It’s the last full NBA slate before the All-Star break, and it’s gonna be a fun one with 11 games on the schedule. We’ll be working hard for you with the nuttiness of the evening (especially if someone sits for an extra day of rest or something). Stay with us over the break, as we’ve got some good stuff planned to release (general strategy articles, podcasts, etc), and give us a follow on our new Instagram page! I’m also on twitter @jac3600.
FANDUEL TOP POINT GUARD
Stephen Curry, GS ($9100)
We’ve got to get in on the action of the late game tonight, which pits the Warriors against the Blazers and features only a 4.5-point spread and a 235 O/U. Curry in particular should be busy tonight, as Shaun Livingston and DeMarcus Cousins are both ruled out for rest. Portland ranks seventh against PGs but they also allow the sixth highest 3PT%. Back in December, Curry broke 50 FD points twice against Portland and is underpriced for tonight. He’s viable across all formats.
Other options – Damian Lillard, Ben Simmons
Mid-tier options – Dennis Smith, Eric Bledsoe, Jamal Murray
FANDUEL TOP SHOOTING GUARD
Luka Doncic, DAL ($9800)
Luka just keeps rolling along, as the new Mavericks have not affected his rates whatsoever. Since the trade, Doncic has a 31% UR and 33.5% AR, and is taking on the Heat who rank 24th against opposing SGs. Other than one blemish against the Bucks, the upcoming Rookie of the Year has been money in the bank for Dallas this year. He’s a MUCH better value on DK (see below), but is worth his sub-10k price tag on FD where there’s no MPE.
Other options – James Harden, Bradley Beal, D’Angelo Russell, Devin Booker
Mid-tier options – Zack LaVine, Lou Williams, Klay Thompson, CJ McCollum, Andrew Wiggins
DRAFTKINGS TOP/MID GUARDS
DK’s pricing scheme is radically different tonight, so you’ll find some variance across the sites. Doncic ($8700) goes from an “OK” value on FD to an elite one on DK. His heightened rates give him much more probability of hitting the bonuses, and he’s simply too cheap. Damian Lillard ($8600) is in the same boat. Golden State is fourth against PGs and first in overall defense, but don’t let that sway you. The frenetic pace of this game and the high O/U means mucho fantasy points, and Lillard has a 32% UR and 29% AR over the last ten games. Other than one dud this year, Lillard has put up some epic lines against Golden State the last three years. James Harden also has to be seriously considered at $11,800 as his price just keeps dropping. His rates have definitely decreased, but the price change is baked into that, and Harden is fresh off a 62-DK point game against Dallas. Minnesota’s pace has increased all the way to 12th, and they rank 17th against opposing guards while allowing the third most 3PA. Harden should really eat in this one, so at the very least get yourself some MME exposure. Curry ($9200) is obviously still too cheap on DK as well, but Doncic and Lillard are better per-dollar values here as opposed to on FD where it’s the opposite. Finally, Zack LaVine ($7300) could be an amazing value today if Kris Dunn is ruled out, which is looking more and more likely as he’s complained about his recent back injury tightening up in practice. The matchup against Memphis isn’t good, but LaVine had a 34% UR and 30% AR when Dunn was out of the lineup at the beginning of the year.
Mike Conley is the first player we have to track all day. He sat out yesterday with an illness, and Delon Wright stepped in and put up a 4-6-8 line in 34 minutes. Wright ($4600/$3600) would be a lock in cash once again if Conley were to sit, and he’d get to face the Bulls who rank 27th in overall team defense and 28th against opposing guards. Justin Holiday ($5000/$4700) is another unexciting player from Memphis that would have to step into heavy minutes in Conley’s absence, and he could also be used in cash play. Avery Bradley ($3600/$3400) is possibly another mega-value for the Grizzlies if Conley sits. He exploded last night for a 33-6-6 line (wow) in 37 minutes, and while you can’t chase that again, it really doesn’t matter at his near-minimum price tag. He’s honestly OK even if Conley plays. Ryan Arcidiacono ($3500/$3500) could be another uber-value if (when?) Kris Dunn is ruled out. He was averaging 32.5 MPG during Dunn’s first absence, and he wouldn’t have to do much to hit value with that again.
Other options – Jeff Teague, Patrick Beverley, Tyler Johnson, Kadeem Allen, Jaylen Brown, Marcus Smart, Malik Beasley
FANDUEL TOP SMALL FORWARD
Kevin Durant, GS ($9900)
KD has to be salivating for tonight’s game, as it’s him that’s seen the biggest usage dip of the big four with Cousins on the court. With Cousins resting for tonight, KD should revert to his old ways and we get him at a bargain at under 10k. Portland ranks 27th against opposing SFs and KD had a triple-double against the Blazers earlier this season. Curry still rates as the better value of the two, but KD has the better positional matchup and could easily be the higher scorer.
