It’s the last week before the All-Star break, so let’s make the most of it before we all have to pretend we know something about EPL or Nascar to fill the void. Tonight we have a packed nine-game Monday slate, and many ways to build. I will be in chat all night with the boys helping you cash out, and make sure to follow me on twitter @jac3600.
FANDUEL TOP POINT GUARD
Russell Westbrook, OKC ($12,100)
Choosing your stud(s) is difficult tonight, but there is certainly no argument against Westbrook. Teammate Paul George would be in the MVP discussion in any other year (Harden’s got a stranglehold on that one), but it hasn’t stopped Westbrook from posting nine straight triple-doubles and only being below 50 FD points in one of those games. The matchup with Portland isn’t ideal (seventh in defensive efficiency, 10th against PGs, second in rebounding rate), but this game has a close spread and a 231 O/U (highest of the night). Westbrook should push minutes into the upper 30s in this on, and he dropped a 29-10-14 line on Portland about three weeks ago.
Other options – Damian Lillard, Kyle Lowry
Mid-tier options – Eric Bledsoe, Chris Paul, Dennis Smith, Jamal Murray, Darren Collison
FANDUEL TOP SHOOTING GUARD
James Harden, HOU ($13,300)
Harden’s price is finally starting to come down on FD, although I still can’t do him in cash over Westbrook and some of the other studs who are still at least $1000 less. Harden is still posting a 37% UR and 34% AR even with Paul and Gordon back, and he’s still hoisting up a massive amount of shots. Take note of the “downside”, though, as Harden was only able to register two rebounds and one assist last game. Dallas does rank 21st against PGs and 23rd against SGs, though, so Harden is more than viable as an elite GPP option where he should be less owned than some of the other top plays.
Other options – Luka Doncic, Bradley Beal
Mid-tier options – Zack LaVine, Andrew Wiggins, Khris Middleton, Malcolm Brogdon, Andrew Wiggins
DRAFTKINGS TOP/MID GUARDS
Harden is AWFULLY appealing on DK at $12,000 where his price continues to drop there as well, but I still think I’d lean Westbrook at $11,400 if deciding between the two for cash. Harden’s double- and triple-double bonuses have not been there for him since Paul came back and we know Westbrook has a better shot at them (nine straight trip-dubs). I’m going to have each in GPP a good bit, but Westbrook strikes me as more sensible for cash at a cheaper tag. Luka Doncic ($8700) is way too cheap on DK even with the other Mavericks in play now. Since Dennis Smith went down with injury (and subsequently traded), Doncic has a 31% UR and 32% AR for the Mavs, and Houston ranks 21st in overall team defense and 20th against guards. Damian Lillard ($8600) is also too cheap on DK compared to a ridiculous $10,200 price tag on FD. Lillard will oppose Westbrook in the marquee game, and even though OKC ranks first against PGs they’re also second in pace factor which mitigates a lot of matchup issues. Lillard’s UR is almost 33% over his last ten games. Give Bradley Beal ($8800) a look in GPPs as he’s likely going to be overlooked. Detroit ranks 29th against SGs and has traded away all their perimeter defenders.
Neither site seems to want to price up Dennis Smith ($6900/$6400) to where he should be. He has completely taken over the Knicks’ offense and has put up an incredible 57 shots over his last three games. The Knicks are still losing so there’s no real danger in Smith’s minutes being cut back. They have a tank-off tonight against Cleveland, and the Cavs have gone wire to wire so far with their 30th place ranking of PG defense. On the other side of the ball, Collin Sexton ($5400/$4900) had been getting major minutes until Indiana stifled him the other day. Don’t fret – they do that to everyone, and the Knicks will do no such thing (29th in overall team defense, 25th against PGs). I’m a tad uncomfortable with Sexton’s rising price tag, but he fits as a last piece in cash. Jordan Clarkson ($5800/$5200) is actually someone I’d prefer to use in cash as he has a 28% usage rate off the bench and is now getting 30+ minutes per night after the Cavs traded away several wings. The Knicks bench ranks 24th in defensive efficiency and Clarkson is simply a better basketball player than Sexton is right now. Josh Okogie can be used as a full punt on FD at $3500 if some of the Timberwolves guards sit.
Other options – Derrick Rose, Patrick Beverley, Cory Joseph, Malik Beasley, Jeremy Lamb, Dion Waiters, Allonzo Trier
NOTE: Tomas Satoransky is OUT and Chasson Randle is starting. All Wizards get a boost in assist rate, and Randle is usable as a punt streamer.
FANDUEL TOP SMALL FORWARD
Paul George, OKC ($11,600)
Does Paul George really have enough of a floor/ceiling combo to be priced in Giannis range? You bet he does. PG has taken his game to an entirely different level this year, and his gaudy usage rates are accompanied by incredible defensive stats. He’s averaged 3.4 steals per game over the last ten contests and hasn’t had a game without a steal since January 8. The baseline this provides for FanDuel is unrivaled by many in the NBA, and George should be looking at 40 minutes tonight against Portland (who, the way, ranks 27th against opposing SFs). I readily admit it took me a little too long to come around on this, but George is worth these price tags.
