long and hard about making Kyrie the second spend-up with Harden if you can afford it.
Other options – DeAaron Fox
Mid-tier options – Kyle Lowry, Mike Conley, Jamal Murray, Kris Dunn
FANDUEL TOP SHOOTING GUARD
James Harden, HOU ($14,300)
Harden’s value threshold for FD at this price tag is about 63.6 points. He’s only been under that twice in the last 11 games, and well over 70 in six of the games. The game’s on national TV and the Lakers are 25th against guards. I still don’t think you’re fading, but we can at least have the conversation.
Other options – Luka Doncic
Mid-tier options – Victor Oladipo, Khris Middleton, Zack LaVine
DRAFTKINGS TOP/MID GUARDS
Again, Harden ($13,400) is still much cheaper on DK. It’s hard to build with his price getting up there, but I still think he’s the way you have to go. If you happen to not, I would strongly look at Kyrie Irving ($9400) for the reasons above. Two interesting mid-tier options on DK are Luka Doncic ($7900) and Kyle Lowry ($7400). Both are playing slow, defensive-minded teams in Indiana and Memphis, but the price tags are super friendly. Doncic in particular has seen a massive usage spike lately with Barea gone and Dennis Smith…well…
If Jason Richardson sits again, Tyler Johnson ($3900/$3900) will be megachalk and rightfully so. He crushed value in 34 minutes yesterday and has a similarly good matchup tonight against the Bulls who rank 23rd in overall team defense and 28th against PGs. Johnson is one you’ll have to eat in any lineup you want Harden. Reggie Jackson ($5100/$5200) is another value I’m incredibly interested in with Andre Drummond set to miss this game. Jackson should see over 30 minutes in this game as Detroit runs smaller lineups, and his usage rate spikes to 24.5% with Drummond out. The matchup against Sacramento is amazing, as they rank second in pace and 20th against PGs. One final guard that would stand to benefit from an injured teammate is Evan Fournier ($5900/$5400). Aaron Gordon looks highly doubtful in this one, and Fournier has a 23% UR and 20% AR with Gordon off the court since the beginning of last year.
Other options – Jeremy Lin (if Trae out), Cory Joseph, DJ Augustin, Marcus Smart, Reggie Bullock, Dwyane Wade, Rodney McGruder
FANDUEL TOP SMALL FORWARD
Giannis Antetokounmpo, MIL ($11,500)
If there is an argument to fading Harden, here it is. According to a stat produced by our own Mike Cortright, Giannis is averaging 1.84 FD PPM over the last ten games while the mighty Harden is at 1.81. The reason for the difference? Harden is also averaging TEN more minutes per game than Giannis in that stretch. If you believe the game stays close against Orlando and Giannis plays 34-36 minutes, he could match Harden, and do it at an almost 3k difference. Worth thinking about, especially if Aaron Gordon sits for Orlando.
Other options – Kawhi Leonard
Mid-tier options – Brandon Ingram, Justise Winslow
FANDUEL TOP POWER FORWARD
Blake Griffin, DET ($9700)
Griffin is pretty fairly priced on FanDuel (much better on DK), but you have to give him serious consideration given the fact that he’s playing the Kings who are second in pace and 25th in overall team defense, and Andre Drummond will miss this game. Blake and Drummond are the entire show for the Detroit offense, and Blake has a 31% UR, 13% RR, and 24% AR with Drummond off the court since he came to Detroit. At the very least, I’m going overweight in GPPs, and he’s very viable in cash if you fade Harden.