Other options – Giannis Antetokounmpo, Kawhi Leonard
Mid-tier options – Otto Porter, Danilo Gallinari
FANDUEL TOP POWER FORWARD
Larry Nance, CLE ($7600)
Well this is an interesting name to have at the top, but Tristan Thompson and Kevin Love are both out for tonight. Nance has been crushing it lately with six straight double-doubles, and tonight he faces the Nets who have allowed 8% more scoring and 14% more rebounding than the rest of the league to opposing centers. Ante Zizic is also questionable, so Nance seems locked into 35 minutes tonight with a terrific matchup. He’s a core play for me tonight.
Other options – Blake Griffin, Lauri Markkanen
Mid-tier options – Montrezl Harrell, Kenneth Faried, Pascal Siakam, Jaren Jackson, Bobby Portis, Thaddeus Young
DRAFTKINGS TOP/MID FORWARDS
Some of the aforementioned names stand out on DK as well. Nance’s price is ridiculous on DK at $6700, and he should be the first name you enter on that site with the double-double bonus. Kevin Durant is also cheaper on DK at $9100 and rates as the better value there over Curry (opposite of FD). Keep in mind that Luka Doncic ($8700) is also SF eligible on DK and rates equally well at that position. Blake Griffin ($8900) has a tough matchup against Boston, but is also underpriced, as is Lauri Markkanen ($8100) who has seen his usage rate jump to 27% and his rebounding rate go to 17% without Portis and Parker on the Bulls.
Will Barton ($5900/$5500) rates as a solid value on both sites. He’s played 38 and 32 minutes the last two games and his price hasn’t seemed to move at all. Denver gets a major pace boost (they’re 28th, SAC is fourth in pace) and the Kings rank 23rd against opposing SFs. Denver has the third highest total of the night, behind only Toronto and Golden State. Bojan Bogdanovic ($5500/$5600) is also usable in all formats. He’s seen his minutes solidify in the mid-30s with Oladipo out, and Milwaukee has allowed the most 3PA in the league while ranking fifth in pace. At PF, Marquese Chriss ($4300/$3900) looks like a very usable value. He easily hit value against the Knicks in 22 minutes last game and that was with Kevin Love active. With Love out, we should see Chriss’ minutes pushed to 25, and he should play some center in the dream matchup against the Nets. Marcus Morris ($5100/$5000) has a tough matchup if he gets locked up with Blake Griffin (DET third against PFs), but he’s the biggest rate beneficiary when Kyrie Irving sits.
Other options – Gordon Hayward, Dorian Finney-Smith, Harrison Barnes, Kevin Knox, Dario Saric, Damontas Sabonis
FANDUEL TOP CENTER
Nikola Jokic, DEN ($10,900)
Choosing between Jokic and Towns at the same price is brutal (and we also have Embiid against the Knicks for a little more money). All three centers have incredible matchups, but it’s Jokic’s 32% assist rate that sets him apart from the others. He’s triple-doubled in six of the last ten games, and Sacramento ranks fourth in pace, 24th against centers, and 24th in rebounding rate.
Other options – Karl-Anthony Towns, Joel Embiid, Jusuf Nurkic
Mid-tier options – Al Horford, DeAndre Ayton (best value)
DRAFTKINGS TOP/MID CENTERS
All three guys mentioned above are in play in all formats on DK, but Jokic is the easy choice here where he’s the cheapest and gets the bonus for triple-doubles. He can be fit in where you can use two centers, but DeAndre Ayton ($6700) is the core play for me at C (on FD as well at $7400). The Clippers have allowed an incredible 62 FPPG to opposing centers this year and Ayton is pretty much blowout-proof as the Suns look to develop him. He’s worth an 8k price tag on this slate, so you’re getting a gift with him. Jusuf Nurkic ($7400) is another terrific value on DK in the marquee game of the night, especially with no Cousins to defend him.
With no Cousins for the Warriors, Kevon Looney ($3900/$3700) becomes the premier cheap option, and it helps that he’s also PF eligible on DK. Looney should see 25-27 minutes in this one, which is more than enough to hit value at near-minimum price tags. Ivica Zubac ($4200/$4000) busted hard last time out, but coach Doc Rivers continues to sing his praises and he gets to take on the Suns who rank 28th in overall team defense and 17th against centers. Zubac is a great GPP play with people likely to be sour on him after last game. Mason Plumlee ($6000/$5700) started and played 30 minutes last game even with Paul Millsap back, so there’s no harm in going back to well against a Kings team that lacks in all the defensive categories that Plumlee excels in.
Other options – Dwight Powell, Brook Lopez, Mitchell RobinsonFantasy Basketball