Other options – Giannis Antetokounmpo, Kawhi Leonard
Mid-tier options – Danilo Gallinari, Otto Porter, Josh Richardson
FANDUEL TOP POWER FORWARD
Blake Griffin, DET ($9000)
No matter what you do with the 10k+ players tonight, I’m firmly in belief that you have to complement one of them with Blake Griffin (it’s pretty easy to do on FD). Blake’s minutes have been wonky the last four games (42, 23, 38, 28) but I wouldn’t worry too much. Detroit is battling for the playoffs right now and Griffin leads the team in both usage and assist rate so there’s no way they’re cutting him back. Bobby Portis, Jabari Parker, and Jeff Green (if he’s healthy) are the ones that will be tasked with defending Griffin tonight, and not one of them can remotely hang with him. I could see Griff going for 50+ tonight if the game stays close, and Washington ranks 26th against PFs and dead last in rebounding rate.
Other options – Lauri Markkanen
Mid-tier options – Kenneth Faried, Larry Nance, Pascal Siakam, Serge Ibaka, Bobby Portis
DRAFTKINGS TOP/MID FORWARDS
On DraftKings, I do not need the stress of trying to accommodate Westbrook and Harden because my top plays can come right from the forward section. Griffin ($9000) and Paul George ($10,300) are both massively underpriced on DK and can form a tandem for you that has the same upside as any pairing in the more expensive range. One of these guys is a must, and my early builds will absolutely have both. This is honestly all you really need to look at up top for the forward position since both are such elite values, but Kawhi Leonard ($9100) does still strike me as a touch underpriced for GPPs. Even with Toronto fully healthy Kawhi has a 30% usage rate, and Marc Gasol’s role will remain “fluid” for now. The Raptors quietly have the highest implied total on the slate at 119 points.
Jabari Parker’s price has gotten up to $5600 on DK, but FD is asleep at the wheel as his price is STILL at $3900. If he’s not 100% owned on FD I don’t know the reason, and this is a value you have to go all-in on. Parker has posted FD scores of 40 and 45.7 since coming to Washington, and he played 34 minutes when Jeff Green went down. Parker is a lock on FD regardless of Green’s status, and even his price on DK will be too low if Green misses. Keep an eye on the status of Paul Millsap. If he misses another game, Will Barton ($5400/$5600) and Mason Plumlee (more on him in the C section) would likely see 30+ minutes against a Miami squad that played last night and ranks 24th against the SF position. Trevor Ariza ($6000/$5600) doesn’t have flashy upside, but he’s a lock for almost 40 minutes if Jeff Green misses, and Detroit is terrible at wing defense.
Other options – Bojan Bogdanovic, Kevin Knox, Mario Hezonja, Dorian Finney-Smith, Marvin Williams, Taj Gibson, Dario Saric, Rodions Kurucs
FANDUEL TOP CENTER
Karl-Anthony Towns, MIN ($11,200)
No matter which guards are available for the T-Wolves tonight, Towns is an elite option. The Clippers have fallen all the way to dead last against centers and are 28th in rebounding rate the last ten games. Minnesota is getting a pace boost (Clippers are seventh) and Towns is posting incredible rates lately. He’s worth paying up for in all formats.
Other options – Nikola Jokic, Andre Drummond, Jusuf Nurkic
Mid-tier options – Myles Turner, Steven Adams
DRAFTKINGS TOP/MID CENTERS
Towns ($10,000) is arguably the top overall play on DK at his price, and you can deviate off the Blake/Paul George combo i was harping on earlier. He’s incredibly underpriced, especially with a double-double almost guaranteed. Andre Drummond ($8900) is also very much in play fresh off his 29-20 gem against the Knicks. We could see a similar result tonight, as Washington ranks 28th against centers and last in rebounding rate. Drummond is priced fully on FD, but nowhere near so on DK. Nikola Jokic ($10,400) is the GPP pivot off the two. He’ll go much less owned with a more expensive price tag, but he has triple-doubled in six of his last eight games (how many centers can say that?) and Miami ranks 21st against centers.
If Paul Millsap is ruled out again, Mason Plumlee ($5900/$$5800) would rate as the top value play. He’s been getting 30+ minutes and averaging 1.13 FPPM. Only Whiteside is athletic enough to hang with Plumdog on the Heat, and he’ll be tangled up with Jokic. Ivica Zubac ($3900/$4000) is a very valuable punt option. He started and played 23 minutes last game, and was very effective with almost a double-double in his time on the court. Foul risk is high being matched up with Towns, but Zubac has averaged 1.12 FPPM this season and it’s possible we see his minutes pushed with nobody big enough (or quick enough) to even slow Towns down. On DK, Myles Turner ($6600) is in play in all formats against a Charlotte squad that ranks 27th against centers and 21st in rebounding rate. Turner has been racking up the defensive stats lately as well.
Other options – Jarrett Allen, Brook Lopez, Ante Zizic, Dwight PowellFantasy Basketball