Other options – John Collins
Mid-tier options – Kyle Kuzma, Jayson Tatum, Pascal Siakam, Paul Millsap
DRAFTKINGS TOP/MID FORWARDS
The Giannis debate is the same on DK where he’s $10,700 (SO much cheaper than Harden). Being willing to fade an almost given 75 points from Harden takes discipline, but it’s definitely up for discussion with these price differentials. Griffin ($9000) is also a much higher priority on DK where he’s priced down. Jamming in both Harden and Griffin to cash leaves you with $4600 per player, which is actually more than doable with all the values at PG and center, and a Giannis/Griffin pairing would leave you with even more flexibility. Kyle Kuzma ($7500) is the one factor that makes paying more for Griffin tough, however. Kuz is locked into almost 40 MPG with LeBron out, and his usage rate is 28.5% in that span. He should be more expensive that he is. Justise Winslow ($7100) doesn’t come with much of a discount, but he’s been the primary PG in Goran Dragic’s absence, and that would multiply even more if Josh Richardson were to sit again. His assist rate last night was 29%, and Chicago is a great matchup.
If Aaron Gordon sits, Jonathan Isaac ($4400/$3700) is someone you’re locking in, especially on DK. Isaac has shown a low floor even with added opportunity, but his minutes have finally been consistent lately and he should see time in the 30s tonight. He has downside if he’s the primary defender of Giannis (foul risk, etc.) and Milwaukee is tied for first in rebounding rate, but this price is too tough to ignore. Jaren Jackson ($5600/$5400) and JaMychal Green ($5800/$5200) are two players you’re going to have to closely monitor this evening. Joakim Noah is already out, and Marc Gasol is questionable with back soreness. Jackson and Green are already “good” plays now as Toronto has dipped to 18th against opposing PFs, and would become top values (Green especially) if Gasol were to miss. Rodney McGruder ($3500/$3200) played 30 minutes yesterday with Richardson out, and is a pure punt that can be used.
Other options – Harrison Barnes, DeAndre Bembry, Bojan Bogdanovic, Tyreke Evans, Gordon Hayward, Will Barton, Bobby Portis, Marcus Morris, Maxi Kleber, PJ Tucker
FANDUEL TOP CENTER
Nikola Vucevic, ORL ($9300)
Vuc alone in the frontcourt without Aaron Gordon is someone you seriously have to consider for GPPs, as he has a 28% UR and 21% RR in that scenario. I’m not really looking here in cash though, as the matchup is really tough against Milwaukee and there are already several ready-made values at the C position.
Other options – Nikola Jokic
Mid-tier options – Marc Gasol (GTD), Hassan Whiteside, Myles Turner, DeAndre Jordan, Al Horford
DRAFTKINGS TOP/MID CENTERS
The debate of Vuc is much more in play on DK where you can roster more than one center and Vuc is only $8600. Consider him a top play over there, but I’d still prefer the likes of Kyrie and Blake Griffin in the same price range with much better matchups. John Collins ($7700) is someone else to keep an eye with the Atlanta frontcourt banged up (although Collins himself is questionable). Collins has a tough draw against Boston, but he’s underpriced and is averaging 1.16 FPPM this year.
Ante Zizic ($4400/$4600) and Zaza Pachulia ($3500/$3300) are the premier value plays on the slate as they’ll be thrust into starting roles for their teams. You can open up tons of salary if you use both on DK (which is a route I recommend), but you’re going to have to choose on FD. Zizic projects for over 30 minutes after posting 33 FPS in 34 minutes yesterday against Rudy Gobert, and his matchup gets no better against Jokic and the Nuggets (tied for first in rebounding rate). He’s a bit more expensive than Zaza, but you’re definitely paying for those extra minutes. Zaza could see no more than minutes in the low 20s in this one, but he comes with the premier matchup against the Kings who are second in pace, 27th against centers, and 26th in rebounding rate. There’s an equal argument to be made for both, and it ultimately comes down to how the rest of your roster looks. You want ample exposure to both. I also want to draw attention to the Atlanta frontcourt should John Collins sit. Dewayne Dedmon, Omari Spellman, and Alex Len should garner attention, but with all three available it would be tough to pinpoint one in cash.
NOTE: John Collins is now PROBABLE, which pretty much eliminates these guy
Other options – Ivica Zubac (keep an eye on this one too, as he’s clearly better than Tyson Chandler and JaVale McGee), Mason Plumlee, Aron BaynesFantasy Basketball